Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.


ESS Lecture Series Schedule


Winter 2017 Term:
ESS Lecture Series

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

12 January.     Film Screening and Skype Discussion: Fractured Land

Caleb BehnActivist, Lawyer, Coast Salish Territory, BC.

In Fractured Land, Caleb Behn, a young Dene lawyer who may become one of this generation’s great leaders, examines how to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him, blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom. 

Caleb sports a Mohawk and tattoos, hunts moose, and wears a business suit. His father is a devout environmentalist and residential school survivor. His mother is in a senior position in the oil and gas industry. His people, at the epicenter of some of the largest fracking operations on earth, are deeply divided. How does Caleb balance their need for jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory?

Filmmakers Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis followed Caleb for four years, capturing hundreds of hours of footage of his development, through law school, sharing knowledge with other Indigenous peoples, speaking to larger and larger audiences, dealing with deep community divisions, and building a movement.

Watch the trailer here.


19 January.    World's Challenge Challenge 2016: Unique Solutions Addressing Global Issues   
Dalhousie’s World's Challenge Challenge Semi-Final Presentations

Six Dalhousie semi-finalist student teams will present their innovative solutions in the World's Challenge Challenge:

Alicia Roy, Danielle Skuy & Robyn Follett
Establish Female Business Owners in Prosthetic Limbs Production in Developing Countries

Keisha Jefferies, Nadine Ezzeddine & Yue Yuan
Create an Educational Program for Tanzania on the Benefits of Breast Feeding

Kyle Gardiner, Ryan Zigrossi & Conor Daily
Reduce Methane Gas Production by Changing Livestock Feed

Graeme Anson-Cartwright, Derek Zigrossi & Natasha Irich
Establish Renewable Energy Facilities in Developing Nations

Scott Young, Naveen Khanduri & Nicholas Popp
Develop Model for Phosphate Production for Use in Biofuel Production

Caitlin Grady, Jasveen Brar & Caroline Merner
Harness International Expertise to Support Climate-Vulnerable Communities

Co-hosted with DALVision—Academic Innovation


26 January.     Civic Engagement:  Why Activism, Politics and Community Matter More than Ever

Megan Leslie, VP Oceans, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Former MP for Halifax, NS.

Megan Leslie served for two terms as the federal Member of Parliament for Halifax and as the NDP environment critic. In 2015 she accepted the position as VP Oceans with World Wildlife Fund of Canada, contributing on their five-year plan. Megan has a long history of community engagement, social justice advocacy and tireless collaboration on health, environmental and poverty issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social & Political Thought and History and a Certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies, both from York University and a law degree from Dalhousie.

Co-hosted with DSUSO (Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office)


2 February.        CleanSea Documentary: The Marine Litter Problem and What We Can Do About It?

Heather Leslie, Environmental Scientist/Film Producer, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, NL.

Project CleanSea is a collaborative approach by multidisciplinary institutions across Europe to address the issue of marine litter. The CleanSea documentary follows these teams working to identify the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the garbage polluting our oceans. Using innovative technology, scientists sample and test the impact of micro-plastics, discover the cyclical nature of the marine litter problem, and make suggestions on what can be done to save our oceans before it is too late.

Heather Leslie is the Executive Producer of the CleanSea documentary and is an international leader in marine conservation science. She uses her background in ecotoxicology and chemistry in interdisciplinary settings to tackle complex environmental pollution problems such as marine litter, plastic waste and persistent organic pollutants. Heather leads the interdisciplinary marine litter research group at the IVM, coordinates the European Project CleanSea and conducts research on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems.

Watch the trailer


9 February.    Making it Real: Low Carbon Futures for Canada

Ralph Torrie, President, Torrie Smith Associates, Cobourg, ON. 

Ralph Torrie is an expert in the field of energy and the environment with over 35 years of entrepreneurial, management and consulting experience. For his work on climate change Ralph has received the Canadian Environment Silver Award.

