Institute for Sustainable Development


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

This Way to Sustainability Conference X
Friday, March 27, 2015 Schedule of Events

All conference events will be held in the Bell Memorial Union Building (BMU) unless otherwise specified. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. in the BMU Lobby. Make sure you check in and pick up your registration packets. Continental breakfast for all registered participants will be available in the BMU Auditorium from 8:00-10:00. Please practice sustainability and bring your recycled name badges and your own coffee mugs.

Speakers Thursday Schedule Registration
Awards Printable Conference Program Conference Index
Keynote Events OUR SPONSORS Archives


8:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast BMU Lobby / Auditorium
9:00-9:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
9:00-11:00 Higher Ed Greenie Presentations and Voting BMU Auditorium
10:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
10:00-10:45 Conversation Cafe -
Dune Lankard
BMU 203
11:00-11:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
11:00-11:45 Featured Speaker -
Jose Gonzalez
BMU 203
11:00-11:45 Featured Film -
Growing Cities
BMU 210
11:00-11:30 Greenie Award Announcements BMU Auditorium
11:30-1:00 Local Lunch Buffet BMU Auditorium
12:00-12:50 KEYNOTE Presentation -
Second Nature
BMU Auditorium
1:00-1:45 TOUR - GATEWAY Science Museum BMU North Entrance
1:00-1:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
2:00-2:50 Featured Speaker -
Patricia Dutcher
BMU Auditorium
3:00-3:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
4:00-5:00 KEYNOTE - Marissa Mommaerts BMU Auditorium
5:30-9:00 BEC - Community Gathering CARD Center

Schedule is subject to change.

(Click on speakers' names to go to speaker bio page)

Friday, 9:00-9:45 am Concurrent Sessions

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BMU 203 - 9:00-9:45 am
Dealing With Abrupt Climate Change

Guy McPherson, University of Arizona

This presentation has been canceled.


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BMU 204 - 9:00-9:45 am
Rebuilding the American Hempire

Jake Wade, Parallel Revolution
Join Jake Wade for an interactive presentation on industrial hemp and its role in the future of a renewable revolution. As the co-founder of hemp clothing manufacturer Parallel Revolution, Jake has witnessed the behind-the-scenes of hemp's recent revival and increasing public acceptance. A "hemp scholar" and active contributor in the industrial hemp business sector, Jake is full of data, little known facts, and comical stories from the front lines of the Hempire. The presentation will include hands-on demonstrations and examples from Parallel Revolution's workshop, including but not limited to sustainable textiles. From symbiotic crop rotation to hemp building materials, hemp plastics to hemp fuel and hemp food to hemp clothing, prepare to expand your knowledge of America's heritage crop.


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BMU 209 - 9:00-9:45 am
How the use of real-time energy monitoring can help you achieve your organization's sustainability goals

Lalanya Rothenberger, Julia Kistle, Chico Unified School District, Tino Nava, PG&E, and
Kayla Mahoney
, Lucid

Chico Unified School District has contracted with Lucid to launch a new program which will raise awareness surrounding energy consumption with the end goal being energy reduction and conservation. This program, working closely with local partners at PG&E, involves hardware installation at electrical meters district wide, which will transmit real-time energy consumption data to be displayed on the Lucid Building Dashboard using the BuildingOS software. This technology allows the school’s real time energy consumption and historical data to be viewed at any time by anyone. It also allows the CUSD Facilities and Maintenance & Operations teams to monitor and analyze the data for trends. This data will provide educational material and highlight where improvements can be made, it may also engage occupants in reducing their energy consumption behaviors. Using Building Dashboard, CUSD will also engage students and staff in energy reduction competitions to raise awareness and promote energy saving habits.


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BMU 210 - 9:00-9:45 am
Pioneers for Change: Creating Action through Collaboration

Jillian Buckholz, Geneva Easton, Fahimeh Hooshmand, Megan McAndrews, Mercedes Ruiz, Ainsley Shallcross, Ryan Tayahua, and Brittney Wallace, CSU, East Bay
Pioneers for Change (PfC) is an initiative within the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) that provides students with opportunities for growth and development as leaders. Through group training, community service activities, personal development plans, and service learning internships, PfC enables students to be leaders and catalysts for positive change on and off campus. This program empowers students to understand and utilize leadership skills; exercise personal, professional, and social responsibilities in lives, careers, and communities; communicate effectively; collaborate & work successfully in a diverse society; and assess, motivate, and hold accountable themselves and others. This session will highlight the unique collaboration between the CCE and the Office of Sustainability to enhance the existing PfC program to include a Sustainability Track for students interested in creating on-campus sustainability projects. Attendees will learn the details of this partnership as well as project highlights from PfC Sustainability Track interns.


