Wells College's Center for Sustainability and the Environment Announces Spring 2020 Sustainability Series

January 31, 2020

The College will offer film screenings and welcome experts to speak on topics exploring environmental policy, advocacy and engagement, as they pertain to fostering a more fair, sustainable and habitable planet.

The Center for Sustainability and the Environment has announced the schedule for its spring 2020 Sustainability Series, which kicks off this Monday, Feb. 3 with a talk on sustainable transportation.

The series, held during the fall and spring semesters when class is in session, brings local and regional experts to campus to speak on a wide variety of topics related to sustainability and the environment. This semester's programming will also include two film screenings examining the modern environmental movement. All talks and films in the "Sustainability Perspectives" series are free and open to the public.

For more information about the spring 2020 "Sustainability Perspectives" series or the Wells College Center for Sustainability and the Environment, please contact Marion Brown at mbrown@wells.edu or 315.364.3304, or visit wells.edu/sustainability.

Monday, February 3, 2020, 12:20–1:20 p.m.
Fernando de Aragon
Director, Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council
Sustainability Perspectives Series: "Getting Where We Need to Be: The Imperative of Sustainable Transportation"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
The transportation sector accounts for the largest share (nearly 30%) of U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuel for our cars, trucks, ships, trains and planes. Transportation planners grapple with how to efficiently move people and goods while at the same time trying to reduce the climate changing impacts of transportation. Learn about regional efforts to encourage alternative modes of transportation to reduce our reliance on single-occupant vehicles, along with initiatives to move personal and commercial vehicles away from fossil fuels.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Terence J. Cryan
Chairman of the Board, Ocean Power Technologies
Sustainable Business Series: "Can Harnessing the Power of the Ocean Change the World?"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
Terence Cryan has over 25 years of experience in international business based in the U.S. and Europe. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Ocean Power Technologies Inc., a pioneer in renewable wave-energy technology that converts ocean wave energy into electricity. Wave power is abundant in all areas of the world, and its harnessing offers a dependable clean source of renewable and cost-effective energy. Join us for a fascinating glimpse into the future of ocean energy.

Monday, February 10, 2020, 12:20–1:20 p.m.
Tomasz Falkowski
Postdoctoral Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University
Sustainability Perspectives Series: "The Effects of Fire Management on Ecosystem Services and Geochemical Cycling in Traditional Maya Swidden Agro Ecosystems"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
Slash-and-burn agriculture is often condemned for contributing to climate change and deforestation. Preliminary evidence, however, suggests that burning offers important ecosystem services that would be lost should traditional practices be totally abandoned. Tomasz Falkowski will explore all sides of this seeming dichotomy, in particular as it pertains to the Maya of southern Mexico and the Mexican federal government's attempts to change the Mayan system of fire management.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Sustainability Film Series: "Blue" (running time: 76 minutes)
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
We can no longer afford to think of the ocean as a place of limitless resource; a dumping ground, immune to change or decline. The 2018 documentary "Blue" is a deep and provocative dive into the vast oceanic universe; bearing witness in this critical moment in time, as marine life seems perched at the edge of impending disaster. "Blue" features an array of passionate advocates for ocean preservation who are campaigning for smarter fishing practices, defending precious habitats, combating marine pollution and fighting for the protection of keystone species.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 7:00–8:45 p.m.
Sustainability Film Series: "2 Degrees—The Point of No Return" (running time: 86 minutes)
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
As the Earth's average temperature rises each year, experts warn that we are nearing a fatal tipping point. A two-degree rise above normal would set into motion a cascade of natural disasters that could have devastating consequences for life on earth as we know it. This gripping 2017 documentary examines some of these scenarios and concerns.

Monday, March 23, 2020, 7:00–8:45 p.m.
Gay Nicholson
Founder, Finger Lakes Climate Fund
Sustainability Perspectives Series: "Supporting Energy Democracy with Local Carbon Offsets"
de Witt Lecture Hall Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
The climate policy battles ahead may take quite a long time; achieving a carbon tax and a subsequent redistribution of resources to assure energy democracy won't be easy. In the meantime, local communities can provide leadership toward including everyone in the transition to a clean energy economy. Gay Nicholson, founder of the Finger Lakes Climate Fund, will give a talk on the many ways that her group works to promote renewables and energy efficiency projects, while at the same time helping to strengthen our regional economies and assisting local families in need.

Monday, March 30, 2020, 12:20–1:20 p.m.
Sandra Steingraber
Environmental toxicologist, activist, author of "Living Downstream"
Sustainability Perspectives Series: "Climate Change and Sports"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
Sandra Steingraber's presentation will explore how the climate crisis is threatening the future of sports and examines the ways in which athletes are emerging as leaders in the climate justice movement worldwide. Of particular interest: exposure to air pollution and its effects on athletic performance; the rising incidence of heat stroke in outdoor sports; and the leadership that surfers, skiers and snowboarders are playing in the fight for renewable energy. The talk will present opportunities for engagement with athletes in attendance.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Jennifer Porter '98
Vice President, GBB Inc.
Sustainability Business Series: "Imagine This!"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
Porter's presentation examines current methods that municipalities in the U.S. are using in solid waste programs to fulfill waste-diversion objectives and develop local and domestic capacity for waste management, exploring recycling and composting industry myths, as well as what is working effectively in the waste processing sector. Examples of innovative projects in Michigan, Virginia and the Northwest will be highlighted.

Monday, April 13, 2020, 12:20–1:20 p.m.
Tazania Roach '99
Founder, Happy Camper Compostage
Sustainability Perspectives Series: "Three Birds, One Stone: Ending One Small City's Food Insecurity, Social Isolation and Economic Stagnation"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
This Wells alumna will share her experience developing Happy Camper Compostage, an ambitious young project that aims to create a simple infrastructure to redirect food and biodegradable wastes from landfills. They look at food waste as a resource and use low-tech, human-powered solutions to address the problems of food insecurity, social isolation and economic stagnation.

Monday, April 20, 2020, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Nina Bassuk
Program Leader, Urban Horticulture Institute, Cornell University
Sustainability Special: "Creating Greener Cities: Strategies to Establish Sustainable Landscapes"
de Witt Lecture Room 106, Zabriskie Hall
Nina Bassuk's research and outreach focuses on the physiological problems of plants growing in urban environments, including improved plant selections for difficult sites, soil modification, the development of "CU-Structural Soil" and improved transplanting technology. Join us for what promises to be an informative evening.

About the Center for Sustainability and the Environment
The Wells College Center for Sustainability and the Environment was established in 2014 as the hub for sustainability education across disciplines and the catalyst for campus sustainability efforts at the College. The center supports faculty interested in incorporating sustainability content into their curriculum, invites outside experts to share their insights with the Wells campus community, and fosters collaborative relationships with a deep network of organizations, agencies, businesses and other partners in our community. Wells College is one of only a handful of colleges and universities to offer formal educational programs in sustainability, and the College has been recognized year after year by The Princeton Review, The Sierra Club and others for its leadership in this area. Learn more at wells.edu/sustainability.

 

 

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