EVENTS, SPRING 2013
February 12-14, 2013
February 20, 2013
Dr. Pamela Matson
Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
March 14, 2013
Richard Fuller, President, The Blacksmith Institute
April 3-8, 2013
April 9, 2013
A Career in Global Environmental Law
Ken Rivlin, Director of Allen & Overy's Global Environmental Law Group
Hosted by the Brown's CareerLab
April 25, 2013
Geological Sciences Colloquium:
Why heat hurts food security (and what to do about it)
David Lobell, Associate Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University;
Assistant Professor Environmental Earth System Science
EVENTS, FALL 2012
October 18, 2012
Research Opportunities Information Session
featuring Voss Environmental Fellows
Brown Environmental Fellows funds use-inspired undergraduate research projects developed jointly with a Brown faculty member and a mentor at a non-profit organization or regulatory agency.
More information available on the Voss Fellows web site.
October 30, 2012
“More Crop Per Drop”: Advancing Food Security Decision Support Using Remote Sensing
Dr. Michael Marshall, Mendenhall Research Fellow, Southwest Geographic Science
Team, US Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ
Tuesday, October 30 at 4:00 p.m.
MacMillan Hall, Room 117
November 5, 2012
Monday, November 5 at 12 p.m.
Barus and Holley, Room 190
November 12, 2012
Monday, November 12 at 12 p.m.
Barus and Holley, Room 190
November 13, 2012
Cultural Pollution in the Science Communication Environment
Daniel Kahan, Elizabeth K Dollard Professor of Law and Psychology,
Yale Law School
Tuesday, November 13 at 7 p.m.
Granoff Creative Arts Center
November 28, 2012
DROWNING ISLAND NATIONS: CAN INTERNATIONAL LAW SAVE THEM?
Michael Gerrard, Director, Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia University
Several island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Caribbean Sea are endangered by sea level rise and may become uninhabitable by the end of the century. International climate agreements have failed to stem greenhouse gas emissions, and two of these nations are seeking redress from the International Court of Justice. This talk will address the plight of these nations; the implications that rising seas have for their continuation as states; where the displaced people would likely go, and their legal status in their new homes; the status of efforts to control climate change and future legal approaches. Special attention will be devoted to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which is struggling to cope both with rising seas and with the legacy of U.S. nuclear weapons testing.
Wednesday, November 28 at Noon
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute for Internationa Studies
111 Thayer Street, Providence, RI
December 10, 2012
Keynote Address: Climate Change and Infectious Disease: Point, Counterpoint
and New Approaches
Dr. Rick Ostfeld, Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Monday, December 10, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Pembroke Hall Room 305
For questions or inquiries on presenting a poster, please email Dr. Katherine Smith at Katherine_Smith@brown.edu
For the full agenda visit www.katherinefsmith.com
EVENTS, SPRING 2011
May 4 at 3:00 p.m.
Science Center - 3rd Floor of the Science Library - 201 Thayer Street
Juliet Eilperin, Environment Reporter for the Washington Post, Author of Demonfish (2011) and Fight Club Politics (2006)
Eilperin keynotes a celebration of the Brown Environmental Fellows Program, introducing the 2011-2012 class of fellows. Welcome and lecture at 3 pm. Booksigning at 4:15 pm.
Since April of 2004 Eilperin has covered the environment for the national desk of the Washington Post, reporting on science, policy and politics in areas including climate change, oceans, and air quality. In pursuit of these stories she has gone scuba diving with sharks in the Bahamas, trekking on the Arctic tundra, and searching on her hands and knees for rare insects in the caves of Tennessee.
During her first year at the Post Ms. Eilperin was the most prolific writer on the news staff, writing more than 200 stories. In the spring of 2005 she served as the McGraw Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, teaching political reporting to a group of undergraduate and graduate students.
Following the talk, Eilperin will be signing her new book "Demon Fish" and her 2006 book "Fight Club Politics: How Partisanship is Poisoning the House of Representatives.”
