Tales from the Underbelly: My Journey to Know and Love Great Salt Lake

Date:  Sunday, October 11, 2015
Speaker:  Jaimi Butler

Meet & Greet: 1:45 pm • Presentation: 2:00 pm
Salt Lake Main Library, 210 East 400 South
Fourth Floor Meeting Room

Biologist Jaimi Butler earned her Fisheries degree in 1999 from Utah State and in a giant twist of irony inadvertently found herself working in fish-less Great Salt Lake as a brine shrimp biologist (with an ever-expanding affinity to the birds who eat them). She immediately found our unique salty neighbor to be her place and since 1999 has been an enthusiastic student of all aspects of the lake. Jaimi’s entire professional career has been at Great Salt Lake including working in academia, with the brine shrimp harvesting industry and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program. Currently coordinator for Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College Jaimi helps faculty and students perform lake research and works to convince people how great the Great Salt Lake really is. In her free time Jaimi can be found trying to maintain her sanity as a wife of a government employee and mother of a threenager and a teenager.

The underbelly of Great Salt Lake is where Jaimi Butler came to know and love our salty neighbor. Through a series of unique–and sometime irreverent–stories and characters she will take us on a journey through the science of the Great Salt Lake, from the barges of brine shrimp harvesters, the gambling habits of native peoples and birding at 50 miles per hour. We will come to know the lake with a unique perspective emphasizing the inter-connectedness of our Great Salt Lake to us, its human neighbors.

References and Resources:

Experience and immerse yourself in Great Salt Lake before you dig into the literature. Just a few ideas for experiences (in no particular order):

After you visit the lake you can learn more about it here (also in no particular order):
Great Salt Lake Institute: http://www.greatsaltlakeinstitute.org
Friends of Great Salt Lake: http://www.fogsl.org
Genetics Science Learning Center: GSL info and activities:
Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program: http://wildlife.utah.gov/gsl
US Geologic Survey: http://ut.water.usgs.gov/greatsaltlake
UGS: http://geology.utah.gov/popular/general-geology/great-salt-lake



“Swimming Against the Current: The New Struggles of the Middle Class”

UPDATE: The final report  Middle Class on the Ropes–Perspective from Salt Lake City is available via electronic file (PDF format) for reading. Please request a copy in the Comments Section below, or contact the Forum directly at forumforqm@gmail.com.

Date:  Sunday September 27, 2015
Speaker:  Tillie McInnis

Meet & Greet: 1:45 pm • Presentation: 2:00 pm • Meeting Closes: 3:30 pm
Salt Lake Main Library, 210 East 400 South
Fourth Floor Meeting Room

Tillie McInnis holds an Honors Degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from the University of Utah. Tillie dedicated her undergraduate education to understanding the complexity of the interaction between economics and social conditions. She participated in the year-long Honors Think Tank, “Middle Class on the Ropes”, spent 3 months at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington D.C., and assisted with research at the London School of Economics. Tillie’s honors thesis focused on how non-elites can influence the policymaking process after economic downturns. She currently works for a consulting firm focused on local elections and messaging for local organizations and non-profits.

“This presentation focuses on the growing inequality of income and wealth, both nationally and in Utah. I will provide an overview of the major themes of economic inequality, and what that means for those in the middle class, specifically as it relates to mobility, political voice, and financial security. We will also explore ways in which we can combat these trends. How can we redefine our capitalistic democracy? Can capitalism and equality thrive simultaneously in our current democracy? We must change our thinking in order to meet current economic realities.”

References and Resources
Inequality For All (Robert Reich film available on Netflix)
The Price of Inequality – Joseph Stiglitz
Winner-Take-All Politics – Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson
Unequal Democracy – Larry Bartels
People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
Free Lunch – David Cay Johnston


Date:  Sunday, September 13, 2015
Speaker:  Tariq Banuri

Meet & Greet: 1:45 pm • Presentation: 2:00 pm • Meeting Closes: 3:30 pm
Salt Lake Main Library, 210 East 400 South
Fourth Floor Meeting Room

Tariq Banuri, Professor of Economics at the University of Utah, was formerly the Director of the UN Division for Sustainable Development in New York. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, and has taught at several universities around the world, authored a number of books and professional articles, provided policy advice to the UN and national governments, and contributed to the design of institutions and networks on sustainable development. He has served on prominent forums for policy and research, including as Coordinating Lead Author on the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“In 2007, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) received the Nobel Prize for peace, perhaps the most prestigious prize in the world. The talk will explore the multi-faceted relationship between climate change and world peace, including a brief review of the quest for world peace, including the history of the Nobel peace prize, the role played by economic prosperity in peace building, and the threat posed by climate change to peace both directly and indirectly through its impact on future prosperity.”

References and Resources:
Athanasiou, Toma, Paul Baer, and Sivan Kartha, The Greenhouse Development Rights Framework. http://www.ecoequity.org/docs/TheGDRsFramework.pdf.
Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Better Growth, Better Climate. http://newclimateeconomy.report/TheNewClimateEconomyReport.pdf.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si, Papal Encyclical on the environment and human ecology. http://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/encyclicals/documents/papa- francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si_en.pdf.
IPCC AR5, Climate Change 2014, Synthesis Report: Summary for Policy Makers,

Click to access AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

Schellnhuber, John, Common Ground: The Papal Encyclical, Climate Change, and the Protection of Planet Earth. https://www.pik-potsdam.de/images/common-ground.
United Nations, Climate Change and its Possible Security Implications, Secretary General’s report No. A/64/350.
Questioning Minds is a non-profit, educational forum with 501(c)(3) status. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Sundays of each month, September through April, except major holiday weekends, in the Salt Lake City Main Library.