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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 visitors are welcome to attend.

Food is generously sponsored by the Tufts Institute of the Environment.

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

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Spring 2015 Lunch & Learn Schedule
Jan 15, 2015
Watch video
Lynda Mapes Witness Tree: What one oak tells us about our changing world and relationship with nature
Jan 22, 2015
Watch video
Shaun Paul Investing in sustainable well-being
Jan 29, 2015
Watch video
Laur Fisher MIT's Climate CoLab: using collective intelligence to address climate change
Feb 5, 2015
Watch video
Hellen Amuguni Using a One Health approach to respond to infectious disease outbreaks: USAID/RESPOND project in East and Central Africa
Feb 12, 2015 Susan Napier Bioethics in the 14th and 30th Centuries: Ecology, Eschatology and Empire in Miyazaki's Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke
Feb 26, 2015
Watch video
Kyle Emerick Flooding risk and the modernization of agriculture
Mar 5, 2015 Nicole St. Clair Knobloch The african elephant poaching crisis
Mar 12, 2015
Watch video
Ann Rappaport &
Mary Davis
Air quality in developing world disaster and conflict zones: the case of Haiti
Mar 26, 2015 Sean D. Smith U.S. Customs and Border Protection: protecting american agriculture
Apr 2, 2015
Watch video
John Hagan The Science of When Science Doesn't Matter (and what to do about it)
Apr 9, 2015
Watch video
John Pickett Sustainability of small land-hold farmers in Africa: Real challenges and potential solutions
Apr 16, 2015 David Arnold Photographing climate change above and below the waterline
Apr 23, 2015
Watch video
Brett Alger New England Groundfish: A Story About Managing People

Spring 2015 Schedule

January 15, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Witness Tree: What one oak tells us about our changing world and relationship with nature
Lynda Mapes, Reporter & Author, Seattle Times
Watch video

BTQURU 03 is a spectacular, 100 year old red oak: a tagged, tracked research specimen in a long term study of changing seasons at the Harvard Forest. Sprouted back when the industrial revolution was just getting started, the oak grew to tower over what was once a farmer's field, abandoned as people left for jobs in factories and cities – beginning the transformation of our world. Here, in this tree, is a living timeline of those social and historical changes, and their environmental consequences, observable in my tree's growth and even its breath.

Lynda Mapes is a reporter at the Seattle Times and author, specializing in coverage of people and nature and the workings of the natural world. She has won many awards for her work, most recently for her coverage of the largest dam removal project ever in history, which also lead to her book Elwha: A River Reborn, and a museum exhibit based on her book now touring the US. Last year, Lynda was awarded a prestigious Knight fellowship in Science Journalism at MIT which lead to her new book, Witness Tree, under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. Lynda is researching and writing the book this year while a Bullard Fellow at the Harvard Forest. More information: www.lyndavmapes.com

January 22, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Investing in sustainable well-being
Shaun Paul, Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) Research Fellow, Tufts University
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We have entered the 21st century in a perfect storm of global challenges encompassing unprecedented wealth inequality and environmental degradation. Concurrently, we are living at a unique time in history with enormous opportunities to create solutions afforded by rapid innovations in technology, business and investment that includes a growing movement of impact investors and social entrepreneurs forging new business models and solutions that ‘do well by doing good.' In this talk, Shaun Paul will share some of his research at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) applying holistic regenerative principles guiding and assessing impact of highly successful investment and business practices.

Shaun Paul is currently working on a project titled Assessing Impact of Private Investment: A Focus on Biocultural Diversity. Shaun is the president and founding partner of Reinventure Capital, established in partnership with the private equity firm Good Capital. Designated as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow by the Rockefeller Foundation, Shaun has worked internationally for 20 years with policymakers, indigenous leaders, business leaders, private foundations and environmentalists to forge new models building resilient communities and accelerating an inclusive, restorative economy. This includes his current role as Program Committee Board Chair for International Funders for Indigenous People and nominator for the Goldman Environmental Prize. He holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in International Relations from the School of International Service at American University.

