Below you will find details and recordings of past seminars & webinars. If you are interested in upcoming events, please visit our Events Calendar.
An Intergenerational Conversation about what the COP28 UN Climate Talks Mean for Massachusetts
November 2, 2023
As world leaders, climate experts, and advocates prepare to gather in Dubai for the COP28 United Nations climate conference, we asked what the international talks mean for climate action at home. This interactive discussion discusses climate action in Massachusetts and the world on the road to the ‘COP28’ UN climate talks. Our panel featured leading state legislators on climate policy and UMass Lowell students who are engaged with COP28 and climate action at home. We asked how Massachusetts can learn from countries around the world and do more to lead on climate.
Hydrologic Controls on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Rivers and Streams
Matthew Winnick, April 10, 2023
Over the past decade, rivers and streams have been recognized as important sources of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane to the atmosphere; however, their role in and potential response to anthropogenic climate change remains poorly characterized. In particular, we lack robust representations of the processes that control greenhouse gas production and emissions from these environments. In this talk, I discuss our recent efforts to characterize and develop physical models of carbon dioxide fluxes in stream environments, moving from reach to watershed to continental spatial scales.
Raising Climate Policy Ambition through Engaging Policy
Travis Franck, April 03, 2023
The biggest greenhouse gas emitters – the US, China, and EU – are currently making progress on climate change. But, just below these countries on the emitters list, fast emerging economies that need to take bold action have only taken limited steps because of capacity limits. The Climate Policy Lab at Fletcher is engaging twelve countries (e.g., Indonesia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Vietnam) with its policy gap analysis (PGA) methodology to see what policies work, which don't, and why. This talk will cover the PGA process, talk about results, and discuss evolving partner country engagements.
Renewably-Powered CO2 Recycling
Michael Ross, February 13, 2023
Developing novel strategies for using CO2 and synthesizing fuels and chemicals without fossil fuels is critical for further decoupling emissions from growth. This seminar surveys recent work focused on electrochemical CO2 recycling, where renewable electricity can power chemical processes that upgrade or valorize CO2 into feedstocks, fuels, and chemicals. Both the technical and economic impacts of this approach will be discussed, highlighting recent efforts and strategies focused on catalyst and process design.
The NASA/ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar mission (NISAR): A game changing satellite for monitoring planet Earth
Josef Kellndorfer, January 30, 2023
In January 2024 NASA and the Indian Space Agency ISRO will launch the jointly developed synthetic aperture radar satellite mission NISAR. The speaker Josef Kellndorfer is a member of the NISAR Science Team and has been involved in formulating this mission since its inception. The talk will provide an overview of SAR principles for environmental monitoring with examples from existing missions, the NISAR satellite and mission concept, and how the massive data flow from this mission can be handled with modern cloud computing assets.
Climate Innovation and Action: Blueprints for a Green Future
November 30, 2022
UMass Lowell is accelerating its efforts to lead on climate action that is focused on environmental justice. At the same time, both Massachusetts and the US federal government are taking unprecedented action to accelerate the growth in renewable energy, especially in disadvantaged, or ‘environmental justice’ communities. On Nov. 30 we conducted an interactive event that took stock of the progress made so far, whether it is enough, and how we could do more. We heard from a panel of leading policymakers, faculty experts, and UMass Lowell (UML) students.
UML Reports Back from the UN Climate Conference in Egypt: Barriers and Opportunities for International Climate Action
November 17, 2022
UMass Lowell (UML) faculty and students participated in the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), representing the only delegation from a public university in Massachusetts. Faculty members Juliette Rooney-Varga, Raj Kumar Gondle, and Arie Perliger, Ph.D. student Tyler Harrington, and undergraduate students Riva Chatsman and Madison Feudo reported live from Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt to share their perspectives on COP27 and international climate action.
UML Students Report from UN Climate Conference in Egypt: A Youth Perspective on the International Climate Negotiations
November 10, 2022
UMass Lowell faculty and students participated in the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), representing the only delegation from a public university in Massachusetts. Faculty members Juliette Rooney-Varga, Raj Kumar Gondle, and Arie Perliger, PhD student Tyler Harrington, and undergraduate students Riva Chatsman and Madison Feudo reported live from Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt to share their perspectives on COP27 and international climate action.
Is Science Enough? Forty Critical Questions about Climate Justice
Aviva Chomsky, November 1, 2022
A discussion with Aviva Chomsky about her book, Is Science Enough? Forty Critical Questions about Climate Justice (2022). Aviva is Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American Studies at Salem State University.
Living with Plastics: Problems and Solutions
Meg Sobkowicz-Kline, February 1, 2021
A recent study predicted that 12,000 mega tonnes of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050, costing USD 40 billion annually in lost value. These startling numbers have propelled research activity on plastics recovery, redesign, recycling, and general sustainability in the Plastics Engineering Department at UML. This lecture will discuss the basic issues in plastics sustainability, recent research highlights from the Sobkowicz group, and steps being taken in the department to lower its environmental footprint.
Progress in water quality… but still more work to do
Richard Friesner, February 16, 2021
Progress! We will briefly review the 50-year history of water quality improvements via the Clean Water Act (CWA), examine the CWA framework, and address current events related to our nation’s surface water quality. Be sure to have a glass of water on hand for this session (seriously).
Eco-grief and climate anxiety: managing the crisis
Jennifer Atkinson, February 22, 2021
We usually focus on the physical impacts of climate change, but ecological disruption is also taking a huge emotional toll. This talk explores the mental health dimensions of climate disruption, and offers strategies for navigating the diverse emotions we feel in response to this crisis: anxiety, grief, guilt, fear, apathy, hope and more.
Environmental Racism: Recognizing Its Impact and EJ Groups Creating Change
Sheila Tripathy, March 1, 2021
This lecture is an overview of environmental health and environmental racism with a discussion on the impacts of redlining in Boston as well as an introduction to Pennsylvania based community organization, “Philly Thrive”, and their path towards environmental justice in Philadelphia.
Leading by Example in State Government: Putting Climate Policy into Action
Eric Friedman, March 22, 2021
Program and all of state government are working to help the Commonwealth meet aggressive and far-reaching emissions reduction goals. Learn how state agencies and college campuses are moving forward on building efficiency, renewable energy, and long-term decarbonization planning, while also get an understanding of some of the key challenges facing large institutions as we try to move toward a post-fossil fuel world.
End of History: Climate change, security, and political inaction
Jarrod Hayes, April 26, 2021
Climate change is increasingly recognized as one of, if not the, paramount challenging confronting humanity. Despite this reality, policy action in the United States and globally has been inadequate. This lecture explores the problem from the standpoint of political logics. Using a sense making approach, the lecture addresses two alternative logics of action--security and sustainable development.