Environmental Science and Studies

The McLain Program History and Past Lectures

The Joseph H. McLain Lecture Series in Environmental Studies has hosted a number of lecturers to come talk to Washington College students, faculty and staff. All of the lectures are open and free to the public. The lectures on record date back to early 1999 and show the variety of professions the program has hosted. The purpose of this program is to bring knowledge, stories and experience directly to the college, which further opens students eyes to possible interests in the field.   

On Hunting” a lecture by Dr. Donald Munson, former McLain Professor of Environmental Studies at Washington College and Professor in both Environmental Studies and Biology, shared insight with the Washington College community about Munson’s childhood and his upbringing in a hunting family. He explored how his profession both challenged and formed his views on hunting. 


“George: His Legacy” a lecture byJohanna E. Barry, the founder and president of the Galapagos Conservancy brought her personal perspective to the story of lonesome George the tortoise, and the need to protect species diversity. 


“Do Fish Feel Pain?” a lecture byVictoria Braithwaite, associate director and professor of fisheries and biology at the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences. Braithwaite shares research on the evolution of animal cognition with a focus on fish learning, perception, and memory.


“Bio-cultural Conservation & Climate Change: Agro-ecotourism in the Tropics” a lecture by Christina T. Cavaliere, researcher and manager of sustainable tourism projects. Cavaliere offered advice for eco-friendly, sustainable travel when she visited her alma mater, Washington College. She formerly headed up training and education for the International Ecotourism Society, a D.C.-based organization.


“Golf and the Environment: Creating Sustainable Relationships Through Common Values” a lecture by golf architect Troy Miller who serves as the Assistant Director of Land Design for Landmark Land Company and has been involved in environmentally aware golf course construction at sites around the country.


“The Case for Geo-Pragmatism in an Age of Climate Crisis” a lecture byDr. Jonathan T. Isham Jr., Luce Professor of International Environmental Economics at Middlebury College, spoke about his research focus on the construction of what is known as the “New Climate Movement” 


“Endocrine Disruption: What Is It and Should We Be Worried on the Eastern Shore?” a lecture by Daniel J. Fisher a Senior Research Scientist of the Wye Research and Education Center at the University of Maryland. 


For more information on additional past lectures please click on the lecture title below.


A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Planet: Parasites and Invasive Species on the Move

Bio-cultural Conservation & Climate Change: Agro-Ecotourism in the Tropics

Blue Crabs: Is the Population in a Pinch?

The Two Worlds of Captain John Smith

Tree-Talk: The Scientific and Spiritual Understanding of Trees

Fact, Fiction and Environmental Futures

Arctic Climate Change: Sovereignty, Trade and the Environment

Biodiversity, Conservation, and National Park & Reserve Establishment in Madagascar

The Case for Wind Power: A Possible Source of Mitigation for Climate Change

Waterfowling on the Chesapeake: Historical Perspective on a Maryland Tradition

Painting the Environment: A Lifetime of Adventure

A Marshland Chronicle

Chesapeake Bay Blues: Science, Politics, and the Struggle to Save the Bay

Orangutans in Borneo: The State of their World 

Tracking Our Ever-Changing Bird Populations: What Do We Know, What Can we Do?

Chivalry is Dead in Migratory Birds

 Environmental Impacts of Space Weather

Environmental Issues for the 21st Century