Power Station

The Center for Environmental Politics organizes a monthly colloquium series on environmental politics, policy, and governance. This series is made possible by the generous support of Gary and Susan Duck, UW alumni and long-standing benefactors of the department. Susan passed away in December 2015 after a prolonged illness. We miss her a lot.

The Duck Family Colloquium Series is managed by graduate students. For 2017-2018, Mathieu Dubeau (Political Science Ph.D. Student) will serve as the Richard B. Wesley Fellow in Environmental Politics and Governance and the chair of the Duck Family Colloquium series. The Center will host the following seminars, as described below.


2017-2018 Events

Prof. Teenie Matlock

Teenie Matlock, University of California, Merced

Friday, October 6, 2017

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“The Role of Framing in Climate Communication”

Teenie Matlock is the McClatchy Chair in Communications and the Director of the Center for Climate Communication at UC Merced. A cognitive scientist and linguist by training, she is interested in how people use and understand language. Some of her research examines how the content of political campaign messages affects voters. Other work investigates how metaphors are interpreted “in the wild”, for instance, in natural discourse about technology, math, or politics, or how grammatical form influences reasoning about past events. Professor Matlock is the Associate Editor for Cognitive Linguistics and serves on the editorial boards of Metaphor & Symbol as well as Environmental Communication. She is a member of on the Cognitive Science Society governing board and a standing member of NIH’s Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM). She is the former Vice Chair of the American Indian Council of Mariposa County, and was raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California.


Prof. Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant, University of North Dakota

Friday, November 3, 2017

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“Disruption in Indian Country; A Rebalancing Act”

Mark Trahant is an independent journalist and a faculty member at the University of North Dakota as the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism. Trahant reports and comments on events and trends on his blog at and on Facebook, Twitter (@TrahantReports) and other social media. He does a weekly audio commentary for Native Voice One that is broadcast via tribal radio stations across the country. And, every day for a decade, Trahant has written a 140-character rhyme based on a daily news story (@newsrimes4lines). He’s been a reporter for PBS’ Frontline series. The Frontline piece, “The Silence,” was about sexual abuse by priests in an Alaska native village. He also has been editor-in-residence at the University of Idaho and a visiting professor at the University of Colorado. In 2009 and 2010 Trahant was a Kaiser Media Fellow writing about health care reform focused on the Indian Health Service. He was recently the Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Trahant is the former editor of the editorial page for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer where he chaired the daily editorial board, directed a staff of writers, editors and a cartoonist. He has also worked at The Seattle Times, The Arizona Republic, The Salt Lake Tribune, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the Navajo Times, Navajo Nation Today and the Sho-Ban News. Trahant is a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and former president of the Native American Journalists Association. Trahant is also president of the board of directors of Vision Maker Media, an important funding vehicle for Native films and media. He has authored: The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars, Pictures of Our Nobler Selves, and Lewis & Clark through Indian Eyes (co-author). He is working on a book about the forces of disruption in Indian Country. Trahant was elected in 2016 as a member of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Prof. Cliff Mass

Cliff Mass, University of Washington

Friday, December 1st, 2017

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“Explaining Extreme Weather Events: Challenges in Climate Communication”

Cliff Mass is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at University of Washington. He is the chief scientist of the Northwest Modeling Consortium, a group that facilitates state-of-the-art prediction over the U.S., and is active in improving the Weather, Research, and Forecasting (WRF) model. Based on a strong interest in improving operational weather prediction, he has written a number of papers examining the strengths and weaknesses of the National Weather Service. Cliff has been involved in a number of other initiatives, including the acquisition of coastal radar on the Washington coast, improving the infrastructure of the National Weather Service, the use of smartphone pressure observations for weather prediction, and the improvement of K-12 math education. He is the author of the 2008 book “The Weather of the Pacific Northwest” and broadcasts a weekly weather information segment on KPLU, a local public radio station. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, has been an editor of a number of meteorological journals, is a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and has served as a member of a number of National Academy committees.


Prof. Veronica Herrera

Veronica Herrera, University of Connecticut

Friday, January 12, 2018

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“Water and Politics: Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico”

Veronica Herrera is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. Her research investigates how urban communities interact with the state to impact the provision of local public services and confront local environmental hazards, with a regional focus on Latin America. Her focus in recent work is on the rise of advocacy networks and environmental litigation surrounding exposure to toxic contamination in Latin American cities. She is author of Water and Politics: Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico (University of Michigan Press, 2017) and has published articles in Comparative Politics, World Development and Latin American Politics & Society. Her research has been supported by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard, the Ford Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Social Science Research Council-Mellon Mays Initiative, UC-Mexus and the Fulbright Commission.


Prof. Maria Carmen Lemos

Maria Carmen Lemos, University of Michigan

Friday, February 9, 2018

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“Models of Knowledge Usability in Support of Climate Adaptation”

Maria Carmen Lemos is Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment and co-Director of the Great Lakes Sciences and Assessments Center (GLISA) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is also Senior Policy Scholar at the Udall Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Arizona. During 2006-2007 she was a James Martin 21st Century School Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University. Her research focuses on environmental public policymaking in Latin America and the U.S., especially related to climate change (adaptation and adaptive capacity building) and the co-production of science and policy and different means to narrow the gap between useful and usable knowledge; and the role of technoscientific knowledge and environmental governance. She was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5) and has served in a number of the US National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences committees including Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change (2009), America Climate Choice Science Panel (2010) and the Board on Environmental Change and Society (2008-present). She has MSc. and PhD degrees in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.


Prof. Emily Vraga

Emily Vraga, George Mason University

Friday, March 9, 2018

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“Exploring Contentious Scientific Issues on Social Media”

Emily K. Vraga is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University, where she is the Political Communication Minor Director. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Mass Communications in 2011. Her research focuses on how individuals respond to news and information about contentious political, scientific, and health issues, particularly when they encounter disagreement with their views via digital media. She is especially interested in testing methods to limit biased processing and misinformation and to encourage attention to more diverse content online.


Prof. Edward Walker

Edward Walker, UCLA

Friday, April 13, 2018

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“The Situation Room: Stigma Management and the Claims-Making of Hydraulic Fracturing Industry Groups”

Edward T. Walker is Associate Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Sociology at UCLA. His research investigates the mobilization and outcomes of popular participation both by social movement organizations and by business firms and trade associations; his focus in recent work is on contention surrounding hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. He is author of Grassroots for Hire: Public Affairs Consultants in American Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which won the 2015 Charles Tilly Award from the American Sociological Association. He is also co-editor of Democratizing Inequalities: Dilemmas of the New Public Participation (NYU Press, 2015). His research has appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, and other journals, and has been covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, and other outlets.


Prof. Susan Clayton width=

Susan Clayton, College of Wooster

Friday, May 4, 2018

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., Olson Room, Gowen 1A

“Psychology and Climate Change: Perceptions, impacts, responses”

Susan Clayton is Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology at the College of Wooster in Ohio. She has written or edited six books, including most recently Psychology and Climate Change (2018; co-edited with Christie Manning). Her Ph.D., from Yale University, is in social psychology. Her research focuses on the human relationship with nature, how it is socially constructed, and how it can be utilized to promote environmental concern. She has written extensively about the implications of climate change for human well-being. Clayton is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and Social Justice Research, and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology (SEPCP), the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). She is a past president of SEPCP and SPSSI.


Past Events