Summer Lecture Series
The 2013 UBThisSummer lecture series marks our eighth year as one of the premier lecture series in Western New York. Each year, we feature an outstanding lineup of UB faculty who share their enthusiasm and knowledge about an amazing array of topics. These free public lectures are an excellent opportunity to hear from a diverse selection of researchers from all over campus.
For 2013, we will be featuring our broad engagement in research pertaining to The Environment. With topics ranging from global warming to the great lakes, the 2013 UBThisSummer Lecture Series will showcase an exciting cross section of UB’s innovative ongoing research.
All lectures are free and open to the public.
- Wednesdays, June 5 through August 7 (no lecture on July 3)
- Davis Hall (1st floor, Agrusa Auditorium): Join us in Davis Hall, one of UB’s greenest buildings, the home of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.
- 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
- Doors open at 3:30 p.m.
- Lecture begins promptly at 4:00 p.m.
- June 5
- Clean Air: How it Benefits the Young and Old
- Alan Lockwood, MD, Emeritus Professor, Neurology
- Strategic Strength in Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan
Drawing on landmark studies linking major types and sources of air pollution to the leading causes of death in America, Dr. Alan Lockwood, author of The Silent Epidemic: Coal and the Hidden Threat to Health, will show how cleaner air is a win-win-win scenario, arguing that it will improve health, control rising healthcare costs, and attack state and federal debt.
- June 12
- Extreme Events of the Environment: The Challenges of Understanding and Responding to Climate Change, Melting Glaciers, Sea Level Rise and Hurricanes
- Chris Renschler, PhD, Associate Professor, Geography
Jason Briner, PhD, Associate Professor, Geology
- Strategic Strength in Extreme Events: Mitigation and Response
Changes to our environment and extremes events are among the greatest challenges facing the world’s expanding population. Drs. Renschler and Briner will discuss the latest research in monitoring, modeling and managing these changes and discuss the resilience of communities against related extreme events.
- June 19
- After the Flood: The Political Environment of Latin American Culture
- Justin Read, PhD, Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
- Strategic Strength in Cultures and Texts
As human civilization has had a marked effect on the natural environment, we commonly read natural occurrences (floods, hurricanes and “superstorms”) as political and economic problems. Dr. Read will introduce the strange world of ecocriticism and discuss his current research on modern Latin American literature showing how authors gave meaning to Argentina and Brazil’s new urban environment in the 19th and 20th century.
- June 26
- How Climate Change Impacts Planning and Policymaking in WNY
- Himanshu Grover, PhD, Assistant Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
- Strategic Strength in Civic Engagement and Public Policy
Even with reliable data confirming the increasing rate of climate variability and change due to global warming, there remains a lack of attention to this issue in environmental and development planning. Dr. Grover will discuss planning in the Buffalo-Niagara region; if policymakers are sensitive to climate change and how it affects local decision making.
- July 3
- No Lecture
- July 10
- Sustaining UB: Creating Resiliency in the Face of Global Challenges
- Ryan McPherson – Chief Sustainability Officer
- UB Office of Sustainability
Sustainability. The word itself brings up images of permanence. As a public research institution, UB’s model of sustainability focuses on finding solutions to global challenges through research, education, setting the bar high for sustainability in our own operations, and partnering with the external community.
- July 17
- An Environmental Disaster and Its Consequences: Oxygenation of the Planet and Iron Metabolism
- Daniel Kosman, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Biochemistry
- Strategic Strength in Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems and Bioinformatics
About 2.7 billion years ago, the earth’s atmosphere began a slow change caused by the evolution of oxygen, the spark that keeps our bodies’ home fires burning. Keeping our oxygen-fueled fire going — a fire which burns brightest in the human brain—is iron, the single most important nutrient. Dr. Kosman will explore the iron and oxygen chemical landscape and how iron can also pose a threat.
- July 24
- The Great Lakes Futures Project: Toward a Sustainable Future for the Great Lakes
- Kathryn Friedman, PhD, Research Associate Professor of Law & Policy Regional Institute
Joseph Atkinson, PhD, Director, UB Great Lakes Program, Professor, Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering (CEPP)
- Strategic Strength in Civic Engagement and Public Policy
A major binational initiative has been underway since 2007 to ensure a sustainable future for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin. Drs. Atkinson, and Friedman will look at the science and policy, making the case for an integrated approach to better understanding — and ultimately solving — issues impacting the basin.
- July 31
- Nanomaterials for Solar Energy Conversion
- David Watson, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry
- Strategic Strength in Integrated Nanostructured Systems
Focusing on the importance of solar energy conversion, mechanisms for converting solar energy to electrical power and chemical potential, as well as the ongoing challenges that must be addressed, Dr. Watson will discuss the unique properties of nanometer-scale materials and how those properties might be exploited to dramatically increase the efficiency of solar energy conversion.
- August 7
- Computing, Data and Volcanoes — Using Simulations and Data to Manage Risk
- Abani Patra, PhD, Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
- Strategic Strength in Information and Computing Technology
Volcanic eruptions can strike without warning and the results are often devestating. However, with computational modeling, we can now more effectively plan for these types of events, ultimately saving lives. Dr. Patra will discuss UB’s pioneering research into technology that drastically enhances our ability to plan for the previously unforseeable.