University of Vermont

RSENR Fall Seminar Series Covers Fascinating Range of Environmental Issues

Secretary of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Deb Markowitz leads off Fall 2013 RSENR Seminar Series.
Secretary of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Deb Markowitz leads off Fall 2013 RSENR Seminar Series.

The RSENR Seminar Series, over the course of the fall semester, has featured a wide-ranging group of compelling academics and practitioners who, week after week, piqued the interest of crowds of students, staff, and faculty with stories of their projects, perspectives, and careers in the environment.

To give you a rundown of the excellent seminars from our distinguished guests over the course of the semester: Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, kicked us off with a big picture discussion of environmental management challenges in Vermont.

Gil Livingston from the Vermont Land Trust discussed the history and future vision of conservation in the Bolton Valley, one of the state’s great recreational treasures.

Pat Parenteau from the Vermont Law School explored the role of law in environmental progress and its limitations in solving future environmental crises.

Steve Polasky from the University of Minnesota, in a joint event with the Gund Institute, illuminated a large crowd on the future of land use, particularly forests, in the United States.

Will Rapp inspired us with the many twists and turns of his varied career in local food systems, renewable energy, and sustainable development both in Vermont and abroad.

Michael Cermak from Boston College brought some flare to the seminar series with his experimentations in mixing sustainability education and kung fu, and even had the audience participate in a live kung fu demonstration.

Rich Howarth from Dartmouth College, in one of the most didactic seminars of the semester, explained how considering albedo as an ecosystem service can lead to some very counterintuitive outcomes for northern forest management.

UVM’s Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux explained cutting edge remote sensing technology and its application in understanding complex ecological and atmospheric dynamics.

And we finished with some very scary tales of the emerald ash borer from Nathan Siegert of the Forest Service. Thanks to the RSENR community for a great turnout to the seminars and to our distinguished guests for giving us a glance into their fascinating work.