Nancy Baron, Director of Science Outreach for Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS)
Public confusion and scientific anguish over Climategate, the Gulf Oil spill and other events reveal the need for society to be better informed by science. Part of the solution is for for scientists to speak up, delivering a clearer message to policy makers, the public and the media. Yet, some scientists raise important questions: Is this part of a scientists’ job? Are the risks worth the rewards? And how does one do this effectively?
Nancy Baron, science outreach director for COMPASS and the lead communications trainer for the Leopold leadership program is the author of “Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter.” (www.EscapefromtheIvoryTower.com) Over the past decade she has coached thousands of environmental scientists and led workshops in 9 countries.
Light Reception and book-signing to follow.
“No one understands scientists the way Nancy Baron does. This book helps connect the worlds of science, journalism, and policy in very entertaining and insightful ways. If you care about linking science with action, this is the book to read."
--Pam Matson, Scientific Director of the Leopold Leadership Program
Event co-sponsored by Brown Environmental Fellows, The Woods Lectureship, Environmental Change Initiative, Center for Environmental Studies, The Science Center, and Career Development Center
March 15 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for socializing and refreshments)
Petteruti Lounge, Stephen Roberts Campus Center
Reflecting on Rhode Island’s Lakes & Ponds: 20 Plus Years of Water Quality Monitoring
Rhode Island may be the Ocean State but our inland landscape is dotted with lakes and ponds–hundreds of them. For nearly 25 years URI Watershed Watch program volunteers have been monitoring many of them. These landscape features provide habitat for plants, animals, and insects, scenic vistas, recreation opportunities, and a sense of place. Join us to learn what years of volunteer monitoring tells us about our lakes and ponds. What have been the big issues and what are the emerging ones. Consider with us whether monitoring will ever be done?
Regional Responses to Energy Supply and Climate Change Challenges
Matthias Ruth, Roy F. Weston Chair in Natural Economics at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland. He is also the Director of the Environmental Policy Program, Co-Director of the Engineering and Public Policy Program, and Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy.
Professor Matthias Ruth's research focuses on dynamic modeling of non-renewable and renewable resource use, industrial and infrastructure systems analysis, and environmental economics and policy. He teaches nationally and internationally courses and seminars on microeconomics and policy analysis, ecological economics, industrial ecology and dynamic modeling at the undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels, and on occasion conducts short courses for decision makers in industry and policy.
From the globe to the cell and back—responses of ecosystems to global environmental change
Bruce Hungate, Professor of Ecosystem Ecology, Northern Arizona University
Research in the Hungate lab focuses on ecosystem processes, especially carbon, water, and nutrient cycling. The group studies biogeochemical responses to global changes, such as rising atmospheric CO2, climate change, N deposition, and altered land use. For example, Professor Hungate is currently studying how altered precipitation and warming alter carbon and nitrogen cycling in Arizona's ecosystems, how elevated CO2 alters nitrogen cycling and hydrology of scrub oak woodlands, and how increased temperature influences the nitrogen cycle in grasslands. In addition to understanding ecosystem responses to such perturbations, he is interested in how ecosystem responses can feed back to alter the pace and even direction of future global changes. A second major thrust of his research addresses how single species can affect ecosystem processes, for example, how infestation with the piñon-needle scale alters the water budget of piñon-juniper woodlands, or how mycorrhizae influence decomposition of fine roots. he teaches courses in general ecology, microbial ecology, ecosystem ecology, and stable isotope techniques.
Human-Climate-Ecosystem Interactions: An interdisciplinary research program in climate and global change
Hanqin Tian, Auburn University, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Dr. Tian is an ecosystem scientist and systems modeler worked at a broad scale and examined ecosystem processes and exchanges (energy, carbon, nitrogen and water) that occur at the interfaces of the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. He has become increasingly interested in coupled biogeochemical cycles in the Earth’s ecosystems and dynamics of coupled natural and human systems. Dr. Tian’s work has been published in prestigious journals, including NATURE and SCIENCE, and featured in various media including newspapers (e.g. Boston Global, Washington Post, New York Times), TV programs (e.g. ABC, CNN) and radio (e.g. BBC-London), and included in the Assessment Reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the United States of America. Dr. Tian was among the early scientists who documented how ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) affects tropical ecosystem dynamics and the global carbon cycle.
