In February 2017, we brought in four guests for a symposium on Sustaining Pollinators - our first ever Lear-Conant Symposium. Our title, "Sustaining Pollinators," was a double entendre: we wanted to spend the day learning about how pollinators sustain us, but also what we can do to help sustain the pollinators that we depend on.
Alexandra Harmon-Threatt, an entomologist and ecologist at the University of Illinois, spoke about her research on prairie restoration, and how to design restoration projects that are maximally beneficial for pollinators. Rachael Winfree, a pollinator researcher at Rutgers University, shared some of her findings about pollinator diversity and what it means for agricultural crops. Sam Droege, who works with the US Geological Survey, described his experience trying to set up a native bee inventory and monitoring program. Droege is also an incredible photographer, and we enjoyed some exquisite images of bees. Finally, Simon Potts, Director of the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research at the University of Reading, UK, brought an international perspective on pollinator conservation strategies. Potts was a contributor to a major recent report on pollinators by the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It was an intense day, capped off by a panel discussion and a banquet. Thanks to our fabulous guests, as well as support from friends on campus and beyond, the symposium was a wonderful success. We especially appreciate having so many guests from New London and Southeastern Connecticut.
Left to right: Alexandra Harmon-Threatt, Simon Potts, Sam Droege, Center Director Jane Dawson, Associate Director Derek Turner, Rachael Winfree
"Cyber security is high stakes for everyone -- but you have to keep calm," says Raymond Palmer '13. At a digital forensics and cyber security company, Palmer manages sales partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, strategizing with his partners, while switching from Mandarin to Japanese at the drop of a hat. Educating local salespeople in 20+ countries, from New Zealand to India, Raymond swoops in as needed to create consensus among his partners and customers. While his favorite part of the job is traveling, Palmer also secures funding and organizes trade shows in Asia to promote his company's products. Outside of work, he tutors at the Los Angeles Public Library, helping adult Angelenos read. "I know it's cheesy, but literacy is power. I see their eyes light up when they recognize a word, and I know I'm doing the right thing."
The Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment at Connecticut College
a special community of students, faculty and staff that promotes student led and faculty guided interdisciplinary research on environmental issues