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Darden Lecture: Dr. F. Stuart “Terry” Chapin III

October 14

Grassroots stewardship: Sustainability within our reach

October 14, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30 PM in North Lawn 2008 (or via Zoom)

Abstract: Increasing trends in climate disruption and social inequality make many people worry that our planet is close to a tipping point toward irreversible environmental and social decline. Most citizens in developed nations (74%) want their countries to promote the well-being of both people and the nature on which we depend. However, they (92%) don’t know how to make this happen. In this talk I will suggest a strategy by which American citizens and others can move their community, nation, and planet toward more sustainable pathways. I will discuss which potential actions might have greatest impact and might be most feasible to implement, as well as the barriers that have prevented this from happening in the past. To guide earth’s transformation toward a more sustainable future, we need a vision with which most people would agree and which would shift society from its current focus on increasing material wealth to a vision of sustaining benefits for people and nature—equitably distributed across society. Implementation of this vision requires changes in society’s patterns of consumption to align with people’s professed environmental and societal goals. In addition, there are well-tested government policies and institutions and programs by religious and other community groups that would make these choices easier and more preferred. All of the steps that I will suggest have proven feasible in some situations. The key challenge is to align these actions to be synergistic, persistent, and scalable.

Bio: Dr. Chapin is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  He has numerous awards for his scholarly works, including: Member of the National Academy of Science (2004), Member of Swedish Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (2000), Eminent Ecologist Award, ESA (2018), and Volvo Environmental Prize (2019).  Dr. Chapin has published over 580 refereed articles, 16 Books, and multiple non-refereed publication.  His works have been cited over 175,000 times and he currently has an H-Index of 171.


October 14
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Department of Biological Sciences
(205) 348-1807