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


Tyrone B. HayesFebruary 8, 2018

“From Silent Spring to Silent Night:  A Tale of Toads and Men”
Speaker:  Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes, Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Hayes will describe his work on the herbicide atrazine as an environmental endocrine disruptor that demasculinizes and feminizes male frogs and its implications for human health.

Dr. Hayes is an advocate for critical review and regulation of pesticides and other environmental chemical contaminants that have played a role in global amphibian declines and in the health disparities that occur in minority and low income populations.

This EnviroThursday is co-sponsored by Environmental Studies, Biology, and Community and Global Health Concentration.

February 15, 2018

No EnviroThursday – ES Majors/Minors Party

February 22, 2018

4:45-6:00 pm, Olin-Rice 250

“Health, Climate, and Development:  Investigating Birth Weight, Temperature, and Precipitation in Africa”
Speaker:  Dr. Kathryn Grace, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Environment, and Society, University of Minnesota

How does weather and climate impact health outcomes? This talk presents research that examines the relationship between birth weight, precipitation, and temperature in 19 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, using a novel combination of data sources including Demographic and Health Surveys, information on agricultural production and livelihood strategies, and gridded monthly precipitation and temperature data derived from satellite and ground-based weather stations. This project shows the value of combining theory and methods from geography, global health, environmental studies, and international development.

This EnviroThursday is co-sponsored by Community and Global Health Concentration, Geography Department, International Development Concentration, African Studies Concentration, and Environmental Studies.

March 1, 2018

“Engineering ‘Conscious Capitalism’: Exploring the Environmental Ethics of Engineers in the Extractive Industries”
Speaker:  Dr. Jessica Smith ’03, Assoc. Professor, Colorado School of Mines

Mining, oil and gas companies make good villains, frequently figuring as the Goliaths of globalization to the Davids of the environmental and grassroots community movements seeking to stop them. Yet companies are not monoliths, and cases of mineral development are rarely black-and-white. This talk opens up the black box of corporations to explore how engineers practicing in the mining and petroleum industries understand the social and environmental responsibility dimensions of their work. Engineers are the ones responsible for designing the infrastructures, processes, and artifacts that form the basis for prominent controversies over air, water and soil contamination, yet scholars tend to treat them as corporate automatons – as “people without culture” – rather than as actors in their own right. In this talk, Jessica Smith will draw on three years of interviews with engineers and over ten years of ethnographic research on mining to explain the environmental ethics of the engineers she came to know and how they imagined their work to contribute to more responsible resource extraction.

Jessica M. Smith is an anthropologist who studies the mining and oil and gas industries, with a focus on corporate social responsibility, engineering, labor, and gender. She teaches and conducts interdisciplinary research with engineers and applied scientists. She is the author of Mining Coal and Undermining Gender: Rhythms of Work and Family in the American West  (Rutgers University Press, 2014), which was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. She co-organized the 2016 Energy Ethics: Fragile Lives and Imagined Futures conference at the University of St. Andrews and the 2017 STS Underground conference at Mines. She graduated from Macalester in 2003 with majors in Anthropology, International Studies and Latin American Studies and with minors in Spanish and Women’s and Gender Studies.

March 8, 2018

“Graduate School Info and Strategy Session”

Paths to graduate and professional programs after the Environmental Studies major are as diverse as the many routes students take through our curriculum. This makes it difficult to offer a one-size-fits-all session on the specifics of preparing for students’ next educational steps; on the other hand, it offers an opportunity for us to gather and talk about some of the larger underlying questions that are common to all kinds of postgraduate education planning. Join us for a group discussion facilitated by ES faculty; we will bring an outline of topics for consideration, and we hope students will come with questions for their professors and their peers. We encourage any interested students to attend, regardless of class year.

March 15, 2018

No EnviroThursday – Spring Break

March 22, 2018

“Advocating for Energy Consumers”
Speaker:  Annie Levenson-Falk, Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota

Technological advancements have recently been transforming the electric industry and new policies are now being formulated to take advantage of this opportunity. Minnesota has a long history of forward-thinking energy policy and stalwart consumer advocacy. However, regular consumers have too often been left out of energy policy discussions.

The Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota (CUB) was formed in 2016 to address this need. Its mission is to advocate for affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy service for Minnesotans. To do this, CUB advocates in the consumer interest at the state’s legislature and Public Utilities Commission, and it provides education and individual consultations for residential and small business energy consumers across the state.

This talk will discuss the enormous potential consumer benefits in the current energy system transition and the kinds of policies and consumer protections that will be needed to achieve this potential, and CUB’s role in making this happen.

Prior to becoming CUB’s first executive director in 2016, Annie Levenson-Falk was the executive director of the Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission. She is also co-founder of the Capitol Pathways Internship Program for students of color and indigenous students.

March 29, 2018

Hall of Fame Room, Leonard Center

“Plant-Based Diet for Health, Performance, and Your Pocketbook”
Speaker:  Dr. Sara Shuger Fox, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Central College

This presentation will discuss the many performance, cost, and health benefits from eating a well-balanced plant-based diet.

