Sustainability Month 2021

Welcome to Sustainability Month 2021! UB Sustainability has collected events from around the University that relate to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals during all of April. There's something for everyone to participate in, and check our social media channels for a curated self-guided experience on each of the SDGs!

What is sustainability on our campus? Is it the solar strand generating enough renewable energy to offset hundreds of on campus apartments? Yes. Is it promoting innovation and creativity in tackling climate change and fighting environmental injustice? You bet. Is it making sure that all of the systems that run our campus have the least impact on the environment and its people?

All of the above. This month we celebrate all of the work our community does in advancing sustainability. After setting the stage with some context on local and global sustainable initiatives, each day throughout the rest of April, you’ll have the opportunity to take a deeper dive on one of the 17 sustainable development goals through a curated collection of resources for self-learning. It is a perfect way to broaden your knowledge by leveraging the vast expertise of campus. In addition, there will be live events throughout the month.

We’re excited to have you join us on this journey through sustainability!

Month Long Events

UB School of Public Health 6th Annual Step Challenge

Looking for motivation to still get your steps in? Open to anyone in and related to the UB community, the challenge is a mindful way to boost your healthy lifestyle and reduce stress. Sign up, track your steps and compete for great prizes.

The month-long challenge is part of the school's annual National Public Health Week celebration, which features activities and learning opportunities. Sponsored by the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

SDG 3.

Tuesday, March 30

Thinking Spring: Starting Seeds and Other Gardening Tasks

While the winter winds are still blowing, there are some gardening tasks that you can do now, like starting seeds at home. We will discuss the principles of seed starting, what you might need, and what types of plants to try. In addition, we’ll take a look at some gardening jobs to undertake while your garden is still asleep.

Host: UB HR

Time: 12-1pm

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Thursday, April 1

A Circular Economy for Plastics: How Companies are Moving from Strategy to Action

As plastic waste continues to threaten the globe, companies are making ambitious commitments and joining with partners to do their part. This new class of plastics goals include designing for recyclability, investing in recycling infrastructure and exploring material innovations, charting and reporting progress and helping to bring more partners in to drive collection action. But what happens behind the scenes once these commitments are announced? And what will it take for companies to achieve these ambitious targets one they’ve been set? 

Host: Green Biz

Time: 1pm

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Friday, April 2

What determines forest structure and dynamics? Investigating local and regional drivers in tropical and temperate forests

Dr. Zambrano studies tree demography and functional traits and forest fragmentation in the tropics. 

Host: Colllege of Arts and Sciences Department of Environment and Sustainability

Presenter: Dr. Jenny Zambrano

Time: 12pm

Meeting ID: 977 4613 7153
Passcode: evsseminar

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Monday, April 5

Global to Local Racial Justice Series: Racial Justice in Child Welfare and the upEND Movement

The Global to Local Racial Justice Series will explore how racism affects communities globally and locally by hosting a diverse range of speakers: voices from within our school, the Buffalo community, other UB departments, and from other parts of the country and even around the world.

Host: UB School of Social Work

Presenter: Dean Alan Dettlaff

Time: 12:30-1:30pm

Race, Sprawl and Sustainability: How the American Way of City Building is Killing the Planet

Dr. Robert Gioielli, Associate Professor of History

Director, UC Blue Ash Honors Program and the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College

Host: College of Arts and Sciences Department of Environment and Sustainability

Time: 1:30pm

Meeting ID: 960 9114 2914
Passcode: RGSeminar

life on land.
life on land.

Tuesday, April 6

Safe Zone Training

A Safe Zone is an intentional space, climate and/or person that is affirming of all students, staff and faculty regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Creating inclusive and supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty decreases stigma and increases social interactions, participation in campus activities and feelings of safety. In this interactive session, you will be introduced to what a Safe Zone is and how creating one and being a part of the Safe Zone Network, has a positive impact at the individual, group and institutional level. Participants will elevate their understanding, empathy and capacity to engage with colleagues and students who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community in a welcoming and inclusive way. This session will help participants support a safe workplace community for everyone as part of their everyday work interactions in a variety of ways.

