Since early 2010, the Freshwater Society and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences have co-sponsored a stimulating lecture series on water and the environment. The lectures, known as the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Resources, honor the late Malcolm Moos, president of the university from 1967 to 1974.
Each lecture pairs a nationally known speaker with a panel of Minnesota experts.
The next lecture in the series will be delivered June 6 by Don Rosenberry, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist. The Rosenberry lecture originally was scheduled in May, but had to be postponed because of federal travel restrictions.
Rosenberry, who took part in the USGS research on the shrinking of White Bear Lake, will speak on the connection between groundwater and lakes, streams and wetlands. Register to attend.
Rosenberry will be the 11th lecturer in the series. The topics have included: Groundwater sustainability, diffuse pollution from rural and urban sources, birth defects linked to water pollution, runoff and erosion from farms, the future of agriculture and the environment, saving the environment by putting a value on ecosystem services, building environmental concerns into the bottom-line planning of big corporations, the successes and shortcomings of the Clean Water Act, the health and environmental consequences of excess nitrogen use, and the impact of climate change on water globally.
Is there a lecturer you would like to hear, or a subject you would like addressed? Send us your suggestions.
Archived video is available for eight of the first nine lectures. Click on the lecturer’s name to access the video. The lectures were delivered by:
Hedrick Smith, the producer of the
award-winning PBS Frontline
documentary “Poisoned Waters.”
Gretchen C. Daily, a Stanford University ecologist, speaking on ecosystem valuation, the emerging field of protecting the environment by putting a price on all the services humans receive from natural systems. View
slides from Daily’s presentation.
Fred Kirschenmann, a farmer,
philosopher and distinguished fellow at
Iowa State University’s Leopold Center
for Sustainable Agriculture, spoke on water
and the future of U.S. and World
agriculture. Download an mp3 audio file of the lecture.
View a reading list Kirschenmann supplied in
response to a question from his audience.
Mindy Lubber, an international leader in efforts by investors to lead and pressure
multinational companies to adopt sustainable practices in the carbon they
emit and the water they use. Lubber leads Ceres, a Boston nonprofit that works with firms such as Ford, Nike, Best Buy and General Mills. She
directs a network of institutional investors that holds $10 trillion in assets.
G. Tracy Mehan III, an environmental consultant who was the top water quality official in the U.S. EPA in 2001-2003, spoke on the great successes of the federal Clean Water Act in protecting surface waters from pollution by discharges from sewage treatment plants and industries. He also discussed the fact that the legislation never was intended to regulate today’s most serious pollution, runoff from many diffuse sources, including agriculture. Listen to an audio mp3 file of the lecture.
Otto Doering, a Purdue University agricultural economist, spoke Oct. 4, 2012, on the confounding problem of excess, human-created nitrogen. We desperately need nitrogen fertilizer to feed the world’s current population, not to mention the 2 billion more people expected by 2050, but much of that nitrogen is wasted. The waste causes serious air and water pollution. Read a Freshwater q-and-a interview with Doering before his lecture. View slides from Doering’s talk. Download a PDF of the 141-page report his committee produced.
Sandra Postel, an acclaimed author of three books on water and a National Geographic Freshwater Fellow, spoke Feb. 12, 2013, on world water supplies and the impact of climate change. She detailed evidence of over-pumping of groundwater across the globe and called that trend a threat to the food security of millions of people. She suggested changes — both in personal lifestyles and governmental policy — that can protect and conserve water. Read a q-and-a interview with Postel conducted before her lecture.