Coffee Hour with Erica Smithwick: Transformative Learning Spaces for an Uncertain World

Friday, September 8, 2017 - 3:30pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

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About the talk

Resilience is about complexity, change, and coping with uncertainty. It depends on a deep understanding of intertwined socio-ecological systems. However, uncertainty and complexity in both socio-ecological systems increasingly hinders decision-making. New knowledges and ontologies are needed to transform society for a mature Anthropocene. Using case studies from Ghana, South Africa, and the Menominee Nation (Wisconsin), Erica Smithwick will explore how biosphere stewardship can be enhanced through transformative research and education approaches that embrace interdisciplinary and cross-cultural ways of knowing.

About the speaker

Erica Smithwick Erica Smithwick is an associate professor of geography at Penn State, USA. She is the director of the Ecology Institute, and the Center for Landscape Dynamics. She is also a faculty associate of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at Penn State, and graduate faculty member in the intercollege graduate degree program in ecology. Smithwick recently served as a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa at Rhodes University. Her laboratory group (LEAPS: Landscape Ecology at Penn State, is actively involved in understanding how a wide range of disturbances affect ecosystem function at landscape scales. Current research is focused on the influence of these changes on socio-ecological resilience and sustainability, with special attention to protected area management in Africa and the U.S. 

Contact us

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Angela Rogers in advance of your participation or visit.

Angela Rogers  office: 814-865-2493 email:

Coffee Hour