Consider that we live in an age when we have more frequent distractions and greater numbers of sources of information than we know wisely how to handle. All we read, hear, see and encounter floods us with sensory overload leading to a dissolution of the context that once provided proportion and meaning to what we analyze. We are no longer starved for details about the world. Instead we are lost in a glut of trivial details where confusion of facts and opinions becomes a widespread problem.
Deluged by details most people are unable to determine important from trivial known facts. Some practitioners and specialists are unable to distinguish known facts from fabricated fantasies, or convenient fictions.
Fictions are elaborate stories that assist people in understanding an otherwise unclear situation. Some specific legal fictions are created by well meaning folks to generate certainty. The need for certainty where, too often, there is only vague feelings, unexamined emotions or prejudices that shape our "misunderstanding" of everyday events, is understandable, but not desirable.
An overt goal of all my classes is to challenge our shared prejudices and examine our follies in the light of gentle dialogue. This is done with respect for you as a source of individually inherent value. The aim of this challenge is to allow you to exercise good judgment in distinguishing between trustworthy, widely accepted facts and erroneous but commonly held fictions.
Unless we practice reasoned discourse, respect for the beliefs of others, and an honest commitment to substantiated facts we run the risk of indoctrination. Any set of unexamined ideas that rest on shared fictions has the potential of leading us toward a fatally flawed, fascistic acceptance of the "general will." One purpose of a Liberal Arts education is to nourish the soul to unshackle the mind to behave in ways that harm no one.
Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia, 2000; Barbara Siry.
Here are some more pages to assist you in what you need to know about me as an educator.
|Is the 5th dimension here on Earth?||Climate Change Talk|
An idea's power
|Wildlife as a public trust||Symbolism: 5 kingdoms of life|
|Darwin was right, so get used to it!||Global Warming's here now.|
|science of complex systems||word webs|
Historian of Science, Technology and Environment
B.A., Emory University; M.A., Ph.D. University of California
at Santa Barbara
1971 B.A. with High Honors in History, Emory University
1978 M.A. in History, University of California at Santa Barbara
1981 Ph.D. in History, University of California at Santa Barbara
1972-1973 Lecturer/Teaching Assistant, Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University
1975-1978 Teaching Assistant, Department of History, Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies Departments, U. of California: Santa Barbara
1976-1978 Lecturer in Environmental History, University of California Extension, Santa Barbara, CA
1978 History Instructor, Social Science Department, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA
1978-1983 Instructor, History and Social Sciences Department, Solano Community College, Suisun City, CA
1979-1981 Public Historical Consultant, Local Coastal Plan, Sonoma County Planning Department,
Santa Rosa, CA.
1980-1981 Staff Assistant, State Office of Historic Preservation, Sacramento, CA.
1981-1982 Historical Consultant, Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey, Oakland City Planning Department, CA.
1981 Lecturer, Environmental Studies, University of California Extension, Berkeley, CA.
1982-1983 Chapman College, Environmental Science Instructor, (field studies) Solano & Napa Counties, CA.
1984 Assistant Professor of History, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.
1984-1988 Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL.
1989-2012 Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Rollins College, Winter Park, FL.
1999 - 2002 Florida Climate Alliance (a.k.a.) Alliance for Florida's Future: Director of statewide
global warming campaign for Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, N.Y.
2008-2012 Topic Editor, environmental policy for Encyclopedia of Earth
2003-current Treasurer: Save the Manatee Club, Maitland. Florida.
2008- current Executive Board, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville, FL.
2007-2008 Member of the steering committee, Environmental Studies professional organization: AESS.
2002-2003 River Restoration Project Coordinator, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville.
1996-2004 Director of Environmental Management, Rollins Brevard Campus, Melbourne, FL
2001-2002 State Director, Natural Resources Defense Council’s Florida Climate Alliance.
2001-2002 Executive Committee member, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville, FL
1999-2001 State Coordinator, Alliance for Florida’s Future (MacArthur Grant), Winter Park, FL
1995-2000 Vice-president, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville, FL
1996-1999 Member of the Board of Directors, Florida Audubon Society, Winter Park, FL
1985-1995 Member Advisory Board, Florida Defenders of the Environment Gainesville, FL
1986-1988 Secretary, City of Winter Park Environmental Review Board Winter Park, FL
1986-1991 Editor, "Practicing Essentials," North American Environmental Education Association's Environmental Studies Section Newsletter.
