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 Exercise Science, Central College

The 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 with the Sustainability Office.

April 5, 2018

Speaker:  Allysa Erding ’17

April 12, 2018

“On Stage” talk based around Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax

Speakers:  Maria Asp, Neighborhood Bridges Program Director at the Children’s Theatre, and Dario Tangelson, local actor and teacher

April 19, 2018

Check out Earth Week Activities.