ESS Lecture Series Schedule

Winter 2020 Term
ESS Lecture Series

Solutions will not come from environmentalists alone, or from economists, policy-makers or scientists. Complex challenges like urbanization, global inequality, sustainable energy and water supplies, and climate change require new thinking that transcends traditional disciplines and approaches to education and research.

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures begin Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Ondaatje Auditorium, 6135 University Avenue, Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences building.
All welcome. Free of charge. Limited seating -- please arrive early.

9 January

Film Screening and Discussion:
Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World (2016)

A film by Silver Donald Cameron (Writer) and Chris Beckett (Director).

The right to breathe. The right to clean water. The right to wholesome food. Air, water, food - these are the sources of life. Without them, we die. In more than 180 nations, citizens are legally entitled to these essential elements of life, but not in Canada or the United States. That's what the GreenRights multi-media project is all about: the human right to a healthy environment, and Mother Nature's right to be respected and protected. GreenRights reports on the dramatic, innovative legal battles going on in nations around the world — the Philippines, Argentina, the Netherlands, Ecuador —  where devoted citizens and courageous lawyers take on national governments and global corporations and win.

Silver Donald Cameron is the author of Sailing Away from Winter: A Cruise from Nova Scotia to Florida and Beyond  and the classic book on shorelines, The Living Beach: Life, Death and Politics Where the Land Meets the Sea. In 2016 he released Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth, which consists of a long essay and fifteen interviews. Silver Donald was the founding Chairman of Telile, the community television station in Isle Madame, Nova Scotia, where he lived for more than 30 years. A distinguished educator, Dr. Cameron taught at several universities and was the first Dean of the School of Community Studies at Cape Breton University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of London, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Kings College and Cape Breton University. In 2012 he was awarded both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia.

Chris Beckett came to Canada in 1967 and began his broadcasting career at ATV, where he worked at many technical and production positions before producing and directing a wide range of programs and commercials. Chris moved to CBC in 1970, to write, produce and direct music, news and current affairs programming and resource-based documentaries. In 1986, Chris joined Mount Saint Vincent University as Co-ordinator of Instructional Television- a position he held for 25 years until his “retirement” in 2010, when he began writing and producing programming independently, serving a number of institutional and private clients. He has recently travelled to Africa, Indonesia and the USA filming documentaries on democracy and sex tourism.

16 January

Climate Goals: Addressing Intersecting Crises

Meghan McMorris, Ecology Action Centre, Halifax NS 

Friday 27 September 2019 was an historical day worldwide. In communities across Nova Scotia, over 10,000 people marched to demand that our Federal and Provincial governments take more action to address the climate crisis. The message was clear: we are living in a climate crisis and must take action now. This talk will explore the moment were are in, what actions are happening, and possible tools can we use to spur more action?

Meghan McMorris is the Community Energy Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre. She is an advocate of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and works on making climate change relateable to peoples' everyday lives. She is continually exploring accessible, effective, and equitable solutions to the climate crisis.  

Co-hosted with the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) as part of Green Week 2020.

23 January       

The Politics of Happiness: Creating Well-being in a Worried World

Peter Bevan-Baker, Green Party of Prince Edward Island, Hampton PE

Our world is changing at a pace and in ways that humanity has never before experienced. In the face of this change, we are struggling to find ways to live well together — which is revealed in the unravelling of many systems critical to our continued secure and successful inhabitation of planet Earth. Correcting two fundamental relationships — how we live together as an interdependant global human family; and how collectively we live in harmony with the Earth — are the central questions of this extraordinary time.

In this talk, Peter Bevan-Baker will discuss how his personal life philosophy has translated onto the political stage. He will explore the intersections of politics, economics, ecology and spirituality, and what it means to live well in this turbulent world. In the course of 23 years, Peter ran as a candidate in ten provincial elections before succeeding in 2015 to become the first ever Green Party member of the PEI provincial legislature. In 2019, he became the leader of the Island Green Party's Official Opposition in a minority government situation.

January 30

Decolonizing (≠ Reconciling:) Science, Technology and Indigenous Relations

The 2020 MacLennan Public Lecture

Kim TallBear, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment at the University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

This talk departs from misguided interpretations of "reconciliation" that see accounting, accountability, and 'restoration of friendly relations' as a 'two-way street' between settler-colonial society and Indigenous people. Dr. Tallbear's research focuses on a definition of "decolonization" that requires the restoration of Indigenous land and life, and examines the role of science and technology via several case studies in restoring good relations, resources and governanc capacity to Indigenous nations and communities.

Kim TallBear is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience and Environment at the University of Alberta, specializing in racial politics in science. Tallbear was educated at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, MIT and the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Native America DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science and the proect director of "Indigenous: Science/Technology/Society." Tallbear is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota, descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and raised on the Flandreau Santee Sioux reservation in South Dakota and in St. Paul, Minnesota by her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Co-hosted with the University of King's College 2020 MacLennan Public Lecture.

Please Note: This lecture will take place in Alumni Hall, University of King's College, 6350 Coburg Road.

February 6 

Encouraging Signs of Atlantic Salmon Recovery: Acid Rain Mitigation and Complementary Initiatives

Edmund Halfyard, Nova Scotia Salmon Asociation & Perennia, Middle Sackville NS

Along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast, a legacy of acid rain persists, impacting soils, forests, and the health of the aquatic ecosystem. The Atlantic Salmon is a species which has been particularly negatively impacted with at least two-thirds of known populations are suspected to have been wiped out.

Beginning in 2005, the not-for-profit Nova Scotia Salmon Association initiated a demonstration acid rain mitigation project on a small coastal river 80 km northeast of Halifax. The integrated approach has shown early results of positive impacts on water and soil quality, terresterial vegetation and an increase in the freshwater production of Atlatic salmon and other acid-senstive aquatic species.

