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It isn’t true that every time I turn around there’s another update about something exciting happening in the environment field here at Fletcher, but it feels that way.  Just this spring, here’s some of what we’ve heard:

First, we received an update from Prof. Gallagher, whom you read about on the blog just last week.  She wrote:

Dear colleagues, students, and friends of Fletcher,

I am pleased to announce some exciting changes in the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP).

Last fall, I invited a number of faculty members from around Fletcher to join CIERP as Faculty Research Affiliates.  These faculty members will be working in one or more of our five research programs.  From Fletcher we are delighted to have Prof. Jenny Aker, an expert on development and agriculture.  From the Economics Department at Tufts, Prof. Gilbert Metcalf, Prof. Kelsey Jack, and Prof. Ujjayant Chakravorty.  From Political Science, we welcome Prof. Kent Portney who has agreed to direct our water and oceans program and who is an expert on water policy and sustainable cities, among other topics.  We look forward to deepening our research collaborations with these outstanding faculty members at Tufts.  As was already announced, we also look forward to having Prof. Avery Cohn in residence for the next academic year as our new professor of environment and resource policy.  Avery will lead our Agriculture and Forests program.

Mieke van der Wansem, a long-standing staff member and Fletcher alumna, becomes the new Associate Director of Educational Programs.  In this new role, she will enhance the overall effectiveness of CIERP in meeting its educational mission.  She will work to expand and sustain executive education, help guide the development and implementation of environment and natural resource policy education initiatives inside and outside the classroom, and manage some of our research projects as appropriate.

Best,
Kelly Sims Gallagher

Then we learned that Prof. Gallagher and Prof. Portney had submitted a proposal to the Tufts University provost to create a new “bridge professor” position in the field of water security.  Here’s their description:

The Water Security Bridge Professor would work in the interdisciplinary area of international environmental security, covering issues of political sovereignty, human rights, regional security, and sustainable development. It might also include a focus on the policies and mechanisms, military and nonmilitary, nations use in their efforts to gain and protect access to water. A regional focus could be both possible and desirable, for example, in Southeast Asia, the Arctic, and the states of the former Soviet Union.

As blogger, I should have the answer to the question of when the bridge professor will join us.  I have to admit that I’m not sure, but I believe it will be for September 2015.

And then, there’s the annual Tufts Energy Conference coming up next weekend, March 8-9.  As the conference website says:

The Tufts Energy Conference (TEC) is a two-day energy conference that brings together experts from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors with students and professionals to discuss critical global energy issues. The conference is entirely organized by students from a broad range of  backgrounds in engineering, international affairs, urban planning, and economics. From a two-panel event in 2006, TEC has grown into one of the largest entirely student-run energy conferences in the region.

Experts from the private, public and nonprofit sectors, students, and professionals are all invited to attend TEC 2014 on March 8-9, 2014 (Saturday and Sunday), which will focus on Shifting Dynamics in Emerging Markets.

The conference agenda looks terrific!  Come on over!

Last (or at least, the last piece of news I’ve been able to keep track of), there’s the 2014 Tufts Energy Competition, with a prize of $3,000 to jump-start an energy idea, and with a new-this-year solar competition:

Working on a project on energy or sustainability that can be transformed into a winning proposal?  The Tufts Energy Competition is looking for your ideas.  This competition is a celebration of innovative, student-driven solutions to energy challenges.  The goal of the Tufts Energy Competition is ultimately to implement projects that explore solutions to key energy issues.  The winning team will receive up to $3000 to implement their project and the runner-up team will receive $2000.  Every Tufts student is eligible to apply, including engineering students, undergraduates, medical students, Fletcher students, and more.

Previous finalists and winners include:

•  A Split Junction Solar Concentrator for More Efficient Electricity Generation
•  Giving Students the Chance to Choose Their Energy
•  Efficient Hygiene Initiatives: Bringing Ecological Sanitation to Thottiypatti
•  Solar-Powered Uninterruptible Power Systems
•  Ocean-Based Algae Energy
•  Wind Turbines and Solar Cookers in Zimbabwe
•  High Voltage Lithium Ion Battery Management System

The winner will be announced next weekend at the Tufts Energy Conference.

