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Mike MavredakisJanuary 24, 20244min
The Earth’s present-day atmosphere has a carbon concentration that’s 50 percent higher than it was before industrialization, a rapid escalation that is a contributing factor to widespread climate changes, according to experts across the field of paleoclimatology. To further understand the potential effects of climate change and other important aspect of Earth’s climate history, Dana Royer, George I. Seney Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and over 80 other paleoclimatologists published a comprehensive charting of 66 million years of atmospheric CO2 data. Their seven-year effort, dubbed the Cenozoic Carbon Dioxide Proxy Integration Project (CenCO2PIP), was…

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Mike MavredakisDecember 20, 202318min
Wesleyan’s faculty has been hard-at-work in 2023 sharing their scholarship with the world. Here are some of the books written by Wesleyan’s faculty over the past year.  Homesick Blues: Politics, Protest, and Musical Storytelling in Modern Japan by Scott Aalgaard  Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies Scott Aalgaard explores how people in Japan have used “musical storytelling” as a means of expressing themselves in their everyday life and as a political practice from the late 1940s to 2018. Within the book, he challenges assertions that political upheavals in the 1960s and 70s in Japan were the climax and end of…

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Editorial StaffSeptember 12, 202312min
President Michael S. Roth ’78 and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Nicole Stanton recently announced the faculty members who, in recognition of their career accomplishments, have been appointed to endowed professorships, effective July 1, 2023: Merve Gul Emre, former distinguished writer-in-residence, received the Shapiro-Silverberg University Professorship of Creative Writing and Criticism, established in 2008. James W. McGuire, professor of government, received a John E. Andrus Professorship of Government, established in 1981. Brian Hale Northrop, professor of chemistry, received the E. B. Nye Professorship of Chemistry, established in 1908. Dana Royer, professor of Earth and environmental sciences, received the…

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Steve ScarpaJuly 20, 20236min
Three Wesleyan students’ in-depth analysis of the causes of and possible solutions for the problem of child marriage in Indonesia won the University of Oxford’s 2023 “Map the System” Challenge. The team of Sida Chu ‘26, Sun Boonbhati ‘26, and Valensia Tandeas ‘26 were among 900 that participated in the challenge, and were chosen as one of 12 finalists to present at the University of Oxford’s Global MTS Finals. The Wesleyan team became global champions for their project “No Longer Daughters: Child Marriage in Indonesia.” “‘No Longer Daughters: Child Marriage in Indonesia’ stands out both for its depth of research, as well as the team's…

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Steve ScarpaMay 31, 20235min
There are many common threads among Helen Poulos’ 2023 publications—exploring how the world heals itself from climate change, noting how fire can be a cleansing and rejuvenating tool in the environment, and predicting which plants will thrive in the Anthropocene. “What I am really trying to understand is how climate change and wildfire is changing our landscapes. Because of fuel buildup in forests from decades of federal fire suppression and the hotter and dryer conditions caused by climate change we are seeing all of these big wildfire events across the West in recent years,” Poulos said. Another important commonality is…

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Editorial StaffMay 16, 20235min
Associate Professor of the Practice in Letters Charles Barber wrote “In the Blood,” the true story of how an absent-minded inventor and a down-on-his-luck salesman joined forces to create a once‑in‑a‑generation lifesaving product. The book was published in May 2023 by Grand Central Publishing. Giulio Gallarotti, Professor of Government, will release a new book titled “Alternative Paths to Influence: Soft Power and International Politics” in June 2023. The book, which explores the process by which soft power is created, will be published by Routledge. He was also recently named a Senior Fellow at the Global Climate Innovation Center, working with businesses…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 5, 20237min
A group of artists and academics came together in the first of a series of climate change conversations to examine how art can impact policy. This event is part of the Ocean Filibuster: Art and Action series—a semester of art and activism, science and storytelling—building to the Connecticut premiere performances of PearlDamour’s "Ocean Filibuster" in the CFA Theater from Thursday, May 4 through Saturday, May 6, 2023. For more information and related events, please visit www.wesleyan.edu/cfa/ocean. The first panel discussion on March 28 considered the relationship between artmaking and policy—how artists, scientists, and policymakers can be more powerful, and more able to shape…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 5, 202310min
Does theater really change somebody? That is the question that director and Assistant Professor of Theater Katie Pearl always asks herself when she does a show about an issue she cares about. In her most recent work “Ocean Filibuster,” Pearl explores the intimate, critical relationship between humans and the ocean. “I make a play because I want to have a conversation with the topic,” Pearl said. “I like to think of the rehearsal room as a little radical ecosystem. As a director my job is to create a community that is in the conversation that the play is wanting to…

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Editorial StaffJanuary 31, 20231min
For most people, microbes are something to be observed under a microscope, but for Raquel Bryant, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, they provide insight into the way that the world around us works. “Collective action is actually possible,” Bryant said, “This is something I learned from microbes.” Strength in numbers is something that Bryant, who studies deep time interactions between life, the ocean, and the climate, sees as an essential principle of both activism and science. Learn more about Bryant in Madeleine Dickman '23's profile, posted at the Inclusion in STEM blog.

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Editorial StaffDecember 7, 20224min
Over the past century, forests across the western United States have become vulnerable to catastrophic wildfires due to climate change. Overall, forest management activities for lowering wildfire risk appear to help, but little is known about how these activities influence forest water availability and water cycling, important indicators of drought. This is the key question that Environmental Studies Professor Helen Mills Poulos and her research team at Northern Arizona University, led by Temuulen Tsagaan Sankey, will attempt to address in a new NASA-funded research project. Poulos and her research team received a $597,000 grant from NASA in November to study…

Amy AlbertOctober 3, 20224min
Barry Chernoff, the Robert F. Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies, has the look of someone who has just received everything they’d wanted - happiness combined with the realization of how much work there is ahead. “Be careful what you wish for,” he said with a laugh while describing the ambitious goals that will be realized by the recent $2 million grant from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation to support sustainability initiatives at the Robert F. Schumann Institute of the College of the Environment, at Wesleyan, and in the surrounding region. The goals include building a network of local community non-governmental…

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Amy AlbertSeptember 16, 20224min
Martha “Marty” Gilmore, the George I. Seney Professor of Geology and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been awarded the 2022 Claudia J. Alexander Prize from the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) for her study of Venus’ geology. Gilmore is a Science Team Member on the DAVINCI and VERITAS missions to Venus, and the principal investigator of a Venus Flagship Mission Concept Study for the Planetary Decadal Survey. Gilmore’s work has “helped usher in a new decade of exploration of Venus with the selection of two new NASA Venus missions,” according to the AAS.…