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Tufts Environmental Alumni (TEA)
6th Edition -- January 2011

In this issue:
President Bacow: An environmental retrospective
Environmental Studies Program Moving Forward
Alumni Profile: Natasha DeVoe
Faculty Profile: Kent Portney
Student Profile: Aaron Strong
Book Review: Citizen You
On-campus Events
Alumni resources

TIE Program Director Antje Danielson

As we anticipate the fifth major snowstorm to hit Tufts this winter, I am happy to welcome you to a new issue of the TEA Newsletter and give you an overview of the latest activities here at the Tufts Institute of the Environment.  Once again, our interns have put together an informative and engaging issue.


This semester, TIE will distribute a number of fellowships for Tufts graduate and undergraduate students. We'll continue our graduate fellowship program, which provides up to $6,000 for independent, interdisciplinary research projects, with support from the Provost's Office.  You can see a list past projects on our website. We are also working with the Compton Foundation to award the Compton Mentor Fellowship, which allows an undergraduate to pursue an innovative, year-long environmentally-focused project after graduation.  We will also provide two summer scholarships for faculty-supervised student projects this year. Keeping these opportunities alive and well-resourced is not an easy task and as always I encourage you to help us support these programs.


There are some major University-wide changes afoot that will affect TIE and its partners on campus. The Environmental Studies program recently gained a new director--Professor and

Tufts logo

TIE faculty director Colin Orians of the biology department -- and welcomed Ann Greaney-Williams as the new program coordinator. Both Ann and Colin now have office space at TIE.

Another welcome addition to the Tufts community is Joanne Berger-Sweeney, the new Dean of Arts and Sciences. I spoke with the dean about her background in the environmental health sciences and neurotoxicology, and she assured me that she fully appreciates the difficulties related to interdisciplinary research and teaching. I am looking forward to her tenure and support of Tufts' environmental programs. Lastly, we are sad to see Tufts President Larry Bacow leave (see retrospective, below), but we warmly welcome President-Elect Tony Monaco. In his current position as Pro-Vice Chancellor for Planning and Resources at the University of Oxford, Dr. Monaco has oversight of the university's sustainability efforts. We look forward tohis fresh perspective on Tufts' sustainability efforts and anticipate his appreciation of Tufts' commitment to environmental sustainability.


In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your engagement in TEA. I was fortunate to meet some of you just before the holidays at a panel discussion on the BP oil spill on the Medford campus and at the alumni reception held at the annual AGU conference in San Francisco. I hope you will not hesitate to call on the TIE team and the Tufts Alumni Office for help in organizing events and other means of communication. Our interns, too, will be happy to help.


On that note, please also join me in congratulating our former interns Kiersten von Trapp, who recently took a position at NMR Inc. in Somerville, MA, and Jessica Soule, who now works with the EnvironMentors program at the National Council for Science and the Environment in Washington, DC.


Enjoy the newsletter!


Antje Danielson

Administrative Director

Tufts Institute of the Environment

Would you like to host a TEA Event?
Round-table discussion? Film Screening? Speaker series? Alumni panel? And more!

We want your ideas!

Last spring, Tufts Alumni Bruce Klafter, E'76, visited Tufts from California while on a business trip to Boston. He hosted a round table discussion on sustainability in the corporate world. Alumni, faculty, and current undergraduate and graduate students attended the event. A lively discussion followed a presentation by Bruce and was accompanied by pizza and beverages provided by TIE. If you're interested in hosting a similar event, please contact the TEA steering committee at tuftsenvironmentalalumni@gmail.com

Reflections for the Tufts Environmental Alumni Newsletter

by Lawrence S. Bacow 



Courtesy of Tufts University Photography


Tufts has a long and deep commitment to issues of the environment and sustainability.  The green campus movement worldwide grew out of a conference convened by then-President Jean Mayer at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France, in 1990.  That conference led to the Talloires Declaration, a ten-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities that has been signed by over 350 university presidents and chancellors in over 40 countries.  In 1999, under President DiBiaggio, the university publicly committed itself to meeting the Kyoto goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


Since then, we have continued to take a leadership position.  We were a founding member, and the first university member, of the Chicago Climate Exchange.  We have been recognized as an innovator in finding more efficient ways to utilize and conserve resources throughout the university, including energy and water, and to limit and recycle our waste products.  The members of the staff who volunteer their time to our Eco-Ambassadors program play a special role in ensuring that the values of sustainability are addressed at the level of individual Schools and departments.


