This interdisciplinary speaker series is intended to stimulate cross disciplinary discussion, debate, and collaboration around issues related to energy, the environment, and society. The series is sponsored by SERC and the Environment & Community Graduate Program. For details on upcoming events or to request accessibility accommodations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 826-4345.
Unless otherwise noted, events are on Thursdays from 5:30-7:00 pm in Founders Hall 118.
You can watch most SERC-sponsored talks on SERC’s YouTube Channel, or via the direct links below. Videos of most presentations are also available to check-out from the HSU Library (index of available DVDs) or download via Humboldt Digital Scholar.
August 31: Debbie Page-Dumroese, "Using biochar to improve soil resilience and sequester carbon"
For the opening presentation in this fall's Speaker Series, soil scientist Debbie Page-Dumroese will discuss the use of biochar to sequester carbon and improve soil resilience. Biochar is a porous, high-carbon material derived from exposing biomass to temperatures above 500°C in a low-oxygen environment. The resultant “char” is typically used as a soil amendment to increase water-holding capacity and nutrient retention.
Page-Dumroese has been a Research Soil Scientist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station for over three decades. Her work focuses on long-term soil productivity after harvest operation, sustainable harvesting, wood decomposition, and biochar. For the last ten years, she has been investigating the potential to reduce slash pile burns and limit wildfire risks by using onsite biochar conversion technologies.
September 7: Ken Liberman, "Can 'Nature' teach anything?"
Ken Liberman argues that environmental studies has been burdened with perspectives that have failed to afford access to the actual experience of living in a landscape, and that dualist and nondualist inquiries alike are plagued by anthropocentrisms that seem impossible to escape. This lecture explores how we can investigate the relation of humans and landscapes in ways that preserve what really occurs there, and begin to open those lived phenomena to rigorous scrutiny. To this end, resources are drawn and synthesized from the thinking of Georg Simmel, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Jacques Derrida, as well as Liberman's field research about nature, scientific praxis, human identity, and anonymity.
Kenneth Liberman is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Oregon. For ten years he served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy, and he is presently Co-Chair of the ASA's Section on Ethnomethodology. He has published sixty articles and eight books. His "More Studies in Ethnomethodology" (SUNY, 2013) won an ASA Distinguished Book Award. He has led one thousand people on backpacking trips on four continents, and has lived with traditionally oriented Aboriginal people in Central Australia for two years and Tibetan refugees in India for four years.
September 28: Nick Goulette, "Imagining and achieving the potential of community-based forestry in Northern CA"
As The Watershed Center’s executive director, Nick Goulette oversees programs focused on forestry, fire and fuels, watershed and fisheries, youth engagement, enterprise development, policy, and research. Over the past thirteen years with the Center, Goulette has worked on a wide range of collaborative projects. He is the Chair of the Northern CA Prescribed Fire Council and a long-time member of the leadership team for the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition. He also helped establish the CA Forest Biomass Working Group and the CA Statewide Wood Energy Team, and worked with the design and launch of the national Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network.
Goulette was born and raised in Maine and received a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Vermont with a concentration in Community-Based Forestry. He now lives with his wife Naomi on a homestead in Weaverville, California.
October 5: Amy & Daniel Cordalis, "Breathing life back into the Klamath River"
Amy Cordalis is General Counsel for the Yurok Tribe. She comes from a long line of Yurok Indians from the village of Requa at the mouth of the Klamath River, who have fought for Yurok rights: her great-uncle's Supreme Court case, Mattz v. Arnett, confirmed the Yurok Reservation as Indian Country and set the stage for the Tribe's federally reserved fishing and water rights. Cordalis received her undergraduate from the University of Oregon and her JD from the University of Denver College of Law. Before returning home to work for the Yurok Tribe in 2014, Cordalis worked for the Native American Rights Fund and Berkey Williams LLP on a wide range of Indian law issues. Amy is a daughter, mother, wife, and fisherwoman.
Daniel Cordalis is a member of the Navajo Nation and a practicing attorney in natural resources and Indian law. Cordalis clerked for the Colorado Supreme Court and the Native American Rights Fund, and worked for the National Congress of American Indians in Washington D.C. and as an associate attorney for the Denver Earthjustice office. He received an undergraduate in geology from Rice University, a master's in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his JD from the University of Colorado. He has two wonderful little boys and a wonderful wife.
October 26: Mara Ervin, "Clean energy access: how GRID Alternatives is creating a successful transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone"
Mara Ervin is the Bay Area Development & Programs Manager for GRID Alternatives. Headquartered in Oakland, GRID Alternatives is the nation's largest nonprofit solar installer. GRID has been recognized as a 2014 White House Champion of Change, a 2017 IREC Energy Hero, and an EPA Climate Change Champion. Ervin is a graduate of Smith College and has eight years of experience in social equity non-profit development and leadership, including five with GRID's Bay Area office.
November 2: George Wuerthner, "Praise the dead: dead trees and healthy forest ecosystems"
George Wuerthner is an ecologist who worked for many years at the Foundation for Deep Ecology. He is the author of 38 books on the environment and natural history including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy, Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of the Earth, Protecting the Wild: Parks and Wilderness, the Foundation for Conservation, and Energy: The Delusion of Endless Development. In researching these and other titles, George has traveled extensively throughout the West to observe major ecological processes, including wildfire, firsthand.
In his presentation, George will argue that the common definition of a "healthy forest" is skewed by an industrial forestry bias that sees anything that kills trees as a negative. However, from an ecological perspective, a very large number of species are dependent upon or enhanced by episodic mortality events such as wildfire and bark beetle outbreaks, and some researchers now suggest these events are drivers of biodiversity.
November 9: "Scaling up renewable power in Humboldt County: a panel discussion"
Hosted by the Schatz Energy Research Center and the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA).
- Seth Holmes, with Francisco, Victoria, Jonathan and Armando, Triqui indigenous Mexican farmworker research contributors,
"Migrant Farmworkers and Our Food System: Inequalities, Health, and What's Gone Wrong" Watch full presentation
- Mallik Angalakudati, "Changing Energy Landscape in California"
- Michelle Medley-Daniel, "Harnessing the Power of Generative Networks to Improve Society's Relationship with Fire" Watch full presentation
- Sam Wade, "Promoting Alternative Fuels Under California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard" Watch full presentation
- Panel Discussion with Matthew Marshall, Shawn Marshall, Shehzad Wadalawala and Jim Zoellick, moderated by Kevin Fingerman, "Bringing Electricity Service Under Local Control: Implications of Humboldt County's New Community Choice Energy Program" Watch full presentation
- Mary Ann Piette, "Commercial Building Control Systems and Energy Management: Current Challenges and Future Directions" Watch full presentation
- Darren Speece, "Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics" Watch full presentation
- Sharon Kramer,
“State of the Science on Environmental Issues and Marine Renewable Energy”
- Alexander Schunka,
“Water Use and Water Management in Early Modern Europe” Watch full presentation
- Andy Baker, “Saved By The Gyres: Ocean Source Heat Pumps Cut Heating Costs and CO2 Emissions in Coastal Alaska Cities"Watch full presentation
- Alex Eaton, "Waste to Energy to Market" Watch full presentation
- Lee Pera, "Tiny Houses: A Fad or the Future of Housing?" Watch full presentation
- Jason Mark, "Where in the Wild? The Search for Wilderness in the Anthropocene" Watch full presentation
- Terry Surles, "An Update on U.S. Energy Policy and Related Technology Development" Watch full presentation
- Sarah Wald, “A Universal Killer? Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and the United Farm Workers' Pesticide Campaign”
- Andrea Tuttle,
“Report from Paris: Observations from the UNFCCC COP 21 Climate Negotiations” Watch full presentation
- Jonathan Kusel, "Improving Forests and Building Communities: A Networked Biomass Approach" Watch full presentation
