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Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lectures

Thursdays at 12:00-1:00pm

Every week during the academic year, the Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lectures feature 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.

The Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lectures are made possible thanks to the generosity of Daphne Hoch-Cunningham J82, A18P and Roland Hoch A85, A19P.

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Video archives of Environmental Lectures >


COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT:
All lectures in the Spring 2021 semester will be streamed via Zoom. Use the 'Register now' link for each lecture, to access the Zoom session.
You may also subscribe to our e-list, or send an email to: environmentalstudies@tufts.edu.

Spring 2021 Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lectures
Feb 4, 2021
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Elly Vadseth Sensate Body(s) Past, Present, Futures
Feb 11, 2021
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Nancy Shrodes How to Advocate for Better Policies Using Science and Outreach at an NGO
Feb 18, 2021
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Joan Meschino Idea to Enactment: Legislative Advocacy to Pass The 2050 Roadmap Bill
Feb 25, 2021
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Arnim Scheidel The Global Environmental Justice Atlas: a Tool for Research and Activism
Mar 4, 2021
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Keryn Gedan Formation of a Mid-Atlantic Ghost Forest
Mar 11, 2021
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Lisanne Petracca Novel Analytical Approaches in Guiding Big Cat Conservation and Management
Mar 18, 2021
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Ricardo Salvador Prospects for Food and Agriculture Policy and Practice
Mar 25, 2021
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Kregg Hetherington Agribiopolitics: How Monocrops Transform the Welfare State
Apr 1, 2021
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Jon Regosin Managing Wildlife in the Third Most Densely Populated State: Case Studies from Massachusetts
Apr 8, 2021
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Julie Carrick Dalton Cli-Fi: The Intersection of Climate and Fiction
Apr 15, 2021
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Pema Gyamtsho How Bhutan Brings Nature to the Table
Apr 22, 2021
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Amy Laura Cahn What Do We Mean When We Say "Justice"?: Environmental and Climate Decision-making at a Crossroads
Apr 29, 2021
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Caleb Scoville A "Stupid Little Fish": Science, Law and the Politics of Environmental Decline in California

* There will not be live-stream broadcast for this lecture, and it will not be recorded.
‡ There will be live-stream broadcast for this lecture, but it will not be recorded.

Spring 2021 Schedule


Elly VadsethFebruary 4, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Sensate Body(s) Past, Present, Futures
Elly Vadseth, Artist

Artist Elly Vadseth will present her project Sensate Body(s). Collaborating with scientists, water people, academic, technologists and artists the project examines nonlinear and entangled oceanic processes, towards sensate worldmaking reflecting on past, present and emerging worlds and connections. Her artistic practice/research is currently taking place in the Oslo Fjord, part of the Skagerrak Ecosystem, an ecosystem vulnerable to dramatic climate change with rising temperatures, ocean acidification, sound pollution, marine traffic and overfishing. Through the durational project Sensate Body(s) she poetically addresses this context, seeking to move beyond extractive paradigms through interdisciplinary practice. She uses performance, sound, hydro choreography and installation exploring hydrologics, gelatinous epistemology and oceanic ontologies. In this talk she will present the first constellations of the project (2019-2021) working with the gelatinous lifeform Cyanea capillata and Mnemiopsis leidyi. Through a gelatinous lens the project engages questions and perspectives within feminist phenomenology and theory, posthuman philosophy, critical ocean studies and environmental humanities.

Elly Vadseth's work will be on display at Barnum Hall (Lobby) from February 1st to March 5th, 2021.

Elly Vadseth (NO/USA) is an artist and researcher exploring shifting ecological, biological and atmospheric relationships and epistemes. The affective potential in gesture, nonlinear storytelling, multi-sensory world-making and ideas around re-enchantment is central to this practice. She holds an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. She is the recipient of a Tufts Institute of the Environment research Fellowship for her work River Narrative(s) and a Post graduate teaching fellowship in media arts at SMFA (2018/ 2019). Her projects have been screened, performed and presented in solo and group shows, nationally and internationally at museums, galleries, on buildings, in rivers and in industrial sites. Recent projects have been shown at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (2018), Mountain Time Arts (Bozeman, 2018), Difrazioni festival (2019, Italy), Adelson Gallery (Boston,2019), Henie Onstad Contemporary Art center (2019, Norway), Asker Kunstforening (Norway 2020) and at Kunstplass Contemporary Art Oslo (2020, Norway). She is currently an artist in residence in "CLIMATA: Capturing Change at a time of Ecological Crisis at the art and research organization Praksis, Oslo (2020-2021) with upcoming projects at the Norwegian National Museum of science and technology (2021, Norway).

