The Public Lecture Series

Acterra’s Public Lecture Series features prominent voices from throughout the environmental sector, addressing urgent issues that face region and our planet. With series in both fall and spring, we offer many opportunities to learn about and discuss environmental issues with like-minded community members.

Our lectures take place in and around the Palo Alto area, and are often hosted by corporate partners like Microsoft, Facebook, and LinkedIn. They are open to the public, and cost $10 to attend. For an annual membership starting at $40, you can get free access to our public lecture series for one year. We also offer free access to all students.

We look forward to seeing you at any or all of our upcoming lectures!

For more information on our public lecture series, email Bethany Taylor at

Fall 2018 Lecture Series

All lectures will be held at The Foster Art & Wilderness Foundation, 940 Commercial St, Palo Alto

Ertharin Cousin
Food Insecurity, Climate Change, and Conflict

Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 p.m.
Reception and gallery walk-through at 6:30 pm

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Ertharin Cousin is the former executive director of the World Food Programme and US ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, nominated by President Obama. In these roles, she led efforts to address issues related to nutrition and agriculture, including the relationship between climate change and food insecurity. An expert and pioneer in addressing global hunger, she has been listed as one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women” and TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.” Currently, she is serving as the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford.

David Hochschild
Sunrise from the West

Wednesday, October 24, 7:30 p.m.
Reception and gallery walk-through at 6:30 pm

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David Hochschild was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Energy Commission in February 2013 and fills the environmental position on the Commission. In 2001, as Special Assistant to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, he launched a citywide $100 million initiative to put solar panels on public buildings. He went on to co-found the Vote Solar Initiative, an organization advocating for local, state, and federal solar policies. In the private sector, he served as executive director of a national consortium of leading solar manufacturers and worked for five years at Solaria, a solar company in Silicon Valley. In 2007-2008, he served as a commissioner at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Eugene Cordero
How education can impact long-term carbon emissions—one burrito at a time

Wednesday, November 14, 7:30 p.m.
Reception and gallery walk-through at 6:30 pm

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Eugene Cordero is a climate scientist and professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San José State University. Eugene’s science research is focused on understanding the processes responsible for long-term changes in climate through the use of observations and atmospheric models. Eugene is also interested in the design of educational experiences that encourage social change in students to produce environmental benefits. Currently, Eugene is the founder and director of Green Ninja (, an enterprise that creates educational experiences to help students design a more sustainable world. With special guest Anne Lee, founder of the student group Schools Under 2C


Series Sponsors:

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Series Underwriter: Mary & Clinton Gilliland

Past Lectures