Environmental expert, Jonathan Foley, to speak at UW-Madison

MADISON-The world’s population is expected to reach nine billion by 2040. Feeding that rapidly growing population in a way that minimizes its impact on land and water resources, as well as climate, remains an agricultural, technological and societal challenge.

Dr. Jonathan Foley is this year’s speaker for the Len Robock Lecture Series, taking place on September 27, 2018. Foley is a Senior Scholar at the California Academy of Sciences and noted expert on global impacts of food production and agriculture. His talk is titled: “Planet Vision: A Global Plan to Build a Better, More Sustainable Future.” Credit: University of Minnesota

Meeting that challenge is the focus of Jonathan Foley’s talk for the 10th Annual Len Robock Lecture Sept. 27 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Foley, Senior Scholar at the California Academy of Sciences and noted expert on global impacts of food production and agriculture, will discuss, “Planet Vision:  A Global Plan to Build a Better, More Sustainable Future.”

According to Foley, nearly 40 percent of all land is already dedicated to agriculture, so expansion of farmland is not a long-term solution to global food needs. His project, Planet Vision, proposes practical and sustainable methods for addressing issues of nearly every aspect of the global food industry, from water and land use, to energy consumption.

For example, in addition to significant land use, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of all global water usage. To begin to address this challenge, Foley suggests conservation measures ranging from the simple to complex, like fixing leaking pipes in our houses to large-scale ecosystem planning for water-scarce areas.

“PlanetVision is a multi-faceted set of solutions focused on fixing the world’s food, water, and energy system. It can help and inspire all of us – individuals, communities, businesses and governments – pivot to a better, more sustainable world,” says Foley.

PlanetVision is a multi-faceted set of solutions – focused on fixing the world’s food, water, and energy systems. Credit: Jonathan Foley

Foley earned his Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles on environmental issues. As a science communicator, he has presented around the world and has been featured in numerous print and news outlets including BBC, CNN, National Geographic, The New York Times and WIRED magazine.

Foley’s talk is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2018 at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, H.F. DeLuca Forum, 330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information check the event website.

The Len Robock Lecture Series is made possible through the Leonard Robock Endowment to the UW-Madison Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

By Eric Verbeten and Jean Phillips