Gordon in the News: last updated 10/14/2013

Scientific Research Society, Sigma Xi, Hosts Lecture, Discussion and Opportunity to Collaborate

For Immediate Release
October 1, 2013

Media Relations
Cyndi McMahon, cyndi.mcmahon@gordon.edu

WENHAM, MA—The impact of flooding in the City of Peabody will be the focus of a meeting on Thursday, October 24, of the North Shore Chapter of Sigma Xi, the multi-collegiate Scientific Research Society for faculty and advanced students from Gordon College, Salem State University and Endicott College. Gordon College is hosting Sigma Xi's lecture and discussion, which hopes of inspiring new ideas through collaboration.

Peabody, a city of 53,000, edges a boundary of the Ipswich River. As Peabody's population grew, so did the needs for a downtown business district. Today Peabody Square is built above two underground streams that converge under the major intersections before flowing into Salem Harbor at the North River. When rapidly falling rain saturates the city, the brooks overflow, and roadways, homes and commercial properties in the downtown have experienced the damaging impact of unwanted flood water. Repeated flooding centered in this intersection has garnered years of television media attention and resulted in the hard-to-shake nickname, "The flooding capital of northern Massachusetts."

According to a August 1, 2013 Boston Globe article recalling a 2006 interview with former mayor Michael Bonfanti, ". . . the flooding had cost Peabody at least $130 million in repair costs and 'lost economic opportunity.' " The current North Shore Sigma Xi Chapter has an interest in sustainability and environmental issues. Last year its annual fall lecture was delivered by Dwight Tshudy, an associate professor of chemistry at Gordon, on the impact and benefits of green chemistry techniques. This year's lecture offers the chapter another look at environmental issues, but from a different disciplinary perspective.

This is the first Sigma Xi lecture of the 2013–14 academic year. The presentation, "Flooding in Peabody: Causes and Solutions," will be delivered by Barbara Warren, executive director of Salem Sound Coastwatch, and Lindley Hanson, professor of geological sciences at Salem State University. It will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Chairman's Room of the Ken Olsen Science Center on Gordon's Wenham campus.

After to the presentation, a discussion and brainstorming session will begin at 7:30 p.m. about ways the City of Peabody might build community support to mitigate chronic storm-water flooding, particularly in the Peabody Square area. "This is an opportunity for students and faculty from many academic disciplines to come together around a significant real-world problem on the North Shore," said Suzanne Phillips, professor of psychology at Gordon College and executive committee member of the North Shore Chapter of Sigma Xi. "A blending of ideas from the environmental sciences, community development, economics, geology, public policy, and many other areas will be needed to formulate an effective solution."

6 p.m. Gathering, pizza and drinks
6:30 p.m. Lecture/presentation
7:30 p.m. Discussion and brainstorming session

For information on this event, or the Sigma Xi program at Gordon College, contact Suzanne Phillips at suzanne.phillips@gordon.edu.


Gordon College is one of the nation's premier Christian colleges and located just north of Boston. We offer students extraordinary access to leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development to address the increasingly complex challenges of a global society. Gordon stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.


Peabody Square