Wildcat Rises** Due to the Camp Fire, all classes ~ including online, OLLI, and ALCI classes ~ are suspended and will resume on November 26. Campus, including the offices of Continuing Education, ALCI, and OLLI, are closed and will re-open November 19. For more information visit www.csuchico.edu/campfire ** 

Professional Development Courses & Workshops
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Sustainability Presentations

CSU, Chico's Institute for Sustainable Development sponsors talks on campus by current faculty and guest speakers. In our continuing effort to bring more on-campus events to our online students -- and to the community at large -- we are recording these talks and putting them online. The Institute also features guest speakers at the annual This Way to Sustainability conference at CSU, Chico.

The online application allows the viewer to access the materials anytime, review the presentation multiple times, and print any handouts. Whenever feasible, especially for viewers with hearing impairments, we also provide links to transcripts -- both with and without PowerPoints.


Oceans in Peril: What we can do to save them?

John W. Roulac

Founder, Nutiva

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The world’s oceans are in peril. Overfishing and thousands of tons of garbage dumped into the ocean each year is causing severe stress. Even more profound is the impact of our carbon emissions, which have caused significant acidification and damage to marine life around the globe. Although the situation seems dire, Roulac is hopeful for a recovery, but only if we stop emissions NOW. The solution to this ecological and social disaster is just under our feet, i.e., our soil.

Presentation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Regenerating the Diversity of Life in Soils: Hope for Farming, Ranching and Climate

Dr. David Johnson

Molecular Biologist
New Mexico State University, and Adjunct Faculty, CSU, Chico

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Dr. David Johnson is a Molecular Biologist conducting research for the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research at New Mexico State University. His research, in soil microbial community structure and function, has opened a window for viewing the interdependence between plants and soil microbes. Optimization of these plant-microbes associations promotes restoration of soil fertility, improved growth of crops, increased plant water use efficiencies, and soil microbial carbon-use efficiencies. These benefits provide a path to significantly reduce greenhouse gases while promoting market development of a new and profitable agricultural commodity (soil carbon) for growers within a regenerative agricultural system.

Presentation Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Growing a Revolution Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

Dr. David Montgomery

Professor of Geomorphology
University of Washington

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In Growing a Revolution David R. Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing soil back to life remarkably fast. Cutting through standard debates about conventional and organic farming, Montgomery explores why practices based on theprinciples of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility. Drawing on visits to farms in the industrialized and developing worlds he finds that the combination of no-till planting, cover crops, and diverse crop rotations provides a profitable recipe to rebuild soil organic matter. Farmers using these unconventional practices cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while relying on far less, if any, fertilizer and pesticides.

These practices are good for farmers and the environment. Using less fossil fuel and agrochemicals while maintaining crop yields helps farmers with their bottom line. Regenerative practices also translate into farms that use less water, generate less pollution, lower carbon emissions—and stash an impressive amount of carbon underground. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Growing a Revolution lays out a case for an inspiring vision where agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems, helping feed us all, cool the planet and restore life to the land.

Presentation Time: 56 minutes

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Indigenous Climate Activist

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

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At only 17 years old, Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced 'Shoe- Tez- Caht') has used his role as an indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist to give voice to the youth-led environmental movement all over the world. He has spoken at the Rio +20 UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and has addressed the General Assembly it the UN in New York City. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Vogue, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, VICE, and many more. Xiuhtezcatl is currently a lead plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations.

Presentation time: 1 hour, 6 minutes

How are humans contributing to climate change, and what can we do to make a difference?

Dr. Kim Prather

Distinguished Professor of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego

How are Humans Contributing

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Distinguished Professor of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and in Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, Dr. Kim Prather shares research and expertise on how human elements contribute to climate change. Dr. Prather is an expert on aerosols, or fine, airborne particulate. Aerosols can contribute negatively to climate change, but may also have the ability to cool the planet and regulate the warming effects of greenhouse gases. Dr. Prather also discusses the effect of aerosols on cloud makeup, precipitation, sea spray, and extreme weather events.

Presentation time: 47 minutes


Sustainability and Climate: We Actually can get There and Must

Jerry Hinkle

Regional Coordinator and Governing Board Member for Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL)

Sustainability and Climate

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Jerry Hinkle, Regional Coordinator and Governing Board Member for Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), shares his experience and insight into the bad, the good, and the miraculous aspects of climate change. As humankind more frequently experiences the environmental and human tolls of climate change, Hinkle asks us, “Where are we heading?”

