Nature & The Environment: The Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series (Past Lectures)

Past Lectures


16 October 2015
“Island Ecosystems as Models for Human-Environment Interaction”
Peter Vitousek
Clifford G. Morrison Professor of Biology and Sykes Family Faculty Director of the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources
Stanford University
Watch the lecture here

19 November 2015
Slow Violence, Environmental Activism, and the Arts”
Rob Nixon
Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment
Princeton University
Co-sponsors: Teale, Junior Faculty Forum of the Humanities Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

4 February 2016
“Of Mice and Men: Emerging Infectious Disease in a Warmer, More Fragmented World”
Rick Ostfeld
Senior Scientist
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York
A livestream of the lecture is available here.

3 March 2016
“Comedy, Economics, and Climate Change”
Yoram Bauman
Author, “standupeconomist,” and carbon tax activist

21 April 2016
“Opportunities and Challenges of Shale Gas Production”
Mark Zoback
Benjamin M. Page Professor in Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Stanford University
A livestream of the lecture is available here.


September 25, 2014
Steward T. A. Pickett, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
The Global Urban Crisis and an Ecological Way Forward
Watch the lecture here

October 30, 2014
Julie Campoli, Author & Photographer, Terra Firma Urban Design
The Importance of Being Urban: Density & the Green City
Watch the lecture here

November 20, 2014
Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Climate Change in the American Mind
Watch the lecture here

February 26, 2015
Seth Borenstein, Associated Press national science writer
Dispatches from a Hotter Planet and a Cooler Cosmos

Watch the lecture here

March 26, 2015
Gregg Mitman, Vilas Research & William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History & Environmental Studies, University of Wisconin-Madison
Ecological Imperialism Revisited: Entanglements of Disease, Commerce and Knowledge in a Global World

Watch the lecture here

April 16, 2015
Tyrone Hayes, Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkley
From Silent Spring to Silent Night: A Tale of Toads & Men

Watch the lecture here

September 12, 2013
Harold Mooney, Professor of Biology, Emeritus, and Senior Fellow,
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
"Bridging the gap between the natural and social sciences for addressing our common future in a changing world"
Watch the lecture here

October 3, 2013
"This Verse Business"
The Poetry of Robert Frost in a one person play written by A. M. Dolan, performed by Emmy-winning actor Gordon Clapp

October 24, 2013
Olivier De Schutter, UN Social Rapporteur on the Right to Food   
"Towards Sustainable Food Systems: A Tale of Three Transitions"
Recorded lecture can be found here

March 27, 2014
Steven D. Gaines,
Dean, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management,
University of California – Santa Barbara
“What role will the oceans play in meeting the global demand for food?”
Recorded lecture can be found here 

April 10, 2014
Jane Lubchenco,
Valley Professor of Marine Biology,
Distinguished Professor of Zoology,
Former Administrator of NOAA
"Climate, Weather, Oceans and Biodiversity: Science in Policy and Politics"
Recorded lecture can be found here 

September 13, 2012
Forest L. Reinhardt,
John D. Black Professor of Business Administration,
Harvard Business School
"The Natural Environment and the Strategy of Firms"

October 4, 2012
George M. Woodwell,
Woods Hole Research Center
"Civilization: Is it Worth the Cost?"

Watch the lecture here

November 8, 2012
David Archer,
Professor of Geophysical Sciences,
University of Chicago

"The Long Thaw: How humans are changing the next 100,000 years of Earth’s climate"
Watch the lecture here

February 7, 2013
Mary Evelyn Tucker,
Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar,
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
"The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology"
Watch the lecture here

March 14, 2013
Baruch Fischhoff,
Howard Heinz University Professor,
Department of Social and Decision Sciences and Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
"Give Science a Chance: Communicating about Environmental Risks"

April 18, 2013
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Professor, Creative Writing Program,
Department of English,
Affiliated Faculty, Institute of the Environment,
University of Arizona
"The Lost Woods of Childhood"


October 20, 2011
Film Premier "Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time"
Co-Producers Ann and Steve Dunsky and Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation, Curt Meine