- Lindsay Naylor , "Cultivating Sustainability: Seeds and Climate Change Adaptation in Highland Chiapas” Watch full presentation
- Nate Coleman, “Ensuring Safe, Compliant and Reliable Interoperable Zep Product Designs for SolarCity Photovoltaic Installations through Rigorous Test, Quality and Qualification Programs”
- Kevin Fingerman and Jerome Carman, "Guiding Northwest California Towards Alternative Transportation Fuels: A Roadmap to 2020 and Beyond" Watch full presentation
- Renée Byrd,
“Punishment's Twin: Carceral Logics, Abolitionist Critique, and the Limits of Reform” Watch full presentation
- Matthew Marshall,
“RePowering Humboldt: Progress Toward Implementing A Local Community Choice Aggregation Program” Watch full presentation
- Seth Shonkoff, "The Environmental, Public Health, and Climate Dimensions of Oil and Gas Development in California" Watch full presentation
- Jack West, "The PV Industry: An Insider's Insights into the Evolution of PV Technology and Business Models" Watch full presentation
- Charles Wilkinson, “From Humboldt Bay to the Columbia to the Canadian Line: How the Northwest Tribes Triumphed in the Courts and Changed the World” Watch full presentation
- Harsha Walia, "Border Imperialism and Environmental Racism" Watch full presentation
- Sarah Ray,
“Can a Green University Serve Underrepresented Students?: Reconciling Sustainability and Diversity at
HSU” Watch full presentation
- Arne Jacobson, “The Pico Power Revolution: Off-Grid Energy Services for Low Income People in Africa, Asia, and Beyond” Watch full presentation
- Carolyn Finney,“Righteous Road: Black Faces, White Spaces & Stories of Possibility”
- John Meyer, “Environmentalism and the Resonance Dilemma” Watch full presentation
- Beckie Menten, “Community Choice, Community Power: An In-Depth Look at California's Emerging Model for Local Electricity Control” Watch full presentation
- Janet Fiskio,"Welcome to Blockadia: Poetics and Protest in Climate Activism" Watch full presentation
- Belinda Batten, “Catching the Wave and Rising with the Tides: Marine Renewable Energy at NNMREC”
Watch full presentation
- Peter Alagona, “Forty Years of Endangered Species: Conflict and Conservation in California and Beyond”
Watch full presentation
- Ron Reed and Kari Norgaard,
“The Politics of Fire and the Social Impacts of Fire Exclusion on the Klamath”
Watch full presentation
- Sam Arons, “Scaling Renewable Energy: A Perspective from Google” Watch full presentation
- Joan Ogden,"A Portfolio Approach to Sustainable Transportation" Watch full presentation
- Matt Johnson,
“Reconciling Agriculture & Wildlife Conservation: Examples with Coffee Farmers and Birds in Jamaica, Kenya, and India” Watch full presentation
- Jesse Abrams, “The Importance of Communities of Place and Interest to the Sustainability of Forest-based Bioenergy Development” Watch full presentation
- Trevor Houser, “China's Energy Future: Domestic Drivers and Global Consequences"
- Alexander B. Murphy, “Understanding the Changing Planet: Geography’s Role in Addressing Environmental Challenges in the 21st Century”
- Philip Garone, “California Wetlands—Two Centuries of Loss and Recovery: Lessons from the Central Valley” Watch full presentation
- Nathan Hultman, “US Climate Policy and Prospects for a 2015 International Climate Agreement”
- Gwyn Kirk, “Environmental Security and National Security: Are They Compatible?” Watch full presentation
- Ted Bilek, “An Outlook for Forest Products and Timber Markets: 2012-2030” Watch full presentation
- Susan Handy, “Driving Less” Watch full presentation
- Erin Kelly, “Sustaining Rural Places: What Are We Sustaining” Watch full presentation
- John Laird, “California’s Sustainable Resources Future” Watch full presentation
- Nicholas Lam, “Let There Be (Clean) Light: How Kerosene Lighting in Developing Countries Is Contributing to Climate Warming and the Global Disease Burden” Watch full presentation
- Julie Guthman, “Fat Places? Exploring Environmental Causes of Obsesity”
- Jonathan Woolley, “Radically Efficient Design for Zero Net Energy Buildings” Watch full presentation
- Bill Stewart, “Timber Harvests and Managed Forests: Good or Bad for Climate Change?”
