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Environmental Studies Lunch & Learn Program

Fall 2012 Schedule

September 13, 2012
Rio+20: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Join us as we start off the fall 2012 semester with a team of Tufts faculty, staff, and students who attended the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this past June 2012. The main purpose of their trip was to host a side event titled "From Burden Bearing to Opportunity Sharing: Reframing Environmental Negotiations," focusing on how the current negotiations can shift from a pollution prevention framework to opportunities for sustainable development through access to cleaner energy technologies, resilient development, access to fresh water, and improved health. Team members also conducted their own research and analyzed the Rio+20 text that was being negotiated. The panel will discuss some key themes that came out of Rio+20 and some ideas for ways forward.

Panelists include:

Kelly Sims Gallagher is Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at The Fletcher School at Tufts. She directs the Energy, Climate, and Innovation (ECI) research program in the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP). Broadly, she focuses on energy and climate policy in both the United States and China. She is particularly interested in the role of policy in spurring the development and deployment of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies, domestically and internationally.

Mieke van der Wansem is the Associate Director of Center for Environment and Resource Policy at The Fletcher School. Mieke has over fifteen years of experience as organizational and program leader and manager, trainer, facilitator, and researcher on environmental and natural resource policy issues.

Laura Kuhl is a doctoral candidate at Fletcher, focusing on environmental policy and development economics. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship in Water and Diplomacy. Current research projects include the study of technology transfer for adaptation conducted with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and a NOAA-funded project on climate change adaptation, sea level rise and environmental justice communities conducted in collaboration with a team from Tufts, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the University of Maryland.

Rishikesh Bhandary is a doctoral candidate at Fletcher, focusing on international environment and resource policy and negotiations and conflict resolution. He has a keen interest in climate change policy and is looking to explore innovative sources of finance and market based strategies for low carbon development.

Andrew Tirrell is a doctoral candidate at Fletcher, a human rights attorney and sustainable development researcher, focusing on rights-based approaches to natural resource development and climate change adaptation. Much of his past research has been in Latin America and Southeast Asia on issues of development and human rights, but he has just begun a new project examining climate change adaptation in arctic regions.


September 20, 2012
Environmental Sustainability at Tufts University
Tina Woolston, Director of the Tufts Office of Sustainability

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 on campus. 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. 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 and Outward Bound as a sea kayak and mountaineering instructor. She received her Master of Science from Cornell University.


September 27, 2012
Advocacy for Environmental Justice: Reports from a Working Community Lawyer
Eugene B. Benson, Legal Counsel, Alternatives for Community and Environment

What happens when environmental and public health advocacy, social justice, community organizing, and legal assistance are brought together in lower income communities and communities of color? This lecture will provide an overview of the current state of environmental justice with a focus on the challenges of bringing equity and meaningful community involvement to current issues of climate disruption, food access, and sustainability.

Eugene B. Benson is Legal Counsel at Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), Roxbury, MA, where he directs the Environmental Justice Legal Services program and represents and advises community-based groups in lower income communities and communities of color working to protect and improve the natural and built environment and public health in their communities. Gene litigates cases, negotiates agreements, leads environmental justice policy and planning initiatives, and participates on advisory boards for ACE. He also teaches courses in Planning Law and Environmental Justice & Sustainability at the Boston University Metropolitan College Graduate Program in City Planning and Urban Affairs and co-teaches Environmental Health Science Policy and Law at the Boston University School of Public Health. He is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Food Project and is on the Executive Committee of Transportation for America. Gene received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.


October 4, 2012
Who Are the Change Makers?
Leith Sharp, Chair of the Sustainability Futures Academy and Professor, Harvard University

Learn the fundamentals of becoming a successful change agent for sustainability in any organization, business or group. Ms. Sharp will introduce participants to the art of catalyzing wide scale change in the behaviors and practices of large organizations, encouraging them to reduce their environmental impact. As she presents the major concepts and the role of the individual in bringing the new green economy to fruition, Ms. Sharp will use her many years of experience greening Harvard University as her primary case study.

