Forums, Lectures, and Seminars

 

GEP Forum is the Fall 2017 lecture series presented by the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning. It is held in Ives Hall 101, Thursdays, from 12:05-12:55 pm. There is no charge and everyone is welcome.

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8/31 Center for Environmental Inquiry and the SSU Preserves Suzanne DeCoursey Education Mgr. SSU Preserves
Did you know that SSU owns 4200 acres at 3 beautiful preserves that are dedicated to education?  These are great resources for students, and the closest is only fifteen minutes from campus!  Even if you aren’t an ENSP or Biology major, your future career (and life) can be greatly enhanced by understanding how we are all connected to the earth.  Participating in Preserves programs helps you not only learn more about the beautiful landscape that surrounds you, but also helps you gain desirable skills such as communication, critical thinking and leadership.

9/7 Sustainability at SSU: Turning Your Knowledge into Action Claudia Sisomphou, SSU Sustainability Senator
The knowledge that we learn in class is valuable, but the skills and experience we are expected to have when we graduate are not always taught in the classroom. It is incredibly important to get involved as early as possible in your college career so that you can find different jobs, positions, friends, and connections that will help you develop a better understanding of what you are truly interested in and passionate about. To help you get started, I will be sharing with you my experiences getting involved in campus issues related to sustainability, and how my responsibilities and leadership roles outside the classroom have helped me achieve my goals during my time here and prepare me for life after SSU.

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Building Community Resilience Through Collaborative Action Dustin Matteo and Liz Platte-Bermeo Program Coordinators, Daily Acts
A presentation on the benefits of localized action to build community-scale resilience, on-campus and in local communities. Additionally, we will discuss internship & fellowship opportunities, especially for young leaders of colors.

9/14 Growing Thriving Local Food Systems Suzi Grady, Program Director, Petaluma Bounty
Petaluma Bounty is strengthening community food security in Southern Sonoma County through collaborative efforts that prioritize food access, education, engagement, and empowerment. Our vision is to grow a thriving local food system where consumers make informed decisions; farmers make a decent living while prioritizing ecological stewardship of the land; and all people - regardless of income - have access to healthy food. To push beyond the immediate demands of hunger relief toward community food security and hunger prevention with programming that expands our community’s capacity to feed each other into the future. Learn how you can get involved – as volunteers, as interns, as staff – as we assure food security in our local communities.

9/21 What I Learned at the SSU Sustainability Summit Professor Paul Draper, Drama Dept. and SSU Director of Sustainability
SSU’s Sustainability Executive Committee (SEC) along with Cabinet members, Deans, students working on sustainability, and staff from many departments across campus meet in a Sustainability Summit on September 15 to consider where the campus is now regarding sustainability, and to chart a path toward broadening a culture of sustainability and a more sustainable campus environment. Paul Draper, Director of Sustainability at Sonoma State, will share his views and insight gathered at the summit, and will seek input from the Environmental Forum class.

9/28 Riparian Restoration on Copeland Creek: A Collaborative Affair Professor Wendy St. John, Dept. of Biology and Dept. of Geography, Environment, and Planning
Last semester, using proposals and protocols created by Restoration Ecology students, a new phase of restoration work began on the stretch of Copeland Creek that runs through campus. The work itself, including collecting baseline data, and removal of invasive plant species, has been performed by a combination of students, faculty, staff, community partners, and community volunteers. This talk will give an overview of the work that’s been done so far, along with the work planned for the future, including the installation of native plants this semester.

10/5 Beaver: Landscape Restoration, Politics, and You Professor Jeff Baldwin, Chair, Dept. of Geography, Environment, & Planning
Too easily humans dismiss the ability of non-human life to produce conditions that we value. In the western US, Beaver provide a case study of a keystone species that could provide numerous ecosystem services, but are institutionally forbidden from landscapes in Oregon and California. This presentation first reviews the potential benefits that beaver could again provide for humans and a host of other species, then examines the power relations behind their prohibition, and addresses efforts to allow re-colonization. 

10/12 Planning: What is it and why should you care? Professor Tom Jacobson, Dept. of Geography, Environment, & Planning
Adaptation planning for sea level rise, tiny homes for affordable and vital communities, climate action planning, planning for healthy communities, integrating land use and water resources, planning for walkability and “complete streets,” urban greening and mental health, crime prevention through environmental design, urban agriculture, economic resiliency. These are just a few of the topics engaging the planning profession. Learn why and how SSU’s Planning program is committed to effective planning to create and preserve healthy and sustainable cities, small towns, and open space.

