GreenTalk Speaker Series

Wednesdays Noon to 1:15 pm, ENG 189

Practicing engineers, scientists, and technical experts deliver up-to-date briefings on how engineers deal with environmental issues.

For questions please contact Barbara Murphy-Wesley, Coordinator GreenTalk Speaker Series, College of Engineering: barbara.murphywesley@sjsu.edu

Spring 2018

  • Feb 14

    Eugene Cordero, Ph.D.

    SJSU Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science

    Global Warming and Climate Change – What’s an Engineer to Do?

    Dr. Eugene Cordero is a climate scientist and professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San José State University. His science research is focused on understanding the processes responsible for long-term changes in climate through the use of observations and atmospheric models. Dr. Cordero is also interested in the design of educational experiences that encourage social change in students to produce environmental benefits. Currently, he is the founder and director of Green Ninja, an enterprise that creates educational experiences that help students design a more sustainable world.

    Reading:

    Chapter 9, Cunningham & Cunningham, Global Warming and Climate Change

  • Feb 21

    Thalia Anagnos, Ph.D.

    SJSU Associate Vice President of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, Engineering Professor, and Earthquake Engineer

    Disaster and Recovery: Working Toward More Resilient Communities

    Recent earthquake and tsunami disasters (and fires) have once again exposed the challenges of creating resilient communities. One accepted definition of resilience is the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Creating resilience communities requires collaboration among individuals and government at the local, state, and national level to engage with science, technology, information gathering, finance, education, communication, and policy. This talk will discuss some of the current thinking and policies related to resilience and examples of efforts to rebuild more resilient communities in Chile as it recovers from the 2010 Maule earthquake.

    Reading:

    Chapter 12, Cunningham & Cunningham, Environmental Geology and Earth Resources

  • Feb 28

    Julia Schmitt, P.E., M.S.

    Water Sources Engineer

    Hard Choices: Water Management in the Golden State

    Enabling adequate access to high-quality water for people and their surrounding ecosystems is a challenge in many areas of the world, including California. The Golden State is facing a growing imbalance between supply and demand of useable water for agriculture and municipalities. What strategies are policy-makers at the state and local level considering to lessen demand and/or increase supply? How can various forms of "waste" water, as well as surface and ground water, be managed more efficiently to serve human and ecological needs? We will examine a few case studies from the bay area to illustrate the challenges and opportunities facing water engineering today.

    As a practicing water resources engineer, Julia Schmitt, PE, works on the design and planning of potable, recycled, and storm water systems.

    Reading:

    Chapter 11, Cunningham & Cunningham, Water Engineering and Planning

  • March 7

    Max Dunn, B.A., M.B.A.

    Director of Engineering, Ohm Connect

    The Dirty Little Secrets of Clean Energy

    Max Dunn holds a B.A. in computer and information science and an M.B.A. in sustainable management.

    The price of clean energy keeps falling and is becoming competitive with fossil fuel power plants. But integrating increasing amounts of intermittent renewable energy on the grid is causing problems. Can we move to a sustainable energy future, or will fossil fuels always be our dominant source of energy?

     

    Reading:

    Energy, Cunningham & Cunningham, Chapter 13

  • March 14

    Sonja Huang, B.A.

    Bay Area Director Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC)

    Discussion of Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security, and Education

    Sonja is leader in sustainability with an emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Solutions. She is also Bay Area Director of Green Monday, a social startup group that aims to tackle climate change and global food insecurity by making low-carbon and sustainable living simple, viral and actionable.

    As FFAC's Bay Area Director, Sonja empowers consumers and activists across the Bay Area through grassroots education. A graduate of U.C. Irvine, Sonja as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior.

    Reading:

    Food and Agriculture, Cunningham & Cunningham, Chapter 7

  • March 21

    William Dunckel, M.S., Engineering --
    San Jose State University; P.E

    Senior Quality Assurance Engineer, PG&E

    Energy, Environment and Engineering


    "Energy, Environment, and Engineering" is a pragmatic overview of the relationships among these three elements. It is a high level conceptual discussion of how the US has come from the Energy Crisis of the 1970’s to where we are today. The intent is to provide engineering students some perspective for planning careers that will help protect the health and welfare of the public through environmental stewardship.

    Reading:

    Energy, Cunningham & Cunningham, Chapter 13

  • April 4

    Kristen Wonder, B.S. Environmental Studies

    Sustainability Coordinator, San Jose State University
    Member, SJSU Campus-Wide Sustainability Board

    Managing Sustainability at San Jose State

    Kristen is a dedicated sustainability professional striving to create meaningful change with long-term sustainable solutions. An SJSU Environmental Studies graduate, she is committed to using advocacy to drive social and environmental progress at San Jose State University.

    Reading:

    Chapter 16 – Environmental Policy and Sustainability

  • April 11

    Neil Lareau, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor at San Jose State University

    Wildfires and Atmospheric Interactions

    Dr. Lareau is part of the Fire Weather Research Laboratory team here at San Jose State University. The team’s research could lead to better ways of predicting the spread of wildfires. Using modern active remote sensors (Radar and Lidars) to probe atmospheric processes, Dr. Lareau’s research examines atmospheric dynamics across a range of scales. Specific research topics include: Wildfire plume dynamics, Boundary-Layer and Cloud Interactions, Mountain Valley Cold Air Pools, Synoptic-Scale Storm Tracks.

    Reading:

    Environmental Conservation, Cunningham & Cunningham, Chapter 6

  • April 18

     

     

    Environmental Justice

    More information to come.

    Reading:

    Environmental Justice, Cunningham & Cunningham, Chapters 14, 15

  • April 25

    Julia Thompson, Ph.D., M.S.
    Keith Perry, M.S., M.B.A,

    EPICS Instructors

    Environmental Aspects of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

    The EPICS program takes global and local community organizations and partners them with students who have strong technical backgrounds. It is a national program that provides service-learning opportunities in the engineering curriculum. SJSU engineering students are giving back to the community and helping the environment too.

    Keith, Julia, and some EPICS students will talk about the program at SJSU and discuss several environmentally-focused engineering community projects.

     

    Reading:

    Environmental Policy and Sustainability, Cunningham & Cunningham, Chapter 16