Ferrum News

Ferrum College Announces Sustainability Lecture Series


 In conjunction with Ferrum College’s 2009-2010 campus-wide theme, “Sustainability: Becoming the change you want to see in the world,” Ferrum’s School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will sponsor lectures by local and international experts, beginning on Thursday, September 3, at 7:00 p.m. and continuing on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The lectures are free and open to the public and will be held in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room in Franklin Hall. Following is a partial list of lecturers and dates.

September 3: Dr. Jerry Moles and Mr. David Hurt, opening ceremony keynote speakers.
Moles has over 30 years of experience in research, teaching, and program management in natural resources. He is currently the Consulting Director of Land Stewardship of the New River Land Trust responsible for introducing LandCare into the New River Basin, Chairman of the Board of the Blue Ridge Forestry Cooperative, member of the Board of the New River Round Table, and Chairman of the Board of the NeoSynthesis Research Centre in Sri Lanka, a NGO researching, designing, and implementing land management program that protects natural resources and increases biodiversity and land holder incomes.

Hurt serves on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, where he has led successful initiatives such as the Franklin County Trails and Blueways Plan and a Purchase of Development Rights ordinance. With a multi-dimensional perspective as a landowner, elected official, and conservation professional, Hurt also works as easement director of Conservation Partners in an effort to assist landowners throughout the conservation easement process.

September 17: Mr. Steve Prisley is an associate professor of forest inventory and geographical information systems (GIS) in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources. He has received a certificate commemorating his involvement with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former Vice President Al Gore. Prisley’s contributions included lead authorship of “Afforestation, Reforestation, and Deforestation (ARD) Activities,” part of an International Panel on Climate Change Special Report entitled Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry.

October 8: Ms. Heather Dawes is Executive Director of Energy Xchange, a multi-use facility that demonstrates different uses of alternate energy sources through environment, education, and economic development. Dawe’s lecture will coincide with a major exhibition at Ferrum’s
Elizabeth Taylor Greer Art Gallery in Stanley Library, “Sustainability: Trash to Treasure, Ceramic and Glass Work from the Energy Xchange Studios.” The exhibition will feature glass and ceramic artwork produced using landfill gas captured from the 7-acre mountain landfill adjacent to the studio property. The exhibition will also be open to the public.

October 29: Ms. Janisse Ray, leading environmental activist, author, and poet, and recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowship.

November 5: Dr. Jeb Barrett is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. Much of his research is conducted in polar desert ecosystems of Antarctica where he focuses on how subtle changes in climate affect carbon cycling through altered processes meditated by soil organisms. He is one of a team of investigators who work at the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research site.

November 19: Stan Breakell has been president of Breakell Inc. Breakell provides the vision and leadership that drives Breakell to explore new ways of approaching construction and construction management through the use of technology and sustainable business/building practices. He recently received the prestigious Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale Award for Conservation given by The Garden Club of Virginia for his commitment to environmental stewardship.

More information on Ferrum’s lecture and film series for the upcoming 2009-2010 academic year will soon be made available on www.ferrum.edu. For further questions, contact Glen Stevens at (540) 365-4554 or gstevens@ferrum.edu