Special Events

Keynote Speakers and Special Topic Plenaries at AESS 2018

Wednesday, Keynote


Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

Bob Perciasepe is President of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change.

Mr. Perciasepe has been an environmental policy leader in and outside government for more than 40 years, most recently as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he oversaw stricter auto emissions standards and carbon emissions standards for power plants.

Previously, he served as chief operating officer of the National Audubon Society, Secretary of the Environment for the state of Maryland, and as a senior planning official for the city of Baltimore.

Join us Wednesday evening, June 20 at American University for the opening reception, welcome by AESS President and Keynote speech, hosted by Michelle Wyman, Executive Director, NCSE.

June 20, 4:30-8:30pm

Washington College of Law | 4065 Yuma Street Northwest | Yuma Building, Claudio Grossman Hall | Washington, DC 20016

This event is included with AESS conference registration. If you are not attending the entire conference, please sign up for a ticket.

Thursday, Plenary

Inclusion and Legitimacy

Read AESS President David Hassenzahl’s explanation about the formation of this plenary.

June 21, 8:30-10:00 am

Washington College of Law | 4065 Yuma Street Northwest | Yuma Building, Claudio Grossman Hall | Washington, DC 20016

Join us Thursday morning, June 21 at American University for a panel offering stimulating perspective on the challenge and promise of inclusion and legitimacy. We expect that this plenary will establish conversations that continue through the conference and serve to shape environmental studies and sciences programs for decades to come.

Patricia DeMarco, moderator

Patricia M. DeMarco is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. with a doctorate in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. She  has spent a thirty -year career in energy and environmental policy  in both private and public sector positions, including Commissioner of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and Demand Side Manager for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative. She was the Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University. read more

Jacqueline Patterson

Jacqueline directs the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program, and she brings broad international experience in women’s rights, economics, health, food access, and the environment.

Ian Zabarte

Ian is a member of the Western Shoshone, board member of the Native Community Action Council, and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Environmental Studies program. He brings years of experience challenging governmental and industry claims about risks to numerous western U.S. tribes associated with uranium mining, nuclear weapons testing, and nuclear waste disposal.

Liz Beattie

Liz Beattie lives, works, and studies at the University of British Columbia, on traditional, ancestral, unceded Musqueam territory.  Her academic experience includes investigating the role of place as a legitimate, agentic teacher and knowledge-holder, advocating for the inclusion of multiple ways of knowing and being in curricular and pedagogical meaning-making, and participating in processes of reconciliation following the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s reports (see http://nctr.ca/reports.php).

Saturday, Closing Plenary

The Triumph of Ideology: Climate Denial in the US

A conversation about how civil servants and government officials can do their job, let alone serve a climate-related public interest, if people cannot even talk about climate.

June 23, 12:30-3:30pm

Constitution Hall | 3501 Nebraska Ave NW | Washington, DC 20016

This event is included with AESS conference registration. If you are not attending the conference, please sign up for a ticket.

Join us for lunch and the AESS 2018 closing plenary, Saturday, June 23 at American University.

The panel will feature experts in the environmental field and be moderated by Simon Nicholson, AU Director of the Global Environmental Politics Program in the School of International Service.

Simon Nicholson, moderator

Dr. Simon Nicholson is the director of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service and Assistant Professor of International Relations. His work focuses on global environmental governance, global food politics, and the politics of emerging technologies, including climate engineering (or “geoengineering”) technologies. He is co-founder of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, a scholarly initiative of the School of International Service. read more

Rick Duke, panelist

Rick Duke is Founder and President of Gigaton Strategies, LLC. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to President Obama, helping to craft the 2013 Climate Action Plan and driving its domestic and international implementation through the end of the second term.  His domestic priorities spanned the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the 2015 budget deal to achieve long-term extensions to renewable energy tax credits, DOE’s appliance standards program, regulations on non-CO2 gases, and measures to bolster lands sector carbon sinks and cut agricultural emissions. 

Previously, he launched the Center for Market Innovation at NRDC. As an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, his projects included managing development of the firm’s first global greenhouse gas abatement curve. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, where his doctoral work focused on the economics of public investment in clean energy.

Dan Fiorino, panelist

Daniel J. Fiorino is the Director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Distinguished Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University. As faculty member in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, he teaches courses on environmental policy, energy and climate change, environmental sustainability, and public management.
Dan is the author or co-author of seven books and some fifty articles and book chapters. According to Google Scholar, his work has been cited some 4,000 times in the professional literature. His most recent books are A Good Life on a Finite Earth: The Political Economy of Green Growth (Oxford University Press, 2018) and Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy (with James Meadowcroft, MIT Press, 2017). read more

Dana Fisher, panelist

Dana R. Fisher is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland.  Her research focuses on environmental policy, civic participation and activism more broadly.  She has written extensively on climate politics in the US and comparatively across nations, including in her first book: National Governance and the Global Climate Change Regime (Rowman & Littlefield 2004). In addition to five books, she has also published her work in numerous peer-reviewed journals.  Recent publications in Nature Climate Change, Environment & Planning C, and Climatic Change employ social network methods to understand the policy actors engaged in climate policy-making in the United States at the federal and sub-national levels. Fisher is currently leading the Climate Constituencies Project that studies climate and clean energy policy networks at the US federal and sub-national levels, which is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Professor Fisher’s work has been featured in media outlets such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and various programs on National Public Radio.  Her work has been presented to federal agencies, foundations, and other organizations.  Among others, she has presented her work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program Office, the Let’s Move Campaign at the White House, and the Brookings Institution.  read more

Peter Jacques, panelist

Peter Jacques is the President-Elect of AESS and has written a book and many articles on the organized rejection of environmental science. He is Managing Executive Editor for the Journal of Environmental Studies and Science, the flagship journal for the Association of Environmental Studies and Science and published by Springer as well as a Professor of Political Science at University of Central Florida. Peter has been working in global environmental politics and sustainability for over a decade. read more