Master of Environmental Studies

Rachel Carson Forum

The Rachel Carson Forum is an annual spring event dedicated to Rachel Carson’s legacy of exploration and understanding of complex environmental issues and questions. The event has been organized by the Master of Environmental Studies Student Association since 1990.

Image of Rachel Carson Forum 2016 poster

The 27th Annual Rachel Carson Forum


"Communicating Environmental Justice" with speakers Zarna Joshi, co-founder, Women of Color Speak Out; Aiko Schaefer, Lecturer, University of Washington and Coordinator of Front and Centered; and Christy Curwick Hoff, Manager of the Governor's Interagency Council on Health Disparities for the State Board of Health.

Come hear about the conversation around environmental justice from the perspectives of an activist, a communications professional, and a policy analyst. Learn how we talk about environmental issues and their disparate impacts on social groups. Stick around afterwards for a question-and-answer session with the panelists.

Date & Time:
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 5:30-9:00pm
(5:30pm-6:15pm - environmental organization fair; 6:30pm-9:00pm - speakers)

The Evergreen State College Recital Hall in Olympia, WA

Free and open to the public. Parking $2.

Speaker Bios: 

Christy Curwick Hoff, Manager of the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities for the State Board of Health
In Christy’s role as manager of the Council, she oversees all aspects of the Council’s operations; serves as the technical and strategic advisor to the Council Chair, its members, and its advisory committees; and manages the Health Impact Review work of the Board and Council. Christy also serves as the Tribal Liaison for both the Board and Council. Christy is passionate about helping to ensure that state policies and programs are intentional in promoting equity.

Zarna Joshi, Co-Founder, Women of Color Speak Out
Zarna Joshi is a well-known Community Supported Organizer (CSO) in the Seattle area. Due to her Indian heritage and western life experience, she has witnessed and been affected by the environmental and social problems of three continents. She was inspired by that to work as an activist and writer to inspire a change of values within the people. She was a part of Rising Tide Seattle's blockades against oil and coal trains, and also an organizer in the ShellNo campaign to defend the Arctic from Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to drill there for oil.  During that campaign, she co-founded the immensely popular activist group, Women of Color Speak Out, to bring a deeper economic, social, and racial justice analysis to the Seattle climate movement.

Aiko Schaefer, Lecturer, University of Washington and Strategic Consultant
Aiko currently provides strategic consulting on equity for non-profits, foundations and government programs. She works on a number of emerging efforts around environmental equity including coordinating Front & Centered, a new statewide environmental justice coalition of community of color leaders and organizations working to shape public policy. Aiko is also on the faculty at the University of Washington teaching in the graduate School of Social Work.


Rachel Carson Forum History

2015 - "Urban Ecology" panel discussion with Gail O’Sullivan & Karen Nelson, co-founders of the Commons at Fertile Ground and Kathy Wolf, Ph.D., Research Social Scientist at the College of the Environment, University of Washington (4/23/15)
2014 - "Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest," panel discussion with Dr. Richard Feely, Senior Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Andy Haub, Planning and Engineering Manager, City of Olympia Public Works Department; Thera Black, Senior Planner, Thurston Regional Planning Council; facilitated by Rhys Roth, Evergreen Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (4/24/15)
2013 - "Building A Sustainable Food System in the South Sound," panel discussion with Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, TJ Johnson, Blue Peetz, and Sarah Rocker (5/10/13)
2012 - "The Social, Political & Ecological Implications of Pesticide Use," panel discussion with Dr. Marion Moses, Dr. Steve Herman, Dr. John Perkins, Ciscoe Morris, and Janette Brimmer (5/2/12)
2011 - Lecture by Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti
2010 - Lecture by Estella Leopold with breakout session by Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually tribal member and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission plus the Graduate Program on the Environment's 25th anniversary
2008 - "The Health of  Puget Sound" with speaker William Ruckelshaus of Puget Sound Partnership (5/20/08)
2007 - "Taking Sunbeams Seriously: The Role of Solar Energy in a Healthy, Prosperous, Sustainable Future" with speaker Denis Hayes (5/8/07)
2006 - "High Stakes Conservation" with speakers Delia and Mark Owens (5/2/06)
2005 - "The Tragedy of the Non-commons" by Joshua Farley of Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
2004 - Water & Forests Festival including lecture by author Dr. Eugene Kozloff
2003 - Lecture by nature writer and environmentalist Rick Bass and Northwest novelist/essayist David James Duncan
2002 - "Widening the Context in the Biotechnology Wars" by Dr. David Ehrenfeld of Rutgers University
2001 - "Rewilding: the need for large carnivores for ecological integrity in wildland ecosystems" by Dave Foreman
2000 - "Fighting for Positive Social Change and Environmental Justice" by Dr. Marion Moses of the Pesticide Education Center
1999 - Lecture by poet & environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams
1996 - "Silent Spring, Sacred Landscapes: Sustainability and the American West" with introduction by MES faculty Jovana Brown and lecture by Charles Wilkinson of the University of Colorado, Boulder
1995 - "Labor & the Environment: Building a Coalition in the Northwest" with speakers Richard Feldman, Gwendolyn Lee, & Tarso Ramos
1994 - "Water & Community: A Sense of Place" with speakers Krag Unsoeld, Bob Mead, Billy Frank Jr., Judy Turpin, J.T. Wilcox, Jan Teague, & Bob Gustavson
1993 - "The Endangered Species Act: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future" with speakers Rick Agnew, John Engbring, John Growen, Valerie Johnson, Jim Pissot, & Andy Stahl (4/7/93)
1991 - "Why the Earth Can't Wait - Race,Poverty and Environmental Jusice" with speaker Victor Lewis, Urban Habitat Program of San Francisco (5/22/91)
1990 - "Tropical Forests and Human Welfare" with speaker Gordon Orians of the University of Washington and South American music by Kori-Siku