Visitors to our campuses cannot help but notice the university's commitment to sustainability-whether they see the electric cars used by our Facilities staff, the Zipcars available for staff and faculty use, or the signs indicating that our grounds are maintained using organic principles.  Some of the very best ideas have come from our students.  This past year, our dining halls went trayless as the result of a student initiative to reduce excessive food waste and energy consumption.  We work to incorporate LEED principles into the construction and renovation of facilities across the university.

sophia gordon

Sophia Gordon Hall


Of course, teaching and research are at the heart of our mission as an academic institution.  Here too we are an environmental leader.  Sustainability is a central focus for our School of Engineering, while faculty at the Fletcher School played central roles in the work that led to a Nobel Prize for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Our faculty are opening up new opportunities for innovation in areas as

diverse, and promising, as green chemistry and the use of recycled waste materials in heavy construction.  Tufts students entered a spectacular project, the only one from New England, in the last Solar Decathlon.


After they leave Tufts, our graduates carry on this tradition of being good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.  Today, they hold positions of prominence in government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and academic institutions dedicated to sustainability. 

larry at grad

President Bacow at matriculation, May 2010

Some of the greenest corporations in the United States-DuPont, for example-are led by Tufts alumni.  And the future for our environmental research and teaching is bright:  The first Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship grant that Tufts has ever received from the National Science Foundation will support work on water diplomacy involving five of our Schools.


As someone who has devoted his entire academic career to research and teaching on issues of the environment and sustainability, it has been a privilege and an honor to lead an institution where everyone embraces these concepts as core values.


As President of Tufts University since September 2001, Lawrence S. Bacow has advanced its role as a leader in teaching, research, and public service. Within the university, he champions academic excellence and places a premium on open communication and close engagement with students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Nationally, he is well known as an advocate of broader access to higher education and the importance of need-based financial aid. Internationally, he plays an important role in efforts to strengthen universities' commitment to civic engagement.

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Environmental Studies Program Moving Forward 

by Colin Orians  



Dear Alumni,


There are many critical environmental issues facing society today; we need to better educate the public on both environmental challenges and solutions.  Individuals with training in environmental studies play a key role in this process.  A program that educates its majors effectively, provides a unique interdisciplinary perspective and prepares them for leadership roles.  It is with this view that I begin my journey as the next director of the Environmental Studies (ENVS) program at Tufts. It is an honor and a privilege; I am incredibly thankful to the previous director, Dr. George Ellmore.  George both strengthened the program (we now have an excellent GIS lab thanks to his determination) and helped smooth my transition into this position. My goal for the next few years is to maintain the program's current strengths and to undertake significant expansion. I envision Environmental Studies as a signature interdepartmental program that benefits its majors, the university, its alumni and society.  To reach this goal I will be working closely with Tufts' many excellent students, faculty, staff and alumni. 


The ENVS Program, like many interdisciplinary programs, faces two key challenges: lack of resources and poor community cohesion.  I am striving to overcome both. When I took the position, I requested additional resources and the administration thankfully agreed! Ann Greaney-Williams, our new program coordinator, started on November 1, 2010. Already she has spearheaded many key changes, such as creating a newsletter and updating our website. Our operating budget is relatively small, but we now have funds to support student initiatives, bring in guest speakers each year, and organize various activities, such as the new Lunch & Learn program.  In the future, I hope to have additional funds that will allow the program to fund student travel, bring in more speakers, and facilitate an expanded internship program.


hands with plant 

Photo courtesy of goldschmidt.info

A vibrant community is essential to the success of any organization, so I view the challenge of creating community to be the most important obstacle to overcome.  It is difficult to generate a sense of community when we lack a central gathering space, when majors do not know each other, and when faculty come from so many different departments.


Fortunately, thanks to the Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE), we now have a space on campus where students can meet, gather and learn. Several other changes are designed to increase the sense of community among students. We have recently initiated a weekly Lunch & Learn program where students can hear about the exciting work being done by their peers, graduate students, faculty, alumni, and other guest lecturers.  Meetings will occur Thursdays at noon and we hope that you, as alumni, will consider taking part in this program as well.


A well-developed curriculum also has a big impact on community. Currently, there is little common academic experience among our students. I have been meeting with the Environmental Studies Executive Committee this past semester with the specific goal of creating a more unified and effective curriculum. The core of the new curriculum will give students a breadth of knowledge and a shared academic background; the courses within each track will provide specific training in that area.