So that’s the round-up of a semester’s news for the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy and generally in the field.  And it’s news that assures us that next year will be exciting, too!

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Today’s Faculty Spotlight introduction comes from a member of a select subset of the Fletcher faculty: professors who also graduated from Fletcher, where Kelly Sims Gallagher received both her MALD and PhD.  Prof. Gallagher currently teaches Climate Change and Clean Energy Policy and Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity, and she directs the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.

Kelly Sims GallagherMy favorite moment from my years as a student at Fletcher (many years ago now) occurred during my Foreign Relations of the People’s Republic of China class.  Our deliberate Professor Alan Wachman embarked on his lecture on the Korean War, but got no further than about five minutes into the lecture when a hand was raised.  “Yes, General?” he asked.  My fellow classmate, a retired Korean general in the MALD program, slowly rose to his feet and announced, “I was there.”  He then proceeded to give his own reflections on the war in general, and China’s role specifically.  It was a classic Fletcher moment where (1) the global perspective is naturally provided in the classroom, (2) everyone was riveted by the moment, (3) history vividly sprang to life, and (4) the class took on a life of its own.

As a current professor, I try to foster and cultivate such moments in my own classes.  Let me provide a couple of examples.  In my Climate Change and Clean Energy Policy class, we do a simulation of the international climate negotiations every year, right before the annual conference of parties.  Most years, we have actual climate negotiators in the class, but they never get to represent their own countries — instead, I put them into their primary adversary’s role.  Most recently, I had an actual Chinese negotiator play the role of the Special Envoy for Climate Change in the United States.  He set an amazing tone and forcefully argued his positions until one moment when the color in his face rose until he was bright red with emotion.  We all watched with appreciation as he managed to develop an argument that he certainly violently disagreed with personally.  Not only did he learn a great deal from being able to sit in the shoes of his opponent, but the rest of the class could not help but appreciate the duality of his situation.  Students also got to hear during the debrief about what “really happens” in those informal negotiations in the middle of the night.

In my class this semester on Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity, we have two engineers who have actually worked on technology development, one patent expert, former Intel and Shell employees, an economist, and a dozen others from at least eight different countries who have all engaged in the innovation process somehow, somewhere.  This spring, our class has been invited by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs to contribute background briefs on the role of technology in delivering sustainable development for the upcoming first-ever Global Sustainable Development Report.  As we march through the theory, we will simultaneously study case studies, and uncover and evaluate the empirical evidence about how innovation can contribute to sustainable prosperity.

Classes at Fletcher don’t stagnate; they are dynamically evolving every day, enriched by professors and students working together in a spirit of engaged, respectful inquiry.

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CIERP logo_webBlueFletcher’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) just celebrated a birthday — its 20th!  To mark this milestone in the history of environment study at the School, CIERP compiled a list of some of the highlights of its work, which I’m featuring today.  Also of note:  The Center has a new director.  Prof. Kelly Sims Gallagher, a Fletcher alum and current member of the faculty, will lead CIERP as it enters its second 20 years.

 

CIERP by the Numbers

  • CIERP faculty members have published research results in more than 70 refereed journal articles, six books, 62 book chapters, and 70 research reports, conference papers, and other articles.
  • Since its inception, CIERP has raised more than $4.6 million in grant funding.
  • In 2012, five of Fletcher’s 17 graduating PhDs were IERP students.
  • Since 2002, CIERP has funded more than 65 external summer internships and provided $500,000 in tuition and living stipend support to IERP students.
  • Since 1992, CIERP has hired more than 300 research assistants and 60 teaching assistants.
  • Since 2009, CIERP has hosted four pre-doctoral fellows and eight post-doctoral research scholars — the first ever post-doctoral research fellows at Fletcher.
  • Since 2009, CIERP professors have tallied more than 90 media appearances, including interviews and numerous quotations in sources such as Bloomberg, WGBH, USA Today, PRI “The World,” and The Boston Globe, among others.
  • In the last year, CIERP has hosted 32 workshops, seminars and conferences on campus.

CIERP Highlights

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Among the thousands of scholars, politicians, and activists currently in Copenhagen is a group of Fletcher students and professors connected with The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.   Learn about their experience from the blog to which the students are contributing.  Also check out the details on the New England contingent (including Odette and her “bake sale for good”).

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