Institute for Sustainable Development


Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

This Way to Sustainability Conference X
Thursday, March 26, 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 Friday Schedule Registration
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8:00 am Registration & Continental Breakfast BMU Lobby / Auditorium
9:00-9:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
9:00-11:00 K-12 Greenie Award Presentations and Voting BMU Auditorium
10:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
10:00-11:30 TOUR - Compost Display Area BMU North Entrance
11:00-11:45 Greenie Award Announcements BMU Auditorium
11:00-11:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
11:30-1:00 Local Lunch Buffet BMU Auditorium
12:00-12:50 KEYNOTE - Scott McNall BMU Auditorium
1:00-1:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
1:00-2:00 TOUR: Campus Walking Tour BMU North Entrance
2:00-2:50 KEYNOTE - Dennis Dimick BMU Auditorium
3:00-3:45 Concurrent Sessions Breakout Rooms
4:00-5:00 KEYNOTE - Dune Lankard BMU Auditorium
5:30-9:00 Confrence Welcome Reception

RSVP Required

Schedule is subject to change.

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

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

food & ag icon BMU 203 - 9:00-9:45
Food and Ag Forum:  Progressive Farming Practices and Policies  

Lee Altier, CSU, Chico, Rod Carter, Golden State Farm Credit, Josh Davy, UC Cooperative Extension, and Francisco Fonseca, Educative Center for Costa Rican Development (CEDECO)
What trends in agriculture practices and policies are promoting a more sustainable food supply and supporting the creation of more resilient communities?  More than just commodity production, local agriculture integrated with community may contribute to the culture, security, and resiliency of the community.  A diverse panel of agriculturalists will share perspectives and promote a discussion about how current trends in food production relate to community resiliency.  


community icon

BMU 204 - 9:00-9:45 am
A Fresh Look at Food Security

Alicia Bedore and Judy Hamamoto, Center for Healthy Communities at CSU, Chico
Celebrating the importance of CalFresh and the economic, social and environmental factors of the program, CalFresh is a program that stimulates the local economy and improves the economic status of participating households. We will be debunking myths and providing correct, non-biased facts about this food security safety net. Information will be provided on the benefits of using local resources and creating sustainable environments.

food & ag icon

BMU 209 - 9:00-9:45 am
Step by Step: Developing Local Food Systems and the North Valley Food Hub

(Revised Speakers) Gina Sims, North Valley Food Hub
Sustained consumer interest in source-identified, local food is impacting both urban and rural food supply chains. Increased local food sales have shown potential to generate positive economic development outcomes, and new profit opportunities for small- and medium-sized food producers which can help preserve farmland. Sales between producers and intermediate food buyers such as restaurants and school districts are a critical source of growth for local food sales, but the aggregation and logistics necessary to facilitate these higher volume sales can increase transactions and infrastructure costs, and place greater food safety demands on growers. The North Valley Food Hub (NVFH) provides educational and technical services designed to support local producers and facilitate local food sales in intermediated markets in the CSU, Chico area. This presentation will highlight some NVFH programs and discuss their impacts, including the performance of the NVFH online marketplace, and the evolving role of on-farm food safety certification.

water icon

BMU 210 - 9:00-9:45 am
Local Responses to the On-Going Drought

Vickie Newlin, Butte County Department of Water Resource and Conservation
The State of California has been suffering from three years of continued drought. Even if weather conditions move toward a wetter year as we move into 2015, it is anticipated that water supplies for urban, agricultural and environmental needs will still fall short of demands statewide. This discussion will revolve around what is being done in the Northstate to address the drought and protect the water resources so vital to our local environment and agricultural economy.

energy icon

BMU 211 - 9:00-9:45 am
Renewable Energy Solutions: Compressed Air for Energy Storage

Juan Manuel Diaz, Mechanical Engineering Student at CSU, Chico
Renewable energy sources for utility purposes are under-utilized. The amount of electricity produced from solar and wind is constrained by factors other than the ability to generate the electricity. These constraints include the unreliability of meeting immediate demands and in times of excess power production, the excess power cannot be put on the grid. A solution can be reached by improving energy storage systems. One form of mechanical energy storage is Compressed Air for Energy Storage (CAES). This research project focuses on the compression stage of CAES systems. Many proposed CAES systems utilize multi-stage compressor systems to increase efficiency. It is beneficial to utilize a cooling method in between the compressors to increase the efficiency. The results from investigating the relationship between heat transfer rate and compressor efficiency will be presented.