ENVS students

Environmental Studies students in

 the Middlesex Fells Reservation


While this gives you a sense of where the program is headed, it is only the beginning; I look forward to implementing new ideas as they come forward. Given the important environmental issues facing society today and in the future, we must not accept anything short of excellence from the program and for our students. The time is right to expand the ENVS program, and if you have ideas, we want to hear them.  You can work with us to plan an event, write for our biweekly newsletter, or send us ideas for how to make the program grow. We now have a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@EnvStudiesTufts). We want to nurture the creativity of the entire Tufts ENVS community, so please join us in creating a dynamic and forward-thinking program!


Colin Orians is Director of Environmental Studies & Professor of Biology, School of Arts & Sciences, specializing in Ecology and plant-herbivore-environment interactions. He can be reached at Colin.Orians@tufts.edu    

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Climate Change, Climate Justice (CCCJ) group needs your input!


Women in the Global South are among the most susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change

From Jonathan Kenny, Chemistry professor and CCCJ working group member

For the past four years there has been an informal committee at Tufts made up of faculty, staff and students committed to climate justice.  We have cosponsored events and speakers and discussed possible curricular and research opportunities.  We are investigating the possibility of an interdisciplinary course on climate change and climate justice that would serve the general student population as well as majors in Environmental Studies and Peace and Justice Studies.  We would like to know about your ideas and involvement in climate justice activities.  Please send any input to Jonathan Kenny.  __________________________________________________________________________ 

Alumni Profile: Natasha DeVoe, A88

Natasha DeVoe

Interviewed by Libby Mahaffy, G11

Natasha DeVoe, who graduated with a double major in English and Biology and is now a wetland planner with the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), still uses the interdisciplinary skills she gained as an undergraduate at Tufts. She spoke with TIE intern Libby Mahaffy from her home in Minneapolis.

Libby Mahaffy: It seems like you've always been interested in interdisciplinary work, given your science and humanities background.  Was that encouraged at Tufts?

Natasha DeVoe: One story I love to tell is about a visit to my first advisor at Tufts, who was an English professor. I wanted to take six classes one semester, including Italian, philosophy, Roman history, as well as a biology, English, and psychology. I had to get his permission. He looked at me and said, "You know this is going to be a lot of work?" I said, "Yes." He said, "I'm not really going to stop you from doing this, am I?" I said, "I hope not!" He signed the paper and wished me luck.

Nobody had a problem with my taking unrelated classes and crossing over [disciplines] - I even went abroad one semester in Australia and in the spring of my senior year I did an internship with the Boston aquarium. That's one of the things that I like about Tufts: they encourage people to do things that are outside the box.

What is the most interesting or memorable project you've worked on in your tenure at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR)?

When I first got to BWSR, they had just started up the wetland banking program and were keeping track of it on paper. Every time someone would make a withdrawal they would liter-



ally write it down on a ledger! I had just finished temping at a law firm where I had been shown the power of Excel pivot tables and an Access database; with that insight, I volunteered and was given the freedom to build a database to keep track of wetland banking. I taught myself how to do it as I went along. I used my database for at least two years before BWSR realized that not only did they need a database, but they needed an even better database. They hired a professional programmer. I worked with him and learned even more. I knew the system very intimately-- what I wanted it to do and what we could and couldn't do. We're still using the database that we programmed in 2000. Now I manage the upgrade contracts- to expand or to fix things that go wrong - so it's still my baby. Because I had that successful experience, I've since designed other databases. My very first response to problems now is to put them into some kind of database or spreadsheet.

You are on the Board of Directors of Forum of Women in the Environmental Field. Can you tell me about this group and your involvement in it?



I heard about them when I was a student.  Networking just among women

was exciting to me -I work in a very male-dominated field.  There are more and more women now, but especially when I first started there weren't that many, and I felt it would be nice to have some support. I wanted to be able to talk to other women to see how they were handling things and how it was for them. I wasn't too involved until after I graduated and had my job. Once I joined FWEF, I became the secretary right away; I like to write things down and it gave me some control over making sure good ideas didn't get lost. It'snot a huge time commitment and it has brought me into contact with some really interesting and dedicated women; it makes my life that much richer. In fact, another Tufts alumna is on the board with me - she even graduated in my class!

What role do you think the newly forming Tufts Environmental Alumni chapter should have?

From my involvement in a few different networking boards, [I've learned] you just need one thing in common to bring people together. There's a certain level of comfort in knowing that you've had the same background, maybe the same class or professor.TEA could provide contacts for people looking for work or give companies a bigger pool of applicants by spreading the word of job openings. It's helpful to all alumni if the Tufts name and "brand identity" is boosted, if Tufts is known for turning out good people or maybe hosting great events or sponsoring good interns. Everybody benefits.

wetland MN

Minnesota wetland. Photo courtesy of inter-sell.pl 

At my very first job, right off the bat they upped my salary by $1,000 just because they knew Tufts was a good school. I paid a lot for tuition, but it was still an unexpected bonus!  I'd like to think that anyone who has benefitted from that would help pay it forward.

