January 16, 2009

Four from Nicholas School and Nicholas Institute to Participate in 2009 AAAS Meeting

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084, tdlucas@duke.edu

January 16, 2009

Four faculty and staff members from the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions will take part in the 2009 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Feb. 12-16 in Chicago.

The AAAS meeting is the largest general science conference of the year. Being invited to present or moderate a symposium at AAAS is widely viewed as a measure of a researcher or policy analyst’s high stature in his or her field.

Patrick N. Halpin, Gabel Associate Professor of the Practice of Marine Geospatial Ecology at the Nicholas School, will present, “Footprints, Tracks and Options for Marine Adaption to Climate Change,” at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13. He will present new findings from his pioneering research in the use of marine geospatial technologies to track and monitor endangered marine species.

Halpin will be a featured presenter in a major AAAS news briefing on marine ecosystems and climate change at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.

Raphael D. Sagarin, associate director for ocean and coastal policy at the Nicholas Institute and assistant research professor at the Nicholas School, will moderate a symposium on “Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World,” at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13.

The symposium is based on a book of the same name Sagarin co-wrote in 2008 with British security expert Terence Taylor. Symposium participants will present an overview of their work as part of Sagarin and Taylor’s multidisciplinary working group that studies how lessons learned from other species’ adaptive responses to threats in their environments can help modern society cope with threats such as terrorism and the spread of infectious disease.

Eric Roston, senior associate at the Nicholas Institute’s Washington, D.C., office, will present, “New Century, New Threats, New Frame,” at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14.

Roston’s presentation, based in part on his 2008 book “The Carbon Age,” will make the case that in light of the role carbon plays in climate change, we need to rethink the way we think about the world and our place in it. Geology, specifically carbon-cycle geochemistry, must become embedded in the way our school curricula are assembled and the way our economists value goods and services.

Sheril Kirshenbaum, an associate in Nicholas School faculty member Stuart Pimm’s working group, will be a discussant in a symposium on “The Science of Kissing,” at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. Kirshenbaum blogs about science and policy issues. Her talk at AAAS will be based on responses to an article on the “science” of kissing she posted prior to Valentine’s Day 2008 on ScienceBlogs.com.

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