Carla Norris-Raynbird to deliver spring’s first Honors Council Lecture

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Jan. 11, 2011) — For residents of Lousiana’s Gulf Coast, much has changed in the half a decade since the region was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Efforts to rebuild the region continue to this day, while local officials are left to grapple with often difficult questions on how to manage their coastlines in the wake of new federal regulations and the knowledge that similar weather-related disasters could occur again in the future.

Dr. Carla Norris-Raynbird, assistant professor of sociology at Bemidji State University, will lecture on the changing ability of Louisiana coastal parishes to manage their coastal zones during the University’s first Honors Council Lecture of the spring semeseter.  The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, in Hagg-Sauer Hall 107 on the Bemidji State campus.

Norris-Raynbird, who prior to joining the Bemidji State faculty spent three years in Louisiana as a research scientist on an Environmental Protection Agency-funded climate change project, will compare results of a pre-2005 study that examined several dimensions of capacity related to coastal zone management with a followup study currently underway.

Interviews were done with 31 local officials and parish residents associated with coastal zone management. Preliminary findings from these interviews shows a not-unexpected change in organizational structure, personnel and general level of “hurricane savvy” among local officials. Another key early finding in the followup study is a prevalent difficulty among local officials in dealing with new federal regulations — knowing the regulations mandate action but that implementation of the rules will be resisted by local communities.

Norris-Raynbird is in her fifth year as assistant professor for sociology in Bemidji State’s Center for Environmental, Earth and Space Studies, Economics and Sociology. She is an active member of the University’s Honors Council and is chair of this year’s Student Scholarship and Creative Achivement Conference. Norris-Raynbird also serves as the president for Sociologists of Minnesota, serving sociologists in academic institutions, applied sociologists, and undergraduate and graduate sociology students. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Winnipeg and holds master’s and doctorate degrees from Texas A&M.

Norris-Raynbird will be delivering the first of six Honors Council lectures offered as part of the Spring 2011 schedule. The Honors Council Lecture Series is hosted by the Bemidji State University Honors Council. The council is the advisory group to the Honors Program comprised of 12 faculty members from all three of the University’s colleges. Student representatives also are elected to the council by their cohorts for one-year terms.

2011 Spring Honors Council Lecture Series schedule
Jan. 25 – 7 p.m. – Carla Norris-Raynbird, sociology, “Preceptions of the Wolf at the Door: Findings on Changing Capacities Among Local Officials in the Louisiana Coast Zone.” Hagg-Sauer 107.
Feb. 8 – 7 p.m. – Patrick Carriere, theatre, “The Creative Power of the Soul in Stanislavski’s The Work of the Actor Him/Herself: Orthodox Mysticism, Mainstream Occultism, Psychology and the System in the Russian Silver Age.” Hagg-Sauer 107.
Feb. 23 – 7 p.m. – Angela Fournier, psychology, “Alchohol and the Social Network: The Psychology of College Alcohol Use and Modern Technology.” Hagg-Sauer 102.
March 15 – 7 p.m. – Susan Cook, English, “Naming Places and Displacing Names: The Counter-Imperialism of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex and Charlotte Brönte’s Villette.” Hagg-Sauer 107.
March 30 – 7 p.m. – Brian Donovan, English, “Platonic Solid: Plato’s Gorgias – 464b-465c, as a Cube.” Bridgeman 100.
April 12 – 7 p.m. – Chris Robertson, English, “Managing Apocalypse: A Cultural History of the Mormon Cricket.” Hagg-Sauer 107.
April 19 – 7 p.m. – Colleen Greer & Deb Peterson, sociology, “Caregiving ‘Talk’ and the Reproduction of Caregiving Inequalities.” Hagg-Sauer 107.

For more information about the Honors Council Lecture Series, please contact the honors program at (218) 755-3984.

Jan. 25 – 7 p.m.
– Honors Council Lecture Series: Carla Norris-Raynbird, assistant professor of sociology, presents “Preceptions of the Wolf at the Door: Findings on Changing Capacities Among Local Officials in the Louisiana Coast Zone.” Location: Hagg-Sauer 107. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.

About the Honors Council
The Bemidji State University Honors Council selects participants on a competitive basis for the University’s honors program. Honors program participants have the ability and desire to engage in academic challenges extending beyond their majors and the University’s liberal education requirements. These students can participate in the Honors Program, an interdisciplinary program of study culminating in an Honors thesis or project. As members of this community, honors students collaborate with a faculty advisor and the Honors Council to plan their studies and manage the responsibilities that correspond with the program’s freedoms.