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Welcome to the Solutions Seminar Series. We have had and are continuing to have a series of speakers around solutions. There is no need to join or subscribe to watch the webinars. To join the discussion, instructions can be found below. The webinars are webcast from the Portland State University and are supported by Solutions, Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University, and US Society for Ecological Economics. Webinars will be recorded and cataloged on this page.

To watch the seminar, just click on the play button on the window below at the time of the talk. To join the blog conversation, to ask the speaker questions, type in the window below the conversation and hit enter.

Upcoming Speaker

Speaker: Steve Polasky
Title: Valuing nature: Incorporating ecosystem services into decision making
Date: March 14, 2012; 5 - 6:30pm PST (Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Steve Polasky is a Professor of Ecological Economics at University of Minnesota

Steve Polasky uses recent analysis of land use choices in Oregon and Minnesota to illustrate how human actions affect the provision and value of nature’s services, and how such information can inform better decision making for human and ecological well-being.

Fall 2011 Speaker Schedule

Presented by Solutions and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Additional support provided by the Illahee Institute.

September 28, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Jennifer Allen
Title: Moving Toward Safer Chemicals: Oregon's Opportunity for Leadership
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Jennifer Allen is the Associate Professor of Public Administration and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

With Oregon's green reputation, you might think the transition away from toxic chemicals was well underway. But the state faces a number of challenges, not the least of which is the lack of coordination and communication among agencies, nonprofits, researchers and the need for more robust and accessible information about the chemicals we use. By taking the right steps, Oregon can draw upon its "green" talent and industry to become a national leader in the transition to safer chemicals.

October 5, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Veronica Dujon (and panel)
Title: Environmental Health and Equity for Sustainable Cities: A Search for Solutions
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Veronica Dujon is a Professor of Sociology and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

Like in many cities, Portland is home to vast health disparities. Our city’s poor as well as ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately exposed to harmful environmental conditions, economic disadvantages and social barriers to healthy lives.

A team of researchers at Portland State University is collaborating with community partners to better measure the many facets of “social sustainability” and identify strategies that will improve people’s lives. New studies suggest that the team’s community-based participatory research approach is on exactly the right track.

October 12, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Heejun Chang
Title: Collaborative Solutions for the Mighty Columbia
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Heejun Chang is a Professor of Geography and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

The highly developed Columbia is a vast river basin that for decades has been mired with seemingly unsolvable problems. The stresses of climate change, urban growth and regulatory conflicts only multiply these problems. Any viable solutions will require unprecedented collaboration and examination of all of the issues at not one but many scales. As a model for how to go forward, a collaboration of Portland State researchers – engineers, social and natural scientists – is examining three sub-basins for vulnerabilities in water supply, demand and quality, engaging stakeholders in diagnosing and solving complex water problems.

October 19, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Hank Patton (and panel)
Title: A business partnership with posterity: Creating an enhanced operating system for the world's economies
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Hank Patton is the Chairman of World Steward.

A truly healthy economy must provide adequate jobs, security and wellness to all people while at the same time protecting natural resources for current and future generations. PSU researchers are examining alternative solutions to enable economies to perform all these functions effectively and efficiently. One possible approach, called “intergenerational finance,” gives future generations the ability to partner with actors in today’s economy through trustees, long-term financing and markets based on scientifically developed metrics designed to assure greater and more equitable wealth creation while restoring natural systems. Hank Patton, the concept’s designer, will present the idea, and researchers will lead a discussion on it and other proposed solutions, like taxes, public trusts, regulation and cap and trade.

October 26, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Ida Kubiszewski (and Panel)
Title: Solutions for the Lower Mekong River
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Ida Kubiszewski is an Assistant Research Professor at Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

Eleven hydropower dams are planned for the Lower Mekong River where as it flows through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, an area rich in biological diversity and the largest freshwater fishery in the world. The construction would bring new power sources to a rapidly growing region, but at what cost to biological diversity, food sources, and local cultures? A report from the Institute for Sustainable Solutions has outlined an alternative planning approaches for water resources development on the lower Mekong Basin that can better account for all of the ecosystem services that the river provides, and the uncertainty associated with future scenarios of constructing some or all of the dams.

November 2, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Evan Thomas
Title: Technology in the Developing World: Revolutions for Monitoring Success
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Evan Thomas is a Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Materials Engineering and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

Nearly half of people on Earth live in rural isolation, lacking access to the most basic human services. Evan Thomas heads up Portland State’s SWEET Lab (Sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technologies Laboratory) where his team of researchers are not only designing household solutions like gravity water filters and clean burning stoves, they are also developing technology to remotely monitor each unit, creating a whole new model of accountability for international sustainable development. What’s more, they are building in reliable streams revenue for these projects through carbon financing.

November 9, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Vivek Shandas
Title: Grounding Sustainability: Place, Practice and Perspective
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Vivek Shandas is a Assistant Professor of Urban Studies & Planning and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

We know local decisions have global impacts, but what does this up-scaling look like in practice? Portland State has established a new collaborative research center that will create models for linking across space and time scales, from the neighborhood to the region, and from the hour to the year. This effort will take students and researchers outside the classroom to work alongside the community to design real solutions for managing the precious natural resources in our backyard and beyond.

November 16, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Ian MacGregor-Fors & Pamela Yeh
Title: Cities as Ecological Islands: Managing for Species Diversity
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Ian MacGregor-Fors is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ecology in Mexico. Pamela Yeh is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

We know that urbanization transforms the land and surrounding systems, but we are just beginning to learn how cities themselves act as “ecological islands." Using avian ecology and biogeography of islands as a research framework, recent studies in the tropics are providing clues about how to plan and manage large urbanizing areas like Portland to minimize human disturbances and maximize the occurrence and diversity of native wildlife species.

November 23, 2011(5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Harrell Fletcher
Title: Art, Society and Sustainability
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Harrell Fletcher is a Assistant Professor of Art and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

The lecture will address the intersection between sustainability, art and social responsibility. Harrell Fletcher will share examples from several specific projects he has been involved with and offer directions for the future, especially in relationship to Portland State's Art and Social Practice Program.

November 30, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Tugrul Daim
Title: A Technology Roadmap for Northwest Energy Efficiency
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Tugrul Daim is a Associate Professor of Engineering and Technology Management and Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University.

It’s difficult to know what the future of our region’s energy systems will look like, given the rapid pace of technological advances in an unpredictable market for implementing them. With limited resources and ever-changing knowledge, how do we decide what research to prioritize?

Enter the Technology Roadmap: an extended look at the future of an industry, knitting together the knowledge of the brightest scholars and practitioners in that field. Technology roadmaps help many interested parties all arrive at the same place, aligning activities. This presentation outlines successes and lessons learned in creating a technology roadmap for energy efficiency in the Northwest.

Spring 2011 Speaker Archives

Presented by Solutions and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Additional support provided by the Illahee Institute.

April 6, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Lisa Graumlich
Title: Stressors on Steroids: Climate Change, Land-Use Change, Disturbance Regimes and the Future of Western Ecosystems
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Dr. Lisa Graumlich, Dean of the College of the Environment, University of Washington. She is a scientist known internationally for research on climate and ecosystems, and has a track record of getting wide-ranging groups of experts to focus on environmental issues.

The word “sustainability” brings up big problems, but we put the emphasis on solutions that connect us all. Little doubt remains among scientists that the global climate system is changing due to human influence and that climate change will have far-reaching and fundamental impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. Arguably, previously localized stressors (e.g., land-use change, insect outbreaks, invasive species) are playing an equally important role in reshaping ecosystems at regional scales. One of the great challenges in adapting to climate and other landscape-scale changes is developing and implementing policies that enhance ecological resilience in the face of these changes. In this talk, I explore the challenges of ecosystem management and adaptation with an emphasis on strategies that are robust to climate change and other stressors and that are politically and socially viable.

April 13, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Jared Gardner
Title: Building a Resilient Local Financial System
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

The recent financial crisis brought on by the “Too-Big-To-Fail” banks plunged the country into the worst recession since the 1930s. But while the federal government bailed out the nation’s biggest banks and corporations, the rest of the country has been left to fend for itself. Two years, six million foreclosures, and eight million lost jobs later, the financial system is not meeting the needs of America’s working families. Jared Gardner will discuss how the establishment of a state bank will help build a resilient local financial system, and transfer benefits and power to the citizens of the state.

