Past Seminars

We have been honored to host visiting researchers who are experts from diverse fields, and to feature the work being undertaken here at the University of Utah. Explore below to see the history of the GCSC seminar series.

August 27, 2019
  • Barbara Reck, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
    “Why Using Metals Efficiently Matters”
    This presentation discusses the challenges of metal recycling in the context of broader material cycles and the role of interdependencies among metals– from byproducts in ores, to alloying elements and complex multi-material products. Read more here.
September 17, 2019
  • Masood Parvania, University of Utah Electrical & Computer Engineering
    “Sustainability at the Intersection of Power and Water Infrastructure: An Engineering Perspective”
    This seminar will outline the ongoing research on how closer collaboration and operation co-optimization of interdependent power and water infrastructure enhances the energy and economic efficiency of both systems. Read more hereAbstract/flyer
October 1, 2019
  • Ken D. Tape, University of Alaska Geophysical Institute
    “The Changing Arctic Landscape”
    This talk explores a century of changes in the arctic tundra landscape and its wildlife.  Read more here.  Abstract/flyer
October 22, 2019
  • Doug Kennett, U.C. Santa Barbara Department of Anthropology
    “Drought and long-term sociopolitical dynamics west of the hundredth meridian”  Abstract/flyer
    Lessons from archaeological records provide insights into the complexity of sociopolitical responses in the past and to drought west of the hundredth meridian going into the future.
November 5, 2019
  • Jeff Rose, University of Utah Health, Kinesiology and Recreation
    “Homelessness, Political Ecology, and Critical Sustainability”
    A critical spatial approach to unsheltered homelessness positions it as both a social and environmental justice concern that confronts common understandings of sustainability.   Abstract/flyer
January 7, 2020

Special seminar: “Transformations: Vikalp Sangam and the search for alternatives in India” Pallav Das.

January 14, 2020
January 28, 2020
February 11, 2020
February 25, 2020
  • Nancy Grimm, Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University
    “Rivers of our dreams: water futures in urban central Arizona”.  Abstract/flyer  Read more here.


  • Gabriel Bowen, Professor, Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah – August 28, 2018″Water in the Critical Zone: How Soils Control Flows and Chemistry in the Terrestrial Water Cycle”  Abstract / flyer
  • John C. Lin, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah – September 11, 2018″The greenhouse gas-air quality nexus: experiences from the Western U.S.”  Abstract / flyer
  • Diane Pataki, Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Utah – September 25, 2018“Projecting nature: Reflections on the science of ‘ecology for cities’”  Abstract / flyer
  • Seth Arens, Research Integration Specialist, Western Water Assessment Utah – October 16, 2018“Planning for drought and climate change in Utah: working with resource managers to develop usable science” Abstract / flyer
  • Gaby Katul, Theodore S. Coile Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University – October 30, 2018″Evapotranspiration: From kinetic theory to the limits of plant life”   Abstract / flyer  |  Read more here.
  • Steven “Kealoha” Wong, Hawai’i Poet Laureate, cohosted with Utah Presents and the Sustainability Office – November 13, 2018“So many different crossroads, but the paths look the same.”  Abstract / flyer
  • Lauren Barth-Cohen, Educational Psychology, University of Utah – January 15, 2019″Capturing Three-Dimensional Science Learning about Climate Change in Classrooms through Embodied Modeling” Read more  |  Abstract / flyer
  • Robert Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University – January 31, 2019″Race, Place, and the Politics of PollutionThis event is not part of the regular GCSC seminar series, but is a special seminar co-sponsored by the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Global Change & Sustainability Center, University of Utah Sustainability Office, and the University of Utah Office of Equity and Diversity.  Read more
  • Giovanna Di Chiro, Professor, Environmental Studies, Swarthmore College – February 12, 2019″Imagining Sustainable Futures: Collaborative ‘Soul’-utions for Earthly Survival”  Read more  | Abstract/flyer
  • Aradhna Tripati, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA – February 26, 2019″Frontiers in the study of past climate and environmental change: From new tracers to piloting a new inclusive science model”  Read moreAbstract/flyer
  • Brenda Ekwurzel, Sr. Climate Scientist, Director of Climate Science for the Union of Concerned Scientists – March 20, 2019″Assessing and mitigating risks to water resources from climate change”
  • Diana Tomback, Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver – April 2, 2019″Biodiversity catastrophe in real time: Loss of five-needle white pine communities and cascading consequences”  Read more / Abstract/flyer
  • David Pellow, Environmental Studies, Global Environmental Justice Project, UC Santa Barbara – April 16, 2019″Toward a Critical Environmental Justice: Exploring State Violence and the Settler Colonial Conflicts” Read more here.   Abstract/flyer

