UNO to host inaugural Sackett Sustainability Speaker Series


Grant Rohan

UNO campus. Courtesy of UNO Communications.

University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Alum Dr. Penny Sackett will present a lecture on the future of sustainability this October.

The lecture will take place Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center (CEC) on the UNO campus. The creator of the Sackett Sustainability Speaker Series, Sackett’s inaugural lecture will focus on the idea of “living as if we have a future on this Earth.” The series, open to all members of the UNO community and the general public, is sponsored and hosted by the Sustainability Minor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

In honor of October being Campus Sustainability Month, the talk will explore climate change, how humans are pushing the earth beyond its limits, natural resource management and the concept of “planetary boundaries.” Sackett provides a starting point for the series by discussing issues commonly presented in sustainability studies.

Speakers in the series will help support UNO efforts to create sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to problems, including climate change, resource management, waste reduction and disposal, environmental degradation, habitat destruction and the social issues that accompany these challenges.

The goal of the Sackett Sustainability Speaker Series is to spark discussions, debate and action for further efforts in sustainability for the environment and society’s standard of living. The lecture is designed to bring together creative minds and problem-solvers from a multitude of disciplines to work toward a common goal.

The series will feature a common film, reading or creative work selected by the speaker, which can be viewed by students, staff and faculty prior to the start of the presentation or panel discussion. Readings selected by Sackett are encouraged to be incorporated by faculty members in their own classroom lectures.

Since graduating from UNO in 1978, Sackett has held positions at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands, the Australian National University (ANU) and has served as Chief Scientist of Australia from 2008 to 2011, according to the ANU Climate Change Institute.

Sackett currently serves as Deputy Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council in Australia and is also a science advisory board member of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in New York.