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BMU 211 - 9:00-9:45 am
Resilient Communities Based on High Energy-Return on Energy-Invested Power Sources

Richard J. McDonald
Resilient communities, able to withstand decreased oil production and potentially catastrophic climate change, must be fueled by energy sources with high energy return on energy invested (EroEI). During the latter half of the 20th century, the high ERoEI from crude oil drove the advances in food production, air conditioning, education, and medical care that we enjoy today. Excess energy is needed for community-building and cultural activities. It is these "glues" that provide cooperation and sharing among people in times of difficulties. The common renewables, solar PV and wind, will not suffice because their ERoEI is simply too low. Advanced nuclear power plants, including those that burn "nuclear waste", coupled to carbon-neutral liquid fuel production, sea water desalination, and aquaponics, can provide high ERoEI energy in a safe and sustainable way to meet human needs, particularly cultural needs, for thousands of years into the future.


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BMU 303 - 9:00-9:45 am
Campus as a Living Lab: Designing CSUN Tree Walking Tours

Helen Cox, CSU, Northridge
CSUN has over 4,000 trees of roughly 200 different native and non-native species. Considering this diversity, and the importance of trees in the campus life, the goal of this project was to take out of the classroom the knowledge that the university has regarding its tree diversity and composition and turn it into a learning tool that everybody can use in contributing to the effort of making CSUN a living lab and classroom where knowledge and learning occurs everywhere. We created a self-guided tour that includes 78 different tree species profiles organized in four different walking routes that will lead the user on an educational discovery tour of the campus tree diversity and characteristics. The project was initiated in a biogeography seminar in the Geography department where graduate students conducted research and created preliminary profiles of some of the campus trees. During the summer 2014 four walking routes of the campus were designed and final profiles of their tree species were created.


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BMU 304 - 9:00-9:45 am
The Oakmont Veteran Victory Garden Project

Veroncia Van Cleave and Danielle Adler, CSU, Chico
The Oakmont Veteran Victory Garden was a vision that came to life thanks to a grant from AS sustainability, the organized help of Chico State Students, and the support of the Chico community. The small garden area serves as a communal space where residents of The Oakmont and members of the community can enjoy its vibrant scenery. The produce that the garden yields is more than just fresh, organic food to be used in the kitchen at Oakmont, it has the extra unique flavor that comes from the care of the community that nurtured it. This garden also provides opportunities for students from many different majors to gain work experience through; building, maintaining and teaching about the garden itself. The Oakmont Victory Garden serves as a useful model for all the small communities, like Oakmont, that can benefit in many ways from incorporating sustainable practices.


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BMU 312 - 9:00-9:45 am
Whats Burning in Chico?

Diana Flannery, CSU, Chico, Jim Wagoner and Armen Kamian, Butte County Air Quality Management District
Chimney smoke from residential wood burning is a major source of winter time air pollution in Butte County, particularly in Chico. Butte County Air Quality Management District (BCAQMD) promotes voluntary restrictions in wood stoves and fireplaces between November and February on certain days to improve air quality. This panel will discuss air quality issues in Chico, attitudes and behaviors associated with wood smoke pollution based on a 2014 local survey, and ways our community is becoming more resilient in protecting the health of its citizens.