Although he forecasts the impacts of climate change to become more severe in students’ lifetimes, Hinkle highlights CCL’s focus on optimism, respect, and human connection to outline a solution for climate change that is simple, bold, and politically expedient.

Presentation time: 42 minutes

Regenerative Agriculture at CSU, Chico

Tim LaSalle

Co-Founder & Co-Director, Regenerative Agriculture Initiative

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Regenerative agriculture is an approach to food and farming systems. It works with nature’s rhythms and technology to feed Earth’s growing population, regenerate topsoil, and enhance biodiversity now and long into the future. Tim LaSalle believes the three biggest challenges facing human survival on Earth are climate, hunger, and water. He believe regenerative agriculture addresses all three with its focus on building the soil carbon level by sequestering 100% of the current emissions. He adds that this approach “has found a fertile home at Chico State.” La Salle has arranged educational leadership programs in more than 80 countries.

Presentation Time: 42 minutes

Brewing a Successful Sustainability Program

Cheri Chastain

Sustainability Manager, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

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The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, founded and still headquartered in Chico, is known not only for its award-winning beers, but also for its commitment to environmentally-sound business practices. Cheri Chastain has been the Sustainability Manager for Sierra Nevada since 2006. She is responsible for educating employees on environmental issues and programs, maintaining and developing policies and projects related to renewable energy and energy efficiency, managing zero waste, implementing alternative fuels, and actively working on water conservation and reuse.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Carbon Neutrality: Why Universities Should Be Trying to Attain It

Matt St. Clair

Director of Sustainability, University of California Office of the President

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The University of California system is comprised of 10 campuses and 238,000 students. Matt St. Clair is directing the huge task of making the system carbon neutral by 2025. St. Clair presents information about various ways the system is going about attain this goal. An example is the policy that no new building or major renovation approved after June 30, 2019 will use onsite fossil fuel sources for space and water heating.

Presentation Time: 42 minutes

Update on the State of the Planet: How Then Shall We Live?

Dhar Jamail

Environmental Journalist

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Dahr Jamail is a journalist who has spent several years researching what he labels “anthropogenic climate disruption,” also referred to as human-caused climate change. In this presentation, he shares some findings of his research, which will be included in his soon-to-be-published book, “The End of Ice.” He presents compelling – and sobering – information about the rise in the Earth’s surface temperature, the melting of the polar ice caps, and sea level rise. Jamail then talks about the human response to these very serious problems, and how people can cope and cooperate with each other in the face of them.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Citizen Engagement: Local Waterways

Natalie Carter

Executive Director, Butte Environmental Council

Angel Gomez

Watershed Program Coordinator, Butte Environmental Council

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Butte Environmental Council (BEC) has been protecting and defending the natural resources of Butte County since 1975. In this presentation, the speakers talk about advocacy and direct action by volunteers to take care of the waterways in Butte County. For many years, BEC has organized twice-yearly cleanups that include Big Chico Creek, Little Chico Creek, and Lindo Channel; cleanup volunteers have removed literally tons of trash and recyclables over the years. The group has since added cleanups in specific Chico neighborhoods that border on waterways, called “Block Parties with a Purpose.” The volunteer-driven “Water Warriors” program is focused on restoration activities.

Presentation Time: 37 minutes

Regenerative Agriculture: Its Crucial Role in the Solution to Africa's Current Famine

Dr. Roland Bunch

International Regenerative Agriculture Consultant & Author

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There is a serious drought in Africa, one in which more than 20 million people from Yemen to Tanzania are at risk of starvation. Surprisingly, explains Dr. Roland Bunch, the total amount of rainfall has not decreased, although global warming has made the timing of rainfall less predictable. He states that this drought is caused primarily by soils that can no longer infiltrate water because they have lost all of their organic matter. Farmers have such a small amount of land that they cannot set aside some of it to lay fallow. The chemicals used in conventional agriculture are too expensive for most Third World farmers, plus they feed the plant but do not feed the soil. Dr. Bunch presents regenerative agriculture as a solution. Regenerative agriculture uses organic matter to feed the soil and its biological components, increasing both soil fertility and resilience to drought.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

The Youth's Climate Crusade: Atmospheric Trust Litigation in Courts around the World

Mary Wood

University of Oregon School of Law

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Mary Wood talks about a climate litigation approach she originated called “Atmospheric Trust Litigation.” Spearheaded in the courts by the group Our Children’s Trust, the litigation aims to force governments to act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions before the planet crosses irrevocable tipping points.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Climate Changes Everything for Everyone: Observations from an Alaska Native and Commerical Fisherman

