Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  School of Engineering  |  Find People  |  Give  | 

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.

If you want to receive weekly emails about the Environmental Lectures, sign up for our newsletter.

Video archives of Environmental Lectures >

All lectures in the Fall 2020 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.

Fall 2020 Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lectures
Sep. 10, 2020
Watch video
Julian Agyeman Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning and Practice
Sep. 17, 2020
Watch video
Kevin Cody Alternative Food Movements and Farmer Viability: An International Perspective
Sep. 24, 2020
Watch video
Rosanna Xia A Conversation with L.A. Times Environment Reporter Rosanna Xia
Oct. 1, 2020
Watch video
Tania Taranovski & Jessika Brennin Farm to College in New England: Past, Present, and Post-Pandemic
Oct. 8, 2020
Watch video
Nathaniel Stinnett Modern Environmental Politics: Big Data, Behavioral Science, and Getting Out The Vote
Oct. 15, 2020
Watch video
Sarah Kanouse Being Entangled: Artistic Approaches to Complex Ecologies
Oct. 22, 2020
Watch video
Lee Brown Data, Data Everywhere: Dealing with the Deluge to Address Issues of Environmental Concern
Oct. 29, 2020
Watch video
Earl Phillips U.S. Environmental Law and TRUMP: Four Years Undoing 50 Years of Progress
Nov. 5, 2020
Watch video
Rachel Kyte What if Nature Had a Seat at the Table?
Nov. 12, 2020
Watch video
Bina Venkataraman Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age: Insights from 'The Optimist's Telescope'
Nov. 19, 2020
Register now
Ines Camilloni Climate change, Impacts, and Solutions: A Perspective From the Global South
Dec. 3, 2020
Register now
Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine
Dec. 10, 2020
Register now
Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein Make the World You Want to See: An Artist's Perspective on Sustainable Practices and Community

* 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.

Fall 2020 Schedule

Julian AgyemanSeptember 10, 2020
Just Sustainabilities in Policy, Planning and Practice
Julian Agyeman, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
Watch video

In his talk, Professor Agyeman will outline the concept of just sustainabilities as a response to the 'equity deficit' of much sustainability thinking and practice. He will explore his contention that who can belong in our cities will ultimately determine what our cities can become. He will illustrate his ideas with examples from urban planning and design, urban agriculture and food justice, and the concept of sharing cities.

Julian Agyeman, Ph.D. FRSA FRGS, is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and environmental sustainability. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embedded relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity.

He believes that what our cities can become (sustainable, smart, sharing and resilient) and who is allowed to belong in them (recognition of difference, diversity, and a right to the city) are fundamentally and inextricably interlinked. We must therefore act on both belonging and becoming, together, using just sustainabilities as the anchor, or face deepening spatial and social inequities and inequalities.

He is the author or editor of 12 books, including Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press, 2003), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, 2011), and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press, 2015), one of Nature's Top 20 Books of 2015. In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his "outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning".

Learn more about Julian Agyeman.

Back to event listing >

Kevin CodySeptember 17, 2020
Alternative Food Movements and Farmer Viability: An International Perspective
Kevin Cody, Hoch Cunningham Professor of the Practice in Food Systems, Environmental Studies, Tufts University
Watch video

Across the globe, alternative food movements have emerged in response to the devastation—environmental, social, and economic—brought about by a global industrialized food system. At the core of these movements are small and medium size farmers who are driving agroecological change through innovative practices and discursive frameworks that revalorize peasant identities. In the US, beginning farmers and ranchers are often playing this vital role in reimagining and remaking agricultural livelihoods and regional food systems. Here and abroad, however, the long-term viability of small and medium size farmers is continually jeopardized by structural barriers in the global industrialized food system. This talk will explore the concept of farmer viability as it relates to alternative food movements and the productive possibilities of agri-cultural exchange between the global North and South.

Dr. Kevin Cody is the inaugural Hoch Cunningham Professor of the Practice in Food Systems at Tufts University. He is also the Farmer Training Program Manager at New Entry Sustainable Farming Project where he develops pathways to generate and sustain new and beginning farmers. Prior to New Entry, Kevin was a faculty member in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Northern Colorado where he developed experiential and community-engaged courses on food systems, and managed the university's student farm program. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he explored the internationalization of alternative food networks and the long-term viability of beginning farmers.