January 29, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
MIT's Climate CoLab: using collective intelligence to address climate change
Laur Fisher, Project Manager, MIT Climate CoLab
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Wikipedia, Linux, reCAPTCHA, FoldIt, social media — these are just a few examples of how online platforms allow large numbers of people to connect and collaborate in ways that were never possible before, producing unprecedented results in global knowledge exchange, problem-solving and mobilization. Inspired by this, the researchers at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence wanted to know: how could the internet be leveraged to allow people to problem-solve at a massive — even global — scale? Could we harness the world's collective intelligence to solve our most complicated issues? To test this, they launched the Climate CoLab, an online platform where a growing community of 30,000 people work together to develop solutions to challenges related to arguably humanity's most pressing and complex problem: climate change.

Laur Fisher supports MIT's Climate CoLab project's 20 contests, 12,000+ members, 170+ volunteers, partnership network, and annual conference. She is also an elected civil society representative (alternate) for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) - North America, and run a project called The Civic Series (www.thecivicseries.com) where we arrange informal public presentations and conversation about major world and domestic issues. She has worked with public, private and non-government organizations in Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and the US and has experience in a wide range of fields, including carbon management and reporting, organizational recycling and waste management, renewable energy, green buildings and education. She also has training in group facilitation and has collaborated with The Natural Step and Sustainable Sweden eco-municipality tours. In Toronto, she managed and expanded regional professional education programs for the Canada Green Building Council. She holds a self-designed Bachelor's degree from Tufts University which she titled, "Engaging Sustainability as an Innovative Process".

February 5, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Using a One Health approach to respond to infectious disease outbreaks: USAID/RESPOND project in East and Central Africa
Hellen Amuguni, Center for Conservation Medicine, Tufts University
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The USAID RESPOND project was part of multi-year multi-project effort to pre-empt or combat at their source, the first stages of zoonotic diseases that pose a significant threat to human health. It focused on eight countries in Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, areas considered “hot spots" for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Amuguni will present an overview of the RESPOND project in the last 5 years and how it has strengthened training, educational programs, and support to universities, governments, and civil society using One Health approaches to improve their capacity to prepare and respond to outbreaks and emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin.

Dr. Amuguni trained as a veterinarian at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She went on to earn a Masters degree in International Development with a focus on participatory development and gender from Clark University, and a PhD in Infectious Diseases from Tufts University. Dr. Amuguni has worked previously as a veterinarian, community development specialist and gender consultant in the horn of Africa mostly with pastoralist communities. Most of her work involved developing gender sensitive livestock training materials and programs for men and women at grass root level, providing training and capacity building for animal health specialists at both policy and implementation levels and using participatory rural approaches to assist communities form effective alliances, build partnerships and identify solutions to their problems. She has worked and consulted for various organizations including Food for the Hungry International, Heifer Project International, Veterinarians without Borders (VSF-B) under the umbrella of the UN-Operation Lifeline Sudan, SNV Netherlands Development Organization and AU/IBAR.

February 12, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Bioethics in the 14th and 30th Centuries: Ecology, Eschatology and Empire in Miyazaki's Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke
Susan Napier, Professor of Japanese language and literature, Tufts University

In 1997 the Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki released one of his most famous films—the epic Princess Mononoke. Building on issues brought up in his earlier film and manga Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke uses a richly detailed fantasy 14th century setting to limn a world of environmental and cultural strife and interspecies rivalry that is both piercingly Other and yet somehow remains shockingly suggestive of our own. Violent, apocalyptic and yet transcendently beautiful, Princess Mononoke reveals the dark challenges confronting humanity and its dependency on technology at the same time as it suggests alternative possibilities that may yet promise a healthier future.

This talk examines the issues of bioethics and biopower that arise from the manga, seeking to understand whether Miyazaki's ultimate message is utopian or apocalyptic.

Susan Napier went to Harvard for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has more than twenty years of teaching experience at universities such as the University of Texas, Harvard University, Penn State, Princeton, the University of London and lastly, Tufts University. Her research interests include Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga), modern Japanese literature, popular culture, science fiction and fantasy among others. She has published several books and many articles on anime and popular culture. And she's currently writing a book on the films and manga of Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's greatest living animator and arguably the greatest animator in the world today.