- Sheri Woo and Carol Rische, “Evaluating Mad River Water Use Options: A Local Issue with Regional Impacts” Watch full presentation
- Laurie Richmond, “Incorporating Human Dimensions into Environmental Management: A Story in Three Acts” Watch full presentation
- Jen Marlow, “Climate Change and Human Rights: Justice Beyond Law” Watch full presentation
- Antwi Akom, “Race, Power, and the Environment: Using Participatory Mapping and New Media to Build a Community-Based Climate Justice Movement” Watch full presentation
- Zack Zoller, “Solar Makes It Big: Scaling Up Solar Photovoltaics for Large Systems” Watch full presentation
- Lindsay Magnuson, “Land Conservation on the North Coast Using the Land Trust Model” Watch full presentation
- Simone Pulver, “Addressing Climate Change through Carbon Markets: Lessons Learned in Brazil and India” Watch full presentation
- Robin Kimmerer, “Restoration and Reciprocity: Finding Common Ground Between Traditional and Scientific Ecological Knowledge”
- Garvin Heath, “Environmental Impacts of Energy Technologies: A Life Cycle Perspective” Watch full presentation
- Kathleen McAfee, “Cooling the Planet or Feeding the World: Do We Have To Choose?” Watch full presentation
- Seth Wilson, “Conservation on the Edge: Large Carnivores and Building Communities of Coexistence”
- September 22-23, Traditional Ecological Knowledge Symposium
- Jeff Mapes, “How the Bicycle is Changing American Cities” Watch full presentation
- Evan Mills, “The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Cannabis Production” Watch full presentation
- Arne Jacobson, “Super Efficient Appliances, International Cooperation, and the Climate Challenge” Watch full presentation
- Amol Phadke, “Low Carbon Strategies for the Indian Electricity Sector: Opportunities for Leapfrogging” Watch full presentation
- Geeta Chowdhry, “To Bt or not to Bt? Transnational Capital, the State, Civil Society and the Struggle over Food Sovereignty in India” Watch full presentation
- Noah Zerbe, “Reshaping Globalization from the Ground Up: Community Resilience and Transformation in Durban, South Africa” Watch full presentation
- John Elliot, “UC Merced: Achieving Zero Net Energy and Zero Landfill Waste by 2020” Watch full presentation
- Jim Hight, “Climate Change Policy in North America: Reasons for Optimism” Watch full presentation
- Steven Hackett and Luke Scheidler, “The Economics of Clean Energy in Humboldt County” Watch full presentation
- Tom Fee, “Leadership Patterns in Environmental & Public Policy Dispute Resolution 1970- 2010 - 2050: Reflections & Explorations
- Mary Crowley, “Solutions to Plastic Proliferation In Our Oceans”
- David Rubin, “The Challenges and Opportunities of Renewables from a Utility Perspective” Watch full presentation
- Judith Mayer, “Borneo to California and Back”
- Eric Holt-Giménez, “Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice”
- Tim Palmer, “Rivers of America”
- Nick Goulette and Lynn Jungwirth, “Community-based Forestry: Past, Present, and Future”
- Dr. Alexandra “Sascha” von Meier, “Integrating Renewable Resources: Making the ‘Smart Grid’ Work” Watch full presentation
- Aldaron Laird,“Is Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District’s Water System Sustainable? Is California’s Water Use Sustainable?”
- Peter Dauvergne, “Big Box Stores and Global Environmental Governance”
- Elizabeth “Betsy” Watson, “Working in the Political Dead Zone”
- Peter Alstone and Colin Sheppard, “Humboldt County’s Renewable Energy Futures: Preliminary Results from a Renewable Energy Secure Communities (RESCO) Study” Watch full presentation
- Kim Berry, “Disowning Dependence: Single Women’s Collective Struggle for Land Rights in Northwestern India”
- Garvin Heath, “Environmental Impacts of Energy Technologies: A Life Cycle Perspective”
- Cynthia Chandler, “Democracy Across Prison Walls”
- Timothy Lipman, “Low Carbon Vehicle Research at UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center” Watch full presentation
- Omar Masera, “Efficient Cookstoves - Mitigating Climate Change While Advancing Sustainable Development Priorities: The Case of Efficient Cookstoves” Watch full presentation
- Jane Nielsen and Howard Wilshire, “The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery”
- Andrea Tuttle, “After Copenhagen, What Next for Forests? An Update of COP 15, the Copenhagen Accord, and Tropical Deforestation” Watch full presentation
- Sandra Steingraber, “Environmental Health: A New Civil Rights Movement”
