Presented by the Kule Institute for Advanced Study and the Sustainability Council.


Every few years, the world holds its breath and waits for world leaders to take action on climate change—and we're still holding.

Drawing on the experience of scholars who have attended past UN climate talks, this three-part e-conference series will try to help you understand what's holding up progress. And most importantly, what are scientists, policymakers, activists and others hoping to achieve in the next round?

Join the e-conference to learn about the UN climate talks, and help shape the public call for action at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Convention of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

Part One: History and Stakeholders

Friday, March 20, 2020
9:30–11:30 a.m. MDT
Watch on Zoom

History of COP - What happens inside? What issues are historically featured? Who are the primary stakeholders? What are its aims?

Speakers: Kerry Constabile (UN Sustainable Development Unit) and Sourayan Mookerjea (UAlberta)

Part Two: Field Notes from Madrid

Friday, April 3, 2020
9:30–11:30 a.m. MDT
Watch on Zoom

What happened at COP25 in 2019? What was experienced by those on the ground, inside and outside the formal event? What motions were tabled and carried forward? Why? What should we be demanding from global leaders at COP26 based on what happened at COP 25?

Speaker: Angele Alook (York University)

Part Three: Artists and Activism

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
9:30–11:30 a.m. MDT
Watch on Zoom

What happens at COP on the streets, and in the surrounding cultural spaces? How is art mobilized in the service of activism? How does activism draw on art? What can we learn from activists and artists who have attended COP?

Speaker: Carrie Karsgaard (UAlberta) and members of The Yes Men.

We regret that in-person lectures have been cancelled throughout March and April, 2020.

The COP 101 e-conferences will continue as planned.

Winter 2020 Sustainability Lectures

The Sustainability Council presents an ongoing lecture series exploring local expertise and global innovation across all fields of sustainability. Meet scholars from the University of Alberta and beyond in fields ranging from engineering to ecology, public health to poetry, native studies to nanotechnology.

Our speakers share new perspectives, and explore the diversity of issues encompassed by sustainability. Please join us and help expand the campus dialogue on sustainability issues including: climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, inequality and food security.

Sustainability lecture series schedule. Updated 2020-03-16.
Date Speaker Location Time
Jan. 14 Victor Lieffers: Forest Sustainability SAB 1-36 Noon–1 p.m.
Jan. 23 Dwayne Donald: Homo Economicus and Forgetful Curriculum SAB 1-36 Noon–1 p.m.
Feb. 5 Vien Truong: Exponential Equity CCIS 1-430 7–9 p.m.
Feb. 26 Mary Beckie: Moving Beyond Organic? Ecological Farming and Local Food Trends in Alberta SAB 3-31
(new location)
Noon–1 p.m.
Mar. 6 Diana Leong: Anchoring the Climate Commons - Slave Ship Earth 3-26 Arts & Convocation Hall 3–5 p.m.
Mar. 16 Tar Sands Songbook: Performance with Tanya Kalmanovitch 4-104 Education North 2:30–4 p.m.
Mar. 17 Tar Sands Songbook: Workshop with Tanya Kalmanovitch 4-104 Education North 2–5 p.m.
Mar. 18 Green Drinks: Campus Edition Dewey's Pub 7–10 p.m.
Mar. 20 COP 101: History and Stakeholders Cameron Library 2-20A 9 a.m.–Noon
Mar. 25 Aniko Bodroghkozy: Iconic Images: Charlottesville 2017, Selma 1965, Birmingham 1963 Agriculture-Forestry Atrium Noon–1 p.m.
Apr. 3 COP 101: Field Notes from Madrid Cameron Library 2-20A 9 a.m.–Noon
Apr. 17 COP 101: Artists and Activism Cameron Library 2-20A 9 a.m.–Noon
May 22 Sheena Wilson: Energy In/Out of Place TBD TBD

Steering Committee

Chaired by Sustainability Council's Associate Director (Research), the steering committee guides the lecture series’ programming.

Janice Cindy Gaudet
Dr. Janice Cindy Gaudet belongs to a strong lineage of Metis women’s families located along the South Saskatchewan River and farming community near Batoche, One Arrow and Bellevue, Saskatchewan. She is an Associate Professor at Campus Saint-Jean. She is committed to a de-colonial approach in research, wellbeing and pedagogy by centering Indigenous women’s knowledge, stories and lived experiences. Ma recherche est principalement basée sur la réclamation des savoirs, en particulier celles des femmes Métis. Le but de mes recherches est de remettre en question la pensée occidentale afin de mettre en valeur les épistémologies des femmes, les savoirs des femmes autochtones en relation au bien-être.
Ken Caine
Dr. Ken Caine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Originally from the Northwest Territories of Canada, he was trained as a forester and worked in social forestry for governments and research organizations in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. As a rural environmental sociologist Dr. Caine explores social practices, power dynamics, and institutional change in the context of environmental governance and natural resource management in the western Arctic of the Canadian North and in other circumpolar regions. His most recent research is on Indigenous youth hybrid environmental knowledge. Dr. Caine is co-editor (with Brenda Parlee) of the 2018 University of British Columbia Press book, When the Caribou Do Not Come: Indigenous Knowledge and Adaptive Management in the Western Arctic.
Lianne Lefsrud
Dr. Lianne Lefsrud is an Assistant Professor, Engineering Safety and Risk Management at the University of Alberta. Most recently, Dr. Lefsrud was with the Erb Institute of Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. She uses mixed methods to study how institutional and new venture entrepreneurs use persuasive language and imagery to shape our conceptions of technology, the environment, and regulations. Specifically, her research examines methods of hazard identification and risk management, risk evaluation and social license to operate, and drivers of technology adoption in renewable energies, oil and gas, mining, pipelining, construction, agriculture, and railroading, among other industries.
Sheena Wilson

Dr. Sheena Wilson is a professor of English and Cultural Studies, and coordinator for all English programming at Campus Saint-Jean. She is co-founder & director of the international Petrocultures Research Group, and principle investigator of Just Powers. She is also a fellow of the Energy Futures Lab and she serves on The City of Edmonton’s Energy Transition Advisory Council (ETAC). Her research seeks to simultaneously analyze how we are collectively imagining new ways of being in relationship to energy and the environment, while also working to mobilize and further the public imaginary about what is possible.