Global Sustainability Series: Interdisciplinary Workshops & Discussions

Global Sustainability Series: Interdisciplinary Workshops & Discussions 

We are bringing sustainability issues to you with this series that frames art, business, humanities, politics, and technology in the context of the global issues we all face due to climate change. These discussions and workshops will provide tools to shape curriculum and spark thinking about global sustainability. Learn more about the schedule of events, featured speakers, and how to attend below!


Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Aly Yingst
PhD Student at the University of Iceland
Alexandra (Aly) Yingst is a PhD student in Global Studies at the University of Iceland. Her PhD research focuses on what life is like for crew members onboard cruise ships. She first came to Iceland in 2016 on a Fulbright Scholarship to attend the master’s program in Coastal and Marine Management at the University Centre of the Westfjords. Her thesis focused on the roles, perceptions, and hopes of women working in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the Westfjords of Iceland. Previously, she obtained a Bachelor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences, Sociology, and International and Area Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Before starting her PhD, Alexandra worked as an expedition guide and anthropology lecturer on cruise ships, primarily in the polar regions. She also works as a NAUI scuba instructor and worked as a research assistant/boat driver for the Icelandic Orca Project last summer.
Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Brandon Boylan
Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Brandon M. Boylan is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Arctic and Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research focuses on international security, political violence, ethnic conflict, separatist movements, and a variety of Arctic issues. His authored and co-authored work has been published in various outlets, such as International Studies Perspectives, Nations and Nationalism, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and Journal of Common Market Studies. His collaborative work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education. He teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in international relations, comparative politics, and research methods, and advises several undergraduate, M.A., and Ph.D. students. He is faculty lead on the UArctic Model Arctic Council. He holds a Ph.D. in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Theresa Baughman
Theresa Baughman is an artist, musician, and cultural critic. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 with a BA in studio arts and a minor in cultural anthropology. In her undergraduate studies, Theresa completed four research residencies including field studies in Rock River, WY and London, UK. In 2018 she participated in The Arctic Circle Residency via Svalbard, the North Pole. Theresa is a founding contributor to the online academic horror magazine What Sleeps Beneath where she writes about the subversive meanings behind visual storytelling. You can find her napping with her dog, Sammie, or hoarding beautiful packaging. Artist statement: "My work explores themes such as material studies, identity politics, and object. I am particularly interested in the Anthropocene and how our cultural identities shift with a changing landscape. I am always examining objects and thinking about how something can move between borders, cultures, landscapes, and language. I make things that are almost familiar, things that are reminiscent of a place or object that you once knew."
Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Eitan Shelef
Assistant Professor of Geology and Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Eitan Shelef is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include the feedbacks between geomorphology, tectonics and climate across dierent temporal and spatial scales. Dr. Shelef’s current research is focused on the interaction between climate and erosion in Arctic areas,on the development of topography along strike slip faults and topographic escarpments, and on landslide occurrence and mapping. Through use of field work, numerical models and geospatial statistics, he explores the mechanisms of these processes and their sensitivity to dierent environmental conditions. Dr. Shelef has conducted his postdoctoral research at Ben Gurion University in Israel and in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. in Geology and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University, M.Sc. in Geology from the University of North Carolina, and B.Sc. from the Hebruew University of Jerusalem.
Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Gunnar Johannsson
SVP of Research & Development, Kerecis
Dr. Gunnar Johannsson is the Senior Vice President of Kerecis, an Icelandic medical company that is pioneering the use of fish skin and fatty acids in the globally expanding cellular therapy and infection control markets. In his role, Dr. Johannsson is responsible for the clinical research, product development and market registration of innovative new products for Kerecis. He assists with bringing the benefit of Omega-3 based tissue regeneration to new surgical specialties and helping patients with a wider variety of problems. Dr. Johannsson is also a founding partner of Somnify, an online insomnia treatment in Scandinavia; ​​Betri svefn, a sleep therapy company; and Skin Loom Medical Consulting. He received his MD from the University of Iceland.
Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Ruth Miller
Climate Justice Director, Native Movement
