Environmental Studies

Spring 2019 Speakers and Events

See additional events for the campus 2018-19 Theme "Changing Climates" here!

Dr. Nguyen and colleagues meet with IWU President Jensen, Provost Brodl, and Professor Jahiel after giving a talk on climate change and water quality in Ho Chi Minh City.
puerto rico
Dr. Flores-Rodriguez & Ms. Martínez -Quiñones speak about climate change in Puerto Rico.
SSC Apple Gleaning
Joe Daniels '13 assists with hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico while working with US EPA.
meditation garden
Nicki Chlebek sits in her newly established meditation garden


January 2019


Environmental Studies Book Reading Discussion & Luncheon
Book: “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future” by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway
Friday, January 11, 2019
Noon to 1pm
S tate Farm Hall (SFH) 210 (note room change)
RSVP required - space is limited

Environmental Studies students and faculty who opted into the book discussion with the complementary book provided before the winter break will discuss insights over lunch, in preparation for the upcoming Founders Day talk by Naomi Oreskes.Sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program.

Film: Merchants of Doubt (93 min)
- View film website & trailer here -
Monday, January 14, 2019

Beckman Auditorium in Ames Library

Film showing of documentary inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming". The film looks at pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities as they speak about topics like toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and climate change. Sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program.


Discussion Session with Dr. Naomi Oreskes for students of Environmental Studies, Biology, and History
Moderated by Professors Thomas Lutze (History) and Given Harper (Biology)
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Davidson Room, Memorial Center (NOTE ROOM CHANGE)

IWU Environmental Studies, Biology and History students are invited to join Dr. Oreskes for an informal discussion with question/answer before her formal talk. Bring questions for discussion!


Founders Day Convocation: "Why Should We Trust Science?"
Speaker: Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science & Affiliated Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Harvard University 
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

11 am
Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall
Illinois Wesleyan University

Click here for an interview with Dr. Oreskes on NPR/WGLT about her upcoming talk
Click here for an IWU news article about the upcoming talk.
Click here for an IWU news article following the talk

Illinois Wesleyan University will host Dr. Naomi Oreskes as its Founder’s Day Convocation speaker.  Dr. Oreskes is a Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard, and she will talk about global climate change.  Dr. Oreskes, who has conducted research on understanding scientific consensus and dissent, co-authored the book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.”  Her opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Nature, Science, The New Statesman, and elsewhere.


Summer 2019 Freeman Asia Internship Information Session

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
4-5:30 pm
Welcome Center Auditorium
Illinois Wesleyan University 

Learn more about the remarkable summer 2019 internships in Asia (e.g., Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan) available to current IWU sophomores and juniors through the IWU Freeman Asia program. Materials for the 2019 Program are now posted on the web at https://www.iwu.edu/career-center/Freeman-Asia-page.html. Application deadline is January 30, 2019. For more information, contact Professor Teddy Amoloza at tamoloza@iwu.edu. Sponsored by the Hart Career Center.


February 2019


"Environmental Careers Panel with Alumni"
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
7 pm
Welcome Center Auditorium
Illinois Wesleyan University

This IWU alumni panel will include a diverse set of 6 professionals who use their passion for environmental studies in a variety of careers. More details to come!

Environmental Studies Internship Information Panel (and PIZZA!)
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
5 pm
State Farm Hall (SFH) 206
Illinois Wesleyan University

Do you want to gain real-world experience? Are you wondering what types of internship options are available? Come learn more about internships in the environmental field, how to find and apply for different options, and how to get class credit. Students will also share their first-hand experiences at various internships, giving more insight and helping you find a good fit. And there will be pizza! Sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program.


March 2019

"Containing Climate Change: Restoring US Leadership Domestically and Diplomatically"
Speaker: Dr. Rick Duke
Monday, March 4, 2019
7 pm
Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101
Illinois Wesleyan University

During the Obama administration, Dr. Duke, who holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, worked at the White House as Special Assistant to the President, Office of Energy and Climate Change (2012-2016), and as the Deputy Director for Energy and Climate (2016 - 2017), where he helped to craft and implement the United States Climate Action Plan.  His domestic priorities spanned the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the 2015 budget deal to achieve long-term extensions to renewable energy tax credits, the Department of Energy’s appliance standards program, regulations on non-CO2 gases, and measures to bolster terrestrial carbon sinks and cut agricultural emissions. Dr. Duke also worked to secure the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Kigali Amendment under the Montreal Protocol to reduce up to -0.5C of warming by controlling hydroflourocarbon (HFC) climate super-pollutants.  He currently consults through Gigaton Strategies LLC (Washington, D.C.) advising philanthropies and international advocacy groups on low-carbon strategies, and serves as a non-resident Brookings Institution Senior Fellow.

