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International Conference Examines Threats to Lobster Population

By Alisa Harris
July 20th, 2017 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, Faculty, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Research.

When people think about the effects of climate change, they're probably not immediately wondering how the world's warming will affect the sea crustacean we know as the lobster. But that was a central concern for the keynote speakers and the researchers who presented at the 11th International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management, held June 4-9 in Portland, Maine. CGS Senior Lecturer Kari Lavalli co-chaired the conference with Rick Wahle, research professor at the University of Maine's School of Marine Sciences. U.S. Senator Angus King (I-- Maine) opened the conference with a keynote speech, warning against proposed cuts in federal science funding and telling the audience that data is key to safeguarding Maine's $533.1 million a year fishery.  "This is not an abstract problem or something about environmentalists versus non-environmentalists," King said. "This is  very practical." The conference's 200-plus researchers attended talks on topics such as: how temperature affects diseases in lobsters, how changing environmental conditions affect chemosensory abilities, how thermal stress affects season movements, climate-related shifts in the distribution of American lobsters, and more. Researchers probed a question troubling both biologists and lobstermen: the number of baby lobsters in the Gulf of Maine is falling even though fishermen are still seeing high... More

International Conference Focuses on Dickens’ Interdisciplinary Thinking

By Alisa Harris
July 20th, 2017 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Research.

On July 14-16, Boston University College of General Studies hosted the 22nd Annual Dickens Symposium: Interdisciplinary Dickens, a gathering for scholars from across the world to present their research on the nineteenth century writer Charles Dickens. Over 70 scholars attended from nine countries. Charles Dickens  (1812-1870) was not just a spinner of dramas and writer of comedies. He was someone with a concern for social justice, an interest in people from all walks of life, and an interdisciplinary thinker who dealt with the themes of science, disease, linguistics, religion, music, and more. A sampling of conference panels reflects the depth and breadth of Dickens' interests: Dickens and the Arts; Urban Dickens; Dickens, Disease and Death; Storytelling, Chance, and Melodrama; Dickens, Gender, and Economics. “Dickens is someone, like Shakespeare, who has encyclopedic knowledge and chronicles people from all walks of life and all parts of society,” Natalie McKnight, dean of CGS and Dickens scholar, told BU Today. “There isn’t much you could be interested in, in terms of a discipline, that you couldn’t find some angle on in Dickens.” “As is always the case with this conference, the program is testimony to the extraordinary multitudes that Dickens contains,” Iain Crawford, a University of Delaware associate professor of... More

A Look at Undergraduate Research: Tragedy of the Commons & Climate Change

By Alisa Harris
April 5th, 2017 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Research, Spotlight, Students.

This post is part of a series that profiles the faculty-undergraduate research partnerships offered through the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. To learn more, please contact the Center at citl@bu.edu. CGS Social Sciences Lecturer R. Sam Deese is writing a book that tackles philosophical and political questions around climate change. CGS student Morgan Ashurian (CGS’17, CAS’19) is providing some valuable research help along the way. Deese’s book, Climate Change and the Frontiers of Democracy (Springer, coming in 2017), looks at an economic theory called the “tragedy of the commons.” It’s a quandary most of us can understand: if you have a common resource, like land, and everyone surrounding that resource is unregulated in their ability to use it, people will pursue their short-term self-interest and take as much of the resource as they can. In the end, the resource will be destroyed. Deese’s book traces this idea from its originators, William Forster Lloyd and Garrett Hardin, then examines how it applies to the problem of climate change today. It’s in every country’s self-interest to have a strong economy, industry, and the cheapest energy possible—says Deese—but pursuing that self-interest is disastrous for the planet as a whole. As a solution, Deese argues for... More

A Look at Undergraduate Research: First Wives and Marriage in British Novels

By Alisa Harris
March 15th, 2017 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, Faculty, News and Events, Of Special Interest, Research, Students.

This post is part of a series that profiles the faculty-undergraduate research partnerships offered through the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. To learn more, please contact the Center at citl@bu.edu. A married woman abandons her husband and child to elope with a suitor who jilts her. A woman suffers hallucinations after she is suspected of burning her stepson to death. A mistress curses the young bride whose marriage will disinherit her son. Reading sensational nineteenth–century stories like these are all part of Kerry Sadlier’s work with Joellen Masters, senior lecturer of humanities at Boston University College of General Studies. With Sadlier’s invaluable help, Masters is studying marriage and the first wife as a narrative trope and genre strategy in the British and early modernist novel. Sadlier (CGS’17, COM’19) became interested in participating in the CGS Undergraduate Research Experience when Associate Dean Megan Sullivan mentioned the program in a meeting: “I decided to pursue it when I realized how much I enjoyed the research aspect of my RH102 research paper.” Funded by the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, the CGS Undergraduate Research Experience gives CGS students a stipend for their research work with a CGS faculty member. When she learned about... More

Megan Sullivan Completes Leadership Training at 2016 HERS Denver Summer Institute

By Alisa Harris
August 1st, 2016 in Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, Faculty, News and Events.

Megan Sullivan, associate dean for faculty research and development and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning, joined other leaders in higher education for the 2016 Higher Education Resource Services Denver Summer Institute. Along with 62 women leaders from across the United States, Sullivan completed the intensive, 12-day leadership development curriculum that HERS offers to help participants "gain the knowledge and skills needed to lead change on their campus and positively affect higher education." HERS "is dedicated to creating and sustaining a community of women leaders through leadership development programs and other strategies with a special focus on gender equity within the broader commitment to achieving equality and excellence in higher education." Its three Institutes have provided leadership and management development to approximately 5000 women faculty and staff members from 1200 campuses. Sullivan participated in institute sessions such as Managing and Leading Change: Your Role in Re-inventing Higher Education, New Partnerships & New Pathways, Leaning into Turbulent Times, Exploring Inclusive Excellence and Reframing: Work-Life to Living Well.  Faculty and guest speakers included: Betty Stewart, provost and vice president for academic affairs, Midwestern State University; Soraya Coley, president, Cal Poly Pomona; and Tuajuanda Jordan, president, St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Sullivan also... More