Category Archives: News & Events

Fall 2010 “Solutions” Webinar co-sponsored by USSEE

Join Portland State University, the Solutions Journal, and the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics on October 6, as we launch a weekly forum for visionary and desirable solutions to the environmental, economic, and social challenges of our time.

dashed lineRobert Costanza

Solutions for a Sustainable and Desirable Future
Robert Costanza, Director, PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Wednesday, October 6, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Shattuck Hall Annex, Portland State University, 1914 Southwest Park Avenue, Portland, OR, 97201

Or watch it live online at

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Robert Costanza joins Portland State this fall from the University of Vermont to lead PSU’s sustainability initiatives. His transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address research, policy, and management issues at multiple time and space scales, from small watersheds to the global system. Dr. Costanza is co-founder and past-president of the International Society for Ecological Economics, and was chief editor of the society’s journal, Ecological Economics from its inception in 1989 until 2002. He is founding co-editor of Ecological Economics Reviews. He currently serves on the editorial board of ten other international academic journals. He is also founding editor in chief of Solutions a new hybrid academic/popular journal.

Dr. Costanza is the author or co-author of over 400 scientific papers and 22 books. His work has been cited in more than 6000 scientific articles, and he has been named as one of ISI’s Highly Cited Researchers since 2004. More than 200 interviews and reports on his work have appeared in various popular media. His article on “The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital,” published in Nature 387:253-260 (1997) is the second most highly cited article in ecology/environment.

Upcoming speakers include Bill Becker on October 20, 2010 and David Orr on October 27, 2010.

Additional support provided by the Solutions JournalIllahee Institute, and the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics.

TED talk on new ways of measuring progress

How do we define progress? In a speech to TED talksnew economics foundation‘s Nic Marks challenges the notion that benchmarks such as GDP, focused on how much we produce, tell us anything about the welfare of a nation. He proposes a new way of measuring progress, one based on country’s success at providing happy, healthy lives for their citizens, while preserving the natural capital that will make such lives possible for the next generation. “When economics deals with a scare resource, it thinks in terms of efficiency. How much bang do we get for our buck. The Happy Planet Index is ultimately an efficiency measure: How much well-being we get for our planetary resource use.” Learn which countries fare the best by this measure of success.

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National Climate Seminar, Wednesday call-in throughout the Fall

The National Climate Seminar has a terrific fall line-up! Calls this year will be Wednesday at noon eastern. Assign the half-hour calls to your students, for a chance to hear top scientists, analysts and political leaders discuss climate and clean energy solutions.

  • Bill McKibben, author, Eaarth, 8-Sep
  • David Orr, Environmental Studies, Oberlin College, 22-Sep
  • Liz Butler, Exectuive Director, 1Sky, 06-Oct
  • Bill Snape, Senior Counsel, Center for Biological Diversity, 20-Oct
  • Michael Mann, Dir., Earth Systems Science, Penn State, 03-Nov
  • Bryan Walsh, Journalist, Time Magazine, 17-Nov
  • Juliet Schor, Economist and author, Plentitude, 1-Dec

The National Climate Seminar is sponsored by The Bard Center for Environmental Policy, and made possible by a grant from The Clif Bar Family Foundation.

First Gross National Happiness USA Conference

Read the Champlain Business Journal article on the first Gross National Happiness USA conference held at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont this July.  The three-day conference, which also included separate sessions to train GNH-USA ambassadors, drew more than 150 participants from all over the U.S. and more than a dozen countries including Brazil, South Africa, Bhutan, Canada, Denmark, Singapore and Bangladesh, including many members of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics.

Visit for more information.

Where in the World Will Our Energy Come From?

ARB Chairs Seminar Series: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:30 pm PST (WEBCAST)

We are pleased to announce the next Series topic: “Global Energy Perspective: Where in the World Will Our Energy Come From?” with Nathan S. Lewis, Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm PST. It will be held in the Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Cal/EPA Building , 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California.

For more information about the webcast click here. For “internal” users please check the internal webcast calendar. For “external” users please check the external webcast calendar. For your added convenience, while viewing the webcast, presentations can be downloaded here.

Webcast Viewers, email your questions to: Your email questions will be aired during the question & answer period following the presentations.

For more information on this Seminar and Series please contact: Peter Mathews at (916) 323-8711 or

To receive notices for upcoming Seminars please go to: and sign up for the seminars list serve.

The Ecology of a Hot Planet

Dr. Bill Schlesinger, noted ecologist and President of The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies will kick off the spring National Climate Seminar series with a talk on “The Ecology of a Hot Planet.” How will species and ecosystems survive on a year 2100 earth that could be 3-6 degrees C hotter? How can large-scale extinctions be avoided? Join us for this engaging discussion, 3PM Eastern Time, Wednesday, 1/27.

The following week on 2/3, call-in to hear physicist turned journalist, Joe Romm. In the wake of the Senate election in MA,  Kerry, Lieberman and Graham are still pushing for a bill this year.  Romm will talk on “Senate Action: Yes or No?”

Call in number for both calls is 712-432-3100; conference code, 253385. Send advance questions for the speakers to

Following the talk, stay on the call to discuss what we all can do now to impact the debate in Washington. One very important step:  help us organize Let’s Talk, a state-wide conference call with your Senators’ DC environmental policy team, for later this spring. Our first calls—with Senate Staff from the offices of Bayh, Stabenow, and Levin—will be held in mid-February.

