Williams College Hosting Oceans Symposium

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Throughout the spring semester, the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, biology department, political science department, maritime studies program, and lecture committee will sponsor a symposium on oceans.

The goal of this interdisciplinary symposium is to raise awareness about current environmental issues associated with the oceans and its inhabitants and about the challenges associated with human stewardship of the oceans.

The seven lectures in this series will occur on Feb. 17, Feb. 21, Feb. 27, March 6, April 10, April 17, and April 24. The first lecture will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Wege Auditorium, Thompson Chemistry. The remaining lectures will all take place at 7 p.m. in Thompson Biology, Room 112. All events are free and open to the public.

On Friday, Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m., Catherine Robinson Hall, professor in the Williams-Mystic Program, will present the first lecture of the series. Her talk is titled "Disaster-Driven Ocean Policy in the United States: Gulf Oil Spill Not Big Enough?"

The second lecture, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m., is titled "Boulder Ideas: Storm Waves Can Move Megagravel on Cliff Tops of the Aran Islands, Ireland." Professor of geosciences Ronadh Cox will deliver the lecture.

On Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m., Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker, will lead a discussion following a showing of the film A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish.


Scott Doney, professor in marine chemistry and geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will present a talk on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m., titled "Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidification."

On Tuesday, April 10, at 7 p.m., Christine Walley, associate professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give a lecture titled "Rethinking People and Parks (Once Again): Reflections on Ocean Environments from Tanzania's Mafia Island Marine Park."

D.G. Webster, assistant professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College, will present a talk on Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m., titled "Bluewater Thresholds: Understanding the Resilience of Global Fisheries Governance."

The final lecture in the series will take place on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. James Carlton, professor of biology and director of the Williams-Mystic Program, will deliver a lecture titled "Invasions in the Sea: The History, Science, and Policy of Adding Species to Marine Communities."
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Mount Greylock Committee Hears Concerns About Turf Field Plan

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Rubber infill from the turf field at Weston Field adheres to a reporter's leg after a minute lying down on the surface to take a photo.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Committee last week declined to slow plans for installing an artificial turf field at the middle-high school but members noted that there is still time to weigh health and environmental concerns before shovels go into the ground.
 
The full School Committee earlier in the spring authorized the Phase 2 grounds subcommittee to put the turf field out to bid this summer.
 
Since that time, committee members have heard from a number of residents concerned about studies that have linked "infill" materials in used in turf fields to higher rates of cancer and environmental contamination due to runoff from those fields.
 
"Some of the chemicals found in crumb rubber are known to cause cancer," a fact sheet from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell reads in part. Because of the large number of chemicals present in the infill, as well as the health effects of individual chemicals, crumb rubber made from recycled tires is the option that likely presents the most concerns related to chemical exposures."
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