Dune Lankard

Alaskan Representative, Center for Biological Diversity

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Dune Lankard discusses the impacts of climate change on the 31 rural villages along the Alaskan coast. Communities, wildlife, and sea life have all been threatened to the point that several key species are being listed on the endangered species list; these species have to move elsewhere and adapt or risk being erased from existence. So the questions is: What can we do in a polarized political climate? What policies and laws should be strengthened or changed so we humans can adapt and build resilient communities and economies for our survival and for the survival of endangered species?

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 18 minutes

An Epic Approach to Sustainability

Jessica Barlow

Faculty, San Diego State University

Marc Schlossberg

Faculty, University of Oregon

Part 1 - View Now

Part 2 - View Now


The presenters describe the Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) framework. The EPIC Framework is a large-scale University community partnership designed to accelerate the implementation of sustainable practice at the community level while training the next generation of leaders and community members. This model began in 2009 at the University of Oregon and is now being implemented worldwide at 27 universities, including CSU, Chico.

Presentation Time: Part 1 - 1 hour, 21 minutes; Part 2 – 40 minutes

Viewing the Agricultural System through a Carbon Lens

Tom Newmark

Co-owner of Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, Costa Rica

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Tom Newmark’s presentation focuses on how agricultural practices impact climate change and food security. Newmark is board chair of the American Botanical Council, the cofounder and board chair of the Carbon Underground, board chair of the Greenpeace Fund USA, and a co-founder and steering committee member of Regeneration International. He also founded and served as board chair of Sacred Seeds, an international conservation project now administered by United Plant Savers.

Presentation Time: 57 minutes

Regenerative Agriculture and Carbon Smart Farming

Tim LaSalle

Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at CSU, Chico

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Too much carbon in the atmosphere heats our planet beyond capacity for it to sustain life as we know it. Too much carbon in the oceans makes them unfit for the life balances that have evolved through the millennia. Tim LaSalle believes that returning much of this lost carbon to the soil will not only mitigate the destructive aspects it causes in the atmosphere and the ocean, it will improve and cleanse water cycles, add fertility and life to the soils, and build climate resilience into farmed and grazed lands. He calls this life-giving, life-saving strategy, Regenerative Agriculture – farming and grazing practices that reverse climate change by rebuilding soil carbon levels while also restoring degraded soil biodiversity.

Presentation Time: 47 minutes

Soil Microbes: Their Powerful Influence in Agroecosystems

Dr. David C. Johnson

Research Scientist/Molecular Biologist, Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research, New Mexico State University

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Dr. Johnson begins his presentation with the startling fact that, worldwide, 75 billion tons of fertile soil are lost each year. Soil is also being lost from desertification, soil salinization, pollution through chemical application and runoff, and the urban sprawl of new subdivisions. In his research with the New Mexico State University Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research, Dr. Johnson is focusing on the role of microbes (such as fungi and bacteria) in the sustainability of healthy soils. As background, he explains the concept of the “soil food web.” With his wife, Dr. Johnson has developed a composting bioreactor which produces a high quality, nutrient rich, fungal dominated compost. Materials such as this compost can increase crop yields while maintaining healthy soil.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 21 minutes

Eat the View: The Fight for Edible Landscapes

Roger Doiron

Founder & Director of Kitchen Gardens International

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Sometimes the best solution to a big problem is not a single, big one but many little ones. In his globe-trotting presentation entitled "Eat the View," Roger Doiron tells the story of how millions of people are taking on big, international problems like diet-related disease, climate change, and social injustice by growing small, edible gardens. Doiron focuses on an inspiring group of change-makers who have taken risks and encountered opposition in their efforts to promote gardens and healthy foods. Despite some high-profile victories for food gardens over the past five years, Doiron points out that the fight for more edible landscapes is still in its early stages. More resources and leadership will be needed for the food garden movement to grow and realize its full potential. Offering a message of hope and empowerment, Doiron invites his audience to become the next generation of garden groundbreakers.

