Environmental Awareness and Compassionate Action

Environmental Awareness and Compassionate Action - Tibetan Buddhist Scholar and Teacher - Demo Rimpoche

Environmental Awareness and Compassionate Action - Tibetan Buddhist Scholar and Teacher - Demo Rimpoche

Earth Day Forum presented by Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center, U-M EEB & U-M Psychiatry

With the existential crisis of our time, climate change, bearing down upon us, there is a need to develop constructive and sustainable solutions. Great strides have been made in generating awareness about climate change, overpopulation, mass extinction of species and other stressors on the environment. In 2019, the City of Ann Arbor declared a Climate Emergency. But how can we as individuals make a difference? Buddhism has always emphasized the interdependence of all living beings and the benefit of interacting compassionately.

The inaugural Jewel Heart Annual Earth Day Forum will present a dialogue between Tibetan Buddhist scholar and teacher, Demo Rinpoche, and eminent scientists and activists. The Forum will address the human and spiritual dimension of sustaining life on this planet.

Demo Rinpoche – Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center
Mark Hunter – UM Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Anthony King – UM Department of Psychiatry
MaryCarol Hunter – UM School for Environment and Sustainability
Avik Basu – UM School for Environment and Sustainability
Rebecca Hardin – UM School for Environment and Sustainability
Isabelle Osawamick – Native American Anishinaabemowin Language Specialist
Jonathan Rose – The Garrison Institute

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Environmental Action for Survival: The History and Legacies of U-M’s 1970 Teach-In on the Environment

The March 1970 Teach-In on the Environment (the model for the first Earth Day) was organized by the U-M student organization Environmental Action for Survival (ENACT). The success of this four-day event on the U-M campus and in the Ann Arbor community is legendary, and many ENACT members went on to make significant impacts in the environmental and sustainability fields. Six leaders of ENACT and of the national Earth Day planning committee will hold a panel discussion that honors the rich history of U-M’s Teach-In on the Environment. They will also share insights on the evolution of the movement–and the ongoing work they are involved in today.



Barbara R. Alexander (BA ’68)

Consumer Affairs Consultant, Former Director, Consumer Assistance Division, Maine Public Utilities Commission

Barbara R. Alexander graduated from the University of Michigan (B.A., LS&A) in 1968. After working on the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in Indiana, Oregon, and California, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she joined The Conservation Foundation and was recommended for the nascent Earth Day 1970 staff. Barb was the Midwestern Coordinator for Earth Day. Following her marriage to Donald Alexander and a move to Maine in 1973, Barb received a J.D. from the U. of Maine School of Law in 1976, and was appointed Superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection (1979-1983) and then from 1986-1996 the Director, Consumer Assistance Division, at the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Since 1996 Barbara has implemented a consulting practice to represent public advocates and national and state consumer organizations in public utility proceedings in over 30 U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions.

David Allan (PhD)

Professor Emeritus, U-M, Former acting dean, U-M’s School for Environment and Sustainability

David Allan is Professor Emeritus in the School for Environment and Sustainability at The University of Michigan, where he has served as Professor and Dean. Dave’s research interests are in freshwater ecology, including the many threats to and benefits from healthy ecosystems. He received his BSc from the University of British Columbia (1966) and PhD from the University of Michigan (1971. In 1969-70, when he should have been working on his doctoral thesis, Dave joined with other students and supportive faculty to launch the ambitiously titled, “Environmental Action for Survival”, fortunately shortened to “Enact”, and helped to organize UM’s first earth day. Following graduation, he spent a post-doctoral year at the University of Chicago, then joined the Department of Zoology of the University of Maryland before returning to the University of Michigan in 1990. He retired in 2015 but remains professionally active, at present completing a third edition of his textbook entitled “Stream Ecology”. Allan has served on various committees advisory to the U.S. and Canada on freshwater protection, and on the boards of American Rivers and The Nature Conservancy. Professor Allan is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the Society for Freshwater Science. He has been recognized by the University of Michigan with the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award and by the Society for Freshwater Science with the Award of Excellence.

George Coling

Occupational health and environmental justice advocate, Former Executive Director, National Fuel Funds Network

George Coling enrolled in the University of Michigan School of Public Health in the fall of 1969 after obtaining a Biology degree from the University of Rochester. He soon became involved in ENACT, the campus student group organizing events for the March 1970 Environmental Teach-In. After the Teach-In, he was one of the founders of the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor and then moved to Washington to work for Environmental Resources, the affiliate of Environmental Action, which organized Earth Day nationally. George worked in Washington until 2015, when he and his wife, Marcia Coling, moved to Western Massachusetts. George and Marcia have two sons and two grandchildren. In those years in Washington, George worked for the national organization of ecology centers, the American Public Health Association; the Urban Environment Conference, Inc.; Rural Coalition; Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club. Much of his work focused on the issues of occupational health and of environmental justice and on building grassroots networks to address these issues. He also did consulting for numerous environmental, community and labor organizations. From 1997 until his 2012 retirement, George was Executive Director of the National Fuel Funds Network, an organization of privately-funded energy assistance programs and an advocate for increased federal funding home energy assistance for people with low incomes.

