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Tom O'Dowd
Executive Administrator of Environmental and Urban Studies (EUS)
todowd [at] bard.edu
(845) 752-4852 (office)

Environmental and Urban Studies (EUS) Program
Bard College
PO Box 5000
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504

Core Faculty Highlights and Achievements

Bard biologist Felicia Keesing and her husband and research partner Rick Ostfeld, an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, have designed an early warning system to detect the prevalence of Lyme Disease through observation of mice population in the previous year. (NPR)

Climate Change and Fishing Lay "Ecological Trap" for African Penguins A new study of the feeding patterns of African penguins is the first where "climate change has been so clearly shown to create an ecological trap," observes professor Bruce Robertson. (Carbon Brief).

Michèle Dominy’s review of At Home in the Okavango: White Batswana Narratives of Emplacement and Belonging, by Catie Gressier was published in The Australian Journal of Anthropology in April 2016, and a review of The Naturalist and his ‘Beautiful Islands’: Charles Morris Woodford in the Western Pacific, by David Russell Lawrence appeared in Pacific Affairs 89(3): 737-739. 

EUS Professor Eli Dueker has had an article published in in the journal PeerJ. His article, "Culturable bioaerosols along an urban waterfront are primarily associated with coarse particles" continues Dueker's work with microbes that take rides on aerosols from contaminated urban waterways. "This study demonstrates that the majority of culturable bacterial aerosols along a New York City waterfront were associated with coarse aerosol particles, highlighting the importance of local sources, and that the taxonomy of culturable aerosol bacteria differed by size fraction and wind direction."

Bio/EUS professor Felicia Keesing was featured on NPR's Pulse of the Planet about the Tick Project. She and her colleagues are testing two new ways of reducing ticks in suburban backyards.

In January 2017, Cecile Kuznitz presented talks in Japan at a workshop entitled “Yiddishism and the Creation of the Yiddish Nation.” Kuznitz lectured on “Knowledge for the People: YIVO and the Development of the Yiddish Scholarship” at the University of Tokyo, and “The Capital of Yiddishland: Yiddish Culture in Vilna between the Two World Wars,” at Kyoto University.

Recent co-authored publications by Bruce Robertson include: “Polarized light pollution of matte solar panels: anti-reflective photovoltaics reduce polarized light pollution but benefit only some aquatic insects,” in the Journal of Insect Conservation in August 2016, and “Evolutionary traps as keys to understanding behavioral maladapation” in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences in December 2016.

“Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment,” a review by Olga Touloumi, was published in the Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, volume 23, no. 1. Touloumi was a visiting scholar at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte from May through June 2016, during which time she gave the lecture, “Laboratories of Intelligibility, c. 1941.” She also coorganized a conference, Sound Modernities? Histories of Architecture, Design, and Space, for the research group Epistemes of Modern Acoustics, during which she presented her paper, “Alvar Aalto’s Poetry Room.” Touloumi also presented her paper, “Modeling the Global Village,” at the 4th International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network in Dublin.

EUS Professor Gidon Eshel was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio's epic climate film Before the Flood. "Switch from eating beef to chicken." This particular suggestion is put forward by Eshel, the lead author of a study published in 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It made headlines around the world and found that beef is about 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock (in the US--lamb has a higher impact but isn't as popular in the US). VIEW MORE >>

Associate Faculty Highlights and Accomplishments

In November 2016, Paul Cadden-Zimansky was elected to chair the American Physical Society's (APS) Forum on the History of Physics (FHP) beginning in 2018. The APS is the largest professional organization of physicists in the world and its 3,500-member FHP is the largest body dedicated to preserving and disseminating the history of physics.

An installation by Ellen Driscoll was on exhibit at Venti Trasversali in Italy from November 2016 through January 2017.

James Ketterer was interviewed by the World Policy Journal on United States’ Policy and the Middle East in December 2016.

In a collaborative effort with Amy Richmond (Geography, West Point) and Suzanne Pierce (Research Scientist, UT Austin), Gautam Sethi wrote a case study, “Up in the Air: Understanding Vulnerability When Toilets Fly,” on waste management in Uganda through a course offered at the Socio-environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), Annapolis, MD. The case study was judged as one of the two best written in 2014, an award which enabled Sethi to travel Toulouse, France to present his paper entitled, “Modeling Vulnerability: A Fuzzy Approach,” at the 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software meeting in July 2016.

Tatjana Myoko von Prittwitz und Gaffron gave a talk, “A Vast Net of Interconnected Diamonds: Buddhist Views of Nature,” at the conference Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Nature and Environment in World Religions, at Nazareth College in May 2016.

Bard CEP Director Eban Goodstein addresses the environmental impacts of a Trump presidency in this GreenBiz article. In "Here's the long view on the impact of Trump's presidency" Goodstein says that "Sustainability offers a powerful way to see humanity and the creatures of the earth safely through this bottleneck towards a just and prosperous future. Across the world, we have been making rapid and surprising progress in service of that vision."

“Multisensory integration in the developing tectum is constrained by the balance of excitation and inhibition,” co-authored by Arseny Khakhalin, was published in eLife in May 2016.

Three new projects by Ellen Driscoll include: “Thicket: New Work 2014-2016,” a catalogue of drawings and sculptures by Driscoll (with essays by Mark Alice Durant and Tom Sleigh); “Bower” an installation by Driscoll and Joyce Hwang with Matt Hume for ArtPark, commissioned by Mary Miss’s City as Living Laboratory; and “CartOURgraphy,” a mosaic by Driscoll, a commission by Public Art for Public Schools for the Middle College High School and the International High School in Long Island.

Drew Thompson​ was awarded a Human Lifecycle in Global History Program Fellowshop for 2016-17 at Humboldt University, Berlin. With scholars from around the world, Dr. Thompson will take part in “re:work,” a one-year research program, to reflect on work, life course, and global history, while also conducting writing towards the book project, “Photography’s Bureaucracy: Constructing Colony and Nation in Mozambique: 1960 to Recent Times.”

Ellen Driscoll was awarded an Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences (ELAS) award from the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) for her course: ART 206: Sculpture II: Site + Specific. In this course students researched and built earthworks, a type of art that incorporates the landscape around it. Students learned how to assess a site, create a proposal, and then build a temporary work of art. VIEW MORE >>

Professors Emeriti Highlights and Accomplishments

History/EUS Faculty Member Mark Lytle Appears on American Experience to Discuss Rachel Carson Historian and Rachel Carson biographer Mark Lytle is a significant voice in a new documentary on the famous conservationist and author of the highly influential book Silent Spring. (PBS)