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This spring, the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute is proud to cohost a series of lectures on issues of climate change, sustainability, and social and environmental justice. All lectures are free and open to the public and are part of the Hayward Sustainability Speaker Series (supported by the Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation) and the Social and Environmental Justice Speaker Series (supported by the Institute), with additional support from KAZU radio as a media sponsor. The series features some of today’s most influential leaders across a wide variety of fields. 

See upcoming speakers below and click on an event for more details.

Directions

Visit our interactive campus map for directions. 

Parking

Parking is available in any Middlebury Institute campus lot after 5 p.m., or on the street (time limits on surrounding streets end at 6 p.m.)

Questions

Contact Rachel Christopherson at the Center for the Blue Economy at cbe@miis.edu or (831) 647-6615 ext. 1.

Sustainability Management in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities

Wednesday, March 28 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speaker

Ms. Lacey Raak
Director of Sustainability, California State University, Monterey Bay

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

The campus environment operates like a small community. It provides opportunities for innovative sustainability actions, if you can effectively navigate the organizational hurdles. Join Lacey Raak, Director of Sustainability for California State University, Monterey Bay as she discusses the challenges and rewards of sustainability in higher education.

About the Speaker

Throughout her career, Lacey has worked in the field of sustainability and environmental policy, first as a U.S. Department of State Intern on international sustainable development in Washington, D. C., and later in Indonesia, where she was a Fulbright Scholar researching regional implementation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy.

Following her work at the City of Monterey, where she helped to develop the city’s first Climate Action Plan, Lacey started her career in higher education. She served as the University of California at Santa Cruz’s first climate action manager and later became the director of sustainability for the campus. Three years ago, Lacey shifted her work locally when she became the first sustainability director at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Lacey holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, where she majored in global studies with a minor in journalism and mass communication, and a Master of Arts from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in International Environmental Policy.

Population and Climate Change

Thursday, March 29 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speaker

Dr. Eugenia Kalnay
Distinguished University Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland

Location

Center for Non-Proliferation Studies Building, room V499VC
499 Van Buren Street Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

Climate scientists understand how the earth’s atmosphere, oceans and weather are changing and how to illustrate that with predictive models—but most models are missing a key element: people. Dr. Eugenia Kalnay, a pioneer in atmospheric, environmental and weather modeling, will present on the coupled Human and Nature Dynamical Model (HANDY), arguing that there are critical two-way feedbacks missing from current climate models, namely people and their associated variables of inequality, consumption, and population. The HANDY model demonstrates that an egalitarian society can reach equilibrium with nature, whereas the presence of either large inequality or excessive use of natural resources both lead to societal collapse.

The Human System now dominates the Earth System, and since 1950 the population and GDP per capita have been both growing at about 2% per year, indicating that the total use of Earth resources is doubling every 20 years, a clearly unsustainable path. Dr. Kalnay will point out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Earth System models (and Integrated Assessment models) are not bi-directionally coupled with Human System. Without fully coupling the Earth and Human Systems it is not possible to model the positive and negative feedbacks and delays needed to represent climate change and sustainability, in the same way that without a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model it is impossible to simulate El Niño, since it is the result of two-way feedbacks and delays between the ocean and the atmosphere. She will describe a prototype of a fully coupled Earth System model, including government policies.

The Human and Nature Dynamical Model (HANDY), developed by Dr. Kalnay and a University of Maryland-led international team of distinguished scientists, models two classes of people, Elites and Commoners, performing “thought experiments” on sustainability. As stated earlier, the model shows that an egalitarian society can reach equilibrium with nature, whereas the presence of either large inequality or excessive use of natural resources both lead to societal collapse, as has happened to many civilizations in the last 5000 years. Introducing non-renewable resources (fossil fuels) into the HANDY model results in an explosive population growth similar to that observed since the use of fossil fuels triggered the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s and the Green Revolution in the 1950’s. Join Dr. Kalnay, Distinguished Professor, pioneer and thought leader, for this engaging discussion.