Presentation time: 1 hour, 2 minutes

Stewardship in the Anthropocene

Dennis Dimick

Executive Editor, Environment, National Geographic Magazine

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Scientists and others have begun calling the human-dominated era of the Earth’s history the Anthropocene, or “Age of Man” – a proposed new geologic epoch. Dennis Dimick’s talk focuses on human energy choices. He discusses how humans came to rely on fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – to power their lives. He offers some startling facts in assessing this reliance; for example, “400 square miles of mountains in the eastern United States no longer exist because the tops have been taken off” to mine coal. Dimick urges his audience to “confront the future” and emphasizes a return to the sun as an energy source. He then offers a large range of choices to replace the domination of fossil fuel in providing energy.

Presentation Time: 53 minutes

Green Race: Building Sustainable Economies and Resilient Communities for our Future

Dune Lankard

Alaskan Native environmental activist and sustainable fishing entrepreneur

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The CSU, Chico student who introduces Dune Lankard for this presentation describes him as “one of those people that a young, environmentally-conscious student dreams of becoming.” Lankard is an Athabaskan Eyak Indian from the Copper River Delta in Alaska. He was a commercial fisherman in Prince William Sound until 1989, when the Exxon Valdez tanker spilled more than 11 million gallons of oil into the sound. On that day he became an activist, focused on the protection of the environment and the rights of Native peoples. Since then, Lankard has started 12 non-profit organizations. He has worked to promote sustainable fishing and, to that end, formed the Copper River Wild Salmon Company. This presentation features breath-taking photos of his native land and water, combined with actions and strategies he and other activists use to protect it. In 1999, Lankard was selected by Time magazine as one of its “Heroes of the Planet.”

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 6 minutes

A Resilient Response to Our Planetary Crisis

Marissa Mommaerts

Communications Manager,Transition US

A Resilient Response to Our Planetary Crisis

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We live in uncertain times, but across the country and around the world people are taking practical, creative action to slow climate change and regenerate communities and ecosystems. At the same time, they are building resilience to the converging ecological and economic challenges we face. In this presentation, Marissa Mommaerts shares the concept of resilient communities as a practical model for attaining sustainability. She explains that the patterns of resilient communities include: healthy ecosystems; localized food, energy, and economic systems; community stewardship of the commons; people-centric (as opposed to car-centric) neighborhoods; a sense of community; and more.

Presentation Time: 51 minutes

Building Resilient Communities through Community-Based Research

Dr. Patricia Dutcher

Building Resilient Communities through Community-Based Research

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Dr. Dutcher describes case studies of local perspectives on water, energy, and climate. She discusses how local views can contribute to the policy and technology developments needed to promote community resiliency and sustainability on a larger scale. She uses the development of resilient water supplies in Churchill County, Nevada as an example of how this can take place.

Presentation Time: 41 minutes

The Problem of Social Inequality

Dr. Scott McNall

Founder, CSU, Chico Institute for Sustainable Development

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Dr. Scott McNall believes that both democracy and the efforts to create a sustainable society are threatened by inequality. All humans have basic needs that must be met if they are to be full participants in the society in which they live. Inequality destroys human and social capital, reduces trust, weakens societies, and threatens their ability to adapt and change. Dr. McNall states that the conditions that threaten our future include not just climate change but a political agenda that seeks to destroy social safety nets while at the same time reducing environmental regulations. He concludes, “We will not get to where we need to be by recycling cans and bottles or eating organic produce. It’s a political battle.”

Presentation Time: 50 minutes

The Climate Crisis

Dr. Guy McPherson

Conservation Biologist, Author, and Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona

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Early in his presentation, Dr. McPherson states, “I’m concerned that ‘sustainability’ has come to mean sustaining Western civilization,” and adds, “This is sustaining the unsustainable.” The author of 10 books, including “Going Dark,” calls industrial civilization “an addiction we can’t seem to kick.” Dr. McPherson lives his convictions, as well – he left his tenured teaching position at the University of Arizona for ethical reasons and lives “off the grid” in a staw-bale house on a small homestead in rural New Mexico.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

A Mindset for Change

Anya Fernald

CEO, Belcampo and Founder, Food Craft Institute

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Anya Fernald has combined her expertise in craft food making and business management into a force for change in California and around the world. She is a model for how a young professional can take her dreams and passions and turn them into something viable and sustainable.  Ms. Fernald started as a cheese maker in Europe and then honed her management skills by developing business and marketing plans for small-scale cheese makers in Sicily. Following that, she was engaged in other activities to support small, artisan food production in Europe. Since returning to her native California, Ms. Fernald has been involved in numerous sustainable food activities, most prominently as co-founder and CEO of Belcampo, a group of innovative agricultural companies in California, Belize, and Uruguay. She also works on slow food and farm-to-school activities.

