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What Would an Early Warning System Look Like for the Great Lakes? Michael R. Twiss

19 Sep

What Would an Early Warning System Look Like for the Great Lakes?

Michael R. Twiss

Presented Friday, October 6, at 7:00pm

Michael Twiss

Michael R. Twiss, Ph.D., is a professor of biology at Clarkson University, teaching classes in Limnology, Microbiology, Environmental Science of the Adirondacks, and Great Lakes Water Protection. He is a member of the Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology editorial board and has served on grant review panels for the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and other agencies.

Twiss is a limnologist (freshwater scientist) with expertise in the microbial plankton ecology of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system and interactions of plankton with trace elements in the water column. His research aims to understand the impact that microbes have on the geochemical fate of nutrients and metals in natural waters and how plankton respond to changes in their natural environment.

He is the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, the Premier’s Research Excellence Award by the Province of Ontario and the Chandler-Misener Award by the International Association for Great Lakes Research, and has been funded in the past five years by New York Sea Grant, the New York Power Authority, the NSF, the USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Twiss has over 50 peer-reviewed publications.”

 

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The Global Refugee Crisis — Ambassador Mark C. Storella

16 Aug

“The Global Refugee Crisis”

Ambassador Mark C. Storella

Friday, September 8, at 7:00pm

Ambassador Mark Storella, a member of the Senior Foreign Service, has a longstanding commitment to humanitarian affairs and human rights. He joined the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in June 2016 with responsibility for admission of refugees to the United States and refugee programming in the Near East and Asia regions.
Ambassador Storella previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy Brussels where he was deeply involved in counterterrorism and countering violent extremism efforts. As U.S. Ambassador to Zambia 2010-2013, he oversaw $450 million in development assistance, with a focus on innovative health and governance programs. Ambassador Storella was the Senior Coordinator for Iraqi Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Baghdad from 2009-2010 and served as Counselor for Refugee and Migration Affairs and subsequently as Deputy Permanent Representative at the U.S. Mission in Geneva from 2006-2009. In that capacity, he engaged with over 50 UN agencies and international organizations, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration and the International Federation of the Red Cross. From 2001-2003, Ambassador Storella was adjunct professor at Georgetown University where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses on humanitarian action.
Ambassador Storella was Deputy Chief of Mission in Cambodia and Executive Assistant to the Counselor of the State Department; he also served on the Japan and NATO desks and was posted in Bangkok, Paris and Rome.
Ambassador Storella is the recipient of several State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor awards. He is also the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award presented by American Citizens Abroad and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Excellence in Service Award. His languages are French, Khmer, Italian and Thai. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and has written on such diverse topics as multilateral arms control and humanitarian action in conflict situations. Ambassador Storella is married with two sons.

Food, Agriculture and GMO’s – Sarah Davidson Evanega

12 Jul

Sarah_Davidson_EvanegaSarah Davidson Evanega, a plant scientist and Cornell University professor who is a leading supporter of genetic engineering as a key tool to promote global food security and protect habitats, spoke on “GMOs: Fostering a Climate for Change.”

As Director for the Cornell Alliance for Science, Evanega oversees a global communications effort that promotes evidence-based decision-making in agriculture. She is also part of an interdisciplinary team that recently started up an online course on the science and politics of GMOs at Cornell University.

Polls show that many Americans are concerned about the presence of GMO’s in the food supply. A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 37 percent of American adults considered genetically modified foods to be unsafe while 88 percent of AAAS scientists had the opposite view.

Evanega points out that as global climate change continues to threaten agricultural systems, particularly in developing countries, crops that are genetically engineered to withstand harsh weather conditions or damage from insects are going to be critical to raising farm productivity and minimizing the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment, as well as addressing global food insecurity as the world’s population continues to expand.