About the Speaker

Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, Dr. Kalnay was Branch Head at NASA Goddard, and later the Director of the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP, formerly NMC), National Weather Service (NWS) from 1987 to 1997. During those ten years there were major improvements in the NWS models' forecast skill. Many successful projects such as the 60+years NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis (article cited over 20,000 times), seasonal and interannual dynamical predictions, the first operational ensemble forecasting, 3-D and 4-D variational Data Assimilation, advanced quality control, and coastal ocean forecasting. Under Dr. Kalnay, EMC became a pioneer in both the fundamental science and the practical applications of numerical weather prediction.

Current research interests of Dr. Kalnay are in numerical weather prediction, data assimilation, predictability and ensemble forecasting, coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling, coupled human-earth systems, climate change and sustainability. Zoltan Toth and Eugenia Kalnay introduced the breeding method for ensemble forecasting. She is also the author (with Ross Hoffman and Wesley Ebisuzaki) of other widely used ensemble methods known as Lagged Averaged Forecasting and Scaled LAF. Her book, Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability (Cambridge University Press, 2003) has been published in Chinese (2005) and in Korean (2012). A second edition is in preparation. She has received numerous awards, including the 2009 IMO Prize, the top prize of the World Meteorological Organization, and has a member of the UN Scientific Advisory Board, the NOAA Scientific Advisory Board and other Scientific Boards.

Powering Partnerships: A Panel Discussion with Labor and Environmental Advocates Finding Common Ground on California Climate Policy

Tuesday, April 17 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Location

McCone Building, Irvine Auditorium, 499 Pierce St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

Registration requested: register for this event 

About the Topic

California is a leader in climate policy.  In the midst of this paradigm shift, how is California going to lead the labor transition in the movement towards a clean energy future?

The potential for green jobs in California is enormous, yet the pathway to achieve safe and reliable jobs and livable wages for existing fossil fuel workers remains unclear. While labor advocates and environmentalists agree that expanding renewable energy can mitigate harmful impacts to the climate and foster economic opportunities, the steps to implement a just and inclusive transition are still highly debated in California’s policy environment.  

In our polarized political climate, it is more important than ever to create safe spaces for constructive conversations. We must begin having honest discussions about the difficulties encountered by energy workers and the climate challenges we all face.

This panel brings together four experts who will share their experiences working on issues including labor justice, climate change, energy security, and the political environment surrounding the movement towards clean energy in California. By exploring the common interest of putting Americans to work, we can collaborate to create better jobs for workers now and a better, healthier environment for both our communities and future generations. Please join our panelists for this cutting-edge discussion to find common ground on California Climate policy.

About the Panelists:

Adrienne Alvord, California & Western States Director, Union of Concerned Scientists

As the Union of Concerned Scientists’ California and Western states director, Ms. Alvord is working to ensure Californians, and all Americans, transition to a clean energy and fuels economy that reduces global warming, promotes equitable economic growth, and improves public health in western states.

Ms. Alvord is leading UCS’s effort to ensure robust implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s landmark climate law known as AB 32. She also is working to ensure California’s renewable energy and clean vehicle standards are enforced.

Prior to joining UCS, Ms. Alvord was the environmental policy director for California State Senator Fran Pavley and served as lead staff on AB 32. She led successful legislative efforts to establish clean energy programs and accompanying funding sources, clean vehicles and fuel technology standards, air and water quality rules, and natural resources protection programs. She worked extensively in climate, energy, fuels, waste, and agricultural policy and has deep experience in translating scientific and technical work into policy ideas, and creating strategic partnerships to achieve those policies. Prior to working in the California legislature, Ms. Alvord served as a gubernatorial appointee directing state pesticide legislation and regulations, and previously was policy director for a California nonprofit promoting sustainable agriculture.

Ms. Alvord has a B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Hunter Stern, Business Representative, Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Hunter Stern supports anything that produces new jobs for his union's members. As the Business Representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Stern is responsible for protecting the interests of his constituents, including contract enforcement, grievances, labor-management negotiations and general contract bargaining.