- Jerry Moles and Karen Brisbane, “LandCare In Australia and the USA”
- Arne Jacobson, “Energy and the Environment at HSU” Watch full presentation
- Riki Ott, “The Impacts of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on Ecology and Community”
- Llyn Smith, “A Just Peace? The Sri Lankan Civil War and Minority Politics in the Sinhalese Buddhist State”
- Stephen Most, “Fixing the World: Conflict and Consensus in the Klamath Basin”
- Jamie Levin, “The Future of Public Transport - In Pursuit of Zero Emissions” Watch full presentation
- Richard L. Corsi, “Smog and Lemons: American Homes as Chemical Reactors and the Role of Energy Conservation in Reactor ‘Design’” Watch full presentation
- Heidi Ballard, “Environmental Learning and Participatory Research in Community-Based Forestry”
- Dustin Poppendieck and Arne Jacobson, “Kerosene Lamps, Solid-State Lighting, and Possibilities to Improve Public Health in Kenya” Watch full presentation
- Adam R. Brandt, “Avoiding High Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Future Transportation Fuels: The Case of Oil Shale” Watch full presentation
- Jessica Urban, “Demystifying and Deconstructing Disinformation: Population Issues and Environmental (In)Security”
- Chris Greacen, “Renewable Energy Policy and Planning in Thailand” Watch full presentation
- Richard Varenchik, “California’s Efforts to Control Climate Change” Watch full presentation
- Steven Hackett, “Economic and Social Considerations for Wave Energy Development in California” Watch full presentation
- Jeff Romm, “Moments of Reservation: Racial Foundations of Environmental Policy”
- Tom Stokely, “The Trinity River, the Peripheral Canal, and the Future of Water in California”
- Zoe Hammer, “Inventing Just Futures: Organizing for Human Rights in the Sonoran Desert”
- Matthew St. Clair, “Campus Sustainability at California Universities” Watch full presentation
- Betsy Hartmann, “Rethinking the Population Problem: The Terror of False Assumptions”
- Rick Duke, “The Five Trillion Dollar Challenge: A Roadmap for Containing Climate Change” Watch full presentation
- John Meyer, “The Environmental Politics of Sacrifice”
- H.I. Bud Beebe, “SMUD’s Utility Planning for Climate Change: Mitigation, Adaptation, Regulation” Watch full presentation
- Allison Rogers, “Go Green! Global Warming Awareness”
- Andrea Tuttle, “California Climate Protocols and Politics - Through the Lens of Forest Carbon”
- Peter Lehman, “Hydrogen in a Renewable Energy Future” Watch full presentation
- Michael Shellenberger, “Beyond Environmentalism: Creating a Politics Capable of Dealing with Global Warming and Other Ecological Crises” Watch full presentation
- Alex Farrell, “The Race for 21st Century Fuels” Watch full presentation
- Morgan Varner, “Changing Climate, Changing Fires: Predicting Future Fires in a Carbon-rich Atmosphere”
- Jeffrey Jacobs, “Future Fuel Sources: Options and Opportunities”
- Holmes Hummel, “Interpreting Technology and Policy Implications of Global Energy Scenarios for the 21st Century” Watch full presentation
- Anna Zalik, “Clean Energy and Armed Insurgency: Representing Security and Threat from the Nigerian Delta to the Mexican Gulf”
- Evon Peters, “Indigenous Peoples Rights and Environmental Justice”
- Evan Mills, “The Specter of Fuel Based Lighting”
- Patrice O’Neill, “The Fire Next Time: Using Film to Address Community Conflict”
- Sarah Goldthwait, “Plankton and CO2: The Role of Marine Organisms in Global Climate” Watch full presentation
- Ashanti Alston, “All Power to the People: The Black Panther Party and Beyond”
- Tyrone Hayes, “From Silent Spring to Silent Night: What do hermaphroditic frogs tell us about environmental and human health?”
- Roundtable - Sustainable Community Design: “Why Does it Matter? How do we do it?”
- Victoria Sturtevant, “Collaborative Planning for Wildfire: Community Matters”
- Arne Jacobson, “Connective Power: Solar Electrification and Social Change in Kenya”
- Mark Lakeman, “The Village Lives”
- Carolina Simunovic, “Environmental Health in the San Joaquin Valley”
- Alan Lloyd, “The Fight for Air Quality in California: A 30 Year Retrospective and Visions for the Future” Watch full presentation
- Jim Zoellick, “Humboldt County’s Energy Picture” Watch full presentation
- Joan Ogden, “The Outlook for Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier” Watch full presentation
- Michel Gelobter, “The Soul of Environmentalism”
- Mark Hankins, “Approaches to Rural Electrification in East Africa: Donors, Projects, Rural Electrification”