University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

Sustainability Lecture Series Begins Oct. 4

Sustainability Lecture Series Begins Oct. 4

The yearlong series at UC Riverside will feature scientists, policy analysts and futurists.

(September 27, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A yearlong series of lectures that will address various aspects of sustainability begins at UC Riverside on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and will feature UCR scientists, policy analysts and futurists.

John Cook, campus sustainability coordinator, will discuss “Institutionalizing Sustainability” on Oct. 4 from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. in Interdisciplinary Building 1113. All lectures in the series are free and open to the public. Parking costs $6.

Cook is a Fulbright scholar with a Ph.D. in performance studies from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco.

“Sustainability relies on whole-system thinking,” he says. “Whether it’s the departments of dance or chemistry, a professor, staff or student, a building project or a parking lot, everything affects everything else. There is no point on campus that sustainability doesn’t have an impact in a multiplicity of ways.”

The lecture series is presented the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, which selects an annual theme around which to focus courses, events and activities for first-year students enrolled in the CHASS F1RST program. CHASS F1RST is designed to help freshmen be successful and includes significant interaction with faculty, personalized advising and peer mentorship; gateway lectures that help first-year students transition from high school to college through a unique introduction to intellectual discussion in courses focused around a central theme; and first-year learning communities.

“Sustainability means many things,” said Geoff Cohen, CHASS F1RST coordinator. “The lecture series will focus on environmental issues and budget issues. One of the questions we will ask is if the University of California is a sustainable organization in this climate of economic crisis. How do we sustain the fundamental needs of a democracy, an educated populace, in a period of budget cuts? If our students are to be the future, how do we provide them with the knowledge, values and skills to participate in the world?”

The second sustainability lecture will be Nov. 17, when Steven G. Brint, professor of sociology and vice provost for undergraduate education, discusses “Sustainable Education.” Brint is known nationally for his research on higher education. Since 2000 he has directed the Colleges and Universities 2000 study, funded by the National Science Foundation, which continues to examine patterns of continuity and change in American four-year colleges and universities over the periods 1970-1 to 2005-6.

Speakers who will participate in the lecture series in the winter and spring quarters are: Juliann Allison, associate professor of political science and associate director of the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development; Mike Davis, distinguished professor of creative writing and award-winning author of numerous books relating to urban studies, the built environment, economic history and social movements; Michael Allen, professor and chair of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and director of the Center for Conservation Biology; and Ariel Dinar, professor of environmental economics and policy, and director of the Water Science and Policy Center. Lecture dates will be announced later.

For more information contact Geoff Cohen at


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links