Colloquium on the Environment

The Colloquium on the Environment is an annual event that features a nationally known speaker discussing a current topic related to energy and/or the environment. After 2022, the Colloquium on the Environment will be administered by Penn State Sustainability.

2023 - Mamphela Ramphele

Mamphela Ramphele

Mamphela Ramphele is a South African politician, anti-apartheid activist, medical doctor, and businesswoman. She is a leading voice on issues of social justice, economic development, and gender equality. She is a powerful advocate for the poor and marginalized and a tireless champion of change. She is an inspiration to people all over the world who are working to build a better future. Ramphele is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Order of Mapungubwe, the highest civilian award in South Africa. She is a member of the Club of Rome and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa. She is also a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

The Colloquium will be at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10 in Foster Auditorium.

2022 - L. Hunter Lovins

L. Hunter Lovins

L. Hunter Lovins is the President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), a non-profit formed in 2002 in Longmont, CO. A renowned author and champion of sustainable development for over 35 years, Hunter has consulted on business, economic development, sustainable agriculture, energy, water, security, and climate policies for scores of governments, communities, and companies worldwide. Within the United States, she has consulted for heads of state, departments of defense, energy agencies and hundreds of state and local agencies.

Watch Hunter Lovins' presentation

2021 - Robert Bullard

Robert Bullard

Robert Bullard is an author of eighteen books on topics ranging from sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community investment, housing, transportation, climate justice, disasters, emergency response, community resilience, smart growth, to regional equity. He is often referred to as the father of the environmental justice movement. Bullard is currently a Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy and co-founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium.

2019 - Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown

Research to Action

In place of a 2019 colloquium, Penn State held Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown, a three-day event where leading scientific experts and researchers from around the world discussed the most innovative and promising climate change solutions and upcoming research.

2018 - Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change, one of the most pressing issues we face today. She is also a professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, part of the Department of Interior’s South-Central Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on establishing a scientific basis for assessing the regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment. She spoke on November 16, 2018. 

Watch Katharine Hayhoe's presentation

2017 - Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist who has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He spoke on November 14, 2017, at the State Theatre about "Project Drawdown."

Watch Paul Hawken's presentation

2015 - Naomi Oreskes

Naomi Oreskes

Naomi Oreskes is an American historian of science. Her research focuses on the earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. She is a professor (history of science; earth and planetary sciences) at Harvard University in 2013. Prior she was a faculty member at the University of California, San Diego. She has worked on studies of geophysics, environmental issues such as global warming, and the history of science. In 2010, Oreskes co-authored Merchants of Doubt which identified some parallels between the climate change debate and earlier public controversies.

2014 - Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson, Apple VP and Former Administrator of the U.S. EPA, spoke on the University Park Campus on November 6, 2014, as a part of the 10th Annual Colloquium on the Environment. She presented: “The Private Sector as Public Servant: Lisa Jackson’s journey from the EPA to Apple, and how one of the world’s most innovative companies is tackling critical environmental challenges.” 

Watch Lisa Jackson's presentation

2013 - Majora Carter

Majora Carter

Majora Carter spoke on the University Park campus on Monday, April 22, 2013, as part of the 9th annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series. Her talk "Home(town) Security" was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building.

2012 - E.O. Wilson

E.O. Wilson

E.O. Wilson, spoke on the University Park campus on Monday, April 16, 2012, as part of the 8th annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series. His talk "The Social Conquest of Earth" was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building. A book signing and reception immediately followed his lecture. 

2011 - Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin, spoke on the University Park campus on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, as part of the annual 7th Annual Colloquium on the Environment speaker series. His talk "9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ?" was scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center. A book signing immediately followed his lecture.

2010 - Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben was the keynote speaker for the 6th Annual Colloquium on the Environment held on Monday, October 4, 2010, at 6 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium on the University Park Campus. A book signing was held immediately following his lecture. He gave the talk "The Most Important Number in the World."

2009 - David Suzuki

David Suzuki

David Suzuki was the keynote speaker for the 5th Annual Colloquium on the Environment, which was held Monday, April 20, 2009, at 5 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium on the University Park Campus. The title of his talk was "The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Real Bottom Line."

2008 - Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist, was the keynote speaker at the 2008 Colloquium on the Environment, held at 5 p.m. on April 29, 2008 in the HUB-Robeson Auditorium on the University Park Campus. The title of his talk was "Whole System Thinking and Radical Energy Efficiency."

2006 - William McDonough

William McDonough

William McDonough, an internationally renowned designer and leader in environmental design, was the keynote speaker for the 3rd Annual Colloquium on the Environment. The event was held on Monday, April 24, 2006, in the HUB-Robeson Auditorium. He gave the talk "Renewing Hope: A Design Strategy for the Next Century."

2005 - Christine Todd Whitman

Christine Whitman

Christine Todd Whitman was the keynote speaker. She presented "Shaping the Future: America's Environment Today."

2004 - Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

2004 was the inaugural year the Colloquium on the Environment. Keynote speaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gave the talk "Our Environmental Destiny."