What advice would you give to a current student in the environmental field?

The most important thing - and it took me a while to really understand this - is that there is a difference between the academic and the real world.  When I was in my Master's program, I was pressured to take classes that were of a certain caliber only because my advisors thought that I would go into research and academia, but that's not what I was interested in. I wanted to go out and apply my work - in government or as a consultant. I could even have started off at a low-level position in an agency and worked my way up. I'm really glad I got my Master's degree but there were probably other ways to do it.

It's helpful to talk to people in the field - ask what training they have and what training is necessary for the job you're interested in. It's hard to go up to a stranger and ask those questions. I know because I'm actually a fairly shy person, which is one of the reasons I force myself to run for boards [of directors], because then you have to interact with people.

Also, ask people for references - usually people are very happy, if they know you, to recommend you to their friends. Most people are very willing to help if they can.

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Faculty Profile: Kent Portney, Political Science

by Libby Mahaffy, G11

Kent Portney


A professor of political science who has taught at Tufts for 31 years, Kent Portney has long been interested environmental policy and municipal politics. His latest research, an extension of his book

Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously (MIT Press, 2003), examines the barriers to making American cities more sustainable. TIE intern Libby Mahaffy interviewed him on a snowy day in January 2011.

Libby Mahaffy: What are you currently working on in terms of research?

 Kent Portney: A lot of my research these days focuses on the politics of sustainable cities in North America. I have worked to develop an empirical research base for understanding sustainability in cities. I wanted to know why some cities were more progressive in adopting and implementing sustainability policies than other cities. There were some cities, like Indianapolis, that had an early sustainability program but weren't doing very much. Then there were cities like Chattanooga that claim to be doing a lot, but are addressing only certain kinds of things, completely staying away from issues such as equity and environmental justice. As I got into this more it became clear to me that the issue was that some cities had the political will to do these things in the first place. The real stumbling block is, as I like to call it, the political will to do it. The differences had a lot more to do with the politics and the political culture there than with the other issues that we might think explain those issues. 

Kent's book cover

How did you get interested in this topic? Were you always involved in environmental research?

Analysis of sustainable cities presented me with an opportunity to combine some research interests that had been fairly disparate up to that point. I've always been interested in city and municipal politics; over the years I've published a lot of work on that. I've also been interested in environmental issues and I've written on environmental policy -- federal, state, and local policies. The field of sustainable cities combined my interest in the environment with my interest in cities and city politics -- it seems like it's tailor-made for me. That really started in the mid-1990s.

So what are your plans for future research?

In the near-term I've been working on a project with colleague Jeff Berry. We surveyed public officials and nonprofit leaders in the 50 largest cities in the US. We completed that survey about a year ago; now we're analyzing the results. One of the key issues is the role of the nonprofit sector -- local groups, citizen groups, resident groups in cities that advocate for sustainability and environmental policies -- in helping to make sustainability politically palatable. 

I also want to understand the impact of the policies that cities pursue. Do our climate protection policies in cities really have an impact on the quality of the environment?  Do they produce tangible, measurable results? We can't really say that these policies are making progress toward sustainability unless we have some tangible evidence that they are actually working. Increasingly, I want to research the connection between the policies that are pursued and the results they produce.

Lastly, I have this overarching need to understand the extent to which cities can use sustainable development as a mechanism for promoting local economic development. I'd like to ask the question: If a city commits itself to sustainable economic development, does that actually produce economic development? I think increasingly cities are interested in this question for two reasons: one, many cities don't want to continue to degrade their environments, so they're looking for alternative ways to keep their economies going without destroying the livability of the city; second, cities that have been engaged in traditional economic development -- the attract, retain, and expand model that has been in operation for 50 or 60 years - [are starting to realize that] that model doesn't work anymore. We'd like to have some reason to believe that when cities commit themselves to sustainable economic development that it's going to actually make the economy grow.

Sustainable development image

Courtesy of grassrootsne.com

Are the classes you teach related to your research?

I teach a senior undergraduate seminar called The Politics of Sustainable Cities. I try to get the students to first understand the broader idea of sustainability. Then, depending on what your definition of sustainability is, there are 38 different specific policies and programs that cities and municipalities can do to try to promote sustainability, whether it's through energy efficiency programs, building retrofits, green building, integrated water management, or land use regulation. I talk to students about why those programs promise to promote sustainability and then investigate with them alternative explanations for why some cities do more than others, why some cities tailor their programs one way over another. The students do some of their own original research.

