Zurich Distinguished Visitors on Climate Change 2010-2011

The Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change allows the Bren School to attract international leaders in environmental policy, law,business, and science to enrich and expand the intellectual life of the Bren School community and share insights on issues critical to climate change. Activities of the visitors, who are in residence for periods ranging from one week to one quarter, include teaching short courses, offering public lectures, conducting seminars, and leading colloquia and symposia planned around their research, professional endeavors, or areas of expertise.

Here are the visitors for the 2010-2011 academic year.

FALL 2010 Virgilio VianaOct. 20-26

Director General, Amazonas Sustainability Foundation

Former Secretary of Environment, State of Amazonas, Brazil

Community Colloquium, Oct. 21, 11:30-12:30, Bren Hall 1414

"Sustainable Development in Practice: Lessons Learned from Amazonas"

Short Course: Sustainable Development in Practice: Lessons Learned from Amazonas, Brazil

Virgilio Viana is an expert in forestry and sustainable development. He received a PhD in evolutionary biology from Harvard University and did post-doctoral work on sustainable development at the University of Florida. He was formerly professor of forest sciences at the Higher School of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz, at São Paulo University.

Dr. Viana coordinated the Brazilian consultative process that led to the establishment of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in 1993. He was the founder and President of IMAFLORA, the first Latin-American-based forest certifier, and in 2003 he became the first Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development for the state of Amazonas, Brazil, which had the mission of coordinating the state’s sustainable development program, known as the Green Free Trade Zone. In 2008, Dr. Viana transitioned to a new role as Director General of the Amazonas Sustainability Foundation (FAS), an organization charged with implementing the Bolsa Floresta Program, as well as providing the institutional framework to market environmental services of Amazonas’ forests.


Virgilio Viana

WINTER 2011 — David Tilman Jan. 15-Feb. 18

Regents' Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology, the University of Minnesota; Director, University’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve.

Community Colloquium, Jan. 20, 11:30-12:30, Bren Hall 1414

Title TBA

Short Course: Agriculture and Climate Change: Food, Biofuels, and Global Carbon Dynamics


David Tilman is Regents' Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology at the University of Minnesota, as well as director of the University’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. His research focuses on the causes, consequences, and conservation of earth’s biodiversity, and on how managed and natural ecosystems can sustainably meet human needs for food, energy and ecosystem services.

His current research explores ways to use biodiversity as a tool for biofuel production and climate stabilization through carbon sequestration. His work on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy has critically examined the full environmental, energetic and economic costs and benefits of grain crops, of current food-based biofuels and of biofuels made from diverse mixtures of prairie grasses and other native plants growing on already-degraded lands. He has also dedicated much of his career to communicating with the public, politicians and the managers of earth’s ecosystems so that they might be better informed about environmental science and its relevance to society and to sustaining, for the long-term, the quality of human life on earth.


David Tilman

SPRING 2011 — Denny Ellerman March 28 -April 8

Former senior lecturer, director, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Climate Change, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Community Colloquium, Date TBA, 11:30-12:30, Bren Hall 1414

"European CO2 Trading: Dead End or Path to the Future?"

Short Course: Cap-and-Trade Regulations of Air Emissions

Dr. Ellerman is an internationally recognized expert on energy and environmental economics with a particular focus on climate policy, emissions trading, and interactions with energy markets. He is part-time professor at the Robert Schumann Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and is retired from MIT, where he was for many years a senior lecturer and executive director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research and of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Denny is a co-author of the leading books on the US SO2 and the EU CO2 Allowance Trading Programs, Markets for Clean Air: The US Acid Rain Program and Pricing Carbon: The European Emissions Trading Scheme. He has a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University.

Denny Ellerman