JESS New Issue Alert


The table of contents for Volume 6 Number 3, September 2016 of the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences is now available.

To get full access, become a member of AESS today.

In this issue:

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Closing Keynote

Sociologist and Best-Selling Author James W. Loewen ​Announced as Closing Keynote

jwlcolProfessor, sociologist, and best-selling author of the award-winning book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got WrongJames W. Loewen has been invited to deliver the closing keynote speech for the 8th annual conference of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences.

Loewen is known as a sociologist and researcher who continues to study how Americans remember their past—especially as it helps shape their future​. His accolades include the American Book Award, the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship, and the Spirit of America Award.

Loewen’s closing speech promises to address the relationship between real and complete knowledge, critical thinking and genuine social and environmental progress.

The closing speech will be given Saturday, June 11, 2016 at American University in Washington, DC. See the AESS Conference Agenda for time and location details and Register Today for a chance to attend this event!

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JESS Special Issue

Open Access to JESS Special Edition for March Issue

from JESS Editor-in-Chief Tony Rosenbaum:

The Journal of Environmental Studies (JESS) is pleased to announce that articles concerning the Food, Energy Water Nexus will be available online and accessible to all readers until April 23, 2016. This Special Issue features selected presentations from the 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment, sponsored by the National Center for Science and the Environment (NCSE) in January 2016, from related NSF workshops, and from other endeavors supported, among others, by NSF, USDA, NASA, the US Forest Service, NOAA, the US Geological Survey, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Papers are open access at the journal’s website. The conference, engaging approximately 1200 individuals from diverse disciplines and sectors, explored opportunities and challenges in applying science at the Food, Energy, Water Nexus. Papers in this issue assess the nature of human and scientific challenges raised by considering food, energy, and water systems together at scales from cities, to aquifers and river basins, to the entire globe. Many of the papers identify research agendas or address specific critical research challenges such as identifying appropriate questions, developing and using analytical tools, spatial computing, sensing and monitoring, and defining metrics at appropriate scales.

Additional papers address important environmental challenges at the nexus, such as resilience and human adaptations, engineering, infrastructure, sustainable ecosystems, nutrients, aquifer depletion, public values, mediating human conflicts, sustainable energy systems, engineering solutions, and integrative systems management. One paper argues persuasively for advancing a “Community of Practice” that develops the cross-cutting tools and skills for those working on the very diverse set of initiatives described in this issue. It is appropriate after reviewing so many challenges that the issue ends with a commentary providing “A Positive Vision of Sustainability.”



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AESS 2016 Keynote Speaker Announced

Photo OpaleVisionary economist Jeremy Rifkin will keynote the 8th annual Conference for the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and advisor to the European Union on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security, will be joined by a host of other speakers to address this year’s event, which will take place June 8-11 in Washington, D.C.

Well-versed on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment, Rifkin is the bestselling author of twenty books. His latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that growing environmental and other resources will require a much more collaborative society if we are to maintain a robust economy. Rifkin is also the principle architect of the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) sustainability plan and is the President of the TIR Consulting Group, LLC.

No commercial use. Credit "European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari"

No commercial use.
Credit “European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari”

In addition to Rifkin, the association has invited speakers such as professor and sociologist James W. Loewen, author of the lively book critique, Lies My Teacher Told Me, and attorney Patricia J. Beneke, who is the Director and Regional Representative of the United Nations Environment Programmes Regional Office for North America.

The conference will be held on the campus of American University, and will also include workshops, local site visits, panels, presentations and student poster sessions. The conference is the largest annual event held by AESS, attracting attendees from all over North America as well as from nearly every continent.

Information on workshops and registration for the conference can be found by visiting 

AESS, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, serves faculty, students, and staff of the 1000+ interdisciplinary environmental programs as well as professionals in environmental fields across North America and around the world. The annual meeting offers opportunities for attendees to develop interdisciplinary understanding of environmental science, policy, management, ethics, history and all other vital contributions of traditional disciplines.

The conference is sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs, Pace University, Global Environmental Politics at American University, and generously supported by other organizations including Chatham University, Cornell University Press, IES Abroad, and Project Learning Tree. To learn more about sponsoring or exhibiting, visit our website.

Registration is open! An early bird rate of $340 per person (full) $190 (single day), $135 (full student) and $80 (single day student) is available until Friday, April 1, 2016.

Learn more about AESS by visiting our website, and follow us on Twitter or Facebook. For more information about the conference, contact AESS Program Coordinator


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Freudenburg Nominations

Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award Nominations are Open

Have you thought about who to nominate for the 2016 Freudenburg Award? Award Nominations are now open! We encourage you to learn about William “Bill” Freudenburg’s legacy and past recipients.



