Three speakers will discuss their work at the Environmental Studies Colloquium on Friday, September 6, at 11:45 a.m. in AUNE’s Community Room. The event is free and open to the public.
• Rachel Thiet, core faculty, Department of Environmental Studies, will speak on “Above Ground-Below Ground Ecology: A Sampling of Research in New England.”
Rachel involves AUNE students in her long-term research program on Cape Cod National Seashore, where they collaborate with Cape Cod scientists on projects in salt marsh and sand dune plant and soil restoration, mollusk and algal ecology, sediment and water biogeochemistry, and ant-plant mutualisms.
Rachel earned an MS in natural resources and a PhD in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology from Ohio State University, where she studied wetland ecology and soil microbial ecology.
•Michael Simpson, chair, AUNE Department of Environmental Studies, will talk about “Infrastructure Vulnerability: Adaptation of Stormwater Systems to a Changing Climate.”
Michael has been a senior environmental scientist and partner for two environmental consultant firms in the Northeast. He has worked for both the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
He is a licensed wetlands scientist with over twenty five-years of experience in wetland and riparian corridor assessments, employing a variety of assessment approaches and data collection procedures. He has also designed wetlands for treatment of nonpoint source run-off and wastewater.
His primary research is on impacts to riparian corridors and estuaries from changes in land use combined with increases in storm intensity and frequency due to projected climate change. He has conducted numerous economic cost/avoided cost analyses related to decisions about resource utilization and conservation.
•John Crockett, lab and herbarium coordinator, AUNE Department of Environmental Studies will speak on “The Natural Contemplative: A Listening Life.”
An encounter with a fin whale in the Bay of Fundy led John to renew a long-standing interest in whale communication and work as a whale watch naturalist. He now devotes much of his time to recording natural soundscapes in both marine and terrestrial environments, and sharing his experiences through writing and educational programs.
With his partner, Cynthia Hughes, he formed the musical duo, Coracle, which blends Celtic harp, cello, Irish whistles and music from the natural world to inspire an understanding of our connection to the other creatures and the whole Earth.
John’s website The Natural Contemplative is a resource for environmental education and conservation from a contemplative perspective. He has worked with the Whale Conservation Institute/Ocean Alliance, Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.