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Lectures Examines Agriculture, Sustainability in Developing Nations

Series focuses on women in scientific, environmental fields

Advances in agriculture in developing nations and technology's role in achieving water sustainability are among the topics that will be featured in the Women in Scientific and Environmental Professions (WiSE Professions) Series.

Dr. Deborah Delmer will address "Harnessing the new sciences in support of agriculture in the developing world," at 4 p.m. March 22 in 5 Illick Hall.

Delmer, a biochemist, left the laboratory to work in policy and grantwriting to help determine the role biotechnology can play in advancing crop improvement for the developing world. In 2009, she initiated the NSF/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's new BREAD program in support of innovative research addressing small-holder farmers. She serves as a consultant to foundations, industry, and governments on biofuels and developing world agriculture and is a member of the Board of Governors of The International Center for Research on the Semi-Arid Tropics.

Delmer's talk is a joint presentation with the Adaptive Peaks Seminar Series. The lecture is co-sponsored by ESF, the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, and the ESF Women's Caucus.

"Water, technology and sustainability: are we engineering vulnerability?" is the topic of biologist and social scientist Dr. Lilian Na'ia Alessa's April 17 lecture. The program will be held at 4 p.m. in Alumni Lounge and is a joint presentation with the Cross-Disciplinary Seminar in Hydrological and Biogeochemical Processes.

Alessa is professor of biology and director of Resilience and Adaptive Management Group, University of Alaska Anchorage. She holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of British Columbia and has extensive training in cognitive psychology. Her studies of cellular organization inform her approaches to social ecological complexity and research on human adaptation to climate change. She holds affiliate appointments at the University of Alaska's Water and Environmental Research Center and Arizona State University's Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity and has served on the board of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States.

Alessa's lecture is sponsored by ESF, the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, the Graduate Student Association, and the ESF Women's Caucus.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. Pay parking is available in the Irving Avenue Garage.