delware environmental institute

DENIN Distinguished Scientist Lecture: Pamela Matson

Photo of Pam Matson
Thursday, October 30, 2014
4:00 p.m. lecture
5:00 p.m. reception
Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center for the Arts
Newark, Delaware
Free and open to the public.

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A video recording of this talk is now available here!

Pamela Matson, the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University, will be the inaugural speaker in DENIN's new Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series designed to highlight leading academic thinkers in the environmental sciences and engineering.

Her talk, entitled "Science for a Sustainability Transition: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution," will be followed by a reception in the lobby of the Roselle Center for the Arts.

To help meet the needs of a still-growing and more-consuming human population while at the same time protecting the planetary life support systems, scientists are increasingly engaging in use-inspired fundamental research that both improves understanding and supports decision making. This talk will present the results of biophysical and social science research in an intensive wheat-growing region of Mexico to illustrate how new knowledge of the coupled human-environmental system, effectively linked to decision-making, can aid in a transition to sustainability. 

In addition to the main evening event, Matson will take part in several other interactions with University of Delaware faculty and students:

Presentation to the UD Strategic Planning Committee, Thought Leader Speaker Series:
"Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainability Transition: The Role of Universities in Leading Change"
Thursday, October 30
10:00–11:45 a.m., Trabant University Center Theater
Open to the University of Delaware communityand the public; this talk will also be recorded.

Student and Faculty Discussion Sessions & Luncheon
Friday, October 31
467 ISE Lab
9:00–10:00 a.m., undergraduates
10:00–11:00 a.m., graduate students
11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., luncheon with students (invitation only)
1:30–2:30 p.m., faculty

Join us for some refreshments and informal conversation with Dr. Matson. Seating is limited, so please contact Amy Slocum (graduate students and faculty) or Beth Chajes (undergraduates) if you are interested in meeting with Dr. Matson on Friday.

About Pam Matson

Pamela Matson is the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

Pamela Matson is an interdisciplinary Earth scientist who works to reconcile the needs of people and the planet.  Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of particular people and places to climate change; the consequences of tropical deforestation on atmosphere, climate and water systems; and the environmental consequences of global change in the nitrogen and carbon cycles.  With multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, managers, and decision makers, she has worked to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining livelihoods and human wellbeing. 

Dr. Matson is the author of numerous scientific publications and books, including the National Research Council volume titled Our Common Journey:  A Transition toward Sustainability and Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution. A MacArthur Fellow and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she is the founding co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, a past president of the Ecological Society of America, serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund, Climate Central and ClimateWorks.  She also has served on the science leadership committee for the International Geosphere-Atmosphere Programme, the U.S. National Academies’ Board on Sustainable Development and Committee on America’s Climate Choices, and many other national and international groups. 

At Stanford, she co-leads the Initiative on Environment and Sustainability, an effort that brings together faculty from around the university to help solve critical resource and environment challenges of the century. She is also the scientific director of the Leopold Leadership Program, a program that provides leadership and communications training to environmental scientists and analysts.  

Dr. Matson received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire; her M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University; and her Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University.