EnviroThursday Fall 2003

Presentations take place at 12 noon, Olin-Rice Room 250

September 11, 2003

"Protecting Minnesota’s Wilderness A Report on New Opportunities"
Speaker: Sarah Strommen, Policy Director for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a unique water-based wilderness area of over a million acres, with hundreds of lakes and rivers and 1200 miles of canoe routes. It is visited by over 200,000 people per year. It is also home to abundant plants and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. Unfortunately, its wilderness character is under constant threat. Sarah will provide background on the significance of the area and discuss recent initiatives to protect and enhance its wilderness values. She will also discuss the role of "citizen science" and how students and others can help protect this precious resource.

Sarah Strommen has been with the Friends since October of 2000. She has a BA in Biology from Grinnell and a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University. In 1995-96, Sarah was a Fulbright Scholar in Costa Rica, studying the avian habitat in the Cerro de la Muerte region. She is a huge proponent of using "citizen science" to accomplish conservation goals, and wrote her masters thesis on the contributions that birdwatchers make to avian conservation.

September 18, 2003

"Turning the Tides: Pesticides and the Water We Drink"
Speaker: Janette Brimmer, Legal Director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) and Director of the Center's pesticide projects

The Women's Cancer Resource Center, based in Minneapolis, is presenting a national conference, "Turning the Tides III: A Cancer Free World Begins with You," at the Minneapolis Convention Center on October 3 and 4, 2003. Janette Brimmer will be speaking at this conference and will give Macalester a preview of her remarks at this EnviroThursday.

Janette is an attorney with B.A. (Political Science) and J.D. degrees from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been practicing law in Minnesota since 1986 and has served as an adjunct faculty member at both the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. Her work at MCEA has focused on pesticide contamination in Minnesota's groundwater. Her presentation will cover MCEA's involvement in legislation, policy development, and the health effects of pesticide contamination in drinking water.

For more information on MCEA and its pesticide projects go to www.mncenter.org. For more information on the Turning the Tides Conference go to www.wcrctides3.org or check at the Environmental Studies Office.

September 25, 2003

"Environmental Activism at Macalester: An Open Forum on Opportunities and Strategies"

This session will be an open discussion designed to foster dialogue about and opportunities for involvement in environmental activism at Mac. Representatives from a number of student groups, the Campus Environmental Issues Committee, and the Environmental Studies Program will be present. The goals of the forum will include providing students with information about ways to get involved and fostering communication and cooperation among environmentally active individuals and groups.

October 2, 2003

"The Earth Charter Community Summit: Integrating the Global and the Local"
Speakers: Nancy Dunlavy and Jack Heckelman

The Earth Charter is an international declaration of principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It stems from a 1987 call by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development for a new charter that would set forth the fundamentals of sustainable development.

On Saturday and Sunday, October 11-12, 2003, the Twin Cities will be one of over 30 sites around the world hosting an Earth Charter Summit. The summits are designed to foster community and citizen involvement in strategies for seeking local and global sustainability. Nancy and Jack will provide us with information regarding the Earth Charter campaign and the upcoming Community Summit to be held at the College of St. Catherine.

Nancy Dunlavy is currently coordinator of the Earth Charter Community Alliance of Minnesota and vice president of the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers. Her primary motivation for involvement in global issues such as the Earth Charter comes from her roles as mother, Buddhist practitioner, and citizen.

Jack Heckelman has been a social activist for over forty years, working on civil rights, environment, population, and peace. He was one of the key supporters for the establishment of the U.S. Institute for Peace in the 1980s. He is President Emeritus of the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, a non-profit he co-founded in Pennsylvania in 1995. He is currently serving as an advisor to the Twin Cities Earth Charter Community Summit Committee.

October 9, 2003 - No EnviroThursday

October 16, 2003

"Getting to Green: Moving Our Country to a Renewable Energy Economy"
Speaker: J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director for Minnesotans for An Energy Efficient Economy

"Green" renewable energy helps farmers, cleans our air, fights global warming, and increases our energy security. Why, then, have political leaders been virtually silent on pushing a transition to a greener energy portfolio for the United States? Come to Thursday's talk to learn about the potentials of a green energy transition and about action steps to help bring it about.

October 22, 2003 - Wednesday, Carnegie Room 06

"The Energy Situation in 2003"
Speaker: David Hafemeister, Physics Department, Cal Poly University

The conclusions of the American Physical Society Panel on Public Affairs energy study of 1996 are still relevant today, and they will be briefly discussed in terms of recent trends. Cars, refrigerators, and houses have greatly improved but yet energy use continues to climb. The best news on the supply side is the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine.