May 4, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Susan Anderson
Title: TBA
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Former head of the City’s Office of Sustainable Development and the Energy Office.

Portland has a remarkable history of long range planning and sustainable development. But not every effort has been a success. How come some of the greenest ideas to promote renewable energy, recycling or habitat protection fail, while other efforts thrive? Susan Anderson has spent more than two decades learning how to develop and grow community-based sustainability programs in Portland and throughout the U.S.

Come hear about a handful of these innovative, but practical, efforts and explore the building blocks of success.

May 25, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: John Loomis
Title: Collaborative Conservation: Endangered Fish Recovery in the Upper Colorado Basin
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

John Loomis, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University. He is the author of Integrated Public Lands Management and co-author of Environmental Policy Analysis for Decision.

Collaborating in endangered species recovery has the potential to save significant costs for water users such as farmers, industries, and households, and ultimately society as a whole. Collaborative conservation also allows the employment of a broader range of recovery tools than traditional regulatory mechanisms used in Endangered Species Act (ESA) implementation. Professor Loomis will discuss the benefits from voluntary collaboration as opposed to the "business as usual" regulatory approaches in the case of a collaborative fish recovery program in the Upper Colorado River Basin.

June 1, 2011 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Tim Kasser
Title: Human Identity & Environmental Challenges
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Tim Kasser, Professor and Chair of Psychology at Knox College and author of The High Price of Materialism and other works related to consumerism and well being.

Despite some important successes, the efforts of the environmental movement have thus far failed to activate the kinds of personal and social changes necessary to meet the many ecological challenges we face. A growing body of psychological research suggests that if these efforts incorporated more knowledge about human identity (including our values, our sense of social identity, and the ways we cope when threatened), greater progress towards a more sustainable (and socially just) world might be forthcoming.

Fall 2010 Speaker Schedule

Presented by Solutions and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Additional support provided by the Illahee Institute and the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics.

October 6, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Robert Costanza
Title: Solutions for a Sustainable and Desirable Future
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Dr. Robert Costanza is University Professor of Sustainability and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. His transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address research, policy and management issues at multiple time and space scales, from small watersheds to the global system. Dr. Costanza is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, and was chief editor of the society's journal, Ecological Economics from its inception in 1989 until 2002. He is founding co-editor (with Karin Limburg) of Ecological Economics Reviews. He currently serves on the editorial board of ten other international academic journals. He is also founding editor in chief of Solutions a new hybrid academic/popular journal.

Dr. Costanza is the author or co-author of over 400 scientific papers and 22 books. His work has been cited in more than 6000 scientific articles and he has been named as one of ISI’s Highly Cited Researchers since 2004. More than 200 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media. His article on “The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital”, published in Nature 387:253-260 (1997) is the second most highly cited article in ecology/environment.

October 13, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Spencer Beebe
Title: Creating Natural Economies
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Spencer B. Beebe is Founder and President of Ecotrust in Portland. He served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 1968-71 and after 13 years with The Nature Conservancy as Northwest Representative, Western Regional Director, and President of the Conservancy's International Program, he was the Founding President of Conservation International in 1987.

Spencer founded Ecotrust in February 1991. He is Chairman of the board of Ecotrust Forest Management, Inc., and board member of Ecotrust Canada, the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute and Walsh Construction Co. In addition to his work with Ecotrust, Spencer has served on the boards of a variety of national and international conservation organizations.

He earned his BA in Economics from Williams College in 1968, MFS (Forestry Science) in 1974 from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from New England College and Williams College. His book, Cache: Creating Natural Economies, recounts his personal journey and traces the parallel evolution of the environmental movement and provides fresh thinking about the road ahead. It is due out in December, 2010. Spencer lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Jane Magavern Beebe with whom he has three grown children.