Arthur Hanson (PhD)

Canadian global and regional ecologist, professor, Distinguished Fellow and former President, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Arthur Hanson is a Canadian ecologist working globally, regionally and with more than 20 countries on environment and sustainable development science and policy. Much of his work has taken place in North America and Asia, especially China and Indonesia. Dr. Hanson resides in Victoria, British Columbia. He is the former President (1992-1998) and now a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an independent research organization headquartered in Canada. Art lived in Indonesia (1972-1977) affiliated with the Ford Foundation. Later, during the 1980s he established a number of major research and institutional development efforts there. From 1992 until the present he has worked with China and the international community at very senior levels to promote transformative policies and actions consistent with sustainable development. From 2002-2019 he was the International Chief Advisor of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).

Elizabeth Grant Kingwill

Mental health counselor, Former Board of Directors member, Sierra Club local chapter

In the fall of 1969, Elizabeth Grant (Kingwill) was a graduate student in Rackham, the School of Natural Resources, in the Environmental Education Program. In her first semester in SNR, she saw an opportunity to include the local community of Ann Arbor and the State of Michigan in the planning for the ENACT Teach-In and took on the responsibility of Chairmanship of Community Relations. After the ENACT Teach-In in March 1970, she stayed in Ann Arbor for the summer where she was hired to help start the Ann Arbor Ecology Center as a non-profit. She found the building to house the offices of the Center and hired the first director. Her intention was to have the Center be a place that environmental groups could come together, work, meet and hopefully begin to cooperate on common goals. In 1972, Elizabeth worked as a U of M Consultant for her master’s thesis with the Girl Scouts of Metropolitan Detroit. Her role there included writing environmental manuals, directing an environmental program for girls, and conducting leadership training for their adult leaders. Thousands of girls and women were involved in the program. Elizabeth went back to school in Durango, Colorado in 1976, completing an undergraduate and masters degree in Psychology. Her work as a change agent moved from organizing environmental groups to changing minds and healing hearts. She was also Vice-President of a local environmental group, and later served on the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the Sierra Club. She moved to Jackson, Wyoming in 1980. She worked for the local Mental Health Center for nine years and has been in private practice as a counselor for the last thirty years. Creating the Ecology Center as a non-profit inspired a lifetime of working for and running non-profits in Colorado and Wyoming.

Doug Scott (BS ’66)

Career strategist and lobbyist for conservation and environment, Former Associate Executive Director, Sierra Club

Doug Scott grew up in Oregon where he enjoyed camping, hiking, and climbing in the Cascade Mountains. A summer job at Carlsbad Caverns National Park led him to think he’d like to be a National Park Service ranger, so he chose to study in the School of Natural Resources [now the School of Environment and Sustainability] at the University of Michigan. While there he co-chaired the group that organized the March 1970 ENACT Teach-In on the Environment. He also served with Senator Gaylord Nelson on the board of directors of the national Earth Day organizing group. His involvement in environmental politics led his to a career as a strategist and lobbyist, working with The Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club (where he became Associate Executive Director), and the Pew Charitable Trusts to persuade Congress to protect many more national parks, national wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas. He now lives in Palm Springs, California.

Matt Lassiter (PhD)

Panel Moderator, U-M Professor of History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Award-winning author

Matt Lassiter is Professor of History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. He has directed multiple public engagement projects with UM undergraduate researchers, including the Fall 2017 “Michigan in the World” course that created “Give Earth a Chance: Environmental Activism in Michigan.” This multimedia exhibit chronicles the history of the four-day Environmental Action for Survival (ENACT) Teach-In at the University of Michigan in March 1970, the national Earth Day mobilization in April, the formation of the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, and related environmental campaigns in the state of Michigan during the 1960s and 1970s.

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ISR Reads Author Visit and Talk: Harriet A. Washington

Harriet A. Washington - Cognitive Costs of Environmental Racism

Harriet A. Washington - Cognitive Costs of Environmental Racism

The Cognitive Costs of Environmental Racism: Myth, Science and Myopia

ISR Reads Fall Book Selection: A Terrible Thing to Waste; Environmental Racism and It’s Assault on the American Mind

In support of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts at the University of Michigan and the Institute of Social Research and School of Public Health, we are excited to partner in bringing an award-winning science writer Harriet A. Washington writes “A Terrible Thing to Waste, Environmental Racism and It’s Assault on the American Mind”.

Ms. Washington adds her incisive analysis to the environmental discussion presenting an argument that IQ is a biased and flawed metric, one that it is useful for tracking cognitive damage. She takes apart the spurious notion of intelligence as an inherited trait, using copious data that instead point to a different cause of the reported African American-white IQ achievement gap.

