The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 26, 2013

Concord to offer global warming course


— Focusing on the cyclical nature of global warming, students in a new class at Concord University are being challenged to create an environmental mythology for future generations.

Course developer and professor Dr. Delilah O’Haynes says “Creating Environmental Mythology” includes the latest science of past, current and future global-warming trends, especially those indicated for the Appalachian Mountains (West Virginia and Virginia).

The class draws on a variety of genres, media and disciplines. Components include mythology of world cataclysms, creative writing, art, photography, astronomy, astronomical mythology, Appalachian (West Virginia) environment, anthropology and paleontology.

O’Haynes, who is a professor of English at Concord, says the two credit hour course involves a series of lectures, readings, discussions and guest speakers.

The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in Room A308 of Marsh Hall beginning Feb. 26 until the end of the Spring 2013 semester. O’Haynes said she is still accepting students.

According to the course syllabus, students will be required to produce a creative piece using media of their choice aimed at creating a new environmental mythology for future generations. These creations will be presented to the class at the end of the semester. Opportunities will also be available to students to present and display their work outside the class.

O’Haynes says the long-range objective of the course is to educate the public about the true nature of global warming through prose, poetry, art, photography or a combination thereof, on a local, and possibly national, level. Portions of the class, including the sessions with guest speakers, will be videotaped toward this goal, she said.

The class will be open to the public at no charge on the days featuring guest speakers. Each speaker’s presentation is made possible by a grant from The West Virginia Humanities Council.

Five guest speakers are scheduled. Dr. Lewis Cook, Concord University research scientist and instructor, will speak on March 5. Cook is a physician and archaeologist/paleontologist. He will discuss the cyclical nature of global warming/cooling and extinction events.

Master photographer and craftsman Steve Jessee will give a presentation on March 19 on environmental photography. Jessee has been a professional photographer for more than 40 years.

Dr. Linwood Clayton, Concord assistant professor of recreation and tourism management, will speak on April 2. The topic of his lecture is “Cataclysm: Retaining History and Identity.”

Concord Assistant Professor of Geography Dr. Tom Saladyga will present “The Importance of Trees to Human History and Survival” on April 16.

Essayist, lawyer, naturalist and former Concord instructor Perry Mann will be the special guest on April 18. Mann, in his 90s, will read from his book “Mann & Nature.”

For more information contact O’Haynes at dohaynes@concord.edu or 304-384-5261.