February 26, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Flooding risk and the modernization of agriculture
Kyle Emerick, Department of Economics, Tufts University
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Approximately 30% of the cultivated rice area in India is prone to crop damage from prolonged flooding. Dr. Emerick will discuss a two-year study in rural Odisha India investigating the effects of introducing a new flood-tolerant rice variety on farm investment. He will discuss the effects on both farm productivity and farmer decision-making.

Kyle Emerick received his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley in 2014. His research is in development economics — with a particular focus on the economics of agricultural development. His work has included studies on the effects of risk-reducing technologies on the decisions of poor farmers in rural India, the efficiency of informal seed exchanges between Indian farmers, and the effects of more secure property rights on labor reallocation in Mexico. His studies rely on both field experiments and observational data.

March 5, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
The african elephant poaching crisis
Nicole St. Clair Knobloch, Writer

Ms. St. Clair Knobloch will discuss the poaching crisis facing African elephants – the direct causes and the indirect circumstances that worsen it -- and the potential solutions. She has been particularly focused on the fate of the now critically endangered African forest elephant, on U.S. foreign policy goals in the region the forest elephants inhabit, and on how those goals are disrupted by the ivory trade.

Nicole St. Clair Knobloch worked on climate policy, communications, and strategy for Ceres, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. She is now writing full-time, pursuing interests in looking at how change is made and at how environmental challenges affect global stability. She also currently works as a speechwriter for Shirley Ann Jackson, president, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

March 12, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Air quality in developing world disaster and conflict zones: the case of Haiti
Ann Rappaport, Urban, Environmental Policy & Planning, Tufts University
Mary Davis, Urban, Environmental Policy & Planning, Tufts University
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Data on air quality are remarkably limited in the poorest of the world's countries. This is especially true for post conflict and disaster zones, where international relief efforts focus on more salient public health challenges such as water and sanitation, infectious diseases and housing. We use post-earthquake Haiti as an example case and contend there is an unmet need for additional attention to an important health challenge.

Dr. Ann Rappaport has helped develop and implement the hazardous waste regulatory program in Massachusetts, and maintains an active interest in the dynamic relationship between environmental laws and regulations and innovations in environmental technology and corporate management of environmental issues. Her current research interests include enterprise-level decision making with respect to the environment, institutional responses to climate change, voluntary initiatives related to companies and the environment, and contemporary issues in corporate social responsibility. She co-directs the Tufts Climate Initiative, the university commitment to meet or beat the emission reductions associated with the Kyoto Protocol.

Dr. Mary Davis's research is broadly focused on environmental health issues, including air pollution, occupational health, children's health, and biostatistics. Her recent research projects include an investigation of the relationship between the economy and human health, evaluations of working conditions in Haitian apparel factories and in the New England commercial fishing industry, and an assessment of economic trade-offs in marine resource use along the Maine coastline. She is currently the chair of a National Academy of Sciences research panel investigating the effect of noise on children's learning outcomes, and has testified on multiple occasions at state legislative panels as an advocate for pro-children's health legislation.


March 26, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: protecting American agriculture
Sean D. Smith, Public Affairs/Border Community Liaison, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

It's never a dull day in the life of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialist. Combining expertise in the natural sciences with the discipline of working in a fast-paced law enforcement environment, Agriculture Specialists are trained to serve as experts in the area of agricultural inspection, border intelligence, analysis, examination and enforcement activities.

PA/BCL Smith joined CBP in 2005 as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialist and was promoted to Supervisory CBPAS in 2008. He has served CBP in the following ports of entry: San Diego, San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, and Boston Logan Airport. In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Smith was designated as the Public Affairs Liaison and Border Community Liaison, respectively, for CBP in New England, covering ME, VT, NH, MA, CT and RI. PA/BCL Smith has also participated in past domestic and international disaster recovery operations, including: Hurricane Ike (2008) and 'Operation Safe Return' (Haitian Relief Effort- 2010).

April 2, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
The Science of When Science Doesn't Matter (and what to do about it)
John Hagan, President, Manomet
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Why do only 50% of the public agrees that climate change is caused by human activities despite overwhelming scientific evidence? Why do many parents refuse to vaccinate their children? Or deny evolution? Why do 88% of surveyed scientists believe genetically modified organisms are safe for consumption while only 37% of the public believes so? In his talk, John Hagan will address why science around hot issues is ignored or selectively filtered by the public and scientists alike, and how to move forward.

