In his presentation "Every Day that We Live is the Future: Essays on Environmental Injustice in Nicaragua," Douglas Haynes read excerpts from his published essays and shared the experiences he and his study abroad students had in one of the Western Hemisphere's poorest countries. He also discussed how government programs and non-profit organizations in Nicaragua are working to mitigate environmental injustices, including organizations that partner with his UW Oshkosh study abroad course in Nicaragua.
The following is the description of his presentation:
This presentation will journey through daily life in some of Nicaragua’s most marginalized communities to show how poverty magnifies the negative impacts of ecological degradation there. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and ranks among the world’s ten most vulnerable countries to climate change. The narrative nonfiction and photographs shared in this presentation portray a Managua squatter settlement on the shore of one of the world’s most polluted large lakes, as well as a peasant farming community increasingly undermined by years of extreme weather. By documenting how these communities in Nicaragua are affected by pollution and climate change, these essays reveal how ecological degradation and economic inequality gradually and cumulatively combine to make survival increasingly difficult not only for low-income Nicaraguans, but for many of the world’s poor.
|In this audio podcast, Douglas Haynes presents his symposium “Every Day that We Live is the Future: Essays on Environmental Injustice in Nicaragua”
The following are essays by Professor Haynes about his Nicaragua experiences. His students from his Writing Across Cultures in Nicaragua study abroad course also produced a magazine of essays and photos called Building Bridges Between Nicaragua & Wisconsin. The entire magazine is available in PDF format.
The Lake at the Bottom of the Bottom
By Douglas Haynes
It's 8 a.m. in The Bottom, and the sun already feels like a flashlight in my eyes. A guardabarranco, Nicaragua's national bird, flicks its two-pronged tail feathers on the jury-rigged power line behind Edda Montes's house of scrap wood, sheet metal, and concrete blocks. The sun glints off the bird's iridescent blues and oranges. It has a panoramic view of Lake Xolotlán: high enough to see the pale-green water stretch toward dusky mountains but too low to see the deltas of drainage ditches pocked with plastic bottles and unpaired shoes just below the knoll Edda's house sits on…
A Peaceful Nicaraguan Election Brings a Mandate for Sandinista Social Programs
By Douglas Haynes
At 3 a.m. on election day in Nicaragua, an elderly woman emerged from the dark streets of Managua’s Barrio La Primavera and planted a plastic chair in front of the Alfonso Cortés elementary school, then went home to take a shower. She wanted to be the first to vote when the polls there opened at 7 a.m. Two men walking slowly with canes arrived just after her, saying, “The Sandinistas are here to vote first…”
Storms Without Names
Climate Change Wreaking Havoc in Central America
By Douglas Haynes
“It’s worth it to come up here to drink a cafecito and meditate on the world, maybe write a poem,” Evenor Malespín told me on top of San Pedro de Carazo, Nicaragua’s highest hill. “Or even eat a carne asada.” Malespín has three bony, chestnut-colored milk cows, but subsistence farmers such as him can rarely afford to eat beef…
Study Abroad Photos by Liz Granberg.
Professor Haynes's Writing Across Cultures in Nicaragua study abroad course is hosted by the non-profit organization Compas de Nicaragua. To learn more about this organization, see the website: Compas de Nicaragua
Looking at Bones
When Dr. David Dilkes and Dr. Joseph Peterson talk about bones, they are painting vivid pictures of a prehistoric world where dinosaurs roam.
In a fall Dean's Symposium, Dilkes, Department of Biology, and Peterson, Department of Geology, shared their research in a talk titled: "More Than Just Bones: Interpreting Function and Behavior in Fossil Vertebrates."
In his introduction of the two presenters, John Koker, Dean of the College of Letters and Science, said the following:
“Try to imagine yourself in the Cretaceous Period. You get your first look at this "six foot turkey" as you enter a clearing. He moves like a bird, lightly, bobbing his head. And you keep still because you think that maybe his visual acuity is based on movement like T-Rex – he'll lose you if you don't move. But no, not Velociraptor. You stare at him, and he just stares right back. And that's when the attack comes. Not from the front, but from the side, from the other two raptors you didn't even know were there. Because Velociraptor's a pack hunter, you see, he uses coordinated attack patterns and he is out in force today. And he slashes at you with this – a six-inch retractable claw, like a razor, on the middle toe. He doesn't bother to bite your jugular like a lion, oh no … he slashes at you here or here … or maybe across the belly, spilling your intestines. The point is … you are alive when they start to eat you. So you know … try to show a little respect.”
This quote from the classic film, Jurassic Park, explains our fascination with these extinct animals. Their interesting behaviors (real or imagined!) and their incredible anatomic structure do not just serve as entertainment for our first Dean’s Symposium presenters of the year. Dr. David Dilkes and Dr. Joseph Peterson have built strong scientific careers around the study of prehistoric life.
|Dr. Dilkes shares his research on prehistoric amphibians and reptiles.