August 22, 2017

  • Amy Wildermuth, Associate V.P. for Faculty, Academic Affairs; Chief Sustainability Officer; Professor, College Of Law, U of Utah”Navigating renewable energy challenges on campus”   Abstract, flyer

September 5, 2017

  • Ryan Smith, Associate Dean, College of Architecture + Planning; Director, Integrated Technology in Architecture Collaborative, U of Utah”Building Systems: ecological design and construction”   Abstract, flyer

September 19, 2017

  • Natalie Gochnour, Associate Dean, David Eccles School of Business; Director, Gardner Policy Institute, University of Utah”What’s missing in Utah’s economic prosperity?”

October 3, 2017

  • Lisa Dilling, Director, NOAA Western Water Assessment; Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Colorado”Learning lessons from managing drought: Adaptation in an interconnected, uncertain world”  abstract | flyer

October 24, 2017

November 7, 2017

November 28, 2017

  • Jack Williams, Professor of Climate, People, and Environment, University of Wisconsin”Achieving global ecology via dispersed community curated data resources:  Neotoma and PalEON”  abstract/flyer

January 9, 2018

  • Kari Norgaard, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon“Climate Change as Strategic Opportunity: Imagination, Responsibility, and Community”

January 23, 2018

  • Kip Solomon, Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah”Can Groundwater Feed the World? It’s All About Time”

February 6, 2018

  • Edella Schlager, School of Government & Public Policy, University of Arizona”Water Scarcity, Governance, and Adaptation in Western Transboundary River Basins”  download flyer

February 20, 2018

  • Sarah Kanouse, Department of Art + Design, Northeastern University”Entanglements: artistic strategies for complex ecologies”  Read more here

March 6, 2018

  • Sarah George, Executive Director, Natural History Museum of Utah“Climate Change at the Natural History Museum:  Research and Interpretation”

March 27, 2018

April 10, 2018

August 30, 2016

  • Robin Craig, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law”Rethinking Sustainability to Deal with the Climate Change Trickster: Resilience Theory, the Anthropocene, and the Example of Marine Fisheries” Abstract | Read more

September 13, 2016

September 27, 2016

October 18, 2016

November 1, 2016

  • Fernando Bosco, San Diego State University Department of Geography”Journeys in a ‘Food Desert’: Place, Mobility, and the Everyday Food Practices of Young People”   Abstract, flyer | Read more

November 15, 2016

  • Andrew Richardson, Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology“Climate change, phenology, and ecosystem processes: What we are learning from the PhenoCam network”   Abstract, flyer | Read more

November 29, 2016

January 17, 2017

  • Joerg Schaefer, Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences”Ice Sheets, Glaciers and Society: past and present cryospheric change and its impact on society” Abstract, flyer | Read more

January 31, 2017

February 14, 2017

  • Brett Clark, University of Utah Department of Sociology”Pacific Northwest salmon, commodification, and the marine nutrient-land exchange” Abstract, flyer

February 28, 2017

March 21, 2017

April 4, 2017

April 18, 2017

August 25, 2015

September 8, 2015

  • Danya Rumore, Environmental Dispute Resolution Program, College of Law, U. of Utah”Ready or Not: Helping Communities Adapt to Climate Change through Collaborative Action Research”

September 22, 2015

October 6, 2015

  • Joanna Ganning, Metropolitan Research Center, University of Utah”How Effective is Commuter Rail in Spatially Pairing Supply and Demand for Commuting Infrastructure?”

