Weekly Update: President Price's Inauguration, PhD Named NatGeo Explorer, 'Forests on the Edge' and more...

October 12, 2017
Weekly Update Vincent Price inauguration story

Hi Everyone,

Duke President Vince Price’s rapping skills are well-known, but his inauguration speech last Thursday suggests he may be due an honorary Master of Forestry, too. Praising Duke’s wooded campus, he gave a masterly explanation of old-field forest succession as a metaphor for leadership change in academic institutions.

And earlier in the day, Megan Mullin (pictured above) did an outstanding job as a panelist at the faculty symposium that was held as part of the inauguration celebrations. Megan spoke about how value differences shape public opinion – specifically when it comes to climate change – and why those differences shouldn’t be underestimated in academia. This idea was emphatically reinforced by President Price in his closing comments on the panel.

You can watch the full symposium here. Join me in thanking Megan for representing the Nic School so well!

  1. PhD student Seth Sykora-Bodie has been named a National Geographic Explorer. As an Explorer, he’ll receive new funding to support his doctoral research, which aims to improve the effectiveness of marine reserves in the Antarctic and Southern oceans by incorporating economic and political considerations as well as ecological data into their design and management. Congrats, Seth! 
  2. As part of Duke’s increasingly popular Alternative Fall Break program, five undergraduates from across the university spent three days earlier this week at the Duke Marine Lab and on nearby Harker’s Island gaining a deeper understanding of the complex environmental and economic issues facing communities at the North Carolina coast. I’d like to thank all the DUML faculty and students who made time to meet with the students and share insights with them on issues ranging from coastal development and cultural preservation to sea turtle conservation and the commercial fishing industry. These field trips are great ways to introduce undergraduates to the value of an environmental education and whet their appetite for more.  
  3. Seems like every time I fly in or out of RDU, I notice new subdivisions, shopping centers and offices emerging from the forested landscape below. The pressures such rapid development places on urban forests, both in the Triangle and beyond, is the topic of this year’s Annual Forestry Symposium, “Forests on the Edge,” to be held Oct. 27  in Field Auditorium. Our student leaders in the Duke Chapter of the Society of American Foresters have assembled a top-notch lineup of speakers, including MEM/MF alum Robert Bonnie, a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke and former undersecretary for natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who will deliver the symposium’s keynote address on “Forest Fires in the Wildland-Urban Interface.”  Hope to see you there.

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