When: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 @ 12pm-1:00pm
Where: In-Person: MidWestOne Bank 102 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, IA
Speaker: Stratis Giannakouros
This talk will discuss the challenges to a zero carbon transition posed by the simultaneous crises of the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As the world emerges from the pandemic, disruptions in global supply chains and pent up demand have caused inflation not seen since the oil crisis of the late 70s. This in turn has lead to increased commodity prices from oil to food staples, as well as scarcity in the materials necessary for renewable technology deployment (chip shortages and rare earths). The ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine has further destabilized energy markets, supply chains and raw materials procurement. The geopolitical energy landscape has at once been transformed, with Europe redoubling efforts to wean itself from Russian energy through accelerated clean hydrogen R&D, as well as other clean energy targets. At the same time, the US has doubled down on shale oil production and LNG export, while it remains to be seen how we will respond through accelerated renewables R&D. What do all these changes portend for our efforts to address climate change? How does this affect the commitments made at COP(26) in Glasgow? How will this catalyze our energy transition? How will it undo progress?
Stratis Giannakouros is the Director of the UI Office of Sustainability. He comes to the UI from Arizona State University, where he served as project manager and program manager for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Prior to that, he was the assistant director at the Center for Sustainable Communities at Luther College and sustainability outreach coordinator at Colorado State University. Mr. Giannakouros has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Loras College and a master’s degree in Environmental Politics and Policy from Colorado State University.
When: Wednesday, March 2, 2022, @ 12pm-1:00pm
Where: Online via zoom
Speakers: Brandon Valeriano
Given Russia's aggressive conflict behavior, it is difficult to not fear Russian cyber operations. Much of the knowledge we do have about Russian cyber operations is simply because of their reliance on dramatic action to try to signal displeasure with the international system. Lacking other capabilities, Russia leverages cyber power because it can do little else to affect the shape of bargaining in the international system beyond dramatic mobilization. Russian actions tend to fail to have a coercive impact, but still gather attention and provoke fear. Their willingness to escalate compared to other states makes Russia a potentially dangerous cyber power. This talk will cover past Russia cyber actions, dissect the Russia strategic developments in cyberspace, and cover recent actions in Ukraine highlighting the potential for cyber war.
Brandon Valeriano (PhD Vanderbilt University) serves as a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Foreign and Defense Policy and he is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Marine Corps University. He was most recently the Donald Bren Chair of Military Innovation at the Marine Corps University at the Krulak Center and a Senior Advisor for the Cyber Solarium Commission. Dr. Valeriano has published six books and dozens of articles for such outlets as the Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Peace Research. His two most recent books are Cyber War versus Cyber Reality (2015) and Cyber Strategy (2018), both with Oxford University Press. Dr. Valeriano has written opinion and popular media pieces for such outlets as the Washington Post, Slate, Foreign Affairs, and Lawfare. He has provided testimony on cyber conflict before the United States Senate and the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Ongoing research explores conflict escalation, big data in cyber security, and repression in cyberspace. Dr. Valeriano is the Area Editor in International Relations for the Journal of Cybersecurity and the Series Editor of Disruptive Technology and International Security for Oxford University Press.
When: Wednesday, Feb 2, 2022 @12pm-1pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speakers: Dr. William Reisinger, Dr. Sara Mitchell, Dr. Paul van Hooft
For months, Russia has been amassing troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine and, more recently, in Belarus to Ukraine’s north. It has accompanied the force build-up with maximalist demands for concessions that Western states cannot and would not agree to. Neither diplomacy nor preparations for expanded sanctions have led to a resolution. A Russian military incursion of some sort seems increasingly close at hand. Three specialists on international conflict and Russian foreign policy will address pressing questions about the situation, including what international and domestic factors could be motivating Russian actions, what tools might still be available to deter a Russian attack, and how a new conflict in Ukraine would alter the security situation in Europe and beyond
William M. Reisinger is Professor of Political Science at The University of Iowa. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1985. His research concerns politics in the former communist states, especially Russia. His publications include Energy and the Soviet Bloc (Cornell University Press, 1992), Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Constitutional Dialogues in Comparative Perspective (Macmillan, 1999), The 1999-2000 Elections in Russia (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Russia’s Regions and Comparative Subnational Politics (Routledge 2012), as well as over 50 articles or book chapters. He travels frequently to Russia and has conducted research as well in China, Georgia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. He teaches courses on democratization, authoritarian politics and the politics of the post-communist countries. He is a former chair of the Political Science Department and, from 2003-2008, served as The University of Iowa’s Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs.
Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is the F. Wendell Miller Professor in the University of Iowa Department of Political Science She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University in 1997. She is Co-Director of the Issue Correlates of War Project (http://www.paulhensel.org/icow.html) and an Associate Editor of Foreign Policy Analysis and Research & Politics. She is coauthor of Domestic Law Goes Global: Legal Traditions and International Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Guide to the Scientific Study of International Processes (Wiley-Blackwell 2012), The Triumph of Democracy and the Eclipse of the West (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), and Conflict, War, and Peace: An Introduction to Scientific Research (CQ Press/Sage 2013), she has edited several special journal issues, and she has published more than thirty journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of several major research awards from the National Science Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development, as well as numerous research grants from the University of Iowa and Florida State University. Her areas of expertise include international conflict, democratic peace, international organizations, diversionary theory, international courts, conflict management, territorial, maritime, and river issues, and time series analysis.
Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations (http://www.saramitchell.org/journeys.html). Mitchell serves on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals including American Political Science Review, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, International Interactions, and Political Analysis. She received the Faculty Scholar Award (2007-2010) and the Collegiate Scholar Award (2011) from the University of Iowa.
Paul van Hooft is a Senior Strategic Analyst at HCSS and the Co-Chair of The Initiative on the Future of Transatlantic Relations. He was a postdoctoral fellow from 2018 to 2020 at the Security Studies Program (SSP) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), including as a 2018-2019 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow. His work focuses on: the origins and logic of American grand strategy; European grand strategy and security; nuclear strategy; Indo-Pacific security, transatlantic relations; alliances; and extended deterrence. Paul attained his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Amsterdam (UVA) and was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) from 2016 to 2018. Paul received the 2016 prize from the Dutch and Flemish political science associations for his dissertation on the impact of experiences with war on postwar grand strategy.
When: Wednesday, November 3rd @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Margarita M. Balmaceda
For the last three years, the energy world has been fixated on the fits and starts of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, as changes in EU regulations and regulatory competencies, as well as pressure from key stakeholders, have kept the project under a big question mark. A July 2021 agreement between the US and Germany seemed to give a green light to the project. In my presentation, I will discuss the following issues:
Margarita M. Balmaceda is a political scientist working at the intersection of international relations, the political economy of authoritarianism and democracy, and technology, with a special expertise in energy politics (oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, renewables), and commodities -- especially steel and the metallurgical sector-- in Ukraine, the former USSR, and the EU. She has a PhD in Politics from Princeton University and is Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. Concurrently, she heads the Study Group on “Energy materiality: Infrastructure, Spatiality and Power” at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg (Germany) and is an Associate at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard. Capitalizing on her Ukrainian, Russian, Hungarian and German skills, in addition to her native Spanish, she has conducted extensive field research in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, Hungary, Germany and Finland. Her new book, Russian Energy Chains: the Remaking of Technopolitics from Siberia to Ukraine to the European Union (Columbia University Press, 2021) analyzes how differences in the material characteristics of different types of energy can affect how different types of energy may be “used” as sources of foreign and domestic power. She is currently developing a project on metallurgy, conflict and political development and struggling through courses at the World Steel Association’s Steel University.