October 20, 2015

  • Erica Gaddis, Division of Water Quality, Utah Dept. of Environmental Quality“Integrated Water Resources Management in the Great Salt Lake Basin: Opportunities for Research to Inform Management”

November 3, 2015

  • Steven Burian– opens new window, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Utah“Mixing Water and Cities: Don’t Worry, It’s a Sustainable and Resilient Mocktail”

November 17, 2015

  • John Abatzoglou– opens new window, University of Idaho Department of Geography“Western US Wildfire in the Anthropocene: Is anthropogenic climate change responsible for the new normal of wildfire activity across the western US?”

December 1, 2015

  • Kathy Jacobs, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, University of Arizona“The Science/Policy Interface: Climate Adaptation and Decision-making”

January 26, 2016

  • Timothy M. Waring, School of Economics, University of Maine“An Integrative Evolutionary Approach to Sustainability Science”

February 9, 2016

  • Elizabeth Wilson, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota“Integrating Renewable Energy in the Western United States”

March 8, 2016

  • Jim Steenburgh, Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Utah”Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth”

March 22, 2016

  • Reid Ewing, Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah”Cost of Sprawl 2015″

April 5, 2016

  • Dorothy J. Merritts, Dept. of Earth and Environment, Franklin & Marshall College”Freeze-dried, rapidly thawed permafrost landscapes, breached milldams, and their relation to modern wetland-stream restoration, eastern US”

April 19, 2016

  • Noah Diffenbaugh, Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences” Quantifying the influence of historical global warming on the probability of unprecedented extreme climate events”

August 26, 2014

  • Stephen Goldsmith, Department of City and Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah”Making the invisible visible”

September 9, 2014

  • Tabitha Benney, Department of Political Science, University of Utah”Making Environmental Markets Work: The Case of Capitalism in the Emerging Economies”

September 23, 2014

  • Kelly Bricker, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, University of Utah

October 7, 2014

  • Mark Lewis, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Biology, University of Alberta

October 21, 2014

  • Philip Dennison, Department of Geography, University of Utah”Facing a Fiery Future: Wildfire Applications of Remote Sensing”

November 4, 2014

  • Robert Grow, Director, Envision Utah”Your Utah, Your Future”

November 18, 2014

  • Michelle Baker, Utah State University; iUTAH”Lost in translation: adventures in applied ecosystem ecology and combat science”

December 2, 2014

  • Kevin Gurney, Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability”Revisiting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions: how new science can enable reductions from the building to the globe”

January 13, 2015

  • Rob Jackson, Douglas Provostial Professor in Stanford University School of Earth Sciences”Hydraulic Fracturing and Water and Air Resources”

January 27, 2015

  • Adil Najam, the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University“Environment, Development & Security in the Age of Climate Change Adaptation”

February 10, 2015

February 24, 2015

  • Bryce Bird, Director, Utah Division of Air Quality”Utah’s Air Quality; Progress and Practice under the Utah Air Conservation Act”

March 10, 2015

  • Chris Field, Director, the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology”Climate Change, 2015″

March 24, 2015

  • Lonnie Thompson, Ohio State University”Climate Change: Glaciers, People, and Options”

April 7, 2015

  • Lucy Hutyra, Boston University”Quantifying and modeling the urban carbon cycle – A examination of land use change, vegetation responses, and emissions”

April 21, 2015

August 27, 2013

  • Robert Keiter, College of Law, University of Utah”The National Park Idea and the Future of the National Park System.”

