Presentations take place at 12 noon, Olin-Rice Room 250
March 3, 2022
“Is This the End of Night?”
Speaker: Paul Bogard, Associate Professor of English, Hamline University
A starry night is one of nature’s most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, most of us no longer experience true darkness. In this talk based on his critically acclaimed book The End of Night, Paul Bogard seeks to restore our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art. Using a blend of personal narrative, natural history, science, and astronomy, Paul shares the importance of darkness—what we’ve lost, what we still have, and what we might regain—and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight.
Paul Bogard is the author of The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light and The Ground Beneath Us: From the Oldest Cities to the Last Wilderness, What Dirt Tells Us About Who We Are. His first children’s book What if Night? was published in late 2020. A native Minnesotan, Paul is now an associate professor of English at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA, where he teaches creative writing and environmental literature.
March 10, 2022
“The Twin Cities Boulevard: Rethinking I-94 for Racial, Economic and Environmental Justice”
Speaker: Alex Burns, Transportation Policy Coordinator at Our Streets Minneapolis
The construction of Interstate 94 demolished thousands of homes and businesses, specifically targeting communities of color. The resulting pollution and disinvestment have continued to harm neighboring communities, exacerbating racial disparities in income, health outcomes and transportation access. A half-century later, pavement on the I-94 freeway trench between downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul is nearing the end of its useful life and the Minnesota Department of Transportation is in the process of determining what the corridor will look like for the next half-century. This presentation will discuss a vision to repair the freeway’s harms and invest in environmental justice for adjacent residents.
Alex Burns is the Transportation Policy Coordinator at Our Streets Minneapolis, an advocacy organization focused on putting people first in Twin Cities transportation infrastructure. Prior to this role, Alex chaired the Land Use and Transportation Committee at the Sierra Club Chapter, worked at the non-profit Move Minneapolis, and spent three years as a national park ranger at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
March 17, 2022
No EnviroThursday – Spring Break
March 24, 2022
“Lion Rangers: Community Conservation of the Desert-Adapted Lions”
Speaker: John Heydinger, Co-founder of the Lion Rangers
Humans, livestock, and lions have inhabited shared landscapes in northwest Namibia for hundreds of years. Currently, human-lion conflict (HLC) threatens pastoral livelihoods and the viability of the region’s desert-adapted lion (Panthera leo) population within communal conservancies. The Lion Rangers, local pastoralist-conservationists, monitor the desert-adapted lions and work communities, government, and researchers to limit HLC for the conservation of this iconic population. Co-founder of the Lion Rangers John Heydinger will discuss the challenges of integrating community- and evidence-based conservation within natural and social science frameworks. What are the prospects for the desert-adapted lions? For locally-led conservation in a globalizing world? What happens when rural development and wildlife conservation are in tension in the Global South? John will address these topics.
A trained historian and conservation biologist, John’s work focuses on integrating social and ecological factors for locally-centered wildlife conservation. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Minnesota.
March 31, 2022
“The Nature of Shoreham Yards”
Speaker: Gudrun Lock
This is a project focused on the buffers of Canadian Pacific Railway owned Shoreham Yards near Gudrum Lock’s house in Northeast Minneapolis. For over two and a half years, she has wanted to revitalize these areas where 140 years of rail and industrial activity upended pre-existing nature-made systems leaving a Superfund legacy. The Nature of Shoreham Yards project includes artists, researchers, scientists and locals who are imagining these “urban waste areas” as potent sites for reanimation.
Gudrun Lock has always been interested in things that have been relegated to the margins because she gets bored with the assumption that business as usual is inherently natural, inevitable, or universally desired. Also because the margins expose the limits of a singular narrative of progress.
April 7, 2022
“Accelerating Climate Resilience in Minnesota and Beyond”
Speaker: Dr. Heidi Roop, Assistant Professor of Climate Science and Climate Change and Adaptation Extension Specialist at the University of Minnesota
Building regional climate resilience requires increased collaboration, regional coordination, diverse approaches and solutions, locally relevant and useful climate information, and targeted investments in education and capacity building. This talk will briefly summarize observed and expected climate impacts in Minnesota and will share how a group of researchers, professionals, and students at Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) are working together to support Minnesota’s ability to adapt to these changes. We will also explore how we can all help to catalyze the action needed to confront the many challenges of climate change.
Dr. Heidi Roop is also the Director of the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP). Her research and Extension programs combine cutting-edge climate science and effective science communication to increase the use and integration of climate change information in decision-making at a range of scales—from city and state to national and international levels. Her forthcoming book, Every Action Matters, explores everyday ways we can all contribute to collective and individual climate action. Her climate science research takes her around the world where she participates in a range of projects from Antarctica and the mountains of New Zealand to the shores of Lake Superior. In addition to her appointments at the University of Minnesota, she also is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington and serves as expert advisor to a range of organizations and agencies as they seek to build resilience to climate change.
April 14, 2022
Environmental Studies Honors Presentations
“Land is Life: Settler Colonial Governance of National Parks and Hunting in Taiwan” by Jarita Chen ’22
This thesis situates Taiwan as a settler colonial state by examining the discourse around national parks and the criminalization of Indigenous hunting in Taiwan. Jarita Chen will examine the narratives around three cases: the controversial and ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the Maqaw National Park, the Tumpu Daingaz buluo’s struggle with the Yushan National Park, and the Tama Talum Indigenous hunting constitutional reinterpretation case. In this presentation, Jarita will focus on the story around the Maqaw National Park. This story reveals how settler narratives and environmentalism perpetuate settler colonialism through the assumption of access over Indigenous land, cultures, and knowledge. However, Indigenous voices reveal a through-line of ongoing resistance and resurgence. While settler narratives portray and encourage a limiting path, alternative Indigenous narratives show that there are expansive ways for Indigenous self-determination, futures, and land relations.
“The Abolitionist Presence of Food in Oakland, CA Food Deserts” by Ayize James ’22
This project takes an abolitionist approach to the study of food deserts. Carceral abolition is about creating lasting alternatives to violence in the face of the systematic abandonment of people and land by the state and capital. This project asks two questions: (1) How do interconnected processes of abandonment create food deserts? and (2) How does abolitionist praxis make food present in a food desert? To understand how organized abandonment creates food deserts, Ayize James considers the history and present-day context of spatially-uneven food inequities in Oakland and the East Bay. Ayize will then present three case studies to argue that abolitionist organizing by Black and Indigenous peoples in Oakland has continually made food present in places demarcated as food deserts.
April 21, 2022
“Fighting for Clean Water: Protecting Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters from Copper Sulfide Mining”
Speaker: Maya Swope ’18, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Foreign corporations are trying to open copper sulfide mines in Minnesota, which threaten to pollute some of the cleanest water in the country. PolyMet, a copper sulfide mine proposed by Swiss conglomerate Glencore, would be an ecological disaster for Lake Superior. Twin Metals, a mine proposed by Chilean conglomerate Antofagasta, would pollute the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. For years, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has been central in the fight to stop this toxic mining. In this presentation, you will learn about the threat that this type of mining poses to Minnesota and the Great Lakes, and what you can do to help protect clean water.
Maya Swope graduated from Macalester in 2018 with majors in Environmental Studies and Geography.