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Nancy ShrodesFebruary 11, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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How to Advocate for Better Policies Using Science and Outreach at an NGO
Nancy Shrodes, Associate Director of Policy & Outreach, Heal the Bay

Tufts alumn Nancy Shrodes, in a conversation with Environmental Studies Director Colin Orians, will discuss how she catalyzes community action and utilizes many tools in the advocacy tool belts at Heal the Bay to help ensure that the coastal waters and watersheds of the greater LA area are clean, healthy, and safe. She will also talk about a case study with Measure W, in which Angelenos opted to tax themselves so that municipalities would have enough funds to clean up their acts with multi-benefit stormwater projects that are equitable. She will also address what prompted her to choose the route of nonprofit work, how her education at Tufts has helped her in her professional career, and share her advice with current students.

Nancy Shrodes is currently Heal the Bay's Associate Director of Policy & Outreach, in which she connects their technical work to their outreach programming. She passionately works to educate local community members and protect watersheds in the greater LA area, work she has done for 8 years at Heal the Bay. She graduated from Tufts in 2011 with a double major in Environmental Science and Spanish, and a minor in Communication and Media Studies. While spearheading campaigns, Nancy earned her Master's degree in Water Resource Engineering at Loyola Marymount University, with a certificate in Sustainability. Having grown up in the South Bay in Los Angeles, you can find her spending her free time at the beach running, on the volleyball courts, or in the water body surfing.

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Joan MeschinoFebruary 18, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Idea to Enactment: Legislative Advocacy to Pass The 2050 Roadmap Bill
Joan Meschino, Massachusetts State Representative

Representative Joan Meschino will discuss the process of advancing The 2050 Roadmap Bill from idea to enactment. This billaimsto create acomprehensive, people-centered plan to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by at least 2050.She will describe how the idea for the bill arose, how the bill writing process works, and how she cultivated strategies to build consensus.  She will then delve into the deliberative legislative process, highlighting the necessary steps for a bill to be enacted into law during a Massachusetts legislative session. The bill advanced to the Governor's desk within one session, a rare accomplishment compared to the path of most bills. In large part, this is due to the work of Rep. Meschino in maintaining strong relationships both inside and outside the State House. In this talk, she will focus not just on the process itself, but also her strategy for optimizing the outcome she achieved.

This event is co-sponsored by Tisch College of Civic Life.

Representative Joan Meschino represents the Third Plymouth District, which includes the communities of Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, and North Scituate, and is in her third term.  Rep. Meschino has served on various committees and several commissions, most notably the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. Before joining the Legislature, Rep. Meschino served locally as Selectman in Hull for two terms and worked on numerous town, regional, and statewide boards and commissions.  In particular, she served as Hull's representative to the Metropolitan Beaches Commission and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Rep. Meschino is also a seasoned nonprofit executive and social justice advocate.  Over her career, she has worked in criminal defense, civil rights law, and health care law.  Most recently, she served as Executive Director for the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a public interest law center that promotes equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents. Rep. Meschino graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English and earned her J.D. from University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law.  She was honored with a "2014 Top Women in Law" award by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.  A longtime active member of the Women's Bar Association, Rep. Meschino is a member of its Emeritus Board.

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Arnim ScheidelFebruary 25, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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The Global Environmental Justice Atlas: a Tool for Research and Activism
Arnim Scheidel, Dept. of Political Ecology, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain

Global movements for environmental justice and sustainability are perhaps among the most influential social forces of the 21st century. By defending customary land uses, contesting damaging industrial activities and demanding alternatives to development as usual, environmental movements shape the politics and practices of resource uses globally. Until recently, environmental conflicts and mobilizations have not been tracked systematically and with a global reach. In this talk, Dr. Arnim Scheidel introduces the Global Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas) that documents environmental struggles worldwide through a collaborative process between academics and activists. He will look both backward into the scholar and activist roots of the EJAtlas, and forward, by illustrating and discussing how the EJAtlas may enrich academic research, engaged scholarship and activism for more just and sustainable environmental futures.