I also teach a course called Politics of Environmental Policy in the United States that is focused largely on US national policies. It uses a standard policymaking process framework as its organizing method: How does Congress look at environmental policies? What kinds of policies get enacted? Why? What results have they produced? How have they been implemented? How does the EPA implement environmental policies? How do they write the rules and regulations? What alternatives are there to the regulatory process? Those are the kinds of things that we discuss in class. At the end of the class we start to talk about state and local alternatives to national policy, but most of the class is focused on federal actions.

The other class that I'm going to be working on is a course for the IGERT graduate program.

NSF logo

Shafiq Islam, Rich Vogel [Civil and Environmental Engineering], Michael Reed [Biology], Bill Moomaw [the Fletcher School] and I applied for a National Science Foundation grant to create a Ph.D. program here at Tufts on Water and Diplomacy. It is designed to be aninterdisciplinary doctoral program and students who enter a Ph.D. program at Fletcher, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Nutrition, or another other program at Tufts are eligible. They get financial support and they have to take specific courses. One of those courses is on water policy and economics. I'll probably teach a part of that course.

Could interested Alumni sit in on your classes?

I'd love to have alumni come sit in on any of my classes. They just need to contact me to make appropriate arrangements.

What is your take on the state of environmentalism at Tufts?

We offer a very impressive array of courses on environmental issues here at Tufts, but there's no one department that specializes in it or has any kind of claim on those courses. In terms of some of sustainability issues, the Environmental Studies undergraduate major under Colin Orians's leadership is now working to define an undergraduate track in sustainability. The program has identified a bunch of courses that would count towards that track, which is an exciting step beyond just focusing on environmental issues. We've got pockets of expertise in different aspects of sustainability and we are just now starting to think about ways to bring them together.

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Contribute to the next TEA E-Newsletter!
Job Postings? Internships? Mentorships?

Events? Publications? Speaker Series?

We'd like to showcase YOUR news! Please send information on TEA related job postings, internships, mentorships, events, publications or general announcements to tuftsenvironmentalalumni@gmail.com.
Your announcement will be on the website and in the next newsletter!

Student Profile: Aaron Strong (F11), International Shipping & Climate Change
by Libby Mahaffy, G11

Aaron Strong

Tufts student Aaron Strong (F11) sat down with TIE intern Libby Mahaffy this month to discuss the environmental research he has undertaken for his Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The following is an excerpt of their conversation.   


Project overview

Aaron Strong: My Master's thesis at the Fletcher school is concerned with the the question of how to go about regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the international shipping industry. This is a particularly interesting question to me for two reasons: one, it is very difficult to attribute the emissions from the international shipping industry to one particular country. What do you do when the emissions are coming from a ship that's owned by a German company, chartered by Greek shipping line, flying the flag of Liberia, moving grain from Sydney, Australia, through the Panama Canal to New Orleans? Whose emissions are those? Physically, the fuel is being combusted in international waters. That challenge hasn't been answered on the international level so far; it's really a gap in the policy process. So why should we care about those emissions? The maritime industry -- international shipping -- represents about 3% of global emissions. It's not breaking the bank in terms of the climate, [but] 90% of international trade moves by ship. If you look at the full life-cycle of a product, say a consumer good being exported to the US from China, a lot of its environmental impact has to do with transportation. The emissions from goods that are being transported in international trade are shipping emissions. So I set out in my research to study the institutional role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations tasked with regulating the shipping industry in tackling this complex issue.


Research on location


I did preliminary research at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15,  also known as the Copenhagen Conference) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.That was my first year at Tufts and I went with the Fletcher delegation of seven other students and my adviser, Professor Kelly Sims Gallagher. For me, being in Copenhagen and interviewing delegates and NGO representatives was an amazing and eye-opening introduction to speaking the language of international climate policy.

In the summer of 2010 I managed to get a research attachment at the International Maritime Organization, which was a fantastic opportunity for me to be able to conduct my research, and the support of the Tufts Institute of the Environment research fellowship enabled me to be in London for two months. Each day I would go to the Maritime Knowledge Centre at the IMO where I had a desk in the research library, and full access to decades and decades of the IMO's documents. While at the IMO, I was also afforded the opportunity to be an observer of small working group meetings where delegates were negotiating the finer details of international climate policy for the shipping industry. That was a gold mine in terms of my research, as it afforded me great insight into to the processes of international environmental negotiations and into how regulations and policies get made.