10/19 On the Relationship Between Capitalism and Climate Change Professor José Hernández Ayala, Dept. of Geography, Environment, & Planning
Climate change is the global environmental issue of our time. A significant number of scientists agree that in order to minimize its effects we need to drastically decrease our current levels of greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions. Most of the proposed solutions focus on the use of technology to help us decrease or capture GHGs, but few dare to question the root of the problem which is an economic system that focuses on the interests of a few at the expense of everyone else. This talk will focus on the relationship between capitalism and climate change, specifically on how an economic system founded on unsustainable exploitation of natural and human resources is behind the recent increase in GHGs that's causing major changes in the global climate system."

10/26 Electrifying a Billion People Without Frying Us All Professor Daniel Soto, Dept. of Geography, Environment, & Planning
Despite a century of use, over a billion people still lack reliable access to electricity and use expensive and dirty substitutes instead. Understanding energy needs and how to meet them with clean and efficient technologies is key to extending energy to all the globe’s citizens while keeping our climate as stable as possible. This talk presents work studying technical and economic barriers to energy access in projects in Mali, Uganda, and Indonesia.

11/2 Climate Solutions – A Local View Ann Hancock, Executive Director, Center for Climate Protection
Sonoma County is known in climate circles worldwide as a leader. Why? Learn about the actions that led to this, the vision that inspires it, and what you can to get involved.
Sonoma County is known in climate policy and advocacy circles worldwide as a leader in addressing how best to respond to the causes and consequences of climate change. Why? Learn about the actions that led to this, the vision that inspires it, and what you can to get involved.

11/9 Getting to 100 Percent Renewable Energy Geof Syphers, Executive Director, Sonoma Clean Power
With the incredible success of solar power comes a new challenge: How do we continue reducing our use of natural gas and coal, when there is already more solar energy on the electric grid than we can use? Sonoma Clean Power is working with our local solar industry, electric manufacturers, and tech companies to solve this problem. Come and find out how close we are, and chime in to make the plan better.

11/16 From Soundscapes to Landscapes (S2L): Monitoring Animal Biodiversity from Space Using Citizen Scientists Professor Matthew Clark, Department of Geography, Environment, & Planning
Remote sensing plays a critical role in long-term monitoring and conservation of biodiversity across spatial and temporal scales. In particular, lidar and hyperspectral sensors, which measure vegetation structure and canopy chemistry, have accelerated scientific advances in remote mapping of terrestrial biodiversity. This talk will describe the Soundscapes to Landscapes project, which seeks to advance animal biodiversity monitoring with LIDAR and hyperspectral Earth-observing satellites. Citizen scientists (e.g., bird enthusiasts, students) place portable sound recorders in natural and urban areas and then process “soundscape” recordings for automated species detection through bird calls. Field information on bird species, simulated satellite data and statistical modeling are used to create bird diversity maps for conservation planning and ecosystem monitoring applications.

11/30 Regional Watershed Planning: San Pablo Bay Tidal Marsh Restoration and the Bay Camp Summer Youth Program Dave Koehler, Executive Director, Sonoma Land Trust
Over the last two decades, much has been invested in conserving and restoring Sonoma County’s tidal marshlands along San Pablo Bay. Winding its way through this landscape is a vital transportation corridor, Highway 37, that links people and commerce to the communities of Petaluma, Vallejo, and beyond. Today, sea level rise threatens both natural resources and the highway. In this environmental forum, Dave Koehler, Executive Director of Sonoma Land Trust, will provide an overview of the collaborative work environmental leaders are undertaking to develop a regional conservation plan with a focus on adaption to climate change for San Pablo Bay. Joining Dave, will be Omar Santiago, a senior at SSU, to provide an overview of Bay Camp, a new youth program the land trust launched to foster development of the next generation of stewards for San Pablo Bay.

12/7 Ecological Restoration in the Laguna de Santa Rosa: History, Challenges and Opportunities Paul Weber, Restoration Field Supervisor, The Laguna Foundation     

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2/15 Professional Preparation for Energy Careers Jeremy Doochin Soligent

2/22 ETC as a Living Lab George Beeler, Chris Dinno, Paul Draper SSU

3/1 Carbon Free Water Program Carolyn Greco Sonoma County Water Agency

3/8 Methane: Atmospheric Impacts and Local Solutions Andy Ferguson North Bay Clean Energy Forum

3/29 Could a Carbon Tax Save our Climate? Dave Warrender Citizen's Climate Lobby

4/5 Sonoma County Greenhouse Gas Accounting Lauren Casey Regional Climate Protection Agency

4/12 Community Energy and Water Efficiency Kenneth Wells Brown Rising Sun Energy

4/19 Project Finance for Alternative Energy Projects David Slifer Spring Lake Village

4/26 Recent EMD Graduates Panel Allison Jenks, Anthony Pezzola Olivers, TEAA

The Spring 2017 Energy Forum is made possible through the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Program.