9:00-11:00 am
Greenie Awards
Higher Education Presentation of Displays & Voting

Each year This Way to Sustainability Conference recognizes student accomplishments relating to sustainable solutions that they have implemented through their project, research, community involvement, or other means. This year our Greenie Awards will recognize student groups from North State colleges and universities:

Chico State
Butte College
Humboldt State
Sacramento State
UC Davis
American River College
Cosumnes River College
Folsom Lake College
Sacramento City College
Shasta College
Sierra College
Yuba College

Nominated student groups will have an opportunity to display their projects in the BMU Auditorium on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 9:00 - 11:00 am during the conference where Conference Participants will have the opportunity to vote for the prestigious Greenie Awardee. Visit the displays and make your vote usiing the following judging criteria:

Judging Criteria

  1. Does the sustainable solution address the “3 E’s of Sustainability”: Economy, Ecology, and Equity?
  2. Can the solution sustain itself? In other words, what resources are used to maintain and implement the solution?
  3. Are other organizations able to replicate the sustainable solution?
  4. Does the solution impact school, home and neighborhood environments?
  5. Is synergy demonstrated as a result of the project? In other words, does the project support broader goals in sustainable development?

Announcement of the winning student group will be made at the awards ceremony 11:00 - 11:30 am on Friday, March 27, 2015 in the BMU Auditorium.


Friday, 10:00-10:45 am Concurrent Sessions

speakers cornerBMU 203 - 10:00-10:45 am
Open Conversation with Eyak Alaskan Social Entrepreneur Dune Lankard  

Since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Dune has been recognized as one of Time Magazine's Hero's for the Planet and for his creative abilities to link cultural, social, environmental and economic solutions. Come join an open discussion about the current state of the world and share your ideas to address these challenging and earth changing times. 


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BMU 204 - 10:00-10:45 am
The New Aesthetic: Landscapes that Benefit People, Profit and the Planet

Michael Cook and Greg Melton, Melton Design Group
It’s no secret that the growing human population is placing increasing amounts of pressure on our natural resources and processes. This can most easily be demonstrated with the recent drought in California, resulting in various stakeholder groups fighting for our already over-allocated water resources. While some may argue that increasing water supplies will solve our water woes, conservation seems to be the most viable option for long-term, sustainable water management. Of all urban water use in California, more than half goes to maintaining and irrigating our municipal, commercial and residential landscapes. At the same time, urban stormwater runoff is currently the largest contributor to the pollution of our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. This presentation will showcase what the future of California landscapes will look like; landscapes that are not only beautiful, but are also good for people, profit, and the planet. We like to call it “The New Aesthetic.”


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BMU 209 - 10:00-10:45 am
Students, Sustainability, and STARS: Campus as a Living Lab

Paul Draper, Dustin DeMatteo, Kara Kelly, Allison Jenks, and Claudia Sisomphou, Sonoma State University
Four student leaders in sustainability at Sonoma State University discuss their independent study helping to develop SSU’s protocol for completing an AASHE Stars Report. They describe experiences at the AASHE Conference in Portland, mentorships with faculty and staff, and challenges encountered documenting the University’s approaches to achieving a sustainable campus. The panel focuses on student learning and engagement with the policies and processes of a complex institution, its expanding curricular and co-curricular programs in sustainability and multiple approaches to developing a sustainable physical campus environment and operational infrastructure. The panel showcases students ready to emerge into communities and careers as passionate and skilled collaborators able to imagine, design, coordinate and implement solutions for realizing a sustainable, equitable and prosperous planet.


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BMU 210 - 10:00-10:45 am
Case Study: Local Government and Sustainability in the Bay Area

Amanda Leonis, City of Cupertino/Climate Corps Bay Area, Jacki Falconio and Emi Hashizume, San Mateo County/Climate Corps Bay Area
This presentation will share how the County of San Mateo and City of Cupertino are implementing behavior change programs to support their sustainability initiatives and emissions reductions goals. This will focus on green business and energy-saving programs that contribute to a healthier, more resilient economy. It will also share successes, challenges and opportunities within these programs and our process of leading them as Climate Corps Bay Area Fellows working to tackle climate change issues.


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BMU 211 - 10:00-10:45 am
SCOOP at CSU, Chico - (Sustainability Consultations of Office Practices)

Megan Dallas, Shea Arceo, Rachel Zunino, Nathan Furey, Yurie Ansley, SCOOP at CSU, Chico
SCOOP is a student group working with offices on the CSU, Chico campus to assess current office practices and make recommendations for improvements. This student project began in 2007 with students performing office energy audits and comprehensive sustainability consultations. By 2008 this has rapidly progressed into a campus supported program within the Institute for Sustainable Development. SCOOP provides sustainable consultations to all campus departments and offices to learn and take charge in new sustainability techniques to start saving money and energy. The process consists of student consultants taking a walk through the office and then providing recommendations for the office. The goal is to generate savings for the campus and to help your office become more sustainable in your everyday routines. SCOOP has been working extremely hard to re-develop and re-structure their objectives and goals for the organization through efforts of collaborating relationships with many other organizations on our campus. In this presentation, we want to display our new consultation criteria, objectives for awarding offices, and achieving greater outreach and visibility to our campus and the community.


