Climate Change Demands We Change. Why Aren’t We?
Thursday and Friday, April 24 and 25, 2014

No issue is more urgent than climate change, yet governments, corporations, and the public seem reluctant to change. This conference poses the question, what is slowing or stopping us from making the changes mandated by climate change? This conference will examine the psychological factors, money and politics, and infrastructures that impede change as well as the difficult choices that must be made to foster urban resilience in the face of climate change.

Keynote address: Frances Beinecke, President of the National Resources Defense Council, at 6pm, April 24.

Other speakers include Robert Inglis, former Senator, Founder of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative; Guy Nordenson, structural engineer and adviser to MoMA’s Rising Currents show; Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University; Elke Weber, Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University; and Paul Stern, Director of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change at the National Academies of Science.

FREE www.newschool.edu/cps/climate-change
31st Social Research conference at The New School
University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Continue Reading


NiCHE, the Network in Canadian History and the Environment, is pleased to announce that the eighth Canadian History and Environment Summer School will be held at York University in Toronto, Ontario from Friday May 23 to Sunday May 25, 2014. As in previous years, CHESS will take place prior to the Canadian Historical Association annual meeting, which is being held at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario.

The theme for CHESS 2014 is “Suburbia and Environmental History.” Although environmental historians have studied the urban environment for some time, the suburbs have attracted less attention. Inspired by the ideal of the countryside, the suburbs introduced a new set of social and economic relations to North American cities. Suburbs tended to be quite eclectic during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but after the Second World War standardization became their defining feature. In all cases, however, suburbanization involved a physical transformation of the environment from a variety of pre-existing land uses into low-density, single-family homes. At the same time, the suburbs were a product of new ideas about the city. Environmental histories of the suburbs, therefore, explore both the physical transformation of places and the cultural transformation of people.

York University is surrounded by Canada’s largest suburban landscape. Located within 30 minutes’ drive are Don Mills, Canada’s oldest planned corporate suburban development; Markham, one of the country’s largest and fastest growing suburban ‘cities’; and Rouge Park, Canada’s first national park within a suburban municipality. This year’s summer school will venture into the suburbs to explore the history of this amorphous Canadian environment.

CHESS provides a forum where graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, and others who are interested in historical approaches to the environment can interact and exchange ideas. Introducing non-specialists to the field of environmental history is also an important goal. The organizers will seek appropriate representation from each of these categories, but space is limited.

All who are interested in participating in CHESS 2014 are invited to apply by email to kherajs@yorku.ca by March 14. Applications should be attached as a single Word document or PDF, and must include a CV (2 pages max.) and brief statement (150-250 words) indicating how the applicant hopes to benefit from participation in the summer school. Places in CHESS 2014 will be allocated after consideration of these statements, and decisions will be communicated to applicants before the end of March. Further information about presenters, field trips, and other event details will be posted to http://niche-canada.org/chess2014.

NiCHE will cover the costs of meals and two nights’ accommodation at York University for all CHESS participants. Funds will also be available for partial contributions towards travel costs for those in need, with first priority afforded to graduate students. Those seeking travel support will be reimbursed after the event and will need to submit appropriate receipts and boarding passes as applicable. Travel grants are expected not to exceed $600 CDN. It is the responsibility of participants to make their own travel arrangements so as to arrive in Toronto by 5pm on Friday, May 23.

For more information visit http://niche-canada.org/chess2014/

Continue Reading


To all ALECC members and others in the vicinity of Toronto: a reading by John Terpstra!

Tuesday, November 7th
HNES 109, York University
12:45 – 2:00 pm


As the inaugural event in our new “Lunchwords” reading and writing series, the Sustainable Writing Laboratory and the Wild Garden Media Centre (in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University) are delighted to invite you to a reading by acclaimed writer John Terpstra.

