In Fall 2009 , the Department of Environmental Studies and Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute welcomed Dana R. Fisher, Dept. of Sociology, Columbia University, and David O'Connor, Chief, Policy Analysis and Networks Branch, Division of Sustainable Development, United Nations, for a mini-series of lectures, "On The Road to Copenhagen", addressing the policy and political challenges of global climate change negotiations which took place December 7-18, 2009, in Denmark. In October, Dr. Fisher spoke on "How Will American Politics Affect International Climate Negotiations?" In a related talk, ESF doctoral alumnus, Delfin Ganapin, manager of the United Nations Global Environmental Fund's Small Grants Program, discussed "Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change". In November, Dr. O'Connor addressed "Policy Challenges of Global Climate Agreement Negotiations".
Zhang Pijing, Associate Professor of Economics, Qingdao University, China, was Visiting Scholar in residence with the Department of Environmental Studies for five months, beginning August 2009. During his visit, Dr. Zhang examined the "Environmental Kuznets Curve", a structural economic theory suggesting that although pollution may intensify during periods of rapid industrialization, once sufficient capital has been accumulated and institutional capacity developed, new cleaner technologies and processes then tend to be more generally employed, resulting in environmental improvements. He is interested in better understanding "the dynamics of environment-friendly policies in different regimes, cultures, and stages of economic growth".
Kirk Emerson joined the Department of Environmental Studies as the distinguished William J. Donlon Visiting Professor of Environmental Communication in Spring 2009. Dr. Emerson is recent past Director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution at the Morris K. Udall Foundation in Tuscson, Arizona. She is a nationally renowned scholar and practitioner in the field of collaborative environmental governance and conflict resolution. Her current research interests include a focus on collaborative governance to address the human and environmental impacts of climate change. See Dr. Emerson's William J. Donlon Public Lecture, "Collaborative Governance and Global Warming: Can We Change More than the Climate?" on YouTube, or by double-clicking on Track 1 of "Visiting Minds" on ESF's iTunes U site, under "Courses" (iTunes software required).
William D. Sunderlin, Senior Researcher at the Rights and Resources Group, in Washington, DC, joined the Department of Environmental studies as Randolph G. Pack Visiting Fellow in March 2009. Sunderlin contributed to a new graduate seminar entitled "Sustainable Development and Poverty Alleviation through Payment for Forest and Other Ecosystem Services", co-taught by Jack Manno (ES) and Valerie Luzadis (FNRM). The course explored the challenges of designing sustainable development strategies that include payments to communities and landholders for protection, management and restoration of ecosystem services, with an empahasis on forests and watersheds. Sunderlin is author of Ideology, Social Theory and the Environment (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003) and many scholarly journal articles and book chapters. He is also Senior Researcher at the Center for International Forestry (CIFOR), in Bogor, Indonesia.
Lotsmart Fonjong, Senior Lecturer of Geography and Gender Studies, and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, at the University of Buea, Cameroon, was Randolph G. Pack Visiting Fellow with the Department of Environmental Studies in November 2008. He presented a public lecture on "Challenges to Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Cameroon".
Two Environmental Studies faculty members, Jack Manno and Sharon Moran, were co-organizers of a SUNY 'Conversations in the Disciplines' conference at ESF in November 2008. This exchange brought together scholars from a range of perspectives and indigenous thinkers and leaders from across the region to think and work together about ecological sustainability. Participants explored possibilities for bringing the power of two great intellectual traditions to bear for greater environmental sustainability. For further information, click here.
Steve Brechin, ES Adjunct Faculty member, and Professor of Sociology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, received the 2008 Merit Award from the Natural Resources Research Group (NRRG) of the Rural Sociological Society (RSS). The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of natural resource sociology. It can be given to recognize a lifetime of achievement, or to celebrate a particularly significant research, education, outreach, or service achievement. Reviewers cited Brechin's "insistence on the importance of organizational dynamics in understanding the ways in which people manage natural resources" and his work on "resident peoples in parks, and the ethical and economic dilemmasentailed in establishing" and managing protected areas. (Adapted from a note by Prof. Steven Wolf, Cornell University.)
On September 29, 2008, the Syracuse Post-Standard published the first issue of a new, bimonthly Green magazine, including several articles featuring ESF. The magazine is an outgrowth of GPES/ ES alumnus Khris Dodson's master's project, the publication of a prototype regional, environmental magazine, entitled Envi. Khris has a nice centerspread article in the first issue of Green, alongside a profile of ESF President Cornelius Murphy. An online version of the new magazine supplement is available at: http://www.syracuse.com/green/.
"The Use of Models in Great Lakes Decision Making, An Interdisciplinary Synthesis," a report by Environmental Studies faculty, Jack Manno and Richard Smardon, with help from graduate students Emily Cloyd and Susana del Granado, and Joseph DePinto of Limno-Tech, Inc., examines how computer simulation models were used in environmental decision making in four case studies in the Great Lakes. The publication came out of a New York Sea Grant funded project. For the full press release, issued in May 2008, click here. Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the publication should contact New York Sea Grant at 631-632-9124 or view the pdf here.
On May 20, 2008, Sara Berry, Professor of the Economic and Social History of Africa, and Fellow of the Center for Africana Studies, at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, visited SUNY-ESF and engaged with us in a conversation on "Changing Processes of Claiming Land and Local Governance in West Africa". The discussion focused on "how these processes have (and have not) changed in 25 years of neoliberal policy initiatives; and what these changes imply for sustainable management of natural resources, particularly forests". For a list of recommended readings and further information, click here. Sponsored by the Dept. of Environmental Studies and the Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute.
In an Earth Day, April 22, 2008, press release, the Presidential Forum on Renewable Energy announced that Craig Lazaar, an ESF Environmental Studies senior, was one of three winners of a $10,000 educational prize in a national renewable energy student essay contest. Click here to read Craig's award-winning essay, "Energy Independence: A Five-Point Practical Energy Plan for America". His advisor is Professor Mark Meisner.
Spring 2008, the Department of Environmental Studies and Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute hosted a mini-series of brownbag lunchtime talks, "Climate Action: Sociological Perspectives on the Challenges of Environmental Governance". Featured speakers included Professor Arthur Mol, Wageningen University, the Netherlands; Professor Thomas Rudel, Rutgers University, New Jersey; and Professor Karen O'Neill, also from Rutgers University. For further information, click here.
SUNY hosted a consortium in September 2003 on the ESF campus: "Conversation in the Disciplines Event: The Feasibility for a New York State Energy Conservation/Global Warming Consortium". Experts explored hot topics that revolve around creating a consortium in New York state. Issues such as energy conservation, global gas reduction, climate change and atmosphere research were actively debated in a forum with a variety of policy makers and researchers from the SUNY system.