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BMU 303 - 10:00-10:45 am
The Mushroom Cloud Effect

Kevin Foley, Premier Mushrooms Inc.
Sustainability can take many forms and meanings, especially in Agriculture. It's not uncommon for it to start out with a strict focus on the environment, but it can quickly expand to every other facet of a business both inside its walls and out. Areas include; operations, sales, maintenance, purchasing, construction, longevity, community, consistency and reliability. Given the growing scarcity of natural resources, farming operations are hit hard and directly. In order to counter this effect, a new approach must be taken to navigate the ever increasing volatility of our climate (business and natural). This presentation will cover the basic mushroom growing process (for the unenlightened) and then dive deeper into the sustainability program on-site. It will discuss the programs origins and where they began. This presentation is for anyone interested in mushrooms, sustainability and ag-business in general. All levels welcome, from the novice farmer to the seasoned professional.


featured speaker iconFeatured Presentation
BMU 203 - Friday, 11:00-11:45


Jose Gonzalez photo

Jose Gonzalez

Yo Cuento: Storytelling for Inclusion and Connecting with Communities

Stories allow us to connect and understand the values and cultural traits of different communities. The stories we tell about ourselves and our communities matter. The stories we share about our profession and work matters just as well in how communities see themselves connecting their stories to yours. In this presentation, we will engage on the stories we build and tell in relation to our cultural identities and connections with the environment, conservation, and the outdoors.  What are the ways we "count" in the narratives of the outdoors and other conservation issues, especially in connection with cultural identity and a recognized need for more diversification in the conservation movement? How are we representative and how do we represent ourselves? Whether you've thought of yourself as a conservationist/environmentalist or simply enjoy the outdoors from different perspectives, there is room for inclusion of multiple identifies-- and the stories we tell, the storytellers we support, and the narratives we weave.


Friday, 11:00-11:45 am Concurrent Sessions

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BMU 204 - 11:00-11:45
Subsistoration Not Desertification

Brien Brennan, Elder Creek Center for the Land
If humans wish to diminish anthropogenic climate disruption and prevent our own extinction, we will not only have to stop the degradation of the living world, we will have to transition to a way of living that restores the ecological foundation of our existence: soil and water. Agriculture feeds humans now, but it simultaneously undermines our future. Even without the global climate disaster, most of California would still be desert-ifying due to agricultural practices that deplete soil and destroy effective water cycles. This must change. A transition to a subsistence food system based on acorn and pastoralism that requires oak woodland restoration is California’s best path to sustainable, resilient human cultures. Requiring wide-scale land reform, this path--done right--could restore soil and water while assisting the migration of nonhumans as the climate crisis accelerates. Without native plants and animals, restoring land to biological integrity becomes impossible, and our future is bleak.


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BMU 209 - 11:00-11:45 am
Awareness Based Relations

Adam Moes, Sky Creek Dharma Center
This workshop will offer an overview of techniques that will allow you to discover ever greater places of peacefulness and calm within yourself; as well as ways of enjoying your own thoughts and emotions to create and maintain healthier, happier relationships.


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BMU 210 - 11:00-11:45
Growing Cities


Growing Cities imageModerated by Mark Stemen, Geography and Planning at CSU, Chico
Growing Cities is a documentary film that examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. The film follows two friends on their road trip across the country as they meet the people who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food - from those growing food in backyards to make ends meet; to educators with the goal of teaching kids to eat better; to activists seeking a meaningful alternative to the industrial food system, and more.