Beth Karlin, Awards Committee Chair, can answer your questions BKARLIN@USC.EDU.

Read more about the 2015 award winner, Tony Rosenbaum.

tony award

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Proposals Due Monday

What time does the Superbowl start? (6:30pm EST for those wondering).

What time can I submit my proposal? Now until 11:59pm EST, Monday, February 8, 2016.

The program committee is hard at work reading through your submissions (and will continue to do so for the next few weeks).

We thank you for taking the time to share your work and hope to see you at AESS 2016.

So finalize those drafts between the commercials tonight. What, you’re going to watch the game, too? OK, ok, so finalize those drafts sometime before midnight tomorrow.

Peyton says - submit!

Peyton says – submit!

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Member Spotlight: Abby Lindsay

Informal housing on the outskirts of Lima

Informal housing on the outskirts of Lima

Abby Lindsay, AESS Board Member (June 2014-2016), is a Global Environmental Politics doctoral student at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. This summer she completed nine weeks of fieldwork in Peru. She traveled to seven cities and successfully completed 70 interviews with key stakeholders, which will contribute to her dissertation research about urban water governance.

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JESS December Issue

The December 2015 issue of The Journal of Environmental Studies and Science includes the second Symposium on ‘Food System Resilience,’ a collection of fourteen articles which explore the national and global implications of food supply, scarcity, and strategies to create greater food security from a variety of different interdisciplinary environmental perspectives.

From the JESS Editorial staff:

  • A discussion by James Ward of the claim that urban agriculture (UA) reduces food costs and therefore has a role in improving household resilience during economic hardship. Using linear programming, he addresses the gap between claims and reality when it comes to UA actually reducing food costs and provides a case study as an example of how important factors such as crop yields, food prices and inputs (such as irrigation water) can be realistically quantified and an estimate of overall diet cost can be optimized. He concludes by proposing methods to meet regional food needs.
  • An exploration by Laura Lengnick of food system vulnerability resulting from exposure of the system to specific climate effects, the sensitivity of the system to those effects, and the capacity of the system adapt to those effects in order to maintain system integrity.  Based on a synthesis of recent literature conducted to explore the vulnerability of the US food system to climate change, the author suggests that the interaction between regional climate change effects and the geographic specialization and concentration of agricultural production in the USA increases the vulnerability of the US food system to climate change.
  • A description by Brett Tolley of the innovative Fish Locally Collaborative (FLC), an international decentralized network of fishermen and their allies which is promoting a paradigm shift in strategies to prevent chronic overfishing and recurring stock collapse of favored commercial fisheries. The FLC’s importance to small- and medium-scale fishing operations and its strategies to support coastal fishing communities are discussed at length, including attention to achievements, challenges, and case studies that promote more sustainable and resilient fish resources.

​We invite all members and non-members to submit articles for the Journal. Contributions are welcome from any discipline or combination of disciplines, any vocation or professional affiliation, any national, ethnic or cultural background. Articles may relate to any historical and global setting. See the website for more details.

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Introducing AESS 2016 Conference Chair

James E. “Jim” McMahon

James E. “Jim” McMahon

Trained as a chemist/biophysicist, James E. “Jim” McMahon engaged in multi-disciplinary energy policy analysis for over 30 years at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He remains an Affiliate at LBNL and at the University of California, Berkeley, Energy Resources Group, where he advises faculty and students, and occasionally is a guest lecturer on energy and water efficiency, climate mitigation, and public policy. Jim is an active independent consultant in California, the USA and internationally, and is a regular contributor (author, program committee, and one-time co-chair) to such conferences as ACEEE (co-chair in 2000) and ECEEE Summer Studies on Energy Efficiency in Buildings; Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (BECC); Alliance to Save Energy’s (Energy Efficiency) EE Global; and Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL). In 2011-2014, he participated in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group 3 (Mitigation) as co-author of a new chapter Human Settlements, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure.

“The greatest opportunities for innovation are at the boundaries between disciplines – the dynamic intertidal zones – where diverse partners can mutually learn from each other and collaborate on better approaches to sustainability.”

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Committee Volunteer Opportunities

AESS Committees

AESS programing is at an all-time high with new initiatives and further development of current activities. We invite you to explore our committees and see if one is of interest to you.

Consider the benefits of committee participation:

  • build up your curriculum vitae
  • network with members in your field and across the globe
  • learn about organizational management
  • become actively involved with the workings of AESS
  • give your ideas a place to grow

Once you’ve reviewed our committee descriptions and find a good fit for you, please email all interests and inquiries to AESS President Skip Laitner at

edited to add: our committee page has moved. Learn more about the committees here.

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