Back to event listing >

Rosanna XiaSeptember 24, 2020
A Conversation with L.A. Times Environment Reporter Rosanna Xia
Watch video

Climate change. Pollution. Endangered ecosystems and equitable access to nature. How do you communicate the most complex and pressing environmental issues of our time? Los Angeles Times reporter Rosanna Xia, in a conversation with Environmental Studies Director Colin Orians, will share her experiences working in the field. She will also talk about her time at Tufts and her recent interactive project on sea level rise, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist this year in explanatory reporting.

Learn more about the project: Rosanna Xia is an environment reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She covers the coast and has written about sea level rise, public rights to nature and endangered species deep beneath the sea. Her stories connect science and policy and have led to new laws and regulations. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2020 for explanatory reporting and holds a degree in quantitative economics and international relations from Tufts University.

Back to event listing >

Tania Taranovski and Jessika BreninOctober 1, 2020
Farm to College in New England: Past, Present, and Post-Pandemic
Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs,Farm to Institution New England
Jessika Brenin, Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning, and Food & Nutrition Policy, Tufts University
Watch video

"Farm to institution" represents an important lever for change in the effort to build resilient and sustainable regional food systems. Institutions, including colleges and universities, make important daily choices about food including: what food to buy, where to buy it from, if they should grow it, how much to pay for it, how much to charge for it, and how to serve it. These choices provide opportunities to promote sustainable growing practices, provide transparency in the food system, support regional economies, and increase food access & food justice. These connections have become ever more relevant due to Covid-19's food system disruptions. What roles can (or should) institutions play in support of the regional food movement at the intersections of sustainability, resiliency, student food access, and food justice?

Tania Taranovski is the Director of Programs at Farm to Institution New England (FINE). A dedicated conservationist and nature-lover, Ms. Taranovski pursues collaborative, multi-stakeholder solutions to environmental problems. Over the last couple of decades, she developed market-based approaches to seafood sustainability, supported community-based research to address human wildlife-conflict in Africa, and is currently focused on how regional food and food systems can evolve to address ecological and social problems. She previously worked at the New England Aquarium, Earthwatch Institute, and as an independent consultant. She co-chaired the board of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative and served as a steering committee member of the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. She also volunteers for a number of local and global nonprofits including Joshua Kaye Foundation and Project Piaba. She graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies and is an aluma of the School for Field Studies program in Queensland, Australia.

Jessika Brenin is a graduate student at Tufts University in the dual-degree program of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning and Food & Nutrition Policy & Programs, with a focus on equitable food systems planning. During her time at Tufts, she has collaborated on projects with the Medford Office of Sustainability, Livable Streets Alliance, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Most recently, she has worked with Farm to Institution New England leading a research initiative to explore how regional food procurement on college campuses relates to student food access and food justice. She comes from a Public Health background and spent a year serving with AmeriCorps prior to her graduate studies.

Back to event listing >

Nathaniel StinnettOctober 8, 2020
Modern Environmental Politics: Big Data, Behavioral Science, and Getting Out The Vote
Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder & Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project
Watch video

Environmentalists aren't voting as much as they ought to, but recent advances in data analytics and behavioral science offer hope for 2020 and beyond. With fresh data from recent elections and mobilization experiments, voter turnout expert Nathaniel Stinnett will discuss how modern political campaigns identify and mobilize voters, and how that impacts environmental policy at the local, state, and federal level.

Nathaniel Stinnett is the Founder & Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan nonprofit that uses data analytics and behavioral science to mobilize environmentalists to vote. Named one of five global "climate visionaries" by The New York Times in 2018, and dubbed "The Voting Guru" by Grist magazine, Stinnett is a frequent expert speaker on cutting-edge campaign techniques and the behavioral science behind getting people to vote. He has held a variety of senior leadership and campaign manager positions on U.S. Senate, Congressional, state, and mayoral campaigns, and he sits on the Board of Advisors for MIT's Environmental Solutions Initiative. Formerly an attorney at the international law firm DLA Piper, Stinnett holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School, and he lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two daughters.