Leith Sharp has spent 20 years driving sustainability into the core business of higher education. In 1995, Ms. Sharp established one of world's first campus sustainability programs at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. In 2000, she became the founding director ofHarvard's Office for Sustainability. Under her leadership, Harvard came to have the largest green campus organization in the world, including a $12 milliongreen revolving loan fund and over 80 certified green buildings. In 2010, Ms. Sharp became the founding executive director for the Illinois Green EconomyNetwork (IGEN), a partnership of 48 community college presidents targeting green workforce training. She implemented a robust college collaboration that secured $25 million in funding. She is currently the founding Chair of the Sustainability Futures Academy, an international collaboration focused on executive leadership development. Ms. Sharp continues to teach sustainability change management at Harvard University; is on the editorial board for the International Journal for Sustainability in Higher Education; and consults internationally. Ms. Sharp has an engineering degree (UNSW) and a master of education (Harvard). She has received numerous awards for her work including a Churchill Fellowship and Young Australian of the Year (NSW Environment Category).


October 11, 2012
Great Neighborhoods: Achieving Sustainable Development Through Local Action
Ina Anderson, Partnerships Director, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance

In 2010, the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (MSGA) launched Great Neighborhoods, a program designed to help local groups carry out place-based transformations of their communities. Ina Anderson, MSGA Partnerships Director and coordinator of the Great Neighborhoods program, will lead a discussion about how shifting our development practices and patterns and reforming our land-use and transportation regimes are crucial steps toward addressing climate change and regional equity. Hear about how the MSGA is partnering with five communities in Greater Boston to achieve sustainable and equitable development outcomes at the local or neighborhood level, and how neighborhood revitalization contributes to the response to climate change.

Ina Anderson is the Partnerships Director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance and coordinator of Great Neighborhoods, a place-based initiative of the MSGA. She works directly with community members, municipalities and others to implement development projects that incorporate smart growth principles and to create neighborhoods that are active, welcoming, affordable and environmentally friendly. Prior to joining the Alliance, Ina was the Director of Programs for the West Broadway Neighborhood Association where she forged ties between neighbors, local government agencies and community resources to improve the quality of life in the West End/ Armory District of Providence, RI. She also worked as the consultant for Community Engagement for the Prairie Avenue Revitalization Initiative where her work included conducting outreach to inform residents about the opportunities presented by a planned $40-million dollar re-development effort anchored by the Providence Community Health Centers. Ina holds a B.A. in History from the University of Rhode Island, and M.A in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University with a concentration in Sustainable Communities and Comprehensive Community Development.


October 18, 2012
People vs. Places: Investing in Emerging Environmental Leaders
Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Groundwork Somerville

Somerville is a city of 80,000 people within 4.1 square miles, only 4.3 percent of which is open or green space. Since 2000,Groundwork Somerville has worked to bring about the sustained regeneration of the urban environment and its people and communities, increase open space and opportunities for urban agriculture, while fostering the emergence of environmental leaders from within this community. Chris Mancini will speak about the leadership model Groundwork has cultivated to grow the city's youth and produce and the opportunities for individuals of all ages.

Chris Mancini is the Executive Director of Groundwork Somerville and a graduate of Tufts' Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He has spent his professional life in the fields of environmental education and conservation, working with students in a marine biology field station on the Hudson River to developing comprehensive conservation programs for boaters throughout the U.S. He is a full-time resident of Somerville, MA since 2005 and involved with organizations such as the Somerville Arts Council, the Growing Center, and of course, Groundwork Somerville.


October 25, 2012
The Economics of Brownfields
Jeffrey Zabel, Professor of Economics, Tufts University

The cleanup of brownfield sites can be big news (e.g. the recent allotment $3.5 million to clean up the former Kelly Barrel site near Union Square in Somerville). Yet, 1000s of brownfields remain undeveloped in Massachusetts alone. This begs the question as to why more redevelopment has not taken place. This talk will focus on how economists approach brownfield redevelopment and policies they would advocate to help to spur more redevelopment.

