Big Ideas, Grand Challenges - Sustainability

Stylized globe with text reading Big Ideas, Grand Challenges. An Honors College Speakers Series


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

6:00pm - 7:30pm

Discussion will be 6:00 - 7:00pm, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A

Topics to be discussed may include:

  • What will climate change look and feel like in Tucson, AZ, in ten/twenty/fifty years?
  • What role can rising young leaders play in tackling environmental challenges across borders?
  • Is business and growth at odds with sustainability?
  • What effect has Covid-19 had on evidence of climate change?
  • Are we doomed to destroy our planet?
  • How do we reconcile climate change mitigation with opportunities for economically marginalized people?

Space is Limited.


Sustainability Discussion - Recorded February 17, 2021

Moderator Lorraine Rivera

Moderator: Lorraine Rivera

Host and Producer, Arizona 360

Arizona Public Media

Sustainability Panelists:

Panelist Dobrowski

Dr. Solomon Dobrowski is a professor and landscape ecologist in the Department of Forest Management in the Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. His research focuses on conservation biogeography, fire ecology, and climate change impacts in forests around the globe. His research has involved extensive collaboration with federal agencies and NGOs including the USDA Forest Service, The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, USGS, and the Nature Conservancy.  Dr. Dobrowski serves on the University Leadership Team for the USGS Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center and as a science advisor for Blue Forest Conservation. He received his PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, where he was a NASA Earth System Science Fellow.

Panelist Goldstein

John Goldstein is head of the Sustainable Finance Group (SFG), which is responsible for working across Goldman Sachs to deepen the firm's knowledge and grow its capabilities in relation to inclusive growth and climate transition. He serves as chair of the Sustainable Finance Group Steering Group.  John has served as an advisor or board member to a diverse set of organizations in the impact space including groups such as the US National Advisory Board of the G8 Social Impact Investing Task Force, the Global Impact Investing Network’s ImpactBase initiative, the Global Social Venture Competition, McKinsey’s working group on Social Impact Bonds, Global Giving, the Sustainable Food Lab, the UN Capital Development Fund, the International Interfaith Investment Group and a range of other organizations.  John graduated from Yale University with honors. He was awarded the Richter Fellowship and the Townsend Prize.

Panelist Megdal

Dr. Sharon Megdal is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC), a Cooperative Extension center and a research unit in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her work focuses on water policy and management, on which she writes and frequently speaks. The geographic scope of Dr. Megdal’s work ranges from local to international. Projects include comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in water-scarce regions, groundwater recharge, and transboundary aquifer assessment. She is the lead editor of the book, Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges and she has guest edited several journal issues. 

Panelist Ruiz

Dr. Joaquin Ruiz serves as the University of Arizona Vice President of Global Environmental Futures. In this role, Ruiz focuses his considerable experience and influence in addressing the significant environmental issues facing our nation and the world as part of the Grand Challenges, Arizona Advantage and Arizona Global strategic plan initiatives. Ruiz continues to oversee a diverse and growing research and education portfolio, including Biosphere 2 and the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. He is able to leverage his extensive international collaborations to expand our global presence regarding issues of environmental health and resilience.