2014 - Human Well-Being and the Environment

In 2014, the Environmental Science and Policy Program launched a symposium series to explore the challenges and opportunities we face in enhancing human well-being while protecting the environment. This symposium brought distinguished thinkers from around the world to explore what we know, what we need to know and what we must do as we move into a century of unprecedented environmental change, technological advancement and scale of human activity.

The event included research focused seminars and discussion but will emphasize events and presentations that will speak to the broader MSU and Michigan community. In addition to live events and webcasts, the Inaugural Symposium generated educational materials that can be used in classes and non-traditional education in the spring and beyond.

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
Michigan State University


June Youatt, Provost, Michigan State University

Dennis Dimick, Executive Editor, National Geographic magazine"The Anthropocene: Could This New 'Age of Man' Be our Last?"

Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Founder and Director of the Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen Adrai University "The Anthropocene: Humans Lock-in With Fossil Fuels and Need to Change Paths."

Bonnie McCay, Professor of Human Ecology, Rutgers University, "Changing Climates for Adaptation."

G. Philip Robertson, Professor of Ecosystem Science, Michigan State University, "Farming for Ecosystem Services: A New Sustainability Paradigm for Production Agriculture."

Amanda Lynch, Director of the Environmental Change Initiative, Brown University"Diversity: Creative Potential or Wasteful Redundancy?"

Thomas Lovejoy, Professor of Environmental Science, George Mason University, and Michael Vandenbergh, Director of the Climate Change Network, Vanderbilt Law School, "A Conversation on The Fate of the Earth"

2015 - Tipping Points, Crises and Solutions

Wednesday April 1 and Thursday April 2, 2015
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
Michigan State University


Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University

John Crittenden, Director, Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Hightower Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of Sustainable Systems, Georgia Institute of Technology

Gary Libecap
Professor, Corporate Environmental Management, Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara

Sunshine Menezes
Executive Director, Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography

Susanne Moser
Susanne Moser Research and Consulting, Director and Principal Researcher, Santa Cruz, California

Claudia Pahl-Wostl
Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Centre

Andrew Revkin
Author, Dot Earth blog, The New York Times; Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Pace University

2016 - Climate-Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Wednesday April 6 and Thursday, April 7, 2016
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
Michigan State University


Bruno Basso
Professor of Geological Sciences, Michigan State University

Speech Title: "Feeding the planet while protecting the environment: the next agricultural revolution"

Kate Brauman
Lead Scientist, Global Water Initiative at the University of Minnesota

Speech Title: "Water Matters: Scarcity, Productivity, and Management in a Changing World"

Kathleen Halvorsen
Professor of Natural Resource Policy, Social Sciences and School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technical University

Speech Title: "Climate Change Mitigation via Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption"

Gordon Holtgrieve
Assistant Professor, Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, College of the Environment, University of Washington

Speech Title: Floods, Fish, and People: Food-Energy-Water Challenges and Opportunities in the Mekong River Basin

Annette Huber-Lee

Senior Scientist, Stockholm Environment Institute

Speech Title: "Can nexus approaches promote cooperation more effectively?"

Cathy Kling
Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State Univerity

Speech Title: "Research Needs and Challenges in the Food, Energy and Water System"

Ed McCormick
Water Environment Federation

Speech Title: "The Revolution Starts Now! Making Water, Energy and Food Sustainable"

Robert Richardson
Associate Professor of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

Speech Title: "Food, Energy, Water and Abundance: Cross-Border Governance and Protection of the Great Waters of the World "

Lynn Scarlett
Managing Director for Public Policy, The Nature Conservancy

Speech Title: "The Fate of the Earth—The Promise of Collaboration"

Shashi Shekhar
McKnight Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science, University of Minnesota

Speech Title: "Data and Data Science Challenges in Food, Energy, and Water Nexus"

Rachael Shwom
Assistant Professor, Department of Human Ecology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University

Speech Title: "Climate Change Mitigation via Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption"

Patricia Soranno
Professor, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

Speech Title: What can data-intensive, continental-scaled ecology contribute to the climate-food-energy-water nexus?

Felicia Wu
John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University

Speech Title: "How Food Trade Affects Food Safety: A Case Study of Aflatoxin in Maize and Pistachios"