Back to event listing >

Sarah KanouseOctober 15, 2020
Being Entangled: Artistic Approaches to Complex Ecologies
Sarah Kanouse, Artist
Watch video

The escalating and overlapping ecological crises are increasingly understood as more than problems of technology, resource use, and maldistribution. They are also, and perhaps fundamentally, epistemic problems: ways of perceiving, thinking, and valuing the world that favor separation over relation. As a domain traditionally associated with questions of sensing and valuing, the arts can rehearse alternate ways of approaching the embeddedness and contingency of human stories in much larger material, environmental, and inter-species assemblages. This talk will screen "Ecologies of Acknowledgment" (currently on view in the Artist Response exhibition at the Tufts University Art Galleries) and use this film, along with its companion print and Fall 2019 field trip to Deer Island, as a case study to suggest reparative and relational roles for the arts in environmental work beyond documentation of threat and loss.

This event is co-sponsored by the Tufts University Art Galleries and is a follow-up to the October 13, 2020 event: "Panel: Indigenous-Led Cultural Regeneration + Commemoration"

Sarah Kanouse is artist, writer, and filmmaker examining the politics of landscape and space. Migrating between video, photography, and performative forms, her research-based creative projects shift the visual dimension of the landscape to allow hidden stories of environmental and social transformation to emerge. Her award-winning moving image work has screened widely, including at Cineautopsia, Experiments in Cinema, the Athens International Film/Video Festival, Black Maria, Twisted Oyster Experimental Media Festival, UnionDocs, the Big Muddy Film Festival, Southside Projections, and the Echo Park Film Center, among others. She has worked with exhibitions and creative research platforms mounted by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Documenta 13, the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, the Cooper Union, the Clark Art Institute, the Smart Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, as well as with numerous academic institutions. Her essays on performative and site-based contemporary art practices in the journals Acme, Leonardo, Parallax, and Art Journal, as well the edited volumes Ecologies, Agents, Terrains; Critical Landscapes, Art Against the Law, and Mapping Environmental Issues in the City. A 2019 Rachel Carson Fellow at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Sarah Kanouse is Associate Professor of Media Arts in the Department of Art + Design at Northeastern University.

Back to event listing >

Leone BrownOctober 22, 2020
12:00-1:00pm | Register now
Data, data everywhere: Dealing with the deluge to address issues of environmental concern

Leone Brown, Environmental Studies, Tufts University

Big data and data science have become common buzzwords that invoke both excitement and fear, depending on the audience. In environmental sciences and studies, big data and the tools of data science can lead to revolutionary advances and increased understanding of our collective impact on each other and the natural world. But dealing with these data presents inherent challenges, and, as the expression goes, "with great power comes great responsibility," from how we collect, manage, and analyze these data to how they are presented, stored, and shared. In this lecture, examples of "big data" projects are presented, along with the complex nature and sensitivities of interpreting and sharing results, and implications for combating issues of environmental and conservation concern.

Leone Brown recently joined the Environmental Studies Program as a lecturer in Environmental Data Science. She is an ecologist with training in population, landscape, and disease ecology, conservation biology, and data science. She received her PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Stony Brook University, and has held research positions at Tufts University, Harvard University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Connecticut. Her research and work experience has spanned several continents and taxa, with the majority of her research focused on bird and butterfly population ecology and conservation.

Back to event listing >

Earl PhillipsOctober 29, 2020
12:00-1:00pm | Register now
U.S. Environmental Law and TRUMP: Four Years Undoing 50 Years of Progress
Earl Phillips, Environmental attorney, Robinson+Cole

From the late 1960s until 2016 the US Environmental Laws evolved in a fairly consistent trajectory of increasingly comprehensive environmental protection until the Trump presidency. Following Trump's election, the government quickly, under the cloak of prioritizing the "rule of law", focused effort to undo or deregulate environmental protections promulgated over the past 46 years. This campaign has undermined tools to address climate change and protect endangered species as well as attacked the definition of "navigable water". To understand what we have lost and may be losing, it is necessary to know what we protected and what we have had.

