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Environmental Studies Lunch & Learn Program

Fall 2011 Schedule

September 8, 2011: Tina Woolston
Environmental Sustainability at Tufts University

Join Tina Woolston, Sustainability Program Director at Tufts University, as she discussed the sustainability efforts here at Tufts, resources available to students and opportunities to get involved. If you've ever wondered about installing solar on campus or where the food from the dining halls goes, this is the perfect place to learn and ask questions about your ideas for innovation on campus!

Tina Woolston has worked in the Office of Sustainability, first as a program coordinator and more recently as director, since 2007. She co-founded MaynardCAN!, a local non-profit that organizes and promotes sustainability initiatives in the city of Maynard, MA. Prior to Tufts, she worked for the Earthwatch Institute as their Program Manager for Sustainability. She received her Master of Science from Cornell University.

September 15, 2011: Elizabeth Ammons
Rising Waters: Why Arts and Humanities Matter in Environmental Studies

Global warming. Food scarcity. Disappearing species. A shared question for all of us across all of our disciplines is: What makes people care about the environment and then resolve to support even work for significant change? This lecture and discussion explores the important issue of activism and the indispensable role of the human story in the urgent struggle to achieve environmental justice and planetary healing.

Elizabeth Ammons is Harriet H. Fay Professor of Literature at Tufts and teaches two courses in the Environmental Studies Program, "Environmental Justice and U.S. Literature" and "American Indian Writers." Her most recent book, "Brave New Words: How Literature Will Save the Planet" (2010), foregrounds issues of environmental justice and activism in American literature and the humanities in general.

September 22, 2011: Adrian Dahlin
Peace and Renewable Energy in the Middle East

Recent alum, Adrian Dahlin will present on the growth of small-scale renewable energy in Israel and Palestine. He will offer an overview of "environmental peacemaking" in the Middle East, including a description of several organizations in the region that are working cooperatively to tackle shared environmental challenges. He will discuss in greater detail two technologies with which he has experience: biogas digesters and wind/solar hybrid systems.

Adrian Dahlin graduated in 2010 with a BS in Environmental Studies and Political Science. After graduating, he spent fourteen weeks traveling in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. In Israel, he worked with COMET-ME, which builds wind turbines and installs solar panels for poor rural families in the West Bank. While working at Israel's Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, he learned about an increasingly popular biogas technology, which uses livestock manure to create cooking gas and fertilizer. He then started his own biogas project in the West Bank, which required building a team of Israelis, Palestinians, and foreign volunteers. He is spending the 2011-2012 year fulfilling the Compton Mentor Fellowship. He will use the Compton to connect students from around the US with international and domestic environmental projects, by creating an interactive, online database of all study abroad, internship, and job opportunities available to young people. He is also in the process of creating a non-profit that will raise funds and send volunteers to the Middle East to work on further renewable energy projects.

September 29, 2011: Peter Crawley
A Career in Environmental Sustainability Consulting

After an informal presentation on how he came to work as a sustainability consultant and educator, Mr. Crawley will open up the discussion to audience-members who have questions about environmental sustainability as a career. This will give students an opportunity to understand the diversity, responsibilities, and career prospects of the field of sustainability consulting.

Peter Crawley is the Director of Sustainability Consulting for EBI Consulting, a leading Environmental Health Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) Management Consulting firm for some of the most prominent real estate, finance, global investment, and commercial banking companies, including Bank of America, Hancock Insurance, Prudential, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Crawley has been working in the field of environmental sustainability for over a decade and specializes in sustainability consulting to educational institutions, service companies, and real estate developers. He serves as the Chair to the Sustainability Committee, Northeast Region for the Cleantech Open and is also an adjunct faculty member at Boston College, teaching the Sustainability Module in the Leadership for Change program at the Carroll School of Management.

October 6, 2011: Anthony Everett
Television Reporting on Environmental Topics: Endangered?

In the past decade, there has been a move away from environmental "beat" reporting and a reduction in environmental reporting on mainstream media platforms. This has initiated a shift to less controversial short-term environmental topics such a long-horned beetle infestation versus long-term and complex topics like global warming.

In this lecture, we will provide a look at the changes in environmental coverage on the major broadcast networks. We will discuss how competitive pressures and the need to create content for multiple platforms have changed the focus and depth of environmental reporting.

Within the framework of this discussion, we will present an example of the type of reporting that is occurring on Chronicle, including an Emmy award winning program on recycling and another program examining deforestation around the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts. We will then address the programs in context with current trends in the media.

Anthony Everett is the Emmy Award-winning anchor of WCVB-TV Channel 5's nightly newsmagazine, "Chronicle." He has served as WCVB's senior correspondent for major national events and breaking news and has regularly contributed to special reports for all WCVB newscasts. His strong, live reporting skills have helped WCVB garner multiple prestigious awards, including the National Headliner Award for "Breaking News" in 2003.

