American Water Works Association Announces Sustainable Water Management Conference, April 7-10, 2013 in Nashville, TN

The 2013 Sustainable Water Management Conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee on April 7-10, 2013.  Throughout the four-day event, which features two Sunday pre-conference workshops, 28 technical sessions, and one poster session, participants will learn the benefits of sustainability planning and how it leads to cohesive communities and utility systems optimization.

The conference will address a wide range of topics concerning sustainable water management, including energy efficiency and water conservation, demand forecasting and utility revenue projections, and community involvement in watershed health.

To learn more, please visit:

Climate-Smart Agriculture Conference to be Held March 20-22, 2013 in Davis, California

The University of California Davis has been asked by The World Bank to host a global conference focused on the topic “climate smart agriculture.”  The conference will take place March 20-22, 2013 on the University of California Davis campus.  This will be the second science-based conference on the topic; the first was held in October 2011.  Participants will have the opportunity to contribute science-based knowledge to help shape the global policy discussions about how agriculture can play a positive role in the environmental challenges the world is facing.

For more information, visit:

Security and Sustainability Forum Announces Free Webinar Series on Draft National Climate Assessment Report

Instead of a single webinar on the draft National Climate Assessment (NCA), as was previously announced, the Security and Sustainability Forum and Second Nature will host a webinar series around the report.  Each webinar will present the NCA findings and allow time to discuss priorities for grappling with the challenges posed by extreme weather events and other social and economic disruptions resulting from a changing climate.  The first session “Findings from the National Climate Assessment” will take place on February 20, 2013 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EST.  Panelists for session 1 will include members of the National Climate Assessment Development & Advisory Committee (NCADAC) which is responsible for synthesizing and summarizing the contributions of experts to the report.  The panel will discuss the findings from the report and answer audience questions.

Session 2: “Implications of the National Climate Assessment” will take place on March 14, 2013 from 1:15 to 2:45 PM EST.  During Session 2, NCA lead authors and sustainability leaders from local government, higher education, and industry will identify and discuss priorities for addressing destabilizing threats posed by a changing climate.

Sessions 3 and 4 have not yet been scheduled.

To register for the first two webinars and for more information, visit:

U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Announces Suite of Climate Scenarios

The USGCRP recently announced the online availability of a suite of scenarios on climate, sea level rise, land use and land cover, and other conditions.  These scenarios were developed as input to the U.S. National Climate Assessment.  The scenarios were developed by multiple agencies in consultation with a National Climate Assessment working group whose members include both university-based and federal research scientists.

For more information, including an overview of and links to reports, data sets, graphics, and other information, please visit:

EPA and Partners to Host Climate Leadership Conference and Awards Ceremony from February 27 – March 1, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

EPA, along with the Climate Registry, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and the Association of Climate Change Officers will host the Climate Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. from February 27 through March 1, 2013.  Following a successful inaugural event in 2012, the Climate Leadership Conference is dedicated to professionals addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions.  This event gathers forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community to explore energy and climate related solutions, introduce new opportunities, and provide support to leaders taking action on climate change.  The Climate Leadership Awards will be presented at a ceremony on February 28, 2013.

For more information on the conference, visit:  To learn more about the Climate Leadership Awards, visit:

EPA Announces Research Forum on Extreme Event Impacts on Air Quality and Water Quality with a Changing Global Climate on February 26-27, 2013 in Arlington, VA

EPA’s Office of Research and Development recently awarded 14 grantee projects on climate-induced changes in extreme events in the context of air and water quality management.  A goal of this research funding is to seek a better understanding of the hazards (the extreme events) and to establish ways for climate scientists, impact assessment modelers, air and water quality managers, and other stakeholders to produce information necessary to form sound policy in relation to extreme events and their impact on air and water quality under a changing climate.  At this upcoming forum, researchers from across the country will present their research plans and early results.

To attend this event in-person, please email Whitney Beck ( no later than Friday, February 15, 2013 and provide name, email address, and affiliation of each person planning to attend.  For those unable to attend in person, the presentations will be broadcast via webinar. Register for the webinar by visiting:

First Issue of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering available free of charge

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering invites Letters, Articles, Features, and Perspectives (Reviews) that address challenges of sustainability in the chemical enterprise and advance principles of Green Chemistry and Green Engineering. Examples of topics in the journal’s scope include:

  • Green Chemistry
  • Green Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Biomass or Wastes as Resources
  • Alternative Energy
  • Life-Cycle Assessment

The first issue is available as a sample at no charge.

Free on Coursera: Introduction to Sustainability

Next session begins Mar 11th 2013 (8 weeks long).
Register at

About the Course

This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations. The course focuses on key knowledge areas of sustainability theory and practice, including population, ecosystems, global change, energy, agriculture, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history.