October 20, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Bill Becker
Title: Getting to the Future We Want
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)

Bill Becker is the Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. Becker is the former director of the US Department of Energy's Central Regional Office, where he specialized in energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and sustainable community development. In his diverse career, he has served as a war correspondent in South Vietnam, where he won a Bronze Star medal; writer/photographer for the Associated Press; publisher of his own weekly newspaper in rural Wisconsin; editorial writer and columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, WI.; associate director of the Wisconsin Energy Extension Service; research director for the Wisconsin State Senate; executive assistant to the Wisconsin Attorney General; Counselor to the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, DC; and communications director for the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Becker's specialization in sustainable development began in the 1970s when he proposed and helped implement a pioneering project in which a Wisconsin community relocated from a floodplain and built the nation's first "solar village".

October 27, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: David Orr
Title: Black Swans and Local Resilience
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Dr. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College. He is also a James Marsh, Professor at large at the University of Vermont. He pioneered work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He raised funds for and spearheaded the effort to design and build a $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin College, a building described by the New York Times as “the most remarkable” of a new generation of college buildings and by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of thirty “milestone buildings” of the 20th century.

November 3, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Joshua Farley
Title: Synergistic Solutions to our Financial and Biophysical Crises
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Dr. Joshua Farley received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Grinnell College in 1985, his Master in International Affairs and a Certificate in Latin American and Iberian Studies from Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs in 1990, and his Ph.D. in Agricultural, Resource and Managerial Economics from Cornell University in 1999.

From 1996-1999, Joshua taught ecological economics at the School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies (CRS), serving as program director for his final year. While at CRS, he conducted field research in collaboration with community stakeholders and students applying ecological economics to local environmental problems. Specific projects focused on the valuation of ecosystem services from riparian forests for local dairy farmers, regional communities and international society; cultural values and ethnoecology; and local, regional and global values of various approaches to forestry.

November 10, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Jonathan Fink
Title: What can a hot, dry, sprawling city like Phoenix teach Portland about Sustainability?
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Jonathan Fink, a national leader in the development of interdisciplinary research initiatives, is Portland State University's Vice President for Research and Strategic Partnerships. Dr. Fink comes from Arizona State University (ASU) where, as VP for Research, he oversaw the tripling of external funding, the launching of internationally recognized institutes in sustainability and biodesign, and stronger ties between academic research and regional economic development. As part of the President Wiewel's leadership team, he will help shape PSU's strategy for enhancing the region's economy through innovation and workforce development.

November 17, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Peter Barnes
Title: Gaianomics: A new operating system for capitalism
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Peter Barnes is an entrepreneur and writer who has founded and led several successful companies. At present he is a senior fellow at the Tomales Bay Institute in Point Reyes Station, California.

In 1976 he co-founded a solar energy company in San Francisco, and in 1983 he co-founded Working Assets Money Fund. He subsequently served as president of Working Assets Long Distance (now Credo Mobile). In recent years he has been a leading proponent of the ‘cap and dividend’ solution to climate change.

He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the National Cooperative Bank, the California Solar Industry Association, Businesses for Social Responsibility, Greenpeace International, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

His books include Climate Solutions: A Citizen’s Guide (2008), Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons (2006), and Who Owns the Sky? (Island Press, 2001). His articles have appeared in The Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post and numerous other publications.

December 1, 2010 (5 - 6:30pm PST)

Speaker: Gail Achterman
Title: New Institutions for Stream flow restoration in the Deschutes
Location: Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex (1914 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR)
Video: Watch Now!

Gail Achterman is a leading state and national natural resource and environmental expert with policy-making experience at the state, local and federal level. Gail also serves on the Oregon Transportation Commission and serves on the advisory board of the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust. Before joining the Institute for Natural Resources, Gail served as Executive Director of the Deschutes Resources Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to watershed restoration. She practiced law for 18 years with Stoel Rives LLP and served as Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Assistant for Natural Resources.