John Terpstra has published many books and chapbooks of poetry, including Disarmanent, shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2004, and Naked Trees, republished in 2012. A retrospective of his work, Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, was published in 2006. Terpstra has also published three prose projects, Falling into Place, a creative investigation of a giant glacial sandbar which lies beneath one of Canada’s busiest transportation corridors; The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, the story of his wife’s three brothers, who lived with muscular dystrophy until their early twenties; and Skin Boat: Acts of Faith and Other Navigations, a frank reflection on faith in a secular area. He lives in Hamilton, ON.

The Lunchwords series is an informal gathering — bring your lunch! — that will explore and support different elements of poetic practice in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. We will alternate readings/discussions with writing workshops throughout the year, including as our featured readers both poets from afar and some of the many talented members of the FES community. Writing workshops will involve structured writing activities in addition to workshopping and support.

Our next event — same time, same place — will be a writing workshop on Thursday, November 28.

Please write grnwrlds[at]yorku.ca if you have any questions. See you on November 7th!

Continue Reading


Musicians in Concert with The Boreal Poetry Garden

3 walking and listening events in 2013


Join Marlene Creates as she leads a walk with readings of site-specific poems in The Boreal Poetry Garden — six acres of boreal forest where she lives in Portugal Cove — with musical responses to the site provided by 3 acoustic musicians. After the walk, we will gather around a bonfire with some refreshments.


The events this summer will focus on the audible. We will experience the boreal forest by listening to its soundscape –– and its silences. Come hear the resonance of words and wind, of wind instruments and woods, of percussion and ancient volcanic rock, of river rhythms and phrases, of vibrating strings and stars, of sparks from the bonfire and toasted marshmallows.


Wednesday July 17 at 7:30 pm

poetry by Marlene Creates with Rob Power, percussion 

Tuesday July 23 at 7:30 pm

poetry by Marlene Creates with Rozalind MacPhail, flute 


Sunday August 4 at 2:00 pm

poetry by Marlene Creates with Ilia Nicoll, violin and viola


Limited to 25 people. Advance registration required.

For directions and to register:


or phone 709.895.1020

$25 | $20 students & seniors

From the guest book:

     What an absolutely magical event. How the woods and the words so enrich each other, a symbiosis of experience and imagination. –AJ

           I’d like to think that this is how the earliest poetry began. –DC

     It will make me think differently about trees, about time, about words themselves! –AS

          ONE WORD, AWESOME!!!!! –MK (8 years old)


The Boreal Poetry Garden was featured on Bravo! TV in 2008 and on the CBC Documentary Channel in 2012.


“Marlene Creates: Of Words and Woods” by Robert Finley, Canadian Art online, September 15, 2011



“Garden poem,” by Tara Bradbury, The Telegram, St. John’s, July 15, 2011




Rob Power (percussion, July 17) is an active chamber musician, soloist, improviser, orchestral player, composer, teacher, and instrument builder. His compositions reflect a multitude of influences, and include both contemporary classical works and outdoor environmental pieces. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of percussion at the MUN School of Music, where he directs the renowned Scruncheons Percussion Ensemble. He performs regularly in a wide variety of musical collaborations, including the improvisational groups Spanner and McKudo. Rob is also a member of Newfoundland’s premiere African drum and dance ensemble Dzolali, and is the principal percussionist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. An avid builder of new and unusual percussion instruments, Rob’s recent constructions include the po-pipes, glass triangle, PVC talking drum, and the quarter-tone mirror phone.


Rozalind MacPhail (flute, July 23) is a classically-trained flutist and multi-instrumental looping artist. She has been an artistic resident at the Banff Centre, the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture in Dawson City, and at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, studying with American modern flutist, Robert Dick. As guest flutist, Rozalind has appeared on stage with Yo La Tengo, Great Lake Swimmers, Constantines, Elliott Brood, Jason Collett, NQ Arbuckle, Lou Barlow and more. She has been based in St. John’s, Newfoundland since 2008. In 2011, she invited emerging and established filmmakers to create 13 short films about St. John’s in which she composed and recorded the music. Painted Houses was screened at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. Rozalind is currently recording a solo project, Head First — a DVD that includes short films by Canadian filmmakers with original music she composed.