Host: UB HR

Time: 10-12pm

Practical Ways to Get Radical in Higher Ed

There is widespread agreement that radical and immediate social changes are necessary to avert catastrophic collapse of earth systems and allow for the possibility of sustaining healthy human civilizations. Among other challenges, achieving this level of transformation requires an unprecedented degree of social learning. Many argue that higher education could (and some say should) play a central role in facilitating this learning. Despite decades of earnest and well-intentioned efforts, however, higher education—even sustainability-oriented higher ed—has not yet risen to the challenge. A deeper transformation of education itself is needed if we are to create the kind of transformative education our circumstances demand. Drawing on insights from her new book, Beyond the Knowledge Crisis, Debbie Kasper looks at some of the deeper reasons for this apparent failing. In attending to the roots of the problem, she argues, we gain insights into some practical actions we can take now, in the classroom and in our curricula, to help create the conditions for effecting the more radical changes called for. 

Host: Sustainability Curriculum Consortium 

Time: 2pm

The World's Challenge Challenge: UB Finals

Think big. Think broad. Think collaboratively.

The World's Challenge Challenge calls on students to solve some of the problems facing the world. In teams of three, students from diverse backgrounds will choose one idea and relate it to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the global community. It is an engaging opportunity for students to gain real-world experience through social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Time: 3 - 5 p.m.

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Wednesday, April 7

NY Power Dialog

Join us for a panel of thought leaders who provide their perspective on what a green recovery in NY would entail,  the one most impactful action that can be taken and how students can advocate for change. 

Panelists include: 


6 pm Welcome to Solve Climate by 2030 

6:15 to 7 pm Climate Solutions Panel webinar - What does a Green Recovery Look Like in New York?

life on land.

Thursday, April 8

UB Inclusive Excellence Summit

The Office of Inclusive Excellence is pleased to announce UB's second Inclusive Excellence Summit, “Living our Commitment.” The summit will consist of 25 sessions and workshops that highlight practices, research, and initiatives across the university that support diversity and inclusion, in addition to a keynote address by CDI Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Dr. Waverly Duck. This is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to come together as a community to promote understanding and to learn about the innovative methods and practices being developed to foster multiculturalism and diversity at UB. 

Registration deadline: April 2, 2021.

Host: UB's Office of Inclusive Excellence

Time: 9-4:15pm

Transform: Anti-racist skills for white students to create a healthy campus for all

  • Are you interested in becoming an accountable ally to People of Color?
  • Do you want to become more aware of how your own behavior might marginalize and harm People of Color?
  • Would you like to be an advocate and find ways to change racism on campus?

This outreach will provide a space for white-identified students to gain skills in order to engage in difficult conversations around race, identify systems of oppression, and learn tools to participate in self-reflection. The purpose of these skills is to continue to grow a deep, compassionate UB community committed to racial justice and equality.

Host: UB's Counseling Services

Time: 11am

CTSI Health Inequities Series: Health Policy & Community Structure

This workshop will provide participants with a better understanding of how public health and health care delivery systems are organized and subsequently impact the disparity in health care access. Many factors influence health and well-being in a community, and many entities and individuals in the community have a role to play in responding to community health needs. Policy discussions about improving the public health care system increasingly recognize the need to strengthen its capacity to deliver public health services and connect them to existing community organizations. This strategy requires the building of collaborations between existing health institutions and community-based organizations.

Presenter: Heather Orom, PhD, Darryl Somayaji, PhD, RN & Sharon Hewner, PhD, RN

Sponsor: UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Time: 4-5:30pm

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life on land.
life on land.

Friday, April 9

The 10th Annual Global Health Day Symposium: Raising a Healthy Generation

A symposium hosted by UB's Community for Global Health Equity with speakers from around the world. 