The book explains that environmental racism – a confluence of racism and other institutional factors that relegate marginalized communities to living and working near sites of toxic waste, pollution, and insufficient sanitation services is terrible for the brain. Ms. Washington investigates heavy metals, neurotoxins, deficient prenatal care, bad nutrition, and even pathogens as chief agents influencing intelligence to explain why communities of color are disproportionately affected — and what can be done to remedy this devastating problem.

Harriet A. Washington has been the Shearing Fellow at the University of Nevada’s Black Mountain Institute, a Research Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. She is the author of Deadly Monopolies, Infectious Madness, and Medical Apartheid, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Oakland Award, and the American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award.

Presentation Co-Sponsors: ISR (ISR Reads, SRC Racism Lab and PSC Population Dynamics and Health Programming & School of Public Health

* Books will be available for purchase at a signing after the program organized by BookBound Store in Ann Arbor.

If you have any questions or require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Anna Massey at abeattie@umich.edu.

Wednesday, March 11, 2019 (Earth Week)
1:00pm to 3pm (followed by a book signing & reception)
ISR Thompson 1430ABCD

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Environmental Professor Panel

U-M Dearborn logo with block M

U-M Dearborn logo with block M

Join University of Michigan Dearborn Student Government and professors to learn about the environmental issues we are facing today. There will be food.


University of Michigan-Dearborn
Kochoff Hall
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128

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Freshwater Stories: Optics, Governance, and Adaptation around the Great Lakes

Institute for the Humanities. Image is of the University of Michigan yellow block M and the word humanities in all caps.

Institute for the Humanities. Image is of the University of Michigan yellow block M and the word humanities in all caps.

Jill S. Harris Memorial Lecture/Humanities Week Keynote Lecture by Rachel Havrelock, founder and director, UIC Freshwater Lab

There is a plausible bright future for communities in the Great Lakes basin. Holding over 20% of the world’s fresh water, the much-maligned Rust Belt could transform into the Water Belt marked by innovation in agriculture and production and welcoming to waves of climate migrants. Yet no framework of regulation, governance, or funding currently exists to ensure such outcomes. Instead public subsidy of extractive and polluting corporations persists. Along with lax enforcement of regulation, there are no mechanisms to deal with agricultural runoff, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. How to get from here to the Water Belt?

Rachel Havrelock’s work shows how the necessary knowledge about water systems resides at the local level where community members struggle with particular forms of privatization, extraction, and pollution. Not only do stories about these contests over water illuminate global processes, but they also chart a course forward. Reflecting on stories she has collected across the Great Lakes basin, Havrelock will share prominent ideas about life around the remarkable freshwater seas.

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Michigan University-wide Sustainability and Environment (MUSE) Conference 2020

The purpose of the conference is to foster connections and new collaborations across the broad suite of sustainability and environment-related research at the University of Michigan. We welcome participation from those advancing knowledge through work in the humanities and the social, physical, natural, and engineering sciences.

Designing Business Models for Carbon Capture and Utilization Technologies

The +Impact Studio at Michigan Ross in partnership with the U-M Global CO2 Initiative and the Erb Institute is excited to offer an innovative workshop in which students will use design thinking methodologies to create business models for carbon capture and utilization technologies. Award-winning U-M faculty will share their research on these technologies in an informal setting, and participating students will have the opportunity to learn and apply the business model canvas to them. This process will result in ideas for sustainable businesses that work to meaningfully combat climate change, and further ways to get involved and potentially pursue these business ideas will be shared.




Renewable Energy in Michigan: Technologies, Public Policies, and Trends

Earth’s sun and wind are increasingly replacing fossil fuels as sources of energy. A big question is how much of our electric supply can be replaced by renewables. John Sarver, instructor, will discuss solar and wind power technologies, public policies and trends, focusing especially on issues peculiar to Michigan.
You will learn how solar and wind energy resources together with natural gas are expected to totally replace coal in the near future. Mr. Sarver, was a program director in the Michigan Energy Office for 35 years, where he worked on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and policies. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. This Study Group is for those 50 and over and meets Monday, 1:00–3:00 pm on October 28.

Business for Sustainability: Decision-Making for Positive Impact

GoTo Webinar

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the Erb Institute are proud to present this discussion with Dr. Joe Arvai on decision-making for the triple bottom line. Join us to learn more about the role of decision-making in business sustainability. 

Dr. Joe Árvai is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the School for Environment and Sustainability, and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He is also the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Dr. Arvai is an internationally respected expert in the risk and decisions sciences, and he is a frequent advisor to governments, government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector.

His research includes decision making for the triple bottom line, improving climate risk management choices, and consumers’ acceptance of input and recommendations from artificial intelligence. 

Join us for this thought-provoking discussion!


Recommended Audiences:
Full-Time MBA Students – Prospective

The Clean Energy Revolution is (Finally) Here: Dan Kammen

Dr. Daniel M. Kammen is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, with parallel appointments in the Energy and Resources Group where he serves as Chair, the Goldman School of Public Policy where he directs the Center for Environmental Policy, and the department of Nuclear Engineering. Kammen is the founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL; http://rael.berkeley.edu), and was director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center from 2007 – 2015.