Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Environmental Justice Seminar Series

Prof. David N. Pellow is the Dehlsen & Department Chair of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he teaches courses on environmental and social justice, race/class/gender & environmental conflict, human-animal conflicts, sustainability, and social change movements that confront our socioenvironmental crises and social inequality.
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Dr. Deepti Chatti is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Justice at Humboldt State University whose scholarship centers the social equity challenges that undergird sustainable development projects in the Global South. Dr. Chatti’s research critically analyzes development efforts to expand clean energy access and reduce air pollution exposures to historically underserved communities in rural India.
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Guest speaker Michael Mascarenhas of the University of California - Berkeley speaks about the intent and close coordination of the battalion of architects and players (lawyers, engineering firms, corporate consultants and non-profits) committed to advancing austerity measures in Michigan, and the impact of those forces on the Flint Water Crisis.
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Monica Huertas is a social worker, activist, and mother of four living in South Providence. She is founding member of the Racial And Environmental Justice Committee and Project Director for Green Justice Zones. In her talk, Huertas discusses what she and other local activists are doing now to fight the corporations that hold sway in Providence, and get the community more involved in EJ efforts.
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Although the science of climate change is clear, policy decisions about how to respond to its effects remain contentious. In this talk, Michael Méndez (UC Irvine) tells a timely story of people, place, and power in the context of climate change and inequality.
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Dean's Assistant Professor of Environment and Society and Anthropology Myles Lennon discusses environmental justice and a praxis for forging "supply chain solidarities" in the solar energy industry between marginalized communities of color in the Global North and Global South.
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Guest Seminars

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is a joint Canada-US non-profit and one of the world’s leading large-landscape conservation projects. In this talk, Dr. Aerin Jacob explores progress and challenges over the last 25 years of work in the Yellowstone to Yukon region, and the path ahead to achieve ambitious conservation targets necessary to address the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency.
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As Amazonia burns, species go extinct, and sea level rises, profound challenges must be met to preserve the environmental integrity needed to sustain life on Earth.

Ricardo Bayon '89 (Partner, Encourage Capital) moderates a panel discussion with leading figures in environmental and impact investing to explore the power of financial investments to help meet environmental challenges and positively impact the environment.
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Are we heading for societal collapse? Are we doomed for extinction? Global change research tells us that we are on a dangerous path, and that we have a small window of opportunity to respond. In this talk, sociologist and human geographer Karen O'Brien (Univ of Oslo) explains why we may be underestimating our individual and collective capacity for social change.
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Climate Change has been described as both the biggest public health threat and the biggest public health opportunity of the 21st century. This talk reviews the human health consequences of climate change, and review approaches to protecting people, both through mitigation and adaptation. It also considers some “meta” issues such as how to communicate about climate change and how to maintain hope and avoid despair.
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Dana Fisher, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland, explores the ways the 2017 People’s Climate March built on the momentum of the Resistance to mobilize a crowd with intersectional interests. (2/2/2018)
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John Holdren, former President Obama’s Science Advisor and the Director of the White Office of Science and Technology Policy, updates his assessment of what the science is telling us about the urgency of increased ambition in addressing the climate-change challenge and will reflect on the gulf between Obama’s stance on this issue and Trump’s.
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Two big environmental challenges in the next decades are to drastically reduce the amount of nutrients leaking from agricultural systems, and to limit the expansion of agriculture into new land. New technologies in monitoring are quickly advancing our ability to measure agricultural systems. In this talk, David Lobell presents some of those advances and the opportunities they present for long-term environmental success.
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Can small clubs of Arctic countries work together to regulate short-lived pollutants in the atmosphere? David Victor of UCSD explains the implications of soot and methane regulation in this region for health, climate, and international policies. (10/13/17)
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Fire has existed on Earth since plants colonized the continents. A major phase change in its history occurred when a creature, ourselves, learned to exploit it deliberately and eventually assumed a species monopoly over its use. We now have too little of the right kind of fire, too much of the wrong kind, and too much combustion overall.
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Andrew Revkin is the senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica.org. He joined the prize-winning public-interest newsroom after 21 years of writing for The New York Times, most recently through his Dot Earth blog for the Opinion section, and six years teaching at Pace University. He began writing on climate change in the 1980s and has never stopped.
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Kelsey Jack, Assistant Professor of Economics at Tufts University, explains how she uses data from South African utility companies to estimate the effects of prepaid electricity metering on customers' consumption and payment patterns. (10/7/2016)
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