Earl Phillips has practiced Environmental and Energy Law for his entire career, working on issues involving air, water, and waste as well as brownfields and solar arrays. Mr. Phillips is the founding Chairman of the Environmental and Energy Practice at Robinson+Cole, has Chaired the Environmental Committee of the US Law Firm Group as well as the Waste Management Committee of the American Bar Association, is a Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers, a Visiting Scholar in Wesleyan University's College of the Environment, and is Adjunct Faculty in the Tufts University Graduate School of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy.

Back to event listing >

Rachel KyteNovember 5, 2020
12:00-1:00pm | Register now
What if Nature Had a Seat at the Table?
Rachel Kyte, Dean of The Fletcher School, Tufts University

The 2020s are a critical decade of urgent action to arrest the worst impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss and in which to build resilience to changes as we cross planetary boundaries and tipping points. COVID-19 has shown us what happens when we ignore scientific evidence of the risks of our encroaching on nature. 75 years after the founding of the UN the governance of our international systems is outmoded, with institutions, organizations and mechanisms dominated by a few powers, many of whom have demonstrated, at best, benign neglect in recent years. These mechanisms have struggled to value planetary health and our wellbeing and to integrate that in economic, social and political decision making. As the UN celebrates an important milestone, amid unprecedented challenges to multilateral cooperation, can we imagine how we may give nature a seat at the table and what would change if its voice, needs and contributions could be heard.

Rachel Kyte is the 14th dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University. A 2002 graduate of Fletcher's Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) and a professor of practice at the school since 2012, Kyte is the first woman to lead the nation's oldest graduate-only school of international affairs, which attracts students from all corners of the globe and at all stages of their careers.

Prior to joining Fletcher, Kyte served as special representative of the UN secretary-general and chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). She previously was the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the Bank Group's efforts to shift its operations and campaign for the Paris Agreement.

In her UN role and as CEO of SEforAll, a nonprofit public/private platform created from an initiative of the UN secretary-general, Kyte led efforts to promote and finance clean, affordable energy and low-carbon growth as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the Paris Agreement. She grew SEforALL into an organization that employs more than forty staff and has partnerships with companies, governments, and civil society organizations. She continues to serves as co-chair of UN Energy.

Kyte grew up in eastern England and has a deep appreciation for the value of apprenticeship, mentoring, sponsorship, and skills learned on the job in addition to in the classroom. She earned her undergraduate degree in history and politics from the University of London. Kyte is married to Dr. Ilyse Zable and they have two children.

Back to event listing >

Bina VenkataramanNovember 12, 2020
Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age: Insights fromThe Optimist's Telescope
Bina Venkataraman, The Boston Globe, Editorial Page Editor

"If no one else seems to care about the future, why should I?" Many people today are disillusioned, even cynical, about what lies on the road ahead, and about humanity's capacity to thrive over the long term. In her 2019 book The Optimist's Telescope,Bina Venkataraman argues we can build a society of long-term thinkers, harnessing research, anecdotes, and case studies drawn from her background in public policy, climate change strategy, and journalism. In this talk, she will dispel myths about human shortsightedness and impart the lessons for thinking ahead even when the future is murkier than ever.

Bina Venkataraman is an American journalist, author, and policy expert. She is currently the Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe and a fellow at New America. Since 2011, she has taught in the program on science, technology, and society at MIT. She is the author of The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age (Riverhead, 2019), named a top business book by The Financial Times and a best book of the year by Amazon, Science Friday, and National Public Radio.

Bina formerly served as Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation in the Obama White House, where she forged partnerships among communities, companies, and government to prepare for climate disasters and to declassify data useful for global development. She also advised the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in responding to the Ebola epidemic, promoting patient access to cancer therapies, and reforming public school science education. She previously was the Director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT.

Back to event listing >

Ines CamilloniNovember 19, 2020
Climate change, impacts, and solutions? A perspective from the Global South
Ines Camilloni, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Buenos Aires

The Global South is in extremely vulnerable to already occurring impacts of climate change and is also projected to be highly affected during the next decades. This talk will summarize some of these impacts and risks under different global warming levels and discuss perspectives of possible consequences of solar climate intervention as a means of slowing the Earth's warming.

