A celebration lunch and awards ceremony, a talk on microbeads in the Great Lakes and a guest lecture from a former JPMorgan executive are among the nearly two-dozen events happening on and around campus for Earth Week 2016. The slate of activities began over the weekend and continues through Saturday.
“These events again demonstrate the commitment and hard work by divisions and departments across campus who not only work together to coordinate these opportunities, but also strive to advance sustainability every day through their areas of work,” says Ryan McPherson, UB’s chief sustainability officer.
“It’s impressive to see students, faculty and staff join our community partners in planning multiple activities that celebrate our accomplishments while encouraging conversations around what more we can do to ensure a better a future through sustainability,” McPherson adds.
Among the week’s highlights is the Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by UB RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) and featuring John Fullerton, founder and president of Capital Institute, a non-partisan think tank launched in 2010 by the former JPMorgan managing director.
Fullerton’s talk is titled “Reimagining Capitalism: Transitioning to a Regenerative Economy.” It will take place at 4 p.m. Friday in the Center for the Arts Screening Room, with a reception to follow. Register and learn more here.
Other Earth Week signature events are listed below. Visit the UB Sustainability website for the full lineup and more details. Note that some events require pre-registration and that spots may already be filled.
- Today (April 18): Earth Week Celebration Lunch and SLICE Awards (RSVP required), noon-1:30 p.m., Crossroads Culinary Center. What better way to kick off Earth Week than with lunch and a timely talk? This event will feature Sherri Mason, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at SUNY Fredonia, discussing the causes and impacts of microbead pollution in the Great Lakes. As part of the event, four Sustainability Leadership, Innovation and Collaborative Engagement (SLICE) Award winners will be announced. The SLICE Awards honor outstanding individuals and departments committed to sustainability on campus.
- Monday-Saturday: AquaConscience art exhibition, opening reception: 6-8 p.m. Monday, Project Space, Center for the Arts. This year's theme centers around a critique of human impact on oceanography and marine life. Topics range from the effects of over-fishing and ocean acidification, to addressing the consequences of plastic pollution, offshore drilling and the death of coral reefs and other marine life.
- Wednesday: ELFS Recognition and Sustainability Social, 3:30-5 p.m., 210 Student Union. Hosted jointly by UB Sustainability and Career Services, this event will begin with UB’s first class of ELFs (Educational Leadership Fellows in Sustainability) sharing results of two projects they’ve been implementing this semester — Green it Forward and UBReUse — followed by a “360 Dialogue” with student leaders and sustainability professionals about shared experiences in becoming change agents and leaders. The ELFS program is a project of President Satish K. Tripathi’s Change Agents Scholars Initiative. Students also will have the opportunity to network with local professionals about career paths and internship opportunities.
- Bonus event: Stop by the Student Union patio between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday and try a free “solar smoothie.”
- Thursday: Earth Week Bull Ride, noon (registration begins at 11 a.m.): Think “Slow Roll Buffalo.” This lunch-hour event encourages the UB community to take part in a 4-mile bicycle “fun ride” along the Ellicott Creek Trailway. Participants also can practice putting their bike on a UB Stampede bus. Download a map of the ride.
- Friday (Earth Day): In addition to the aforementioned RENEW lecture with John Fullerton, Alpha Kappa Chi, UB’s professional environmental fraternity, is hosting a benefit from 5 to 10 p.m. at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery in Buffalo. Tickets are available online or at the door. Proceeds benefit the Western New York Environmental Alliance and Designing to Live Sustainably.
- Bonus event: At noon on Friday, there will be a climate rally at the Student Union.
- Saturday: The annual Riverkeeper Spring Shoreline Sweep happens from 10 a.m. to noon, with more than 40 locations to choose from. Visit the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper website to sign up or learn more.