Water Matters Speakers
Stephen Jones has been a member of the Mount Holyoke College faculty since 1989. He is an expert on post-communist societies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and regularly briefs the CIA and U.S. State Department on developments in Caucasia and the North Caucasus. In 1995, he briefed William Courtney, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Georgia. From 1989 to 1991, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jones was repeatedly called upon by the New York Times, the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, and National Geographic Magazine for background information. In 1992, he was included in a New York Times article discussing Georgia's future. Additionally, he has participated in five different news programs with the BBC World Service as well as numerous American radio and TV stations, including NPR's Weekend Edition. In July 1996, Jones traveled to Georgia for the World Bank to examine the impact of economic reform on the lives of ordinary citizens in Caucasia. Jones is also leading an ongoing effort to work with officials in Georgia to identify, preserve, and catalogue archival materials and employ contemporary library technologies to support the nation's archival and library systems. Professor Jones is currently writing two books: The Georgian Social Democratic Republic: 1918–1921 and A History of Twentieth-Century Caucasia.
Petroleum geologist Elizabeth "Betty" Wilson, Mount Holyoke College Class of '72, is an expert on oil and gas exploration and energy-related issues such as anticipated fossil fuel shortages, the California energy crisis, and the search for clean, inexpensive, renewable energy. Wilson is an adjust professor of geology at the University of Maine in the department of earth sciences and often teaches a popular Mount Holyoke course during January Term, "World Energy Resources." “The world is still very dependent upon fossil fuels, and that is not likely to change in the near future,” said Wilson. “We should expect that shortages and conflicts regarding energy sources, consumption, supply, and the environment will continue to occur until we provide more choice and recognize that every choice we make has a cost. The more dialogue we have, the better. We need to do a better job as individuals, as communities, and as countries to solve these issues. Energy is a global issue, that's the bottom line. We must think globally.” Wilson has spent twenty-five years working in the field of petroleum geology. Currently, she is president of Methane Resources Group, a company she founded in 1981.
Ian R. MacDonald, Ph.D. is Professor of Environmental Science with the Physical and Life Sciences Department of Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi. Dr. MacDonald received simultaneous undergraduate degrees in environmental science from Friends World College, in Huntington, NY, and Telemark District College, in Norway. After completing these studies, he was employed by the International Ocean Institute and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations at postings in Malta and Rome. Returning to the United States by way of Southeast Asia, he completed a masters degree in fisheries sciences at Texas A&M University in 1984. Hired by LGL Ecological Research Associates Inc. as a fisheries expert, he was assigned to a program studying the deep-sea biology of the Gulf of Mexico. This lead to an abiding interest in the deep sea and to a doctoral dissertation in 1990, also from Texas A&M, on the ecology of communities that flourish at natural oil seeps. Dr. MacDonald is an internationally recognized authority on the biology and geology of marine oil seeps with some 30 peer-reviewed articles and over 60 reports and popular articles on related topics. His work on gas hydrates 1994 was the first to demonstrate an link between water column processes and the stability of shallow gas hydrates. His research has entailed extensive use of such deep-diving submarines as Johnson Sea-Link, Alvin, and the Navy nuclear submarine NR-1. Altogether he has spent a total of 60 continuous days at depths of 1800 feet or more in the Gulf of Mexico. Most recently, he organized an expedition that discovered asphalt volcanoes in depths of 12,000 ft offshore Campeche, Mexico. His particular interest is the application of advanced imaging technology to marine research; this includes satellite detection of oil slicks, as well as application of satellite image processing techniques to analyze images collected from submarines. Although primarily focused on the Gulf region, MacDonald maintains an active international perspective. In the recent years, his research has also taken him to the Canadian Pacific and to the Caspian Sea. For more information, visit http://clementine.tamucc.edu/ianmacd/
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