Past Seminar

Creative Conservation: How Humanity Innovates to Protect Nature

May 27, 2015

About the Event

Join RFF for an expert discussion of creativity, innovation, technology, and natural resources. Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University and a 2007 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” award, will discuss key themes in her new book, The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis. A panel of experts in geography, conservation science, and economics will consider the advantages and limits of innovation in using and conserving natural resources.


James W. Boyd, Senior Fellow, RFF


Ruth DeFries, Denning Family Chair in Sustainable Development, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

Erle C. Ellis, Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems and Director of the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Visiting Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Kai N. Lee, Program Officer of Science, Conservation and Science Program, Packard Foundation; and Rosenburg Professor of Environmental Studies, emeritus, Williams College

Related Seminars

This discussion follows a series of RFF seminars on humanity’s “limits to ingenuity,” including: