Register now for LAS’ Economic, Environmental and Societal Sustainability workshop on April 7

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The deadline to register for the second College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Signature Themes workshop is approaching.

Register for "Economic, Environmental and Societal Sustainability" by noon on Friday, March 14 by emailing Kristin Doerder. Pre-registration is required.

The free workshop, on Monday, April 7, will examine new approaches for interdisciplinary collaboration between the sciences, the humanities and business in fields related to sustainability. The meeting begins at 1 p.m. in the Iowa State Alumni Center, located south of C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. The conference is designed for LAS faculty and research staff interested in cross-disciplinary research opportunities and includes three keynote speakers, an NSF program officer, panel discussion and reception. Parking is available at the Alumni Center.

The College of LAS signature theme of Economic, Environmental and Societal Sustainability builds on strengths across the entire college, Martin Spalding, LAS associate dean for research, said. "Sustainable systems, which promote quality of life on earth, involve complex interactions between natural and human ecologies."

Renewable resources will play an increasingly essential role in providing for water, food, shelter and other basic needs, according to workshop organizers. Social, economic and political systems can support other important aspects of human life such as health, a desirable environment, rewarding work and an equitable society.

The initial Signature Themes workshop, "Exploring Data-Rich Environments," was Oct. 11. Additional workshops will be planned for the college’s other Signature Themes.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: "Economic, Environmental and Societal Sustainability"

1:00-1:15 p.m. Welcome, Dean Beate Schmittmann, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

1:15-1:50 p.m. Keynote: Wes Jackson, founder and president of The Land Institute and a member of the World Future Council.

• Wes Jackson was born on a farm near Topeka, Kan., and he attended Kansas Wesleyan (B.A Biology, 1958) then studied botany (M.A. University of Kansas, 1960) and genetics (Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1967). He was a professor of biology at Kansas Wesleyan and later established the Environmental Studies Department at California State University, Sacramento, where he became a tenured full professor. He resigned that position in 1976 and returned to Kansas to found The Land Institute.

1:50-2:25 p.m. Keynote: Jaroslav Tir, professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

• Jaroslav Tir’s research spans topics of territorial disputes, environmental conflict and security, domestic and ethnic conflict, and diversionary theory of war. His most recent work is the result of an NSF-funded project from the Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research Program entitled "Analyses of Relationships Between Changing Environmental Conditions and Societal Conflict."

2:25-3:00 p.m. Keynote: Deb Swackhamer, professor of Science, Technology and Public Policy, professor of Environmental Health Sciences, and co-director of the Water Center, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

• Deb Swackhamer has served as chair of the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has served on several National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences committees. Swackhamer authored the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework and headed up the Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan. She studies the processes affecting the behavior of, and exposures to, toxic chemicals in the environment and works on policies to address these potential risks.

3:00-3:30 p.m. Refreshments

3:30-4:00 p.m. NSF opportunities: Saran Twombly, Program Director of SESYNC (National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center)

• Saran Twombly’s responsibilities have included oversight of several of the Biological Science Directorate’s synthesis centers including the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. She also has had oversight of several division-level programs and several cross-directorate programs. Before coming to NSF, she was a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island, with research and teaching foci in ecology and evolution.

4:00-4:15 p.m. LAS Sustainability Signature Research Initiative overview: Kristie Franz, ISU Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

• Kristie J. Franz’s work focuses on the advancement of hydrologic modeling and prediction systems on short- to long-time horizons. Most recently she has worked on a NASA-funded project investigating the use of satellite-based observations in the streamflow forecasting models of the National Weather Service. Her work also includes improving the understanding of climate and land use impacts on watershed processes.

4:15-5:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Moderator Bill Simpkins, ISU Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

5:00-6:30 p.m. Reception: Cash bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres