University of Minnesota Duluth

Alworth Institute Memorial Lecture Series

Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture

This annual lecture, named in honor of the late Royal D. Alworth, Jr.'s life and interests, is designed to raise public understanding of a significant international topic.

2014-2015 Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture

Taking Action: Facing the Challenge of Global Climate Change

Presented by Steve Curwood
Executive Producer and and Host of National Public Radio's, Living on Earth
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Bohannon Hall 90, UMD

To listen to Curwood's lecture on KUMD click here.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported that the impact of climate change will be "severe and pervasive" across the globe, and we are ill-prepared to adapt to the changes we already face, not to mention the effects of future global warming. The authors of the report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, from Working Group II of the IPCC, call for action to increase sustainability and restore ecosystems. What can we do here in the U.S., and what global efforts should we support? These questions will be examined in the course of the Alworth Institute's year-long programmatic focus on what to do about climate change. In this keynote lecture, Steve Curwood will advocate the fact that our relationship to our environment, and what we do to it, is as important as any other part of our lives. He will address what we can do today to limit climate change and to adapt to our lives given our new environmental realities.

As an African American growing up in a single-mother-led household during the Civil Rights Movement, Curwood had much more on his mind than the environment. "Let the white guys march for the environment," he remembers thinking. By Earth Day 1990 however, when his young son insisted that the environment was the most important issue of the day, Curwood revised his thinking. "Of all the issues Americans marched about in 1970, only the environment has gotten worse. Population has almost doubled since the first Earth Day. Species are going extinct faster and faster. Open space and wilderness are disappearing. Evidence is mounting that pollution not only causes cancer but a host of other disorders, including asthma, heart attacks, immune system breakdowns, reproductive problems, and even criminal behavior," Curwood said on "Living on Earth."

Today "Living on Earth" is aired on more than 300 stations nationwide and is heard in Pacific nations over the Armed Forces Radio Network. It has been awarded the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the New York Festivals Award, a CINDY Award, and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters Community Program Awards.

Curwood's relationship with NPR goes back to 1979 when he began working as a reporter and host of "Weekend All Things Considered." He has also worked as a print and television journalist and is the recipient of a shared Pulitzer Prize for Public Service as part of the Boston Globe's education team. He has worked as an editor and reporter for the Bay State Banner and as contributing editor at Black Enterprise magazine and the Boston Phoenix. Curwood is also the recipient of the 2003 Global Greens Award and the 2003 David Brower Award given by the Sierra Club for his creation of "Living on Earth." He also received a 1992 New England Environmental Leadership Award for his work on promoting environmental awareness. The president of the World Media Foundation, Inc., he is also a lecturer in environmental science and public policy at Harvard University.


2013-2014 Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture

"Confronting Global Security: Facing the Challenges of Food Security and Environmental Sustainablity"

Presented by Dr. Jon Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment, and Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Monday September 30th, 2013
7:00 p.m.

Kirby Student Center Ballroom, UMD

Dr. Jon Foley joined the University of Minnesota in 2008, after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. He also leads the Institute's Global Landscapes Initiative. He and his colleagues have published numerous articles in the scientific literature, including highly cited work in Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has also written many popular articles and essays, including pieces in the New York Times, Scientific American, SEED, E360, the Guardian, Ensia (formerly Momentum) and elsewhere. His public presentations on global issues have been featured at hundreds of venues, including the Aspen Environmental Forum, the Quatauqua Institution and TED.

Foley has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award; the J.S. McDonnell Foundation's 21st Century Science Award; an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship; and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Foley's work focuses on the sustainability of our civilization and the global environment. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of global food security, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet's climate, ecosystems and water cycle, and the sustainability of the biosphere. This work has led him to be a regular advisor to large corporations, NGOs and governments around the world.

T.R. Reid2012-2013 Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture

One Shoulder, Ten Countries: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care"

Presented by T.R. Reid, Correspondent and Reporter, NPR and PBS
Author of The Healing of America
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
7:00 p.m.
Bohannon Hall 90, UMD

Dr. Anuradha Chenoy2011-2012 Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture

India and her Neighbors: The Foreign Policy Projections & Strategic Partnerships of a Rising Power"

Presented by Dr. Anuradha Chenoy, Professor, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
7:00 p.m.

Library 4th Floor Rotunda

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