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Climate Challenge

The Honors College Presents the Fall 2013 Faculty Research Series

Thursday September 12 kicks off the Honors College Faculty Research Series, which is held in conjunction with the Honors College Shared Read.

This year, the Research Series examines the implications raised in Mark Hertsgaard’s book “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth”, which argues that climate change is a man-made problem, and one that must be addressed by the world’s leading political and scientific figures. In particular, the Research Series will cover how climate change affects Louisiana specifically.

Associate Dean Granger Babcock, one of the leading organizers of the Series, spoke briefly on the importance of creating a theme for the academic year.

“The intent is to take what students are reading in Honors 2000 and to deepen their understanding of what's going on in that book by presenting them scientists at LSU who are working on these same things that Hertsgaard talks about,” said Babcock. “We're interested in critical thinking about large issues [in the Honors College]. I think it's what we need our students to work on.”

Held in the West Laville Library at 6 P.M. for four consecutive Thursdays, the Faculty Research Series begins with a talk from Robert Twilley, Executive Director of the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program. His talk titled “Hot, Leveed, and Drowning: How the Mississippi River Delta Today is Analogue of a Coastal Failure” will be held on September 12, and will examine how the current coastal conditions of Louisiana is a forecast of what will begin to affect other delta areas in the world over the next fifty to one hundred years due to sea level rise.

On September 19, John Day, Professor Emeritus of the LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, will give his talk, “Sustainability and Place: How 21st Century Mega-Trends will Affect Sustainability at the Landscape Level”. He will discuss how various factors such as peak oil feed into the problems that are occurring in delta regions.

Lynne Carter, Associate Director of the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program and Coastal Sustainability Studio, as well as part of the LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology, will be speaking on September 26. The title of her talk is “Planning to Protect: How Can We Be More Ready in a Changing Climate?”, and will discuss how Louisiana is already adapting to the challenges presented by climate change, involving both the large disappearance of the wetlands as well as sea level rise.

Finally, Ed Laws, a professor in the LSU Department of Environmental Sciences, will speak on October 3. “Climate Change: Natural and Anthropogenic Causes” will examine both the natural causes of climate change, as well as the man-made causes that are contributing factors.

Babcock hopes to give students a more thorough and complete understanding of the issue of climate change.

“[The students have] read the journalist's take on climate change, and now they're going to actually hear from some scientists.” said Babcock. “engaging the text and delving into the subject matter is a fundamental part of the mission of the Honors College — to develop critical thinking.”

Story by Jacqueline DeRobertis, LSU Honors College

For more information, contact the Honors College at 225-578-8831