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Naomi Oreskes,
Professor of History and Science,
University of California, San Diego
"Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming"

This lecture can be viewed here

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Daniel Esty
Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
"Integrating Energy and Environmental Policy: The Path Forward for Protecting Our Natural Resources and Building our Economy

Thursday, February 23, 2012
Sir Peter Crane,
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
"The Future of Plants"

March 1, 2012
David Gessner,
Associate Professor of Creative Writing,
University of North Carolina, Wilmington
"In Pursuit of a New Environmentalism"

March 29, 2012
Michael Mann,
Professor, Director,
Earth System Science Center,
The Pennsylvania State University
"The Hockey Stick: On the Front Lines in the Climate Wars"
This lecture can be viewed here


September 23, 2010
Gene E. Likens, Distinguished Senior Scientist; Ecologist; Founding Director and President Emeritus of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies;
Distinguished Research Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut
"The Voice Of Science In Policy Making"

October, 21, 2010

Peter B. Reich,
Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor
Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota
"From Simple Traits To Complex Systems: What Do The Humble Plant Leaf And "Advanced" Human Societies Tell Us About The Future Of Planet Earth?"

November 11, 2010
Andrew Revkin
New York Times Dot Earth blogger, Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding
Pace University Academy for Applied Environmental Studies
"9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ?"
The lecture can be viewed here

December 9, 2010
Philip Kitcher,
John Dewey Professor of Philosophy,
Columbia University
"Can we sustain democracy and the planet, too?"

February 17, 2011
Rick Bass, Author, environmental activist
"Finding Common Ground"

March 31, 2011
Ruth S. DeFries,
Denning Professor of Sustainable Development,
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
"Tropical Forests, Climate Mitigation, And Agricultural Production"

April 28, 2011
Nancy Grimm,
Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Science, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
"Challenges in water provisioning, delivery, and quality for urban populations: analysis of global patterns and an aridland case study"


September 24, 2009
Dr. Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science and POAC Director,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "A Sober Look at Global Warming"

October 22, 2009
John Elder, Professor of English and Environmental Studies,
Middlebury College, "Literature and Sustainability"

November 19, 2009
Dr. Stephen Polasky, Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics,
University of Minnesota,"Coming Down to Earth: Valuing Nature to Improve Decision-Making"
To view this lecture online, click here

February 4, 2010
"A Sense of Wonder: a film about Rachel Carson"
March 4 , 2010
Dr. Robert J. Glennon, Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy,
University of Arizona, "Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It"


October 16, 2008
J.B. Ruhl, Matthews & Hawkins Professor of Property Law,
Florida State University College of Law,"Ecosystem Services Science & Policy – A New Old Idea Finally Comes of Age"

November 6, 2008
"Forces of Nature" performed by the Connecticut Repertory Theatre

November 20, 2008
Don Scavia, Professor and Michigan Sea Grant Director,
University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment
"Water: A continuous fluid in a fragmented policy framework"

February 5, 2009
Bud Ward, Editor, The Yale Forum on Climate Change and The Media,"Bridging the Science/Journalism Gap in a Time of Epochal Change"

March 5, 2009
Catherine Potvin, Professor,
Department of Biology, McGill University,"Forest carbon stocks and land-use: Reconciling the international agenda with the needs of indigenous populations"

April 2, 2009
Michael Mares, Presidential Professor of Zoology, University of Oklahoma and Distinguished Research Curator of Mammals,
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History,"Sun Tzu and the Art of War: How the Battle of Museums to Survive Has a Negative Impact on Nature and the Environment"


September 20, 2007
Geoffrey Heal, Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility, Columbia University,"Corporate Environmentalism: Doing Well by Doing Good?"

