IN-PERSON: The Elderwise classroom at the Vineyard Church
Lessons from Deep Time: What Earth’s History Tells Us about the Future
In this class Catherine Badgley will present insights from ancient ecosystems that are relevant for our current environmental crises. She will discuss the past, present, and future of Earth’s biodiversity and ecosystems. Today, living species and ecosystems face a host of pressures and disruptions from human activities, and many biologists argue that we are in the early stage of a mass extinction. The fossil record documents the dynamic history of species and ecosystems over millions of years. It is a source of information and insights, especially regarding how biodiversity has responded to stresses of many kinds, as well as the stability of ecosystems during “normal” periods without major stresses. Catherine Badgley is a paleontologist, ecologist, and a farmer. She is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Residential College at the University of Michigan. Her research concerns the fossil record and modern diversity of mammals, the current biodiversity crisis, and sustainable agriculture.