Monterey Institute of International Studies

The Sustainability Speaker Series for this academic year has not been announced yet. See the following list of past events.

Spring 2014 Events

The Sustainability Speaker Series is supported by a generous grant from Nancy Eccles and Homer Hayward Family Foundation.

Impact Investing and Sustainable Development

Karla Newendorp- (Operations Director- The Eleos Foundation)
February 24, 2014
Morse B106

Karla joined the Eleos team in 2012. Previously, she was a Research Analyst at the New York based NGO, Peace Dividend Trust an organizations focused on economic development in post conflict areas. Karla has worked directly with social entrepreneurs throughout Africa, Latin America and most recently in Afghanistan. 

Prior to Peace Dividend Trust, Karla worked for a Communications firm dedicated to the promotion of socially responsible businesses, the World Affairs Council and the United Nations. She has a Masters Degree in Development Economics and International Cooperation from the University of Rome, Italy and a Bachelors Degree in International Relations.

Possibilities for a Sustainable Future

Dr. Jonathan Trent- (OMEGA Project Scientist- NASA Ames Research Center, Adjunct Professor- Biomolecular Engineering Dept. UC Santa Cruz)
March 6, 2014
12 pm- 2pm
MG 102

After earning his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, Jonathan Trent spent six years in Europe at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the University of Paris at Orsay in France. In 1998, he moved to NASA Ames Research Center, where he established the Protein Nanotechnology Group. These researchers focus on building nanostructures using biomolecules from extremophiles-organisms adapted to extreme environments, such as high temperatures, high or low pH, ionizing radiation, or saturated salts. Using these robust biomolecules, and manipulating molecular recognition and self-assembly with genetic engineering, his team has built patterned nano-particle arrays for data storage and molecular scaffolds for enhancing enzyme activities. 

In addition to working at NASA, Trent was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2004. Two years later, he was awarded the prestigious Nano50 award for Innovation in Nanotechnology, and was elected Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. Since then, Trent has initiated Global Research into Energy and the Environment at NASA (GREEN) with support from Google. Among other projects, Trent and the GREEN team are developing systems for producing a sustainable, carbon-neutral feedstock for the biofuels of the future. Trent's recent research and inventions are focused on methods for obtaining alternative fuels, processing municipal wastewater, and economically producing freshwater by desalination. In April 2009, he organized and led an international conference in Denmark entitled: Wind, Sea, and Algae.

Development Theory and Reality: The Latvian Example

Dr. Gundars Rudzitis- (Professor Emeritus- Department of Geography, University of Idaho. Adjunct Professor- Department of Philosophy, University of Idaho.
March 10, 2014
MG 100

Conventional development theory is “under-developed” in that it leaves out many of the important facets of life.  This has become more apparent with arguments for a more sustainable development approach.  Conventional development theory embraces the myth of limitlessness, in the process ignoring the role of nature, assuming that nature, or the environment is limitless. However, the assumption that there are no limits on nature is an illusion, a fantasy with which we continue to live even as various ecologists, ecological economists, geographers, poets, political scientists, philosophers and others try to impress upon us the physical limits of our planet, limits we must honor if we are to survive. However, most development “experts” ignore limits, and growth-mania generally prevails as a dominant ideology in Western culture. There is a need to move in the direction of alternative culturally place-specific development models that go beyond the simplistic development models in use today.  Such geographically based theory can also lead to more democratic and socially just outcomes.

Is There A Role for Seawater Desalination in California's Future?

Dr. Carol A Reeb- (Marine Biologist and Fisheries Geneticist at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University)
March 26, 2014
Casa Fuente 434

Carol Reeb is a researcher at Hopkins Marine Station. She works on issues related to ecology, conservation, and evolution of marine species, especially those that are commercially exploited.

Agriculture and Local Food Movements

Dr. David Cleveland- (Professor of Environmental Science, UC Santa Barbara)
April 9. 2014
MG 102

David Cleveland is a human ecologist who has done research and development project work on sustainable agrifood systems with small-scale farmers and gardeners around the world, including in Bawku (Ghana), Oaxaca (Mexico), Zuni and Hopi (southwest USA), North-West Frontier Province (Pakistan) and Santa Barbara County (California, USA). He earned an M.S. in genetics and a Ph.D. (1980) in ecological anthropology from the University of Arizona, and is a professor in the Environmental Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB he is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Geography and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology.

Cleveland’s research and teaching focus on sustainable, small-scale agrifood systems, including plant breeding and conservation of crop genetic diversity, local and scientific knowledge and collaboration between farmers and scientists, climate change, nutrition and food sovereignty.

He is currently researching the potential for agrifood system localization to improve nutrition, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen communities in Santa Barbara County, California and the US; and on the genetic, ecological and sociocultural impact of genetically engineered crop varieties globally. His latest book is Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture (2014, University of California Press). 

Innovation Hubs and Business Development in the Water Sector

Michael Murphy
April 17, 2014
CF 434

We enjoy quality water and sewer service at reasonable tariffs and our complacency to understand the gravity of the challenges ahead of us is a testament to the success of previous generations in building a world-class network of pipes, storage, canals, pumps and treatment facilities. Who can blame us, we are to fortunate to have enjoyed engineering marvels not seen since the Roman aqueducts.  The water industry long ago plucked the low hanging fruit of easy problems to solve. Now what remains are the truly challenging and sometimes polarizing water issues and we must embrace them head on with a keen eye towards innovation, collaboration and intelligent use.  In order to address water challenges of the 21st century we will need to adopt new ways of thinking, increase R&D investment leading to innovations, encourage multi-sector communication to lower barriers, institute flexible business models that allow for shared risk and reward, speed commercialization of new ideas and push for innovative policy aimed at driving behavioral changes.  Water technology innovation hubs in North America and around the world offer encouraging models for delivering creative solutions to the water challenges we face. 

Energy Policy and the Military

Stephanie Kline (Programs Associate, Energy Program)
April 23, 2014
6-8 pm
MG 100

Stephanie Kline is a program associate with Environmental Defense Fund’s Smart Power Program and manages southeast military and veteran engagement initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (2006). While at MIIS, she interned with the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment.  After graduation, she worked with the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a contracted policy analyst supporting the Sustainable Ranges Initiative.  In 2008, Stephanie was commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps where she served on the Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations East staff supporting the Food and Fuel for the Forces program, a farmland preservation initiative in North Carolina. Now with Environmental Defense Fund, Stephanie lives in Raleigh, NC, with her husband.

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