Sustainable Futures Speaker Series: Alex Eaton on Energy Production from Farm Waste in Latin America

alexeaton_dragon_revWe are pleased to welcome Alex Eaton, CEO of Sistema Biobolsa and an HSU alumnus, as the next speaker in the Fall 2016 Sustainable Futures Speaker Series. Alex will speak on Thursday, October 13 from 5:30 to 7:00 PM in the Art B building, room 102 on the HSU campus. The title of his talk is “Waste to Energy to Market.”

Alex Eaton is the co-founder and CEO of Sistema Biobolsa, a company that fabricates, distributes, finances and services small-scale biogas systems in Latin America. Based in Mexico, the company is currently growing into new markets. Alex is also the co-founder of the Latin America Biogas Network and the Mexico Biogas Program of the International Renewable Resources Institute. He has been supported in his work as an Ashoka Fellow and Switzer Environmental Leadership Fellow and through the USDA, US EPA, and the Mexican government. Alex has a BA in journalism from Western State College of Colorado and an MS from the Energy Technology and Policy (ETaP) master’s program at Humboldt State University, where his master’s thesis focused on the development of the Sistema Biobolsa concept.

As we work to increase energy access and to mitigate climate change, we need creative, cost effective solutions to thousands of different energy problems. Sistema Biobolsa represents a highly innovative and successful effort that simultaneously increases access to affordable energy for low income farmers, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and provides additional benefits such as high quality fertilizer. In his talk, Alex will tell the story of how he helped build a successful business around the Sistema Biobolsa concept from work that he started while he was pursuing his master’s degree here at HSU. The talk should be interesting and engaging, and we encourage you to attend. Please forward this message on to others who may be interested.

Sustainable Futures Speaker Series: Richard Norris

It is our pleasure to host Dr. Richard Norris of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as the next speaker in the spring 2014 Sustainable Futures speaker series. Richard will speak on Thursday, March 6 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in Science B room 135 (SciB 135) on the HSU campus. The title of his talk is “Geologic Analogs to Future Global Change.” The event is co-sponsored by HSU’s Marine and Coastal Science Institute.

Richard Norris works on climate and evolution in the oceans on a variety of time scales. A good deal of his work is focused on the biological and physical processes that structure marine biodiversity. These studies rely on fossils and geochemical analysis of marine sediment cores and the zoogeography of modern plankton and fish. He is also interested in human impacts on the environment, and forecasting where the “tipping points” lie in marine ecosystems. Richard’s background includes a BS from UC Santa Cruz, a MS from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was a postdoc and research scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before joining Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2002.

The interactions between carbon dioxide emissions, global climate change, and ocean ecosystems are both important and complex. Richard Norris is one of the world’s leading scientists for the study of these interactions, and we are very pleased to have an opportunity to hear him speak. We hope that you will join us in welcoming him to campus.

Speaker Series: Nathan Hultman on US Climate Policy

HSU’s Sustainable Futures Speaker Series presents Nathan Hultman, Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Policy Program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He is also a Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Associate Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Dr. Hultman will give a free, public lecture at 5:30pm Thursday, October 10 in Gist Hall 218 on the Humboldt State University campus. The title of his talk is, “US Climate Policy and Prospects for a 2015 International Climate Agreement.”

Dr. Hultman’s research focuses on energy technology transitions in diverse development contexts; clean technology innovation; international climate policy; and private sector decisions to undertake low-carbon investments. He has participated in the UN climate process since the Kyoto meeting and is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Before joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Hultman held a faculty appointment at Georgetown University and was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Science, Innovation, & Society. He holds a Ph.D. in Energy & Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.

Speaker Series: Nick Lam on Black Carbon, Climate Change, and Kerosene Lighting

Please join us in welcoming Nicholas Lam of UC Berkeley as the next presenter in the spring 2013 Sustainable Futures Speaker Series. Nick will speak on Thursday, March 7 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Behavior and Sciences Building room 166 (BSS 166) on the HSU campus. The title of his talk is “Let There Be (Clean) Light: How Kerosene Lighting in Developing Countries Is Contributing to Climate Warming and the Global Disease Burden.”

Nick’s primary research interests address the relationships among household fuel use, air quality and human health. His current research focuses on measuring and modeling the contribution of household cooking and lighting in developing countries on human exposure, disease risk, and emissions of climate-altering air pollutants. He has conducted and managed numerous evaluations of cookstove performance and program impacts throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America. This experience has allowed him the opportunity to develop curricula and training programs for local organizations and researchers on techniques for monitoring and evaluating household energy projects. He most recently served as director of the first US CDC Summer Cookstove Research Institute in Antigua, Guatemala. Prior to his efforts in household energy, he investigated the effects of air pollution on lead paint deterioration and its potential contribution to historic lead exposure in children. He is currently a doctoral student in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

Recent research indicates that black carbon particulate emissions are the second most important contributor to global warming (carbon dioxide emissions are the first). In other words, according to the latest science black carbon’s contributions appear to be larger than methane, nitrous oxide, and a host of other greenhouse gases. Nick was the lead author on two very recent articles. One article outlined the significant global burden of disease associated with the use of kerosene lighting, while the second identified kerosene lighting is a key source of black carbon emissions. Technologies that replace kerosene lighting with cleaner alternatives therefore represent a significant opportunity to help improve health outcomes for low income people in off-grid areas while simultaneously helping to mitigate global climate change. Nick’s talk will provide insights on both the health and climate change dimensions of kerosene lighting. It should be a very interesting one, and I hope you will join us for the talk.