laws policies icon

BMU 303 - 9:00-9:45 am
Case Studies in Seed Funding: Revolving Energy Efficiency Funds

Elana Faria, Salas O'Brien
Everyone wants to reap the financial and environmental benefits associated with saving energy and reducing their carbon footprint. But since it takes money to get started, many entities are striving to locate funding to support their transition to the "clean energy lifestyle". Funding programs have been put into place throughout the last few decades to help municipalities and businesses implement "clean energy" programs and projects. Many have been successful, and there is much to be learned from the successes and failures; and from the differing elements and approaches associated with each case study. This speech will summarize key issues in many of the case studies as well as describe the nuances between the two types of programs (Revolving Energy Efficiency Funds (REEF) and Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Funds -EERLF). It will focus on the main process used to identify and secure funding; and to implement a successful program (and the difficulties encountered in trying). The goal of this speech is to motivate people to think critically of ways to leverage the many opportunities as they work to develop in-house programs to save energy and money. As importantly, the goal will be to highlight some of the tools needed to make implementations of such a program successful.

educating icon

BMU 304 - 9:00-9:45 am
Sustainable Foundations: Establishing the Eco Rep program at CSU, Chico

Justin Flick and Mary Manouse, The Institute for Sustainable Development EcoReps
Seeing a need for sustainability education and awareness in the Residence Halls at CSU, Chico, The Institute for Sustainable Development formed a peer-education and leadership development program that is centered around dynamic and dedicated resident students. These individuals are bestowed with the title of Eco Reps . In coordination with the Sustainability Coordinator and two student coordinators, the Eco Rep program seeks to motivate students to become leaders for sustainability in their residence communities. In this workshop, Justin Flick and Mary Manouse will discuss the challenges and successes in building this program, and what they hope to accomplish going forward. There will be a question and answer session at the end.


9:00-11:00 am
K-12 Greenie Award 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 Butte County K-12 schools.

Elementary School Students (K-6th Grade)
Junior High School Students (7-8th Grade)
High School Students (9-12th Grade)

Nominated student groups will have an opportunity to display their projects in the BMU Auditorium on Thursday, March 26, 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 Thursday, March 26, 2015 in the BMU Auditorium.



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

laws policies icon

BMU 203 - 10:00-10:45 am (Replacement Speaker)
Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Carbon Fee and Dividend - A Climate Solution for All of Us

Jennifer Wood, Citizens' Climate Lobby (Revised Speaker)
Wrap your mind around a climate solution that will unleash the clean energy economy and prove there is hope for humanity.  Putting a fee on carbon is an expression of our shared moral values.  Learn how a fee reduces global warming and how returning the money to the people protects families and helps the economy.  Learn how Citizens’ Climate lobby is building the political will for national carbon fee and dividend legislation.

water icon

BMU 204 - 10:00-10:45 am
Ancient and Modern- The Sacred Nature of Water Living Community Challenge

Susan Rainier, Eagle Consult
Ancient & Modern Voices for Our Times the past is so present, it ceases to be the past, and everything becomes the present. Susan will show images of ancient ways for the management of water that can be combined with the new for best practices for the times we are living now. Imagine an entire community designed and constructed to function as elegantly and efficiently as a forested ecosystem: a community informed by its bioregion’s characteristics, which generates its own energy with renewable resources, captures and treats all of its water, and operates efficiently and for maximum beauty, equity and justice. Susan will speak about the deep relationship with water and in understanding how to respect and work with it. The respect comes with understanding its beauty and celebrating its sacred connection to our lives and the life of nature. Susan will discuss the Four Principles for a Water Secure Future.

community icon

BMU 209 - 10:00-10:45 am
Outdoor Education For All: A Case Study of Collaboration in Butte County

Marti Leicester, Outdoor Education for All! (OEFA), Anne Stephens, Nate Millard, CSU, Chico, Mary Anne Pella-Donnelly, and Shannon Johnson - moderated by Jeff Mott
28 Outdoor and Place-Based Education Providers have been partnering with Classroom Teachers in Butte County, California, to expand the capacity and quality of delivering standards-based activities outside the classroom.  Learn about what's working, what could be improved that we've learned from our pilot programs.  The panel will present some models to develop a long term approach to sustaining community support and advocacy for experiential education.  

