The Associated Colleges of the Midwest has named visiting faculty directors and courses for its Fall 2021 Off-Campus Study Programs.
Visiting faculty directors lead a group of students through an immersive semester-long interdisciplinary program at one of ACM’s partner institutions. During the semester, faculty make use of the partner’s unique resources to teach a course of their own design while also pursuing their own research.
Field Museum Semester: Research in Natural History
Conservation Biogeography in a Changing Climate
Using natural history collections and big data to predict species distributions in a changing world
Israel Del Toro, Assistant Professor of Biology, Lawrence University
Climate change is the largest societal and ecological threat to our planet. A changing climate threatens entire ecosystems and the biodiversity within them. In this course, students will first learn about foundational biogeographic principles and how these can be used to better understand species geographic ranges. Students will then examine which environmental and climatic drivers best predict species and ecosystem distributions within the context of a changing global climate. Students will also learn about the major causes and consequences of anthropogenic disturbances including landscape modification, habitat loss, recent climate change, and their ecological and societal impacts on biodiversity.
Israel Del Toro’s work focuses on evaluating the impacts of climate change on arthropod biodiversity in arid ecosystems of North America. He uses observational studies, experiments, and spatial and statistical species distribution models to measure and predict the effects of a changing climate on ecosystem processes and biodiversity. Much of his research focuses on the important ecosystem services provided by social insects that often go unappreciated. He works on ants and wild bees as model systems for provisioning of ecosystems services.
Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities
The Politics of Performance
In “The Politics of Performance,” Garrison and Maynard will explore the fertile ground of political performance and the performance of politics, asking how authors, performers, and audiences make meaning. Drawing from the Newberry’s vibrant collections related to theatre, music, dance, and opera, class discussions will explore materials ranging chronologically and geographically and linked to these traditional categories of the performing arts. The course will also interrogate explicitly political gestures as represented in the Newberry collections, including speechmaking, conventions, propaganda, and protests; and economic practices such as performing arts philanthropy, sponsorship, and marketing.
John Garrison’s teaching focuses on the literature and culture of the early modern period in England and includes courses on John Milton and William Shakespeare. His areas of expertise include English literature before 1700; gender and sexuality studies; memory studies; and queer theory. Garrison is the author of Friendship and Queer Theory in the Renaissance (Routledge, 2014) and Glass (Bloomsbury, 2015) as well as two books on the works of William Shakespeare: Shakespeare at Peace (co-authored with Kyle Pivetti, Routledge, 2018) and a study entitled Shakespeare and the Afterlife (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Kelly Maynard’s current project, entitled Hearing Wagner in France at the Fin-de-Siècle: Music and the Interior World, is an interdisciplinary monograph building upon her doctoral dissertation at UCLA. It explores the ways in which musical experience shaped habits of mind among French listeners of Wagner’s works in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Other research subjects include the independent presses of the late nineteenth century in Paris, cultural tourism and the Bayreuth Festival, and early German Expressionism.
Oak Ridge Science Semester
Science and Ethics from Atomic City and Beyond
Phoebe Lostroh, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, Colorado College
When it was founded to advance U.S. military needs during World War II, Oak Ridge National Laboratory was known as Atomic City. In “Science and Ethics from Atomic City and Beyond,” Lostroh and students will build on this history to explore how scientific careers intersect with political and economic priorities and the ways that scientists have engaged with ethical issues related to their scholarly activities. These topics will engage science majors in lively scholarly exploration, enable them to draw on their unique experiences as undergraduate scientists in a variety of disciplines, and compare the use of evidence and argument in the sciences with that in other scholarly traditions.
Phoebe Lostroh’s research focuses on genetics, microbiology, and molecular biology. Her textbook Molecular and Cellular Biology of Viruses won the 2019 Best New Textbook in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine for the Taylor and Francis Group. Diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM are of critical importance to her. Since 2005, she has been the faculty advisor to the MAPS student group, an organization run by and for students from underrepresented groups in science. She was also a longtime chair of the Women’s Concerns Committee and played a key role in creating Colorado College’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Board. She has won multiple awards, such as the Theodore Roosevelt Collins Outstanding Faculty award for teaching, mentoring, and advising students of color and first-generation students. Lostroh is a rotating program director at the National Science Foundation, where she facilitates the review of scientific grant proposals by panels of experts and makes funding recommendations. Since March, she has been focusing on proposals from scientists for COVID-19 research, some of which the NSF will be supporting through CARES Act funding. She is an alumna of ACM consortium member Grinnell College.
Student applications are due in March 2021 for Fall 2021 programs. Visit www.acm.edu/programs for more information.