All are welcome – students, faculty, and staff; athletes, and non-athletes.  Please RSVP no later than Monday, March 26, using the Plant Based Enviro Thursday RSVP Form.

This presentation is co-sponsored by the Sustainability Office and Environmental Studies Department.

April 5, 2018

“Zero Waste: From Individual Action to Systematic Change”
Speaker:  Alyssa Erding ’17

What is Zero Waste? Why is it important? How can I personalize it to work for my life? Are my choices making a difference? How can we actually create visible change?! These are questions that Alyssa Erding has been fielding for some time now, and as a part of her quest for an answer has founded Zero-In Consulting, an agency with a mission of helping people move more mindfully through the world. Hear her story of Zero Waste, starting at Macalester, and explore opportunities for your own version of the lifestyle. Zero-In on how and why individual actions matter and how mindful living amplifies positive change. Learn how to set yourself up for success while creating sustainable habits. Live your values. Are you in?

Alyssa Erding ’17 studied Environmental Studies at Macalester. In February of 2018, she founded Zero-In Consulting to support people and organizations in living a more mindful life. She combines her personal experience in the studies of yoga and nutrition with Zero Waste to create a holistic lifestyle that empowers people to make positive changes. In her free time she finds ways to simplify her life, cooks delicious plant-based meals, loves rock climbing and practicing yoga, and spends as much time outside as she can.

Dr. Seuss's The LoraxApril 12, 2018

Olin-Rice 241

“On Stage:  Creating a Community Dialogue Around Live Theater – The Lorax”

“On Stage” is a theater outreach program sponsored by Springboard for the Arts. The program brings actors to college classrooms and community settings around the Twin Cities. Local actors read scenes from a play in current local production followed by a lively discussion of the themes tying in current events, personal values and narratives, and stimulating critical thinking. Subsequently attending the full play is encouraged. The purpose of the program is to make local theater relevant to younger and non-traditional audiences and to lay the groundwork for building future theater attendances.

We will be discussing various themes and issues in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax  (April 17 – June 10 @ The Children’s Theatre Company). This is timeless story about preserving our environment and brings up issues about deforestation, discrimination, sustainability, the “common good”, greed/capitalism, etc.


Lucas Erickson – Program Manager of “On Stage” and working towards his Masters in the Arts and Cultural Leadership program at the U of M. His capstone project will ask what is the impact and importance of building a younger theater audience, and if it is an important strategy for theaters to continue to develop relationships with their young audiences.

Maria Asp – Program Director and a teaching artist with the Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges program, where she partners with classroom teachers to use storytelling and theatre to teach Critical Literacy to inner city public school students. As an actor, Maria has appeared in 22 productions with Frank Theatre as well as several independent films; she also plays and sings music.

Dario Tangelson – Performer, educator and director. He came to Minneapolis in 2008, and for the last ten years he has collaborated with Minneapolis artists (Interact, Wldrnss, Live Action Set, Mixed Blood, Guthrie, Sod House) and works in education for the University of Minnesota and the Guthrie Theater. More recently he has helped create The Expression Lab, offering performance techniques to scientists and researchers.

April 19, 2018

No EnviroThursday – Check out Earth Week activities:

Environmental Justice Workshop
Organized by Fossil Free Mac
Details TBA
Learn about environmental justice with a member of the MPCA’s EJ advisory board

Ask the Dietitian
Organized by Health and Wellness & Sustainability Office
Tuesday, 4/17 – 11:30-1:00 @ Bateman Plaza until 12:15; @ Cafe Mac 12:15-1:00
Drop in sessions for students

Community Food & Water Farm Bill: lecture & discussion with neighbor Marita Bujold
Organized by Transition Town, MacSHARE, MCSG
Wednesday, 4/18 – 4:45-6:00 @ Harmon Room, Library  (snacks provided)

Community Waste Sort
Organized by Facilities Services
Thursday, 4/19 – 11:30-12:30 @ location tbd 

Mac CARES Zine Release
Friday, 4/20 all day!

Pollinator Party in Cafe Mac
Organized by MCSG & Bon Appetit
Friday, 4/20 – 11:30-1:00 @ Cafe Mac
Trivia, prizes and education

Plant Potting Party
Organized by MCSG & Mac CARES
Friday, 4/20 – 4:45-6:00 @ Old Main Lawn
Paint pots, pot plants and make seed bombs!

Urban Roots Volunteer Trip
Organized by the Civic Engagement Center
Saturday, 4/21 – 8:30-1:00 (transportation provided and time included)
Celebrate Earth Day with garden prep and mural painting with Urban Roots and CLUES. RSVP here:

Seed: The Untold Story screening (Transition Town Earth Day Celebration)
Organized by Transition Town Mac Groveland/Union Park
Saturday, 4/21 – 4:00-6:30 @ Olin Rice  (picnic dinner following film)
Film followed by dinner and discussion/social hour-students, staff, faculy and community members welcome. Trailer:

Beekeeping and Pollinator Info Session at Ordway
Organized by MCSG & Bon Appetit
Sunday 4/22 – 11:30-1:00 (+transportation time) @ Ordway Field Station
Throw on a beekeeping suit and come to this class at the hives with Pollinate Minnesota. RSVP here: