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Bethel Professor Researches Environmental Issues

Bethel College Professor of Mathematics Kevin Drury recently collaborated with a team of biologists and economists from various universities to research “tipping points” appearing in the environment. Their research will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The authors define “tipping points” as qualitative changes in an ecosystem that often result in reduced ecosystem health and are difficult and costly to reverse. This is increasingly concerning for environmental scientists. The team suggests that people, governments and institutions that shape the way people interact may be just as important for determining environmental conditions as the environmental processes themselves. The authors point out many instances of tipping points that resulted in catastrophic changes in ecosystems, such as climate change, collapsed freshwater and marine fisheries and changes wrought by invasive species.

For more information, read the article, “Managing ecological thresholds in coupled environmental – human systems.”

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,100 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 19 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Nursing programs are also offered in cooperation with Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.