Humans have learned to dominate the natural world, but that domination now threatens the very ecosystems mankind depends upon for survival. To avoid disaster, we must now learn to maintain biotic diversity and avoid what Russell Keith Monson calls “climatically-controlled tipping points.”
At 3:30 p.m. Thursday (March 31), Monson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, will explain how, with adequate foresight and focus, humans can learn to navigate toward a more sustainable future.
Monson’s lecture is the second of four presentations from this year’s UA College of Science series, “Earth Transformed,” originally given at the Fox Theater in downtown Tucson. The ASA’s annual encore series offers east side residents a chance to see and hear these thought-provoking lectures while avoiding a trip downtown.
This year’s series offers fresh scientific perspectives on climate change and its impacts. No longer merely abstract projections for the future, these impacts are on-going and growing challenges for both humans and many of the natural systems upon which we depend.
Monson’s March 31 ASA presentation is entitled “Ecosystem Resilience: Navigating Our Tenuous Connection to Nature.” He will explore how recent trends in land use and global climate warming have exposed vulnerabilities in the mechanisms of ecosystem resilience.
Monson is the Louise Foucar Marshall Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research in the College of Science at the University of Arizona.
His current interests include the carbon balance of North American forests, tree rings as proxies for past carbon-climate interactions, ecological influences of the North American Monsoon system.
The remaining College of Science lectures: April 6: “Climate Change and Human Health” lecture by Kacey Ernst; and April 14: “Carbon Sequestration: Can We Afford It?” lecture by Kimberly Ogden.
Written by Charles Prewitt, Academy Village Volunteer