Watch the movie trailer


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BMU 211 - 11:00-11:45 am
Effect of Biochar on Soil-Water Relations and Raphanus Sativus Growth Under Greenhouse Conditions

Tina Candelo Mize, CSU, Chico
Biochar, a porous carbon-rich material produced via superheating of natural organic materials under low-oxygen conditions, has been used as an acceptable source of recalcitrant soil carbon. A greenhouse trial was conducted to observe the effect potting media amended with Pinus taeda biochar, compost, and rice hulls had on water holding capacity, infiltration, pH, and growth performance of radishes (Raphanus sativus). Results of this trial indicate that field trials are necessary to determine the effects these amendments have on the water infiltration and holding capacity of native temperate soils. Further study of these amendments relative to water-soil relations may offer additional resources to agricultural producers. Failure to alter pH levels and growth traits indicates that these amendments could serve as suitable soil carbon sources. If these results are consistent in field trials with native temperate soils, biochar application has the potential to return passive carbon to soils which have experienced carbon loss through intensive agricultural production.

Friday, 11:00-11:30
Greenie AWARDS Announcements - Higher Education

BMU Auditorium
Higher Ed Greenie Awards

The annual This Way to Sustainability Conference Greenie Awards this year will accept nominations for student groups from North State Colleges and Universities:

Chico State
Butte College
Humboldt State
Sacramento State
UC Davis
American River College
Cosumnes River College
Folsom Lake College
Sacramento City College
Shasta College
Sierra College
Yuba College

The top five nominated student groups will have an opportunity to display their projects on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 9:00 - 11:00 am at the conference where final voting will take place. Announcement of the winning student group will be made at the awards ceremony 11:00 - 11:30 am on Friday, March 27, 2015 in the BMU Auditorium.

Higher Ed Nominations deadline February 15, 2015.


Friday, 11:30-1:00 Local Lunch

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BMU 100 Auditorium
Local Lunch Buffet
Fee: $13.00
(purchase ticket online during conference registration process)

Tri-Tip Steak Salad: Local spring mix salad with balsamic vinaigrette, with fresh beets, asparagus, tomatoes, and assorted seasonal vegetables, with Niman Ranch grass-fed sliced steak served on the side, certified organic gluten-free pesto pasta made with quinoa and homemade freshly baked Sutter Rolls.
Beverage included.

Special Events to be included in the Auditorium during the local lunch. Updates will be provided as they become available.


Friday, 12:00-12:50

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BMU 100 Auditorium
Thresholds of Change: Creating Positive Impact in a Changing Climate

Second Nature logoAnne Waple, Second Nature
This presentation will address how creating a leadership network, and crossing a threshold of participants, can spur a broader change. We will also address how climate thresholds themselves have influenced action, and how action itself is evolving and becoming 'mature' at a variety of levels. 


Friday, 1:00-1:45 pm Concurrent Sessions

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TOUR: Gateway Science Museum 1:00-1:45 pm
Meet at the North Entrance of the BMU
Explore the Eco Region Native Plant Garden of Gateway Science Museum

Jennifer Jewell, Luann Manss, Gateway Science Museum-Gateway Gardens
Come visit Gateway Science Museum Gateway Gardens. The mission of Gateway Gardens is to inspire the exploration of the natural world, both native and human-created, in order to increase awareness, knowledge and responsible stewardship of all resources. Gateway Gardens include a Paleo Garden, Riparian Garden, Native Plant Pollinator Garden, Lower Montane Garden, and Edible Garden. The gardens are a showcase of eco regions, California native plants, and pollinator habitat. Visitors will learn about sustainable landscaping and gardening techniques, drought tolerant native plants, the importance of pollinators and how we can support them. The cost of Gateway Gardens tour is free in garden with proof of This Way to Sustainability registration.


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BMU 203 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Meet Me at the Salad Bar: Edible Education in High School

Alyson Wylie, Center for Healthy Communities, Paul Olson, Butte County Office of Education, with students from Las Plumas High School
Learn sustainability strategies from local students who work in the garden and landscape classroom at Las Plumas High School. Students cultivate and support their program by selling native plants for habitat restoration at Lake Oroville. To increase access to fruits and vegetables and raise revenue for their program, students raise and sell vegetable starts to school and community gardens. The Center for Healthy Communities (formerly CNAP) will discuss engaging future food literate children by implementing a Kids Farmer’s Market and sharing nutrition education. Build momentum with visible success: conversation will include tips to get started and possible barriers along the way.