Ruth is a Dena'ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Russian Jewish woman, raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She is a member of the Curyung Tribe, and also has roots in Bristol Bay, where her family descended downriver after leaving the Lake Iliamna region. She is a recent graduate from Brown University, built on occupied Wampanoag and Narragansett lands, and received a BA in Critical Development Studies with a focus on Indigenous resistance and liberation. She has worked many years towards Indigenous rights advocacy and climate justice in Alaska, as well as in Rhode Island and the south of Chile. She centers themes of wellness and community care, and is thinking a lot about growth and regeneration and imagination in our activism work. Ruth also does International Indigenized climate justice work with the United Nations Association and SustainUS. Most of all, she loves singing as her Grandma Ruth did, practicing traditional beadwork with her mother late at night, slowly discovering her Dena'ina language, and building radical communities of love!
Introduction to the Arctic Workshop
Deloole’annh Erickson
Environmental Justice Director, Native Movement
Deloole’aanh is Denaa, her family comes from the village of Ggał Doh (Kaltag), AK. Raised in the Tlingit village of Hoonah, in southeast Alaska, she grew up with a deep understanding of what it means to be Indigenous. However, growing up so far from her own culture left her with a feeling that she was missing something. Since she moved to the interior in 2010 she has been on a journey to reconnect to her culture. This has been a combination of language revitalization work, learning traditional arts from her region and going to Kaltag in the summer to participate in subsistence fishing with her cousins. Through this reconnection journey she found her way into Indigenous activism work and found a place with Native Movement as a community volunteer over the years and now as a team member. Deloole earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2018 and is finishing her Bachelors of Art degree in Rural Development expecting to finish in 2021.
Book Launch: America's Energy Gamble
Shanti Gamper-Rabindran
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
Dr. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research examines how political, legal and financial institutions help or hinder the energy transition in the Appalachian region and globally. She has served on U.S. workshops on the governance of shale extraction and published an edited volume The Shale Dilemma: A Global Perspective on Fracking and Shale Development (University Pittsburgh Press 2017). She currently serves on National Academy of Science study panel on the chemical economy. 
Book Launch: America's Energy Gamble
Miranda Schreurs
Chair of Climate and Environmental Policy, Technical University of Munich
Professor Miranda Schreurs (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is Chair of Climate and Environmental Policy at the Technical University of Munich. An expert in energy policies in the United States, Europe and East Asia, Prof. Schreurs was appointed by then Chancellor Angela Merkel as a member of the Ethics Committee for a Secure Energy Supply. She is the Vice Chair of the European Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainable Development and served on the German Council on the Environment. Prof Scheurs’ books include Energy Transformation in Times of Populism, Nuclear Waste Governance, Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics, and Environmental Politics in Japan, Germany and the United States. She previously held professorships at the University of Maryland and the Free University of Berlin.
Global Issues Through Literature (GILS): Want by Cindy Pon
Victoria Han
Master of Public and International Affairs Candidate, University of Pittsburgh
Global Issues Through Literature (GILS): Want by Cindy Pon
Catherine Fratto
Engagement Coordinator, Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh
Climates of Change
Eric Magrane
Assistant Professor of Geography, New Mexico State University
Eric Magrane holds a PhD in geography and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona. He is an assistant professor of Geography at New Mexico State University, where he teaches human and cultural geography. His research, teaching, and creative practice in the geohumanities explore place and representation, art-science, climate change, and environmental narratives. Magrane is the editor, with Christopher Cokinos, of The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (Arizona, 2016), and with Linda Russo, Sarah de Leeuw, and Craig Santos Perez, of Geopoetics in Practice (Routledge, 2020). His work has appeared in Ecotone, Literary Geographies, BioScience, GeoHumanities, Antipode, Dialogues in Human Geography, and in the books Counter-desecration: A glossary for writing within the Anthropocene (Wesleyan, 2018), Big energy poets: When ecopoets think climate change (BlazeVOX).
Climates of Change
Allison V. Rowe
Clinical Assistant Professor of Art Education, University of Iowa
Allison V. Rowe is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and researcher. She holds a PhD in Art Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MFA in Social Practice from California College of the Arts, and a BFA in Photography from Ryerson University. She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Art Education at the University of Iowa. Her artistic work attempts to re-personalize political discourses, exploring the possibilities that exist in this transitional process. She recently completed a multi-sited ethnographic case study of gallery-supported socially engaged art in Canada and the United States.