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8/25 John Isom and Students

9/1 Center for Environmental Inquiry and the SSU Preserves Suzanne DeCoursey Education Mgr. SSU Preserves
Did you know that SSU owns 4200 acres at three beautiful preserves that are dedicated to education? These are great resources for students, and the closest is only fifteen minutes from campus! Even if you aren't an ENSP or Biology major, your future career (and life) can be greatly enhanced by understanding how we are all connected to the earth. Participating in Preserves programs helps you not only learn more about the beautiful landscape that surrounds you, but also helps you gain desirable skills such as communication, critical thinking and leadership.

9/8 Suzi Grady Program Director Petaluma Bounty

9/15 Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System: Making Real Change on Our Campus Jeff Baldwin Asst. Professor SSU Geography & Global Studies
This talk introduces SSU students to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a effort to increase the sustainability of Sonoma State University. This uniquely student led effort provides opportunities for current students to learn about and get involved with practical efforts to lower our university's ecological footprint, and also recognizer progress towards a more sustainable future.

9/22 Electrifying a billion people without frying us all Daniel Soto Asst. Professor SSU ENSP
Despite over one hundred years of electricity, over a billion people still lack reliable access. This talk explains why we may be able to provide electricity to these people within the next decades. It will lay out the challenges before us and what impact it will have on our climate.

9/29 Getting to 100 Percent Renewable Geof Syphers Executive Director Sonoma Clean Power
With the incredible success of solar power comes a new challenge: How do we continue reducing our use of natural gas and coal, when there is already more solar energy on the electric grid than we can use? Sonoma Clean Power is working with our local solar industry, electric manufacturers, and tech companies to solve this problem. Come and find out how close we are, and chime in to make the plan better.

10/6 Climate Solutions – A Local View Ann Hancock Executive Director Center for Climate Protection
Sonoma County is known in climate circles worldwide as a leader. Why? Learn about the actions that led to this, the vision that inspires it, and what you can do.

10/13 Paul Draper Professor SSU Drama and SSU Director of Sustainability

10/20 Fighting for Environmental and Cultural Survival in the Canadian Oil Sands Emily Ray Asst. Professor SSU Political Science
In the 1800s, the First Nations and the British Crown agreed upon terms of use for colonized land. Today, much of that land has been appropriated for oil sands production and transport, causing serious environmental, cultural, and human health consequences. We will look at the historical and political factors that helped push the oil sands into the center of this land-use conflict, and also look at the ways in which First Nations fight for their land and how their struggles resonate with other social justice movements.

10/27 Planning and Future Trends for Cities Karna Wong Visiting Professor SSU ENSP
This talk will provide an overview of “What is planning?” The lecture will address the question of how will changes in demographics, economics, and the environment shape cities in the future? In addition, the lecturer will examine some new trends in the field of urban planning.

11/3 Restoring Sonoma County’s Freshwater Ecosystems Wendy St. John Lecturer SSU, Biology and ENSP
Sonoma County’s freshwater ecosystems are crucial from both an ecological and economic standpoint, but human development has impacted the health of these ecosystems, both worldwide and here in Sonoma. Of particular importance for us are the great runs of salmon. We will look at how fish populations have been affected by development, as well as some of the creative solutions being used locally to help preserve the habitat these animals need to survive and thrive.

11/10 Helping Communities Embrace Sustainability Cyane Dandridge Executive Director Strategic Energy Innovations
Cyane Dandridge, Executive Director of nonprofit Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) will discuss our current climate challenges and how they posit our communities and planet for a wealth of opportunity and change. She will share how SEI is building resilient, sustainable communities and how we all can leverage and empower each other, other cities, and other organizations to take action in our fight against climate change.

11/17 Dave Koehler Executive Director Sonoma Land Trust

12/1 Richard Dale Executive Director Sonoma Ecology Center

12/8 Ecological Restoration in the Laguna de Santa Rosa: History, Challenges and Opportunities Kevin Munroe Executive Director Laguna Foundation
The Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed is Sonoma County's richest area of wildlife habitat, is an important stopover for thousands of migrating birds and is home to a wide variety of life: rare and endangered salmon, steelhead, salamanders, river otter, mountain lions and many others. Over hundreds of years this wetland of international importance has been highly modified and degraded by development and fragmentation and its functions and services have been severely impacted. It is our mission to preserve, restore and enhance the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and to inspire public appreciation and understanding of this magnificent natural area.

The Fall 2016 Environmental Forum is made possible through the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Program.

