Spring 2015

Unless otherwise noted, events are 5:30pm-7:00pm Thursdays in BSS 166 * 

February 19

Arne Jacobson
“The Pico Power Revolution: Off-Grid Energy Services for Low Income People in Africa, Asia, and Beyond”

Arne Jacobson is a professor in the Environmental Resources Engineering Department and Director of the Schatz Energy Research Center at Cal Poly Humboldt. He serves as the technical lead for product quality assurance for Lighting Global, which is associated with the Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia programs. Collectively, these programs have helped enable sales of over 6 million quality assurance solar lighting systems to people in off-grid areas of Africa and Asia.

Arne has a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree focused on Environmental Resources Engineering from Cal Poly Humboldt, and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Earlham College. In 2010-11 he served as Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy and International Affairs at U.S. Department of Energy. Arne’s areas of research and work interest include renewable energy technologies, energy access in off-grid areas, and clean energy deployment policy.

February 26

Carolyn Finney
“Righteous Road: Black Faces, White Spaces & Stories of Possibility”
watch full presentation

Carolyn Finney, Ph.D. is a writer, performer and cultural geographer. As a professor in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, she explores how issues of difference impact participation in decision-making processes designed to address environmental issues.

Although Carolyn pursed an acting career for eleven years, a backpacking trip around the world and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, she returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. Informed by her early life experiences, the aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action.

Carolyn has appeared on the Tavis Smiley show, MSNBC, NPR and has been interviewed for numerous newspapers and magazines. Along with public speaking, writing and consulting, she serves on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board that is working to assist the National Park Service in engaging in relations of reciprocity with diverse communities. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors explores the relationship of African Americans to the environment and the environmental movement (UNC Press, 2014). For more information see carolynfinney.com.

April 9

John Meyer
“Environmentalism and the Resonance Dilemma”
watch full presentation

John M. Meyer is Professor in the Department of Politics, Environmental Studies, and Environment and Community at Cal Poly Humboldt. His new book is Engaging the Everyday: Environmental Social Criticism and the Resonance Dilemma (MIT Press, 2015). He is also co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory.

April 16

Beckie Menten
“Community Choice, Community Power: An In-Depth Look at California’s Emerging Model for Local Electricity Control”

Beckie Menten is the Energy Efficiency Director for Marin Clean Energy (MCE). She designs, develops, and delivers efficiency programs in the MCE service area. Beckie has an extensive background in both energy efficiency and local government, having worked at the city, county, and state level to design efficiency programs and research best practices in energy efficiency.

Prior to joining the MCE team, Beckie was most recently the Program Manager for the Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings program at the California Energy Commission. Beckie also served as the efficiency financing lead at the Energy Commission and brings considerable expertise in evaluating innovative ideas for enabling investment in energy efficiency.Prior to working with the Energy Commission, Beckie worked with the Demand Side Management group of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Beckie has a master of science degree in Environmental Systems from Cal Poly Humboldt, where her thesis research focused on development of a seven-county regional Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program on the north coast of California; she received a Switzer Fellowship for her work on the PACE program.

April 30

Janet Fiskio
“Welcome to Blockadia: Poetics and Protest in Climate Activism”
watch full presentation

Janet Fiskio is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College. Her research and teaching focus on collaborative, community-based work in food justice and climate activism. She is currently finishing a book project, Counter Friction: Poetics, Performance, and Protest in Climate Justice.

Earn your Bachelors & Masters in 5 years!

Learn More  »


Environment and Community MA Program
Cal Poly Humboldt
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521-8299

Phone: (707) 826-3653
Fax: (707) 826-4496
email: envcomm1@humboldt.edu