By Lisa Romero, BIO5 Institute
At the UA, It's Earth Day All Week Long
Coordinated by the UA's Office of Sustainability, special events include a lecture series, Campus Arboretum tours, open houses, exhibits, film screenings and more.
Earth Day celebrations on the University of Arizona campus start this Saturday, April 16 and continue through next week, leading up to Earth Day on April 22.
"Earth Day is an opportunity to educate students, employees and people in the community about issues of sustainability and how to care for our natural environment," said Joe Abraham, director of the UA's Office of Sustainability.
"We want to celebrate ways that we're solving problems and to also remind people that we have a lot to do. The university as a whole is doing so much on so many levels that we feel it's justified to dedicate a weeklong calendar of events to this purpose."
The Institute of the Environment is helping to kick off Earth Day celebrations with a sustainability forum, "New Perspectives From Science, Theology and Business," on April 16 from 3-5:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Photography Auditorium.
This forum will tackle the question of whether our world views and lifestyles are compatible with sustainability, presenting a multi-faceted look at the stakes of an unsustainable world and the solutions for securing enduring environmental health.
Speakers include Jonathan Overpeck, UA professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences and co-director of the Institute of the Environment; Ron Rude, UA Lutheran campus minister; and Jim Jindrick, co-founder of the Center for Corporate Entrepreneurship and New Ventures in the UA Eller College of Management and mentor-in-residence at the UA McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.
Throughout the week leading up to Earth Day, a lecture series hosted by the UA's Institute of the Environment and the Office of Sustainability will feature presentations under the uniting theme, "Addressing Global Challenges."
Renowned UA faculty experts will speak on pressing issues societies are facing in a world of endangered and shrinking resources: "Life" (Travis Huxman), "Climate " (Diana Liverman), "Energy" (Kim Ogden), "Water" (Shane Snyder), and "Food" (Gary Nabhan).
The UA Campus Arboretum will offer tours with different themes, such as "Edible Landscapes," "Trees of the World" and "What's in Bloom."
Free film screenings are scheduled to take place at Gallagher Theater in the UA's Student Union Memorial Center on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Playing on the screen will be episodes from "Planet Earth" and the documentaries "Carbon Nation" and "Food Inc." At the screenings, UA students will have the opportunity to win free tickets to the Earth Day events held at Biosphere 2.
On Earth Day, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Students for Sustainability at the University of Arizona will host "Earth Day 2011: Be the Solution," an event aimed at "bridging the expertise of the community and the unbridled enthusiasm and energy of young professionals in pursuit of innovative solutions."
Abraham encourages those who are interested in getting involved in fostering sustainability, to visit EcoOps, a new project of the Office of Sustainability aimed at building a community for UA employees and alumni who want to make the UA a more environmentally sustainable place to work, study and play.