1987-1988 Associate Editor, Bulletin of Human Ecology
1988-1993 Associate Professor, Environmental Studies, Applied Quantitative Systems, and Master of Liberal Studies Departments, Rollins College.
1991-1993 Publications Review Committee:
North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE)
July 1990 - "Culture, Energy and Ecology around the World"
January 1991 Tour of 21 countries including: Peru, Australia, India, Africa, and the EU.
June - Aug. 1991 Researcher-in-Residence: Evergreen State College, Department of History
June 2-14, 1992 Non-governmental Organization (NGO) participant in Global Forum,
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (U.N.C.E.D.)
"Earth Summit"; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2-10, 1992.
"What is the Electric Car?" Nemours distribution, 2010
"The Florida Everglades: Shaping A National Treasure" - original documentary, WGCU-TV, 2001
Siry Joseph 2012. "Lake Tahoe, Biomes and Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia. 2012 Golson Media (forthcoming).
Siry, Joseph 2011-12. "The Rhône River," Biomes & Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia. Golson Media (forthcoming).
Siry, Joseph 2011. "The Camargue." Biomes & Ecosystems: An Encyclopedia. Golson Media (forthcoming).
Siry, Joseph (Lead Author). 2010. "Climate change mitigation." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [Published in the Encyclopedia of Earth August 5, 2010]. <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Climate_change_mitigation>
(Lead Author). 2008. "Population." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [Published in the Encyclopedia of Earth October 9, 2008; August 5, 2010]. <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Population>
Review article of Watershed Dynamics, by Carlsen, Trautmann, et. al. 2004. Arlington,Va.: NSTA (National Science Teacher’s Association) Press. 175 pages. Paper. ISBN 0-87555-213-X. for The Journal of Environmental Education, Volume 40, Number 3 / Spring 2009, ”Resource in Review”, pp. 63 – 64. Joseph Siry, DOI: 10.3200/JOEE.40.3.63-64
Siry, Joseph (Lead Author); Tigran Tadevosyan (Topic Editor). 2009. "Wildlife." In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [Published in the Encyclopedia of Earth August 1, 2009; Retrieved August 1, 2009]. <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Wildlife>
“Economic Externalities and Ecologies: opportunities to solve market failures that cause air pollution.” How Language is Used to Do Business: Essays on the Rhetoric of Economics . Edited by Clift, Edward M. with an Intro. By Deirdre McCloskey. Lewiston, N. Y. : Mellen Press, 2008
Review article of Hooked on Growth, (2007). for Journal of Environmental Education (forthcoming 2008).
“Shaping a National Treasure: Taming Florida’s Wetlands,” Made for PBS Documentary, WGCU: Public media, Fort Myers, Fl. 2006. Editorial Consultant and interview,
Review article of The Global Environment, (2005), 2d ed. for Journal of Environmental Education (forthcoming 2006), pp. TBA.
“Wetlands,” [revised article] Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press,) forthcoming, 2006.
Review article of Atmospheric Pollution: History Science and Regulation, for Journal of Environmental Education (Volume 35: Number 3, Spring 2004), pp. 47-48.
Review article of Coastal Dune Management, for Journal of Environmental Education (Volume 34: Number 4, Summer 2003), pp. 41-42.
Review article of The Great Thirst: Californians and Water, A History, for Journal of Environmental Education (Volume 33: Number 4, Summer 2002), pp. 40-41.
Managing & contributing editor, “Feeling the Heat in Florida: Global Warming on the Local Level.” with Fred Mays & Jeff Fiedler, October 2001. (New York: Natural Resources Defense Council). A peer-reviewed summary of ten scientists’ findings about impacts to Florida from global climate change.
Review article of Visions of Paradise, for Journal of Environmental Education (2000)
“Our Common Task: Global Warming Solutions,” FDE Monitor, (Fall, 1999). [supplement] pp. 1-4.
"Saving the Blue Lagoon," Florida Naturalist, 72:2, (2d Quarter), May 1999. pp. 20-21.
Review article of Miller, Environmental History of Northeast Florida, for Journal of American History, (1999).