Ralph is President of Torrie Smith Associates, an environmental consulting firm specializing in the ecological, technical, and socio-economic aspects of resource management. The firm developed the framework and conventions now used around the world for local government climate change response strategies, produced the first low-carbon scenario analysis for Canada, and continues to help public and private sector clients identify and pursue the opportunities being generated by the current global energy transition.


16 February.   CANCELLED: 

Public Policy and Environmental Advocacy with Lois Corbett, Executive Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.

In its place, the College will present a tribute to Rob Stewart and screen his 2012 film Revolution. Rob Stewart died earlier this month while filming the sequel to his award-winning film Sharkwater


Watch the trailer to Revolution.

2 March.     Investigative Journalism: Media Coverage of Climate Change in the Age of Trump 

Mike de Souza, Managing Editor, National Observer, Ottawa, ON.

Mike de Souza has covered politics as a radio, television and print journalist for over a decade, focusing on energy and environment policies in government and industry. He is currently the Ottawa-based Managing Editor of the National Observer and has previously worked for Reuters, Postmedia and The Montreal Gazette. Mike has a BA in Journalism from Concordia University. Some of Mike's important work explores high-level climate change denial, scientist suppression, and controversial oil, pipeline, and energy deals.


9 March.    Solid Waste Management: Social, Environmental and Economic Sustainability

Andrew Wort, Principal, Fordingbridge Environmental Consultants, Dieppe, NB

Andrew Wort is the Principal of Fordingbridge Consultants, a consulting company specializing in strategic planning and management services in the solid waste management industry. His worldwide projects focus on recovery, collection, separation processes and disaster waste management projects. Andrew works tirelessly to bring facilities up to code on the best solid waste management practices, including those in New Brunswick and most recently, in Ecuador.


16 March.    Film Screening and Skype Discussion:  Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016)

Matt D’Avella, Director/Producer, Catalyst, New York, NY

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things follows duo Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, known to their millions of readers as "The Minimalists." The film examines the many flavours of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less. 

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.

Following the film, we'll talk with Director and Executive Producer Matt D'Avella who is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, commercial director and the head of Catalyst Studio in NYC. He is a graduate of Temple University.

Watch the trailer here.


23 March.    Hosting Conversations that Matter: Leadership for Collaboration

Toke Moeller, Co-Founder and CEO, Interchange, Copenhagen, Denmark

Toke Moeller has been a pioneer in the fields of sustainable entrepreneurship, participatory leadership, educational renewal and social responsibility since the early 1970s. He is the co-founder and CEO of InterChange in Denmark—a training and consulting company with a focus on organizing, designing, hosting and facilitating conferences that offer collaborative learning and deep dialogues.

His primary focus is on personal and societal renewal and convening conversations in order to collectively and strategically find wiser and sustainable solutions to problems that matter at this time. He is co-creator of the Art of Hosting participatory leadership approach that uses personal practice and collaborative innovation to address complex and systemic issues and a co-founder of The Flow Game.


30 March.     Living Lightly on the Earth: Building an Ark for Prince Edward Island

Steven Mannell, Architect, Director of the Dalhousie College of Sustainability, Halifax, NS

Steven Mannell has been the director of Dalhousie's College of Sustainability since its launch in 2009 and is an accomplished architect and a passionate environmentalist. Steve has a Bachelor in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture, both from the University of Waterloo and co-teaches the first year Introduction to Sustainability (SUST 1000) and Honours Thesis (SUST 4800) courses each year.

The Ark, in Spry Point PEI, was a UN Habitat’s Canadian Urban Demonstration Project, built to explore self-sufficient housing in the wake of the 19709’s energy crisis. Heated by the sun and powered by the wind, this short-lived example of ecological architecture and social living sparked discussions about living in harmony with the environment. This year, to celebrate the Ark’s 40th anniversary, Steve curated the exhibit at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown PEI exploring the design and impact of the Ark. (On display until April 2017).

Read about the project in Canadian Architect