University of Vermont

Snowy Day

CEF Lecture Series: Climate Action Seminar

Project Timeline: 
September, 2012 to December, 2012
Project Progress: 

Project Category: Education

This special Fall 2012 seminar series featured top-level thinkers engaged in identifying best practices as we navigate our climate future.  The Climate Action Seminar concluded with presentations by four local carbon offset projects.  After a semester learning about local climate adaptation and mitigation strategies  and policy in Vermont and around the country, students were asked to evaluate the carbon offset projects, and consider under what criteria UVM should purchase offsets.  Carbon offsets may be one mechanism the University uses to meet its carbon neutrality goals. 

The Climate Action seminar was free and open to the public every Monday this semester at 4pm, and was well attended by students, staff, faculty and community members.   The Climate Action seminar was funded by the Clean Energy Fund and the Environmental Program, and was offered as a 1-credit class in the Environmental Studies department.

Our changing climate is creating "new normal" weather conditions that require adaptive responses at local, regional and global levels. Speakers working at the forefront these issues addressed such topics as responding to extreme weather events like Tropical Storm Irene, developing adaptation strategies for urban and rural environments, and assessing the role of offsets in addressing climate impacts.  Lively conversations with our invited speakers ensued as we explored how to build a culture of response to climate change and how to move UVM’s footprint closer to our goal of carbon neutrality. 

Clean Energy Fund Award: $13,748
Final Project Costs: $11,297 

Project Champions: Amy Seidl, Ph.D and Rachael Beddoe, M.S.

Seminar Speaker Schedule:

Aug 27         State of the Campus

Report from the Office of Sustainability

Sept 10        Framing

Amy Seidl, Lecturer, RSENR and Environmental Program, UVM

Rachael Beddoe, Research Analyst, RSENR, UVM

Sept 17         How Rural America Can Contribute to Climate Adaptation: the story of one Northern California community's struggle to adapt

Michelle Medley-Daniel, Communications and Partnership Coordinator, The Watershed Research and Training Center

Sept 24         Resilient Vermont Project: Toward an Integrated Framework of         Resilience (video)

Deb Perry, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Sustainable Communities

Oct 1             Water From the Hills: Adapting to Land Use and Climate Change (video)

Michael H. Simpson, Chair, Environmental Studies Dept., Antioch University of New England

Oct 8             Climate Response Scholarship at UVM (video)

Kate Elmer Westdijk, Food Systems Research Specialist, UVM Agroecology & Rural Livelihoods Group

Carol Adair, Assistant Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources

Paul Hines, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering

Josh Farley, Associate Professor, Community Development & Applied Economics and Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

Oct 15          Climate Change Adaptation: The State of Vermont Perspective

Kari Dolan, Ecosystem Restoration Program Manager, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Oct 22          Institutional Greenhouse Gas Management: Current Thinking  on Carbon Offsets

Tim Stumhofer, Senior Program Associate, GHG Management Institute

Oct 29          [Canceled because of Hurricane Sandy]

Forest Carbon Offsets: Social Critiques and Accountability

Cecilia Danks, Associate Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources and Environmental Program, UVM

Bill Keeton, Professor of Forestry, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources, UVM

Nov 5            Creating a Climate for Change: Courage and Openness in an Age of Climate Change

Susanne Moser, Director, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting; Social Science Research Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Nov 12         Meeting the Climate Neutral Challenge: a University Panel

GioiaThompson, Director, UVM Office of Sustainability

Julie Newman, Director, Yale Office of Sustainability

TatjanaVujic, Director, Duke University Carbon Offsets Initiative

Nov 26         Conservation and California's Cap-and-Trade (video)

Michelle Passero, Senior Climate Policy Advisor, The Nature Conservancy

Asim Zia, Faculty, UVM

Dec 3           What Would You Choose?: Real Carbon Offset Projects

Clear Water Carbon Fund

Summary Report of Climate Action Seminar Fall 2012