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BMU 204 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Water Wars

Amanda Carpenter and CLIC Interns (Community Legal Information Center)
We are all made of water. We all need water to survive, but what will happen if all that water is gone? The war for the left over water may be among us. So how can we prevent it? How can we conserve the most water? What solutions are at hand? How has the law handled it? Student interns of the Community Legal Information Center's Environmental Advocates department will present information on how to address these questions as well as discussing current and past water usage, hydropower, water levels, long term effects of water use, and much more. Come gain the knowledge that is becoming increasingly important as we seek deeper into drought.


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BMU 209 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Mushrooming Success

Devin Middlebrook: Environmental Education Specialist, Kevin Foley: Sustainability Coordinator, Amanda Leonis: Sustainability Specialist, Kerrie Feil-Olsen: Project Administrator, Diana Flannery: Health and Community Services Department (HCSV 362), and Angela Casler: Minor in Managing for Sustainability Coordinator, Department of Management (MGMT 460)
Set yourself up for success and learn about the curriculum that prepares you for the future. The College of Business Minor in Managing for Sustainability will do just that. If you want a career working for a sustainable organization, or would like a formal position in sustainability, then make sure you have the right education. From the GE Pathway, Minor in Sustainability and the Minor in Managing for Sustainability, to student organizations; CSU, Chico ensures you are prepared for your career. Meet the alumni, students, and faculty that are working together to make your success possible.


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BMU 210 - 1:00-1:45
What the Frack? How a Grassroots Citizen Group Went Up Against the Energy Industry's Well Funded Lobbyists and Lawyers

Robyn DiFalco, Butte Environmental Council, Joni Clark Stellar and Dave Garcia, Frack-Free Butte County
Since 2013, a grassroots group of citizens has been working to ban fracking in Butte County at the ballot box and through local government. This is the story of a small group of average citizens who got organized to protect local water resources from the threat of irreparable contamination. Their path has been a steep uphill climb with many obstacles to overcome. They've achieved setbacks and victories at each step of the journey, raising money, building allies, getting strategic, and educating the decision makers. This group knew their effort would face tough opposition but never dreamed how much money the energy industry would invest in lawyers and lobbyists, court challenges and partisan political pressure. Find out about the risks posed by fracking in the north state and the local citizen organizers who have been fighting to protect our land, air, and water from powerful corporate interests.


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BMU 211 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Walkable Cities: An Anthropological Perspective

David Eaton, Department of Anthropology at CSU, Chico
 This session proposes principles of anthropological study of the embodied experience of urban life, in comparative and historical light.  These will be illustrated through the speaker's field research and photography of our world's heritage of beautiful walkable cities, highlighting pilgrimage temple centers of southern India, a Muslim holy town of Ethiopia, and several cities of southern Italy and Spain.  We'll then consider several major US cities and their recent histories, noting their challenges and achievements as walkable cities, ending with a focus on Chico and its possible futures.


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BMU 303 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Enhancing Sustainable Farming Practices in Nut Crops

Elizabeth Boyd, College of Agriculture at CSU, Chico
Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts share a common pest, navel orangeworm (NOW). Each year, multiple efforts are made throughout the growing season to limit the damage caused to the crop by this moth pest. Recent research examined a new sustainable method for monitoring and managing NOW that enhances current farming practices. Details on this new method of managing NOW will be discussed.


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BMU 304 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Effects of Protection from Grazing on Foundation Species

Dr. Jada-Simone White and Dr. Paul Maslin, CSU, Chico
Habitat-forming species, such as corals and oak trees, provide ecosystem services to numerous species throughout their complex life cycles. Changes in the population sizes or foraging behaviors of grazers can increase grazing pressure on foundation species. Early life stages are particularly vulnerable and local recruitment bottlenecks may occur if high rates of grazing are maintained. However, both coral reefs and oak woodlands illustrate incredible resiliency to grazing: Following heavy losses, coral can regrow from remaining fragments, while oaks can send up additional shoots. This ability to regenerate poses a challenge to demographers, because it reduces the accuracy of age estimation. Fortunately, protection from grazing has been shown to allow both corals and oaks to outgrow grazing damage, thereby facilitating maturity to reproductive size. Notably, the size refuge of oaks and other palatable trees was consistent (at maximum reach of deer), whereas the size refuges of corals varies considerably by species.