Arnim Scheidel, Ph.D., is a Beatriu de Pinós research fellow and lecturer in Political Ecology at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain. He is part of the Coordination Group of the Global Environmental Justice Atlas (www.ejatlas.org), the largest global database on environmental conflicts and mobilizations. Arnim comes from an interdisciplinary background and holds a Bachelor's in Ecology and Biodiversity (Graz, Austria), a Master's in Social Ecology (Vienna, Austria), and a PhD in Ecological Economics and Environmental Sciences (Barcelona, Spain). He has hold visiting fellowships, teaching and consultancy positions across Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, UK, Czech Republic, Cambodia, Thailand, China and Japan. His current research focuses on the political ecology of development, agrarian and environmental change, environmental conflicts and environmental justice.

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Keryn GedanMarch 4, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Formation of a Mid-Atlantic Ghost Forest
Keryn Gedan, Dept of Biological Sciences, George Washington University

Ghost forests are formed when sea level rise and saltwater intrusion kill trees at the coastal interface. While the formation of ghost forests reduces coastal forest habitat, it also offers an opportunity for expansion of intertidal ecosystems such as tidal marshes, which are rapidly losing habitat in other places. The Mid-Atlantic is a hot spot of sea level rise and provides a window through which to view the future of coastal change. Monitoring coastal forests with satellite data and on-the-ground observations in the Mid-Atlantic, Gedan provides an ecological description of ghost forest formation. As these ecosystems are a visual reminder of sea level rise, they also provide an unparalleled opportunity for public outreach and education. Working together with scientists, artists and journalists have provided new perspectives on ghost forests.

Dr. Keryn Gedan is an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences at George Washington University. She received her bachelor's degree from Tufts University in Biology and Environmental Studies (A'02) and her PhD from Brown University. Gedan is a coastal ecologist who works to understand the effects of global change factors such as sea level rise, climate change, hypoxia, and invasive species on coastal ecosystems. Her current research investigates the response of tidal marsh and nearshore upland ecosystems to accelerated sea level rise. Gedan and her students have projects in coastal marsh, forest, and salt-affected farmland in the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic seashore, where they work with farmers and land managers to inform conservation and restoration activities. Her research is supported by NSF, Maryland Sea Grant, the USDA, and the National Fish and Wildlife Federation.

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Lisanne PetraccaMarch 11, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Novel Analytical Approaches in Guiding Big Cat Conservation and Management
Lisanne Petracca, Quantitative Conservation Lab, University of Washington

Large carnivores such as lions, jaguars, and leopards are among the world's most charismatic megafauna, yet habitat loss and direct killing threaten the large-scale persistence of these species. The effective monitoring, management, and conservation of felids require big-picture ideas that incorporate a strong quantitative foundation while also paying due consideration to social-ecological context. In this talk, Dr. Lisanne Petracca will discuss novel quantitative applications to inform the conservation of large cats ranging from the tropical forests of Central America to the savannas of Angola and Zimbabwe, with a special focus on the integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).
Dr. Lisanne Petracca is an alum of the Tufts Class of 2006, and received Master's and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, respectively. She has ten years of experience within the international conservation non-profit world, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington leading a project on grey wolves.

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Ricardo J. SalvadorMarch 18, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Prospects for Food and Agriculture Policy and Practice
Ricardo J. Salvador, Director/Senior Scientist, Food & Environment Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

The world of food and agriculture reflects a mismatch of 18th century thinking and perspective and the actuality of the present and needs of the future. In his talk, Dr. Salvador will discuss the possibilities for the formulation and adoption of policies that are informed by contemporary social and scientific realities and adapted for our century and beyond.