Dr. Duke’s talk will present a case for rapid action on climate and the crucial role of the US in propelling progress in cutting emissions. He will summarize domestic and diplomatic progress under the Obama Administration, reversals under the current administration, and hopeful prospects for a rapid return to US leadership. Drawing from his extensive experience, including a February 2019 Congressional  testimony, Dr. Duke will offer a compelling case for immediate action, including: that reductions in the cost of climate solutions mean that that it has never been cheaper or easier to cut emissions quickly; we know exactly what we need to do; and finally there is a growing political momentum for action.  This event is free and open to all at IWU and the public. Co-sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program, the Political Science Department, and JWP Audubon.


ES Student Brown Bag Lunch Discussion with Dr. Rick Duke
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
12 noon
Titan Room, Memorial Center
Illinois Wesleyan University

ES students have a special opportunity to meet with Dr. Duke for an informal discussion and question/answer on climate and other issues over the lunch period. Bring your lunch and your questions. And remember to attend the talk on March 4.

April 2019

"Lies, Failures, and Disasters: Entrepreneurial Religion in an Era of Globalization and Climate Change"
Speaker: Professor Brian K. Pennington
Wednesday, April 20, 2019
4-5:15 pm
Ames Beckman Auditorium
Illinois Wesleyan University

When catastrophic monsoon flooding smashed homes, hotels, and bridges in the Himalayan city of Uttarkashi in North India in 2013, many believed that the divine Ganges River had finally taken out her fury on the frauds and cheats along her banks. The past decade and a half had seen the rapid expansion of the local economy accompanied by a blossoming of grass-roots entrepreneurialism as expanding industry failed to provide employment to local people. New temples, new pilgrimages, and new holy men appeared, leveraging the sacred reputation of the Ganges River and the Himalayan mountains as tourists poured in from the plains of India along new roads. This lecture will tell the stories of those who lived on the razor’s edge of social and ecological fragility and tried to gain a foothold in the globalizing economy of the early 2000s. It will ask what their successes and failures tell us about the intersections of religion, spirituality, and economics in developing societies today. Sponsored by the IWU Religion Department.


Film Screening "NormalisOver" and Discussion  with Director Renée Scheltema
- View film website and trailer here -
Friday, April 12, 2019
7 pm
Hansen Student Center
Illinois Wesleyan University

The award-winning documentary NormalisOver will be screened, and after the viewing, there will be a Q&A/discussion with Renée Scheltema, an investigative TV-journalist and director of the documentary.  The following information was taken from the movie’s web site.  Normal Is Over “is a compelling and visually rich documentary about humanity’s wisest response to climate change, species extinction, the depletion of critical natural resources, income inequality, and industrial control of our food production.  This unique documentary examines how our economic and financial system connects all these issues, and offers solutions, which could be implemented immediately, from practical everyday fixes to rethinking the overarching myths of our time.  Renée takes off on a multinational voyage, meeting not only prominent experts, but also everyday citizens who concentrate on matters such as organic agriculture, the banning of plastic, saving species, ecological economics, sustainable architecture, renewable energy, and more.  While this film is intended to challenge viewers on many different levels, it most of all offers hope.” Co-sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program and the JWP Audubon Society. NOTE: JWP Audubon will co-sponsor a screening of this film at the Normal Theater at 7 p.m. on Thursday, 11 April, 2019. 


"The Future of Food": Dr. Vandana Shiva
Monday, April 15, 2019
7:30 pm
Hansen Student Center
Illinois Wesleyan University

The Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series will feature   Dr. Vandana Shiva , an environmental activist and food sovereignty advocateThe title of her remarks is “The Future of Food.” She will hold also a Q&A session for IWU and ISU students at 3:00 p.m. on the Illinois State campus. Dr. Shiva has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Her books The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mindpose essential challenges to the dominant paradigm of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture.  Dr. Shiva combines sharp intellectual inquiry with courageous activism, and her work spans teaching at universities worldwide to working with peasants in rural India. Time Magazine identified her as an environmental ‘hero’ in 2003, and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators in Asia. In November 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the "Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe."


Changing Climates Course Cluster Open House
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Ames Library
Illinois Wesleyan University

A variety of  student work will be showcased at the Course Cluster Open House from many different IWU courses, including some environmental studies courses.  Free and open to the public.

May 2019


Click here for a sampling of Fall 2018 Events and Speakers