The Wonders of Plant-Microbe Interactions

Sunday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.  Online

Plants, like humans, interact with a diversity of microscopic organisms, and scientists are just becoming aware of the role that microbiomes play in influencing host health. Current evidence suggests that despite their small size, microbes can have big impacts on natural ecosystems – from influencing whether plants are edible to determining how diverse a prairie is.

Join Professor Kerri Crawford, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Houston, as she discusses some of the key microbial partners that plants interact with, what impact they have in structuring ecological communities, and how plant-microbe interactions may help solve some of our most pressing problems.

Please register for this talk.       Contact Lisa Brenskelle with any questions about this talk.

The Wonders of Coastal Wetlands

Sunday, April 19, at 6 p.m., online
Professor Steven Pennings, University of Houston
Historically, wetlands were considered useless land, and we filled them in to make farmland and housing. Today, we realize that wetlands provide numerous valuable services to humanity, and we seek to protect and restore them. Coastal wetlands are threatened by a number of factors, but can be remarkably resilient to moderate rates of sea level rise. This talk will review some of the benefits we derive from coastal wetlands, discuss the threats facing them, and explain why we have reason to expect that wetlands will survive despite ongoing global change. Join this conversation with Professor Steven Pennings of the University of Houston as we wonder at coastal wetlands! Please register for this talk on www.eventbrite.com. Contact Lisa Brenskelle with any questions.

Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation

The CTK Creation Care Team invites you to attend Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation, an educational web meeting series whose theme in 2017 is Connections between People and Nature.

March 26, 6:00 p.m.: Connections between People and Nature – Plastic Pollution
hwangPlastic products provide lots of benefits to humans but also create harmful effects on humans and life- threatening problems for avian and marine species. Chemicals added to plastic products can cause many health problems, especially for babies and children. Plastic products are also killing birds, fish, and even whales. At the March 2017 web meeting, we welcome Professor Hyun-Min Hwang from Texas Southern University, Environmental Sciences, who will speak on Plastic Pollution. He will address plastic pollution’s environmental impacts and what we can do to protect human health and save wildlife and the natural environment. Professor Hwang holds a PhD in Environmental Chemistry/Oceanography. His research interests include sediment & water quality, pollutants in air, water, & soil, risk assessment & risk reduction, as well as stormwater runoff management. Professor Hwang will address Connections between People and Nature from the perspective of environmental sciences on Sunday, Mar. 26 at 6 p.m. After his talk, there will be time for Q&A. If you would like to join this online conversation, please register at www.eventbrite.com (search under “Connections between People” in Houston, TX) and you will receive an invitation to the web meeting.
Other upcoming speakers include:
Sunday, April 23, 6:00 p.m., Professor Cymene Howe, Rice University, Anthropology
Sunday, May 21, 6:00 p.m., Sr. Damien Marie Savino, Dean of Sciences & Sustainability, Aquinas College, MI
Sunday, June 25, 6:00 p.m., Greg Biddinger, PhD in Ecology, Founder, Natural Land Management, now residing in Maine
Sunday, July 30, 6:00 p.m., Andy Gerhart, PhD in Environmental History, now seminarian at Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, TX
Past speakers in this series included:
January: Professor Melissa Anne Suter of Baylor College of Medicine spoke on The Human Microbiome
February: Professor Scott Solomon of Rice University, Biosciences spoke on Invasive Species
Contact Lisa Brenskelle for recordings of these talks.

Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event

interfaith-environmental-eventThe CTK Creation Care Team invites you to join with people of other faiths in caring for creation on Sunday, November 13, from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. We will engage in hands-on environmental stewardship by mulching around plantings and trimming trees in a wetlands area at the Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve. This event will offer activities for all ages and skill levels, so bring the whole family, your neighbors and your friends. Meet at The Gathering Place, 5310 S. Willow., Houston 77035 to sign in. Metro bus line 7 stops nearby. Tools/supplies will be provided. This event is organized by CTK, Congregation Brith Shalom, and The Blue Mosque, in partnership with the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy. The conservancy requires signing of a waiver to participate. Contact Lisa Brenskelle for more information or to sign up to help (and receive a copy of the waiver form).