Joseph Siry's VITA


Education | Experience | Leadership | Publications | Film | Presentations | Television | Honors | Community Service

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.

brief biographical data.

My mission.


My book.


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

Education | Experience | Leadership | Publications | Film | Presentations | Television | Honors & Awards | Community Service

My mission is to stimulate inquiry and offer participants in my classes opportunities to think critically about ecological and social problems in order to solve complex disputes about policy by applying, when appropriate,  a body of scientific and technical knowledge.






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

                                     Olympia Washington.


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



Masters of Liberal Studies: M.A. thesis Advising, Supervision, and Sponsorship.



Education | Experience | Leadership | Publications | Film | Presentations | Television | Honors & Awards | Community Service

Print Version of Curriculum Vita.



With first year students on the Lake's edge, Fall, 2010.

Courses | landscapes | ecological imagination | speech

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