Linfield Reports, 2/15/16

Film screening to examine misleading portrayals of science

Merchants of DoubtThe film “Merchants of Doubt” will be shown Monday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall.

Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, “Merchants of Doubt” examines how pundits, scientists, government and media shape public policy and perceptions regarding climate change and other issues. The film especially reveals how pundits-for-hire use unethical tactics to direct key issues of health and safety in their clients’ favor.

Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on these “experts,” who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities, yet have the ulterior motive of spreading confusion about public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. For example, these so-called experts have denied studies linking smoking to lung cancer and connecting coal smoke to acid rain. “Merchants of Doubt” explains how citizens can think critically about these claims and judge their credibility.

More information about this film is available at

The screening is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by PLACE (Program for Liberal Arts and Community Engagement), exploring this year’s theme “Air, Water, Earth, and Fire: The Ancient Elements on a Changing Planet.” For more information, contact Susan Currie Sivek at or 503-883-2521.


Kruchten to discuss proteins, cancer during faculty lecture

Anne_KruchtenAnne Kruchten, associate professor of biology, will present “How Do Proteins Control Cancer Cells?” on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in 100 Graf Hall.

Kruchten, at Linfield since 2006, holds a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.


Lecture tackles question: Is U.S. wildfire policy sustainable?

Forest fire. Photo credit: NOAA

Forest fire. Photo credit: NOAA

Is the United States handling wildfires properly? Bill Fleeger, visiting senior scholar in environmental policy and sustainability, will examine that question in his lecture, “Our Annual Crisis: Is U.S. Wildfire Policy Sustainable?” Thursday, Feb. 18, at 4:15 p.m. in 100 Graf Hall.

The lecture will be live streamed for those unable to attend.

The summer of 2015 was one of the worst fire seasons on record. Nationally, more than 10 million acres burned, more than 4,500 homes were destroyed and 13 wildland firefighters were killed. Suppression costs exceeded $2.6 billion. But last year’s fire season is not unique. According to the National Wildfire Leadership Council, the last two decades have seen a significant escalation of extreme fire behavior, structure and property losses, increased costs, risks to communities and deteriorating conditions on the land. These trends suggest a need to rethink the response to this annual threat to communities and wildlands in the United States.

Fleeger’s presentation will focus on the historical development and evolution of wildfire policy in the U.S. and the barriers and opportunities for managing the complex and changing wildfire environment.

Fleeger is a visiting senior scholar in environmental policy and sustainability. His research has focused on wildfire policy and federal agency and community collaboration in the development of community wildfire protection plans in the American west. He is a native of southern Oregon and worked for nine years (occasionally as a wildland firefighter) with the U.S. Forest Service.

The lecture is part of Linfield’s Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE). For more information, call Jennifer Heath, 503-883-2267,


Linfield choir presents music from concert tour

Linfield choirThe Linfield College Concert Choir will present a performance, the final of a recent tour, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall.

Under the direction of Anna Song, the choir toured and performed through southern Oregon and California Feb. 2-7. Music will include both sacred and secular repertoire exploring nature, environmental stewardship and the various seasons of the year. The choir will perform works by Johannes Brahms, William Byrd, Alberto Grau, Eric Whitacre and Pete Seeger, as well as multi-cultural songs.

The Linfield Concert Choir was organized in 1930 and is the oldest such group in the Pacific Northwest. Throughout its history, the choir has distinguished itself with concerts throughout the 10 western states and Canada. It has also performed extensively throughout the world in locations including Austria, Germany, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, China, Costa Rica and Southeast Asia.

The Linfield choral groups are directed by Song, associate professor of music and director of choral activities since 2008. Song graduated with a bachelor’s in composition from the University of California and received her master’s in conducting from the School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. She recently completed her doctoral studies in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to teaching and conducting at Linfield, she is the co-founder and artistic director of In Mulieribus, a professional women’s ensemble that focuses on the performance of early music.

For more information, call the Linfield Department of Music at 503-883-2275 or visit


Linfield students will describe summer work in Peru

Peru ethnomedicinal researchThree Linfield College students will discuss research conducted over the summer in Peru on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. in 105 Murdock Hall at Linfield.

Seniors Sandra Garcia-Hernandez and Lorena Alvarez, both of Salem, and junior Kiana Ringuette of Kaneohe, Hawaii, will present “Peru Ethnomedical Project.” They will talk about how they spent the summer working in Peru in the medical gardens of Moche and at the Chan Chan site museum.

The event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the International Programs Office. For more information, contact Michele Tomseth, assistant director of International Programs and January Term off-campus program coordinator, at 503-883-2434 or


David Baker to read from latest works of poetry

David BakerDavid Baker, professor of English at Denison University, will read poems from his two latest works, “Scavenger Loop” and “Never-Ending Birds,” on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room of the Jereld R. Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

“Scavenger Loop” constructs a layered natural history of the Midwest and traces the complex story of human habitation from family and village life. It examines the evolving nature of work and the mysterious habitats of the heart. “Scavenger Loop” pushes new stylistic methods; it moves between order and disorder and uses narratives in fragments, cross-outs and eliminations. “Never-Ending Birds” is an exploration narrative told in four sections: a map, a travelogue, a chronicle and an autobiography. Many of the poems travel through landscapes and neighborhoods with portraits of neighbors and people, lifestyles, animals and nature.

Baker is the author of 11 books of poetry, most recently “Scavenger Loop” and “Never-Ending Birds,” which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011. His five books of prose include “Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems” and “Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry.” He has received awards and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mellon Foundation and Society of Midland Authors. He is the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University and also teaches frequently in the Warren Wilson MFA program for writers. He is poetry editor of The Kenyon Review.

This reading is part of the “Readings at the Nick” series. The lecture is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Linfield Nicholson Library and the Linfield English Department. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte at 503-883-2517,


Community news

In the second half of 2015, poems by Lex Runciman, professor of English, appeared in Slant, Verse Virtual, Nimrod, Windfall, Stand (UK), Terrain and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He gave readings of his work as part of the Mountain Writers Series in Portland and for The Springfield Library Poetry Series in Springfield.

A Linfield Magazine article written by Laura Davis, assistant director of communications, has earned a silver award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. “The student becomes the teacher,” which ran in the winter 2015 issue, focused on the volunteer work of Joel Marrant, professor emeritus of anthropology, and former student Theresa (Stichick) Betancourt ’91, now a professor at Harvard.

Campus calendar


7 p.m.: “Merchants of Doubt,” Ice Auditorium


4:30 p.m.: Community French class, 4:30 p.m., 203 Walker Hall

7 p.m.: Anne Kruchten, “How Do Proteins Control Cancer Cells?” 100 Graf Hall


4:15 p.m.: Bill Fleeger, “Our Annual Crisis: Does U.S. Wildfire Policy Make Sense?” 100 Graf Hall


6 p.m.: Women’s basketball vs. Pacific

8 p.m.: Men’s basketball vs. Pacific


11 a.m.: Baseball at Pacific Lutheran

1 p.m.: Women’s tennis vs. Puget Sound

1 p.m.: Men’s tennis at Puget Sound

4 p.m.: Women’s basketball vs. George Fox

6 p.m.: Men’s basketball vs. George Fox


Noon: Baseball at Pacific Lutheran

Noon: Men’s tennis at Pacific

Noon: Softball at Cal Lutheran

1 p.m.: Women’s tennis vs. Pacific