Come learn about the effects of climate change on everyday life during a lecture series at the Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science

Learn about the effects of climate change on everyday life during a lecture series at the Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science
Image Credit: Clemson University

GEORGETOWN — The Earth’s rising temperatures are creating changes that affect everyone and researchers at Clemson University’s Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science plan to educate the public about them in a new lecture series.

The series, titled “How does climate change impact our daily lives?” focuses mainly on drinking water. It begins at 9 a.m. June 8 at the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science/Hobcaw Barony, Highway 17 North, Georgetown, with the lecture “Lessons Learned from Hurricanes Joaquin (2015) and Matthew (2016).” The occurrence of these two hurricanes in the same location in a short time span helped scientists gain a deeper understanding of the impact they have on water quality, said Hamed Majidzadeh, a postdoctoral research associate at the Baruch Institute.

“Hurricanes deteriorate source water quality and eventually can result in an increase of disinfection byproducts in tap water,” Majidzadeh said. “Additionally, such events may increase toxic mercury levels. This can have a direct impact on people’s health. Knowledge gained by attending this lecture series will allow participants to be prepared for future events.”

In addition to Majidzadeh, others scheduled to speak June 8 are David Miller, a Clemson doctoral student who will speak on “All you need to know about water quality.” Shaowu Bao, an assistant professor of coastal and marine systems science at Coastal Carolina University, will talk about “Streams’ response to the 2015 extreme rainfall event in the Waccamaw River Basin” and Tom O’Halloran, an assistant professor of forestry and environmental science at the institute, will discuss “Tracking coastal forest mortality from Hurricane Matthew’s storm surge.”

Other speakers include Martin Tsz-Ki Tsui, an assistant professor for biology from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, who will address “How did Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew change toxic mercury levels in the Waccamaw River?” and Alexander Ruecker, a postdoctoral researcher for forestry and environmental conservation at the Baruch Institute, who will talk about “Hurricanes, flooding and (drinking) water quality – Potential problems, recommendations, and solutions.”

These lectures conclude at 11:45 a.m. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

The series will include additional lectures to address wildfires and sea level rise. Dates for these lectures will be announced later.

For more information about this series, which is free and open to the public, contact Majidzadeh at hmajidz@clemson.edu or 334-332-4747.

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