Panoramic view of globe room at cataldo hall.


Calendar of Events

Spring 2022

(Interested in a workshop? Click on Engage.) 

Past Events 

Spring 2022

February 9 - Changing Climate, Fire Regimes, and the Future of Western North American Forests

Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Coop

coop event updated flyer
Date: Wednesday, February 9
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Hemmingson Center Auditorium, Gonzaga University
Free and open to the public*
When a forest burns, should we expect it to recover as it was before? Changing climate and disturbance regimes can overcome the resilience of ecological systems, catalyzing enduring changes. Expanding wildfire activity, coupled with warming and drought, are driving enduring changes to western North American forests. In some cases these changes include long-term conversion to alternate and non-forested vegetation types. Given current trends and projected future climate, we should expect rapid, major, and essentially permanent losses and changes to many of our forests and the ecosystem services they provide. These changes compel new management paradigms, strategies and tactics that accommodate changing conditions, and shifts in public expectations and engagement for an era when the pre-fire forest may not return.

About the speaker: Dr. Jonathan Coop is a professor of Biology and ENVS at Western Colorado University. He is a plant community ecologist whose research, with many students and collaborators, revolves around forest dynamics in response to changing fire regimes and climate. He also works closely with land managers to develop and assess strategies for times of certain change of uncertain rate and magnitude.

Co-sponsor: Gonzaga Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

February 17 - An Evening with the Author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer

Speaker: Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, PhD, Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Robin Wall Kimmerer (Photo credit: Dale Kakkak)
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2022
Time: 5:30pm (Pacific Time) 
Location: Zoom
Free and open to the public.


Join us for a memorable evening with the award-winning author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants is about alternative forms of Indigenous knowledge outside of traditional scientific methodologies. The book reframes the relationship between land and humans by exploring themes of reciprocity. Braiding Sweetgrass focuses on plants and botany as seen through Native American traditions and Western scientific traditions. The book received largely positive reviews, appearing on several bestseller lists. Professor Kimmerer is known for her scholarship on traditional ecological knowledge, ethnobotany, and moss ecology.

This event is co-hosted by the Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment, the Gonzaga School of Leadership Studies, and the Gonzaga Native American Studies Department.

About the speaker: Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned Kimmerer wide acclaim. Her first book, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

February 23 - Paris, Glasgow: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward on the U.S. International Climate Agenda

Speaker: Alan Yu, U.S. Department of State

Picture of Alan Yu
Date: Wednesday, February 23
Time: 4:30 pm PT
Location: Zoom
Free and open to the public*
Alan Yu will discuss the major outcomes of COP26 -- the advances made and challenges that remain, and the Biden Administration's strategy in 2022 and over the medium term to drive global climate action in the decisive decade of the 2020s. Which will be the key countries where Washington will seek stronger and faster action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what is the plan? How will the United States help the most vulnerable countries adapt to the increasingly grave impacts from the climate crisis? And how will we pay for it?

About the speaker: Alan Yu is a senior advisor for U.S. Special Presidential Advisor for Climate John Kerry, focusing on U.S. climate policy strategy with countries in the Indo-Pacific region. From 2019-21 he was a senior fellow and the director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where he led CAP’s work to advance a progressive agenda to restore U.S. climate change diplomatic leadership in driving global climate action. From 2014-18, Alan served as the Department of Energy’s Director for Asian Affairs, where he coordinated the efforts and resources of the full range of DOE's senior leadership, technical offices and national labs to assure a unified strategy in U.S. energy policy and technical engagement with countries in Northeast, Southeast and South Asia. Prior to DOE, Alan served for 25 years as a U.S. diplomat at the State Department, with postings in Washington, China, Japan and Afghanistan. Alan received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

March 7 - Climate Change in the Rural Northwest: Learning from Malden

Speaker: Scott Hokonson

Malden Labor Day Fire 2020
Date: Monday, March 7, 2022
Time: 6-7:30 pm (Pacific Time)
Location: Hemmingson Center Auditorium, Gonzaga University & streaming online (streaming link will be emailed to registered attendees the day of the event)
Free and open to the public. (Visitor and Guest Guidelines)
On September 7, 2020 wildfires raged through northern Whitman County, Washington, fanned by wind gusts as high as 50 mph. The Babb Road Fire consumed more than 15,000 acres of Palouse farmland and habitat and engulfed the towns of Malden and Pine City, forcing nearly 200 residents to evacuate. The fast-moving fire consumed the Town of Malden in only two and a half hours, spewing briquette-sized embers and destroying 80% of the town's buildings, many down to their foundations. Among the rubble are the majority of homes and the town's only post office, town hall, fire station, food bank, and library.

In this talk Scott Hokonson will discuss the urgency of planning to be resilient to our changing climate and lessons learned that can help other communities in the Inland Northwest.

About the speaker: Hokonson is Project Director for the Pine Creek Community Long Term Restoration Group. He is a Malden firefighter and Malden town council member who was working towards his masters in urban planning and social work when Malden burned in the Labor Day fires of 2020.

March 22 - Becoming Planetary: From the Personal to the Political

Speaker: Karen Litfin, Ph.D.

Portrait of Karen Liftin, PhD
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Time: 5-6:30 pm (Pacific Time)
Location: Hemmingson Center Auditorium, Gonzaga University & streaming online (streaming link will be emailed to registered attendees the day of the event)
Free and open to the public. (Visitor and Guest Guidelines)
Writing at the dawn of the new millennium, Thomas Berry declared that the historical mission of our times, the Great Work, is to reinvent the human at the species level within the Earth community. What does that mean twenty years later as we face intensifying climate disruption, political polarization, and a pandemic - all of which press us to grow our capacities for psychological and social resilience. "Reinventing the human" encompasses not only our cognitive minds but also our emotions, our senses, and our very experience of life itself. Join Professor Litfin, a pioneer in the rapidly growing field of contemplative education, for a thought-provoking and experiential exploration ranging from deep introspection to the visionary pragmatism of planetary politics.

About the speaker: Litfin has been on the faculty of the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington since 1991, and received her Ph.D. in the following year from UCLA. She specializes in global environmental politics, with core interests in green theory, the science/policy interface, and “person/planet politics.” Her books include Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in International Environmental Cooperation (Columbia University Press, 1994) and The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics (MIT Press, 1998).

Co-sponsor: Faculty Senate Speakers Committee

April 22-23 - Hope for Creation Conference

Date: Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, 2022
Hosts: Whitworth University, The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment
Location: The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E. 12th Avenue, Spokane, WA
Cost: $20
Registration & conference website:

Hosted by St. John’s Cathedral, in partnership with the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement and the Gonzaga Climate Center, the Hope for Creation Conference is designed to share a vision of hope for creation; spotlight local caretakers of land, water and air; and renew Spokane's leadership on environmental care.

Expo '74 was the first world's fair dedicated to the environment. It brought the topic of creation care to the world stage and helped shape the consciousness of the Spokane community. As we near the 50th anniversary of Expo '74, now is the time to look back at where we've been, consider carefully what is being done, and develop a road map for the future. Spokane was a leader in creation care then, and that leadership should continue.

All are welcome at this event – civic leaders, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, business people and engaged citizens. All points of view are needed, and the dignity of each person will be respected.


Contact the Gonzaga Climate Center

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502 E. Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258