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Lyceum Society January 2023 Meeting




for Members

Lyceum Society January 2023 Meeting

Monday, January 9, 2023


Presented By


Social Time and Announcements: 11:30 am to 11:45 am

Initial Presentation: 11:45 am to 12:30 pm

Speaker: David J. Haas

Topic: Wildland Wildfires:  A Discussion of Wildfires and the Wildfire Situation in America

Wildland fires have burned on the earth from the beginning of time, but now that civilization has seriously encroached on wildlands, these fires are creating a major problem for the human population. Whereas wildfires used to start, burn, and end by themselves, generally without supervision until the 20th century, modern technology is now being applied to reduce, control, and understand Wildfires. This presentation will discuss current wildfire statistics, active wildfire responses, and our science/knowledge about wildfires.
After 1910 (introduction of the automobile en masse), population growth and human decisions began to substantially influence development in national parks and wildlands in the United States and created new problems. This presentation will discuss the current situation of wildland fires today, their increase is the past thirty years and the prospect for the future (Palm Desert is NOT in danger!). I will present relevant statistics on the number, extent, and control of wildland fires today. No one knows how American civilization, technology, and government regulations will change to minimize this new problem. The problem is growing rapidly!
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, better known as CalFire, has an all-time high budget of $1.5 billion dollars. The 2020 social cost of wildfires to California was estimated to be $12 billion dollars with 10,488 buildings destroyed, 33 deaths, and millions of acres burned. In the United States, there are about 60,000 wildfires annually, $148 billion dollars in estimated losses—90% of which were caused by humans!

Message from David:
I have several suggestions for items to watch before the presentation. These are the largest Wildfires ever in California (2018) and Australia (2009). The Black Saturday video may be very disturbing.

David Haas received his BA in Physics and PhD in Biophysics in protein crystallography and molecular biology at the State University of NY at Buffalo. For the next five years, he performed basic research in protein crystallography at several institutions in Europe, Israel and the United States. In 1970, he joined Philips Electronic Instruments in Mt Vernon NY as Principal Scientist for X-ray systems, working on analytical instruments and designing some of the first airport security X-ray systems that were used worldwide during the 1970s. Conceiving the idea of a self-expiring security ID (Visitor badge), David and his wife, Sandra, formed Temtec Inc. which developed and manufactured high-tech visitor and temporary IDs for more than 20 years under the brand name TEMPbadge. Temtec Inc. was sold to Brady Worldwide Corporation in 2002. David & Sandra Haas have more than 100 patents to their credit as well as many technical and scientific publications.
Dr. Haas has published a book by ASIS International entitled: “Personal Identification – Its Modern Development and Security Implications." It reviews the history and reasons for modern personal identification documents such as Passports, National Identity Cards, etc. Dr. Haas has also published a monograph on the development of Electronic Security Screening for Aviation Passenger Screening between 1968-1973.

Main Presentation: 12:30 pm to 2:15pm

Speaker: Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner, D.V.M

Topic: Understanding Parrots: Saving Them and Keeping Them Flying Free

During this presentation, you will go on a journey with Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner, discovering the beautiful and fascinating world of parrots. Along the way you will learn what makes a parrot a parrot, and how they are both like and unlike other birds and humans in terms of their evolution (they are theropod dinosaurs after all), behavior, breeding ecology, intelligence, and neurology. Their charismatic uniqueness has compelled humans over millennia to form bonds with them and value them in a variety of ways, many of which have led to parrots being harmed as individuals and as species. 
Parrots are the most endangered group of birds on the planet, reeling from the wildlife trade as well as habitat loss. Through photos and videos, you will get to meet the conservationists who are doing all they can to save these populations. They will show you how they do parrot conservation, and how you can as well, so that together we can keep these birds flying free.

Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner is both a wildlife veterinarian and Unitarian Universalist minister, having served in parish ministry for 10 years and community ministry for 12 years. Currently she serves as a community minister affiliated with the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains. She draws on her training as a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, and over 35 years as a conservationist and wildlife veterinarian, to co-lead One Earth Conservation. She and her team support others through their international Nurture Nature Program that seeks to empower the people saving the planet. She directs projects in Latin America to stand in solidarity and witness to the plight of the parrots of people there and do what she can. One Earth's projects extend to Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Guyana, and Suriname. She has written three books, “Conservation in Time of War,” “Nurturing Discussions and Practices,” and “Prion.” Currently she serves as the Acting Secretary of the Parrot Researchers Group.


Nonmember Student, Undergrad, Grad, Fellow
Member Student, Post-Doc, Fellow