Ilia Nicoll (viola and violin, August 4) has been a singer/songwriter and instrumentalist in St. John’s for the past four years. She has performed in a wide variety of bands, including the Newish Klezmer Ensemble, and backed up musicians such as Katie Baggs. Currently, Ilia is recording her first solo album of original music.

Continue Reading


Call for Participants
“Northern Nations, Northern Natures”
November 8-11, 2013
KTH Royal Institute for Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

We invite applications from graduate students attending Canadian universities to participate in the workshop “Northern Nations, Northern Natures,” which will be held at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden between November 8-11, 2013. The primary goal of the workshop is to explore transnational and comparative approaches to northern environmental history, including the history of boreal, subarctic, arctic, and polar regions. By bringing together graduate and early-career scholars from Canada and Scandinavia, we aim to encourage the building of trans-Atlantic relationships which may lead to future exchanges or collaborations.

Graduate participants will present short individual papers, which will be complemented by presentations from senior scholars from Canada and Scandinavia and opportunities for formal and informal discussion and networking. They will also have the opportunity to write a short blog post prior to the workshop on a subject relevant to their research which links historical and contemporary events in the North. Outcomes of the workshop will include a special edition of a peer-reviewed journal. We encourage applications from students currently working on topics that pertain to the environmental history (broadly construed) or historical geography of the Canadian North in any time period.

Thanks to funding from the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE), four stipends of C$500 each are available to successful applicants to defray the cost of travel. Accommodation and other expenses in Stockholm will be covered by the organizers. To apply, please send a write-up of no more than 500 words outlining how your current research relates to the workshop theme and how you would benefit from participation to Peder Roberts (pwrobert[at]kth.se), Tina Adcock (tina.adcock[at]rutgers.edu), and Sverker Sörlin (sorlin[at]kth.se). Please include the name and contact information of one academic reference, along with a one-page CV. Applications must be received by June 7, and successful applicants will be notified by June 21.

For more information, please see the event website (http://niche-canada.org/node/10654) or contact tina.adcock[at]rutgers.edu.

Continue Reading


Register for the educator workshop, Building Nature and Food Connections at FoodShare. Participants will be enjoying the following activities with Carolynne, FoodShare’s educator extraordinaire!

  • Soil Exploration with composting and worms 
  • Garden Investigation with illustration, mapping and nature sounds
  • “Eat Your Weeds” with traditional knowledge and identification of edible & medicinal weeds 
  • Harvest Creations with tea and alcohol-free tinctures!


Friday, May 31 from 10-3pm at FoodShare’s 90 Croatia St, Toronto location (Dufferin and Bloor W)



$125, price includes a delicious FoodShare lunch


To Register:

Simply email me back at brooke[at]foodshare.net – but hurry, spaces are

Continue Reading



Rising Voices of Indigenous People in Weather and Climate Science Workshop
The challenges of understanding and responding to a changing climate and extreme weather necessitate broad engagement with diverse communities. As climate science has matured, it has moved toward a more inclusive dialogue where scientists and policy makers work together with seasoned indigenous communities to define and carry out research programs that advance science and address community priorities. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is hosting a workshop on the growing engagement of Native American, Alaska Native, and Pacific Island communities in climate and weather science, research, policy, and community response conversations. The workshop will address the question: What are the elements of successful co-production of science and policy in the fields of extreme weather and climate change? The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with the Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Working Group (formerly the American Indian/Alaska Native Climate Change Working Group). Participants will be actively involved in cross-cultural scientific engagement with Native American, Alaska Native, and Pacific Island communities and will be from academic institutions, including tribal colleges and universities, as well as government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Travel support is available for a limited number of participants.
WORKSHOP VENUE: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Foothills Laboratory, 3450 Mitchel Lane, Boulder, CO 80307

WORKSHOP DATES: July 1-2, 2013

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applications are due May 10, 2013. If you are interested in participating in the Rising Voices workshop, please send the following information to Kris Marwitz (Email: kmarwitz[at]ucar.edu or Phone: 303-497-8198):

  • Name, affiliation, email address, mailing address, phone number
  • A paragraph explaining how you have been and are involved in work related to weather or climate issues that engages indigenous communities within the United States.
  • If you require financial support to attend the workshop, please include whether you need full or partial support (i.e., if you would be able to pay airfare but not hotel accommodations).