Dr. Ricardo J. Salvador is Director and Senior Scientist of the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food and of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He advises a range of organizations, including: the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, FoodCorps, the Center for Good Food Purchasing, Food System 6, The Land Institute, National Farm to School Network, HEAL Food Alliance, and the Fair Food Program of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Prior positions include Program Officer for Food Health and Wellbeing at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Associate Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University. A native of Mexico, Dr. Salvador's academic background includes undergraduate studies in agriculture at New Mexico State University, and M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University.

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Kregg HetheringtonMarch 25, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Agribiopolitics: How Monocrops Transform the Welfare State
Kregg Hetherington, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University

The Green Revolution in crop development of the mid-20th century is normally told as the story of heroic plant geneticists, miraculous fertilizers and increasingly complex machinery and pesticides. But the expansion of monocrop agriculture throughout this period was also enabled by novel governmental apparatuses that guarded the health of plants much as welfare regimes guarded that of humans. In this presentation, he will argue that it's worth thinking of these two things together, as an overarching politics of life that oversaw the shifting relation between the well-being of plants and that of humans. Biopolitics was always, in other words, agribiopolitics, a political technique that made certain populations of humans thrive alongside companion crops. Using Paraguay as a site of genealogical engagement, he will show how this history of monocrops first supported, then undermined human welfare, and how intertwined it is with the political predicaments of the Anthropocene.

Dr. Kregg Hetherington is an environmental anthropologist and director of the Concordia Ethnography Lab in Montreal. He is author of The Government of Beans (2020), Guerrilla Auditors (2011) and editor of Infrastructure, Environment and Life in the Anthropocene (2019). His research has focused on agrarian politics and bureaucracy in Paraguay, and crop and water management in the Anthropocene.

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Jon RegosinApril 1, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Managing Wildlife in the Third Most Densely Populated State:
Case Studies from Massachusetts
Jon Regosin, Deputy Director, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals.  MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife conservation and to provide wildlife based recreational opportunities including fishing and hunting.  Through case studies, Dr. Jon Regosin will explore current challenges in wildlife management in our densely populated state including deer and forest health, endangered species, and human-wildlife interactions.  The talk will also address how MassWildlife is responding to long-term societal changes such as urbanization, increased ethnic and racial diversity, and changing wildlife values.

Jon Regosin is the Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (MassWildlife).  He formerly served as both Chief of Conservation Science and Regulatory Review Manager at the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program of MassWildlife.  Jon also worked as a Conservation Planner with the Rhode Island Field Office of The Nature Conservancy.  He received an M.S. in Ecology & Evolution from the University of Chicago in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Biology from Tufts University in 2003.  His research has focused on birds, amphibians, and turtles including state-listed rare species such as the Blue-spotted Salamander, Red-bellied Cooter, and Piping Plover.

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apr8April 8, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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Cli-Fi: The Intersection of Climate and Fiction
Julie Carrick Dalton, Author

Author and journalist Julie Carrick Dalton discusses her debut novel, Waiting for the Night Song, in which she uses the lens of fiction and her love and connection to the natural world to present pressing issues of climate change and its effects on our communities in a cautiously hopeful way, an optimistic call to action that results in a page-turning and gripping read.

We are giving away 20 free copies of Waiting for the Night Song to the first 20 registrants

This event is co-hosted with Tisch College's Civic Life Lunch series and co-sponsored by the English Department and the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Julie Carrick Dalton's journalism has been published in such places as The Boston Globe and BusinessWeek, and she workshopped her debut novel, Waiting for the Night Song, in GrubStreet's Novel Incubator, a year-long, MFA-level novel intensive. She has won several awards including the 2017 William Faulkner Literary Competition. Dalton has been invited to speak at literary conferences, schools, and universities on the intersection of fiction and climate. Dalton also owns and operates a small farm in rural New Hampshire. With Waiting for the Night Song, she uses this experience to present pressing issues of climate change and its effects on our communities in a cautiously hopeful way, an optimistic call to action that is sure to resonate with readers and gives this page-turner an urgent, timely, big scope feel.

