CSU, Chico News

Environmental Scientist Offers Strategies for Sustainability in Age of Global Change

Date: 02-28-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Margaret DuFon
Department of English

Elizabeth Allison, assistant professor of philosophy, cosmology and consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, will speak about the roots of the American approach to the natural world on Tuesday, March 1. She will provide strategies for “Sustainability in an Age of Global Change.”

The Mindful Campus program at California State University, Chico is sponsoring her talk, which will be held in Holt Hall 266 at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Allison provided this background to her talk: “The American approach to the natural world, now understood as 'the environment,' has roots in a contemplative attitude toward nature, as espoused by naturalists and philosophers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir in the 19th century. Contemplation of nature and its bounties provided spiritual insight and sustenance for activism.”

Drawing on the work of contemporary philosophers and environmentalists such as Joanna Macy and David Abram, Allison will offer some contemplative practices that can be used to link personal and ecological sustainability. She will describe ways that contemplative practices can contribute to the full range of human and planetary flourishing.

Allison received her PhD in environmental science, policy and management from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009. She also holds a Master of Arts in religion from Yale Divinity School and a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has taught environmental studies in academic settings at UC Berkeley, Yale and Williams College.

The Mindful Campus is funded by a CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) Impact Grant. For further information, contact Margaret DuFon at mdufon@sbcglobal.net or 530-898-6151.