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Upcoming local science-related events

Summer’s end marks the start of a new season of local science-related events, including several scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

Summer’s end marks the start of a new season of local science-related events, including several scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

Emerald Ash Borers, unfortunately, are a problem Minnesota is going to have to deal with. A primer on doing that is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen. The three-hour program is geared toward property owners with ash trees, offering tips about assessing your own situation and developing strategies for dealing with it – including information on which trees can be kept and which should be removed.  The program is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 11, in the Arboretum’s MacMillan Auditorium. Cost for the session, including breakfast, is $15 for Arboretum members or $20 for non-members. To register, call 952-443-1422.

Do environmental contaminants lead to birth defects? Recent reports give us reason to worry about chemicals in the foods we eat and the products we put into and on our bodies, our lakes and our rivers. Louis J. Guillette Jr., an internationally recognized reproductive biologist who has spent 25 years studying sexually stunted alligators and other wildlife from polluted waters in Florida and around the world, says a growing body of research shows those chemicals — including trace amounts often found in lakes and rivers — do cause birth defects, both in animals and humans.  On Sept. 14, Guillette, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical University of South Carolina, will deliver the third in a series of lectures sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences and the Freshwater Society. The lecture, aimed at a general audience, is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the theater of the university’s St. Paul Student Center, 2017 Buford St., St. Paul. It is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required. To register, go here.

Bioenergy: Can we count on it for a share of our future energy needs without taking food away from the hungry, destroying wildlife habitat and otherwise harming the environment?

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That’s a key question confronting policymakers, bioenergy industry leaders, academics and other experts from around the world who will gather at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis on Sept. 14-16 for the Global Sustainable Bioenergy Project’s North American Convention.

The convention, hosted by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, is the last of five continental conventions intended collectively to create a vision and path forward for bioenergy as a global resource.

The program is geared toward experts, academics and students who have registered in advance.

But members of the public can buy tickets to attend a keynote presentation by Roger Thurow at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15th. Thurow is the author of the book, “ENOUGH: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty.” Tickets for his talk are $20. For registration information, go here.

The potential effect of climate change on Minnesota’s water resources -—and what can be done about the impending problem — will be the subjects of a “Clean Water & Climate Adaptation” summit on Sept. 16 and 17 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Add shifting climate trends to the way we use our land and you come up with new challenges demanding better tools for managing both. The program is designed for concerned members of the public as well as for elected officials, planners, property developers and those who work government agencies. It is sponsored by the Arboretum in collaboration with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the Minnesota Climate Change Adaptation Working Group. Daily registration fee is $50-$60. For more information, call the Arboretum Education Office at 952-443-1422 or go here