educating icon

BMU 210 - 10:00-10:45 am
Cosmic Montessori and Interconnectedness: An Educational Journey Toward Sustainability

Tanya Parish, Butte Environmental Council
Follow exploration of one individual on a journey into the ideas of sustainability and how they could relate to education. Examine the subtle influence that prior generations have on future generations through the sharing of personal stories and experiences. Explore the ecological crisis that humans are facing and the responsibility of educators to explore solutions via the curriculum they implement in their classrooms. Take a look at the history of environmental education in America and explore the Montessori and eco-cosmological approach to education. This journey continues to looking at specific experiences of a small Montessori charter school in Chico, CA which is followed by accounts from work with schools throughout the Butte County, CA. The audience will be introduced to a recycling education program that strives to connect children to the very source of the human waste and consumption crisis, and offers suggestions for mindful actions.

community icon

BMU 303 - 10:00-10:45 am
Are You a Radical? Discussion on Varying Theories of Changes

Kevin Killion, California Student Sustainability Coalition
As finite beings, individual impact can only go so far. How does one make best use of this limited energy in order to achieve the goals and changes that are needed? This discussion will look at a variety of theories of change and how each can be applied for different campaigns and specific goals.

science icon

BMU 312 - 10:00-10:45
Can Aquaculture & Aquaponics be Truly Sustainable?
An interactive discussion about fish in a conscious future

Michael Hasey, The Farming Fish
An innovative and nearly truly sustainable production system, aquaponics has great potential in diversifying organic agriculture production. Presenters Michael Hasey of The Farming Fish (Rogue River, OR) will explain the process of an aquaponics system using their own operation as an example. They will explain the pros and cons (cons being relatively few) and why aquaponics & sustainable aquaculture should be considered as part of a diversified farm plan. Finally, this workshop will give a current status of and foster a conversion around sustainable aquaculture and aquaponics and an outlook for pioneering the organic & sustainable industry’s “Fishy Future."

tour icon

TOUR: Meet at North Entrance to BMU
Compost Display Area - 10:00 - 11:30 tour time

Lindsey Rubottom, AS Sustainability Compost Education Coordinator
Creating and Cultivating a Garden and Compost Facility Campus and community gardens provide people with a valuable source of healthy foods, while allowing citizens to dispose of organic wastes in a responsible and useful manner. Our workshop will follow the development of the California State University, Chico Compost Display Area and Garden, ultimately leading to a discussion on how others could start their own gardens in their communities and campuses.


Thursday, 11:00-11:45
K-12 Greenie Awards Announcement

BMU 100 Auditorium
K-12 Greenie Award

The annual This Way to Sustainability Conference “Greenie Awards” this year will accept nominations for student groups in the Butte County School Districts, within three separate categories:

Elementary School Students (K-6th Grade)
Junior High School Students (7-8th Grade)
High School Students (9-12th Grade)

The top five nominated student groups within each category will have an opportunity to display their projects on Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 9:00 - 11:00 am at the conference where final voting will take place.
First, second, and third place winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony between 11:00 - 11:30 am on Thursday, March 26, 2015 in the BMU Auditorium.

Nominate K-12 student groups deadline was February 15, 2015.

Thursday, 11:00-11:45 Concurrent Sessions

transportation icon

BMU 203 - 11:00-11:45 am
The Sustainable Commute: Inspiring Daily Transportation Behavior Change in the Bay Area

Alicia Brown, Chelsea Biklen, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Erica Tan, Alameda County General Services Agency, and Christopher Koh, Skyline College
The presentation will describe how various marketing and outreach tactics motivate individuals to use sustainable transportation for their daily commutes to work or school. Tactics at different modes and scales will be showcased, starting local with schools and active transportation, then moving to employees of a specific company or agency, and finally on to intercity rail with a broad audience at the regional level.

science icon

BMU 204 - 11:00-11:45am
Stone Edge Farm Micro Grid Systems

Ryan Stoltenberg, Wooster Engineering
This microgrid project arose with the intent to see how far we could reduce our carbon footprint and show what may be possible with current technological solutions and creativity. We are creating an interconnected network of electrical services that will be capable of providing emergency power in the event of a macro grid failure or by choice to intentionally island the microgrid and ultimately run in parallel operation with the macrogrid. This microgrid project in Sonoma is a 3-4 year implementation effort and we are currently 14 months into the project. On a campus of 15 acres, we will internally connect 7 metered services together as an isolate-able electrical grid. In order to accomplish this we must integrate various forms of distributed generation and storage with real time monitoring and control. 


