March 15, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) “Green Living Seminar Series” will continue on Thursday, March 22, with a presentation on the “Challenges of Offshore Wind Development,” by Alison Bates, Ph.D, a lecturer on renewable energy and sustainability at UMASS-Amherst.

All “Green Living” seminars will take place at 5:30 p.m. in room 121 of the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, on the MCLA campus. Presented on Thursdays throughout the spring semester, this series is free and open to the public.

The theme of this 11-part series is “Sustainability and the Role of Technology,” which focuses on ways that technology can improve how we manage our food, energy, and water systems, and also how we conserve natural resources.

Bates is interested in social and environmental factors that promote or inhibit renewable energy development. Specifically, she uses qualitative and quantitative tools to address limits of offshore wind energy, such a GIS to understand ocean use patterns within a marine spatial planning framework, and survey research to understand social acceptance of ocean energy developments.

Her ongoing projects include spatial conflict with commercial fisheries and offshore wind, and analysis of how coastal communities are affected by nearby energy developments. Before pursuing her Ph.D. in marine studies, Bates worked for several years with the Southern California Mountains Foundation, promoting conservation and stewardship on public lands.

Bates earned her Ph.D in marine studies, marine policy concentration, from the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. Her dissertation was on the “Key Challenges of Offshore Wind Power: Three Essays Addressing Public Acceptance, Stakeholder Conflict, and Wildlife Impacts.” She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with an environmental studies/public policy minor, at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y.

Bates’ recent publications include “Recent Approaches to Marine Spatial Planning: Perspectives on and Implications for the United States,” (2017) in Agricultural and Resource Review; “A Comparative Assessment of Proposed Offshore Wind Power Demonstration Projects in the United States,” (2015) in Energy Research and Social Science; and “See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me: Wind Turbines, Culture, Landscapes, and Sound Impressions,” (2015) in Land Use Policy.

This spring’s Green Living Seminars will continue through April 12.

Every semester, MCLA’s Green Living Seminar Series hosts lectures by local, regional, and national experts. The seminars are organized around a central theme related to the environment and sustainability. The 2018 series is a presentation of the MCLA Environmental Studies Department and MCLA’s Berkshire Environmental Resource Center.

For more information, go to or contact associate professor Dr. Elena Traister, chair of MCLA’s Department of Environmental Studies, at (413) 662-5303.