“Florida’s Imperiled Future,” Proceedings of the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, March, 1997: Gainesville, University of Florida, 1997.
The Encyclopedia of Conservation and Environmentalism. Subjects: Coastal Zone Management Act (U.S.), Everglades, and Calvert Cliffs. Robert Paehlke, Editor. Trent University; New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1994.
History of the Geosciences: An Encyclopedia, “Wetlands,” Gregory Good, Editor: West Virginia University; Garland Publishing Inc., New York, 1994.
Review article of Some Kind of Paradise: A Chronicle of Man and Land in Florida. Mark Derr, (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1989). Forest and Conservation History (1991).
Review article of Revitalizing the Waterfront, for Environmental History Review, (1990).
"Wetlands." Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989).
"Habitat, wildlife & fisheries: An emerging web of relations in social & cultural history," Review article of three books:
Michael L. Smith, Pacific Visions: California Scientists and the Environment, (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1987); Arthur McEvoy, The Fisherman's Problem, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986); Thomas R. Dunlap, Saving America's Wildlife, (Princeton University Press, 1988).
Instructors Resource Manual for Environmental Studies. Daniel Botkin and Edward Keller. Westerville, Ohio: Merrill Publishing Co., 1987.
"The Essential Atmosphere's Elementary Laws," Bulletin of Human Ecology, Vol. 1; #1 (Spring 1986), pp. 5-6.
Review Article of When Government Regulates Itself: EPA, TVA, and Pollution Control in the 1970s. Robert F. Durant. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1985. Environmental Review, (Fall/Winter 1986).
Review Article of This Land is Your Land. Bernard Shanks. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1984. Environmental Review (Fall/Winter 1985).
Review Article of The Tule Breakers. John Thompson and Edward A. Dutra. Stockton, Calif.: University of the Pacific, 1983. Agricultural History 59:2 (April 1985).
Marshes of the Ocean Shore: The Origins of an Ecological Ethic. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1984.
Review article of This Land, This South. Albert Cowdrey. Lexington: The University of Kentucky Press, 1983. Journal of the Early Republic (Spring 1984).
Review article of Fate of the Earth. Jonathan Schell. (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1982) Environmental Review (Fall, 1983).
Review article of Ecological Consciousness, eds. Robert C. Schultz and J. Donald Hughes (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1981). Environmental Review 6:2 (Fall, 1982).
"When the River Flows Upstream: The Appearance, Adaptation and Extinction of the Mandan Peoples." The Indian Historian XI:2 (1978) .
"Preserving Biological Diversity Despite Losses Due to Abrupt Climate Change," Environment and Climate Change, An interdisciplinary perspective, Oxford Roundtable: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Manchester-Harris College: Oxford University.
"Film and the Ecological Imagination: Notes on the Rollins College Global Peace Film Festival at Rollins College." Lewis and Clark College, Portland Oregon, AESS: Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Conference, June 17-20, 2010.
“The Impact of Abrupt Climate Change on Birds,” Media Assisted Presentation, National Audubon Society, January, 2010, Venice, Fl. Talk For 60 Participants with Q & A session.
Joseph Siry, “Unstable Airs, Acidified Waters and Endangered Places,” presented at Association of Graduate Liberal Studies [AGLSP] Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbua, October 17, 2008.
“The ABCs Of Global Warming,” Workshop Presenter, National Audubon Society, January, 2009, Eatonville, Fl. Media Assisted Talk For 40 Participants with Q & A session.
“The Impact of Global Warming on Birds,” Invited dinner speaker, Ocklawaha Valley Audubon Society, April, 2008, Eustid, Fl. Media assisted talk for 40 participants With Q & A session.
“Attenuated opportunities for effective wildlife protection due to rapidly changing climate.” International Biodiversity Conference, June 21, 2007, Banos, Ecuador.
“Climate Chaos or Opportunity? Getting it right regarding the impacts of climate change on biological diversity.” Listed as: "The challenges of wildlife protection due to rapidly changing climate." Second Environmental Studies (professional) Summit, Syracuse University, June 8, 2007.
“The Two Cultures Today. O'Keeffe and Stieglitz: Painting and Photography wed in America.” Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP), Santa Fe, N. M. Oct. 13, 2006. Photography's effects in art & science.
“Charles Darwin and Descent of Humankind” University Club presentation, November 20, 2005.