This subject is of vital importance, seeking as it does to uncover the principles of the long-term welfare of all the peoples of the planet. As sustainability is a cross-disciplinary field of study, this foundation requires intellectual breadth: as I describe it in the class text, understanding our motivations requires the humanities, measuring the challenges of sustainability requires knowledge of the sciences (both natural and social), and building solutions requires technical insight into systems (such as provided by engineering, planning, and management).

About the Instructor(s)

Dr. Jonathan Tomkin is the Associate Director of the School of Earth, Society and Environment and a research Associate Professor in the department of Geology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Tomkin directs the undergraduate program in environmental sustainability at the University.

His research aims to uncover the processes of how changing climates, glaciers, and landscapes interact. This study has involved fieldwork all over the world – including the Olympic Mountains, the Swiss Alps, Patagonia and Antarctica. He is the co-editor and contributing author of the college textbook Sustainability: a comprehensive introduction.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction. Pessimism vs. optimism.

  • Neo-malthusians, J-curves, S-curves and the IPAT equation

Week 2: Population. Demographics and the disappearance of the third world

  • Demographics, population trends.

Week 3: Tragedy of the Commons.

  • Fisheries, pastures, public vs private solutions

Week 4: Climate Change. The climate of the near future: hot, hotter, or hottest?

  • Weather vs. Climate, Proxy and data climate evidence, Climate projections

Week 5 : Energy. What happens when we reach “Peak Oil” Renewable energy: is there enough to make the switch?

  • Peak Oil/Fossil Fuel, Energy survey, availability, and density, EROI

Week 6: Agriculture and Water. Is there enough water and food for the 21st Century?

  • GMOs and the Green Revolution, water stocks and flows – physical and social constraints

Week 7: Environmental Economics and Policy. Can economists lead the way to sustainability?

  • Environmental Evaluation, project and policy evaluation, Incentive policies

Week 8: Ethics and Culture and Measurement. The long view.

  • NeCarbon Footprints, Energy and water efficiency metrics, Sustainability Ethics, Environmental ideology and conservation movements

Suggested Readings

The course will use a free, online textbook “Sustainability: a Comprehensive Foundation (Theis and Tomkin, Eds.)”. Participants can download the book as a pdf or html file (for laptops and computers) or as an epub file (for tablet readers)

Course Format

Each week of class consists of multiple 8-15 minute long lecture videos, integrated weekly quizzes, readings, an optional assignment and a discussion. Most weeks will also have a peer reviewed assignment, and there will be the opportunity to participate in a community wiki-project. There will be a comprehensive exam at the end of the course.

Sustainability: The Journal of Record Call for Papers on the Creative Arts in Sustainability Programs

Manuscript Deadline: March 22, 2013

“Art is the principal way in which the human mind has tried to remake the world in a way that makes sense.” —J.G. Ballard

Sustainability: The Journal of Record is looking for research-based manuscripts, case studies, and commentaries on how creative arts are being used in sustainability programs within academia and the private sector.

In order to achieve the goals of the sustainability framework—while sparking activism and cultural change—many programs are turning to the creative arts. Sustainability: The Journal of Record, the premier journal and central forum on sustainability issues, is seeking submissions on this important topic.

We welcome submissions from professors, administrators, faculty, and students; from advocates, partners, and policymakers at the local, state, and national level; and from private sector partners working in a creative art medium to support sustainability programs and goals.

Items to consider:

  • Research/survey-based articles for peer review
  • Case studies and program profiles on creative arts-focused initiatives within the sustainability framework
  • Commentaries on the topic
  • High-resolution photographs are welcome

For more information on manuscript submission, see our Author’s page and to view a free sample issue, visit our website and click on Sample Content.

For questions, thoughts, or for further information, contact us via e-mail at

We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and to your active participation in the Journal.

Advantages of submitting to Sustainability: The Journal of Record
Rapid peer review • Fast track article publication • Open access options • Readership in over 140 countries • Outstanding editorial board and reputation of journal • In Collaboration with AASHE • Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBiology; Scopus; Geobase; CAB Abstracts; Sustainability Science Abstracts; GreenFILE

Help Inspire, Empower and Motivate the Campus Sustainability Movement: AASHE 2013 Conference now accepting presentation abstracts

This week marks your first chance to submit presentation abstracts and awards applications for the AASHE 2013 Conference, to be held October 6-9 in Nashville. In other words, your chance to surprise, inspire, empower and motivate the higher education movement. With this year’s theme in mind, “Resiliency & Adaptation,” AASHE 2013 is an opportunity to share the innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability in higher education.

The call for presentations will be open through March 21. We are also looking for abstract reviewers! If you are interested in being part of the presentation selection process, select “volunteer to be a reviewer” once you have logged into the submission site. Contact with any questions.

The deadline to apply for this year’s AASHE Sustainability Awards is May 10. For a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the AASHE Awards process – including a few tips and notes about this year’s awards program – check out the latest AASHE 2013 blog post.