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Environmental Studies Prof. to Deliver Piskor Faculty Lecture

By Kathryn Corbitt ’18

Jon Rosales, associate professor and chair of environmental studies, will deliver the Frank P. Piskor lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, in Hepburn Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, “Arctic Climate Change Research: Innovative Methods for an Information-Rich Data Poor Landscape,” Rosales will explain his goal to determine if storm intensity is increasing with climate change in the Bering Strait region of Alaska. By using indigenous and local information to determine storm dates, along with dendrochronology to determine the age of driftwood, Rosales has learned the broader implications of knowledge production as well as the perils of doing research in a post-colonial environment.

In the Siberian Yupik culture of Savoonga, Alaska, babies have historically been named after significant events, such as storms, that occur on and around their birthdays, according to Rosales. This knowledge, stored in the names of people, can identify the dates of past large storms and date when driftwood was laid down. This information, used alongside dendrochronology techniques, can generate maps showing the change in storm intensity. Broader observations about knowledge generation and indigenous studies will be offered in this talk.

Rosales holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in economics from Mankato State University in Minnesota, a master’s degree in public affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota. 

The Piskor Faculty Lectureship was established in 1979 to encourage original and continued research among St. Lawrence faculty members, to recognize and honor distinguished scholarship, and to afford the opportunity for faculty to share their research with the academic community. Frank Piskor retired in 1981 as St. Lawrence’s 14th president, having served since 1969.

For more information, contact the Academic Dean’s Office at 315-229-5998.