Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Energy and the Environment: The Central Challenge of Sustainability


Series:2008 Sigma-Xi Syracuse Chapter Distinguished Lecture
Speaker:Dr. Kimberly A. Gray, Northwestern University
Location:Eggers Hall 010
Date:Thu, Nov 13, 2008
Time: 7:00 PM

Additional Information

The commonly held definition of sustainability put forth in Our Common Future (Brundtland Commission, 1987) states that sustainable development should be pursued globally to "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The only problem is that it is not clear how this notion translates into action. The way most Americans live, for instance, is far from sustainable. People in the U.S. use energy and resources to a far greater extent than what they produce and what other countries use.

There is an urgent need to determine the near-term and long-term paths to a sustainable future in an integrated fashion if we are to protect future generations, the environment, and the economies of the world.

Technological breakthroughs alone will not rescue us if they are not coupled to changes in how we live and where we live. Do we have the political will to pursue these changes? Do we have sufficient scientific and technical understanding to alter the course we began charting hundreds of years ago as societies moved from subsistence agricultural to highly industrialized economies?

Dr. Kimberly Gray is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and is the Director of the Environmental Science, Engineering and Policy Program. Her research focuses on the development of photoactive materials for energy and environmental applications, and on the study of chemical fate in environmental systems. She works closely with the Chicago Legal Clinic to provide technical expertise to solve environmental problems for low-income urban communities. Both her teaching and research are tightly interwoven with the many issues that underpin the drive toward sustainability. She is the author of over 60 scientific papers and lectures widely on energy and environmental issues.

Sponsored by the Syracuse Chapter of Sigma Xi; Syracuse University Maxwell School's Center for Environmental Policy and Administration (CEPA); and Syracuse University's Office of Environment and Society (EnSPIRE).

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Parking: For attendees coming from off-campus, free parking is available in Irving Garage (enter from Stadium Place) - mention 'Sigma-Xi' when parking.


Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 10/22/2008 15:11:45