Panels Highlight Climate, Ecology, and More in the 50 Years Since the First Earth Day

On Monday, May 4, at 12 p.m. EDT and Thursday, May 7 at 9 a.m. EDT, the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth will host online panel discussions from contributing authors to the new book, Earth 2020: An Insider's Guide to a Rapidly Changing Planet. Both panels will be co-moderated by Philippe Tortell, Earth 2020 editor and professor at the University of British Columbia and Elizabeth Wilson, director of the Irving Institute and professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College. 

On Monday, May 4 the participating authors will be:

Sally N. Aitken, University of British Columbia
  • Douglas G. MacMartin, Cornell University

  • Roland Geyer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • U. Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia 

Register to attend the May 4 event.

On Thursday, May 7, the participating authors will be:

  • Robert Socolow, Princeton University
  • Candis Callison, University of British Columbia
  • Janet G. Hering, ETH and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 
  • Alice Gorman Flinders University

Register to attend the May 7 event. 

The book, written by world-leading thinkers on the front-lines of global change research and policy, is a multi-disciplinary collection that maintains a dual focus. Some essays investigate specific facets of the physical Earth system, while others explore the social, legal and political dimensions shaping the human environmental footprint. In doing so, the essays collectively highlight the urgent need for collaboration and diverse expertise in addressing many of the most significant challenges facing us today. 

The first of these discussions took place on Friday, April 24. 

This book is available to for free download. Hard copies can be ordered at the publisher's website.

About the Participants

Sally Aitken is a Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, and Director of the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics. Her research integrates genomic and climatic data to understand the processes driving local adaptation to climate in trees, and how forest management can assist adaptation to climate change.

Candis Callison is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia in the School of Journalism, Writing and Media Studies and the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies. She is the author of How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts (2014) and the co-author, with Mary Lynn Young, of Reckoning: Journalism's Limits and Possibilities (2020). She belongs to the Tahltan Nation, located in what is now northwestern British Columbia, and is a regular contributor to the podcast, Media Indigena. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow.

Roland Geyer is Professor of Industrial Ecology at the Bren School of Environmental Science Management, University of California, Santa Barbara. He studies the relationship between environmental performance, economic viability, and technical and operational feasibility of pollution prevention strategies.

Alice Gorman is an Associate Professor in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Her research focuses on the archaeological record of humans in outer space, including orbital debris, planetary landing sites and deep space probes. She is a Director on the Board of the JustSpace Alliance, a member of the Advisory Council of the Space Industry Association of Australia and a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Her 2019 book Dr Space Junk vs the Universe: Archaeology and the Future received the John Mulvaney Book Award and the NIB Literary Award People's Choice.

Janet G. Hering is a Professor of Biogeochemistry at ETH Zurich and of Environmental Chemistry at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG). Her research examines the biogeochemical cycling of trace elements in water, and knowledge exchange at the interface of science with policy and practice. She has worked closely with various government agencies to address issues of arsenic contamination in drinking water, and has served on the Advisory Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency. She is the co-author, with François Morel, of the highly influential textbook, Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry (1993), and is an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Douglas MacMartin is a Senior Research Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University.  His research focuses on climate engineering with the aim of helping to develop the knowledge base necessary to support informed future societal decisions in this challenging and controversial field. 

Rob Socolow is a physicist and professor emeritus in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. He has spent half a century studying and communicating humanity's challenge of flourishing on a small planet, with an emphasis on the energy system and climate change. In 1971, with John Harte, he published Patient Earth, one of the first textbooks on environmental science and social change.

U. Rashid Sumaila is a professor in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics.

About the Moderators

Philippe Tortell is a Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the Head of the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science. He is a sea-going oceanographer, with more than two decades of experience documenting the effects climate change on marine systems around the world. His research examines the impacts of changing ocean conditions on marine biological productivity and the biogeochemical cycling of climate-active gases. He is member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Von Humboldt Research Fellow and past Director of UBC's Institute for Advanced Studies. He has previously edited two inter-disciplinary books — Reflections of Canada (2017) and Memory (2018).

Elizabeth J. Wilson is a Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College and the founding Director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth. Her research focuses on energy system transitions, including interactions between technologies, decision making, policies and institutions. She works with practitioners in government, civil society and the private sector to shape the next generation of energy system transitions. She was awarded a Carnegie Fellowship and was selected as a Leopold Leadership Fellow. She is also a board member at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.