These are not lobbying calls, but rather educational dialogues.  Students need to understand the positions held by their representatives. And senators need to know that thousands of young people in their states are looking to them to act with moral responsibility to all life on earth.

Our staff will do all the logistical work—contact Senate staff to set up the calls, solicit the questions, manage the call. We need your help in volunteering to convene a call in your state, or just in getting the word out. To learn more, give me a call at 845-758-7067, or e-mail us at

NCSE Panel on “Building Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Ecological Economics”

The January 20-22, 2010 annual meeting of the National Council for Science and the Environment hosted a panel discussion on “Building Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Ecological Economics”.  The panel was organized by Rob Dietz, Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy, and included the following discussants:

  • Brian Czech, Visiting Professor of Ecological Economics, Virginia Tech University
  • Jon Erickson, Professor and Managing Director, Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, University of Vermont
  • Chris Stratton, Course Developer and Instructor of Ecological Economics, University of Oregon
  • Kevin Horan, Course Developer and Instructor of Ecological Economics, University of Oregon

The field of ecological economics provides the foundational model for the transition to a new green economy – an economy characterized by sustainable scale, fair distribution of wealth, and efficient allocation of resources.  The International Society for Ecological Economics and its regional offshoots provide an academic hub for ecological economists who have been building the case for a transition to a different sort of economy for several decades.  Even with such a solid foundation, very few university programs are providing a curriculum in ecological economics (notable exceptions in the U.S. include the University of Vermont, University of Maryland, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and California State University at Stanislaus).  Training a new generation of students in ecological economics is a necessary component of the transition to a green economy, and universities can benefit from the experiences of programs that have already been developed.

The purpose of the workshop was to explain how to build undergraduate and graduate programs in ecological economics.  Workshop participants explored two basic models for building such programs:  (1) constructing a full-scale ecological economics program with several degree options, and (2) developing a collaborative program within a department of natural or social science.  Discussants and participants addressed program elements, course content, successes in program development, and pitfalls to avoid.

Spring National Climate Seminar Lineup

The National Climate Seminar is back with a great spring line-up! On 1/27, join noted ecologist Dr. Bill Schlesinger on “The Ecology of a Hotter Planet”.  The following week, on 2/3, physicist turned journalist Joe Romm will focus on  “Senate Action: Yes or No?”. Later in the term: Kristen Sheerhan on “Economics and Climate Equity”; NWF’s Larry Schweiger on his new book, “Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth”; Clif Bar Sustainability Director Elysa Hammond, journalist Ross Gelbspan; and yes, even, The Yes Men.

Calls are usually the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 3 PM eastern; more details here.  Send questions in advance to

In the meantime, remember that you can help us organize statewide conference calls with your US Senate offices this spring. We need to get 500 people on the line each from Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Nevada and 46 other states—to have a real conversation with Senate staff about the urgent need for action on climate. The Bard Center for Environmental Policy will do all the work setting up the calls, but we need your help getting the word out. To learn what you can do, give me a call at 845-758-8067, or e-mail us at

Jeffrey D. Sachs Student Lecture

On Tuesday, November 17, 2009 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, The Earth Institute invites you to attend the annual Sachs Student Lecture with Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University. The lecture, titled "Choices for America’s Economic Future," will be held in the Roone Arledge Auditorium of Alfred Lerner Hall on Columbia’s Morningside campus.

Choices for America’s Economic Future
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Director, The Earth Institute; Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Alfred Lerner Hall,
Roone Alredge Auditorium

This event is free and open to the public.

To register, please go to

Contact: Office of Academic and Research Programs

The annual Sachs Student Lecture is sponsored by the Earth Institute’s Office of Academic and Research Programs.

Contact: Columbia Univ. School of Int’l & Public Affairs, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Second International Conference

Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity

25-28 March 2010, Barcelona, Spain

Call for abstracts


(Español abajo, Français ci-dessous, Català a baix)

The second international conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity is planned towards the end of March 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. It is organised by the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology (ICTA), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (, and the organization Research & Degrowth ( The conference follows the one held in Paris in April 2008 (proceedings available at

We invite you to submit abstracts of 400 words to the email by 30 November 2009.

The conference focuses on “socially sustainable economic degrowth”, and links economic, environmental and social perspectives, with an emphasis on practical policies and concrete proposals. Papers accepted will be presented as posters at the conference and included in the published conference proceedings. A list of the best papers will be selected by the scientific committee and included in special issues to be published in scientific journals. A special issue with papers from the 1st conference is under publication at the Journal of Cleaner Production.

The Barcelona conference will have a special set-up, the focus being on intensive workshops where groups of participants will discuss specific policy proposals and research priorities. Selected speakers will also give plenary speeches. The conference will mainly take place in English, and translation will be limited. More information about the conference is available at

Please forward this call to your networks. We would also be interested in contacts of people who wish to receive information on the conference. More precise information on venue and program will soon be available.

Please send abstracts with title, author(s), affiliation and address in word or open office without formatting or tabulation, named in the following way: nameofauthor_titleofpaper__degrowthconference.

We look forwards to your contributions!

Francois Schneider, Giorgos Kallis, Joan Martinez-Alier, Marta Conde

For more information click here.