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Environmental Studies Lunch & Learn Program

Thursdays at 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center, Medford Campus

Every week during the academic year, the ENVS Lunch & Learn lecture series features speakers from government, industry, academia and non-profit organizations to give presentations on environmental topics. This is a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge beyond the curriculum, meet other faculty and students and network with the speakers.

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are welcome to attend.

This lecture series is co-sponsored by the Tufts Institute of the Environment and the Tisch College of Civic Life.

You can't make it to the talk? No problem!

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Spring 2017 Lunch & Learn Schedule
Jan. 19, 2017
Watch video
Cristina Pretto Investing in green, investing in change: Why where you put your money matters
Jan. 26, 2017 George Scarlett Spirituality and Environmental Movements: From 'Is' to 'ought' to 'must'
Feb. 2, 2017
Watch video
Emma Scheider Listening for justice: Place-based humanities education and research
Feb. 9, 2017
CANCELLED
Tatiana Chudakova Plant matters: the medical ecologies of Siberian buddhist medicine
Feb. 16, 2017
Watch video
Allen Rutberg Navigating the tangle of history, values, and science in urban deer management
Mar. 2, 2017 Lindsey Williams U.S. Ocean and Coastal Policy in the 21st Century: Reflections of a government policy analyst turned PhD student
Mar. 9, 2017 Ken Kimmell Climate Strategy During the Trump Years
Mar. 16, 2017 Sheryl Corrigan Industry driving environmental excellence
Mar. 30, 2017 Jason Byrne Just sustainabilities?: Social innovation and climate adaptation in Australia
Apr. 6, 2017 Jan Pechenik An acidifying ocean: Where might it lead?
Apr. 13, 2017 Oliver Sellers-Garcia Sustainability at the municipal level in Somerville
Apr. 20, 2017 Brian Woerner Boston to Bukoba and back: Building the honeymoney chain
Apr. 27, 2017 Matt Hooley Drought, blight, and the aesthetics of dispossession

* Per request of the speaker, there will not be live-stream broadcast for this lecture.

Spring 2017 Schedule



January 19, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Investing in green, investing in change: Why where you put your money matters
Cristina Pretto, Universal banker, Webster Bank
Watch video

Environmental activism can emerge from many different forms of protest ranging from: eating organic foods, using a reusable coffee mug, driving a hybrid car. Everyday behaviors are examined by the environmentally conscious to ensure that all actions are done with the wellness of the earth in mind; however, there is one overlooked aspect of the green movement - Banking. Campaigning for divestment movement or boycotting Wal-Mart powerhouses are all steps in the right direction, but do we turn back to ourselves to question if we are divested from the very corporations that we proudly avoid?. This talk will focus on how individuals can take action by moving funds from large banks to small community banks, not only for the statement against social and environmental injustice, but also to develop a deep, local economy. In her talk, Cristina Pretto, will discuss the major impact that personally divesting can have on the community that the investor actually lives in.

Cristina Pretto works at Webster Bank, where she promotes environmentalism by illustrating the importance of community banks and how they help to develop a sustainable, local economy. She is a graduate from Trinity College where she studied English, Environmental Science, and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.
 



January 26, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Spirituality and Environmental Movements: From 'Is' to 'ought' to 'must'
George Scarlett, Sr. Lecturer & Deputy Chair, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study & Human Development

The success of environmental movements rests on the combined efforts of individuals from different disciplines – to move others from a sense of "ought" to a sense of "must". The focus of the talk will be on the five major components to a developed environmental movement. It will focus, in particular, on the least understood component, namely, spirituality.

W. George Scarlett is senior lecturer and deputy chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. He received a BA from Yale University, an M.Div from the Episcopal Divinity School, and a Ph.D. (in developmental psychology) from Clark University. He has authored or co-authored six books and three major handbook chapters, edited or published numerous articles in journals – primarily in three areas: children’s play, behaviour and classroom management, and religious and spiritual development. He has been on the research teams of several internationally known leaders, including Ed Zigler at Yale and Howard Gardner at Harvard. His current writing and research focus is on children, nature, and the ecology movement.
 



