OUR ENVIRONMENT

This Science Night series will consider Environmental Concerns that directly impact
Long Island and Metropolitan New York.

Directions to ESS Building at Stony Brook University

Teachers and Professional Geologists can receive
In-service Credit

Friday October 19, 2007

Video: End of Suburbia
Duration: 78 minutes
7:30 p.m. ESS 001

Friday November 9, 2007

Ecological relevance of the
native flora of Long Island

John E. Potente

7:30 p.m. ESS 001

 

Friday October 19, 2007

Video: End of Suburbia
Duration: 78 minutes
7:30 p.m. ESS 001

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.

Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.

But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.

The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today's suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?

After the video there will be an opportunity for the audience to discuss the End of Suburbia. The discussion will be moderated by Gil Hanson and Glenn Richard.

Links

End of Suburbia

GAO report on Crude Oil: Uncertainty about Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production

The National Petroleum Council: Facing the Hard Truths about Energy


Friday November 9, 2007

Ecological Relevance of the Native Flora of Long Island

John E. Potente
Past Editor of Long Island Botanical Society
Former Member of Suffolk County Environmental Review Board

 

While the soils of Long Island accept a wide variety of plants, the native plants had made first claim to the land. Currently, soils are prepared with nutritional and water retention supplements to enhance the growth of agricultural, ornamental and ground cover plants that we introduce. Native plants have adapted to the soils in the absence of these amenities and often do better without them. Moreover, the native plants play key roles in ecosystem dynamics. By replacing native vegetation with exotic plants, there are many ornithological, entomological, and mammalian consequences, not to mention the botanical compromises that occur. 

In the 1990's an interest arose in native plant restorations to help prop up damaged ecosystems. Governmental and private grants became available to help remove ornamental and invasive plants from parks, preserves, sanctuaries and refuges. 

John E. Potente will present an overview of the basic native plants of the typical ecosystems of Long Island. He will also discuss some of the basic tenets of why native plants are essential to sustain indigenous species.

The Hauppauge Spring

Hauppauge dentist tries to resurrect the American chestnut