Environmental topics that cross cultures, continents, and species will be discussed over the course of a seminar series this fall at West Virginia University. The series is sponsored by the Environmental Research Center in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design.

“There are myriad environmental issues impacting the world and numerous environmental research interests at WVU,” said Jim Anderson, director of the center and professor of wildlife and fisheries resources.

“This seminar series is designed to address some of these issues, all of which have important implications for environmental policy,” he added. “We hope that the diversity of the topics will appeal to a wide array of students, staff and faculty.”

The schedule of seminars is as follows:

• Marc Stern of Virginia Tech will speak on “What Drives the Outcomes of Natural Resource Planning Process in the US Forest Service?” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in 334 Percival Hall. Stern is an associate professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. His research interests include human dimensions of natural resource policy and management, environmental communications, protected areas management, international conservation, natural resource management effectiveness, and evaluation of environmental education and other outreach programs.
• Bob Mazgaj of the Quality Deer Management Association will present “From Wildlife Student to Chief Operating Officer” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in 316 Percival Hall. Mazgaj is a WVU alumnus and chief operating officer for the Quality Deer Management Association. Previously he served 16 years with Ducks Unlimited and 18 years with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This lecture is the annual Maurice Brooks Lectureship which was established in 1994 to honor Brooks, a well-known naturalist who specialized in the Appalachian region. The lectureship is sponsored by the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, the WVU student chapter of The Wildlife Society, the Old Hemlock Foundation, Mountaineer Audubon, and the Environmental Research Center.
• Andrew Elmore of the University of Maryland Appalachian Laboratory will present “A River Runs Under it: Modeling the Distribution of Streams and Stream Burial in Large River Basins” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in 334 Percival Hall. Elmore is an associate professor in the Center for Environmental Science at the Appalachian Laboratory. His research interests include environmental science, land-use and land-cover change, ecohydrology, biogeochemistry, remote sensing, and spatial analysis.
• Jose Padial of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History will speak on “Herpetological Exploration of Amazonia and the Andes” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in 334 Percival Hall. Padial is the William and Ingrid Rea Assistant Curator for the Section of Amphibians and Reptiles at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. His research interests focus on the systematics of amphibians and reptiles, with current geographical emphasis on the faunas of tropical America, especially the Amazon and the Andes, and the Sahara Desert. He has previously held positions at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Uppsala University in Sweden, and the National Museum of Natural History in Madrid, Spain.
• Thomas Serfass of Frostburg State University will speak on “Wildlife Policy, Science, and Marketing: Through the Eyes of the North American River Otter” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in 334 Percival Hall. Serfass is a professor of wildlife ecology in the Department of Biology and Natural Resources at Frostburg State. Much of his research and conservation activities have focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of wildlife restoration programs and recovering wildlife populations, particularly otters. He is the North American Coordinator of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Otter Specialist Group.
• Greg Pond of the United States Environmental Protection Agency will speak on “Assessing Stream Conditions with Aquatic Insects: Bioassessment Tools For West Virginia” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in 334 Percival Hall. Pond is the team leader for the Freshwater Biology team in the Office of Monitoring and Assessment of the US EPA. He provides technical expertise, and support for bioassessments and biocriteria particularly in Appalachian streams and watersheds.
• Carlos Velazquez, Otomi Indian and mechanical engineer, will speak on “The Inuit of the High Arctic” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in 334 Percival Hall. Velazquez, served as the director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs of the Southern Cherokee Nation. He has received several awards including the 2011 Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Environment Award. His presentation will focus on the Inuit people and how they are adapting to local warming.

The seminars are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Anderson at 304-293-3825 or jim.anderson@mail.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
304-293-2394, david.welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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