February 14 at Noon
Sydney Frank Hall, Room 220, Nathan Marcuvitz Auditorium
The Science-Policy Interface in Climate Adaptation
Amanda Lynch, Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Monash University
A striking aspect of anticipated global climate change in response to the increase of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the potential for rapid change (climate "surprises") and increased frequency of extreme events. This potential is supported by paleoclimatic reconstructions and climate models; observational evidence is becoming apparent in the higher latitudes. One theme that has clearly emerged from these studies is that climate is a complex agent of change.
In many studies of the impacts of climate, the goal is to project climatic, hydrological and ecological changes in the region of interest under the influence of these global climate variations.
In particular, the frequency and magnitude of extreme events are critical because they shift dynamic social, economic, and biological systems from one state to another. Such a goal is commonly achieved by integrating, under a projected new atmospheric composition, a complex climate system model of the globe. It is generally desirable to use the highest resolution and most sophisticated representations possible. Largely in response to the potential for extremes, and the fact that climate information on regional scales is most appropriate for impact assessment and policy making, development of regional climate models has become an important focus. Regional climate models generally adopt a resolution at least a factor of three higher than the global climate models that drive them, and can be reasonably said to improve upon global models in spatial and temporal variability, and especially tail behavior (extremes).
Reducing uncertainty in climate "prediction" (the generation of plausible scenarios) is but one aspect of this problem. Further attention must be brought to bear on research into the causes, patterns, and likelihood of these climate change with a specific view to help reduce vulnerabilities and increase our adaptive capabilities.
Against Mono-Consequentialism: Explaining Multiple outcomes in Social-Ecological Systems
Arun Agrawal, Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan
Professor Agrawal's research and teaching emphasize the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population and resources, and environmental identities. His recent interests include adaptation to climate change, urban adaptation, REDD+, and the decentralization of environmental governance. He coordinates the International Forestry Resources and Institutions network, and is currently carrying out research in central and east Africa and South Asia. He is the author of Greener Pastures and Environmentality, and his recent work has appeared in Science, PNAS, Conservation Biology, World Development, and Development and Change among other journals.
Saddam Hussein's Octopus
Co-host of NPR’s Radio Lab, NPR science correspondent, and for years Special Correspondent at ABC News, Robert Krulwich has been called the most inventive network reporter for television by TV Guide. His specialty is explaining complex subjects in a style that is clear, compelling and entertaining. He has explored the structure of DNA with a banana; created his own Italian Opera, Ratto Interesso, to explain interest rate regulation, and pioneered the use of animation on ABC and NPR’s internet site. He has won three Emmys, a George Polk Award, a Dupont Award, and the National Cancer Institute’s Extraordinary Communicator’s Award.
Local Governance and Environmental Change in Latin America
Krister Andersson, Assistant Professor in Environmental Policy, Department of Political Science and Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado at Boulder
Professor Andersson studies the politics of environmental governance developing countries. Most of Krister's recent work seeks to explain subnational variation in local governance outcomes in Latin America. This is also the theme of his most recent book, Local Governments and Rural Development (University of Arizona Press, 2009), which is co-authored with Gustavo Gordillo and Frank van Laerhoven. In it they compare the institutional conditions for public service performance in 390 local governments in the rural areas of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
Previous to Krister's academic career, he served as an international civil servant and consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank and non-governmental organizations in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Sweden.
Climate Change and Land Use Change in the Community Integrated Assessment System, CIAS
Rachel Warren, Leader, Community Integrated Assessment System (CIAS), Leader, Ecosystem Services, NERC Advanced Research Fellow, Tyndall Centre; University of East Anglia
I have a longstanding interest in policy-relevant environmental science, particularly the application of integrated modelling to the study of the economics and environmental benefits of climate policy. I contributed to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process, and sit on the UK Climate Impacts Program Steering Committee. I also contributed to the selection of appropriate replacements for ozone-depleting substances, the inclusion of fully fluorinated compounds in the Kyoto protocol, and influenced the scientific design of the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s Oslo and Gothenburg Protocols. I have published over 30 peer reviewed papers and chapters in edited books and produced over 25 policy relevant reports for HM Treasury, UN ECE, DEFRA, and the Environment Agency.
