Paleontologist, biological oceanographer, and Harvard Society Junior Fellow Dr. Elizabeth Sibert opens College of the Atlantic's Spring 2017 Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series with “A History from the Bottom of the Sea: Microfossils, Marine Ecosystems, and Global Change.”Paleontologist, biological oceanographer, and Harvard Society Junior Fellow Dr. Elizabeth Sibert opens College of the Atlantic's Spring 2017 Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series with “A History from the Bottom of the Sea: Microfossils, Marine Ecosystems, and Global Change.”Using tools from paleontology, oceanography, and biology, Sibert peers into our oceans’ past in order to help understand their future. Sibert, a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, synthesizes extensive knowledge of marine ecosystems in order to understand how life in our oceans is changing along with global temperatures.

“My job,” said Sibert “is to look back into Earth’s history, across major global change events that have occurred in the past, to search for clues about how ecosystems may respond to modern climate change and other anthropogenic stressors.”

The talk takes place on Monday, April 3, at 4:10 p.m., in COA’s McCormick Lecture Hall. It is free and open to the public.

The Seminar on Climate Change Speaker Series aims to create positive discussion and planning for climate change by fostering common discourse across disciplines and breaking down barriers to understanding. The Speaker Series runs April through May and includes climate thinkers from the fields of earth science, food systems, history, public policy, anthropology and energy.

The Series roster, a collaboration of five faculty members, delves beyond the realms of climate science and probes the issue from multiple perspectives, according to College of the Atlantic Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair of Earth Systems and Geosciences Dr. Sarah Hall.

“Experts from different fields are working on issues associated with climate change, but communication about the topic across academic disciplines and within our general society is difficult,” Hall said. “With the Speaker Series, we intend to build a common discourse and background knowledge to encourage more productive conversations about the climate.”

College of the Atlantic Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair of Earth Systems and Geosciences Dr. Sarah Hall.College of the Atlantic Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Chair of Earth Systems and Geosciences Dr. Sarah Hall.Sibert graduated from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2016 with a Ph.D in Oceanography. Her studies are primarily focused on deep-sea sediments and the fossilized traces of fish found therein.

In her talk, Sibert will bring together ideas from her own research and that of other notable paleoceanographers to explore the evolution of fish in their open-ocean ecosystems and through a variety of environments over the past 85 million years.

“I am interested in understanding how global change influences the structure and function of ecosystems, and whether those mechanisms change through time,” Sibert said.

The Speaker Series roster is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between Hall, Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems Dr. Kourtney Collum, Director of Energy Education and Management Dr. Anna Demeo, Anthropology professor Dr. Netta van Vliet, and Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business Jay Friedlander. Each presentation takes place in McCormick Lecture Hall, is free and open to the public, and includes a question-and-answer period.

The Speaker Series runs parallel to Hall’s Seminar on Climate Change course, which surveys Earth’s climate variations over the past ~85 million years. Proper vocabulary and scientific background allow students to interpret and discuss reported climate science, as well as critically evaluate discussions around modern climate change and projected climate change scenarios.

See the entire Speaker Series schedule and learn more about Dr. Hall at coa.edu/shall/Geoscience/, and check the calendar at coa.edu/calendar for all upcoming events.

College of the Atlantic is the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2016, both The Princeton Review and the Sierra Club named College of the Atlantic the #1 Green College in the United States. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in human ecology – the study of how humans interact with their natural, social and technological environments. Each student develops their own course of study in human ecology, collaborating and innovating across multiple disciplines.