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BMU 312 - 1:00-1:45 pm

Shannon McDowell and Emily Koller, FoodCorps
FoodCorps is an independent non-profit that consists of a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who work to connect kids with real food and help them grow up healthy. While each FoodCorps service site is unique in its own way, each service member works within a 3 pillar scope of work. These pillars are Knowledge, Engagement, and Access. Knowledge revolves around teaching nutrition and garden education in the classroom. Engagement requires the children to be hands on in the garden and in cooking classes. Providing access to healthy and local foods in the school cafeteria is an example of the last pillar, Access. FoodCorps overarching goal is to create a sustainable and healthy environment for ourselves and our next generation. 


featured speaker iconFeatured Presentation
BMU Auditorium - Friday, 2:00-2:50

Patricia Dutcher photo

Patricia Dutcher

Building Resilient Communities through Community-Based Research

This presentation begins by exploring how different perspectives and environmental values are shaped by the local uses of natural resources.  Patricia will then introduce community-based research as a means to involve local perspectives into policy development and technology implementation.  This presentation uses examples of community-based research that has focused on how communication networks, water policy, and renewable energy development, can impact community resiliency in the face of climate change.  After describing several case studies, she'll discuss how community scale knowledge can have broader impacts.


Friday, 3:00-3:45 pm Concurrent Sessions

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BMU 203 - 3:00-3:45
Life After Oil: Visions of a post petroleum world

Mark Stemen, Kaitlin Haley, Jennifer Nixon, CSU, Chico
The rise in apocalyptic televisions shows like Walking Dead or the Last Ship reflect rising social anxiety over climate change, peak oil and other environmental concerns, as well as a belief that it is all about to end. Scholars share a different view of slow, but inevitable economic and social contraction as we witness the end of the oil fueled industrial era. Two scholars in particular, James Kunsler and John Michael Greer, have written both fiction and non-fiction works covering the period of "the long decent". Kaitlin Haley and Jennifer Nixon read several titles during an independent study with Mark Stemen and they will share their perspectives from anthropology, social science, and history respectively.


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BMU 204 - 3:00-3:45 pm
SCOOP Alumni in Green Careers

Meagan Dallas, SCOOP, Kerrie Rose Feil-Olsen, Alternative Energy Systems, Inc., Amanda Leonis, City of Cupertino, Devin Middlebrook, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Anthony Capone, Method360
SCOOP is a student organization working with offices on campus to assess current office practices and make recommendations for improvements. This student project began in 2007 with students performing office energy audits and comprehensive sustainability consultations. For this presentation we are bringing back SCOOP alumni to discuss their green careers and how SCOOP helped them get to where they are at within their field.


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BMU 209 - 3:00-3:45 pm
Water for All

Nelson Mmbando, Robert King'ori, and Austin Bono, UniTan Aquafarms
UniTan's Aquafarms goal is to help eradicate food scarcity in East Africa our main focus being Tanzania and Kenya. We are also working on a facility here in Sacramento in which we will educate the local community about aquaponics as a sustainable way of farming. The mission of our company is to combine my partner's science background with my building and engineering expertise to build aquaponics systems that promote sustainability, and are appealing and functional to people who live in small cities with big backyards, and to also those living in big cities with limited space. Unitanaquafarms is driven to change the way people garden. Our focus is to promote a new era of both aquaculture and farming.


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BMU 210 - 3:00-3:45 pm
What is the Best Way to Produce Energy?

Dr. Divan Fard, David Parker, Laura Bleeker, Brittany Light, and Lindsey Matheney, Shasta College
There are currently four different views about Energy. A panel of four students have studied the following questions and would like to present their view on: 1) New design of molten salt Nuclear reactors which claim to reduce the Nuclear wastes by 90%. True or false? 2) "Prescription for Plant", claims the answer to future is only Nuclear energy. True or false 3) Nuclear energy is not the solution. True or false? 4)Renewable Energy is the only clean energy. True or false.