Events, Fall 2010
ECI Retreat, November 20, 2010
Lonnie Thompson’s research has propelled the field of ice core paleoclimatology out of the Polar Regions to the highest tropical and subtropical ice fields. He and the OSU team have developed light-weight solarpowered drilling equipment for acquisition of histories from ice fields in the tropical South American Andes, the Himalayas, and on Kilimanjaro. These paleoclimate histories have advanced our understanding of the coupled nature of the Earth’s climate system. Lonnie has been recognized with many honors and awards including the National Medal of Science, the Tyler Prize (the World Prize for Environmental Achievement), and the Dan David Prize.
Profile in Science (2002) written by Kevin Krajik
Cosponsored by the Brown ADVANCE Program, Geological Sciences, and the Environmental Change Initiative
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in 117 MacMillan Hall
Events, Fall 2009:
Thursday, November 19, 2009 at Noon in Mencoff Hall Seminar Room, 68 Waterman Street
Rosamond Naylor, Stanford University, Director of the Program on Food Security and the Environment
Cosponsored by ECI, PSTC, CES, Geological Sciences, and ADVANCE.
Rosamond Naylor is an associate professor of environmental earth system science and economics at Stanford University and director of Stanford’s program on food security and the environment. Her research focuses on the environmental and equity dimensions of intensive food production. Working at the intersection of environment and economics, Naylor has been involved in a number of field-level research projects throughout the world concerning issues of aquaculture and livestock production, high-input agricultural development, biotechnology, climate-induced yield variability, and food security. Her research appears regularly in Science and Nature and recent articles have focused on how changing and increasingly variable climate may affect food production in developing countries.
Climate change: a global perspective down to where it hits home
Jonathan Overpeck, Co-director
Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona
Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 4 p.m.
115 MacMillan Hall
Co-sponsored with Geological Sciences
ECI's 2008-2009 lecture series titled:
ENVIRONMENT & SOCIETY: EXPLORING THE WEB
The African Green Revolution Moves Forward
Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. in Barus & Holley 168
Pedro Sanchez, Director of tropical agriculture at the Earth Institute at Columbia University
Recipient of the World Food Prize (2002), MacArthur Fellow (2004)
Pedro Sanchez is Director of Tropical Agriculture and Senior Research Scholar at the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York City. His professional career has been dedicated to improving the management of tropical soils through integrated natural resource management approaches to achieve food security and reduce rural poverty while protecting and enhancing the environment. Sanchez was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2003, and received the World Food Prize in 2002. He currently directs the Millennium Villages project, a major new initiative to help communities in Sub-Saharan Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
“I have been personally affected by this project in amazing ways,” says Dr. Sanchez. “All my life I have been doing research in experimental plots, but now I find it so exciting to see how people can change—they now have hope. As a professional, it provides evidence that what we have been practicing in science really works. And, as a human being worrying about the bottom billion, to see them pulling themselves out of their poverty traps is very satisfying."
Global Change in the Urban Century
Thursday, April 2 at 6 p.m. in 117 MacMillan Hall
Nancy Grimm is a Professor of Life Sciences and Co-director of the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Project. In that capacity, Grimm oversees and coordinates interdisciplinary reserach in urban ecology involving over 100 scientists in many disciplines. She is a believer in interdisciplinary approaches to answering fundamental ecological questions, collaborating with hydrologists, engineers, geologists, chemists, sociologists, geographers, and anthropologists (among others) in her urban and stream studies. Dr. Grimm's research concerns the structure and function of ecosystems in arid lands. Her current research focus is on the cycling and retention of the element nitrogen, considered in the context of patch dynamics and landscape heterogeneity. Nitrogen is an important element because it limits productivity of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the Southwest, it is a potential groundwater pollutant, some gaseous forms of nitrogen are potent greenhouse gases, and nitrogen inputs to the earth from the atmosphere have increased dramatically.