educating icon

BMU 209 - 11:00-11:45 am
Divestment From Fossil Fuels

Kevin Killion and Kaitlin Haley, California Student Sustainability Coalition
In this workshop we host leaders of the Divestment from fossil fuels movement to discuss past victories, best practices, and how you can get involved in one of the fastest spreading movements in history.


water icon

BMU 210 - 11:00-11:45 am
Drought is the New Normal: Living Within Our Means in California

Robyn DiFalco, Carol Perkins, Butte Environmental Council, and Marty Dunlap, Citizens Water Watch
As climate change promises more drought and less snowpack, how will California learn to reduce demand to meet its dwindling water supply? The water resources of the Northern Sacramento Valley are said to be in balance with demand, while most other regions of California are overdrawn and rely on north state water to meet demand. Newly passed groundwater legislation in California will require each region to balance its water budget and live within its means. But how will the north state learn to cooperate across political boundaries and wisely manage the water resources of our shared basin? And will the new laws simply require that north state water be transferred to the arid regions of California to help them balance their water budgets? California’s water crisis cannot be solved with the same thinking and engineering that got us here in the first place; adaptation and conservation are the only solutions.


laws icon

BMU 211 - 11:00-11:45 am
From Student to Environmental Professional: How to Frame Your Experience and Rock Your Interview

Colleen Butterfield, Alliance to Save Energy
Landing a job right out of college these days is no easy task. Learning how to sell yourself and your skills is an important step to not spending the next year after graduating living out of mom and dad's basement. Come learn from an environmental professional with several years’ worth of recruitment and hiring experience how to stand out from the rest of the recent undergrad crowd.


science icon

BMU 312 - 11:00-11:45
Hydro Garden Workshop
(Separate fees apply, $15.00 per person, space is limited)

Ag Mart logoFacilitated by Michael Hasey, The Farming Fish and Sponsored by Ag Mart Inc.
Participants will join this facilitated workshop for a build your own indoor window hydro garden. Take advantage of this workshop and learn how you can build, maintain, and harvest your own herbs and vegetables with the limited space on a limited budget. With the expert guidance of aquaponics specialist Michael Hasey, The Farming Fish, and the generous donations from our local garden supplies shop Ag Mart, you will have a hands-on opportunity to learn how to create and maintain your very own window garden to take home!
Space is limited so sign up for this one during online registration.



Thursday 11:30 - 1:00 Local Lunch

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

Fusion Chicken Bowl: Grilled Mary’s Free Range Chicken served with daikon sprouts, avocado, organic carrots, and cucumber slices served on a bed of organic brown rice and spring mix salad, drizzled with a creamy ginger garlic soy dressing, and a roll.

keynote iconKeynote Presentation
BMU Auditorium - 12:00 - 12:50 pm

Scott McNall

Scott G. McNall
Founder of the Institute for Sustainable Development

"Inequality: Why it doesn’t work, can’t work, and why it threatens resiliency"
Scott G. McNall was the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development at California State University, Chico and served as the University’s provost from 1994-2007.  He served as Dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Toledo, before coming to Chico State.  He has held professorial positions at the University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, and the University of Kansas, where he served as chair of the Department of Sociology.  He now lives with his wife Sally and their two cats in Missoula, Montana where he is an Affiliated Faculty Member at the University of Montana.  Over his career he has written extensively on issues related to equality, social class, sustainability, and resilience.  His most recent publications include, Rapid Climate Change: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions; The Business of Sustainability (ed.); and the forthcoming The Problem of Inequality: Why It Threatens Democracy, Reduces Resilience, and Creates Mistrust. Recent articles include “Teaching the Sociology of Climate Change” and “A New Narrative for Sustainability.”