Dr. Dilkes earned his PhD from the University of Toronto at Mississauga in Vertebrate Paleontology, a field of study that combines comparative anatomy, biomechanics, sedimentology, ecology, and evolutionary taxonomy. He began his tenure at UW Oshkosh in 2003 in the Department of Biology & Microbiology, where he teaches courses in Human and Comparative Anatomy. His research takes him to locations throughout North America and to Argentina and South Africa. His interests include anatomical differences between extremely different amphibians and reptiles from distinct time periods, evolutionary relationships among vertebrates from separate pylogenetic branches, biomechanics, restoration of non-fossilized soft tissue, and the ecological roles of these extinct vertebrates.
|Dr. Joseph Peterson presents his research on horned dinosaurs.
Dr. Peterson earned his PhD in Geology from Northern Illinois University and began his faculty position at UW Oshkosh in 2011. His teaching assignment includes Historical Geology, Paleontology, and Environmental Geology. Dr. Peterson, like Dr. Dilkes, has a broad range of interests in the area of vertebrate paleontology, paleobiology, fossil lesions in archosaurs, geomicrobiology, and experimental taphonomy (the study of decaying organisms and how they become fossilized). His most current project involves the study of injury and behavior in the horned dinosaurs.
Here is a description of their talk:
Hypotheses of function and behavior in extinct vertebrates can be formed from examination of how bones connect with each other and reconstruction of soft-tissue structures attaching to bones such as muscles and ligaments. Type and range of movements at these connection points will determine basic behaviors such as food capture, processing of food, manipulation of objects by the skull or limbs, and locomotion. These behaviors can, in turn, tell us about the ecology of extinct vertebrates. Dr. Dilkes has studied anatomy and function of bony plates associated with the vertebral column in early amphibians and how they affect locomotion on land. He has also studied the form of limb bones and their musculature in the plant eating duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaura to infer patterns of locomotion and how locomotion may change during growth. The study of injuries on ancient bones can also allow for inferences of behavior and physiology of extinct animals. Dr. Peterson has studied injuries in Cretaceous dinosaurs such as the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, the horned Triceratops, and the thick-headed Pachycephalosaurus to shed light on the lives and behaviors of dinosaurs.
|This audio podcast features Dr. Dilkes and Dr. Peterson's "More Than Just Bones: Interpreting Function and Behavior in Fossil Vertebrates."
The first presenter is Dr. Dilkes. To follow along with him, please click here to download the PowerPoint.
Janet Jackson and the Law
On Oct. 30, 2012 Dr. Jerry Thomas, Department of Political Science, presented his symposium titled, “Judging Janet Jackson: Deference to Administrative Agencies in the U.S. Court of Appeals.”
An overview of the presentation is as follows:
Using Janet Jackson’s performance at the 2004 Superbowl, this talk shows that judicial review of federal agency decisions in the U.S. Courts of Appeals appears to be based on legally prescribed deference, not courts’ ideological preferences. Judges comment on courts’ struggles to scrutinize meaningfully agency actions without encroaching into the policymaking functions of the two political branches. At times, review have been almost obsequiously deferential. Other times, courts approach reviews using the hard-look doctrine. Results suggest courts are more likely to support agencies in final case decisions when agencies follow procedures or pass muster under two standards of review - substantial evidence and arbitrary and capricious. Agency supports is not associated with a review panel’s ideological agreement with agency positions, even in the D.C. Circuit, where judges often have political backgrounds prior to taking the bench. Reviews of agency decisions appear to be meaningful ones based on law, neither obsequiously deferential nor excessively encroaching into executive administration.
In her introduction of Thomas, Franca Barricelli, COLS Associate Dean, Social Science Division, said the following:
"On February 1, 2004, CBS presented a live broadcast of Super Bowl 38, which included the now notorious halftime show with the 9/16-of-a-second exposure incident that made Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance among the most talked-about moments of the game. (Does anyone remember who played?!) Nearly 90 million viewers tuned in to watch that roughly 15-minute spectacle, the intended – or unintended? – crux of which led to an immediate crackdown by the FCC, a widespread debate on perceived indecency in video vs audio broadcasting, and a prolonged battle in the US Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. The final opinion of the high court was filed in Novemeber of 2011 – 7 years after “wardrobe malfunction” passed permanently into the American lexicon.
