Fate of the Earth Symposium 2017

Wednesday April 12 and Thursday April 13, 2017
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
Michigan State University

The Environmental Science and Policy Program has launched a symposium series to explore the challenges and opportunities we face in enhancing human well-being while protecting the environment. This symposium will bring distinguished thinkers from around the world to explore what we know, what we need to know and what we must do as we move into a century of unprecedented environmental change, technological advancement and scale of human activity. The event will include research focused seminars and discussion but will emphasize events and presentations that will speak to the broader MSU and Michigan community. In addition to live events and webcasts, the symposium will generate educational materials that can be used in classes and non-traditional education in the spring and beyond.

This symposium is made possible through the generous endowment of Barbara Sawyer-Koch and Donald Koch.

Program Information

Program Information

The first day's events focusing on the Nexus of Climate, Food, Energy and Water is geared toward the general public. Students, faculty, staff, residents and other interested parties are welcome to attend the lectures free of charge. Registration is required and lunch is included.

The second day of the symposium is designed to appeal toward working researchers and academics, as well as graduate students. During the Scientific Colloquia, the public is still welcome but is asked to expect high-level scientific dialogue between outside speakers and participants throughout the day. This event is also free but requires registration.

Eventbrite - 2017 Fate of the Earth

Student Presentations

Student poster presentation

Presenters are encouraged to submit abstracts on topics addressing Climate-Food-Energy-Water, including but not limited to engineering, policy, public health and risk assessment, and communication.

The student research will be presented in poster form during the first day of the symposium, and will be eligible for several cash awards. To see the full call for abstracts, go here. To submit an abstract, go here.

Speaker Information

Speaker Information

Speakers for the Public Symposium include:

  • Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water
  • Michael Mascarenhas, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Lyla Mehta, Professor Research Fellow at Institute of Development Studies, Brighton UK
  • Lana Pollack, Chair of the U.S. Section, International Joint Commission
  • Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at Michigan State University
  • Panel Discussion: "The Flint Water Crisis: What Have We Learned?" featuring:
    • Debra Furr-Holden, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    • Kent Key, Office of Community Scholars and Partnerships
    • Susan Masten, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Speakers for the Scientific Colloquium include:

  • Shahzeen Attari, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Jennifer Carrera, MSU Department of Social Science
  • Rainer Horn, Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiel
  • Megan Konar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Vince Tidwell, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Sergio Villamayor-Tomas, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin
  • David Zilberman, University of California Berkeley

View Speaker Bios ยป

Important Dates

Important Dates

Friday, March 24, 2017
Deadline to Submit Poster Abstract

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Public Symposium

Thursday, April 13, 2017
Scientific Colloquia

The Fountain Challenge

ESPP is partnering with The Fountain Challenge this year during the Fate of the Earth Symposium. Student teams design an innovate, function and aesthetically-pleasing indoor or outdoor public drinking water fountain that addresses concerns about water quality. Teams compete for a $30,000 prize pool. Judging of the designs will take place during Day 1 of FOE culminating in an awards reception Wednesday evening. For more information, go to fountainchallenge.msu.edu

All Speakers

Charles Fishman
Dr. Joan Rose
Dr. Lyla Mehta
Dr. Michael Mascarenhas
Shahzeen Attari
Dr. Jennifer Carrera
Dr. Rainer Horn
Megan Konar
Vincent Tidwell
Sergio Villamayor-Tomas
David Zilberman