Every quarter, the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences holds weekly SEFS Seminars with faculty and experts. These seminars provide a space for presentation and discussion of a variety of topics relevant to the school and its students. Each seminar is held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Forest Club Room of Anderson Hall. After each presentation, a reception and discussion time is held in the room. You can watch previous Seminars on the SEFS YouTube channel.
The SEFS Seminar Series is made possible with support from the Corkery Family Environmental and Forest Sciences Director’s Endowed Chair fund.
Winter 2020 Seminars:
Jan. 8 – Evgeny Shvarts, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences
Title: “Current Problems, Challenges and Developments in Environment Protection and Forestry in the Russian Federation”
Abstract: “Even in conditions of economic sanctions, one of the major drivers of ‘ecologization’ of Russian economic development continues to be the environmental and transparency requirements of international financial institutions and consumers in OECD countries (Another driver is public protests in Russian areas such as Chelyabinsk, Schies, Ekaterinburg, Moscow region districts, etc). For this reason, voluntary (‘soft’) mechanisms of environmental protection based on international environmental standards (certifications by members of the ISEAL Alliance such as FSC, MSC, etc) and ratings based on quantitative and quality indicators (especially in the case of oil, gas, mining, metals, etc.) sometimes start to play an even more important role than traditional mandatory regulatory mechanisms. There is also pressure from international financial institutions on Russian companies operating in the international marketplace to elect independent directors with environmental backgrounds to their boards of directors.
“Initiated by President V. Putin, the so-called ‘national projects’ have both positive sides (“project approach”, formal evaluation of indicators of achievements, etc) and negative sides (attempts to solve all problems only through the increase of public expenditures instead of increasing efficiency). The evolution of the EU ‘Best Available Technologies’ approach and the US “air bubbles quota” approach (“Clean Air Federal component” for 12 most polluted cities) are worth considering here. The most difficult situation for developing a sustainable ecological approach in Russia is in forestry, where after the improperly and non-transparently prepared and explained “Forest Code 2006” reforms there have been increasing attempts to maintain the Soviet-style “extensive” model of forestry without any attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of state expenditures for forest restoration. Forest regeneration activities are essentially milking of the state budget. A transition to an ecologically responsible intensive forestry model is needed.”
Jan. 15 – Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands
Jan. 22 – Laura Prugh, associate professor at SEFS
Jan. 29 – TBD
Feb. 5 – Rick Gustafson, professor at SEFS
Feb. 12 – Piotr Tompalski, research associate, UBC Forestry
Feb. 19 – Dave Thau, World Wildlife Federation
Feb. 26 – TBD
March 4 – Simone des Roches, post-doctoral researcher, UW Urban Planning Program
March 11 – Paul Hessburg, USDA Forest Service