2009
Could it be worse than feared? "Field Notes" author speaks at Benedictine

Could it be worse than feared? "Field Notes" author speaks at Benedictine
March 16, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

The effects of global warming could be even more devastating than scientists first predicted. Researchers from Stanford, Princeton and Wesleyan universities have recently released findings that indicate even slight increases in global temperatures could lead to greater catastrophes than previously thought, including the irreversible loss of coral reefs, tropical glaciers and endangered species and greater risk of extreme weather events including heat waves, floods and droughts. Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert began chronicling the problem several years ago. Her book, “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change” includes interviews with researchers and environmentalists, explains the science, draws frightening parallels to lost civilizations and presents the moving tales of people who are watching their worlds disappear. Kolbert will present her findings and talk about what can be done to save our planet when she appears at Benedictine University at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17 at the Dan and Ada Rice Center. Kolbert’s presentation is free and open to the public. Kolbert’s appearance is part of Benedictine University’s three-year program, “Years for the Environment,” aimed at moving the campus from education and conversation into action. The effort will incorporate curriculum, speakers, events and community outreach. “We believe it is time to call on students, alumni, area schools and the general public to do whatever we can to make a difference here and throughout the world,” said Vince Gaddis, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of History. Kolbert has been a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine since 1999. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the New York Times. She received the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine writing award for the New Yorker series on which her book is based. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts with her husband and three sons. Her appearance at the University will coincide with other events scheduled for that day, including a student poster session from 2:30-3:45 p.m. in the Krasa Center Fireside Lounge and a discussion about climate change and local activism in the Krasa Center Presentation Room from 4:00-5:15 p.m. For more information about Kolbert’s appearance or the University’s environmental campaign, contact Jean-Marie Kauth, Ph.D., at (630) 829-6272, or visit the University’s “Years for the Environment” Web site at http://www.ben.edu/yfte/index.asp.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.