Spring 2009 Speakers

January 26, 2010 (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Jon Isham
Title: The Challenge of Getting to 350: On Accelerating Large Scale Clean-Energy and Carbon-Sequestration Solutions from 2010 to 2020
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Watch Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Jonathan Isham Jr. is an Associate Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, where he has worked since 1999. His research encompasses a broad range of questions about institutional determinants of well-being and sustainability. He is currently the Guest Editor of the forthcoming special edition of Solutions, ‘Getting to 350.’ With Middlebury students, he co-organized “What Works? New Strategies for a Melting Planet,” a January 2005 conference which helped to launch the climate movement. He is the co-editor of Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement (Island Press, 2007) and the co-founder of Brighter Planet, a climate-services company based in Middlebury VT. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Brighter Planet, Climate Counts, and St. George's School; the Advisory Board of Focus the Nation, Kids vs. Global Warming, and the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions; and is a volunteer for Vice President Gore’s Climate Project. He has an AB in Anthropology from Harvard College, an MA in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland. He and his wife Tracy Himmel Isham and their three daughters live in Cornwall VT.

February 2, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Michael Woolcock
Title: Solutions when the Solution is the Problem: Reflections on the Analytics, Politics and Practice of Getting to 350
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Watch Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Michael Woolcock is a Senior Social Scientist with the World Bank's Development Research Group, where he has worked since 1998. His research draws on a range of disciplinary theories and methods to explore the social dimensions of economic development. Its focus is the survival and mobility strategies of the poor, in particular the efficacy of local-level legal and political institutions, which has culminated in a forthcoming book (joint with Patrick Barron and Rachael Diprose) for Yale University Press on local conflict dynamics and participatory development projects in rural Indonesia. His more analytical work examines the capacity of the international aid architecture to solve complex problems, and the contributions that historians and novelists can make to development policy. An Australian national, he has an MA and PhD in sociology from Brown University; in 2002 he was the Von Hugel Visiting Fellow at St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge, and from 2000-2006 was a (part-time) Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He has recently completed a three year period of external service leave as the founding Research Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester, and is a team member for the forthcoming World Development Report on fragile states.

February 8, 2010. (6:00pm - 7:00pm EST)

Speaker: Wes Jackson
Title: The Oldest Environmental Problem Must and Can Be Solved
Location: Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center, Emerald Ballroom

Wes Jackson, President of The Land Institute (founded in 1976), was born in 1936 on a farm near Topeka, Kansas. After attending Kansas Wesleyan (B.A Biology, 1958), he studied botany (M.A. University of Kansas, 1960) and genetics (Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1967). He was a professor of biology at Kansas Wesleyan and later established the Environmental Studies program at California State University, Sacramento, where he became a tenured full professor. He resigned that position in 1976.

Dr. Jackson’s writings include both papers and books. His most recent work, Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place, co-edited with William Vitek, was released by Yale University Press in 1996. Becoming Native to This Place was published in 1994 and sketches his vision for the resettlement of America's rural communities. Altars of Unhewn Stone appeared in 1987 and Meeting the Expectations of the Land, edited with Wendell Berry and Bruce Colman, was published in 1984. New Roots for Agriculture, 1980, outlines the basis for the agricultural research at The Land Institute.

The work of The Land Institute has been featured extensively in the popular media including The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, National Geographic, Time Magazine, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, and National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." Life magazine named Wes Jackson as one of 18 individuals they predict will be among the 100 "important Americans of the 20th century." In the November 2005 issue, Smithsonian named him one of “35 Who Made a Difference.” He is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990), a MacArthur Fellowship (1992), and Right Livelihood Award (Stockholm), known as “Alternative Nobel Prize” (2000).

February 9, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Richard Wolfson
Title: Understanding 350
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Richard Wolfson is Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of Physics at Middlebury College, where he also teaches environmental studies. He did undergraduate work at MIT and Swarthmore, double-majoring in physics and philosophy. He holds a master’s in environmental studies from the University of Michigan, and PhD in physics from Dartmouth. Current research solar physics and terrestrial climate change. Other published work encompasses medical physics, plasma physics, solar energy engineering, electronic circuit design, nuclear issues, observational astronomy, and theoretical astrophysics. His books Nuclear Choices: A Citizen’s Guide to Nuclear Technology (MIT Press, 1993) and Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified (W.W. Norton, 2003), exemplify Wolfson’s interest in making science accessible to nonscientists. Textbooks include Physics for Scientists and Engineers (co-authored with Jay Pasachoff), Essential University Physics (Addison-Wesley, 2007), Energy, Environment, and Climate (W.W. Norton, 2008), and Essential College Physics (Addison-Wesley, 2010), coauthored with Andrew Rex. Wolfson has published in Scientific American and World Book Encyclopedia. He has produced three video courses for The Teaching Company: Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Nonscientists (1999), Physics in Your Life (2004), and Earth’s Changing Climate (2007). Wolfson has spent sabbaticals at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado; at St. Andrews University in Scotland; and at Stanford University. In 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