Presentation Time: 49 minutes

This Way to Sustainability Conference IX: Keynote Speaker

Karen Ross

Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

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Karen Ross learned about sustainability at an early age, while growing up on a farm in Nebraska. The word “sustainability” was not known then, but her father felt that his job was not just the food he produced that day, but to also leave the resources he had in a better state for the future.  “Sustainability is not fixed in time,” she states, “It is a value system of knowing how we do what we do affects a whole system. It includes treating the people who work for you well and connecting to the community.” Before her current position, Secretary Ross led a state-wide organization of wine grape growers in a large sustainability project, including documentation, self-assessment, and continual improvements in 214 practices. Now, as a high-ranking State official, she is challenged to apply sustainability to the public policy arena, especially around such difficult issues as water supplies and climate change.

Presentation Time: 53 minutes

The Wisdom of a 3.8 Billion Year-Old Story

Dr. Dayna Baumeister

Co-Founder, Biomimicry Guild Consulting

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Dr. Baumeister’s field is biomimicry – using nature’s designs to solve human problems. Accompanied by a slide show which features stunning photography, she begins her presentation by chronicling the evolution of Earth from its beginnings approximately 4.5 billion years ago to the present, using a calendar year as an analogy. The creation of the earth is listed as January 1 – human beings do not appear until December 31. Dr. Baumeister then asks some provocative questions, among them: Are we a species that will fit within this planet? Will human cleverness save us? What does it mean to be an inhabitant of Earth? The answers, she maintains, can be found in the natural world – and in the realization that “we are nature.”

Presentation Time: 49 minutes

Perspectives on 21st Century Agriculture

Michael Dimock

President, Roots of Change

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Michael Dimock refers to his organization, Roots of Change, as a “Think & Do Tank.” Roots of Change is working to align the food movement across California and create a sustainable food system by the year 2030. The organization provides staff and funds for the California Food Policy Council, so that 21 regions of the state can work together.  This talk focuses on Mr. Dimock’s belief that, in the last 100 years, Americans have lost their focus on agriculture. He contends that agriculture has moved from being a foundation of communities to a cheap source of food. He discusses the opportunity that sustainable agriculture provides to change that perception.

Presentation Time: 46 minutes

Northern Sacramento Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Plan Update

Vickie Newlin

Assistant Director, Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation

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Transcript with PowerPoint

Ms. Newlin, a CSU, Chico alumnus, serves as chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan for the Northern Sacramento Valley.  The state-wide IRWM planning process was established by the California State Legislature in 2002. As Ms. Newlin explains, the IRWM creation was spurred by the fact that “water does not recognize political boundaries.” The IRWM includes: a collaborative effort to manage all water resources within a region; the crossing of jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; the involvement of multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals, and groups; and the goal of producing mutually beneficial solutions. The Northern Sacramento Valley Plan covers Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, and Sutter counties. The governance board is made up of three appointments from each county chosen by their Boards of Supervisors.

Presentation Time: 51 minutes

California Water: Moving Toward a More Sustainable Future

Heather Cooley

Co-Director of the Water Program, Pacific Institute, Oakland, California

More Sustainable Future

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Transcript with PowerPoint

Ms. Cooley’s presentation begins with a look at California’s water – where it is found, how it is distributed, and water use patterns. She moves on to California’s water management challenges, including decaying infrastructure, limited availability/growing demand, declining water quality, collapsing ecosystems and fisheries, and climate change. She then focuses on new trends and sustainable thinking to tackle these problems, including a “rethinking” of demand, supply, and management. Conservation, waste reduction, and the “soft path of water” are among the key concepts she advocates.  Ms. Cooley received the U.S. EPA’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and earned an MS in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.

Presentation Time:  52 minutes

Let's Talk About Water

Panel Discussion

Let's Talk About Water Sustainability Play Button

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This panel draws together perspectives expressed throughout the day-long theme of Contemporary Water Issues at the seventh annual This Way to Sustainability conference on the CSU, Chico campus. The panel format provides an opportunity for conference presenters and participants to share ideas and concerns about water issues. The panelists include: Heather Cooley, Water Program Co-Director, Pacific Institute, Oakland, California; Marty Dunlap, Founder, Citizens Water Watch; Michael Jackson, Attorney at Law,specializing in water and environmental law; Shalini Kantayya, international water activist and producer of the film, “A Drop of Life"; and Melody Leppard, Co-Coordinator of the 2012 California Student Sustainability Coalition Convergence and staff at the Associated Students’ Sustainability Resource Center at Butte College.