Through his twenty years of work with the IBEW, Stern has built extensive knowledge of the state electricity deregulation, energy and water issues which currently face San Francisco.

Stern graduated from Brown University in 1984.

Tom Habashi, Chief Executive Officer, Monterey Bay Community Power

Appointed in September 2017, Mr. Habashi is serving as Monterey Bay Community Power’s Chief Executive Officer, a regional Community Choice Energy program which will provide electricity to residents and businesses in 19 jurisdictions throughout Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties. Scheduled to launch in March of 2018, Mr. Habashi oversees and directs Monterey Bay Community Power’s energy acquisition, strategic plan, program implementation, operations, regulatory affairs, communications and outreach.

Prior to joining MBCP, Mr. Habashi served as the CEO at Silicon Valley Clean Energy, launching that CCE program into operation in April 2016. Prior to SVCE, Tom spent eleven years in the City of Roseville as a Utility Director for Roseville Electric, overseeing power production and distribution to electricity to the city customers and 14 years with the City of Palo Alto, advancing from Electrical Engineer to Assistant Director in charge of electric, natural gas and water resource management.

Mr. Habashi brings a wealth of experience to the growing Community Choice Energy sector with over 30 years serving community-owned utilities in California. His responsibilities have included managing a wide range of energy sector activities such as energy acquisition, rate development, finance, supply distribution and customer programs.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Mr. Habashi graduated from Ain Sham University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and received his MBA at The College of Notre Dame in Belmont, CA.

Sabrina Lockhart, Director of Communications, California Independent Petroleum Association

A lifelong Californian, Sabrina Demayo Lockhart has spent nearly two decades working in the Capitol community. She currently serves as the director of communications for the California Independent Petroleum Association. Sabrina worked in the Capitol for former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as then-Assembly Republican Leader, now House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Connie Conway, who is the longest serving Assembly Republican Leader in the post term limits era. She is also a former television journalist.

In her spare time, you'll find her cheering on her son at a sporting event that her husband is likely coaching. Sabrina is a certified yoga teacher and donates her time teaching yoga to veterans and medical staff at the Sacramento VA hospital.

Bottom Up Research on Environmental Justice: A Panel Discussion with Oakland and SF Bay Area Community Advocates

Monday, April 23 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speaker

Ms. Margaret Gordon
Co-Founder and Co-Director, The West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

Ms. Margaret Gordon and environmental justice advocates from the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area will discuss how they build community empowerment and help local residents achieve their own vision for healthy neighborhoods. Using the tools of Community-Based Participatory Research projects and Collaborative Problem-Solving, Ms. Gordon and her colleagues will provide a roadmap for environmental justice activism that can be modeled in any community.

About the Panelists

Ms. Margaret Gordon of WOEIP: The West Oakland Environmental Indicators (WOEIP) Project is a resident led, community-based environmental justice organization dedicated to achieving healthy homes, healthy jobs and healthy neighborhoods for all who live, work, learn and play in West Oakland, California. The goal of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project is more than a seat at the table. It is to see all residents as informed participants in positive change; to see soil and air cleaned up; to see local land serve local needs and to help bring about a comprehensive vision for West Oakland redevelopment and economic revitalization. Margaret Gordon is a lifetime community activist. As a young single mother she worked her way off of welfare by attending commercial cooking school, after which she cooked for various institutions including Children’s Hospital and a UC Berkeley fraternity house. Ms. Gordon is a founding member of the WOEIP, having volunteered for the first three years of operation. She has work experience in mental health services, parent training in the public schools and community organizing. In 2007, Margaret Gordon was appointed by new Oakland Mayor, Ron Dellums, to the Oakland Port Commission where she stridently promotes the interests of community health, workers health and fiscal responsibility in Port operations. Ms. Gordon was the Community representative on the California Goods Movement Action Plan task force and is a 2010 National Purpose Prize winner.  

