Distinguished Lecture Series

The Global Change Center’s Distinguished Lecture series brings some of the world’s leading scholars to the Blacksburg community to discuss critical environmental and societal issues in an open forum. The GCC seeks to raise awareness about climate change and other global problems that threaten the environment and society.

Brian Richter

BRIAN RICHTER

Chasing Water in a Dynamically Changing World

Date: Friday, April 7, 2017, 4:00 p.m.

Location: The Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg

The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech is pleased to welcome Brian Richter for a Distinguished Lecture at the Lyric Theatre entitled “Chasing Water in a Dynamically Changing World”.

Brian Richter has been a global leader in water science and conservation for more than 25 years. He is the President of Sustainable Waters, a global water education organization. He is also the Chief Scientist for the Water program of The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization, where he promotes sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations, and local communities. Brian serves as a water advisor to some of the world’s largest corporations, investment banks, and the United Nations, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions.  He also teaches a course on Water Sustainability at the University of Virginia.

Brian has developed numerous scientific tools and methods to support river protection and restoration efforts, including the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration software that is being used by water managers and scientists worldwide. He was featured in a BBC documentary with David Attenborough on “How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?” He has published many scientific papers on the importance of ecologically sustainable water management in international science journals, and co-authored a book with Sandra Postel entitled Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature (Island Press, 2003). His latest book, Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability, was published in 2014. 

Dr. Josh Tewksbury

DR. JOSH TEWKSBURY

Living in the Anthropocene: Science, Sustainability, and Society

Date: April 21, 2016

Location: The Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg

The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech was pleased to welcome Dr. Josh Tewksbury for a Distinguished Lecture at the Lyric Theatre entitled “Living in the Anthropocene: Science, Sustainability, and Society”.

Dr. Tewksbury is an ecologist, conservation biologist, and planetary health scientist with experience both in academia and in civil society.  He is currently the Director of the Colorado Global Hub, at Future Earth; Research Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder; and Senior Scholar, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University.

Tewksbury was the Walker Professor of Natural History at the University of Washington, with appointments both in the department of Biology and the College of the Environment, where his work focused on major global change issues, including the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, the potential of landscape connectivity to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and the impacts of species loss on ecosystem function.

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Dr. Naomi Oreskes

DR. NAOMI ORESKES

Should We Trust Science? Perspectives from the History and Philosophy of Science

Date: September 2, 2015

Location: The Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg

The Global Change Center at Virginia Tech was pleased to welcome Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Harvard historian and author, for a Distinguished Lecture at the Lyric Theatre. Her lecture, entitled “Should We Trust Science? Perspectives from the History and Philosophy of Science”, was followed by a question and answer period and book signing. The free event was coordinated by the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and co-sponsored by a number of units from across campus.

Dr. Oreskes is a professor of the history of science at Harvard University. Her research and writing focuses on understanding scientific consensus and dissent in relation to environmental science. She has received international acclaim for her 2010 book, “Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming,” co-authored with Erik M. Conway, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Priced, received the 2011 Watson-Davis Prize from the History of Science Society, and was recently adapted into a documentary film.

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Dr. Michael Mann

DR. MICHAEL MANN

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines

Date: March 20, 2015

Location: The Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg

Dr. Michael Mann, a climate scientist and central figure in the political debate over climate change, visited Virginia Tech on March 20, 2015. His 4 p.m. lecture at the Lyric Theatre was followed by a brief question and answer session and signing of his book, “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.”

The free event was sponsored by the Global Change Center at Virginia Tech and the Interfaces of Global Change Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program.

Mann is a distinguished professor of meteorology at Penn State University, with joint appointments in the departments of geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. His research involves the use of theoretical models and observational data to better understand earth’s climate system.

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