"The incident – so (dare I say) revealing of American popular and legal culture – provides a compelling point of departure for our speaker today. Dr. Jerry Thomas comes to this topic from his broad training in public administration, political science, and the law, holding advanced degrees in each of these fields. An assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, he came to our campus last year already an experienced teacher, having taught during his doctoral work in Political Science at Eastern Kentucky University, then at Columbia College in South Carolina and also at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
"He teaches a wide range of courses from American Government, judicial politics and law to Queer Theory and Minority Group Politics, adopting in all of them a highly interactive and participatory case-teaching method. He balances his love of teaching with a keen sense of public responsibility. In past courses, he has arranged educational trips to DC for students to do research at the Library of Congress, to head Supreme Court oral arguments or to attend judiciary committee hearings. In the short time that he’s been at UW Oshkosh, Jerry has invigorated campus conversations about pedagogy and inclusive excellence and has made great strides in moving to expand the Legal Studies emphasis into a university-wide, full-fledged minor."
In this audio-only podcast, Dr. Jerry Thomas presents his symposium, "Judging Janet Jackson: Deference to Administrative Agencies in the U.S. Court of Appeals."
“Electronic Health Records Adoption and Use in Wisconsin Skilled Nursing Facilities”
Dr. Anna A. Filipova is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration (DPA) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She teaches undergraduate public administration courses for the Center for New Learning and graduate public administration courses with health care emphasis in the DPA.
Dr. Filipova's presentation examines the current level of automation for 21 clinical and operational functions, the types of automated clinical decision support and health information exchange and integration capabilities, the types of automated systems to capture and query information relevant to health care quality, as well as the perceived barriers and benefits of electronic health records adoption and use in skilled nursing facilities. The study is the first to use a scientifically-based, comprehensive instrument and establishes a baseline assessment for future research. Facility and policy implications are discussed for successful electronic health records transition.
The following is Dr. Anna Filipova's presentation on electronic health records.
Photos by student multimedia reporter Brad Beck.
Dr. Eric Hiatt, an professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, shared his research with colleagues at the Dean's Symposium in December, 2011.
This is a description of his talk “Climate Change From a Geologic Perspective: A Story Written in Stone” :
The Earth has an immense history that is recorded in sediments and rocks. This four billion-year record represents all but the first half billion years of Earth history, and includes changes that the Earth has undergone during the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere. Evolution of life has led to many major changes in the atmosphere and oceans—some catastrophic, and others more subtle. The biosphere and geosphere continue to be intimately involved in the global climate system. Both, in combination with changes in insolation, play fundamental roles in controlling the global climate system of Earth. The public has an awareness of global climate through debates in the media and sweeping generalizations that are regularly made, which are centered on the role humans are playing in the global climate system. Recent scientific studies, however, have elucidated the relative roles that natural processes relative to human activity play in current climate change. These findings further dispel the misleading perception that human-influenced climate change is a matter of debate among scientists. This presentation will provide an introduction to the importance of the geosphere and biosphere in the global climate system, and highlight the critical importance of creating climate-literate students.
The following is Dr. Hiatt's presentation. (Shot by Wayne Abler of UW Oshkosh Learning Technologies.)
Photos by student multimedia reporter Brad Beck.
From Campus to Prison:
Teaching the Inside-Out Course at Taycheedah Correctional Institution
In spring of 2012, Dr. Carmen Heider will once again hold court behind the barbed wires at the Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac, Wis. Heider, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, led the first Inside-Out program in the state three years ago.
(Read about that first Inside-Out experience.)
In the Oct. 9, 2011, Dean's Symposium, Heider presented “From Campus to Prison: Teaching the Inside-Out Course at Taycheedah Correctional Institution.”
Here is a description of her presentation:
What is it like to teach behind prison walls? This talk focuses on the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which was first taught at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fall 2009 and is scheduled again in Spring 2012. The class brings together 10 “outside” university students and 10 “inside” incarcerated students who learn together as peers in a semester-long course that explores issues related to gender, language, and incarceration. The Inside-Out course is part of a national program that provides outside students with the opportunity to question their assumptions about women in prison, and invites inside students to situate their life experiences within a larger, theoretical framework. As a whole, the course is designed to dismantle “us versus them” thinking and serve as an impetus for social change.
The following is Dr. Carmen Heider's audio-only presentation. John Koker, dean of the College of Letters and Science, gives the introduction.
Understanding Group Identity and War Attitudes Among Service-Connected Civilians
Dr. James Krueger from the Department of Political Science shares his research at the first Fall 2011 Dean's Symposium at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. His presentation examines attitudinal differences among civilians with and without a familial connection to the U.S. military. Differential support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are used as evidence of an evolving group identity for these military families which is distinct from purely civilian families. Dr. Krueger also discusses the implications of this new identity for public opinion on other military as well as explicitly non-military issues.
Here is a copy of his slide presentation in PDF format.
The following is Dr. Krueger's (audio-only) presentation.
Photo credit: Shawn McAfee of the University's Learning Technologies.