Dr. John Hagan established Manomet's Forest Conservation Program, based in Brunswick, Maine, in 1997. He has led a variety of field studies on forestry and biodiversity in the region and has helped transform how the forestry sector thinks about protecting biodiversity. His early work on birds and forestry showed that clearcuts can be important habitat for many species of conservation concern. He has also shown that modern forest management threatens the persistence of many less charismatic species, such as lichens and mosses that depend on late-successional or old-growth forest. He has worked closely both with timber companies and environmental groups. With a series of grants from the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry, he has helped develop a simple, science-based approach to selecting sustainability indicators that include society's economic, social, and environmental values. Dr. Hagan received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Texas Christian University, an M.S. in Wildlife Management from North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Zoology, also from North Carolina State.

April 9, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Sustainability of small land-hold farmers in Africa: Real challenges and potential solutions
John Pickett, Scientific Leader of Chemical Ecology, Rothamsted Research
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Small land-holder cereal farmers in sub-Saharan Africa do not normally purchase seasonal inputs such as seed, fertiliser and pesticides. Companion cropping, which is normally practised, can be an entry point by which to provide perennial plants that deliver alternative approaches to seed saving options, nutrition and pest management. Beginning with a push-pull system of pest management comprising companion crops grown as intercrops to push away pests and attract beneficial insects and perimeter trap crops to attract pests out of the main crop, a platform offering more solutions to constraints in this type of farming system have been developed extending to incorporating livestock forage production.

Professor John A. Pickett is a world authority on semiochemicals in insect behavior and plant defense, and plays a leading role in the move away from the traditional use of wide-spectrum pesticides to more precise control through compounds targeted against specific pests at crucial stages in their life cycles. His work centers on the chemical ecology of interactions between insects, between insects and their plant or animal hosts, and between plants. John Pickett's contributions to the field of chemical ecology have been acknowledged with numerous awards including the Rank Prize for Nutrition and Crop Husbandry, election to Fellowship of the Royal Society, International Society of Chemical Ecology Medal, the prestigious Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture and the Millennium Award among many other international measures of esteem. He is also a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and he has over 450 publications and patents.

April 16, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
Photographing climate change above and below the waterline
David Arnold, Photographer

Boston photographer David Arnold (www.doublexposure.net) precisely compares glacier and coral scenes to create "then and now" comparisons to illustrate the significant changes already taking place above and below the waterline of a warming planet. His Double Exposure exhibit opened at Boston's Museum of Science in 2008, then toured the country non-stop for four years. Currently he is working on a second exhibit. He will speak personally to the power of photography, and reflect with audience help about how we got into this mess - and how we can get out.

April 23, 2015
12:00-1:00pm | Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center
New England Groundfish: A Story About Managing People
Brett Alger, Fishery Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries
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New England fisheries date back several centuries, with the iconic Atlantic cod playing a key role in our countries' development. In the 1970's, faced with declining fish stocks, Congress passed the Magnuson-Stevens Act to create sustainable fisheries that benefit our fishermen and our Nation. The Act created eight Fishery Management Councils made up of fishermen, along with state and federal managers to develop measures to manage fisheries within the legal requirements. The New England Council is responsible for developing a management plan for 13 groundfish species, including cod. The fishery is managed using a variety of tools, including catch limits, effort controls, and a catch share system. Despite being one of the most scrutinized and highly regulated fisheries in the world, several groundfish stocks including cod, are in extremely poor condition. A concoction of political, environmental, economic, and scientific factors has left cod and the fishing industry in peril, and fisheries management with few options. Brett's presentation will cover the legal, scientific, and management process of New England groundfish, and highlight what has happened with Atlantic cod, and where the fishery might be headed.

Brett Alger is a Fishery Management Specialist for NOAA Fisheries in the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Gloucester, MA, a region that extends from the Canadian border to North Carolina. He helps to manage commercial and recreational fisheries in Federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including developing policy, implementing management measures, and monitoring catch. Before coming to NOAA Fisheries six years ago, Brett earned a B.S. in Biology from Central Michigan University, an M.S in Fisheries Management and Science from Michigan State University, and worked for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and several State agencies in the Midwest.