Zurich Funds Distinguished Visitors

The Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors program allows the Bren School to host 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.

Distinguished Visitor for Spring Quarter 2015

Charles Godfray, Department of Zoology, Oxford University
Dr. Godfray will be in residence at the Bren School during mid-April, with final dates to be determined. His public colloquium is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 from 11:30-12:30.

Charles Godfray is a population biologist who has broad interests in science and the interplay of science and policy. His research involves experimental and theoretical studies in population and community ecology, epidemiology, and evolutionary biology. He is interested in food security and how the global food system will need to change and adapt to challenges, including climate change. He has a particular interest in the concept of "sustainable intensification" and the relationships among food production, ecosystem services, and biodiversity. Dr. Godfray chaired the Lead Expert Group of the UK Government Office of Science’s Foresight project on the Future of Food and Farming. He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society, and as Hope Professor, he directs the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.

Distinguished Visitor for Spring Quarter 2015

Steve Polasky,Deptartment of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
Dr. Polaski is scheduled to be in residence May 11-15. His public colloquium will be held Tuesday, May 12 from 11:30 - 12:30.

From Dr. Polasky's University of Minnesota web page: Stephen Polasky is a Regent’s Professor and holds the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Ecological/Environmental Economics at the University of Minnesota. He is a faculty member in the Department of Applied Economics and the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. He is also a Faculty Fellow at the Institute on the Environment. He served as the senior staff economist for environment and resources for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1998-1999. and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2010. He was elected as a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2011, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007.

His research interests focus on issues at the intersection of ecology and economics and include the impacts of land use and land management on the provision and value of ecosystem services and natural capital, biodiversity conservation, sustainability, environmental regulation, renewable energy, and common property resources. His research has been published in Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Frontiers of Ecology and Environment, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, and other journals.

Most Recent Visitor (Spring 2014)
Dr. Tim Flannery, Principal Research Scientist, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Flannery is a zoologist, a paleontologist, and a mammologist, as well as one of the world’s leading scientific thinkers and writers on climate change. In his best-selling book The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth (Text Publishing Company 2005) Flannery uses layman’s language in arguing the need to act quickly to prevent the worst impacts of a warming planet. Thanks largely to that book, Dr. Flannery was named Australian of the Year in 2007. His previous best-selling book, The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of Australasian Lands and People (1994) described how Australians had been using up their ecological resources to the detriment of their future. In 1998–99, he was the visiting professor of Australian studies at Harvard University, and in 1999 he became the director of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide.

Past Visitors
Tom Swetnam, March 2014; see the video
Don Wuebbles, May 2013
; see the video
Margaret Davidson, April 2013; see the video
Andy Revkin, May 2012; see the video
Edward S. Rubin, February 2012; see the video
Dennis Ojima, October 2011; see the video
Denny Ellerman, March 2011;see the video
David Tilman, January 2011; see the video
Virgilio Viana, October 2010; see the video
Mike Toman, April 2010; see the video
Matt Kahn, January 2010; see the video
Lynn Scarlett, October 2009; see the video
Richard Duke, April 2009; see the video
Thomas Lyon, February 2009; see the video
Stephen Schneider, October 2008; see the video