Phoenix Arementa of RCI: The Resilient Communities Initiative (RCI) is a coalition of social equity organizations bringing community leadership to climate adaptation and resilience planning since 2013.
 

Janice Hunter and Sheridan Enomoto of Green Action: Green Action for Health and Environmental Justice is a multiracial grassroots organization that works with low-income and working class urban, rural, and indigenous communities to fight environmental racism and injustice and build a clean, healthy and just future for all. We mobilize community power to win victories that change government and corporate policies and practices to protect health and to promote environmental, social and economic justice.

Michelle Pierce and Karen Pierce of Bayview Advocates: Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates work to improve the quality of life of residents of the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco through advocacy, information, community organizing, education and economic development. News article: Neighbors outraged after toxic soil confirmed in SF's Bayview.

Blue Theology: Can Faith Communities Be Effective and Trusted Partners with the Ocean Conservation Community?

Tuesday, April 24 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speaker

Reverend Deborah Streeter
Minister of Blue Theology, United Church of Christ

Location

McGowan Building, room MG100, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

In the very diverse religious landscape, many faith communities are actively involved in environmental stewardship, and can be effective and trusted partners with secular conservation organizations. All world religions teach some version of human responsibility to be good stewards, encouraging “creation care” and a concern for “the least of these” that has led some faith communities to be leaders in the movement for environmental justice and calling out environmental racism.

Every successful social change movement in the U.S. has had significant leadership from the faith community—civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT, and now climate change. Rev. Deborah’s Streeter’s Blue Theology ministry moves the widespread movement to “green” religious communities into issues of ocean stewardship and spirituality.

About the Speaker

Rev. Deborah Streeter is authorized by the United Church of Christ to be “Minister for Blue Theology,” preaching and teaching about ocean spirituality and ocean stewardship. She encourages faith communities, environmental activist groups and science/education organizations to work together as trusted partners in caring for God’s wet and blue creation.

She is a member of two churches: La Selva Community United Church of Christ and the Christian Church of Pacific Grove, where she cofounded their Blue Theology program, which provides learning/serving/retreat opportunities for youth and adults on ocean stewardship and spirituality. She writes a weekly “Blue Theology Tide-ings” blog on Facebook and at www.bluetheologytideings.blogspot.com.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) for more than 30 years, she has worked as a local church pastor, campus minister (at UC Berkeley), hospital chaplain (at Stanford Hospital), and associate conference minister for the UCC and editor of their monthly regional newspaper. She has taught at Pacific School of Religion and in Santa Clara University's environmental studies program. She served for nine years as a member at large and chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. She has been a docent at Point Lobos State Reserve and a guide at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for more than fifteen years, and she leads tours at both places specifically designed for faith communities. In 2008, she directed the Living Ocean Initiative with support from the Monterey Bay Sanctuary and Aquarium, bringing together 150 faith leaders from diverse traditions to learn about faith and ocean conservation issues.

She has a BA from Stanford University, an MA in ethics and a master of divinity from Pacific School of Religion. She edited "Dancing on the Brink of the World: Selected Poems of Point Lobos" in 2003. She lives with her family in Big Sur.

The Paris Agreement and Geoengineering: Carbon Dioxide Removal/Negative Emissions Technologies

Wednesday, April 25 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speakers

Katherine Mach
Director, Stanford Environment Assessment, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Senior Research Scientist, Department of Earth System Science
Visiting Investigator, Carnegie Institution for Science

Dr. Wil Burns
Co-Executive Director, Forum for Climate Geo-Engineering Assessment

Dr. Greg Rau
Senior Researcher, University of California at Santa Cruz, Institute of Marine Sciences

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

Geoengineering refers to the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth's climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming. Join the distinguished panelists as they assess the potential role of the Paris Agreement in governing climate geoengineering research and deployment. Could Carbon Dioxide Removal/Negative Emissions Technologies geoengineering options help nations to reach the Paris Agreement’s goals?