Jeffrey Zabel is a Professor of Economics at Tufts University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 1987. His current research is in the areas of urban and housing economics, environmental economics, and K-12 education. Recent research includes the impact of the housing market on households' cross-MSA migration patterns, the impact of leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites on house prices in three counties in Maryland, the impact of minimum lot size restrictions on house prices in the Boston MSA, the impact of Proposition 21Ž2 on the local fiscal condition and on school segregation in towns in Massachusetts, and the long-term impact of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act on student performance.


November 1, 2012
Animal Migrations Seen from Space
Pieter Beck, Research Associate, Woods Hole Research Center

The 'satellite era' has revolutionized science in the last four decades. For example, the Global Position System made it possible to track movements globally at minimal cost. In the environmental sciences, earth-orbiting sensors confirm in situ observations of global warming, and are providing unprecedented views of global biogeochemical dynamics. As a growing array of satellite-derived data become freely available, opportunities to use it in novel ways across scientific disciplines open up. Dr. Beck will show the fascinating patterns that emerge when satellite images and animal movement data are combined, and how they help us understand the drivers of Earth's great animal migrations, as well as their vulnerability to human interference and environmental change.

Pieter Beck The 'satellite era' has revolutionized science in the last four decades. For example, the Global Position System made it possible to track movements globally at minimal cost. In the environmental sciences, earth-orbiting sensors confirm in situ observations of global warming, and are providing unprecedented views of global biogeochemical dynamics. As a growing array of satellite-derived data become freely available, opportunities to use it in novel ways across scientific disciplines open up. Dr. Beck will show the fascinating patterns that emerge when satellite images and animal movement data are combined, and how they help us understand the drivers of Earth's great animal migrations, as well as their vulnerability to human interference and environmental change.

The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) is a private, non-profit research organization focusing on environmental sciences that seeks science-based solutions for the world's environmental and economical challenges through research and education on forests, soils, air, and water.


November 8, 2012
On Becoming a Nature Writer
Dale Peterson, Ph.D., Author and Professor of English, Tufts University

Come join us as Dr. Dale Peterson explores how to go from being an English major to writing professionally about nature and natural history, wild animals and wild animal researchers (such as Jane Goodall).

Dale Peterson is an award-winning author and Professor of English at Tufts University. He has written, co-authored, and edited seventeen books, many of them on natural history, including Elephant Reflections (2009) and Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man (2006). He has traveled around the world, explored tropical forests from South America to Africa to Madagascar, to India and Southeast Asia—looking for wild animals. He's also examined how people treat animals, conducting undercover investigations in the United States, surveying wild animal markets in Central Africa and Asia, interviewing gorilla hunters and elephant marketers in Africa, and following the trail of illegal animal parts from northern Burma into Yunnan Province, China. His friendship with Jane Goodall introduced him to primatology and to field research on primates, as well to so many issues related to conservation and the ethics of our relationship with the world's many other living creatures.

November 15, 2012
Creating Only ONE Sustainability Footprint to Help Lower Corporate Business Risk
Robert Pojasek, Ph.D., Sustainability Leader, The Shaw Group and Instructor, Harvard Extension School

Sustainability is the capability of a corporation to transparently manage its responsibilities for environmental stewardship, social well-being and economic prosperity over the long term while being held accountable to its stakeholders. It would be great to be able to compare the three responsibilities using an international risk management standard and not having to separate the three areas to evaluate only their impacts. Gone are the days when we need carbon footprints separate from water footprints! This makes it easier for a corporation to manage its risk while practicing three –responsibility sustainability. Sustainability professionals can communicate more effectively to the top leadership and the investment community using risk management as the focus of the sustainability program. There is a great need to mainstream sustainability in the corporation and across the value chain. Having it serve an ad hoc function has not enabled us to make sustainability part of what every employee does every day and part of every business decision. Using risk management, we will be able to reach our mainstream objective.