Mr. Everett has been honored with multiple Emmy Awards, including Emmys for his work as host of "Chronicle" in 2010, for his reporting on the recycling industry in 2009, and for a report on special education in 2008. He has won numerous awards and his dedication to charitable work has led to collaborations with such organizations as: the Multiple Sclerosis Society; Habitat for Humanity; the Muscular Dystrophy Association; the Boston Ballet; the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra; the Home for Little Wanderers; Derby Academy, and more. Mr. Everett is a graduate of Tufts University and currently serves as a guest lecturer at Tufts in their Communication and Media Studies Program.

October 13, 2011: Rusty Russell
Nuclear Power and Climate Change: What's (Not) to Like?
Electricity generation is responsible for a major percentage of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and both the percentage and absolute quantity are growing. Although much has been written about and expected of energy efficiency and renewables like wind and solar, the one electricity resource responsible for virtually no GHG emissions that is on the ground and running today is nuclear power.

The U.S. obtains nearly 20% of its total electric energy from its 104 nuclear reactors. The world is not far behind, generating 15% of global electricity from nearly 440 nukes. And, the developing world has big plans to increase that number dramatically. On the other hand, consider Fukushima Daiichi, Iran and Yucca Mountain and a groundswell of public opposition.

This leads one to a question: Is nuclear power the only way to ensure an effective climate response, a "part of the mix," a three-decade placeholder, an aging white elephant, a threat to future generations, or simply, a "radioactive" technology? Stop by and find out (and voice your views).

Review the slide presentation >

Rusty Russell is a full-time faculty member of the graduate Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) at Tufts. He teaches courses in environmental law, clean air and water policy, nuclear power, community-based planning, and, for undergrads, environmental policy. He holds a J.D. and has served as a government policymaker, journalist and corporate lawyer.

October 13, 2011: Neil Villeux
Renewable Energy in Our Communities: Local and International Energy Policy Impacts on Community Economic Development

Community-based renewable energy projects have taken hold across the US and Europe as a means to increase local wealth, create green jobs, and encourage community economic development opportunities. To succeed, community-based energy projects require a mix of entrepreneurial leadership, local support, as well as sound energy policies. Neil Veilleux, Tufts UEP alumnus and consultant at Meister Consultants Group, discusses planning and policy approaches that have led to successful community-based energy projects in Europe and the US, focusing in particular on Germany's leading biogas market and opportunities for community-based biogas projects in Massachusetts.

Neil Veilleux is a consultant at Meister Consultants Group (MCG), a Boston-based sustainability consulting firm. He works with both public and private sector clients on clean energy strategy, policy, and program development. In past work, Neil has focused on US and German approaches to renewable energy markets, including transatlantic assessments of biogas, wind, and renewable heating markets and policies. He recently served as the Heinrich Böll Foundation's 2011 Midwest Renewable Energy Fellow, collaborating with farmers, policy experts, and decision makers to assess potential for renewable energy and conservation policies to increase local economic opportunities for rural communities. He has additionally authored energy planning strategies for states and cities across the Northeast.

Before joining MCG, Neil worked with the Conservation Services Group (CSG) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). He served as a Rappaport Public Policy Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a Fulbright scholar in Germany. Neil holds an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning from Tufts University and a B.A. from The University of the South.

October 20, 2011: Richard Vogel
Water and People

This lecture will provide a general overview of the relationship between emerging water issues and people. It is now possible to develop land and water resources to mimic natural systems using low impact development and restoration approaches. The limitations and problems associated with our water resources are similar to challenges related to food resources. Emerging contaminants have always played a key role on human health with many new challenges remaining. A brief discussion about the impact of urbanization, climate change and water use on our water resources and public health will be provided.

Review the slide presentation >

Richard Vogel is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and has been at Tufts University since 1984. His primary expertise is in the areas of water resource engineering with emphasis on hydrologic and statistical methods for analyzing environmental and water resource systems. His current research program focuses upon the areas of hydrologic and environmental statistics, water allocation, regional hydrology, regional water assessment, flood and drought management, climate change impacts, natural hazards as well as watershed modeling and management. His consulting experiences have included water resource assessment, flood frequency analysis, water allocation, hydropower feasibility analyses, and water supply investigations for several major cities, floodplain delineations, stormwater management modeling, dam safety analyses, ice jam control and climate change impact assessments. He is currently the director of the graduate program in Water: Systems, Science and Society. For further information on Professor Vogel see http://engineering.tufts.edu/cee/people/vogel

October 27, 2011: Tracy L. Stamos
Savory Green, Inc.: A Business Built Upon the Principles of Sustainability to Best Address Today's Food World Dilemmas

In recent decades, the food industry in America has become a large and growing source of pollution, energy wastage and excessive resource consumption. Moreover, those who listen to the news are often struck by stories about food recalls such as eggs, tomatoes or tainted beef in fast-food restaurant chains. The food that emerges from America's mass-market production system is considered by many to not be nutritious, tasty or even safe. In response to these patterns of unhealthy and unsustainable food provision, Ms. Stamos made a personal commitment to change the distributing trends in our food system by creating Savory Green, Inc.

Savory Green, Inc. is a sustainable food service company specializing in education, green food service, and consulting to people and companies in and out of the food industry. Over the past year, the business focus has been amplified through the further development of food education and retail promotion and sales of a few signature dishes. Savory Green is now an approved vendor of Whole Foods and specializes in Earth-friendly Mediterranean Cuisine.