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2/3 Alex Hinds, CSC

2/10 Jim Eyer

2/17 Daisy Meyer, Grid Alternatives

2/24 Mitchell Lee, First Solar

3/2 SEI Climate Corps

3/9 Tor Allen

3/23 Bill Anderson, Planner in Residence

3/30 Brian Yuen, Santa Rosa

4/6 Erica Petrofsky, Santa Rosa

4/13 Recent Grads Panel

4/20 Carla Engalla

4/27 Robert Hogue

5/4 Richard Engel

The Spring 2016 Energy Forum is made possible through the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Program.

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8/27 Healthy Food for All Suzi Grady, Program Director, Petaluma Bounty
Petaluma Bounty is a community-based nonprofit that is helping folks to grow their own healthy food, redistributing surplus food, and providing affordable fresh food to low-income families and seniors

9/3 SSU Preserves: The Other SSU Campuses Suzanne DeCoursey, Education Manager, SSU Preserves
Did you know that our campus run several natural preserves? SSU Preserves provide lands, facilities, databases, and programs that inspire participation, collaboration, and innovation in education and research.

9/10 Intersections of Energy and Environment Daniel Soto, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, ENSP
Fossil fuels allow our modern society to cook, travel, and communicate in amazing ways.  Scientists are discovering many ways that our energy system is affecting our environment. We'll explore the intersections and possible solutions in this talk.

9/17 Helping Communities Embrace Sustainability Cyane Dandridge, Executive Director, Strategic Energy Innovations
By educating youth, engaging government agencies around policy and systemic change, and creating new job opportunities, we can — through innovation, education and implementation — dramatically shift our climate crisis.

9/24 Farming with the Wild Dan Imhoff, Author, Farmer, Researcher, Musician
From food and farming to environmental design and conservation, Dan has been a leading voice in supporting agricultural systems that support and accommodate wild nature. Farming is the Wind: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches is the title of his recent book and the broad focus of this talk.

10/1 Creeks as a Living Lab for Sustainability Learning Caroline Christian, Ph.D., Associate Professor, ENSP
We have a creek on campus that offers a wide range of opportunities for scientific study and ecological research. Recipient of a recent CSU Sustainability grant, Dr. Christian will help us understand the value of creeks as classrooms for sustainability.

10/8 Climate Engineering: What’s It All About Wil Burns, Ph.D., Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment
Climate change geoengineering is all over the news. But what does it really mean? A leading scholar in this field will help us explore philosophical perspectives, legal issues, and government frameworks in this controversial field.

10/15 Planning: What it is and Why You Should Care Tom Jacobson, JD, MCP, AICP, Professor, ENSP
Learn why our department believes that effective planning is a critical tool for big cities, small towns, and open space as well as healthy and sustainable communities.

10/22 Landpaths: Step Into the Outside Craig Anderson, Executive Director
LandPaths' mission is to foster a love of the land in Sonoma County. LandPaths creates ways for people to experience the beauty, understand the value, and assist in healing the land in their local communities.

10/29 My Best Days as an Environmental Professional Bill Anderson, Past-president, American Planning Association
The Immediate Past President of the 40,000 member American Planning Association, and ENSP’s 2015-16 Planner in Residence, talks about when he did his best work and had the most fun.

11/5 Shifting Meanings of Wildness and WIlderness Laura Watt, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor, ENSP
Our society loves the ideal of something being “wild” — with a will of its own, beyond human control — yet we are often uncomfortable with the unpredictability that comes with wildness and wilderness. So what does it mean to be both “wild” and managed?

11/12 Here Comes the Smart Train Libby Dippel and Stephanie Copp, Community Outreach Coordinators
There’s a train coming to Cotati! Come learn all about the new train system opening next year. From train safety to environmental impact, this talk will help students understand the importance of this exciting new transit option.

11/19 Climate Leadership: Sonoma and Beyond Ann Hancock, Climate Protection Campaign
This talk will focus on how to inspire, align, and mobilize action in response to the climate crisis. Our local campaign helps business, government, youth and the broader community to advance practical, science-based solutions for significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.

12/3 Hope and Tragedy on a Warming Planet: Dispatches from the UN Climate Negotiations John Isom, Lecturer, ENSP
In December the world's nations will meet in Paris to try to forge an ambitious, fair, and long-term agreement to cut human-made greenhouse gases. What are the main issues being negotiated? How will an agreement affect developed and developing countries alike? What happens if the agreement falls short? And what about ecosystem health and biodiversity in the face of climate change?

12/10 Sustainability Opportunities at SSU Student and Faculty Leaders from across campus
The focus of this class is on what’s already happening at SSU and how you can be involved in the years ahead. From JUMP to our campus food bank garden to dorm energy use monitoring to our comprehensive Sustainability Report Card — there are lots of ways to build your resume while helping your campus and community become more sustainable.

The Fall 2015 Environmental Forum is made possible through the Environmental Studies and Planning Department and the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Program.

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