February 2, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Listening for justice: Place-based humanities education and research
Emma Schneider, Department of English, Tufts University
Watch video

How are listening and literature part of promoting environmental justice? How can the imaginative space created by stories promote more equitable and sustainable ways of paying attention to each other and the environment? This presentation will discuss how contemporary environmental justice writers ask their readers to listen beyond the powerful narratives that enable exploitative practices. We will think about the role of the humanities in environmental studies and education, particularly in terms of developing a sense of place and community grounded in justice and deep listening.

Emma Schneider is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at Tufts University and a fellow of the Tufts Institute of the Environment, the Center for the Humanities at Tufts (CHAT), and the Switzer Foundation. She studies environmental justice literature, focusing on the representations of listening in contemporary novels and poetry. Her dissertation, "Listening for Justice: Cultivating Listeners in North American Environmental Justice Literature" argues that literature's imaginative space encourages readers to analyze and resist the conventions that dictate how and to whom they listen in order to foster equitable, sustainable relationships. Emma is also very engaged in environmental humanities education and works with local K-12 and college students to implement place-based, experiential learning practices.
 



February 16, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Navigating the tangle of history, values, and science in urban deer management
Allen Rutberg, Director of Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy and research assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Watch video

For more than 30 years, cities, towns, and suburbs in the eastern U.S. have been grappling with conflicts with abundant populations of white-tailed deer. Because the architecture of state wildlife management was laid down in the 1920's to increase and maintain wildlife populations in rural landscapes, it is poorly suited to the task of reducing wildlife populations in urbanized communities. In particular, public hunting, the traditional wildlife management tool, can be impractical and polarizing where deer occupy backyards and ballfields. Landowners are testing and applying contraceptives and other non-lethal approaches for controlling urban deer populations, but progress in the face of technical, political, and ethical challenges has been slow.

Dr. Allen Rutberg is Director of the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy and research assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Trained as a behavioral ecologist, he earned his Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1984, and carried out field studies on American bison and wild horses. After a stint teaching undergraduate biology at Vassar College and elsewhere, Dr. Rutberg joined The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as senior scientist for wildlife and habitat protection, where he served from 1991 to 2000. At HSUS, he initiated field studies of immunocontraceptive vaccines for the control of deer and wild horse populations, which he has continued since joining the Cummings School faculty in 2000. At Cummings School, he also directs the M.S. program in Animals in Public Policy, teaching classes in wildlife policy, wildlife in captivity, and policy communication
 



March 2, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
U.S. Ocean and Coastal Policy in the 21st Century: Reflections of a government policy analyst turned PhD student
Lindsey Williams, Natural Resources and Earth System Science Program, University of New Hampshire

Over 50% of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas which make up less than 17% of our total land area. Coastal areas are engines of the economy and are also critical areas for important ecological processes. To understand these systems as complex social-ecological systems, we must explore the legal and institutional frameworks that guide our actions in coastal and ocean areas. In her talk, Lindsey Williams will provide an overview of ocean and coastal law and policy in the U.S. while also discussing her own research and the educational and professional career that lead her there.

Lindsey Williams is a PhD student in the interdisciplinary Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science (NRESS) Program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) where she also serves as a lecturer in marine policy. Lindsey received her B.A. in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies from Colby College in 2002 and her Master of Marine Policy from the University of Delaware in 2009. Prior to pursuing her PhD at UNH, Lindsey worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in several roles primarily focused on policy, budget, and communication around coastal management and science issues. Her current research interests include community interactions with the environment, environmental justice, negotiation and dispute resolution, and the role of science in policy and management.
 



March 9, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Climate Strategy During the Trump Years
Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

The presidency of Donald Trump poses significant uncertainty about the extent to which the United States will continue to make progress on addressing climate change. Ken Kimmell will explore how the incoming administration might rollback policies that have been put in place to address climate change, and make it more difficult for future administrations to address the issue. He will also discuss the progress that is being made in states and regions of the country and the improving economics of clean energy. He will highlight the strategies that the Union of Concerned Scientists and others are likely to employ to limit the damage to our climate objectives and build upon the progress that is being made.