"With nearly three-fourths of the U.S. population now living in the nation's burgeoning metropolitan areas, observes Grimm, "it's imperative that we figure out how to maintain and improve the ecological health of the places where most Americans make their homes."— quoted in Investigating the Nature of Urban Life, by Mark Wexler, National Wildlife, Oct/Nov2006
Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
Thursday, March 19 at 6:00 p.m. in MacMillan Hall Room 115
Since 1990, ANTHONY D. BARNOSKY has been on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently holds the posts of Professor of Integrative Biology, Curator of Fossil Mammals in the Museum of Paleontology, and Research Paleoecologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Author of numerous scientific publications, his research in paleontology, ecology, and climate change has taken him to most of the world’s continents.
The reality of global warming means that nature as we know it--the species we love, the ecosystem services that sustain us, and the wild places where we seek solace--is under siege as never before. Besides adding its weight to the long-recognized ecological threats of habitat loss, invasive species, and growing human population, global warming is impacting nature in ways previously unimagined and potentially lethal, not only to myriad species, but to entire ecosystems. Daunting as saving nature is under such circumstances, it well within our grasp if we act now to slow greenhouse gas emissions, and to implement new conservation philosophies that recognize that we, and all other species, now live in a globally warming world.
Professor Barnosky's new book will be released March 16.
National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions
February 5, 2009
The National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions takes one day (Feb 5, 2009) to focus on learning more about global climate change. Many Brown professors will use their classroom time that week to take a look at causes, consequences, and complexities of climate change, as well as opportunities to slow the progression and obstacles to communication and action.
>>>List of Classes
ECI's 2008 lecture series titled:
ENVIRONMENT & SOCIETY: EXPLORING THE WEB
Nitrogen: A Story of Food, Fuel and Fiber
Tuesday, February 3 at 6 p.m.in 115 MacMillan Hall
James Galloway, Professor of Environmental Science, University of Virginia and winner of the 2008 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
"We are accumulating reactive nitrogen in the environment at alarming rates, and this may prove to be as serious as putting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," said Galloway, who first described the myriad linked transformations of nitrogen - primarily driven by human activities - as the nitrogen cascade. Galloway authored or co-authors papers in Science and Nature last year describing the global effects of agricultural and industrial changes in the nitrogen cycle.
ECI's 2008 FALL lecture series titled:
ENVIRONMENT & SOCIETY: EXPLORING THE WEB
Population and Environment in the Amazon Basin: Toward Integrative Land Change Science
Emilio F. Moran: Director, Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change (ACT); Co-Director, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana University
Thursday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m. in MacMillan Hall 117
Emilio Moran, Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Sciences, Indiana University, Director, Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change, Co-Director, CIPEC, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change
An anthropologist with a long-standing interest in the role of social factors in environmental change, Emilio Moran has been studying the people of the Amazon Basin since the late 70's. He now directs one of the premier training and research institutes for integrating social and environmental science and has written many books on the topic, including Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology and People and Nature: An Introduction to Human Ecological Relations.
Dot Earth: Pursuing Progress on a Finite Planet
Andrew Revkin, New York Times Science Reporter
May 24, 2008
Commencement Forum sponsored by the Environmental Change Initiative and the Office of Alumni Relations
The human species has become a global-scale force, nudging the climate and shaping ecosystems in profound ways. In an illustrated talk, Andrew Revkin '78, a prize-winning New York Times reporter and author, will describe his 25-year exploration of efforts to mesh human affairs with Earth's limits, from the Amazon to the North Pole. A book signing will follow the lecture.
Las Gaviotas: An Eco-Village to Reinvent the World
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Las Gaviotas, founded by Paolo Lugari, is an eco-village with a twenty-three year track record of rainforest regeneration, developing more sustainable lives for the inhabitants of the Vichada region of Colombia.
