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Honors Colloquium

Fall 2008 Honors Colloquium

Join us! The public is invited to attend this series of free events.

Human activities are transforming the world at an extraordinary rate. The 2008 URI Honors Colloquium will explore human-caused global change, its consequences, and potential human responses through a series of lectures, films, and panel discussions.

Events take place on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m in Edwards Auditorium on URI's main campus in Kingston. Exceptions are noted in the schedule. Please follow these links for directions to the campus or a map showing the location of Edwards Auditorium.

Handicap accessibility is available at the rear of Edwards Auditorium on the SE corner abutting Swan Hall.

For opportunities to carpool to an event with others from your area, click here.


August 21, -- Special preview event: Senate Briefing to Discuss Global Warming's Impact on Narragansett Bay -- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, chair. 10:30 am, University of Rhode Island, Bay Campus Corliss Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, R.I. Click here for more information.

September 9 -- Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change -- Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer, The New Yorker and author, Field Notes From a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. Chafee Auditorium. Click here for more information, or watch the lecture online.

September 16 -- The Great Global Warming Hoax? -- URI oceanography professors Rebecca Robinson and John Merrill cool down the rhetoric of a hot debate, unwrapping the arguments with the help of documentary film clips. Click here for more information.

September 23 -- Scientific Evidence of Global Climate Change -- Michael E. Mann, director, Earth System Science Center at Penn State. Click here for more information. Please Note: change of venue from Chafee 271 to Edwards Auditorium. Click here to watch the lecture online.

September 30 -- Hollywood Armageddon -- URI professors Kathryn Moran and Tom Zorabedian examine film clips from nightmare narratives through their respective lenses of science and film. Click here for more information, or watch the lecture online..

October 7 -- Human Transformation of the Americas Before Columbus -- Charles C. Mann, journalist, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Click here for more information.

October 14 -- Impact of Global Environmental Change on Evolution -- Stephen R. Palumbi, professor, Stanford University, and author of The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change. Click here for more information.

October 21 -- Global Climate Change: Human Causes and Responses -- Ralph J. Cicerone, president, National Academy of Sciences. Click here for more information.

October 28 -- Astonishing Solutions -- URI professors Arthur J. Spivack and James J. Opaluch dissect documentary film clips and discuss mitigating the global carbon-climate problem. Click here for more information.

November 4 -- Election Day. -- No event.

November 12 (Wed.) -- California Action on Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change -- Mary D. Nichols, chairman, California Air Resources Board. Click here for more information.

November 18 -- Human Effects on the Ocean and its Ecosystems -- Jeremy Jackson, professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.

November 25 -- Thanksgiving week. -- No event.

December 2 -- Solutions to the Global Carbon and Climate Problem -- Robert Socolow, co-director, Carbon Mitigation Initiative, Princeton University. Click here for more information.

December 9 -- It's a Shore Thing--A Coastal Cabaret -- A fresh, salty and musical look at global environmental change in our coastal zones.

Join us for the following events presented in conjunction with the 2008 Honors Colloquium:

From Silent Spring to "Silent Night": The Use of Pesticides and the Human Immune System
September 25, 7:30 p.m. Memorial Union Ballroom, URI Kingston Campus Professor Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkeley. Keynote for URI Diversity Week.

Climate Change in Rhode Island: A New Geography for the Ocean State
Fall 2008, ongoing-- Various locations
Visit the Map exhibit page of this website, or call 401-874-2303 for locations.

Library Book Programs
Fall 2008, ongoing-- Various locations
Readings on climate change, discussions guided by experts in relevant disciplines. Visit the Library Book Programs page of this website, or call 401-874-2303 for information.

Please visit for current colloquium information and directions, or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or

If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401-874-2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call the R.I. Relay Service at 1-800-745-5555.

Major Sponsor:

The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation

Sustaining Sponsors:

URI Office of the President; URI Honors Program; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment.

Leadership Sponsors:

URI Graduate School of Oceanography and URI College of Arts and Sciences.


Environmental Data Center, URI Department of Natural Resources Science; R.I. Center for the Book at Providence Public Library; R.I. Office of Library and Information Services; R.I. Sea Grant College Program; U.S. E.P.A. Office of Research and Development, Atlantic Ecology Division; URI Classroom Media Services; URI Coastal Institute; URI College of Business Administration; URI College of Engineering; URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences; URI College of Human Science and Services; URI College of Nursing; URI College of Pharmacy; URI Division of Student Affairs; URI Division of University Advancement and the URI Alumni Association; URI Foundation; URI Office of the Provost; URI Office of the Vice President for Administration; URI Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology Services; URI University College.

Colloquium Coordinators:

Professor Steven D'Hondt, Graduate School of Oceanography;
Professor Arthur Spivack, Graduate School of Oceanography;
Professor Judith Swift, Theatre and Communication Studies.

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact Tom Zorabedian at 401-874-2853 or