Lecture Series

'Consumer product chemicals in the environment: How did they get there and what can we do?'  

Preventing Cancer at Home and About Town with
Dr. Laurel Schaider of the Silent Spring Institute
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 7 pm

Come absorb new conversation topics for Thanksgiving and reconnect with new and old friends, on Tuesday November 21st at the Center for Student Coastal Research, at 40 Parker Avenue, 7pm. Dr. Laurel Schaider, a research scientist, from Silent Spring Institute brings the ecological awareness of Rachel Carson to Cohasset's ecosystem in a talk about using science to prevent cancer by preventing pollution.

Rachel Carson, famous for her books Silent Spring, and The Sea Around Us, shook up the world's understanding of the environment by bringing the problems of pollution to the forefront of American consciousness. Dr. Schaider will describe how Rachel Carson's legacy is continued by Silent Spring Institute which is staffed and led by researchers dedicated to science that serves the public interest.

These researchers have found that consumer product chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, detergents, and flame retardants, are showing up in people and in drinking water and surface water all across the U.S. They even have a kit that allows you to test yourself and members of your household. Dr. Schaider will provide an overview of these types of chemicals, their sources, environmental transport, and health concerns, and will share findings from her research on drinking water, groundwater, ponds, and estuaries on Cape Cod along with the implications for wastewater management and water quality protection.

Dr. Schaider's research combines her expertise in environmental chemistry, environmental engineering, and exposure assessment with her commitment to addressing the concerns and questions of communities. She leads the Institute’s Cape Cod water quality research on highly fluorinated chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants of emerging concern. Before joining Silent Spring, she was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health. where she led a study in rural Oklahoma on mercury exposure among anglers and their families including members of local Native American tribes. Dr. Schaider earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering Science from MIT.

As Cohasset finds itself in 2017 enmeshed in Harbor Committee and Municipal Vulnerabilities Preparedness, CSCR's topics of study keep coming up as important components for town planning– water quality, runoff, salt marshes, eelgrass. CSCR ecology coaches keep asking our students to answer “why does it matter”? Other than that many of us love the aesthetics of a clean environment, a robust ecosystem of wildlife and the colors of the marshes, and may have settled here because of those, the most compelling reason to study water quality is human health.

While there is much money and excitement and perhaps even some work by Cohasset researchers involved in looking for a cure for cancer, activities to prevent people from getting cancer in the first place garner far less funding incentive. Silent Spring Institute’s pioneering community-based approach to research has transformed the traditional dynamic between “scientist” and “subject” so both are working side-by-side to uncover findings that can help save lives and stop people from getting sick to begin with. They partner with physicians, public health and community advocates and other scientists to identify and break the links between environmental chemicals and women’s health, especially breast cancer.

And don't worry, this talk won't leave you wandering home with only bad news. For pollutants in your own self, their Detox Me ap will help you find less toxic alternatives for toiletries, furnishings and cleaning products, and Cohasset's assets of wetland plants, salt marshes, eelgrass and shellfish beds, and tidal flushing help abate some of the pollutants in our environment. To find out more, come down to 40 Parker Ave, and ask some of our students who will also be attending Dr. Shaider's talk. 

Past Events
Program Speaker Date
View on Eventbrite    

We Need to Come Clean - the Fight Belongs to Everyone!

Emily Norton, the Massachusetts Chapter Director for the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest environmental advocacy group in the country.September 26, 2017  
'Habitat Diversity- Can ecosystems thrive when species diversity is declining?  Christian Alsterberg currently pursues
a postdoctoral degree at UMASS Boston.
He obtained a PhD in Marine Ecology and BS in Biology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
June 21, 2017Click Here 
 'Ocean Acidification: Are coral reefs and clams fizzing away?' George D. Buckley, Assistant Director of the Sustainability program at the Harvard University Extension School.Wed, April 19, 2017Click Here 
 "Plastic Pollution in the Ocean- And what you can do about it!" Jessica Donohue, research assistant,Sea Education Association (SEA; Woods Hole, MA).January 18, 2017Click Here 
 Flood Mitigation Lessons Learned from Hurricane Sandy Sarah Hamm, M.S. Geology, Colorado School of Mines; Coastal Geologist, an expert in flood hazard analysis.April 7, 2016Click Here  
Legal From the Start: Partnering Legal and Policy Research with Current Science for Better Coastal Management Julia Wyman, J.D., Director of Marine Affairs Institute & Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal ProgramMarch 2,2016
From Antarctica to the Arctic: A Story of Snow, Sea Ice, and the Frigid Cold Dr. Ross Lieb LappenApril 30, 2015Click Here
Size matters: The fate of vernal pools and their inhabitants Steven Schwartz January 13, 2015
Developing 21st Century Green Students & Schools Robin Organ November 19, 2014
What’s Behind the Revised FEMA Flood Maps and Understanding Storm Surge Impacts to the Coastline Ingeborg E. Hegemann & Matthew Creighton October 21, 2014
Coastal Habitat Resiliency Mary B. Griffin September 10, 2014
Restoration of Coastal Wetlands on the South Shore Jason D. Burtner June 17, 2014
Learning from Coastal Systems how to adapt to Environmental Changes Dr. Anamarija Frankic May 20, 2014
Free Lecture: Diversity in the Spice of Life in Coastal Ecosystem Jarrett Byrnes April 29, 2014
Exploring the Bowhead Whale Feeding Hotspot near Barrow, AK Carin Ashjian PhD March 19, 2014
Beside Still Waters: Exploring Vernal Pools Jonathan Twining February 24, 2014
From Headwaters to Harbor – A Look at Restoration and Research in the Gulf River Dr. Sara Grady January 16, 2014
Current Issues in Environmental Policy: Climate Change Adaptation, MA Initiatives John Clarkeson December 11, 2013

If you are interested to actively participate in the lecture series program, please contact the organizer Dr. Carsten Haber, CSCR board member.