Environmental Leadership in the 21st Century - Course Schedule

All events will be held in the Friedmann Room located in the Keefe Campus Center unless otherwise noted.

More detailed information about speakers can be found on the Speakers website.

Wednesday, January 5 - Welcome and Local Activism

9 am – Welcome and program overview

10 am – Elisa Campbell
Ms. Campbell has been deeply involved with protecting and advocating for Massachusetts’ public lands since the early 1980s and the Dukakis administration. She will discuss her active role in influencing public policy regarding protection and conservation of Massachusetts public lands.
Recommended Readings:
Forest Management on Massachusetts Public Lands
DCR Public Meetings: FORESTRY - FOREST FUTURES VISIONING PROCESS - Technical Steering Committee (TSC) Final Recommendations

Forestry and Rare Species
Quabbin Reservoir Watershed System: Land Management Plan 2007-2017

11 am - noon - Meg Sheehan, Bio Mass
Ms. Sheehan will talk about grassroots environmental advocacy and how citizens have worked from the ground up in Massachusetts to build a diverse coalition to change the renewable energy law that mistakenly calls burning trees for electricity "green energy."  She will share her experience as a lawyer working in Massachusetts and across the U.S. in the fight against these biomass incinerators.  She offers a unique perspective as the chair of the "Stop Spewing Carbon Campaign" that ran a ballot initiative in Massachusetts in 2010, getting signatures of over 100,000 Massachusetts voters.  The Campaign engaged citizens and experts in public health, forestry, water pollution, air pollution, and community organizing to put pressure on the state to address the issue.

Thursday, January 6 - Public Policy

9 am – Federal Budget, Chris Hellman, National Priorities Project
Mr. Hellman will provide an introductory overview of the federal budget process and how individuals and organizations can influence the decision-making process. He will focus attention on federal funding for environmental programs, including a historical review of funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. He will also draw on his 24 years of experience in Washington, D.C. to speak on the importance of advocacy in shaping public policy.  
Recommended Readings:
National Priorities Project’s “Federal Budget 101”
“The Federal Budget Process: An Interactive Performance in Three Acts” Friends Committee on National Legislation

10 am – Mountain Top Removal, Cynthia Wildfire ‘09
Cynthia will lead a discussion on the environmental and cultural impacts of coal mining in Appalachia. Regulatory failures increase the environmental impacts of coal, and environmental groups often fight both the industry and the state Department of Environmental Protection. At the same time, there is a great deal of community conflict between environmentalists, community members fed up with poor water quality, blasting, and other problems, and the people who rely on the coal industry to earn their living. We'll discuss the various outlooks on the coal industry, keeping in mind the viewpoints of the people who live in the coalfields. She will begin with a brief background on the issues, and then talk about her experiences while working with various environmental groups in West Virginia. She will discuss particular organizations and job/internship opportunities too.
Recommended Readings:
Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering
Coal supporters put on shouting lesson at MTR hearing

11 am – noon - Clean Coal, Shanna Cleveland, Conservation Law Foundation
 "Clean Coal" has been touted as a technology that will save the coal industry from obsolescence and save the world from climate change, but the fact is that coal has no place in a clean, sustainable energy future, and investments to prolong its use should be few and far between.  "Clean coal" refers to technologies that dramatically reduce smokestack emissions and are compatible with carbon capture and sequestration.  Notably, these technologies do nothing to reduce the environmental impacts of coal mining, coal transport and coal ash disposal.  I will discuss the environmental and public heath damages caused by coal-fired power plants as well as the risks of and prospects for carbon capture and sequestration.
Recommended Readings:
IPCC Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration, Technical Summary (2005)
Potential Impacts of Leakage from Deep CO2 Geosequestration on Overlying Fresh Aquifers, Little and Jackson, Duke University (2010)

Friday, January 7 - Water

9 am - noon - Restoring the Water Commons by Rethinking Infrastructure: Smarter, Cleaner, Greener, Becky Smith & Valerie Nelson
Learn about the problems and solutions of current water system and management approaches via a Massachusetts regional case study, and then to drill into the fundamental tools for affecting regulatory, policy, funding, and social change to progress into a new water paradigm.
The Problem - Traditional large-scale systems for supplying drinking water, treating wastewater, and handling storm water for cities and towns -- conventional centralized “big pipe” systems and infrastructure --use and waste too much energy and too much water. They are causing long-term ecosystem disruption such as “de-watering” even relatively water-rich regions such as the Northeast.
The Benefits - Truly integrated water system planning and designs meet the requirements of the triple bottom line; economic, social, and ecological profits are simultaneously maximized. These systems use, treat, store, and reuse water much more efficiently. We have done such extensive damage to ecosystems that, moving forward, our infrastructure must be, and can be, capable of restoring some of nature’s original functions and value.
Recommended Readings/Videos:
Video One
Video Two
"Restoring the Water Commons: 21st Century Water Management"
Water Sustainability and International Innovation - please read the chapter that begins on page 114 by Novotny

1 – 4 pm - Preparing public presentations and learning critique structure, Chris Bathurst, Clean Water Action
Students will conduct an interview of peer and prepare a 1.5 minute public presentation. Each presentation will be video taped and viewed by participants. Critique will follow viewing.

