New School of Earth and Sustainability Officially Launches at UMass Amherst


DATE:           Wednesday, April 19, 2017

TIME:           10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WHAT:         Official Launch, UMass Amherst School of Earth and Sustainability

WHERE:      Atrium of Design Building, 551 N. Pleasant St., Amherst

The new School of Earth and Sustainability (SES) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will be officially launched on April 19 with a student poster session, invited guest speakers and graduate student “lightning talks” on environmental issues, earth sciences and sustainability. A light lunch will also be served.

The keynote speaker is expected to be Dan Kahan, the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and professor of psychology at Yale Law School. He is also a scholar in the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale, a group studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions, for example of climate change, and related policy beliefs.

Other speakers are expected to include UMass Amherst Provost Katherine S. Newman and Dean Steven Goodwin of the College of Natural Sciences.

Founding SES director, professor Curt Griffin, says SES is the only school of its kind in New England, and it creates a rich environment for students and faculty to “make a big difference in the world” with the largest and most diverse set of environmental sustainability programs. He adds, “At UMass, we have enormous capacity to become a national leader for research and the destination of choice for students interested in applied environmental disciplines such as climate sciences, food systems, biodiversity and conservation, clean energy, the built environment and social and environmental justice, just to name a few.”

Over the past year, SES has worked to forge stronger connections between campus scholars and establish new programs that train students to be highly effective leaders, equipped to innovate, advance and inspire sustainable solutions that address the most critical issues of our time. Griffin says that SES holds the potential for future cutting-edge interdisciplinary and collaborative research with a focus on the natural and built environments. Its official website is expected to launch this week, as well.