MSC Flaminia

MSC Flaminia at sea

These international policies for fuel regulations in the shipping industry all seem so abstract, but how they are actually implemented on the ground is fascinating. By "on the ground", I mean on a ship. One of the other things I did with my research funds was to conduct research while traveling for nine days aboard MSC Flaminia, a 300-meter-long, 6000 TEU, that's twenty-foot equivalent units [a unit of cargo carrying capacity], 75,000 horsepower container ship from Le Havre, France, to Charleston, South Carolina at the end of the summer. I was one of three passengers aboard the ship, along with about twenty officers and crew, which was bringing all kinds of goods from northern Europe to the eastern seaboard of the United States. It was just a fantastic experience to be able to understand how a ship operates in motion, and how decisions made at the IMO are implemented by the sailors and engineers running the ship -- it was something I'll always remember.

 Challenges to climate change policy in the IMO

The International Maritime Organization was designed to regulate the safety of life at sea. It is an inherently conservative institution designed to serve the needs of industry. It isn't an environmental organization; it's a specialized agency. The biggest problem for climate policy for the shipping industry is that there are two competing principles in the international arena for how to deal with the issue. One of the principles is the principle of equal treatment for all ships: all countries should be treated the same way with a uniform standard. This is enshrined in the International Maritime Organization conventions. The other principle is Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, which has meant that developed countries like Japan, the European countries, Canada, and Australia (and the United States, if it had ratified the Kyoto Protocol) have to take on commitments to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions first, and that developing countries, like China and India, but also sub-Saharan African countries, don't have to take on commitments at first because climate change was caused by the industrialized nations of the global North. So, when trying to come up with a climate policy in the IMO, these two principles are at odds with each other, and the debates get heated. These are two different ways of thinking about designing a policy, so there's no clear and obvious answer.


Possible solutions

I was in Cancun [for the COP16, held in December 2010], with support from the Fletcher School, continuing to study this process.  One proposal that was suggested is to have a uniform fee associated with the movement of all goods in international trade, but then to offer rebates to those developing countries in most need of support to address climate change: to adapt to rising sea levels or increased droughts or to develop community resilience. This proposal hasn't gone anywhere; instead, what's been achieved is an Energy Efficiency Design


Index for new ships -- you can think of it like a fuel standard for cars but for ships of the future. This is unlikely to do anything to current emissions that are coming from the shipping industry.

What we need is an emissions target, a number and we almost got it in Cancun. We've got this enshrined target that exists in the UN system [which is to limit global warming to 2 above preindustrial temperatures]. What would the maritime industry have to do in terms of emissions reductions to achieve this goal? It doesn't sound like much, but if we can get a target in the UN framework, that finds a way to satisfy the two competing principles, then we can at least begin the process of figuring out how to move forward.


In today's day and age where we're always flyingaroundthe world, one of the amazing thingsabout moving by ship is that you slow down. That may be the best answer, actually, to how to combat climate change, at least in the maritime industry. If you slow down the average speedof the ship, you'regoing to greatly reduce


View from onboard the MSC Flaminia

emissions and not significantly impact the price of goods, and in fact you'll probably lower thecost of shipping for the industry. It's a win-win-win that involves building smarter ships in the future that are designed to operate at slower speeds. That's not going to work for everybody, but it has a lot of possibility. That, and if we can get biofuelsthat are not just from corn ethanol, shipping can really do its part.

Aaron Strong: Publications

Nature 2009:

Ocean Fertilization: time to move on
Oceanography 2009:

Fertilization: Science, Policy and Commerce

Aaron Strong
is a second year graduate student at the Fletcher School, where he is concentrating in international environmental policy and political geography. His current research interests are in the geography of environmental governance and the treatment of science in climate change policy-making processes. Aaron works in both the Fletcher School's Center for International Environment and Resource Policy and International Maritime Studies Program, and is also a research assistant at the Stockholm Environment Institute-United States and a climate science consultant at the World Resources Institute.  Prior to coming to Fletcher, he was as an environmental policy research associate at MIT and has previously worked for two years as a research scientist in marine biogeochemistry and microbial ecology labs.  He plans to continue his studies of the nexus of ecological science and policy as a PhD student.

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Book Review: Civic Action in the 21st Century

by Regina Raboin

citizen you cover

Citizen You: Doing Your Part to Change the World by Jonathan M. Tisch (A'76) with Karl Weber. Crown Publishers, New York 2010.


The Light on the Hill burns brightly and is spreading across America.