Ines Camilloni is Full Professor at the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the School of Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Independent Researcher of the Argentina National Research Council (CONICET), Argentina. She is currently Director of the Master in Environmental Sciences (UBA). She has a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. Her research focuses on Climate Variability and Change in South America, acting on the following subjects: climate scenarios, climate change impacts, and cities and climate change. She has authored several peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, book chapters and books. She has participated or coordinated many research projects related with these subjects. Recently, she has been resident of the Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program of Harvard University. She has been Lead Author of the IPCC AR5-WG1 and SR15 reports and currently she is Review Editor of the IPCC AR6-WG1.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program.

Back to event listing >

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins December 3, 2020
Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine
Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, Department of Anthropology, Bard College

Based on the book, Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine, this talk offers an analysis unusual in the study of Palestine: it begins with the environmental, infrastructural, and aesthetic context in which Palestinians forge their lives, naming that context a "waste siege." Author Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins argues that to speak of waste siege is to describe a series of conditions, from smelling wastes to negotiating military infrastructures, from biopolitical forms of colonial rule to experiences of governmental abandonment, from obvious targets of resistance to confusion over responsibility for the burdensome objects of daily life. She focuses on waste as an experience of everyday life that is continuous with, but not a result only of, occupation. Tracing Palestinians' experiences of wastes over the past decade, and their improvisations for mitigating the effects of this siege, she considers how multiple authorities governing the West Bank—including municipalities, the Palestinian Authority, international aid organizations, and Israel—rule by waste siege, whether intentionally or not. The talk depicts waste's constant returns. It thus challenges both common formulations of waste as "matter out of place" and as the ontological opposite of the environment, by suggesting instead that waste siege be understood as an ecology of "matter with no place to go." Waste siege thus not only describes a stateless Palestine, but also becomes a metaphor for our besieged planet.

Book jacket for 'Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine'Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bard College (PhD Columbia University) with interests in infrastructure, waste, environment, colonialism, austerity, platform capitalism and property. Her first book, Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford, 2019), analyzes the politics, socialities and materialities of waste and its infrastructures in the post-Oslo West Bank. Her current book, Homing Austerity: Airbnb in Athens, investigates the joint world-making of austerity and platform capitalism by examining how Airbnb is transforming the relationship between subjectivity, real estate, and work in Greece. In a third, related book project, Investophilia: Speculation, Home-Sharing and Care across Political Borders,sheexplores how the intersection of real estate speculation and platform-mediated home-sharing is reorganizing the meanings and materialities of care and how they are distributed across populations and territories. She is also developing a book project titled Atomic No More: Chernobyl's Afterlives in Greece, which investigates how the effects of an infrastructural disaster that took place in one country landed, and then disappeared from, the social landscape of another.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology.

Back to event listing >

Olivia Ann Carye HallsteinDecember 10, 2020
Make the World You Want to See: An Artist's Perspective on Sustainable Practices and Community
Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein, Artist

There is a growing need for innovative and sustainable practices since the extent of human-made ecological degradation continues to destroy rather than renew the physical and social environments we live in. Olivia Carye Hallstein's work as an artist, writer and educator revolves around informing the public of relevant resources for sustainable practices in lifestyle and the arts by providing public online platforms, teaching workshops for hands-on sustainable skills and creating harmonized multi-sensory environments that reveal the depths of materials that are often taken for granted.

Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein is a Cambridge-based artist and educator with a focus on multi-sensory experiences and sustainable artistic practices. She is the co-founder and Director of Fine Arts and Management at the JoLiv collaborative with musician Jonas Kublickas. Beginning her career in the artist collectives and state-theaters in Berlin, Germany, she has exhibited internationally at Maxim-Gorki Theater, Deutsches Theater, LA54, Ueferhallen, RAW Temple, Der Kanal, BAT theater, and TIK Theater, MFA Boston, Piano Craft Gallery, amongst others . In Berlin, she studied at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee in set and costume design and founded a community-oriented arts organization called …impy… in Neukoelln. Since arriving in Boston-Cambridge, she attended and graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Other work includes: The Five Senses Project, curriculum development, critical written work and lectures.

Back to event listing >