About the Speakers

Katharine Mach is a Senior Research Scientist at Stanford University, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Visiting Investigator at the Carnegie Institution for Science. She leads the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility (SEAF). Advancing foundations for action, her research is focused on integrative assessment of climate change risks and response options. The goal is innovating and evaluating new approaches to assessment, simultaneously applying them to inform decisions and policy. Priorities include advancing methods for integrating evidence, applying expert judgment, and communicating resulting syntheses of knowledge. From 2010 until 2015, Mach co-directed the scientific activities of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which focuses on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. This work culminated in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. The associated global scientific collaborations have supported diverse climate policies and actions, including the Paris Agreement. Mach received her PhD from Stanford University and AB from Harvard College.

Dr. Wil Burns is a Founding Co-Executive Director of FCEA and is based in Berkeley, California. He also serves as a non-residential scholar at American University’s School of International Service, a Fellow at the Center for Science, Technology and Medicine in Society at the University of California-Berkeley, and a Senior Scholar at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Canada. He also serves as the Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association.  He previously served as the Director of the Energy Policy & Climate program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.  He is also the former President of the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences, and former Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law interest group of the American Society of International Law, and Chair of the International Wildlife Law Interest group of the Society. He has published over 80 articles and chapters in law, science, and policy journals and books, and has co-edited four books. He holds a Ph.D. in International Environmental Law from the University of Wales-Cardiff School of Law.  Prior to becoming an academic, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the State of Wisconsin and worked in the non-governmental sector for twenty years, including as Executive Director of the Pacific Center for International Studies, a think-tank that focused on implementation of international wildlife treaty regimes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. His current areas of research focus are: climate geoengineering; international climate change litigation; adaptation strategies to address climate change, with a focus on the potential role of micro-insurance; and the effectiveness of the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.

Dr. Greg Rau is a senior researcher with the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, and also is affiliated with the Carbon Management Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. A native of Washington state, he is a graduate of Western Washington University, and received his Master of Science and doctorate degrees from the University of Washington. Postdoctoral work was conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at NASA-Ames Research Center. His subsequent 25-year research career has focused on carbon cycling and biogeochemistry at cellular to global scales, including the development and evaluation CO2 mitigation technologies.  Dr. Rau is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He and his wife, Vreni, live in Castro Valley, Calif. They enjoy hiking, fishing and traveling.

Speaking with the "Enemy": Approaches and Strategies for Engaging Climate Change Skeptics - and their Limits

Thursday, April 26 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speakers

Dr. Michel Gueldry
Professor and Program Coordinator, Language Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

It can seem impossible to discuss topics like climate change across the chasms of political viewpoint, culture, and class. Many climate change skeptics, however, share common values with environmental activists and scientists, but respectful communication is the key. In this lecture. Dr. Michel Gueldry will draw from social psychology, decision sciences, and the sociology of collective action to explore effective communication strategies targeting climate change skeptics. Using a case study, he will examine the USA, with a view to broader settings. 

First, he will map out the targeted audience: not all climate change skeptics are created equal and there is a range of motivations and factors at work. Then he will consider what motivates resistance. Although much of the climate change science seems settled, the dominant “information deficit” approach—sharing more facts and science, counting on reason and science, embracing a Positivist/rationalist view of social change—proves frustratingly counterproductive. Overwhelmingly, resistance is not due to skeptics' impaired reasoning but to broader, extraneous competing rationales. As such adverse positions vary in credibility, we detail their range, dynamics, and motivations to avoid a “one size/one science fits all” reductionist trap. 

Next, he will develop structured reasoning and customized approaches geared toward free marketers, social libertarians, faith-based communities, nationalists and American exceptionalists. He will examine arguments articulated specifically by authority figures acceptable to climate change skeptics: business, defense officials, faith leaders, fellow Conservatives, etc. He will detail practical examples of climate change action already undertaken by social and economic forces honored by skeptics and Conservatives.

While audience-tailored approaches may facilitate a productive dialogue, Dr. Gueldry will also analyze the limits of pragmatic consensus politics: die-hard deniers persist, “virtue” and “reason” are ambiguous, and systemic social changes--especially the ones seemingly required by climate change--entail tough trade-offs.

