The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) seeks to promote global perspectives by sponsoring distinguished speakers whose work crosses disciplinary boundaries. The Distinguished Lecture Series is designed to bring outstanding scientists, as well as historians of science, science policy makers, and science journalists, and others—see past distinguished lectures—who take imaginative positions on environmental issues and can establish enduring connections after their departure. Participants interests embrace those of the University departments and programs, and the NOAA labs affiliated with CIRES. The Lecture Series is presented in each academic year.

Lecture Coordinators
Craig Jones, chair
David Fahey
Linda Pendergrass, ex officio

Lecture Contact
Linda Pendergrass, 303-492-1595,

In the 2014 Series

All lectures are held from 4:00-5:00 pm with a reception following in the CIRES Atrium. (unless otherwise noted)

Pamela Matson

April 4, 2014: CIRES Auditorium
Title: A new form of global change science: Science for a Sustainability Transition

Dr. Pamela A. Matson

Watch the webcast

To help meet the needs of a still-growing and more consuming human population while at the same time protecting the planetary life support systems, global change scientists are increasingly engaging in use-inspired fundamental research that both improves understanding and supports decision making. This talk delves into the characteristics and new approaches of the emerging field of sustainability science, and draws on research in an intensive wheat-growing region of Mexico to illustrate how new knowledge of a coupled human-environmental system, effectively linked to decision-making, can aid in a transition to sustainability.

School of Earth Sciences
Stanford University