You are here

2021 Speaker Series

View of waves crashing on rocks next to lakewalk in Canal Park, Duluth, with downtown buildings in the background.

2021 Art of Resilience Speaker Series

Co-hosted by UMD and the College of St. Scholastica, this Speaker Series aims to bring together campus and community to explore sustainability and equity in a rapidly changing world.

This series will cover a variety of topics and discuss some common questions, including:

  • How can we be more resilient as individuals, a community, a region?
  • What are the opportunities, challenges, and emerging actions happening right here in Northern Minnesota? 
  • How do I get involved?

Registration is free but required -- please use the links below to register for individual sessions. All registered attendees will get a copy of the recording after the event, regardless of whether or not you join us live. 

Schedule & Topics

The Series is hosted on the following Wednesdays in Spring 2021. 

January 20 @ 3pm

Topic: Duluth Citizen's Climate Action Plan     |     Register for this session

Speaker: Melissa Hoang, Ecolibrium 3 (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Description: This plan is a citizen-led effort to inspire community-wide action to reduce Duluth’s greenhouse gas emissions and build an equitable, just, and climate-resilient community through decarbonization of our agriculture, energy, transportation, and building sectors. Come check out the amazing resources they've created to connect people to existing initiatives and inspire action in our city and NE MN region.

February 3 @ 1pm

Topic: Forest Assisted Migration     |     Register for this session

Speakers: David Abazs, U of M Extension NE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NERSDP)

                 Joel Bransky, U of M NERSDP (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Description: The Northwoods are experiencing dramatic change, and many northern tree species are dying. Within 50 years, without any intervention, researchers predict that the landscape in northeastern Minnesota will become mostly open grasslands. The Forest Assisted Migration Project (FAMP) is attempting to address these challenges to re-establish a resilient northern forest and bolster the regional economy.

February 17 @ 3pm

Topic: Microplastics & Microbrews     |     Register for this session    

Speakers: Dr. Melissa Maurer-Jones, UMD Chemistry & Biochemistry, Assistant Professor

                 Laura Mullen, Bent Paddle Brewing Co, Co-Founder & VP of Marketing & Outreach

Description: Dr. Maurer-Jones will share her research into better understanding the fate of plastics in the environment using Lake Superior as her lab. The research includes quantifying the amount of micro and nano plastics in Lake Superior as well as how the chemistry of the plastic has changed and its potential impacts on ecosystems. Laura Mullen will talk about BP's sustainability initiatives, how sustainability fits into their business model, and the real-world implications of pollution on a local business that depends on clean water. 

March 3 @ 1pm

Topic: Centering Justice and Equity in Sustainability     |     Register for this session

Speaker: Kaija Schlangen, UMD Junior (Psychology major, Latin American Studies minor)

Description: Environmentalism and sustainability have a history of being movements of white, male, able-bodied, straight, middle-class voices, leaving out those most impacted by environmental degradation and extraction. In this talk, we will discuss this history, including the segregation of environmental justice from environmentalism, and how centering the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and women will move all people toward a more sustainable future for all.

March 17 @ 3pm

Topic: Food Sovereignty      |     Register for this session

Speakers: Kaitlyn Walsh, Season Extension Specialist, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

                Conor Henneberry, Food Sovereignty AmeriCorps VISTA, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Description: The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is restoring tribal food sustainability and food sovereignty by creating access to land and healthy, culturally-appropriate food; growing, gathering, hunting and fishing in ways that are sustainable long term; distributing foods in ways that allow people to get what they need to stay healthy; adequately compensating those who provide food, and utilizing tribal treaty rights and upholding policies that ensure continued access to traditional foods. Join this session to hear how Kaitlyn's and Conor's work build upon the efforts of past generations to secure food sovereignty. 

April 7 @ 3pm

Topic: Net Zero Homes & Community Resilience     |     Register for this session

Speaker: Rachel Wagner, through design LLC and co-founder of Green New Deal Housing

Description: Rachel Wagner (architect, designer, & educator) will be speaking about a new nonprofit in Duluth, Green New Deal Housing, which brings an integrated approach to community development and workforce training to lead the transition to zero-carbon buildings and reduce the persistent racial and economic disparities in our community. Green New Deal Homes (affordable, solar-powered, net-zero energy) are at the core of this approach.

April 21 @ 1pm

 Topic: Natural Resource Economics     |     Register for this session

Speaker: Saleh Mamun, UMD Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), Post-Doctoral Associate

Description: Natural resource economics focuses on how to operate an economy within the ecological constraints of Earth's natural resources. Dr. Mamun specializes in ecosystem services and will be speaking about the variety of projects he is working on, including a global analysis on the efficiency of natural and capital management to inform policy and strategic decisions. 

Recordings available on the UMD Office of Sustainability YouTube channel within a few days of the event. 

logo for the UMD OFfice of Sustainability

Logo for the College of St. Scholastica