Interdisciplinary Panel to Discuss Environmental Awareness

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate is hosting a panel discussion on the topic “Environmental Awareness” on Tuesday, April 19, as an Earth Day Week Event. The forum is sponsored by Dr. Maria Rose.

Dr. Tad Kato, the chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee, will moderate the interdisciplinary panel and participate in the discussion featuring Dr. Paul Edwards, Dr. Erica Harvey, Dr. Deborah Nestor and Mark Husk. The event, which is open to the public, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Falcon Center third floor conference rooms. Light refreshments will be served.  A “question-and-answer” session will take place at the end of the forum.

  • Dr. Paul Edwards, Professor and Provost Emeritus for Pierpont Community & Technical College, has been teaching ecology, global crisis and social justice issues at FSU and Pierpont for over 40 years.  Edwards was a planner and participant in the first Earth Day celebrations in 1970 that resulted in a week-long “teach-in.” At the Environmental Panel Discussion in 2011, Edwards will provide us with the overall introduction to environmental awareness and the political significance of Earth Day.
  • Dr. Erica Harvey is a Professor of Chemistry and has been at Fairmont State since 1994.  She co-advises the student group S.T.A.N.D. – Green Team (Students Taking Action in Nature’s Defense). She has been active with the campus recycling program since 2007 and regularly includes environmentally-themed activities, problems and topics in her chemistry and other science courses. Most recently, she has become involved in the City of Fairmont’s Sustainability Initiative. Harvey’s presentation will center on the incorporation of an environmental awareness focus in work with students including course projects, research projects, grant-writing and student organization activities. In all cases, scientific data are used to inform the work. Specific examples include a stratospheric ozone chemistry modeling project in Physical Chemistry, a Solid Waste Reduction Cost Analysis research project carried out with three undergraduates and a faculty colleague, a state Department of Environmental Protection recycling grant proposal co-authored by Physical Plant staff, faculty colleagues and members of the student organization S.T.A.N.D. – Green Team, and a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for the city of Fairmont being carried out by student volunteers from S.T.A.N.D .
  • Mark Husk is a native of West Virginia and grew up on the outskirts of Blacksville, where he had the great fortune as a child to explore the local woods and waters. He  received his master’s degree in Counseling from West Virginia University in 1995 and became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 1998. He had taught classes in Psychology and Sociology as a faculty for Fairmont State since 2002 at the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg. His topic of presentation is titled “You are not alone--Internet resources for education, support and empowerment for the green movement.” Being an active environmentalist, he found a great deal of resources for education and support for people involved in the environmental or “green” movement. This presentation will demonstrate various internet and print media outlets for information, connection and support for those interested in the environment.
  • Dr. Deborah Nestor is originally from California where she grew up enjoying the beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Pacific Ocean. She received a master’s degree and doctorate from UCLA in English Literature from the Restoration to the Romantic Period. The natural beauty of West Virginia weighed heavily on her decision to come to this area. Nestor’s presentation will be on the poets and philosophers of the European Romantic period, arguing that the origins of the modern environmental movement can be found in their ideas. The value we place on nature, indeed the very meaning we now attach to the word “nature,” emerges from this period. 
  • Dr. Tadashi Kato received his Master of Arts degree in Health Science at the University of Tokyo and Ph.D. in Psychology with the specialization in Clinical Psychophysiology and Health Psychology at Ohio University. His research topics include, but are not limited to, the effects of various sound waves in the environment over human psychophysiology, mathematical association between the fractal dimension of environmental sound and fractal dimension of electroencephalogram and the therapeutic effects of various modes of music. At the environmental panel discussion, Kato will introduce the recent research findings on the association between mathematical characteristics of the sound waves in nature and mathematical characteristics of the electrophysiological parameters in human physiology while also addressing the implication of the human-nature connectivity from the Jungian perspectives in the context of Ecopsychology.

The panelists plan to discuss topics including the following:

  • Political implication of environmental awareness.
  • Scientific data that relates to the ecosystem.
  • Discussion on human-nature interaction through psychophysiological data.
  • Implication of Jungian psychology in the context of human-nature connectivity.
  • Conceptual implication of human-nature connectivity through Romanticism literature.
  • Students’ involvement in the activities related to cleaning the environment.
  • Web-based resources to get involved in cleaning the environment and to start the green life style.