When: Wednesday, April 14th @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Luis Martin-Estudillo
Questioning and reassessing the European Union (EU) is vital for the future of the transnational organization as it struggles to connect with its people. Many works of art of the last few decades pointed to the roots of popular discontent with the EU even before it was known as such. Recent pieces exude a sense of urgency, manifesting deep concern about the European integration project. Their contribution provides new perspectives to debates that are often the monopoly of politicians, technocrats, and academics.
Luis Martín-Estudillo is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa and holds affiliate positions at the Universities of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Groningen (The Netherlands). He specializes in modern and contemporary Spanish cultural and intellectual history, visual culture, and European studies. He has published and edited eight books, including The Rise of Euroskepticism: Europe and Its Critics in Spanish Culture (Vanderbilt University Press, 2018), winner of an inaugural National Endowment for the Humanities' Open Book Award. His latest book, Goya and the Mystery of Reading, will be published this year.
When: Tuesday, April 20th @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
Speaker: Professor Ana Rodriguez-Rodriguez
Professor Ana Rodríguez will present and discuss the exhibition she recently curated in Spain, staged by the Cervantes Institute and Spain's National Library, and which also has an online version, where Spain's female writers' lives are celebrated and their works displayed
Ana M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez is an Associate Professor specializing in Early Modern Spanish Literature. She has published many articles on a variety of topics such as Christian-Muslim relations in the Mediterranean, women's writing, and the Asian Spanish empire. In 2013, she published a book exploring Spanish captivity writings during the 16th and 17th centuries (Letras liberadas. Cautiverio, escritura y subjetividad en el de la época imperial española. Madrid: Visor Libros), and she is currently writing a monograph about the Philippines during Spanish colonial rule of the archipelago. Rodríguez-Rodríguez completed a Ph.D. on Spanish Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 and a second PhD in Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) in 2021. In 2015 she received the M.L. Huit Faculty Award for her teaching and research, and in 2020 she also received the International Engagement Teaching Award, awarded by International Programs and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa.
When: Thursday, February 11th @ 12pm
Where: Online via Zoom
This program will first touch briefly on the science of climate change and the events of 2020- including the California drought and wildfires, the unprecedented number of hurricanes which made landfall in the US, and the midwestern derecho. Then, Professor Schnoor will address updates on the Biden administration's plans to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. Policies in China and the EU will also be discussed, together with the lack of funding for vulnerable and affected nations.
Jerry Schnoor is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1999) for his pioneering work using mathematical models in science policy decisions. He testified several times before Congress on environmental protection, including the importance of passing the 1990 Clean Air Act. From 2003-2014, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal Environmental Science and Technology and of ES&T Letters in 2013-2014. He chaired the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development from 2000-2004; and served on the EPA Science Advisory Board and the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council for NIEHS (2007-2011).
In 2010, Schnoor received the Simon W. Freese Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize from the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) for his research and leadership in water sustainability and climate change. In 2013, he was awarded an Einstein Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and in 2015, the Perry L. McCarty AEESP Founders’ Award for sustained and outstanding contributions to environmental engineering education, research, and practice. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) presented to Jerry the 2016 Dixy Lee Ray Award “for outstanding achievement in environmental protection through improvements in technology, science, and policy”. Most recently, the American Chemical Society bestowed the 2019 Creative Advances in Environmental Science & Technology national award for pioneering phytoremediation. In summary, Schnoor’s mathematical models of acid deposition and water quality and his research using plants in phytoremediation have been foundational to the field of environmental engineering.
By Lisa Heineman on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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By Katina Lillios, Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Katina is the author of Heraldry for the Dead: Memory, Identity, and the Engraved Stone Plaques of Neolithic Iberia (Texas, 2008), In Praise of Small Things: Death and Life at the Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age Burial of Bolores, Portugal (BAR, 2015, coauthored with Waterman, Artz, and Nilsson-Stutz), and The Archaeology of the Iberian Peninsula: From the Paleolithic through the Early Bronze Age (Cambridge, 2019).
By Brenda Longfellow, Wednesday, October 30, 2019