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

population icon

BMU 203 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Population Impacts and Solutions

Karen Gaia Pitts, Committee for a Sustainable World Population and
The impacts of overpopulation combined with consumption are many and probably catastrophic, including species extinction, hunger, civil unrest, economic upheaval, and depletion of natural resources, including water, oil, soil, essential metals such as copper and phosphate (plant fertilizer), energy sources, and fisheries. The solutions to overpopulation and over consumption are infrequently addressed, possibly because they involve the way people live their lives, and likely because they are often misunderstood. This presentation will explore some lesser-known, but nonetheless, very important impacts as well as go into depth on the solutions, which are much less difficult than people realize. Materials for this presentation will be taken from the online slide show at (2 hours), which is your assignment to do before or after the presentation.


water icon

BMU 204 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Lake Tahoe: Jewel of the Sierras


Devin Middlebrook, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
Lake Tahoe is one of the largest, deepest, and clearest lakes in the world. Its cobalt blue appearance, spectacular alpine setting, and remarkable water clarity is recognized worldwide. Despite the famed beauty of Lake Tahoe, it is consistently under the threat of environmental degradation. Current problems facing the waters of Lake Tahoe include: loss of lake clarity, storm water, the threat of aquatic invasive species, drought, and climate change. The social, environmental, and economic atmosphere in the Lake Tahoe Region presents a unique set of challenges to addressing these problems that must be met with a set of creative solutions. Topics covered in this presentation include the history of Lake Tahoe, current issues threatening its waters, and potential solutions to those issues. Additionally, learn about efforts currently underway by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other organizations to address these problems through implementation of the Environmental Improvement Program. Topics covered in this presentation include the history of Lake Tahoe, current issues threatening its waters, and potential solutions to those issues. Additionally, learn about efforts currently underway by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other organizations to address these problems through implementation of the Environmental Improvement Program.


community icon

BMU 209 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Farmers Market as Community Events

Natalie Carter, Chico Certified Farmers' Market and Mark Stemen, Butte Environmental Council
Farmers Markets provide a place for the community to get fresh local produce, but they also connect consumers with local farmers and increase social interactions within the communities. This presentation explores how the Chico Certified Farmers' Market went from a constricted and uncertain future to a secure thriving community event.


community icon

BMU 210 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Why Does Our Global Consumer Society Need a Respectful Revolution?

Gerard Ungerman and Stacey Wear, Respectful Revolution
Is it a dream come true: "Good News TV" at your finger tips? co-founders Stacey Wear & Gerard Ungerman will present their website built around a map of the country that they populate with short video portraits of people from all walks of life who have taken action to make our world a better place. While screening sampled videos, Gerard & Stacey will explain how they work, why they've taken on the herculean task of documenting good actions happening all around the country, and why they think that conscientious respect may shift societal priorities from short-term exploitation to long-term sustainability.


energy icon

BMU 211 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Bringing Solar and Social Justice

Hillary Tellesen and Sanja Cerni, GRID Alternatives
GRID Alternatives is the only non-profit solar installer in the nation with a mission statement focused on environmental justice and human rights. Hilary Tellesen and Sanja Cerni, representatives from GRID Alternatives regional office in the North Valley, will cover the impact of the solar industry on local communities and the environment. Their presentations will cover the relationship of environmental issues and human rights as well as the importance of educational infrastructure and volunteerism in building social and environmental justice.


agriculture icon

BMU 303 - 1:00-1:45 pm
A Hands on Approach and Systems View of Food

Margaret Jones, GRUB
How can we use the issues surrounding agriculture and our shared need of food to build a community that communicates and works together effectively in order to respond and protect ourselves from the larger issues that we face as local community members, national citizens, and citizens of the world? As we begin to become more aware of our unstable position and need to transition to a resilient community that can support itself, food and agricultural requirements. This includes and is not limited to water and land access, which will be a major puzzle piece to figure out. This discussion will start small and personal. In examining the view of a local farm, water, access to markets and land, and community support and the ways that they affect a small scale farm. We will look at how these issues are interconnected with the community and explore integrating issues in a "systems-view" response.


education icon

BMU 304 - 1:00-1:45 pm
Creating the Future: Educating for Resilience Thinking

James Pushnik, The Institute for Sustainable Development
The emerging consequences of climate change compel us to expand our sustainability vision to climate change resilience, as most of our future leaders, the students of today, need to be informed about the disruptive consequences of climate change. Education needs to provide the systemic background equipping them to develop proactive strategies to mitigate and adapt to the now certain consequences of climate change. These consequences will include the disruption of the global supply chains of food, energy, and water, the very basic elements for human survival. Developing effective strategies to address climate change requires a deep understanding of the dynamic interactions of science, technology, politics, economy, and society. An integrative interdisciplinary framework is therefore essential to provide the coherency needed to conceptualize and materialize such strategies.


laws policies icon

BMU 312 - 1:00-1:45
Marketing for Sustainability: How to Develop Your Social Media

