The long running Brownbaggers sustainability lecture series starts next week on Western Illinois University's Macomb Campus.
Tim Collins from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, said while past seasons have had a unifying theme, this year’s lectures will be on a variety of topics and have speakers from different disciplines.
Collins said the lecture that will kick of the series exemplifies that spirit. Dr. Cornelia Flora's talk on October 1st is titled "Social Science, Watershed Preservation, and Sharks."
Collins said Flora pioneered a theoretical approach to community development called the"Community Capitals Framework."
She will discuss a watershed project in Central Iowa and an eco-toursim project which focused on protecting a "mild variety of sharks" in Mexico.
Collins said while the Tri-States obviously doesn't have sharks, the way Flora carried out the projects, especially the Iowa watershed project, could be helpful in this area.
"She helped an organization analyze how it could be more effective in that political setting of agriculture and legislation and state politics," Collins said.
Later in the season WIU Biology graduate student Jared Ruholl will speak about invasive species including the emerald ash borer. There will also be a talk focusing on the Macomb Food Co-op.
Collins stressed that achieving sustainability is not just about scientific concerns.
"At a community level like the campus and Macomb and the WIU region perhaps, it's the networking and the human relationships that matter in getting people thinking about these things and getting things going," Collins said.
This year’s Brownbagger’s lecture series starts next Tuesday at 12:30PM on the fourth floor of WIU’s Malpass Library.
Collins says some of the lectures, including Ruholl's, will be available as webinars for those who cannot make it to the Library.