Ken Kimmell is the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a leading science-based nonprofit that combines the knowledge and influence of the scientific community with the passion of concerned citizens to build a healthy planet and a safer world. Mr. Kimmell has more than 30 years of experience in government, environmental policy, and advocacy. He is a national advocate for clean energy and transportation policies and a driving force behind UCS's "Power Ahead" campaign to build a large and diverse group of clean energy leadership states. Prior to joining UCS he was the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Mr. Kimmell has also served as general counsel at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's administration, and spent 17 years as the director and senior attorney at a Boston-based law firm specializing in environmental, energy, and land-use issues. He earned his bachelor's degree at Wesleyan University and his law degree at the University of California, Los Angeles.
 



March 16, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Industry driving environmental excellence
Sheryl Corrigan, Director of environmental, health and safety, Koch Industries

With the industrial sector responsible for nearly 35% of U.S. energy consumption, large-scale industrial innovation made possible by neglect of the environment is unacceptable. Simultaneously addressing environmental needs, business growth priorities and consumer demand is a difficult balancing act — so how can companies find success within this framework? More importantly, how will it impact businesses moving forward? Today's most successful industry leaders invest in identifying game-changing efficiencies that, in turn, deliver in-demand products and services using fewer natural resources. Whether it's establishing programs that reduce waste in supply chains or creating a team of experts who drive energy efficiency programming, businesses are in a race to produce while minimizing their environmental footprint. Businesses that come closest to achieving success have embedded environmental stewardship and being a responsible operator as part of their core business management philosophy. Join Sheryl Corrigan for a discussion on how business, like Koch Industries are addressing that challenge.

Sheryl Corrigan is the director of environmental, health and safety for Koch Industries, Inc., driving discovery of excellence and innovation opportunities, and providing oversight of Koch companies' environmental performance. Previously, Ms. Corrigan was senior vice president of environmental, health and safety for Flint Hills Resources, LLC; a subsidiary of Koch Industries. Before joining Koch, Ms. Corrigan was commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, advising the governor and helping set the strategic direction for the state on environmental matters. She has also worked for 3M in a number of positions focusing on environmental, health and safety operational excellence. Ms. Corrigan earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology.
 



March 30, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Just sustainabilities?: Social innovation and climate adaptation in Australia
Jason Byrne, Urban & Environmental Planning, Griffith University

Across the world, adaptation to climate change is increasingly occurring at the city scale. Yet much of the literature has a tendency to treat cities uniformly. This can mask critical social, environmental, economic and even political differences that configure the efficacy of adaptation and mitigation responses, and can reproduce and entrench social and environmental disparities (an environmental injustice). This talk will examine social innovation and climate change adaptation in four metropolitan regions in Australia - Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane (South East Queensland). Combining critical discourse analysis of climate change adaptation plans with interviews with local government and non-profit stakeholders, Dr. Byrne offers new insights into how different forms of social innovation are configuring adaptation responses in these cities.

Dr. Jason Byrne (@CityByrne) is Associate Professor of Urban & Environmental Planning with Griffith University's School of Environment, Gold Coast, Australia - where he has taught since 2006. A geographer and planner, Jason's research interests address climate change, environmental justice and political ecologies of green-space. He is a member of Griffith's Environmental Futures Research Institute, and sits on the editorial board of Local Environment and the Journal of Political Ecology. He has more than 100 scholarly publications, including an award-winning co-edited book Australian Environmental Planning: Challenges and Future Prospects. Jason completed his PhD in Geography at the University of Southern California, researching national parks as radicalised landscapes. Jason previously worked with the Western Australian government as a town planner and policy officer.
 



April 6, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
An acidifying ocean: Where might it lead?
Jan Pechekik, Department of Biology, Tufts University

The world's oceans are now 25-30% more acidic than they were a few hundred years ago, at the start of the Industrial Revolution. We're not talking about Boston Harbor here, we're talking about all the oceans in the world! More than 3200 research articles have been published on this topic over the past 10 years, concerning everything from the impact on coral reefs to effects on shell formation, reproduction, development, and behavior. Dr. Pechenik will talk about some of this work, and about the difficulties in understanding what the long-term consequences of ocean acidification might be. He will also make a tight connection between ocean acidification and global warming, something that more people need to know about.