Jonathan M. Tisch's (with Karl Weber) new book, Citizen You: Doing Your Part to Change the World, invites private citizens, public servants, non-profit organizations and corporations to transform old models of civic action into new. In asking the question, will 20th century thinking hold back 21st century progress?, Mr. Tisch is hopeful that new ways of perceiving and implementing civic activism will answer 21st century challenges. Throughout the book, Mr. Tisch and Mr. Weber weave examples of citizen activism, social and professional entrepreneurship, and corporate philanthropy, bringing to the forefront transformative thinking and new partnerships between people, organizations and corporations.


The authors profile Tufts University's Tisch College of Active Citizenship and Public Service,  illustrating how private organizations foster social activism through integration of active citizenship across all facets of the school (including curriculum), connecting academic rigor with learning outcomes focused on root causes of societal problems and modeling how social activism is open to everyone. Quite simply, Tisch College outlines ways in which America's education system can develop active citizens.


Corporate leaders such as Pierre and Pam Omidyar, Bill Gates, Alan Solomont and Alan Khazei are presented as examples of how great wealth and corporate social leadership can address social problems using unique and sustainable partnerships.


dental school active citizen

A Tufts Dental School student provides instruction on proper brushing. Photo courtesy of Tufts University Photography.

Public servant leadership is also explored using Michael Bloomberg's (and others) New York City (NYC) Service program as an example of "a city of citizens." Mayor Bloomberg believes that active citizenship combined with non-profit, business and city government assistance can help in creating sustainable urban neighborhoods, "...citizen service can make the difference, bridging the gap between what government can do and what needs to be done" (p. 108).


From a practical point of view each chapter provides sections entitled "Food for Thought, Seeds for Action," ideas and information on how to pursue and realize civic engagement. The concluding chapter, "To Learn More," lists fifty-two ways (along with contact information) to become an active citizen.


It's not surprising the majority of Citizen You's featured social activists or organizations are Tufts alumni, students, faculty or affiliated organizations. Tufts University is recognized nationally and internationally for promoting social activism through its Tisch College, student organizations, centers and institutes and curriculum.  Tufts is known for graduating students who seek positions in fields that are dedicated to civic engagement and activism - and I think that's something to write about - don't you?

Citizen You can be purchased directly from Crown Publishers or on Amazon.com.Regina Raboin

Citizen You: Doing Your Part to Change the World can be found in Tisch Library. Do a subject search for Social Change - Citizen Participation in the Tufts Catalog to discover additional resources in this subject.

Reviewed by Regina Raboin, Science and Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning Research Librarian, Research & Instruction, Tisch Library, Tufts University. 

Jonathan M. Tisch, A'76
Jonathan M. Tisch is a University trustee and a Tufts alumnus who graduated in 1976. Widely recognized as a prominent civic and business leader, Tisch is the chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels and co-chairman of the board of the parent company, Loews Corporation. In addition to his distinguished business career, he is also the author of a best-selling book, The Power of We: Succeeding through Partnerships (2004), host of the television program "Open Exchange: Beyond the Boardroom," and an active philanthropist.

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On-Campus Events Sponsored by TIE 


Environmental Studies Lunch & Learn

Ecology and Physiology of Green Roof Plant Communities with Colleen Butler

Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 12:00pm (pizza and drinks provided)  

Location: Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) Conference Room, Medford Campus 

Green roofs, long common in Europe, are becoming increasingly common in the United States. A number of services are attributed to green roofs, such as retention of rain water, mitigation of the urban heat island effect, and creation of habitat for local fauna. This talk will provide an overview of these living systems, present recent findings on the ecosystem


Colleen Butler

services they provide, and discuss the role of environmental scientists in future green roof research.


Colleen Butler is a 5th year PhD candidate in Dr. Colin Orians' lab in the Department of Biology at Tufts University. Her research focuses on the ecology and physiology of green roof plant communities. She is a founding member of the Tufts Green Roof Collaborative and oversees research on the Tisch Library Green Roof. Colleen was also featured in  TEA @ TIE in September 2010.

What Massachusetts Residents Think about Climate Change: Results from an In-depth Statewide Study

Dr. Jon Krosnick, Woods Institute of the Environment, Stanford University  

Thursday, February 3, 2011, 7-9pm   

Location: Tufts University, Cabot 205, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy,


Jon Krosnick
is a social psychologist who does research on attitude formation, change, and effects, on the psychology of political behavior, and on survey research methods. At Stanford, in addition to his professorships, he directs the Political Psychology Research Group and the Summer Institute in Political Psychology.


