CANCELLED Fisher Center Welcomes Bonnie McCay – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

CANCELLED Fisher Center Welcomes Bonnie McCay

This talk have been cancelled due to weather conditions.

As part of the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men lecture series this spring, noted author and scholar Bonnie McCay will give an on-campus talk Wednesday, March 6, about the affect of climate change on fish, shellfish and the fishing industry. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.

A distinguished professor at Rutgers University, McCay has spent many years researching and writing about the various aspects of climate change and the fishing industry, including the associated human, economic and biological factors. Titled “Whither thou goest? How fishermen and fish are coping with climate change,” McCay’s lecture will cover in part how the warming of the Atlantic Ocean along the northeast U.S. is affecting fish and shellfish, and how fish distributions and ranges have distinctly changed over the past two decades.

In recent time, McCay has been a member of interdisciplinary teams that conduct research within the framework of “coupled human and natural systems” (CHANS), as well as human adaptation to environmental change. Based on their examination, fish and shellfish should, in theory, move in response to shifts in optimal temperatures, while fisherman might also redirect in order to follow the fish populations.

The stories emerging from that research, McCay says, demonstrate the complexities of what is happening, particularly for the Atalntic surfclam fishery. Human factors, including economic, regulatory and organizational implications of the fishing industry also are involved, she says, as well as the fishing ports and peer group communities of fishing people.

In pursuing her studies, McCay has conducted extensive field research, including work in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Canada, in the Middle Atlantic region of the U.S., and in Baja California, Mexico, with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Sea Grant College Program, the National Park Service, and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

Currently, McCay works in the Department of Human Ecology of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers where she teaches graduate students in the anthropology, geography, and ecology and evolution programs. At Rutgers, she is a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor.

McCay earned her Ph.D. in environmental anthropology in 1976 from Columbia University. Her research and teaching have focused on challenges and policies for managing common pool resources, such as fish and shellfish, with particular attention to intersections of ecology, community, and social institutions of science, law and property.

McCay’s books include, “The Question of the Commons” (1987), “Oyster Wars and the Public Trust” (1998), and “Enclosing the Commons” (2002).

The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men, which is hosting the lecture as part of its series, brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society. The 2012-2013 theme for the Fisher Center is “Gender, Collectivity and the Common.”