Community Colloquium: Lynn Scarlett, Distinguished Visitor

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



Lynn Scarlett
Environmental Consultant,

Former Deputy Secretary,
U.S. Department of the Interior

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Cities Meet Nature: Responding to a Changing Climate"

Part of the 2009-2010

Zurich Financial Services

Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change



The effects of a changing climate cut a broad swathe across the landscape, as sea levels rise, rainfall patterns change, and storm events intensify. Climate-change challenges have provided impetus for rethinking urban landscapes, structures, and infrastructure and their relationship to surrounding lands and waters. Natural systems—wetlands and sea marshes, watersheds of free-flowing rivers and streams, forests, grasslands, even urban parks, trees, and greenways—help protect coastal communities from catastrophic storms, purify water, sustain and store water supplies, reduce urban termperatures, and enhance energy conservation. Often, "green infrastructure" can also save costs. What are the effects of climate change on lands, waters, and communities? What is the nexus between urban "greening" and climate change? Why is greening of cities and their infrastructure an important aspect of adaptation strategies to address the effects of climate change? What are the challenges and opportunities of bringing "Nature" back to cities? This lecture will explore the science, management, law, and policy of urban greening strategies in the context of climate change.


Lynn Scarlett is an independent environmental consultant working with the Environmental Defense Fund on issues pertaining to climate change, ecosystem services, and landscape-scale conservation. From 2005 to January 2009, she served as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, a post she took on after four years as the Department's Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. She served as Acting Secretary of the Department for two months in 2006. Ms. Scarlett chaired the Department's Climate Change Task Force and now serves on the National Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests. From June 2003-2004, she chaired the federal Wildland Fire Leadership Council, an interagency, intergovernmental forum for implementing the National Fire Plan. Ms. Scarlett serves on the board of the American Hiking Society and is a trustee emeritus of the Udall Foundation. She is author of numerous publications on incentive-based environmental policies. She received her BA and MA in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also completed her PhD coursework and exams in political science. She is an avid hiker, canoe enthusiast, and birder.


The Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change allows the Bren School to attract international leaders in environmental policy, law, business, and science to enrich and expand the intellectual life of the Bren School community and share insight on issues critical to climate change. Activities of the visitors, who are in residence for periods ranging from one week to one quarter, include teaching short courses, offering public lectures, conducting seminars, and leading colloquia and symposia planned around their research, professional endeavors, or areas of expertise.


NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. The intended purpose of these presentations is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.



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