Faith in a Frontier Seed,” Annual Founder’s Day Address, Winter Park First Congregational Church, Winter Park, Fl, November 8, 2005.
“So is the fifth dimension hiding in a lightning bolt? The significance of the Einstein–Kaluza Letters in 1919,” AGLSP Conference, Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Meeting: Creativity and Innovation: The New Story, October 6-8, 2005, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Economic externalities and Ecologies: opportunities to solve market failures that cause air pollution," Rhetoric and Economics: An International Interdisciplinary Conference, 6-9 June 2005, Millikin University; Decatur, Illinois.
“Economic opportunities exist to solve Global ecological problems regionally: A global warming solution may exist as European Union (EU) has adopted a carbon trading system among member nations.” Accepted Paper, Meeting of International Internet, Processing, Systems for E-education and Interdisciplinaries. January 29-Feb 1, 2004. Amalfi, Italy, E.U.
“Climate change and global warming: the challenges and opportunities for international solutions to sustain our Earth,” Slide presentation and speech: Sarasota Lifelong Learning Institute, March 6, 2000.
“There are no longer reasonable excuses not to act to stem the impacts of global warming,” Remarks World Wildlife Fund US. Press Conference, Miami, Florida, November 10, 1999.
“Developing Nations and the Costly Risks of Global Warming” Georgetown American School, Georgetown, Guyana, May, 1999.
"Beyond the Wild Frontier: Wilderness and the American Imagination,” Slide lecture on American landscape art and ecology to the English Speaking Union, Rollins College, Bush Auditorium January, 1999.
“The Science of the IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control,” Invited speaker: Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change, InterContinental Hotel, Miami, Florida, June 20, 1996.
“Bringing the Earth Summit into the Classroom and Out to the Community." World Congress for Education and Communication on Environment & Development Conference. Toronto, Canada, October 16-21, 1992.
Facilitator of Energy Treaty: negotiation International Non - governmental Organization Forum. United Nations Conference on Conservation and Development. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2-10, 1992.
Conference Organizer: "Earth day Symposium on Environmental Education," for Florida Department of Education and the East Central Florida Regional Service Project. Rollins College, April 20, 1991.
"Mechanical Metaphors: From Spaceship Earth to the Machinery of Nature" American Society of Environmental History Conference, Houston, March 1, 1991.
"Traces on the Floridian Shore: Technology and the reshaping of the environment," Florida International University, Faculty Lecture Series, Miami, March 4, 1990.
"The Dubious Atom: Public response to nuclear science from the `Radium Craze' to Chernobyl," Invited paper; Cultural History Conference, New Orleans, March 20-23, 1988.
Principle Sponsor, "CUTHA comes to Florida;" Conference on the role of technology in Liberal Arts Education; [Council for the Understanding of Technology in Human Affairs] January 21-22, 1988.
"The Writing Across the Curriculum requirement at Rollins: a view from the Trenches,” Annual Conference of Writing Program Administrators; Logan, Utah; August 7, 1987.
"Wildways and the evolving tradition of stewardship for wilderness,” Environmental and Forest Historians' Conference, Duke University, April-May 1987.
"Florida's wildlife extinction and wilderness Conservation," Society for Human Ecology Annual Meeting, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine, October 18, 1986.
"Protecting Biocommunities that Sustain Human Civilization: The Global Case for Chesapeake Bay Restoration," North American Association for Environmental Education, Washington, D.C., September 29, 1985.
"Environmental Studies at Rollins: An International Approach," Panel Member; Society for Human Ecology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, April 30, 1985.
"Environmental History in the Science Curriculum," Panel member; North American Association for Environmental Education. Banff-Lake Louise, Canada, October 8, 1984.
"Federal Predator Control," session chairperson & commentator. American Society of Environmental Historians, American Historical Association. San Francisco, California, December 29, 1983.
"Preservation of Coastal Wetlands," American Society of Environmental Historians, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, April 10, 1983.
"California State's Commitment to Historic Preservation," California Community College Social Science Association, Sacramento, Ca., March 16, 1981.
Commentator and local expert on global warming, “flash point” Hurricanes and Global Warming, the 2005 season coincidence or cause, November, 2005
Moderator, An interview with Bill Belleville author of St Johns River of Lakes, Orange Television, Fall 2005.
Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship, 2011
Most Involved Faculty, Office of Community Engagement, Rollins College 2009
Orange County Medical Society’s Environmental Committee Earth Day Award 2002
Cypress Award: Sierra Club Florida Chapter’s leadership prize 2000
Orange County Medical Society’s Environmental Committee Service Award 2000
Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation’s Florida Environmental Leader 2000
Hugh McKean Memorial Grant: “Children of the Rain forest” 1999
Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation’s Florida Environmental Leader recognition 1999
Sponsored Lecturer, Florida Endowment for the Humanities, 1991-1992
Outstanding Young Educator Award, Winter Park Jaycees and United Telephone, 1985
Treasurer of Save the Manatee Club, Maitland, Florida. 2003-2012
Member of the Ad Hoc Faculty Committee on redrafting of the All College bylaws, 2011
Chair of the Finance and Service Committee and Executive Committee member, 2011-12
Fern Creek Elementary School - Rollins Community Engagement Project, Orlando, Florida, 2005-2009
Member of the Board of Trustees of Save the Manatee Club, Maitland, Florida. 2001-2012
Member of the Orange County Medical Society’s Environmental Committee for Earthday, 1999-2002.
Member of the Science and Sanctuary Committee of Florida Audubon Society, 1996-1999.
Member of the Board of Directors, Florida Audubon Society, Winter Park, Florida, 1996-1999.
Member of the Orlando Science Center’s Teacher Advisory Committee, 1990-1995.
Member of the Board of Trustees, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Gainesville, Florida; 1988-2007.
Member of the Board of Trustees, North American Association for Environmental Education, Troy, Ohio; 1989-1992.
Newsletter Editor, Environmental Studies Section of the North American Association for Environmental Education, 1987-1992.
Member of the all-College Administrative/Faculty Council, 2011-2012
Member of the College Faculty's Executive Committee, 2011-2012
Chair of the College Faculty's Finance & Services Committee, 2011-2012
Member of the Ad Hoc Faculty Advisory Committee for bylaw revisions, 2011
Member of the Sexual Assault Prevention Task Force, (Dean Hater) 2009-2010
Member of the Finance and Services Committee, 2003-2005
Member of the College Faculty's Executive Committee, 2001-2002
Chair of the College Faculty's Finance & Budget Committee, 2001-2002
Member & Secretary of the College Faculty's Finance & Budget Committee, 2000-2001
Member of the Writing Center (TPJ) Faculty Advisory Committee, 1998-99
Member of two Service Learning Committees (International & domestic) 1995-1999
Member (and Secretary) of the College Academic Affairs Committee, 1993-1995
Member of the College Faculty's Executive Committee, 1991-1993
Chair, Student Life Committee, 1991-1993
External member, Foreign Languages Evaluation Committee, 1988-1990
Chair, Writing Across the Curriculum Committee, 1985-1988
Member of the Prelaw Advisory Committee, 1985-1992 -- Chair, Prelaw Committee, 1988-1990
Chair, International Special Program Committee, 1987-1988
Core Faculty, Master of Liberal Studies Program, Hamilton Holt School, 1987-2012
& Faculty Representative, Master of Liberal Studies Committee, 1987-88
Faculty Representative, "N-Task force," Natural Sciences requirement review & recommendation Committee proposed an increase in the natural sciences courses for the College's General Education requirements. 1986-87
Masters of Liberal Studies: M.A. thesis Advising, Supervision, and Sponsorship.
University Level Academic Fields of Study
§ Modern Intellectual, Social, Cultural and Environmental History, University of California at Santa Barbara
Studies in US History: Intellectual, Social and
Studies in US History: Colonial, Frontier and
Studies in the History of Science: Arms Race
Technology and Atomic Age.
Studies in Human Ecology: Population, Resources and Energy Policies, Biological Ideas. Professor Emeritus, Garrett Hardin.
§§ Modern Diplomatic and Latin American Cultural and Economic History, Middle Tennessee State University
Studies in US History: International relations
and Diplomatic History.
Studies in Latin American History: Colonial,
Frontier and Indian/White Relations.
§§§ Modern American and European History, Emory University
Studies in US Southern and Civil War History:
Studies in American History: Cultural and
With first year students on the Lake's edge, Fall, 2010.