Edmund Halfyard is a research scientist who studies the ecology of recreational fish species and species at risk. Eddie graduated with a BSc and MSc from Acadia University and a PhD from Dalhousie. He has worked as a post-doctoral resaerch fellow with the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research in Windsor, ON and as a consultant for the federal and provincial governments. Eddie currently works for the joint initiative between the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, Perennia Research and the Province of Nova Scotia restoring acidified Atlantic salmon and brook trout watersheds.

13 February        

World's Challenge Challenge Competition: Dalhousie Semi-Finals   

Moderated by Jenny Baechler, School of Public Administration, Dalhousie

Global issues such as poverty, food security, public health, inequality and environmental degradation are the product of global relations in which we as global citizens bear some responsibility. The World's Challenge Challenge (WCC) — a global initiative of Western University — encourages young minds from different disciplines to come together to address a global issue, ofering solutions to implement in partnership with communities. The WCC frames global issues through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Jenny Baechler is Associate Director of Dal's Corporate Residency MBA program, Coordinator of the Management Without Borders course, and a senior instructor in the School of Public Administration. She provides coaching to the Dalhousie teams for tonight's semi-finals and for the International finals to be held in June at Western University.

Read about the 2019 Dalhousie finalists.

Read about Dalhousie's winning team at the 2017 International World's Challenge Challenge.

Presented in collaboration with the Provost's Office, Dahousie University, Halifax NS

27 February

Transformative Politics of the Wild

Valérie Courtois, Director, Indigenous Leadership Initiative, Happy Valley/Goose Bay NL
Lisa Young, Executive Director, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources, Eskasoni NS

Overview of Indigenous-led Conservation and Assertion of Rights and Title Across What is Now Known as Canada

Valérie Courtois is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning.  She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean. Valérie holds a degree in forestry sciences from the Université de Moncton and has served as a forestry advisor for the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, forestry planner for the Innu Nation. In 2007, she was awarded the James M. Kitz award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry for her early-career contributions to the forestry profession. Courtois has been the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative since 2013. and leads a team of dedicated Indigenous Leaders from multiple Nations in Canada, on decolonizing conservation, ensuring the fulfillment of Indigenous responsibilities to the land and promoting the role and importance of Indigenous Guardians. She has received numerous awards for this work, including being recognized as a Labradorian of Distinction in 2017.     

Re-emergence of Netukulimk in Mi'kma'ki: Awakening the Sleeping Giant.

Lisa Young is the Executive Director, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR) , a leading Mi'kmaw natural resources and environmental management organization. Lisa joined UINR shortly after graduating with a BSc in Biology from York University. She participates on a number of committees including Pitu’paq, Bras d’Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative, Mi’kmaq Forestry Advisory Committee, the Joint Committee on Climate Action, and the Advisory Committee on Climate Action and the Environment. Lisa had the privilege of contributing to the report We Rise Together: Achieving Pathway to Canada Target 1 as a member of the Indigenous Circle of Experts.  

5 March

Emerging from Emergency: From Local to Global

Caroline Merner, Climate Guides & Youth4Nature, Vancouver BC


12 March

Theory Sustainability and the Politics of Consumption: A Materialist Feminist Approach

Krista Hatfield, School of Journalism & Communication, Carleton University, Ottawa ON

Ethical consumerism ('green' consumption, fair trade, buying local etc.) generates polirizing debates regarding how neoliberal capitalism either empowers or disempowers the consumer, enables or cofounds consumer activism. This lecture will explore a more expansive vocabulary and new approaches of inquiry in order to understand the many contradictions. strengths and weaknesses of sustainable modes of consumption, including the powerand limits of consumer agency.

Krista Hatfield is a PhD candidate in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. She studies consumer culture, gender and environmental health. Her SSHGRC-funded doctoral research is a materialist feminist critique of sustainable modes of consumption, examining how these discursive and material practices contribute to the  privatization and feminization of responsibility for environmental risk.

19 March

Create to Liberate: An experiential arts-based exploration of nature and inequality

Khari McClelland, Performance Artist, Vancouver BC

In a world with increasingly complex societal challenges, our need for creative solutions is paramount. This lecture will deepen our understanding of the intersections of power, the natural world, and society using the arts and experiential activities. Khari will share tools for deepening values-based work practices in order to facilitate greater impact with the groups and communities to which we all belong.

Khari Wendell McClelland is a creative facilitator who uses the arts and experiential activities for transformational learning. Based in Vancouver, Khari has shared transformative lerning experiences with grops around the world for over a decade. He helps both youth and adults explore their values and creativity as a means to self-discovery, community and problem-solving across Canada, the US, Jamaica, Egypt and Uganda.

26 March

Amplifying the Impact of Youth Change-Makers for Climate Action and Sustainable Development

Amelia Clarke, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), University of Waterloo, Waterloo ON


Amelia Clarke is the Associate Dean of Research at the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. She was the President of the Sierra Club of Canada for 14 years and has a PhD from McGill University.

2 April

Student Showcase: Change-making Projects

For students and graduates of the Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS) program, inspiring the community goes beyond Dalhousie campus.

The final lecture of the Winter 2020 ESS Lecture Series will feature students at the College of Sustainability sharing stories of their change-making projects supporting a sustainable future in the non-profit, retail and financial sectors.



For more information contact:

College of Sustainability Reception Desk            

Debra Ross                                                     
Manager of Outreach and Partnerships


Download the Winter 2020 ESS Lecture Series Poster - [PDF - 2.4MB]