Past Conferences

Community, Culture, and Conservation: Sustaining Landscapes and Livelihoods
April 7-9, 2016

The National Parks have been called America’s best idea, but from their beginnings at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, designating lands as a national park, refuge, or monument has generated controversy that continues to this day.

On April 7-9, 2016 at Colby College a national conference, Community, Culture, and Conservation: Sustaining Landscapes and Livelihoods, took place.  The conference will bring together noted writers, scholars, performers, public officials, and community members to facilitate discussion, make connections, and seek solutions to economic and conservation challenges faced by communities in Maine, New England, the country, and the world.

The college’s Center for the Arts and Humanities, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, Environmental Studies Program, and the Colby College Museum of Art were the principal conference sponsors, with other organizations playing a supporting role.

The conference coincided with the 100th anniversary in 2016 of the Organic Act, the law that created the U.S. National Park Service, as well as the centenary of the establishment of Sieur de Monts National Monument, now Acadia National Park, the first national park in east of the Mississippi River and the first national park in Maine.


Changing Oceans and the Future of the Gulf of Maine: Solutions, Successes, and Sustainability
Friday, March 8, 2013

The Environmental Studies Program at Colby College hosted a conference focused on the future of the Gulf of Maine.  The conference was held in conjunction with the inaugural Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Environmental Studies.  This years fellow was Dr. Carl Safina, Director of the Blue Ocean Institute and author.  Further information about the conference proceedings.


Students as Catalysts for Large Landscape Conservation

Friday, March 1,  2013

The Environmental Studies Program at Colby College, in conjunction with partner universities, colleges, and research institutions, hosted a conference focused on students as catalysts for large landscape conservation.This conference provided students, practitioners, and scholars with the opportunity to network with, and learn from, peers and leading experts from North America and beyond working in the field of large landscape conservation.

One feature of the conference was a conservation innovation contest for students. Undergraduate and graduate students were invited to submit essays or creative contributions, such as videos. Authors of winning contributions received travel reimbursements to attend the conference. One essay was considered for inclusion in a forthcoming book on large landscape conservation to be published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Additional essays will be considered for publication in an issue of an international conservation journal.

See for more information.


Chemicals, Obesity, and Diabetes: How Science Leads Us to Action
October 14, 2011

The Goldfarb Center at Colby College and the Environmental Health Strategy Center (with support from the ES Program) will bring together national and state scientific and public health scholars, practitioners, and advocates, as wells as national and state policy-makers, faculty and students, to explore the environmental links to obesity.

Conference Resources

Prenatal Exposures and Obesity: Evidence from Epidemiological Studies, Dr. Elizabeth Hatch

Obesogens. Stem Cells, and the Maternal Programming of Obesity, Keynote Address, Dr. Bruce Bloomberg

Developmental and Environmental Origins of Obesity: A Bad Start Lasts a Lifetime, Dr. Jerrold Heindel

Chemical Exposure, Obesity, and Diabetes in Communities of Color and Low Income Communities, Dr. Mark Mitchell

Overview of Obesity Epidemic: A Clinical Perspective, Dr. Michael Dedekian.

Podcasts associated with the conference can be found at the Goldfarb Center website.


Protecting Livelihoods and Landscapes in Northern Maine
March 13-14, 2008

Recent decades have witnessed accelerating changes in landownership, the forest products industry, conservation and public access in Maine’s Unorganized Territory.   More than 90% of the state’s 17.7 million acres of forestland are in private ownership, mostly in the northern part of the state.  State regulatory and zoning authority over the Unorganized Territory has led to contentious disputes among owners, gateway communities, the state government and, conservation groups. Colby’s Environmental Studies Program and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement sought to encourage thoughtful discussion about the long-term future of Northern Maine by convening diverse representatives of major private and public interests. For more information:


Celebrating Rachel Carson and the Natural World: A Centennial Celebration
May 4-5, 2007
May 2007 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rachel Carson, whose 1962 best-selling book,Silent Spring, is widely regarded as inspiring the modern environmental movement in the U.S. Carson opened the public’s eyes for the first time to the dangers of synthetic pesticides, and provided momentum for the establishment of the sweeping U.S. environmental policies of the early 1970’s, some of the world’s earliest comprehensive environmental laws. Carson, a marine biologist as well as a writer, also wrote three books about the sea.

Colby College organized this event to celebrate the legacy of this pioneering environmental steward. There were performances by Kaiulani Lee (a one-woman play) and Gordon Bok (a Maine folk musician), a keynote address, and presentations about Rachel Carson and her work, as well as related subjects such as community-supported agriculture, organic lawn care, and toxics in the home. There were also outdoor nature activities for adults and children and readings from Carson’s books. For more information:


A Green Campus Summit
April 2-3, 2005

Conference Objectives

  • to provide Universities and Higher Educational Institutions all round the world with an opportunity to display and present their works on campus greening (i.e. curriculum innovation, restructuring, action research, activities, practical projects, etc..);
  • to foster the exchange of information, and dissemination of knowledge, ideas and experiences acquired in the execution of projects, from successful initiatives and best practices;
  • to promote adopting/ implementing strategies for campus sustainability;
  • to provide opportunity to showcase thought leadership on campus sustainability for institutional/ industrial campuses all round the world;
  • to discuss methodological approaches and projects which aim to integrate the topic of campus greening in Universities, Higher Educational Institutions and even other organisations;
  • to network the participants and provide a platform so they can explore possibilities for cooperation and collaboration

For more information: