Last week our class had the opportunity to hear from guest speaker Patty DeMarco. Ms. DeMarco holds a Ph.D in genetics from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently the director for the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University.
2012 marks the 50th year since Rachel Carson’s novel, Silent Spring was published. The book is considered the starting point of the environmental movement due to its warnings on environmental pollution and the harmful use of pesticides.
On a local level, Ms. DeMarco spoke about Chatham’s Eden Hall campus and the university’s response to the President’s Climate Challenge. Chatham University is the home of The Rachel Carson Institute as part of the University’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment which will be located at the Eden Hall Campus. The Eden Hall Campus is being built as a sustainable, low impact campus.
DeMarco also spoke about energy on a macro level including consumption issues in both the United States and developing world.
She discussed the current archaic grid system and opportunities for change noting that two-thirds of energy produced is wasted in transmission. The infrastructure necessary to reshape the grid system will not be an easy task. DeMarco offered a parallel example explaining the infrastructure needed for cars and roads when the automobile was first invented.
Our class enjoyed both the presentation and question and answer portion with Ms. DeMarco. More information on The Rachel Carson Institute can be found at http://www.chatham.edu/rachelcarson/