About the Speaker

Prof. Michel Gueldry's background is in political science and international relations. He has taught at the University of Memphis, Rhodes College (Memphis, TN), Middlebury College (VT), Mills College (CA), University of Oregon, Bryn Mawr College (Avignon, France), the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of Grenoble, the Institut des Hautes Etudes Européennes et Internationales in Nice (France), Leipzig University, and the Wuppertal Institute.

 

CHANGE! A Student Guide to Social Action

Monday, April 30 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speakers

Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton
Professor of Sociology, San José State University

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

Dr. Myers-Lipton will discuss practical social change for students working in an academic environment. While there are many books about community organizing and social change, there are no college texts focusing on how to provide real-world experience with academic content taking into consideration the flow of the academic term. CHANGE! A Student Guide to Social Action is written specifically for faculty and staff to use with college students with the goal of helping students bring about the change they believe is necessary to make our community a better place to live.

About the Speaker

Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton is a Professor of Sociology at San José State University, and is the author of Ending Extreme Inequality: An Economic Bill of Rights Approach to Eliminate Poverty (Paradigm 2015), Rebuild America: Solving the Economic Crisis through Civic Works (Paradigm 2009) and Social Solutions to Poverty: America's Struggle to Build a Just Society (Paradigm 2006), as well as numerous scholarly articles on civic engagement, education, and racism.

He founded the successful effort to raise the minimum wage in San Jose´ from $8 to $10, and the Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign, an initiative to develop 100,000 prevailing wage jobs for local and displaced workers after Hurricane Katrina. He has worked to help students develop solutions to poverty by taking them to live at homeless shelters, the Navajo and Lakota nations, the US Gulf Coast, and Kingston, Jamaica.

Dr. Myers-Lipton is the recipient of San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP Social Justice Award, the Elbert Reed Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara County, and the Manuel Vega Latino Empowerment Award. He lives with his wife, Diane, and his two children in San Jose. In addition, Scott and Diane are the proprietors of The Sequoia Retreat Center, a meeting space dedicated to individual and social transformation.

The Status of International Ocean Acidification Policy Activities

Wednesday, May 2 | 6:00pm–7:30pm

Speakers

Dr. Mark Spalding
President, The Ocean Foundation

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

In this talk, Dr. Spalding will discuss the Ocean Foundation’s International Ocean Acidification Initiative: building capacity to monitor, understand, and respond to ocean acidification. The program aims to observe how, where, and how quickly changes are occurring by working with international partners to train scientists and resource managers in ocean acidification monitoring. In addition to creating a network of data collection to analyze current and future trends, the Ocean Foundation is translating that scientific knowledge into political action. The Ocean Foundation cultivates relationships with key government actors around the world who become ocean champions, positively impacting ocean acidification policy in their communities. The Ocean Foundation provides coaching on introducing legislation and a network of support within industry, government, the scientific world. This multipronged, cross-cutting approach has led to many successes, but challenges and knowledge gaps persist. Join Dr. Mark Spalding as he discusses this innovative approach to the broad problem of ocean acidification.

About the Speaker

Mark J. Spalding has been the President of The Ocean Foundation since its founding in 2002. Under his leadership, it has grown exponentially from a $200,000 to $7 million/year budget, as he prioritized its focus on steering the human relationship with the sea to a brighter future through diverse, carefully chosen strategies and projects. Mark drove the design and establishment of the Alaska Oceans Program, the Shipping Safety Partnership, the Loreto Bay Foundation and the St. Kitts Foundation. Mark is the advisor to the Rockefeller Ocean Strategy (an unprecedented ocean-centric investment fund), and designed the first-ever blue carbon offset program, SeaGrass Grow. He is a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Mark is serving on the Sargasso Sea Commission. He is a member of the Pool of Experts for the UN World Ocean Assessment, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy, at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. From 1994 to 2003, Mark was the Director of the Environmental Law and Civil Society Program, and Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development, at UCSD’s Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS). In addition to lecturing at IR/PS, Mark has taught at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD's Muir College, UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and University of San Diego's School of Law. He was a research fellow at UCSD's Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, a Sustainability Institute – Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow and a SeaWeb Senior Fellow. He holds a B.A. in history with Honors from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a Master in Pacific International Affairs (MPIA) from IR/PS. He is a graduate of the British School of Motor Racing. Mark's deep connection with the ocean began as a young boy growing up in the Central Valley of California; each time he crested the coastal range and the Pacific came into view, it was like a breath of fresh air. (Mark concurrently serves as the CEO and President of SeaWeb)

