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The School of Social Science & Human Services The Sustainability Studies Program and The Dean’s Council Present

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Teaching About BP In the Gulf,

New Jersey, and Beyond!

Chris Jordan, 2008.  Oil Barrels. [“Depicts 28,000 42-gallon barrels,
the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes”]
Maps / Directions / Lodging

April 18 – 19, 2011
Trustees Pavilion

On April 20, 2010, the Macondo oil well under BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform began to gush oil, in what has come to be known as the biggest oil spill disaster in US history. Some five million barrels of oil had leaked from the well before it was successfully capped on September 19, 2010.

Yet, the story of the Deepwater Horizon spill has almost disappeared from the news landscape. For all practical purposes, the spill might as well not have happened. What are likely to be the mid-term and long-term effects of the Gulf oil spill? This is the question being put to the symposium participants.

Monday, April 18, 2011 / Conference Day 1

9:30 – 10:00: Welcome and Coffee

10:00 – 10:15: President Peter P. Mercer
10:15 – 10:30: Dean Sam J. Rosenberg
10:30 – 11:00: Keynote Address – Assemblywoman Connie Wagner

11:00 – 12:00: Panel – Ecological Impacts

  • Dr. George Crozier, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dauphin Island, AL
  • Dr. Richard H. Pierce, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL
  • Ramapo Faculty

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch

1:00 – 2:00: Panel – Ecological Impacts

  • Dr. John H. Paul, University of South Florida, FL
  • Dr. Harry Allen, US EPA Region 2, NJ
  • Dr. Mark Sprenger, US EPA Region 2, NJ
  • Ramapo Faculty

2:00 – 3:00: Panel – Social Impacts

  • Marc A. Yaggi, Waterkeeper Alliance, NJ
  • Tom Constanza, Catholic Charities, New Orleans, LA
  • Ramapo Faculty

3:00 – 3:45: Refreshments

3:45 – 5:15: Gulf Oil Spill, Haiti, Katrina and the Environment: Organizing from Below with Media Activism and Alternative Media
Filmmaker Ghen Zando-Dennis will show short films, including works-in-progress, making connections between the “natural” and “man-made” disasters of the earthquake in Haiti, the hurricane in New Orleans, and the Gulf Oil Spill. Supported with Platinum Series grant.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 / Conference Day 2

11:00 – 12:00: Panel – Historical Perspectives

  • Dr. Brian Black, Penn State University, Altoona, PA
    Historical Perspectives on Oil, and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
  • Andrew Willner, Andrew J Willner Consultants, Keyport, NJ
  • Ramapo Faculty

12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 – 2:00: Panel – Media Perspectives

  • Charles Schmidt, Journalist
  • David Barstow, New York Times
  • Ramapo Faculty

2:30 – 4:00: Film

  • Gasland (2010, Josh Fox, U.S.A., 107 minutes, documentary)
    “The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.”
Thursday, April 21, 2011 / Special Presentation

7:45 – 9:30: Film – Cinemathique Presentation

  • Crude  (2009, Joe Berliner, U.S.A., 105 minutes, documentary)
    One of the largest and most controversial legal cases on the planet. An inside look at the infamous $27 billion “Amazon Chernobyl” case, CRUDE is a real-life high stakes legal drama set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film examines a complicated situation from several angles while bringing a story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.