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BMU 211 - 3:00-3:45
CycloTopia Chico and the Twilight of Sprawl

David Eaton, Department of Anthropology, CSU, Chico
This presentation begins with a brief workshop on the history and anatomy of sprawl, to share a toolkit of ideas with which to understand and transform existing US cities, especially Chico.  In so doing, we will provide a brief intellectual history of the New Urbanism movement and its allies in contemporary city planning, noting influential texts by Jacobs, Duany, Kunstler, Speck, and others.  Focusing then on recent revolutions in urban cycling policy, and bringing forward key ideas from cycling meccas in Denmark and the Netherlands, we will consider how our beloved hometown Chico can move further toward a 'cyclotopia' of sustainable infrastructure.  As part of the presentation, we'll share innovative ideas and gear from around our region that make cycling safer, more effective, and yet more exhilarating.


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BMU 303 - 3:00-3:45
Why Ag-Gag Laws are Dangerous and Un-American

Robert Jones, CSU, Chico
In response to recent undercover videos exposing animal cruelty inside factory farms, big ag, in concert with a number of state legislatures, are successfully passing anti-whistleblower laws. Termed "Ag-Gag Laws", these new laws make illegal any undercover video recording of animal cruelty on factory farms. Yet ag-gag laws threaten not only animal welfare standards, but the environment, food safety, workers' rights, and free speech. In this presentation, Robert Jones argues that ag-gag laws are dangerous, un-American, and should be actively fought on all fronts.


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BMU 304 - 3:00-3:45
Poverty as an Issue of Sustainability

Susan Roll, Laurie Browne, and Ellie Ertle, CSU, Chico
Poverty is inextricably tied to a sustainable future. Particularly with the rise in income inequality, distribution and access to resources is greatly out of balance. For example, while the US is a major producer of food, in 2010, one in seven American households experienced food insecurity. Safety net programs and government policies have supported families to meet their daily needs, yet they have not been successful in moving families out of poverty. How do we take on these broad issues in our local community? The Chico State-Butte College Impact Lab on Economic Inequality is one of a cohort of national college partnerships working together to study the connections between inequality, economic opportunity and social mobility to prepare undergraduates for lives of informed civic engagement. We will present the progress on the development of the Impact Lab and facilitate a discussion on how we understand poverty as an issue of sustainability.


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BMU 312 - 3:00-3:45
Grow-Cook-Eat: Sherwood Montessori's Sustainable Cookbook

Richie Hirshen and Michelle Yezbick, Sherwood Montessori Charter School
These two Montessorian educators from Sherwood Montessori K-8 Public Charter School will be sharing their experience over the past five school years with anyone interested in supporting, starting or expanding their own school garden-kitchen program. Their program incorporates agripreneurism, journalism, philanthropy, the joys of gardening, cooking, nutrition and ecology (a new solar oven was recently acquired using funds generated by the school's farmers' markets); a relationship with "Let's Move!" and "Chefs Move!"; and additional community outreach through Rose Scott School (for special needs children, Sherwood Montessori's sister program), gleaning, CSU, Chico's Nutrition Department internship relationship, GRUB and certified farmer's markets. We will show/discuss our series of newsletters, garden cookbook Grow-Cook-Eat and photos/videos of Chef Richie's 2014 trip to Slow Food's Terra Madre conscious food communicate the sustainable joy they teach.


keynote icon Keynote Presentation
BMU Auditorium Friday, 4:00-5:00 pm


Marissa Momaerts photo

Marissa Mommaerts, Transition US

A Resilient Response to Our Planetary Crisis

We live in uncertain times, but across the country and around the world people are taking practical, creative action to slow climate change and regenerate communities and ecosystems, at the same time building resilience to the converging ecological and economic challenges we face. From learning how to work with nature and getting to know our neighbors, to reclaiming the commons and re-thinking our economy, learn about practical and inspiring models for sustainability that can truly change the world."


Environmental Coalition Community Gathering
5:30 pm at the C.A.R.D. Center

BEC LogoThe newly renamed Environmental Coalition of Butte County invites all conference participants to a Community Gathering on Friday, March 27th following the last keynote presentation. This event brings together local environmental organizations and their supporters for a night of conversation and celebration. By gathering together we hope to strengthen relationships and improve communication between the organizations to develop more viable strategies and alliances for a safer, healthier and more vibrant community. There will be free appetizers and adult beverages for sale.

All from the local environmental community are encouraged to attend. The C.A.R.D. Center is located at 545 Vallombrosa Avenue, Chico. For more information about this event please contact Butte Environmental Council staff at (530) 891-6424 or visit the BEC website at

This event is sponsored by the Butte Environmental Council.