Justin Flick, One Mile Consulting, and Alyssa Chow
Social media has become a powerful marketing tool to get a message out to a diverse audience. In this presentation, Justin Flick and Alyssa Chow will discuss the challenges unique to marketing sustainability, and how to create a unique marketing strategy specifically for sustainability related organizations. There will be a Q&A at the end.


tour icon

1:00-2:00 pm
Meet at the North Entrance to the BMU
TOUR: CSU, Chico Campus Sustainability Walking Tour

Fletcher Alexander, Campus Sustainability Coordinator, The Institute for Sustainability at CSU, Chico
This walking tour of campus will highlight sustainability efforts from LEED certified buildings and alternative transportation initiatives to waste diversion efforts and sustainability programming in the Associated Students, University Housing, and more! Join us and learn about sustainability on the California State University, Chico campus from the folks who work on it every day!


keynote iconKeynote Presentation
BMU Auditorium - 2:00 - 2:50 pm

Dennis Dimick


Dennis Dimick
Executive Editor, Environment / National Geographic Magazine

Stewardship in the Anthropocene

A narrated visual tour and provocation: For most of human existence we survived on current sunshine – wood, water, and wind – to power society. Then over the past few hundred years we discovered fossil sunshine – coal, oil, and natural gas – to power our lives. We now primarily rely on this ancient sunlight, the fossilized carbon remains of ancient plants and animals, to turn our wheels and light our world. Fossil fuels have allowed an extraordinary expansion of our food supply, our material wealth, and our population. We have transformed our finite planet – the land, seas, and atmosphere – with a seemingly infinite expansion of our dominion over Earth. Scientists and others have begun calling this new human-dominated era The Anthropocene, or "Age of Man." Trend lines show our conquest isn't sustainable, wild habitats and species are disappearing, and our planet is slowly being polluted and cooked by the effluent of our expanding aspirations. Is it possible to create a soft landing for civilization? What will it take? How can ingenuity, wisdom, and those same fossil fuels build a bridge to a sustainable future powered primarily once again by current sunlight? 


Thursday, 3:00-3:45 Concurrent Sessions

energy icon

BMU 203 - 3:00-3:45
Environmental Sustainability in the Himalayas

Mohan B. Dangi, CSU, Fresno, and Dr. Peter D. Stahl, Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center
Dr. Mohan B. Dangi has instigated many productive academic partnerships between the U.S. universities and Nepal’s national university, Tribhuvan University (TU). Among them the strategic relationship between the University of Wyoming (UW) and TU stands out the most. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was first coined in 2004 has been helpful to bring over hundred Nepalese students and faculty from Nepal to UW and trained more than 50 students and faculty members from the U.S. and Nepal in the Trans-Himalaya through Study Abroad course, Environmental Quality in the Himalayas. Central piece of this model work is the Director of Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center, Dr. Peter D. Stahl. By training Dr. Stahl is a soil scientist and Professor of Soil Science and Ecology at the University of Wyoming and Dr. Dangi is a solid waste expert and Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy and Engineering at California State University, Fresno. Together they and two of their colleagues in Nepal are tackling four of the five key environmental problems of Nepal, soil, water, solid waste, forest, and air quality. Blended with cross-cultural experiential learning, U.S. and Nepalese students spend about two weeks every summer in Annapurna Conservation Area of Nepal and present their findings to the national audience in Kathmandu at the end. In this presentation, the authors will cover the environmental challenges faced by indigenous community in Lower Mustang Valley and offer some pragmatic solutions to maintain livelihood and sustainability in the harsh mountainous environment.


water icon
BMU 204 - 3:00-3:45
Never Enough: Politics and Water in the Owens Valley, CA

Jesse Dizard, CSU, Chico Anthropology
The stark landscape of the Eastern Sierras, Mono Lake and Owens Dry Lake illustrate the consequences of efforts in the early 20th century to move water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles. "Never Enough" emphasizes the results of 100 years of water transfers from this region averaging 5-7 inches of rain per annum and the abiding sense of loss felt by the Paiute-Shoshone people whose ancestors first settled in what is now the Owens Valley. Viewers are introduced to locals with unique insight into the grass roots impacts of decisions taken far, far away. Tribal elders speak about how reverence for the ecosystem has been replaced by market economies. Politicians speak candidly about the injustices of undue corporate influence upon the political process. Farmers as well as biologists share frank assessments of the economic consequences of mismanaged water resources. Activists explain their personal reasons for joining a movement to safeguard natural resources.