From Farms to Incubators: Telling the Stories of Women Entrepreneurs in AgTech in the Salinas Valley and Beyond—Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Wednesday, May 2 | 6:00pm–8:00pm

Speakers

Journalist Amy Wu
Creator and Director, From Farms to Incubators

Location

Morse Building, Room B104, 426 Van Buren Street, Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

The documentary “From Farms to Incubators,” tells the story of women entrepreneurs who are playing a significant role in the fast-growing industry known as AgTech in California’s Salinas Valley, Silicon Valley and beyond. It has screened at Western Growers, the Steinbeck Festival and the Carmel International Film Festival. After a screening of the film, Journalist and film Creator/Director Amy Wu and panelists will share stories from the making of the documentary, the genesis of the project and how it has impacted the women entrepreneurs.

About the Speaker

Amy Wu is an investigative reporter who reports on the environment and agriculture for the USA Today Network. She is also the creator and director for “From Farms to Incubators: telling the stories of minority women entrepreneurs in agtech in the Salinas Valley and beyond.” The project includes a documentary and a website that profiles women entrepreneurs in agtech and ag.

Defeating Giants: Clean Water and DuPont’s Downfall

Thursday, May 10 | 12:15pm–1:30pm

Speakers

Mr. Robert A. Bilott
Partner, Taft Law Firm

Location

McGowan Building, room MG102, 411 Pacific St. Monterey, CA 93940

Free, Open to the Public

About the Topic

Robert Bilott is one of the world’s finest environmental lawyers. With a combination of innovative litigation, scientific understanding, and extraordinary perseverance, he has achieved one of the most significant victories for environmental law and corporate accountability of this century. In a legal battle lasting 19 years, he represented 70,000 citizens whose drinking water had been contaminated with Perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) by the chemical giant DuPont. Expanding upon the concept of class-action litigation, he set up a 7-year toxicological study of the 70,000 victims, which contributed significantly to the scientific understanding of the global health risks associated with Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). This class of substances, which do not break down in the environment or the human body, are ubiquitous in our societies today. At a time when environmental regulation is under serious threat of being watered down in the United States and elsewhere, Bilott successfully won compensation for his clients and continues to call for better regulation of toxic substances. Join Robert Bilott as he explores the various scientific, regulatory , and legal challenges and obstacles to effectively and efficiently addressing perfluorochemicals in drinking water worldwide.

About the Speaker

A seasoned litigator with more than 27 years of experience, Rob represents a diverse range of clients on a wide variety of matters involving federal, state and local environmental laws. Rob is a Partner and cornerstone of Taft’s Environmental, Litigation and Product Liability and Personal Injury teams. With an aptitude for handling complex and nuanced matters, Rob’s work has kept him at the forefront of environmental and regulatory litigation, mass tort, and compliance issues. He has handled matters involving highly complex and emerging scientific issues with some of the nation’s leading medical, technical, scientific and regulatory experts and advisors.

Rob has proudly represented Taft and his community as a board member of Less Cancer, as a member of the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL) Class V and as a former chair of the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee. He received his undergraduate degree from New College and earned his J.D., cum laude, from the Ohio State University College of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Law Journal.

Rob is a 2017 Right Livelihood Award Laureate, Fellow in the Right Livelihood College and an Honorary Professor at the National University of Cordoba in Argentina.