Jan A. Pechenik is a member of the Tufts Biology Department, where he studies various aspects of the reproduction, development, metamorphosis, and behavior of marine invertebrates. One of his lifetime goals is to publish at least one research paper on every major animal group. Pechenik is the author of Biology of the Invertebrates, along with more than 125 research papers. He is also the author of A Short Guide to Writing About Biology, now in its 9th edition, and has more recently written an edited version of Charles Darwin's infamous Origin of Species, following the advice given in his Short Guide to make it more readable (The Readable Darwin, Sinauer Associates, Inc). He is currently funded by the National Science Foundation to study the impact of ocean acidification on a marine snail that is native to New England but which has now become a wildly successful invader in many other parts of the world.
 



April 13, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Sustainability at the municipal level in Somerville
Oliver Sellers-Garcia, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Environment, City of Somerville

As the densest City in New England, Somerville faces unusual challenges in climate change mitigation and adaptation. But as the first city in Massachusetts with a community-wide carbon neutrality goal, the City and its residents are working to develop a model for medium-sized cities to successfully address climate change. The Director of Somerville's Office of Sustainability and Environment will discuss some of the City's sustainability initiatives.

As Director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability and Environment, Oliver Sellers-Garcia leads initiatives on climate change mitigation and adaption, resource conservation, and environmental innovation in Somerville. Recent and ongoing initiatives include municipal and residential energy efficiency, greenhouse gas accounting, solid waste reduction and diversion, green procurement, green technology piloting, and regional resilience planning. Prior to joining the City of Somerville, he worked for eight years at the environmental consulting firm CDM Smith, helping clients around the country and the world integrate sustainability and climate change into physical and organizational planning. Sellers-Garcia holds a Bachelor's degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University and a Master's in City Planning from MIT.
 



April 20, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Boston to Bukoba and back: Building the honeymoney chain
Brian Woerner, Follow The Honey Inc, COO and Co-Founder

Brian S. Woerner will chat about his journey from the villages of West Africa and back, in his search for avenues that unleash human and ecological value. Learn how Follow The Honey is working to create honey value chains connecting the platform of honeybees and their tenders to markets, while retaining the integrity of the liquid gold we consume and the ecosystems from which it flows. This informal discussion will touch upon the journey towards the creation of a Tanz-American entity, including some of the challenges and delights of engaging the environmental and the international business climate in Africa and the Americas. Don't miss a chance to get some Tanzania Asali (honey) on those taste buds!

Brian Woerner's foray into the honey world began in Guinea and later Mali as an ag-econ volunteer (RPCV, 2012 - 2015) where he worked on cashew fruit juice extraction and fermentation and later implementing sustainable community beekeeping in Guinea - a project which he continues with from the periphery. In October 2015, upon his return to the US and while matriculating the IR/MBA at Boston University, Brian wandered into a honey shop in Cambridge, which he soon discovered was a hub to provide a market for marginalized beekeepers globally. Since then, he has helped facilitate Follow The Honey's first Tanz-American honey shipments, and is focused on enhancing the company's strategic and logistical flow.
 



April 27, 2017
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Drought, blight, and the aesthetics of dispossession
Matthew Hooley, Department of American and Colonialism Studies, Tufts University

This talk considers the role of aesthetics in two histories of environmental violence. Both Navajo Nation and Flint, Michigan have been scenes of what Traci Voyles calls "wastelanding"—the construction of landscapes as unliveable in order to justify their colonial appropriation and redevelopment. Against this, the talks reads the speculative and ana-apocalyptic photographic work of Diné photographer Will Wilson (Auto Immune Response) as an unbinding of the colonial aesthetic projects of drought and blight.

Matt Hooley is a Visiting Assistant Professor of American and Colonialism Studies at Tufts University. His research explores the intersection of Indigenous Studies, Environmental Studies, and Literary and Visual Arts modernisms. He is at work on two book projects: Ordinary Empire: Native Modernisms and the Ecologies of Settlement and Scale Exhaustion: The Aesthetics of Environmentalism. He received his PhD in English and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.