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Building a More Sustainable World: Environmental Speaker Series Slated at MCC

[Thursday, January 03, 2013]


How do we build a more sustainable world?  Find out by attending the free Great Lakes Beaming Bioneers Speaker Series at 7 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, January 22 in the Luecht Conference Center at McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Hwy. 14 in Crystal Lake. The four-part series continues on January 29, February 5 and February 12.

Experts in local and global issues facing our planet today will present information about building the local food network, quantifying the value of natural areas, Loyola University’s path to sustainability, and what is on the horizon for fracking in Illinois. The speaker series is co-sponsored by McHenry County College, Loyola University Retreat Ecology Campus and McHenry County Conservation District.

The first lecture on January 22 will feature "Towards an Economics of Shared Prosperity in a Finite World," presented by Jon Erickson, professor of ecological economics and the interim dean of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. His presentation will explore the foundations from which to build an economy for the century of the environment, designing resilient systems that align human nature with the realities of growing resource scarcity.

Erickson has published widely on energy and climate change policy, land conservation, watershed planning, environmental public health, and the theory and practice of ecological economics. His books include "The Great Experiment in Conservation: Voices from the Adirondack Park" (2009), "Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application" (2007), "Ecological Economics of Sustainable Watershed Management" (2007), and "Ecological Economics: a Workbook for Problem-Based Learning" (2005). He is also an Emmy award-winning producer of films such as the four-part PBS series, "Bloom," on sources and solutions to nutrient pollution in Lake Champlain. He was the managing director of UVM's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics from 2009-2012 and is past president of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania and a visiting professor at several universities overseas. He is a graduate of the doctoral program in natural resource economics from Cornell University.

At each presentation, a national Bioneers Conference DVD will be shown featuring a prominent environmental leader.  The speakers via DVD will include: Bill McKibben of, on January 29; Nikki Henderson of People's Grocery, on Febryary 5; and Sandra Steingraber, author of "Living Downstream," on February 12.

The following are seminar topics scheduled through February 12:

"Engaging In Transformation" January 29, 7 p.m. featuring Nancy Tuchman, Director of the Institute of Urban Environmental Sustainability (IUES) at Loyola University Chicago (effective Jan. 1, 2013)

"Building Bridges With Food" February 5, 7 p.m. featuring Linda Mallers of FarmLogix

"Fracking 101: What, Where, and WHY?" February 12, 7 p.m. featuring Jack Darin, executive director, Illinois Sierra Club

The speaker series is free and open to the public. For more information, contact either Pat Dieckhoff at (815) 479-7817 or Kristine Emrich at (815) 479-7570 or email For more information about the speaker series, visit  For more information about the national Bioneers, visit

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