Monday, January 10 - Pollution

9 am- noon - What's Going On? Toxic chemicals in our products and in our bodies, Elizabeth Saunders & Mia Davis, Clean Water Action
Did you know that it is perfectly legal to put chemicals linked to cancer,reproductive problems, obesity, heart disease and asthma in everyday products, including baby bottles, food cans, furniture, shampoo, and soap? There are unnecessary toxic chemicals in your home and in your body, right now.  Learn how toxic chemicals can affect us, even at very low doses, and how they get into the marketplace. We'll discuss how we can reduce our exposure, and what we can do to change this broken system and protect the environment and human health.
Recommended Readings:
16 minute video "Contaminated Without Consent"
Safe Products Made Safely- a packet of PDF on the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow website Assembled 2007
New Yorker piece by Jerome Groopman, May 31 2010
No Silver Lining (Executive Summary) May 2010
Not So Sexy Report (Executive Summary) May 2010

1 – 2:30pm - What's Going On? Toxic chemicals in our products and in our bodies, continued

3 - 4 pm - Tour of the Amherst College Cogeneration Plant
Please were long pants, long sleeve shirts and tennis or rubber sole shoes (no clogs).
Recommended Reading:
Cogeneration at Amherst College

Tuesday, January 11 - Building Community

9 am - Depart Amherst College for Turner’s Falls

10 am – Tina Clarke, Transition Towns

Tina and Bick will provide a tour of Tina’s award winning house. Students will explore  both technology and building design Tina will discuss her work with communities in Massachusetts to achieve sustainable development objectives.Recommended Readings:
Transition Network
Transition Towns
Zero Energy Challenge

Noon - Return to Amherst College

1 - 2 pm - Tour of the Amherst College Cogeneration Plant
Please were long pants, long sleeve shirts and tennis or rubber sole shoes (no clogs).
Recommended Reading:
Cogeneration at Amherst College

1 – 4 pm - Tour of Mt. Tom Power Plant, Holyoke
Please were long pants, long sleeve shirts and tennis or rubber sole shoes (no clogs).
Recommended Reading:
How Electricity Works

Wednesday, January 12 - Field Trip

9 am - Depart Amherst College for Holyoke

9:30-11:30 am - Tour of Mt. Tom Power Plant
Please were long pants, long sleeve shirts and tennis or rubber sole shoes (no clogs).
Recommended Reading:
How Electricity Works

Noon - Return to Amherst College

1-3:30 pm - Leadership Training and Media Relations, Chris Bathurst, Clean Water Action and Caroline Hanna, Amherst College
All leaders must train staff and volunteers. Students will learn basic training techniques to build confidence and transfer skills.  Leaders must know how to use the media to broaden the message, inform the public, and influence decision makers. Students will learn basic techniques of building relationships with media contacts, prepping and planning media events, and messaging.  Leaders must be able to plan and run effective meetings.  Students will learn basic techniques for planning meeting agendas, running meetings on time, and achieving desired meeting results.

Thursday, January 13 - Student Organizing

9 am - Student Organizing and International Activism, Xiangyu Zhao, Jeremy Osborn, 350.org, Jeff Gang ’09, Green Corps
Jeremy Osborn will briefly tell the story of the creation and organizing efforts of 350.org, an international campaign on climate change that started with an interterm course freakishly similar to this one. At 26 and having been tasked with organizing a continent for climate action, he is here to say that in our day and age, the impossible is possible, and indeed it is the only thing that will win the day on climate. Our task as young people is to recognize the gap between scientific necessity and political reality, and recognize that we are the ones with the creativity and tools to bend the politics to match the science, because the science isn't getting any easier to move.
Jeff Gang will discuss California's vote this November on Proposition 23, a major victory for clean energy and the environment.  Why did this oil-funded initiative fail so soundly?  A strong grassroots effort did two things: define the debate early through high-visibility events, and identify and mobilize voters on our side.  Jeff will talk about the overall model, the factors that led to Prop 23's defeat, and his work in Santa Barbara to organize the community against this initiative.
Recommended Readings:
Why did the Prop 23 fight in California go so well while the national effort flailed?
California Voters Say Hell No to Texas Oil and Proposition 23

10:45 am – The Activist Tool Kit, Chris Bathurst
Why being an activist matters – challenging the balance of power. We will discuss the skills in the Activists tool kit. The workshop will prepare participants to assess their current skill set, identify needed skills, and where and how to get them.

Noon – 1:30 pm - Student Activism Networking Lunch

1:30 - Leave Amherst for Springfield

2:30 - Tour of Springfield Materials Recycling Facility

4 pm - Return to Amherst College

6 pm - Pizza and a Movie - "Burning the Future" (Stirn Auditorium)
Join Profs. Ted Melillo and Kate Sims for dinner and a discussion about mountaintop coal mining and citizen activism in West Virginia.

Friday, January 14 - Legislation

9 – Legislative Strategies, Paul Baicich, Darrell Hunt ‘78, Don Strait ‘81
Environmental organizations, even large and venerable ones like the Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy, are rarely a match for powerful economic interests.  This means that environmental groups are routinely obliged to form coalitions indoor to magnify their voice. Lobbying legislators is also important--and an uphill struggle to prevail against well-heeled industry lobbyists.  Perhaps the most level playing field offered to environmentalists is in the courts.  Litigation to get compliance with environmental regulations and to stop activities harmful to the environment.  Our speakers represent each of these strategies.
Noon – 1:30 Internships Networking Lunch

Tuesday, January 18 - Environmental Justice

9am - Noon Sylvia Hood Washington

5:30 pm - Closing Dinner with guests from ES programs across the 5 Colleges

7 pm - Sylvia Hood Washington, Public Lecture (Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather)

Wednesday, January 19 - Sustaining the Commitment

9am – Reflections on Environmental Leadership

10 am – Gus Speth, Public Lecture (Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather)

11:30 - 1 Closing lunch, Phil Korman, CISA, keynote
CISA has been ahead of the national interest in growing, building and buying local food and farm products.  What are the factors that led to CISA’s success in changing the public’s values and consumer habits and what must change in the future to increase the amount of local food and farm products that are used in our homes?  We will explore different strategies and challenges that are needed to increase the sustainability of small, family farms in our region and the nation.