See complete list of Headliners events.

A May 2019 media release from the United Nations reads “One million species at risk of extinction” and goes on to detail the findings of the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Three years in the making, the landmark intergovernmental report describes how people are destroying the natural world tens to hundreds of times faster than during the past ten million years—a rate never before seen in history—which could plunge the planet into a sixth mass extinction event. 

“The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

Compiled by 145 scientist-authors from 50 countries, with input from another 310 contributing scientists, the IPBES Global Assessment is nearly 1,500 pages long and tracks changes over the past five decades, providing a comprehensive picture of the relationship between economic development pathways and their impact on the natural environment. It also offers a range of possible scenarios and hope for the coming decades.

According to scientist Dr. Kate Brauman, a coordinating lead author of one of the report’s major sections—how societies benefit from nature—there are practical ways in which we can reverse course and protect the natural environment. 

“It’s going to take some pretty big changes, but they are absolutely possible, and they can absolutely change this trajectory,” Brauman says. [Star Tribune, May 11, 2019]

Join us December 5, when Brauman will discuss the primary findings of the report, including how changes in nature affect human well-being, with a particular focus on approaches to watershed management that work with nature to improve water quality, regulate water quantity, and mitigate the impacts of flooding.

Kate A. Brauman, PhD, Stanford University, is the lead scientist for the Global Water Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment (IonE), where she also leads IonE’s Impact Goal to ensure safe water for all Minnesotans. Brauman’s research integrates hydrology and land use with economics and policy to better understand how human water use affects the environment. Through projects as diverse as payments for watershed services, global variation in “crop per drop,” and worldwide trends in water consumption and availability, Brauman works to find sustainable solutions to pressing water issues. She is a Coordinating Lead Author for the United Nation’s Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and has testified about the report’s findings to the US House of Representatives Committee on Space, Science and Technology. 

Follow Headliners on Facebook @UMNLearningLife and Twitter: @LearningLife, #umnheadliners
Follow Kate Brauman on Twitter: @KateBrauman
Follow the Institute on the Environment on Facebook and Twitter: @UMNIonE

Headliners takes place monthly, October through May (no event in January), at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the University's Saint Paul campus. Dates for the 2019−20 season are October 10, November 7, December 5, February 6, March 5, April 2, and May 7. Individual event tickets are $20. Subscribe to the series by October 10 and get tickets to all seven events for $90. (A savings of $50!)

Headliners tickets are nonrefundable. If you have questions, please call the Information Center at 612-624-4000.

See complete list of Headliners events.
Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
Required fields are indicated by .