Environmental Lecture Series to kick off on Jan. 24

Madison Graver

AU’s annual Environmental Lecture Series is set to begin Jan. 24 with a presentation from Dr. Sarah Diamond, the George B. Mayer Chair in Urban and Environmental Studies and assistant professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University.

The theme of this year’s lecture series will focus on “Ohio Citizen Science”.

Diamond is the second presenter of the series and will hold her presentation on the topic of “How humans redistribute butterflies in space and time: surprises and novel insights from long-term citizen science monitoring”. The event will be held in Ronk Lecture Hall of the Schar College of Education at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Diamond has been teaching biology at Case Western since 2014 and focuses a lot of her research on understanding and predicting biological responses to novel environments. To document some of the work that she’s done, Diamond has her own website displaying her research and various outreach opportunities.

Patricia Saunders, associate professor of biology and director of the environmental science program, said “The overall goal of the series is to explore citizen science projects that are active in Ohio. Examples in Ohio include the topics of the presentations in this year’s series, which focus on questions about wild bees, butterflies, and dragonflies.”

Saunders says that there were various ‘citizen science’ projects being done by AU students in their science classes which is what led them to choose the theme of “Ohio Citizen Science” for this year’s series.

“The AU Environmental Lecture Series is now in its 27th year. It has always had a general goal of connecting students, faculty, and members of the larger area community with experts in environmental science and policy,” Saunders said. “Audience members have a chance to learn more about a subject that they connect with somehow. The presenter learns from telling their story and interacting with the audience.”

The lecture series will conclude on Mar. 21 with a lecture by MaLisa Spring on dragonflies and damselflies in Ohio.