Upcoming Events


Professional Development Workshop for Educators: America’s Energy Gamble: People, Economy and Planet. 

Thursday May 19, 2022 | 6 pm - 8 pm | Zoom

Register here.

This professional development opportunity for K-12 educators will focus on the book "America's Energy Gamble: People, Economy, and Planet" by Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, associate professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. The workshop will be led by Tracy Wazenegger, Science and Global Issues educator and is designed for educators across ages and disciplines to incorporate global themes of sustainability, climate change, and the energy crisis into their classroom. The workshop will take place virtually on Thursday, May 19, 2022, 6:00pm-8:00pm EST over Zoom. A Zoom link will be provided over email.


Threads of Production: Weaving Art & Agriculture K-12 Educator Workshop

POSTPONED to end of May. New date coming soon...| Contemporary Craft

Join us as we continue our programming as part of the Global Sustainability Series by meeting at Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh for a hands-on professional development workshop. This workshop will focus on PA Common Core standards related to agriculture, sustainability, and renewable and natural resources. It will include a faculty led presentation, a hands-on art activity that can be done with students, and a walk through the upcoming Fiber Arts International Exhibit at Contemporary Craft. 
Register here.


Date/Time TBA:

Teacher Workshop: Girls Aren’t Here to Save the Planet: Dispelling Myths about Climate Activism 

Past Events


Wednesday April 6, 2022 | 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm 

Lecture: Healing Landscapes and Grieving Eco-Warriors: Ecological Activism in Children’s Literature


Climates of Change

Wednesday March 16, 2022 | 3 pm - 4:30 pm | 4130 Posvar Hall

Creative-Critical Practices for the Anthropocene: Thinking through Place, Poetry, and the Visual Arts

A talk by geographer and poet Eric Magrane and visual artist Allison Rowe, followed by Q&A. Open to the public with Pitt ID or prior registration. Eligible for OCC, Honors, and Pitt Global credit.


 Thursday March 17, 2022 | 6 pm - 8:30 pm | 1500 Posvar Hall

Water Forms: Re-Imagining H20 through Paint, Poetry, and Postcard 
A workshop for students with visual artist Allison Rowe and geographer and poet Eric Magrane. Eligible for OCC, Honors, and Pitt Global credit.


Friday March 18, 2022 | 11 am - 12:30 pm | 4217 Posvar Hall

Faculty Workshop:Applying Arts Methods to Climate and Environmental Research Across the Disciplines

A workshop led by visiting geographer and poet Eric Magrane and visual artist Allison Rowe.


Please register to the Climates of Change events here.



February 18th, 2022, 3:30 to 7PM:
Introduction to the Arctic: Climate Change, Security, and More. Learn more and register here.
February 24th, 2022, 12 to 1:30PM:
Book Launch for America’s Energy Gamble: People, Economy and Planet by Shanti Gamper-Rabindran. Learn more and register here.
February 24th, 2022, 5 to 8PM: 
Global Issues Through Literature

Imagining Other Worlds: Globalizing Science Fiction and Fantasy, Want by Cindy Pon. Registration closed.




Ashlyn Salvage
Community Engagement Intern, Global Studies Center
Ashlyn works on community engagement for the Center, which includes logistics and assessment for the Governor's School, Mini Course and K-16 workshops. Ashlyn is a first year PhD candidate in SCAE with a focus on equity in informal and hands-on STEAM learning.