Time: 9-11am

Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Non-Confirming Students: Through and Beyond the Gender Binary

How do we serve transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming students better? Join trans activist, writer, and UB Distinguished Visiting Scholar Eli Clare to answer this question. We will explore issues around language, pronouns, names, restrooms, harassment, housing, and more, focusing on both policy and practice.

Sponsored by: Department of Global Gender & Sexuality Studies and the UB Center for Diversity Innovation

Open to: UB staff and faculty

Time: 12-1:30pm

The Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition

The Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition was created by the UB School of Management and the UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships. Funded with a $1 million endowment from the late Henry A. Panasci Jr., the program brings together UB students from science, technology, business and other disciplines to maximize their potential and create viable businesses in Western New York.

Time: 2-4pm

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Tuesday, April 13

Tales from the Field: Connecting Culture, Community and Science Through Storytelling

Sameer Honwad’s research focuses on how people learn about environmental sustainability using technology and collaborative learning approaches. His recent research focuses on how learners in different cultures around the world understand ecosystem processes and how do they use this knowledge in their everyday life practices. He works with various communities in the Himalayas (India. Nepal and Bhutan) and with Native American communities in the Pacific Northwest. He has presented and published his work in several national and international venues and has taught at Penn State University, Rutgers University, New York University and also at the Royal Thimpu College in Bhutan. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences in the Department of Learning and Instruction at SUNY, Buffalo.

Time: 4:30-5:30pm

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Wednesday, April 14

UB Distinguished Speakers Series: Tabitha Brown

Tabitha Brown literally and metaphorically satisfies the hunger of millions with her unique approach to vegan food and her wholesome, comedic personality.  Whether it be a new recipe, acquiring some imparted wisdom, enjoying a laugh, or melting away to a soulful, soothing voice, Tabitha Brown is home base.  The North Carolina-born actress, vegan lifestyle personality, mother and wife, has amassed over 3 million followers across platforms, 2 million of which were acquired in 40 days on TikTok, earning her the coined title of “America’s mom.”

Time: 7pm

“Ally or Adversary? Rethinking Feminist Relationships with the State Post-MeToo”

In this talk, Vandenbark discusses how feminist relationships with the state are evolving through a complex interaction of shifting political landscapes, social movements (such as MeToo, Black Lives Matter, RISE, etc.), and bureaucratic reforms. These changes create strategic opportunities for anti-violence advocates which Vandenbark analyzes utilizing Kimberly Morgan and Ann Shola Orloff's conceptualizion of the "many hands of the state" (2018) as well as Indigenous feminist frameworks on state violence. She critically examines the role of the state in addressing sexual violence, as well as the lack of feminist attention to “small S” states, where most sexual assault cases are addressed and adjudicated. Drawing on her dissertation case study of New York’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights (2018), Vandenbark explicates the roles of insiders and outsiders in shaping state responses to sexual violence and the social context in which these changes take place.

Host: The Feminist Research Alliance and the UB Gender Institute 

Time: 12-1:30pm

life on land.
life on land.

Friday, April 16

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Waste Management Options

Dr. John Atkinson, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 

Host: College of Arts and Sciences Department of Environment and Sustainability 

Time:  12pm

Meeting ID: 977 4613 7153
Passcode: evsseminar

Plant Relocation Work Day

Friday, April 16th 11 am

Harriman Quad

UB South Campus

Help us dig out established plants and replant them in a new area, to avoid damage during construction season!

Please wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty or wet.  Gloves and tools will be provided for volunteers.  Even though we are outside, masks and social distancing will be mandatory.  Volunteers are not required to stay for the entire event- any time you have to spare is truly appreciated.

For more information contact Erin,

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life on land.

Saturday, April 17

Campus Garden - Bizer Clean Up

Thinking about Spring? Let's get the campus garden set for growing season!


·      Prep the garden beds for planting: clean out weeds that accumulated last year, fill them with remainder of the soil

·      Clean up trash around Bizer creek

Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or wet.

