Media Archive:

John Harte: ERG Annual Lecture 2018


SPEAKER: John Harte, “The Quest for Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity”
DATE: Thursday, April 5, 2018
LOCATION: Sibley Auditorium, inside Bechtel Engineering Center, UC Berkeley

This year’s speaker was ERG and ESPM Professor John Harte. Professor Harte’s lecture was part of a celebration of his research career in global change ecology and macroecology as he transistioned to Professor of the Graduate School.

JOHN HARTE investigates the effects of human actions on, and the linkages among, biogeochemical processes, ecosystem structure and function, biodiversity, and climate. His work spans a range of scales from plot to landscape to global, and involves field investigations, mathematical modeling, and theory development. A long-term climate manipulation experiment in a meadow in the Colorado Rockies and the development and testing of a comprehensive theory of macroecology are among his ongoing projects. He also conducts policy studies that draw out the societal implications of scientific findings. He is a UC Berkeley Professor of the Graduate School and previously held a joint pro­fes­sor­ship in the Energy and Resources Group and the Ecosys­tem Sci­ences Divi­sion of the Col­lege of Nat­ural Resources.

Dan Kammen at the MIT Energy Initiative

This week, Dan Kammen visited the MIT Energy Initiative to speak about the current state of clean energy innovation and implementation, both in the U.S. and internationally. Using a combination of analytical and empirical approaches, he discussed the strengths and weaknesses of clean energy efforts on the household, city, and regional levels.

“The exciting recent developments in the cost and performance improvements of solar, wind, energy storage, and electric vehicles permit the planning of dramatically decarbonized systems that have a wide range of ancillary benefits: increased reliability, improved air quality, and monetizing energy efficiency, to name just a few. With the Paris Climate Accords placing 80% or greater decarbonization targets on all nations’ agendas (sadly, except for the U.S. federal government), the need for an ‘honest broker’ for the costs and operational issues around power systems is key.”

Read about the talk here.

The Trust for Public Land to be Lead By Diane Regas

The National Board of Directors of The Trust for Public Land recently announced that Diane Regas will be joining the Trust as President and CEO, effective this March. Regas, who earned her Master’s degree at ERG and has since served as the Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), is thrilled to lead the Trust for Public Land’s efforts to expand access to parks and ensure that natural areas are accessible to everyone.

“I am deeply inspired by the team and results at The Trust for Public Land. Millions of Americans live within a 10-minute walk of a park or natural space created and protected by The Trust for Public Land, and I can’t wait to make that a reality for millions more.” – Diane Regas

Read the full announcement here.

300 Years of Climate Data, Turned into Sound

Using data collected by ERG PhD student Valeri Vasquez and other researchers at UC Berkeley, sonification artist Chris Chafe composed this audio representation of climate change, specifically the correlation between CO2 concentration and global temperatures. While beautiful, the music is intended to highlight the speed at which our planet has changed over the past few hundred years. “The whole concept that we’re trying to explain here is not a pleasant one, it’s actually a frightening one,” adds Vasquez. The trends reinforce the need for global commitment to climate change mitigation.

The full article and podcast, including 1,200 years of data, can be found here.

How California is Leading the Fight for Clean Energy, Despite Absence of Federal Climate Action


Al Jazeera spotlights Dan Kammen alongside other climate scientists from California, who are leading global efforts to curb climate change, regardless of White House policies. Many other states and cities have followed California’s example, creating climate action plans for regulating emissions, investing in renewable energy, and reducing consumption.

Read more about California’s efforts here.


North Bay Fires and the Link to Climate Change



Published on October 13, 2017.

“Hot, dry conditions and relentless winds have made the North Bay fires particularly hard to fight. As fire officials keep an eye on upcoming weather conditions, some have asked whether climate change is contributing to the ferocity of the blazes. UC Berkeley professor Daniel Kammen weighs in.”

Find KQED’s full update here.


Student Spotlight – Nikky Avila

Learn more about ERG Ph.D. candidate Nkiruka “Nikky” Avila’s work on electricity access and the socio-political impact of the low-carbon energy transition.

Read the full interview here.

Kammen on the Fight to Rethink (and Reinvent) Nuclear Power

Published on May 17, 2017

New nuclear energy technology has come a long way – but can we get over our fears?

This is the fifth episode of Climate Lab, a six-part series produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by Emmy-nominated conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. Featuring conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists, the series takes what can seem like an overwhelming problem and breaks it down into manageable parts: from clean energy to food waste, religion to smartphones. Sanjayan is an alum of UC Santa Cruz and a Visiting Researcher at UCLA. Prior episodes at Check back next Wednesday for the final episode. Visit http://climate.universityofcalifornia… for more.Subscribe to our channel! And check out the University of California’s channels:

Energy and Resources Group Professor Dan Kammen is featured.

ERG 23rd Annual Lecture 2017: Arlie Hochschild

The Energy and Resources Group hosted its 23rd Annual Lecture on Energy and the Environment on April 6th with Arlie Russell Hochschild. The lecture was titled Pollution, the Political Divide and the Possibility of Common Ground. 

Arlie Russell Hochschild is one of the most influential sociologists of her generation. She is the author of nine books, including The Second Shift, The Time Bind, The Managed Heart, and The Outsourced Self. Three of her books have been named as New York Times Notable Books of the Year and her work appears in sixteen languages. The winner of the Ulysses Medal as well as Guggenheim and Mellon grants, she lives in Berkeley, California. Her New York Times bestselling book Strangers in their Own Land was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award.


Learn why MS student Britt Shaw chose ERG and how ERG’s interdisciplinary mix of courses allowed her to build the skills she needed to pursue energy project development and management in the private sector.

Read the full interview here.