By Meagan Perle
For Hometown News
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- On Feb. 6 the dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies will present a free lecture at the Waxlax Auditorium on the campus of Saint Edward's School on the interconnectedness of natural and human systems.
The lecture, "The Interconnectedness of Natural and Human Systems: From Global Change to the Indian River Lagoon," will focus on the impact of human-induced changes to the environment. It is being underwritten by the Yale Club of the Treasure Coast and is part of the Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch ocean science lecture series.
The idea of interconnectedness among natural and human systems basically means that humans have an impact on nature, just as nature has an impact on human beings.
In addition to being dean, Sir Peter Crane is also a professor of botany at Yale, who previously served as the director at the Field Museum in Chicago.
"In the lecture I will discuss human impacts on natural systems at multiple scales, from the level of the Amazon Basin, the watersheds of New Hampshire and Panama, to the Chesapeake Bay and the Indian River Lagoon," Sir Crane said.
The Yale Club chose the Waxlax Auditorium because they needed a venue that would hold up to 500 people.
Sir Crane is the only formal speaker however, seven local organizations will be present in the lobby available to discuss their individual missions and efforts to return the lagoon to its natural beauty.
These organizations include, the Environmental Learning Center, Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, Indian River Land Trust Indian RiverKeeper, Ocean Research & Conservation Association, and the Pelican Island Audubon Society.
Marty Baum, of the Indian RiverKeeper said he will have a table set up before and after the lecture and looks forward to the big kickoff of the Harbor Branch weekend.
"I want to get people involved and join my program or someone's program and just learn," Mr. Baum said. "I think if citizens understood what was going on in the lagoon they might be more proactive about fixing it," Mr. Baum said.
The topic of interconnectedness originated from the Yale Club's focus on the deteriorating condition of the lagoon. The subject matter will illustrate broader themes of importance and how issues the lagoon faces are similar to those elsewhere in the world.
The lecture starts at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.