Film festival explores the realities of China’s environmental crisis

High on a hillside in southwest China, a handful of elderly residents cry out, pleading for the protection of the mountains, trees, and streams around them. For many generations, protecting their environment has been a priority for Na ritual specialists who live in the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of southwest China. They have no written […]


A step closer to understanding cancer and other diseases

About a year ago, we learned students in Jason Rawlings’s lab were honored at a conference with the Council Award, given to the most outstanding graduate student poster. That’s right—graduate poster. At the 53rd Midwinter Conference of Immunologists in Asilomar, Calif., Rawlings’ team of undergrads bested graduate students from Duke, UCLA, Stanford, NYU and other […]

Trees with Bell Tower in background

Earth Week Teach-In takes place March 25

Furman will sponsor an “Earth Week Teach-In” event on Wednesday, March 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Hill Atrium of the Trone Student Center. The public is invited to attend. According to Michele Speitz, Ph.D., an assistant professor of English at Furman, the teach-in is “meant to be both informative and provocative. Ideally such a gathering of speakers is meant to attract attention, educate the audience, and galvanize action. The main idea is to bring our sustainability-centered work to life.”


High Noon spring series begins March 18

Furman biology professor Wade Worthen will examine the state of scientific literacy in America when he opens the university’s High Noon spring lecture series Wednesday, March 18 at the Upcountry History Museum-Furman. The lecture, “Science is Hard, Boring, and I Don’t Believe It: The Scary State of Science Literacy in the U. S.,” begins at noon. It is free and open to the public. Worthen’s talk is the first of four lectures presented by Furman professors during the spring.


Partnership creates new environmental research opportunities in China

It’s a region of China that boasts both rich biodiversity and immense ethnic cultural diversity. Thousands of plant and animal species can be found in the Yunnan province on snow-capped mountains in the north to tropical regions in the south. More than 15,000 ethnic minority students study at Yunnan Minzu University in the province’s capital. […]


Can we put a price tag on nature?

Placing a dollar value on the benefits that American society receives from nature is a controversial and complex effort. But as high quality forests and pristine habitat become scarce, it is important to quantify and consider carefully the tradeoffs between development and protection. That is why a team of student and faculty researchers at Furman are trying to determine how local residents value their forests. In an op-ed for The Greenville News, Furman professors Melanie Cozad (economics) and John Quinn (biology) write about the importance of making good environmental decisions and ask for the community’s help in providing answers to some important questions.


Gradual changes for lasting victories

Test tubes, Bunsen burners, petri dishes, centrifuges, microscopes, safety goggles . . . the stuff of labs for students immersed in summertime undergraduate research or internships in the sciences, right? Not always. Biology major Sonya Joseph chose a different lab—one involving relationships with under resourced children in her hometown of Greenville. Two years into a […]


Farming for the future

The Furman University Earth and Environmental Sciences and Biology departments are steps closer to a better understanding of how sustainable agricultural practices can help both area farmers and the environment. The departments have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase equipment for analyzing organic carbon and nitrogen in soil—two elements that determine […]


Making an impact despite the odds

University chaplain Vaughn CroweTipton couldn’t send just anybody to Haiti. In fact, he couldn’t send anybody period, which presented a particularly vexing challenge in Furman’s quest to fulfill former president Rod Smolla’s pledge to help the impoverished Caribbean island nation. “We tried a number of avenues, all of which were blockaded for a number of […]


The tropics are weird

Camera. Check. Rain Poncho. Check. Industrial strength mosquito repellent. Check. Anti-itch ointment. Check. High-powered flashlight for nighttime exploration. Check. Rice for sucking out moisture trapped in cell phone. Check. These are among the items you’ll likely find on a packing list for Furman’s Costa Rica Tropical Ecology May Experience (MayX for short). Folks in the […]