September 10, 2013

  • Alexander Glazer, University of California, Berkeley”Mountain Top Removal/Valley Fill: Cheap Coal at High Cost”

September 24, 2013

  • Brian Codding, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah”The Origins of Anthropogenic Fire in Arid Australia”

October 8, 2013

  • Brenda Bowen, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah”Can carbon capture and storage turn black to green?”

October 22, 2013

November 5, 2013

  • Andrea Brunelle, Department of Geography, University of Utah”Climate driven dynamics in southwestern US desert ecosystems”

November 19, 2013

December 3, 2013

  • Scott Denning, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Colorado State University”I’m not a Warmist! Effective Engagement of Hostile Audiences on Climate Change”

January 14, 2014

  • Sarah Hinners, Ecological Planning Center, University of Utah“Ecological planning for human habitat on a crowded planet”

January 28, 2014

  • Jonathon Overpeck, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona”Assessing Future Drought and Megadrought Risk”

February 11, 2014

  • Eli Kintisch, Journalist, Contributing Correspondent for Science magazine”The Two Most Important Words in the World: How to Truly Reach People on Climate Change”

February 25, 2014

  • Michelle A. Simon, Environmental Protection Agency”Kansas City Middle Blue River Green Infrastructure Project”

March 18, 2014

  • Henry Pollack, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan”Earth’s Changing Climate: The Transformation of the Arctic”

April 1, 2014

  • Terri S. Hogue, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines”Anthropogenic Disturbance and Hydrologic Behavior: Case Studies in Southern California”

April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Endres, Department of Communication, University of Utah“Composing Energy Policy: The Influence of Low-Carbon Energy Scientists and Engineers on the Composition of Energy Policy”

August 28, 2012

  • Tariq Banuri, University of Utah, Department of City and Metropolitan Planning”Beyond Rio+20: What Next?”

September 11, 2012

  • Jim Ehleringer, University of Utah, Department of Biology”Elephants, equations, murder, and fast food: hair isotopes as a common thread”

September 25, 2012

  • Simon Brewer, University of Utah, Department of Geography”Ecoinformatics and the paleo-world: climate change and vegetation response at large temporal and spatial scales”

October 23, 2012

  • Sasha Reed, U.S. Geological Survey”It’s all connected: Linking above- and belowground ecosystem responses to global change”

November 6, 2012

  • Pamela Perlich, University of Utah, Bureau of Economic and Business Research”Utah’s transformation from isolation to global city: our air, our water, our future”

November 20, 2012

  • Bo Yang, Utah State University, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning”Green Infrastructure Design in Community Development”

January 8, 2013

  • Patrick Barickman, Utah Division of Air Quality”Air pollution, science, and society”

January 22, 2013

  • Stephen T. Jackson, Director, Southwest Climate Science Center”Biodiversity Consequences of Climate Change: Forecasts From the Past”

February 5, 2013

  • Roslynn G.H. Brain, Utah State University, Sustainable Communities Extension”Extension Sustainability: Research, Outreach, and Communication Techniques to Foster Positive Change”

February 19, 2013

  • Andrew K. Jorgenson, University of Utah, Department of Sociology”The Political Economy of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Overview of Research Done by Environmental Sociologists at the ‘U’”

March 5, 2013

  • Doug Jackson-Smith, Utah State University, Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology”Beyond Cadillac Desert: Reframing the western water sustainability paradigm”

March 19, 2013

  • David Schimel, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory”Observational constraints on the climate sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems”

April 2, 2013

  • David Chapman, University of Utah, Department of Geology and Geophysics”Global Warming: The Science is Settled (for most of us) but Climate Change Challenges Lie Ahead”

April 16, 2013

  • Elisabeth Moyer, University of Chicago, Department of Geophysical Sciences”The danger of mismatched assumptions in climate policy”

August 30, 2011

  • Chris Nelson, University of Utah”What Americans Really Want: A Review of Surveys into American Preferences for Housing, Mobility, and Urban Form”

September 27, 2011

  • Nalini Nadkarni, University of Utah”Shifting Broader Impacts from Burden to Benefit: can academic scientists both get tenure and get research into the public arena?”

