Industrial Ecology Seminar: Sonja Brodt

March 10, 2016
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Sonja Brodt, academic coordinator of agricultural resources and environment for the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP) — part of the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute — will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in 1003 Kemper Hall, on the UC Davis campus. Her presentation is titled “Life-Cycle Assessment of Environmental Impacts of Food Commodities.” Admission is free.

Sonja Brodt of the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute

Sonja Brodt of the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute

Brodt earned a master’s degree in international agricultural development at UC Davis in 1992, and followed that with a doctorate in geography in ’98, at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She returned to UC Davis in 2001 to become a program evaluation specialist, and in early ’06 spent four months as a Fulbright Scholar in West Bengal, India. She then returned to UC Davis, where she rose to her current position in the summer of 2009.

Her research focuses on issues related to the environmental and social sustainability of food production and procurement. Her work combines social science skills with a strong understanding of the biophysical parameters of agricultural production.

Major initiatives and projects during the past five years have included the California Nitrogen Assessment; the life-cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts of California food production and supply chains; the identification of global agricultural sustainability indicators; and the development of an integrated outreach approach combining new social networking tools with traditional extension methods, to communicate sustainable agriculture information to farmers and other stakeholders.

This Winter 2016 Seminar Series is hosted by the UC Davis Industrial Ecology (IE) Program. Each seminar topic is open to research founded on principles of industrial ecology (even if the research wasn’t originally conceived in terms of IE). Industrial ecology is “the study of the flows of materials and energy in industrial and consumer activities, or more broadly the effects of these flows on the environment, and of the influences of economic, political, regulatory and social factors on the flow, use and transformation of resources.” (White, R. 1994. Preface. The Greening of Industrial Ecosystems, edited by B. R. Allenby and R. J. Deanna. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.) Design practices — such as green chemistry and green engineering; urban metabolism; life cycle assessment; emission or nutrient flow analyses; environmental impact assessment, and nearly all systematic analyses of resource and waste flows (to land, water and air) — all fall within the scope of industrial ecology.

The seminars gives students, staff and faculty an opportunity to learn more about industrial ecology, and the UC Davis faculty and students who are conducting IE-related research.

The winter quarter series features three programs, all held in 1003 Kemper Hall. Each seminar includes a 40–45-minute presentation, followed by a 15–20-minute Q&A session. The series began February 25, with a presentation by Deborah Bennett; and continued March 3, with a talk by John Harvey.

Room 1003, Kemper Hall

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