Events & Media: Dennis Ojima

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




Dennis Ojima
Department of Forestry
Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Toll on the Commons:
What have we taken and what will be the future costs?"

Hosted by Dean Steve Gaines

Note: This presentation will be video-recorded

For millennia, humans have harnessed common resources — atmosphere, water, land, and biotic resources — to enrich and nurture their well-being. Society now appropriates a large fraction of global primary productivity the land systems can provide. We produce more reactive nitrogen compounds than are produced naturally, and we have altered the atmospheric and ocean chemistry in ways that are affecting the earth system processes we depend upon. We are now faced with serious degradation of ecosystem services, and strategies are needed that will set a path toward sustainability and stewardship of social-ecological systems. Given our current knowledge of how ecosystems operate and how human activities have altered ecosystem services, we need to develop strategies that restore these ecosystem services. These strategies can be developed to reduce catastrophic collapse of social-ecological systems in ways that enhance system resilience and lead to sustainability of ecosystem services. A select set of strategies will be explored to deal with ecosystem resilience relative to security of energy, food, and water resources.

Dennis Ojima is a professor in the Department of Forestry, Rangelands and Watershed Stewardship at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. In 2005, he was awarded the Zayed International Prize for the Environment for his contribution to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and in 2007, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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.

Dr. Ojima is the first of three Distinguished Visitors who will spend time at the Bren School during the 2011-2012 academic year

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose 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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