Monday, August 31

Brian Fagan, Ph.D., Author, How the Sea Fed Civilization

British-born and Cambridge University educated Brian Fagan is widely regarded as the world’s leading archaeological writer and has an international reputation as an author of influential books about major issues such as ancient climate change, the relationship between humans and water, past and present, and sustainability in ancient and contemporary subsistence level societies. His books have been translated into over twelve languages.

Also a sailor and a bicyclist, Fagan spent his early career in Central Africa, where he worked in the Livingstone Museum in Zambia. He was involved in field research into multidisciplinary African history, monuments conservation, cultural tourism, and museum work. After a year in East Africa, he came to the United States in 1966 and was Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1967 to 2003. He is now a Distinguished Emeritus and an independent scholar.

Since moving to Santa Barbara, he changed from being an African specialist into a generalist, concerned with public outreach and communicating science to general audiences, especially through lecturing and writing. He has lectured widely both in the United States and Canada and also internationally to all kinds of audiences. In recent years, most of his books have been concerned with human relationships to climate change in the past, including water and general issues of sustainability. His major recent titles include Floods, Famines and Emperors, a study of ancient El Niños, The Little Ice Age, The Long Summer, and The Attacking Ocean. He has also written Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind and The Great Warming, an account of the Medieval Warm Period. His latest books are Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization, published by Yale University Press., and (with Nadia Durrani), What We did in Bed: A Horizontal History (also Yale).

Tuesday, September 1

Marcy McGinnis, formerly of CBS News, and Instructor and Co-founder, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science

Marcy McGinnis’s career at CBS News spanned over three decades. She began as an entry-level secretary and rose through the producing ranks (assistant producer, associate producer, producer, senior producer, executive producer) in New York followed by an international assignment first as the London deputy bureau chief and then as London bureau chief and VP for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She was promoted to senior vice president and served as second-in-command at CBS News for 8 years, running worldwide news coverage and newsgathering. She was at the helm of the network’s coverage of 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina among others. She also trained, coached and mentored news personnel from entry to senior levels.

After CBS News, McGinnis became the founding associate dean of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. She helped create the curriculum for the new journalism program and the new facilities including a newsroom, studio and control room. She taught and mentored hundreds of future TV, radio, print and digital journalists. McGinnis was also instrumental in the creation of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and remains part of the team that trains scientists in the U.S. and around the world. She also helped create the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting and the Center for News Literacy. Following her tenure with Stony Brook University, McGinnis joined the startup team of Al Jazeera America where she ran its worldwide newsgathering operation for 2 years.

McGinnis now uses her extensive experience as a journalist, news executive and academic leader to help others with their professional career paths and communication needs. A certified professional career coach, her coaching focuses on helping individuals navigate and manage their careers, so they reach their full potential and overcome their communication challenges. She is a strong believer that empathy, integrity and self-awareness are the foundations and motivating and inspiring forces of successful leadership. McGinnis also helps professionals improve their presentation skills – in all formats – one-on-one situations, in front of small or large audiences, and with the media including how to interact with television, radio, podcasts, print, and digital outlets.

Wednesday, September 2

Tom Frazer, Ph.D., Director, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Florida