Tracy L. Stamos is the President and Executive Chef of Savory Green, Inc., a firm she created in 2006 as an inspired response to the growing food provision and sustainability dilemmas in American culture. She has a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard's Division of Continuing Education and has completed training as a professional chef from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.

November 3, 2011: Randi Rotjan
Setting Baselines Far from Shorelines in the Largest and Deepest World Heritage Site: The Phoenix Islands Protected Area

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), located within the Republic of Kiribati, is the second largest marine protected area (MPA) in the world. Roughly the size of California, this reserve hosts 8 islands, 7 of which are uninhabited. One of the islands, Nikamoruro, is thought to be the final landing place of Amelia Earhart. Kanton was used as a strategic military outpost during WWII and also hosts remnants of Pan Am's aviation outfit as part of their "hop across the Pacific." PIPA hosts 439 species of fish, 200+ coral species, and large populations of manta rays, turtles, sharks, bumphead parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, giant clams, and other spectacular marine life. In this lecture, we will discuss the conservation, science, and politics of PIPA.

 Randi D. Rotjan, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Scientist at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Her tropical coral reef research focuses mainly on fish-coral interactions, but also includes areas such as symbiosis, food webs and trophodynamics, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology. Rotjan sits on the editorial board of the journal Coral Reefs and maintains an active global research program with work in the Caribbean, the Red Sea, and the Indo and Central Pacific. She uses a combined approach of field, lab, and computational tools to answer questions about coral reef ecology. Rotjan received her doctorate from Tufts University in 2007, and then held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University before joining the New England Aquarium.

November 10, 2011: Nancy Gleason
What is at Stake: The Upcoming Climate Change Negotiations in Durban South Africa

Are climate change negotiations failing? What is the next step for the United Nations process? Why do some people say that the Kyoto Protocol is not working? What can I do to be involved?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will hold its 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa from November 28th to December 9th of 2011. Professor Gleason will discuss what the main issues are going into these climate negotiations and what we can expect from them. She will also provide information on how to follow the negotiations live on the web and via twitter so one can follow specific countries' positions and will also discuss ways that students can get involved in the international negotiations process.

Nancy W. Gleason teaches four courses on international environmental issues at Tufts University; (1) Global Environmental Policy; (2) Conflict and Natural Resources; (3) Culture, Politics and the Environment; and (4) International Environmental Negotiations.

Professor Gleason has a PhD in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy with a focus on sustainable development. Her academic focus is on the cultural and political challenges behind environmental issues, with a particular focus on Suriname in South America. Ms. Gleason has a background in both Latin American studies and Middle Eastern politics. She holds a master's of arts from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, a master's of science from the London School of Economics and a bachelor's degree from George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs. Her international work experience includes teaching Business English and Practices at Amideast in Cairo, Egypt.?She has also worked for a USAID contractor in preparing development proposals in the areas of natural resources management, conflict resolution and relief and reconstruction. She regularly attends international negotiations relating to forests and climate change. Updates on these negotiations can be found on her Twitter page @NWGleason.

November 17, 2011: Michael Reed
Persistence and Extinction of Small Populations: Birds, Fish, and Elvis

This discussion will address Michael's current research on extinction risk of small populations, with highlights on endangered Hawaiian birds, the ivory-billed woodpecker, and the Devil's Hole pupfish. In particular, can small populations persist? Theory says no, but alleged exceptions are reported. Also, what to do when you have not seen a species in a while, perhaps years can you assume it is extinct?

Michael Reed is a Professor of Biology at Tufts University. He is interested in a wide variety of conservation related research problems. Most of his research focuses on identifying characteristics of species that put them at risk to human-caused threats, understanding why (or how) these characteristics put a species at risk, and to determining how best to reduce the risk. He has been working on the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on extinction risk and population viability, and on the importance of animal behavior in extinction risk and conservation. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Conservation Science Committee at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences; is the Chair of the Conservation Committee and an elected member of the Council of the American Ornithologists' Union; and works as a topic editor for the journal Endangered Species Research. Lastly, he is a senior member of the Environmental Studies Program Executive Committee.

December 1, 2011: TIE Fellows:
Ana Rosner
"Climate Change Adaptation Decisions Using Risk-Informed Trend Analysis" and
Jennifer Shen "Optimizing Rice Production in India"

December 8, 2011: Libby Mahaffy
The Ecovillage Model: Opportunities and limitations in rural America

This lecture will cover the basic tenets of intentional communities, ecovillages in particular, and their success and limitations in rural areas. Libby will discuss her research on an ecovillage in Western Mass and her findings about the benefits and limitations of these types of settlements in rural areas.

 Libby Mahaffy received her master's degree from the department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts in 2011. Her thesis, A Town and Its Ecovillage: A case study of two Massachusetts communities, studied the underlying factors in the relationship between residents of an ecovillage settlement and their rural "hosts." Libby's interests are varied from mediation to qualitative research to bicycle advocacy -- but they are all connected by her passion for communities and the environment. She lives and works in Somerville.

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