February 16, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: 350.org organizers: Phil Aroneanu, Will Bates, Kelly Blynn, May Boeve, Jamie Henn, Bill McKibben, Jeremy Osborn, Jon Warnow
Title: Getting to 350: What's Next for the Climate Movement?
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

October 24th, 2009 was called "the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history," with more than 5200 events in 181 countries. Through these and related events, citizens from all over the world increased pressure on world leaders to adopt a fair, ambitious, and binding treaty, the kind of treaty that the latest science demands. As this new decade gets underway, movement leaders are reflecting on what has worked and what should come next. In this talk, the founders of 350.org will briefly review their involvement in the climate movement over the last five years and then lead a round-table discussion with the theme: "What next?"

Phil Aroneanu, Will Bates, Kelly Blynn, May Boeve, Jamie Henn, Bill McKibben, Jeremy Osborn, Jon Warnow are the co-founders and leaders of 350.org, which helped coordinate the International Day of Climate Action on October 24, 2009. They were also the co-founders of Step It Up, which helped coordinate two majors days of action in the United States and successfully forced elected officials to embrace the target of 80% reductions of US emissions by 2050. Bill McKibben, a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, is the author of the forthcoming Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Aroneanu, Bates, Blynn, Boeve, Henn, Osborn, and Warnow are Middlebury College graduates and the recipients of many honors for their national and global leadership. With Bill McKibben, they co-authored Fight Global Warming: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community (Holt Paperbacks, 2007).

February 23, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Kristen Sheeran
Title: Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Dr. Kristen Sheeran is the executive director of Economics for Equity and the Environment Network (E3). E3 is a national network of economists developing new arguments for environmental protection based on a commitment to social justice. Her own research is focused on the tension between equity and efficiency in public goods provision, the political economy of environmental policy, and climate change mitigation. She is author of Saving Kyoto (New Holland, 2009) with Graciela Chichilnisky. In addition to her popular writing about economics and the environment and publications for the E3 Network, she as published scholarly articles in Environmental and Resource Economics, Ecological Economics, Climatic Change, Journal of Economic Issues, Eastern Economic Journal, as well as others. Prior to her role with Economics for Equity and the Environment Network, she was an associate professor of economics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

March 2, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Randy Kritkausky
Title: China and the Journey to Addressing Climate Change: Traveling the Silk Route Versus Hitting the Great Wall
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Watch it NOW!

Randy Kritkausky is president of ECOLOGIA, an international organization based in Middlebury Vermont. He is a Research Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and an Erasmus Mundus Scholar in the Masters in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management (MESPOM) program centered at the Central European University in Budapest. In these capacities bridging academia and the international non-profit world, Randy works to create opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, professors, environmental activists, and NGO project directors to collaborate in developing culturally sensitive and economically viable solutions to global environmental challenges such as climate change. ECOLOGIA’s programs focus on China and on the development and implementation of international standards. Climate change came onto ECOLOGIA’s horizon when it participated in the creation of ISO 14064, a global standard on greenhouse gas accounting. Bill McKibben described this work in an Orion magazine article entitled “When Boring Is Beautiful”.

Most recently, Randy has spent time working with Chinese companies and entrepreneurs that contradict the notion that Chinese business culture universally ignores environmental and social responsibility. ECOLOGIA programs in China support the development of environmentally friendly supply chains with grants from Ford Foundation China, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and private donations.

March 16, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Alan Betts
Title: Rules for Managing the Earth System
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Watch it NOW!