UB Sustainability will provide bags and gloves for the cleanup, and have a few tools rented from the University Heights tool library on hand to fill the garden beds. If you have your own tools (shovels, rakes, pruning shears), please feel free to bring them.

Even though we will be outside, masks and social distancing will be mandatory. Volunteers do not need to stay for the entire event- any time you have to spare is truly appreciated!

For more information, contact Derek at

April 17 from 1-4pm 

Student Efforts to Advance Sustainability New York (SEAS NY) Conference

The SEAS NY Conference is a student-led conference taking place on April 17th, 2021, aiming to inspire sustainability leaders and provide resources and support across networks at universities in New York State.

This event will bring together students, faculty, and staff from universities across New York to learn about sustainability and different strategies for this important work, both from leaders in the field as well as current students who have had success with initiatives on their own campuses. Conference speakers will include leaders in campus sustainability, industry, and grassroots activism. In addition to the speakers, there will be smaller workshops to help students network and share ideas for sustainability initiatives at their own schools.

Host: New York State sustainability conference organized by students from Union College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Cornell University, and Bard College

Time:  10-4pm

life on land.
life on land.

Monday, April 19

UB Kind: Sustainability Scavenger Hunt

Spend some time outdoors for Earth Day by participating in this Sustainability Scavenger Hunt on UB's North Campus!

Once you RSVP for this event, you will receive an email with further instructions on how to participate in the scavenger hunt. All of our participants who complete the scavenger hunt will be eligible to receive a basket of local Buffalo small business goodies as a prize! 

Dates: April 19-23


Tuesday, April 20

Sustainability + Environmental Talks | Day 1

Search for a range of environment and sustainability professions whose opportunities, perks, and values align with your interests. Get an exclusive look inside sustainability and environmental perspectives, along with our speakers' personal experiences in the industry.

Sponsored by: Career Services, UB Sustainability and the Department of Environment and Sustainability

Featured Speakers:

  • Nira Johri | Director, Global Diversity & Sustainability at Rich Products Corporation
  • Neha Harshita Sood | Assistant Director for Campus Sustainability at RIT Office of the President
  • Asa Guilamo | Executive Director at WNY Sustainable Business Roundtable

Time:  4-5pm

life on land.

Wednesday, April 21

Sustainability + Environmental Talks | Day 2

Search for a range of environment and sustainability professions whose opportunities, perks, and values align with your interests. Get an exclusive look inside sustainability and environmental perspectives, along with our speakers' personal experiences in the industry.

Sponsored by: Career Services, UB Sustainability and the Department of Environment and Sustainability

Featured Speakers:

  • Claudia Rosen | Sr. Community Engagement Coordinator at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper
  • Jennifer Nalbone | Environmental Scientist at Environmental Protection Bureau | New York State Office of the Attorney General
  • Bonnie Lange Lawrence ‘91 | Deputy Commissioner at Erie County Dept. of Environment & Planning
    • Degrees: BS, Environmental Sciences | BA, Italian, 1991

Time:  4-5pm

Xu Tiantian, DnA_Design and Architecture

Join us for the UB Confucius Institute's Distinguished Architecture Lecture featuring Xu Tiantian, founding principal of DnA_Design and Architecture, Beijing. An Internationally-recognized architect, Xu Tiantian has designed a series of new buildings in China beyond the city and includes the development of facilities for village communities designed to provide employment, improve amenities, and build social infrastructures. Her work has been identified by international critics as a model for rural renaissance.

Host: UB Architecture and Planning

Time: 6-7pm

Wellness Wednesdays: "How disparities develop & impact people" Dr. Linda Pessar

Introducing Wellness Wednesdays! Wellness Wednesdays raise awareness regarding self-care as well as the various programs and services available to help you cope and thrive physically, mentally, academically and emotionally. Part of our Wellness Wednesdays is our speaker series on health-related topics with CSTEP alumni, experts and community members.

Join us Wednesday, April 21 at 4:00pm for our guest speaker Dr. Linda Pessar, Director of Center for Medical Humanities and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Emerita, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, for her talk “How disparities develop & impact people.”