October 25, 2011

  • Lincoln Davies, University of Utah”Regulatory Races and Renewable Energy Standards”

November 8, 2011

  • Dan McCool, University of Utah”River Restoration in the US”

November 22, 2011

  • Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska Fairbanks”Sea Ice as a Nexus of Arctic Environmental and Socio-Economic Change”

January 10, 2012

  • Ken Golden, University of Utah”Mathematics and the Melting Polar Ice Caps”

January 24, 2012

  • Li Yin, University of Utah”Informed Decisions and Planning: Proactive Use of GIS and Other Planning Technologies”

February 7, 2012

  • Julio Betancourt, United States Geological Survey”For Everything There is a Season: Phenology in a Changing World”

February 21, 2012

  • Nancy Huntly, Utah State University”Long-term human ecology: applying ecological approaches to understand the roles of the Aleut in their North Pacific ecosystem over thousands of years”

March 6, 2012

  • Robin Craig, Utah Law”Climate Change and the Oceans: Protecting Special Places in an Era of Change”

March 20, 2012

  • Richard Reynolds, United States Geological Survey”Linking atmospheric dust, landscape change, and bio-dynamics in North America

April 17, 2012

  • Chad Higgins, Oregon State University”Turbulent water vapor transport, advection and the surface energy budget”

September 21, 2010

  • Mitch Power, University of Utah”Biomass burning in the Americas after 1500 AD: European contact or climate?”

October 5, 2010

  • Denise Dearing, University of Utah”Environmental aspects of pathogen prevalence: A case study of hantavirus in deer mice”

October 19, 2010

  • Bill Johnson, University of Utah”Ongoing research questions regarding selenium and mercury in the Great Salt Lake”

November 2, 2010

  • Jim Steenburgh, University of Utah”Dirty little secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth”

November 16, 2010

  • Court Strong, University of Utah”Human and natural influences on carbon dioxide concentration in Salt Lake City”

November 30, 2010

  • Steve Burian, University of Utah”Managing water in cities: Past, present, and future”

January 11, 2011

  • Roger Bales, University of California, Merced”Water and biogeochemical responses to seasonal-to-interannual changes across the rain-snow transition in the Southern Sierra Nevada”

January 25, 2011

  • David Noone, University of Colorado”The atmospheric water budget revealed with water isotopes: the story of mixing from small to large”

February 8, 2011

  • Felisa Smith, University of New Mexico”On being the right size: the influence of temperature on mammalian evolution”

February 22, 2011

  • Duncan Metcalfe, University of Utah and Utah Museum of Natural History”The human paleoecology of Range Creek”

March 8, 2011

  • Corey Lawrence, USGS Menlo Park, CA”The influence of aeolian dust deposition on soil geochemistry: a case study from the southern Rocky Mountains”

March 31, 2011

  • John Lin, University of Waterloo”Interpreting regional scale signs of global change from atmospheric concentrations”

April 5, 2011

  • Michelle Baker, Utah State University”Global Change and urban ecosystems: Adaptation and mitigation options”

April 6, 2011

  • Diane Pataki, University of California Irvine”Ceci n’est pas une pipe: Understanding nutrient transport and removal processes in river ecosystems”

April 11, 2011

  • Gabe Bowen, Purdue University”Water in space and time: Patterns, pathways, and processes recorded by isotopes”

April 14, 2011

  • Paul Brooks, University of Arizona”Linking water cycle dynamics to biogeochemical processes and ecosystem structure”

April 19, 2011

  • Rick Gill, Brigham Young University”Plant and soil feedbacks to rising atmospheric CO2”