Clarkson University Professor of Biology and Psychology Tom Langen will present the 2023 Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) Keynote Lecture on Wednesday, March 1 at 4 p.m. in B.H. Snell 213 on Clarkson’s Collins Hill Campus and via Zoom. A reception will follow.
The title of his talk is “The Road Traveled and the Road Ahead: Mitigating the Environmental Impacts of Linear Infrastructure.”
Roads, rail lines, utility corridors, fences, and canals divide our landscape into a dense mesh of linear infrastructure. Linear infrastructure can prevent animals from moving across the landscape. Roadways can additionally serve as a source of contamination and a location of vehicle-wildlife collisions.
In this talk, Langen will review his research on the environmental impacts of roads in New York and Costa Rica. He will discuss how road ecology research is transferred and translated to transportation and natural resource agencies, and how it is applied to improve the design of new roads and mitigate problems with existing ones.
Langen will stress why it is important for ecologists and other environmental scientists to work closely with agencies in the US and internationally on making linear infrastructure less harmful to wildlife and the surrounding environment, as well as safer for people.
Langen has been a member of the Biology and Psychology Departments at Clarkson University since 1999, and has been an affiliate of Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment since its founding. He is a Fulbright Scholar, National Geographic Explorer, and received the Presidential Award from the American Society of Naturalists. At Clarkson, he has received the Distinguished Teaching Award, Outstanding Advisor Award, the Student Association Outstanding Teacher Award, and is a member of the Million Dollar Club.
Langen’s research focuses on the environmental impact of roads and other infrastructure, on the effectiveness of public-private partnerships for wetland restoration, and on habitat management and conservation of threatened species. Pedagogical research interests include how best to apply problem-based learning and inquiry approaches to improve teaching in ecology, and how to design undergraduate research internship programs to best achieve program objectives.
Langen teaches graduate courses and conducts professional development workshops throughout Latin America on wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, and the environmental impact of infrastructure. He is a proponent of field-based environmental education, and regularly teaches field courses in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Costa Rica, and Kenya.
The ISE Clarkson Keynote Lecture Series celebrates the achievements of the Clarkson faculty. Clarkson faculty are invited to deliver keynote and plenary lectures at conferences across the world. The ISE Clarkson Keynote Lecture Series honorees deliver these lectures to us at home, with modifications for a broader audience.