David Hafemeister has spent a dozen years in Washington as Professional Staff Member, Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Governmental Affairs, Science Advisor to Senator John Glenn, Special Assistant to Under Secretary of State Benson and Deputy-Under Secretary Nye, Visiting Scientist in the State Department's Office of Nuclear Proliferation Policy, the Office of Strategic Nuclear Policy, and Study Director at the National Academy of Sciences.

October 30, 2003

"The Case for Green Buildings"
Speakers: Erin Barnes-Driscoll and Laura Millberg, Green Building Specialists with the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance

Buildings use more than 65% of U.S. electricity, contribute 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and are responsible for 40% of all raw materials used globally. The good news is that new design and construction methods can decrease the environmental impacts of buildings while making them friendlier to occupants and less expensive to build, maintain, and operate. Barnes-Driscoll and Millberg will help us explore how Macalester might apply green building principles to our campus.

Barnes-Driscoll has been with the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) since 1992, working on sustainability, pollution prevention, and resource conservation issues. She has a BA in Political Science and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University and a Masters in Public Administration from Hamline. Millberg joined the OEA in 1990 and focuses on the economic and environmental benefits of sustainable building design. She has a BA in Economics and Political Science with Honors from Grinnell and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.

November 6, 2003

"Metropolitics: Race, Taxes, and the Suburbs"
Speaker: Myron Orfield, Director of the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School

Myron Orfield argues that the “suburbs” are not monolithic but quite diverse and impacted negatively by the status quo of racial and economic segregation and fiscal inequality in a region. In his presentation, Orfield will discuss the kinds of policy reforms that would benefit all types of communities and how to achieve these reforms. Data and maps from a range of metropolitan regions in the U.S. will be used to make the case for regionalism.

Orfield has written widely in this area and is the author of two widely read books published by The Brookings Institution: Metropolitics, a Regional Agenda for Community and Stability (1997) and American Metropolitics: The New Suburban Reality (2002). Prior to moving to the Institute on Race and Poverty, he practiced law in the public and private sectors and served five terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives and one term in the State Senate. He holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from the University of Chicago.

November 13, 2003

“Preliminary Tales of Historical Sediment and Water Transport in the Columbia River Basin: Dam it!”
Speaker: Kelly MacGregor, Assistant Professor, Geology Department, Macalester College

While dams in the Columbia River basin supply the Pacific northwest with up to 75% of its power needs, the effects of dams on water and sediment transport in river systems remains poorly understood. This information is critical for understanding changes in salmon spawning patterns, as well as determining whether coastal erosion in the state of Washington is related to a reduction in sediment supply from the Columbia River. Using historical documents and modern records, MacGregor examines changes in water discharge and sediment transport along the main stem of the Columbia River and in three subbasins, including the John Day, the Kootenai, and the Snake Rivers in an attempt to quantify the effects of dams on sediment transport.

MacGregor is currently teaching Geomorphology and Rivers and the Environment. She graduated from Williams College with highest honors in 1993, and worked for an environmental consulting firm in NYC for several years before starting her research on glacier dynamics and alpine landscape evolution at UC Santa Cruz. She completed her Ph.D. in 2002, and spent a year as a Mendenhall fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA before coming to Macalester this fall.

November 20, 2003

"Minnesota’s Ground Water and the Science Museum of Minnesota: What’s the Connection?"
Speakers: Jeanette Leete of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Cathy Villas-Horns of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture

One of DNR's greatest challenges is wise allocation of water supply. The uses for which people want water sometimes conflict with the need to keep water levels up in natural systems. This talk will focus on water supply sustainability and looks at ground water availability in the different ground water provinces, ground water/surface water interaction and water quality issues that relate to sustainability. In addition, you will hear about the effort to include a ground water exhibit at the Science Park being constructed at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

December 4, 2003

“Free Trade, Fair Trade, and Democracy: A Report from Miami”
Speakers: Macalester Students

A group of Macalester students who traveled to Miami to protest the recent Ministerial Meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas will lead a discussion of the issues and events surrounding that meeting and protest action.

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) would extend NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) type rules to the whole of the hemisphere. While supported by many economists, governments, and business leaders as a way to stimulate economic growth, the FTAA in its current form is opposed by most labor, environmental, and social justice groups. Come to this week’s EnviroThursday to hear more about this important controversy and the events that occurred in Miami.

December 11, 2003

“Deep Ecology and the Global Crisis”
Speaker: Ray Tricomo, Founder and Director of Kalipulli Turtle Island Multiversity, and Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2000

The presentation will include a discussion of the significance of deep ecology and the contributions of indigenous cultures to our understanding of our relationship to nature. In his talk, Ray will also focus on a strategy for creating full employment through ecological restoration.