October 4, 2007
Michael J. Bean, Attorney, Chair of the Wildlife Program, Environmental Defense Fund
"Endangered Species Conservation: An Assessment and Prognosis"

November 15, 2007
Ariel Lugo, Director, International Institute of Tropical Forestry,"Emerging new forests in the shining star of the Caribbean"

February 7, 2008
Ivette Perfecto, Professor of Natural Resources, University of Michigan, "Brewing biodiversity: the ecology of coffee farms in Chiapas, Mexico"

March 20, 2008
Roger Gottlieb, Professor of Philosophy, Worcester Polytechnic Institute,"Hope in a Dark Time: The Promises of Religious Environmentalism"

April 10, 2008
Joseph Bruchac, Storyteller and Writer,"This Earth, Our Mother"


September 14, 2006
Carl Jones, International Research Fellow, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust; Scientific Director Mauritian Wildlife, "The Dodo’s Legacy: Conservation on Mauritius"

October 19, 2006
William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University; Member of the National Academy of Science,"Carbon Taxes to Slow Global Warming"

February 1, 2007
Mark Klett, Regents Professor of Art, Arizona State University, "Ideas About Time: Recent Projects that Investigate the Relationship of Time, Space and Photography

March 22, 2007
Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography,"Climate, Climate Change, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change"

April 12, 2007
David Allen Sibley, Author and Illustrator, The Sibley Guide to Birds, "Birds and Bird Guides."


September 29, 2005
Sharon Matola, Founding Director, Belieze Zoo and Tropical Education Center, "High Voltage Conservation Action in Tropical America"

October 12, 2005
Robert A. Berner, Alan M. Bateman Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, "Trees and Late Paleozoci 02 X XX CO2 Climate Evolution"

November 3, 2005
James Gustave Speth, Dean, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University; 2002 Blue Planet Prize Awardee, This Sacred Trust: The American Land and the Climate Emergency

February 2, 2006
Vicki Been, Eliju Root Professor of Law; Director, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University Law School, “Community gardens as a response to environmental justice concerns: evaluating the effects gardens have on the neighborhood"

February 16, 2006
Paul Robbins, Associate Professor of Geography & Regional Development, University of Arizona, "Producing Wildlife: The Unintended Natures of Conservation in India"

April 20, 2006
Jeremy Jackson, William E. and Mary B. Ritter Professor; Director, Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of San Diego, "Brave New Ocean"

September 22, 2004
Rosina Bierbaum, Dean School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, former Clinton White House Director of the Office of Science, Technology and Policy, The Role of Science in National Policy Making: Lessons from Working in Congress and The White House
October 21, 2004

Tom Lovejoy, Director of The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Teaming With Life: The Future of Life at the Dawn of the Sixth Great Extinction

November 17, 2004
Barry Lopez, National Book Award Winner, "Leaving Lascaux: The Frontier of Human Nature"

February 24, 2005
William Hooke, Director, Atmospheric Policy Program, American Meteorological Society Living Sustainably on a Planet of Extremes

March 24, 2005
Char Miller, Trinity University, Texas, Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism

April 21, 2005
Pedro Sanchez, 2002 World Food Prize, Director of Tropical Agriculture & Co-chair, Millennium Project Hunger Task Force, Columbia University Earth Institute,“Achieving the Millennium Development Goals on Hunger"


September 23, 2003
Julian Keniry, Director, National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program, "Greening the Campus: How Universities are Improving Environmental Performance and Sustainability"

October 9, 2003
Diana Wall, Professor and Director, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, "Below-ground Biodiversity of Hot and Cold Deserts"

November 20, 2003
Gordon Orians, Professor Emeritus of Zoology, University of Washington, "Environmental Esthetics: Beauty and the Evolutionary Mind of the Beholder"

February 12, 2004
Kaiulani Lee, Playwright and Actor; OBIE Award winner for outstanding achievement off-Broadway, "A Sense of Wonder: A One Act Play Based on the Life and Works of Rachel Carson"

April 8, 2004
P. Dee Boersma, Professor, Zoology, University of Washington, "Penguins, People, Pollution, and Politics: When Science is not Enough"

April 29, 2004
Jason Shogren, Stroock Distinguished Professor of Natural Resource Conservation and Management, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, "Economic Incentives for Spatial Habitat Design to Protect Endangered Species"