Time: 4-5pm

Celebration of Academic Excellence

Learn about innovative research and creative projects conducted by remarkable UB students. The schedule of poster presentations may be previewed here beginning in mid-April.

Time: 1:30-3pm

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Thursday, April 22

UB Climate Action Plan Update

Join us on Thursday, April 22nd at 11am for an update on the past year of Climate Action Plan work. RSVP below for an access code to the event which will be led by UB Provost A. Scott Weber and other experts from across the campus.

Host: UB Sustainability

Time: 11-12pm

Electrify Everything: What The Grid Needs to Connect It All

As transportation, buildings and industry embrace electrification, clean energy demands will quickly outgrow the current grid. To meet the challenge — of both customers and the climate — we need to build out a future grid that is clean, smart, secure and able to dynamically connect assets like electric vehicles, distributed storage and thermostats. 

Sponsor: Green Biz

Time: 1-2pm

CTSI Health Inequities Series: Communication Strategies to Improve Healthy Practices

This workshop focuses on building intercultural communication skills and communication strategies to improve healthcare services in communities of color, emphasizing African Americans. As urban centers become increasingly cosmopolitan, health practitioners will interact with people from different cultures whose experiences have been shaped by values and beliefs. The workshop will discuss the importance of intercultural communications and provide practical strategies for efficient and culturally appropriate communication across various cultures, ethnicities, geographic locations, and societies. Furthermore, participants will also understand how misinformation affects health outcomes and how to use the media to combat misinformation and effectively educate the public about health challenges.

Presenter: Kim Griswold, MD, MPH, RN, Linda F. Pessar, MD & Myron Glick, MD

Sponsor: UB Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Time: 4-5:30pm

life on land.
life on land.
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Friday, April 23

UB On the Move, Sustainable Transportation Now and In The Future

Join host Matthew Reitmeier and Staff from UB Parking and Transportation to learn more about EV Charging Station Enhancements, Electric Buses, Personal Electric Scooters and Bikes, Bike Share, Car Share, On Demand Transportation and more.

Host: Professional Staff Senate Sustainable Living Committee

Time: 12pm

Meeting ID:  940 1968 3280

Passcode: 641178

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Tuesday, April 27

Inclusion and Acceptance: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Communities

This workshop will provide participants an open conversation on LGBTQIA+ history, such as the Stonewall Riot and Marsha P. Johnson, as well as opportunities for participants to engage within the LGBTQIA+ community, including podcasts and musical artists. Topics surrounding exclusion, bullying, safety, as well as persistence and resilience will be discussed. Creating spaces and opportunities for LGBTQIA+ folks to be seen, heard, and feel a sense of belonging in school, family, and social systems are emphasized. Finally, this workshop will provide resources for participants to find both mental and physical health support. 

Host: UB Counseling Services

Time: 11-12pm

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Friday, April 30

Alison Des Forges International Virtual Symposium 2021 — COVID-19: Human Rights and International Cooperation

COVID-19 first appeared in China and soon became a global pandemic, but the polities of East Asia have been relatively successful in containing it. Some African states adopted harsh measures to suppress the pathogen while others drew on experience with AIDS and Ebola to mount effective responses. Although a wealthy and technologically developed country, the U.S. has been notably ineffective in responding to the pandemic. This symposium will explore these contradictions and complexities. It will also discuss the decline in positive international cooperation, which puts all of humanity at risk, and will expose ways states are cooperating to exploit the pandemic to do harm. To register for this event, contact Ellen Dussourd, 

Time: 8:30-3pm

You’re Hired!

Join Erin Moscati from UB Sustainability for our second presentation at Noon to hear about a new exciting program called You’re Hired! Find out how a professional clothing- free store, supports UB’s sustainability goals and get information about when the program will begin and how you can help. (Here’s a hint, it will involve looking through your wardrobe).

Time: 12pm

Meeting ID:  948 6804 0609

Passcode: 097289

life on land.
life on land.