community icon

BMU 209 - 3:00-3:45
An Assessment of the Urban Ecology of the City of Chico

Mark Stemen, CSU, Chico, Megan Dallas, SCOOP at CSU, Chico, Victoria Birdseye, Tina LandoAlexandria Keeble-Toll, Daniele Baxter, and Lee Brisbine-Ryan, CSU, Chico Students
In the Fall of 2014, students in Chico State's GEOG 506 class undertook an assessment of the urban ecology of Chico though an examination of the City's creeks, trees and fish. They hiked Little Chico Creek to map invasive species and homeless encampments. They mitigated losses to the urban forest by planting trees around a low-income housing development, and they went underwater to count fish in Big Chico Creek. During the session, students will present their findings on the status of Chico's urban ecology and tell some wonderful stories of the experience.


education icon

BMU 210 - 3:00-3:45
Change in the Classroom: How to Engage, Teach, and Inspire Pre-K-12 Students About Sustainability

Daniel Maloney, Climate Corps Bay Area, Natalie Lessa, County of Alameda, Kelly Chang, Green Ninja Project, Simone Cardona, Alliance for Climate Education, and Chelsea Biklen, San Carlos and Milbrae School District Office
The degree to which communities are vulnerable to climate change is strongly influenced by local circumstances such as education, culture and community priorities, ecological setting, economics and local resources. Join us to discover ways to communicate and engage students, teachers and principals effectively in climate adaptation. The panelists have first-hand experiences in working on recycling, composting, electricity reduction and climate change programs in preschools, middle schools and high schools. They will discuss how strategies to inspire k-12 students, address equity and environmental injustices are necessary to solve the climate crisis in classrooms. No easy task but a discussion necessary for our future.


science iconBMU 211 - 3:00-3:45
No Box Left Behind

Biz Debnath, Give Back Box
The purpose of Give Back Box® is to provide an innovative and effortless method of donating goods and thus maximize worldwide donation of household items on a scale never previously thought possible. This in turn, will reduce waste and by recycling such items, millions of people in need will benefit. With its motto of "No Box Left Behind" the company's mission is to perpetuate a paradigm shift in the shopping arena, particularly online, to generate charitable donation on a massive scale.


food icon

BMU 303 - 3:00-3:45
How Does Information About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Influence Knowledge and Attitudes of College Students?

Maria Giovanni and Chin-Fu Chen, CSU, Chico Department of Nutrition and Food Science
The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the production of food is a very controversial topic throughout the world. While many Americans have heard about GMOs, few consider themselves knowledgeable. With increasing use of GM food, consumers should be informed. An on-line survey was used to determine the change in knowledge and attitudes before and after a brief informational and participatory activity among students at Chico State. The intervention consisted of watching a video then participating in a small group discussion about GMOs with their classmates. Changes in both knowledge and attitudes resulted from the intervention, with many students commenting that they need to become more informed about the issues. The results of this project are important in developing meaningful outreach strategies so that the public can make an educated decision about the consumption of GM food.


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BMU 304 - 3:00-3:45
Where Are We On The Way To Sustainability?

Stephen I. Feher, Sustainable Community Development Institute and Scott G. McNall, Retired Emeritus, and Founder of The Institute for Sustainable Development at CSU, Chico
This presentation will address the most critical global challenges facing us over the next 50 years, focusing on the ample supply of energy, water and food to meet the needs of the growing world population. In reviewing the progress made over the past 10 years since this Conference started we will predict what the future might look like. Scientific data in the most critical fields related to sustainability will be used to draw some realistic assessment as to where we stand and what we must do in order to play the future safe.


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BMU Auditorium - 4:00 - 5:00 pm

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Dune Lankard
Native Athbaskan Eyak from the Copper River Delta of Alaska

and the founder of Redzone, an ongoing First Nations project created in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. He started the Copper River Wild Salmon Company to help local fishermen regain control over processing, packaging, labeling and marketing their fish.




Conference Welcome Reception - 5:30-9:00 pm

Each year we want to thank our guest speakers for their willingness to participate in this important conference and to share their passions and expertise with our conference participants. We will host a private reception which will allow the over 130 speakers the opportunity to meet and network with eachother and our conference hosts. This reception is closed to speakers and conference hosts only and requires an RSVP.