Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies

Lecture Series

Atlas of (Remote) Islands and Sea Level Rise

A Talk with Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i


In a 2016 lecture titled “Let Them Drown,” Naomi Klein called attention to the nexus of climate change, colonial racism and poverty—as Rob Nixon has done in his book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. But Klein shifted the spotlight of these concerns to the oft-overlooked low-lying island nations. Their current day situation is...

Special Event

A Climate Series for the Ages

Living with Climate Change


This fall, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, in collaboration with UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, has designed a new kind of climate series: a four-night conversation between the L.A. community and some of the world’s experts on all things climate. DATES: October 5 – Climate Change Cliff Notes October 19 – Earth and...

Lecture Series

Panel Discussion: Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

Join the UCLA Botanical Garden for an expert discussion about species that are flourishing in a rapidly changing world


Biodiversity is undergoing tremendous change at the hands of humanity. As some habitats disappear and many wild organisms face extinction, other species flourish in novel ecosystems. Join us for an expert panel discussion which will examine the current state of biodiversity and the narratives which shape related public opinion and policy as we ask the question: how can we successfully coexist with nature on an increasingly technological planet?

Special Event

2017 IoES Gala – Innovators for a Healthy Planet

An event honoring Paul G. Allen and Toyota


Every year, we honor environmental game-changers at the UCLA IoES Gala. Paul G. Allen races the extinction of elephants and flips common paradigms for ocean and climate health. Toyota leads sustainable transportation and reinvents eco-mobility with vehicles like the Prius and Mirai. These 2017 Gala honorees prove that sustainable innovation can surmount the greatest threats of our time.

Lecture Series

Extinction! Fear and Hope at the La Brea Tar Pits

Join IoES and the Natural History Museum for a lively conversation about endangered species and extinction.


Extinctions happen all the time—evolution can't move forward without them. But mass extinctions are a different beast, wiping out large numbers of species regardless of how well adapted they are. Join us and the La Brea Tar Pits—home to extinct saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and mammoths—for a lively conversation about endangered plants and animals, extinction and the global consequences of mass extinction.



UCLA College Luskin Endowment Inaugural Symposium


From public policy to installation art, EARTH NOW: EARTH 2050 explores all facets of modern environmental challenges and highlights efforts to make lives and businesses more sustainable. The program includes talks from top experts, workshops, local and national nonprofit organizations, art, a student film contest—and much more. We will highlight UCLA campus-wide sustainability while showcasing the new Luskin Conference Center and honoring the generosity of Meyer and Renee Luskin.



Author, artist shed light on meaning of surfing at salon series

The City of Malibu Arts Commission helped sponsor the event, which was moderated by Jon Christensen, senior fellow and journalist-in-residence at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies and Center for Digital Humanities.



‘Sea Sick’ Investigates the Right to be Represented On the Beach

How diversity plays into going to the beach.



Making the California coast public for all

Invisible barriers have kept people of color at bay.



Here’s an Interesting New Video Series on Psychology and Climate Change

Climate Lab, a new YouTube series by Vox and the University of California that explores the behavioral science of climate change and attempts to mitigate it, is a smart idea for a series.



Why humans are so bad at thinking about climate change

“In terms of behavioral change, we need two things,” said Magali Delmas, a professor at the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA and the Anderson School of Management. “We need first to increase awareness, and then second, we need to find the right motivations for people to change their behavior.”



Why Are We So Bad at Talking About Climate Change?

What I learned through Climate Lab, a new video series I’m hosting in partnership with the University of California and Vox, is that most climate change messaging is filled with doom and gloom. This has the opposite effect in getting us to care and take action. Human nature is hard-wired for optimism, and we shut...



Vox: How psychology can trick us into keeping Earth habitable

Magali Delmas, a professor at the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA and the Anderson School of Management is on the hunt for these motivations, looking for simple ways to make climate change personal.



UCLA professor wins British Society for Literature and Science’s annual book prize

IoES and Department of English Professor Ursula Heise has been awarded this year’s British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) prize for best book in the field of literature and science published in 2016. Her book, “Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species,” explores extinction, endangered species and wildlife conservation through the lens of culture and...



San Francisco Examiner: Line drawn in sand between beach access, protection

Jon Christensen, an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA’s Institute on the Environment and Sustainability, found the condition of the ocean and beaches is personally important to 90 percent of Californians. Another survey of people at Southern California beaches found people want clean sand and water. 



Orange County Register: Some can’t afford beach visits; legislators seek change

“There are historically patterns of visitation and discrimination … where people feel they’re welcome (at some beaches) and where they might not feel as welcome (at others),” said Jon Christensen, a researcher at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA who co-authored the study.



Los Angeles Times: Proposed legislation calls for more affordable overnight accommodations along the California coast

 “In our research we found that the cost of staying overnight at the coast can be a real burden for some Californians,” said Jon Christensen, a researcher at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. 



KCET: Study: Coastal access is about more than locked gates

“This new research shows that we are at a tipping point where deciding to visit the coast is a close call for most Californians, given the cost,” said Jon Christensen, lead investigator for the study at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.