Tufts Energy Conference

Exploring Energy's Great Debates: Moving Past Posturing to Arrive at Achievable Energy Solutions  

Tufts Energy Conference


April 15- 16, 2011
Tufts Medford campus

We know that we still need fossil fuels, that new technologies are making renewable energy  viable, that policy  solutions are required to enable clean consumption, and nations all over the world must work to balance economic growth with environmental degradation.
What we don't know is everything else. In its 6th year, the Tufts Energy Conference will engage industry leaders, policymakers, professionals, and students in a constructive debate on how incremental policy changes and business model innovations can make a meaningful impact on global energy challenges in the next 10 years.


Early-bird registration begins February 15, 2011.

$45 for professionals; stay tuned for Tufts alumni discount tickets



To learn more about sponsoring the Tufts Energy Conference and/or table at the Friday Energy Showcase to receive additional benefits + discounts for your organization, contact tuftsenergyconference2011@gmail.com


Water: Systems, Science and Society Annual Symposium

WSSS logo 600px

Water in 2050: The Infrastructure to Get There
Friday, April 1, 2011
Location: Asean Auditorium, the Fletcher School, Tufts Medford campus. 

Panelists will explore critical and emerging infrastructure challenges across a broad spectrum of disciplines planning for water needs in 2050.  Key themes to be discussed include the appropriate scale of management, how to value and pay for water, aging infrastructure, development, emerging challenges and novel solutions.   
Click here for other interesting on-campus events sponsored by TIE

Alumni Job Postings, Events and Publications!

Jobs, Events and Resources for environmental alumni from environmental alumni!



Haley & Aldrich - Environmental Engineers, Scientists, Others, Multiple Locations, U

2011 MCCloy Fellowships in Environmental Policy

Higher Education Industry Solutions Manager, ESRI, Redlands, CA

Open Aquatic Scientist Position, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, Newton, GA

Click here for updated job postings


Lyon & Bendheim Alumni Lecture and Reception featuring Mike Granoff, A91, of Better Place

Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 6:30 pm

Location: Granoff Family Hillel Center, 220 Packard Avenue, Tufts Medford Campus

Please register online by February 8

Mike Granoff, A91, is Head of Oil Independence Policies at Better Place. Better Place aims to reduce the world's dependency on petroleum by providing the services and networks - such as battery switch stations and charge spots - necessary to support electric vehicles. As Head of Oil Independence Policies for Better Place, Granoff works with governments and industry to generate support and provide a policy framework to enable countries to covert from gas to electric powered cars. The company currently operates in Israel, Denmark, Australia and China. Additional pilot testing has begun in Tokyo, California and Hawaii. According to Deutsche Bank analysts, Better Place "has the potential to eliminate the gasoline engine altogether" and could be a "paradigm shift in the way vehicles and owned and fueled."


To learn more about the Lyon & Bendheim Alumni Lecture, including past speakers, visit http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/lyonbendheim/; for more information about the February 9th event, please contact Shane Dunn at shane.dunn@tufts.edu in the Office of Alumni Relations.


TEA Genzyme Tour and Happy Hour!   

Time/Date: TBD

Location: Genzyme building, 500 Kendall St, Cambridge, MA
On the tour, led by a Genzyme employee, participants can expect an overview of the following:
Genzyme Corporation-Who we are and what we do
Genzyme Center's neighborhood and its development
Genzyme Center's design elements and green features
such as:
The use of light features, roof plantings and loggia to aid
in reduced energy costs and decreased water use
Open work spaces to foster collaboration
Interior Gardens & Art
Platinum rating, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council
under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

The tour will be followed by a happy hour at a nearby pub.  We hope to see you there!

TEA Presents: Alumni Networking Night and Speaker, PJ Simmons of Corporate EcoForum  

Thursday, April 28th

Location: TBD, Tufts Medford Campus


P.J. will be discussing corporate sustainability and his new book, The Green to Gold Business Playbook, set to be released in April. 

P.J. Simmons has worked for over 15 years as a trusted sustainability analyst, strategist, and bridge-builder. After serving as a researcher on environmental affairs at the National Security Council (1993-1994), he founded and directed the Wilson Center's Environmental Change & Security Program, the Carnegie Endowment's Managing Global Issues program, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's U.S. in the World program. Publications include Washington DC's The Greener Business Guide, Managing Global Issues: Lessons Learned, and U.S. in the World. P.J. served twice as the Clinton Global Initiative Deputy Chair for Energy & Climate Change. P.J. received his B.A. in political science (summa cum laude) from Tufts University, his M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS, was a Fulbright scholar, and holds a Certificate in Conservation Biology from Columbia University. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Click here for other interesting TEA related events.
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