Dr. Alan Betts of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford is Vermont’s leading climate researcher. He is a frequent speaker on climate change issues around the state and served on two working groups of the Governor’s Climate Change Commission. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the Royal Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a past-president of the Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering. He is the author or co-author of more than 140 reviewed papers in the scientific literature. He was the AMS Robert E. Horton Lecturer in Hydrology, 2004; and the AMS Jule G. Charney Award winner in 2007. He is a commentator for Vermont Public Radio, and a columnist for the Sunday Environment section of the Rutland Herald/Montpelier Times-Argus.

Atmospheric Research was established in Vermont in 1979. Its mission is to understand the earth’s climate, to develop improved earth system models and to help society understand the deep challenge that global climate change presents to humanity.

March 23, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: John Passacantando
Title: Reboot the Environmental Movement
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Watch NOW!

Passacantando’s career has taken him from Wall Street to philanthropy to a leading role in the global fight to stop climate change. He worked for Jude Wanniski -the “high priest” of supply side economics - and is a committed practitioner of non-violent civil disobedience as taught by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. He has a master’s degree in economics from New York University, as well as a record of a dozen arrests for engaging in peaceful protest. He has been quoted in every major newspaper, appeared on most major news programs and has been a regular commentator on environmental issues for Fox News programs.

Passacantando completed eight years as executive director of Greenpeace USA in 2008, the longest serving director in the history of the organization. Prior to Greenpeace, Passacantando founded and ran Ozone Action (1992-2000), the country's first national non profit focusing exclusively on global warming. He also served as the executive director of the Florence and John Schumann Foundation, where he directed resources to the grassroots renewal of democracy.

Passacantando now runs a business to provide the strategic thinking for sustainable energy and development projects and then helps deploy them in order to get these jobs done in “real time.” His specialty is opposition management -- finding ways around the resistance of the ingrained fossil fuel industry in order that a green energy economy can emerge. He also provides training in opposition management and has served on the advisory board of the National Association of Environmental Managers.

Additionally, Passacantando is developing a complementary non profit venture, the Eco-Accountability Fund, providing resources to bolster the opposition research lacking in environmental campaigns.

March 30, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Tim Kasser
Title: Human Identity and Environmental Challenges
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

After receiving his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Rochester, Tim Kasser accepted a position at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he is currently Professor and Chair of Psychology. He has authored over seventy scientific articles and book chapters on materialism, values, goals, and quality of life, among other topics. Tim is also the author of The High Price of Materialism (MIT Press, 2002), co-editor of Psychology and Consumer Culture (APA, 2004) and co-author of Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity (WWF-UK, 2009). He spends a good deal of his time working with activist groups that try to protect children from commercialization and that encourage a more “inwardly rich” lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism. Tim lives with his wife, two sons, and assorted animals in the Western Illinois countryside.

April 6, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Cliff Duke
Title: Linking Ecological Research, Management, and You
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Cliff Duke received his B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont in 1977, and a Ph.D. in Botany (1985) and an M.A. in Public Policy Science from Duke University (1986). Since 2003, he has directed the Office of Science Programs for the Ecological Society of America (ESA), which promotes the continued development of ecological science and its integration into decision-making and education. The ESA Science Office, which originated with ESA’s Sustainable Biosphere Initiative in 1992, focuses on the application of ecological science to environmental problem solving. The Office works with ESA members, other professional societies, and public agencies to develop workshops and publications on a variety of topics related to ecosystem sustainability, global change, and biodiversity. Current projects include a series of reports on biofuels and sustainability; data sharing and archiving initiatives; and support for ESA’s Emerging Issues Conference Series.

Before joining the ESA staff, Dr. Duke worked for fourteen years in environmental consulting, managing preparation of environmental impact statements and ecological risk assessments for Department of Defense and Department of Energy facilities. He previously held postdoctoral positions at Northeastern University, Wellesley College, and Harvard University. He currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable and the Service to the Scientific Community Working Group of the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition.

April 13, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Peter Fox-Penner
Title: Smart Power: Climate Change, The Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Watch NOW!