With 40 years of management consulting, Robert Pojasek is considered to be a thought leader in the area of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He is currently serving as a client program manager and sustainability leader for The Shaw Group - a Fortune 300 company in the United States. He has worked with senior corporate managers in the C-Suite and workers directly responsible for the products and services. Dr. Pojasek has developed an assessment tool that determines the elements of sustainability/corporate responsibility including environmental stewardship, social well-being, and economic prosperity. He has worked with a diverse range of clients in the manufacturing and service sectors as well as state, federal and international governmental agencies and multilateral organizations. Dr. Pojasek is on the Board of Directors at the International Society for Sustainability Professionals; is the Chair, Board of Governors for Corporate Responsibility Officers Association; and has been teaching as an adjunct professor at Harvard University for over a decade.


November 29, 2012
The Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Conservation of the World's Big Cat Species
Lisanne Petracca, Geospatial Analyst, Panthera

In this talk, Ms. Petracca will describe some of her latest work with the NGO Panthera, which is dedicated to the conservation of the world's big cat species. She will discuss the current state of four of the world's most imperiled cats (the jaguar, lion, tiger, and snow leopard) and the various conservation measures Panthera is employing to ensure their survival. One key aspect of her work with Panthera is the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, a groundbreaking effort that aims to conserve jaguar habitat from northern Mexico to northern Argentina.

Lisanne Petracca graduated from Tufts University in 2006 with degrees in Environmental Studies, Psychology, and Biomedical Engineering Systems. Following two years in the Marshall Islands as a science and english teacher, Ms. Petracca attended Duke University to achieve a Masters Degree in Ecosystem Science and Conservation. During her time at Duke, Ms. Petracca was able to spend two field seasons with the conservation NGO Panthera directing a jaguar conservation project in Belize. This project consisted of collecting hundreds of interviews with local hunters and farmers regarding the presence of jaguars and their main prey species, which were then used to identify two key jaguar corridors as part of Panthera's Jaguar Corridor Initiative. Pathera formally hired Ms. Petracca as a Geospatial Analyst following her graduation from Duke in 2010. Her current role is mainly to use the interview data collected throughout Central America to identify new jaguar corridors, as well as to manage a database of Panthera's collared snow leopards and jaguars.


December 6, 2012
Sharing the Earth: Speaking Up/Speaking Out
Professors Elizabeth Ammons and Modhumita Roy

In the course of human history, there comes a time when humanity is called
to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground.
A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other.


—Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Laureate and
Founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya

Creative work has the power to warn, to persuade, to educate, to give hope. It speaks not only to our heads but also to our hearts. Why is that crucial in our shared struggle to achieve environmental justice and planetary health? What can welearn from a truly multicultural, global set of voices? This lecture/discussion will focus on the role of literature in environmental justice activism, emphasizing the power of words to help create a sustainable and just future.

Elizabeth Ammons is the Harriet H. Fay Professor of Literature at Tufts University and teaches in the Environmental Studies Program, "Environmental Justice and U.S. Literature" and also serves as an academic advisor in the program. She is a prolific author including her most recent book, Brave New Words: How Literature Will Save the Planet (2010), which foregrounds issues of environmental justice and activism in American literature and the humanities in general.

Modhumita Roy has been an Associate Professor of English since 1998 and will begin advising in the Environmental Studies Program in 2012. She served as the Director of Women's Studies at Tufts University from 2004-2011 and received the Sophie Coe Memorial Prize for "Some Like it Hot: Gender, Class and Empire in the Making of Mulligatawney Soup" from the Oxford Symposium on Food and cookery, St. Catherine's College, Oxford in 2008. Some of her written works include, "Labour Pain: ‘Nannygate', Undocumented Workers and the Social Cost of "Mothering' in Contemporary Cultural Texts" (2012), "Foreign Babies/ Indian Make: Outsourcing Reproduction in the Age of Globalisation" in Locating Cultural Change: Theory, Method, Process (2011); "Utopia in the Subjective Mood: Bessie Head's When Rain Clouds Gather in The Politics of the (Im)Possible: Utopia and Dystopia Reconsidered (2012); and forthcoming in 2012, "Gendering Culture: A Bibliographic History of a Praxis" in Gender and Culture: A Reader

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