Identify lessons learned for, or barriers to, achieving successful co-production of science and policy by appraising the first-hand experiences of those involved in cross-cultural efforts to integrate indigenous knowledge and diverse understandings in climate and weather modeling and assessments;
Foster and support collaborations between experts on cross-cultural engagement and NCAR scientists; and
Promote student opportunities to work with NCAR scientists.

For further information, please contact Heather Lazrus (hlazrus[at]ucar.edu) or Bob Gough (gough.bob[at]gmail.com)

Continue Reading


LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE (GA) Training – June 8, 2013 – $200

When: June 8, 2013 – 11:00 AM to 5:00PM

Where: University of Toronto (Galbraith Building – Room 405)

Interested in getting involved in the Green Building Industry? Opportunities are plentiful in the field of sustainable design and LEED® is at its forefront. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is simply a green-rating point system, or a scorecard to certify sustainably designed and constructed buildings.

LeadingGREEN offers the most affordable live LEED Green Associate Training in the world, while still maintaining a 100% pass rate and helping hundreds of students pass their exams. The LEED Green Associate (GA) credential is a great way to enter any green industry and show employers that you are environmentally conscious and knowledgeable.

Cost: $250 ($200 for full time students, request student coupon code)

If you would like to register for the class please sign up at:  www.leadinggreen.ca/products-page   – or -
E-mail us your statement of intent (including contact info) to enroll at info[at]leadingGREEN.ca, including full name, phone number, address and student status.

Continue Reading


ECO-Gamification: Can We “Play” Our Way to a More Sustainable Future?

When: Friday, May 10 from 9-11 AM
Where: Sustainability Network, Ground Floor Boardroom, 215 Spadina Ave.,

Explore how ‘eco-gamification’ can be a powerful tool for encouraging and
increasing participation in sustainable behaviours. Join us in an engaging
session with Paula Owen, recipient of the 2012 London (UK) Leaders for
Sustainability award for inspiring Londoners to lead more sustainable lives.
Paula will give a background to games, gamification and sustainability and
then go on to explain the research project she is undertaking to try to
ascertain whether ‘fun & games’ really can help save the planet. Paula will
demonstrate a number of the games in a fully interactive, hand-on games

Tickets are $20 and must be pre-purchased at:

Tickets will not be available at the door.

Presented by My Sustainable Canada and Sustainability Network


Continue Reading


Great Lakes Roundtable

We would like to invite those interested in the history of Great Lakes
transnational and transborder environmental issues to participate in the
Great Lakes Roundtable. This roundtable will be held on Friday, April 26,
2013 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
The Great Lakes Roundtable will bring together Canadian and American
scholars, writers, and policymakers who are interested in the ways that
Canada and the U.S. have historically used and approached the Great Lakes.
Underlying this roundtable is the idea that understanding the Great Lakes
past is fundamental for comprehending the present and considering the
future. The central theme for this particular meeting will be the recent
renegotiation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreements, which builds
upon the 1972 and 1978 agreements. In addition to addressing the water
quality, we plan to engage other Great Lakes issues such as: invasive
species; transboundary governance; demographic and industry trends; air
quality; water levels and diversions, infrastructure.
Scholars in all disciplines, graduate students, and other interested
observers are welcome. Participants will not have to pay a registration
fee. Those interested in participating should contact Daniel Macfarlane at
daniel_macfarlane[at]carleton.ca. This roundtable is put on by the Canadian
Studies Centre at Michigan State University and the MSU 2012-13 Fulbright
Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies.

Continue Reading