Dr. Peter Fox-Penner is a consulting executive and internationally recognized authority on energy and electric power industry issues. He is a principal and chairman emeritus of The Brattle Group, a leading international economic consulting firm. He is on the advisory boards of GridPoint and Enviance, and is a frequent speaker and author on energy issues. Dr. Fox-Penner recently finished his second book, Smart Power: Climate Change, The Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities.

In his consulting practice, Dr. Fox-Penner advises energy companies, government agencies, and their counsels on energy regulatory and market policy issues. Although his work has spanned most areas within the energy field, his current primary focus is on electric industry competition and structure, global climate change, and energy efficiency policies.

Dr. Fox-Penner’s background includes co-founding Environment2004, the Environmental Alliance, and Patriot's Energy Pledge; service as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Energy and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and staff positions in the Illinois Governor’s office. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the business school at the University of Chicago and M.S. and B.S. degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois.

April 20, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Amy Seidl
Title: The Pragmatics of Getting to 350
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Part 1 | Part 2

Amy L. Seidl is an author, ecologist, and Research Scholar in the Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College. Her research has focused on a broad range of ecological questions including plant/insect dynamics, butterfly ecology and evolution, and the effect of global warming on alpine communities. More recently her investigations in sustainability science have included farm-methane electricity generation and renewable energy generation in northern latitudes. Amy is the author of Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World (Beacon Press, 2009) and the forthcoming Moving to Higher Ground: Adaptation, Evolution, and Persistence in Uncertain Times (Beacon Press, 2011). Amy received a Doctorate in Biology from the University of Vermont, a Masters in Entomology from Colorado State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College. She has taught in the Environmental Programs at UVM and Middlebury College. Amy, her husband Dan, and their two daughters live in Huntington, Vermont.

April 27, 2010. (11:30am - 12:45pm EST)

Speaker: Herman Daly
Title: From a Failed-Growth Economy to a Steady-State Economy
Location: University of Vermont, 104 Aiken Building
Video: Watch NOW!

Dr. Daly began as a Professor at Maryland School of Public Affairs after working at the World Bank as a Senior Economist in the Environment Department, helping to develop policy guidelines related to sustainable development. While there, he was engaged in environmental operations work in Latin America. Before joining the World Bank, Daly was Alumni Professor of Economics at Louisiana State University. He is a co-founder and on the editorial board of the journal, Ecological Economics. His interest in economic development, population, resources, and environment has resulted in over a hundred articles as well as numerous books, including Steady-State Economics (1977; 1991), Valuing the Earth (1993), Beyond Growth (1996), and Ecological Economics and the Ecology of Economics (1999). He is co-author with theologian John B. Cobb, Jr. of For the Common Good (1989; 1994) which received the Grawemeyer Award for ideas for improving World Order. He is a recipient of the Honorary Right Livelihood Award (Sweden's alternative to the Nobel Prize), the Heineken Prize for Environmental Science from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Sophie Prize (Norway).

Past Speakers


GusSpeth.jpgGus Speth
Beyond Today's Capitalism: Searching for a New Political Economy
September 15, 2009
Yale University

img_Jeffrey.jpgJeffrey Hollender
Creating a Game Plan for Business's Transition to a Sustainable US Economy
September 29, 2009
Seventh Generation, Inc.

norman_myers.jpgNorman Myers
Our Environmental Outlook: Solutions, Solutions?
October 6, 2009
Oxford University

becker_bill.jpgBill Becker
December 1, 2009
Presidential Climate Action Project

founderscorner_mainphoto.jpgWill Raap
Solving climate change, food system and energy transition challenges through a new ‘linked-in’ green economy
December 8, 2009
Gardener's Supply Company


Terry_Irwin_0.pngTerry Irwin
Ecological Design: Worldview, Relationships, and Place
October 23, 2008
University of Dundee

Gideon_Kossoff.jpgGideon Kossoff
Holism and the Reconstitution of the Domains of Everyday Life
October 24, 2008
University of Dundee

Cutler_Cleveland.pngDr. Cutler Cleveland
Core Principles and Energy Solutions
November 6, 2008
Boston University

peter_victor.jpgDr. Peter Victor
Managing without Growth. Slower by Design, Not Disaster
November 21, 2008
York University