We join the panel discussion already in progress.

Presentation Time:  48 minutes

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality

Richard Heinberg

Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon

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Transcript with PowerPoint

Richard Heinberg is a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, a non-profit organization that provides tools and resources for sustainability. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators. During his talk at CSU, Chico, Heinberg lays out the prospects for our economy. He explores three growth-limiting factors: debt, energy, and the environment. He provides context to understand why the economy is doing what it’s doing and where it’s headed.  Heinberg also offers suggestions about what can be done to adapt to that reality. Starting with "The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies" (2003), Heinberg has written 10 books.  His most recent book is "The End of Growth: Adapting to our New Economic Reality." He has written numerous articles and appeared in many film and television documentaries.

Presentation time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

This Way to Sustainability Conference VII: Keynote Address

Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols

Research Associate, California Academy of Sciences

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Transcript with PowerPoint

Dr. Nichols founded and co-directs Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates. He is committed to building a strong, more progressive and connected environmental community. He has published articles in National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Scientific American, and many other periodicals. This talk was the keynote address for CSU, Chico’s seventh annual This Way to Sustainability conference.  Among other topics, in this presentation he discusses “the connection between the planet and neuroscience,” a new field called “neuro-conservation.” He illustrates his talk with slides from his work as an oceanographer.

Presentation time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Cool Cuisine: Feed Your Body, Mind, and Planet

Laura Stec

Author and Corporate Chef for Pescadero Foods, Inc.

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Transcript with PowerPoint

Foods best for the health of our people are also best for the health of our planet. True or false? Why does it matter? And why should food-lovers especially take notice? Based on the book, "Cool Cuisine - Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming," and a partnership between Harvard University and the Culinary Institute of America, this talk looks at how the four most common dietary habits which negatively affect human health (being overweight and eating too much sodium, simple carbohydrates, and red meat) are also ruining the health of our environment.  It addresses how agricultural practices can enhance or destroy the taste and nutrient-quality of food, and what inspires eaters (especially youth) to make changes. Understanding motivations and learning new tips will help us cook delicious, full-flavored foods more easily and more often. A discussion of the "energetics of food," plus a mini cooking demo, complete the presentation. This talk was part of the seventh annual This Way to Sustainability conference at the CSU, Chico campus.

Presentation time: 1 hour, 8 minutes

The Causes of Recent Climate Change: Separating Fact From Fiction

Dr. Ben Santer

Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Transcript with PowerPoint

Dr. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has spent over 20 years studying climate change. He has concluded that "the totality of evidence" shows that humans have affected climate change. He believes that natural causes alone cannot explain the observed changes. The bulk of Dr. Santer's presentation is an explanation of the scientific underpinning of his conclusions. Among the topics he discusses are natural vs. human influences on climate, cause and effect relationships in the climate system, and debunking myths about climate change. This lecture is part of the Rawlins Environmental Literacy Lectures Series.

Presentation time: 1 hour

Origins and Environmental Impacts of Supervolcanoes

Dr. Clive R. Neal

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering & Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

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Transcript with PowerPoint

Supervolcanoes can grow to the size of Greenland. They can form on land or on the sea floor. When they erupt, their environmental impact affects all living things on the planet! Learn about supervolcano eruptions of the Ontong Java Plateau, northeast of Australia, with Dr. Clive R. Neal, a professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame. “Origins and Environmental Impacts of Supervolcanoes” examines how large volcanic plumes form in the earth and the environmental impacts of these massive eruptions. The lecture is part of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership Distinguished Lecturer Series and is co-sponsored by the CSU, Chico Institute for Sustainable Development and the Rawlins Endowed Professorship for Environmental Literacy.

Presentation time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


Too much carbon in the atmosphere heats our planet beyond capacity for it to sustain life as we know it. Too much carbon in the oceans makes them unfit for the life balances that have evolved through the millennia. Tim LaSalle believes that returning much of this lost carbon to the soil will not only mitigate the destructive aspects it causes in the atmosphere and the ocean, it will improve and cleanse water cycles, add fertility and life to the soils, and build climate resilience into farmed and grazed lands. He calls this life-giving, life-saving strategy, Regenerative Agriculture – farming and grazing practices that reverse climate change by rebuilding soil carbon levels while also restoring degraded soil biodiversity.


Presentation Time: 47 minutes