September 23, 2002
William Denevan, "Prehistoric human impacts on the environment of Amazonia, with emphasis on anthropogenic dark earths"

October 17, 2002
Scott Barrett, "Environment and statecraft: the strategy of environmental treaty-making"

November 14, 2002
Bill McKibben, Award-winning Author of The End of Nature; Middlebury College, "Crossing Thresholds: The Environment as Moral Challenge"

February 20, 2003
Cort Willmott, Professor, Geography, University of Delaware, "Estimating Climate and Climatic Change from Lousy Weather-Station Networks"

March 27, 2003
Peter deMenocal, Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Columbia Earth Institute, Columbia University, "African Climate Change and Human Evolution"

April 24, 2003
Nancy N. Rabalais, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, "Linked Watershed/Ocean/Human Ecosystem: Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico Water Quality"

October 10, 2001
Paul Hoffman, "Snowball earth: testing the limits of global change"

November 15, 2001
Stephen Kellert, "The value of nature and human physical and mental well being"

February 18, 2002
Mark Sagoff, "The plaza or the pendulum: Two concepts of the ecosystem"

March 7, 2002
William Cronon, "Humanist environmentalism

April 17, 2002
Gretchen Daily, "Forecasting the future of biodiversity in a human-dominated world"


September 22, 2000
Dan Janzen, "Tropical conservation through biodiversity development: The only hope"

October 11, 2000
Sandra Postel, "Dividing the waters: the challenge of sustaining people and ecosystems in a new era of scarcity"

November 2, 2000
David Carroll, Author, Illustrator, and Environmental Consultant

"Swampwalker’s Journal: Reflections on 50 Years of Turtles and Wetlands"

February 21, 2001
John Terborgh, Co-Director of the Center for Tropical Conservation, Duke University
Making Parks Work

March 8, 2001
Jeffrey Vincent, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard University
Tropical Forests: For Whom and For What?

April 24, 2001
J. Baird Callicott, Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of Texas, President, International Society for Environmental Ethics
The Concept of the Intrinsic Value: Theoretical and Pragmatic Considerations

September 23, 1999
David R. Foster,"Thoreau’s country: Historical insights to ecology and conservation"

October 13, 1999
Mike Bender, "Global climate change during the last 400,000 years"

December 9, 1999
Pam Matson, "Fertilizer and global change in the nitrogen cycle, too much of a good thing?"

February 9, 2000
Dennis Meadows, "Sustainable development is not a destination (it’s the way you make the trip)"

February 22, 2000
Ann F. Guian, " Edwin Way Teale – An American Naturalist"
Thomas A. Potter, “On the trail to Trailwood: In pursuit of Edwin Way Teale"

March 15, 2000
Tom Tietenberg, "Regulation by revelation: Disclosure strategies for controlling pollution"

April 26, 2000
Pete Matthiessen, "Nature and the everglades – in the fiction AND nonfiction of Peter Matthiessen"

September 24, 1998
Gary Snyder, "Gratitude to trees: Buddhist resource management in Asia and California"

October 27, 1998
David Wilcove, "Science, politics and the Endangered Species Act"

December 3, 1998
Gene Likens, "The science of nature: The nature of science"

February 11, 1999
Maureen Cropper, "Regulating environmental health risks"

March 23, 1999
Bryan Norton, "Sustainability and obligations to future generations"

April 22, 1999
Fred Krupp, "Environmentalism in the 21st Century: New ways to get results"

September 24, 1997
Robert Costanza, "Economics and Ecology: The value of ecosystem services"

October 23, 1997
Evan J. Ringquist, "Pollution and prejudice: Who bears the burden of environmental risk?

November 13, 1997
Kerry Smith, "Pricing what is priceless: Ecologists vs. economists"

February 12, 1998
Eduardo Fuentes, "Financial challenges to the implementation of the convention on biological diversity in developing countries"

March 12, 1998
Lawrence Buell, "The environmental imagination"

April 28, 1998
Paul Ehrlich, "Beyond science and reason"