In 1965, when Colombian activist Paulo Lugari was flying over the impoverished region, he mused that if people could live here they could live anywhere. The following year Lugari and a group of scientists, artists, agronomists and engineers took the 15-hour journey along a tortuous route from Bogotá to the Llanos Orientales (eastern plains) bordering Venezuela.
Today, their venture has grown to a village of 200 families that generates its own energy from renewable sources and grows its own food. Inventions from Gaviotas designers—including windmills, high efficiency pumps and solar kettles—are not patented and have spread quickly to villages across the country.
The pine forest they planted for income in the 80’s has become a nursery to over 200 native rainforest species and the community now sells voluntary carbon offsets.
ECI's 2008 spring lecture series titled:
Going Green, Globally: Scientific, Economic and Political Perspectives
Thomas L. Friedman, a world-renowned author and journalist, joined The New York Times in 1981 as a financial reporter specializing in OPEC- and oil-related news and later served as the chief diplomatic, chief White House, and international economics correspondents. A three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles reporting the Middle East conflict, the end of the cold war, U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy, international economics, and the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat. His foreign affairs column, which appears twice a week in the Times, is syndicated to seven hundred other newspapers worldwide.
Thomas L. Friedman¹s reporting on green technology appeared in a 2007 documentary on the Discovery Channel titled "Green: The New Red, White and Blue," and he is currently working on a book examining the same topics.
Impact of Biofuels on Global Food Security, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Land-Use Change
Kenneth Cassman, Director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research
Thursday, March 20, 7 p.m.
MacMillan Hall, Room 115
Kenneth G. Cassman currently serves as Director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences, and is the B. Keith and Norma F. Heuermann Professor of Agronomy at the University of Nebraska. He received a BSc degree in biology from the University of California--San Diego (1975), and a PhD in Agronomy and Soil Science from the University of Hawaii (1979). His expertise is centered within the disciplines of soil science, agroecology, and plant ecophysiology. Research activities have focused on: (1) plant nutrition, root ecophysiology, soil fertility and nutrient cycling to improve fertilizer efficiency and to reduce negative effects on environmental quality; (2)crop yield potential, soil carbon sequestration, and greenhouse gas emissions in maize-based cropping systems of the USA Corn Belt; (3) the long-term sustainability of intensive crop production systems and global food security. Recently he has focused attention on the role of agriculture in contributing to renewable energy supplies through production of ethanol and biodiesel fuels from cereal, oilseed, and sugar crops, and the environmental impact of expanded biofuel production from agricultural crops.
Innovation and Transatlantic Cooperation on Energy, Climate and Security
Andreas Kraemer, Director of Ecologic
Thursday, April 3, 11:30 a.m.
MacMillan Hall, Room 115
Ecologic - Institute for International and European Environmental Policy is a private not-for-profit think tank for applied environmental research, policy analysis and consultancy with offices in Berlin and Brussels. Founded in 1995, Ecologic is dedicated to bringing fresh ideas to environmental policies and to promoting sustainable development. Ecologic's work programme focuses on obtaining practical results and on enhancing the importance of environmental protection and sustainable resource management in the fields of foreign and security policy, international relations and global governance structures. As an independent, non-partisan body, it undertakes applied research and analysis to increase awareness and understanding of the political, economic and technological forces driving global change.
Combating Climate Change
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Monday, January 28, 2008
Salomon Hall, Room 101
Whitehouse has been a strong advocate for environmental protection, health, and conservation throughout his career. He has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court to protect public wetlands from development and sued to block Bush administration efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act. In the Senate, he is a cosponsor of legislation that would significantly reduce global warming pollutants, and has pushed for further inquiry into the security implications of climate change.
Senator Whitehouse's lecture kicked off "Focus the Nation," a week of climate-related events at Brown.
Senator Whitehouse's lecture was cosponsored by EmPOWER and the Environmental Change Initiative.