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Pema GyamtshoApril 15, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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How Bhutan Brings Nature to the Table
Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
 
Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Former Minister of Agriculture and Forests of the Royal Government of Bhutan will give an overview of Bhutan's geography, history, polity and the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness and Environment. He will discuss how Buthanese view mountains, lakes, springs, trees and animals as living sentient beings and how Bhutan's national policy and international representations take these beliefs into account. Finally, he will address the challenges and the path forward for Bhutan to continue to live with nature into the 21stcentury.

Dr Pema Gyamtsho is the Director General of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) an intergovernmental knowledge organization dedicated to mountains and people of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Having begun his tenure during the Ministerial Mountain Summit which took place in October 2020, Dr Gyamtsho takes up the globally significant HKH Call to Action work among his leadership priorities for the institution. He leverages a depth and breadth of previous experiences, including having served the Royal Government of Bhutan for over three decades, providing environmental leadership and working at the science-policy-practice interface across a broad range of issue areas including linking public financing for environmental sustainably; conservation and climate change mitigation; community-level readiness for the expansion of community owned and managed forests; and institution-building promoting high quality research and evidence-based decision making on conservation and environmental issues. Dr. Gyamtsho holds a PhD in Natural Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, a deep passion for the people of the HKH region, and a commitment to help address the challenges present across the diversity of the region's mountain environments.

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Amy Laura CahnApril 22, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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What Do We Mean When We Say "Justice"?:
Environmental and Climate Decision-making at a Crossroads
Amy Laura Cahn, Visiting Professor and Acting Director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at Vermont Law School

How can the next generation of environmental and climate law and policy change the balance of power in the United States? While policymakers have begun to embrace procedural justice, public engagement alone falls short of shifting power to those most at risk. Social movements push us further, calling for systems change that creates new rights and remedies to address past harms and reallocate resources. This talk will explore what decision-making looks like when designed with the needs and voices of frontline communities at the center.

Amy Laura Cahn is a Visiting Professor and Acting Director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at Vermont Law School. Through movement lawyering practice and scholarship, Amy Laura collaborates with organizers and communities to confront the cumulative effects of racial segregation, neighborhood disinvestment, and environmental and climate risk and support self-determination. Prior to joining VLS, she served as Senior Attorney and Interim Director of the Healthy Communities & Environmental Justice Program at the Conservation Law Foundation, launching CLF’s community lawyering efforts. Amy Laura Cahn joined CLF from the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia, where she was a Skadden Fellow and Director of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative—the nation’s first urban agriculture law clinic. For five years, she served as legal counsel to residents in the frontline floodplain community of Eastwick in addressing the legacy injustices of this country's largest urban renewal project. Amy Laura has clerked for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. She sits on the Penn Law Alumni Advisory Board for Inclusion & Engagement and the Legal Advisory Board for Alternatives for Community and Environment. She is a longtime community organizer and co-founder of Lower Manhattan's Bluestockings Bookstore. She has a B.A., summa cum laude, from Hunter College and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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Caleb ScovilleApril 29, 2021
12:00-1:00pm
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A "Stupid Little Fish": Science, Law and the Politics of Environmental Decline in California
Caleb Scoville, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Tufts University

Legal protections of the delta smelt, a small endangered fish found only in the center of California's water system, have made the species a central player in the American West's so-called "water wars." In this talk, Dr. Scoville shows that contrary to dominant accounts, the conflict about the delta smelt isn't simply about the distribution of water. He follows the dynamic interplay of disparate conceptions of nature immanent in extractive infrastructure, science, law and the public sphere to show how environmental change mediates social conflicts, often in unexpected ways.

Caleb Scoville is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tufts University. He is primarily interested in the political dimensions of environmental knowledge. In a current book project on the case of the delta smelt, an endangered species of fish caught in the center of California's "water wars," Caleb analyzes the dynamic interplay of extractive infrastructure, science, law, and public sphere controversy in response to water scarcity and biodiversity loss. He is also currently engaged in collaborative research including one project on the moral regulation of European states by financial markets (with Marion Fourcade), and another on how artificial intelligence technologies are shaping the field of environmental conservation in the context of global warming (with Carl Boettiger, Millie Chapman, and Razvan Amironesei). He is in the early stages of a new major project which focuses on how environmental and public health issues have become enrolled into America's hyper-partisan "culture wars."

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