Rapid Fire Symposium
Energy: Creation, Conservation, Conversion
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Barus and Holley 168
Do you study energy or environmental issues? Are you curious about what your colleagues are doing? Wish you could learn about it all in one place? The Environmental Change Initiative is organizing two rapid-fire symposia in the spring semester to capture the broad range of campus research and activities in these areas. The energy symposium, scheduled for January 31 to coincide with "Focus the Nation," was cosponsored by the Vice President for Research, the Division of Engineering, and the Dean of the College.
We included the full variety of campus and community activities but kept the program short enough to get a taste of everything that’s happening. A reception encouraged follow up conversations and the program and presentations is posted on the web.
The symposium consisted of a series of 5-minute talks by members of the Brown, RISD and Providence communities highlighting the many energy-related projects that are underway. Research talks were grouped early in the afternoon (3:30 pm - 5 pm). Community and other action-oriented projects were presented later in the afternoon (5:30 -6:30), with a networking reception in between.
For more information, call Marty Downs at 401-863-3493.
The Emergence of a Bioeconomy
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Room 115 MacMillan Hall, Brown University
167 Thayer Street, Providence, RI
Director, Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies (CSET), Iowa State University
The bioeconomy will provide society with renewable sources of carbon and energy, in the process reducing our dependence upon imported petroleum and other fossil fuels. Despite the current enthusiasm for ethanol, other biofuels may also play a prominent role as advanced biorefineries are developed. Regardless of the approach to advanced biofuels, these biorefineries face four major barriers to successful commercialization: biomass supply; conversion efficiency; fossil fuel inputs; and determination of the optimal size for an economically viable biorefinery. This talk will review the technology options and the issues surrounding their commercial introduction.
Do Biofuels Make Sense? Their Impacts on Food, Energy and the Environment
Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Room 115 MacMillan Hall, Brown University, 167 Thayer Street, Providence, RI
Regents' Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology, University of Minnesota
The impact on the environment of biofuel production and use can vary dramatically depending on the crops used and how they are grown. Tilman’s research suggests that some high diversity grasslands could actually be net carbon sinks while producing biofuels for human use. He will evaluate the extended impact of biofuels derived from a variety of sources.
Fire and Water: Energy Efficient Technologies for Poor Communities in the Developing World
Thursday, October 11, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Room 115 MacMillan Hall, Brown University
167 Thayer Street, Providence, RI
Senior Staff Scientist and Group Leader in the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Adjunct Professor in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley
Ashok Gadgil pursues technical, economic, and policy research on energy efficiency and its implementation — particularly in developing countries. He has several patents and inventions to his credit, among them the “UV Waterworks,” a technology to inexpensively disinfect drinking water in the developing countries, for which he received the Discover Award in 1996 for the most significant environmental invention of the year, as well as the Popular Science award for “Best of What is New – 1996”.
Ashok Gadgil's lecture is the first in a series of six lectures sponsored by Brown's Environmental Change Initiative looking at the relationship between energy and the environment .
Ecological Foundations of Sustainability in a Constantly Changing World
August 7, 2007
Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA
ECI members participated in organizing a half-day symposium at Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting. Speakers examined changing definitions of sustainability and explored the ways that current ecological understanding can contribute to a more nuanced and useful approach to sustainability.
March 17-18, 2006
Impacts of Disaster: Comparing Ecological and Social Resilience
Even the worst disasters leave behind a surviving community. The purpose of this conference is to understand the resilience of both ecosystems and human communities, and the relationship between the two. How do communities rebound, under what conditions is rebuilding more or less successful, what are the long term costs of disasters, and what opportunities are created in their wake? The conference is jointly organized by John Logan (S4) and Osvaldo Sala (ECI), and speakers include a range of disciplines, from sociology to history to marine biology. Every panel will seek to contrast theories and concepts from the perspective of natural and social scientists.
ECI/Global Environmental Program Conference
September 16, 2005
Frontiers of Environmental Change Research: Climate Change Drivers, Impacts, and Policy
ECI and Watson Institute’s Global Environmental Program jointly sponsored a two day conference titled the “Frontiers of Environmental Change Research: Climate Change Drivers, Impacts, and Policy.” It explored emerging new directions within climate change research and assessed areas in which Brown University could make substantial new contributions to current and future studies.