Earth Week Events at U.Va. Explore, Promote Sustainability

April 11, 2014

The University of Virginia will mark Earth Week with exhibits, talks and competitions starting Tuesday.

“The theme of Earth Week this year is ‘One HellUVa Planet,’” said Nina Morris, sustainability outreach and engagement program manager for the Office for Sustainability. “We want to engage the University community in a discussion about our shared future and to celebrate the innovative research and practices happening within our community.”

Earth Week events, free and open to the public, will lead up to the April 22 Earth Week Expo. Themed “The Challenge of Change,” the expo is a free lunch-and-learn community event presenting the work of U.Va. environmental researchers. The expo will open at 11 a.m. in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom with exhibits highlighting sustainable practices. U.Va. Dining will provide a complimentary, locally sourced lunch from noon to 1 p.m. in the Newcomb Hall Gallery.

Afterward, Tom Skalak, U.Va.’s vice president for research, will give welcoming remarks before Karen McGlathery, associate vice president for research, sustainability and the environment and a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, will speak on “Sustainability in a Changing World.”

The featured presenter will be G. Carleton Ray, a U.Va. environmental scientist known for his pioneering work on the impact of climate change on Arctic marine mammals. Ray – who with his wife, senior scientist Jerry McCormick-Ray, co-wrote “Marine Conservation Science, Policy and Management” – will speak on “Our Oceans: Are They Resilient to Change?” The talk will include images collected during decades of climate research.

Earth Week events kick off on Tuesday when U.Va. Student Council, working with Green Grounds and the Office for Sustainability, will gather at 5 p.m. in the garden behind Pavilion VII to discuss sustainability strategies with students, faculty, staff and community members. Zoe’s Kitchen will provide the food.  

The University Transit System will encourage mass transit options by offering coffee and bagels to its bus passengers from 6 to 9 a.m. Wednesday in the University Hall and Scott Stadium parking lots.

Wednesday offers an opportunity to recycle e-waste, such as old batteries, cellular telephones, chargers, inkjet printer cartridges, compact discs and digital video discs, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Newcomb Hall, in an event sponsored by the University’s office of Information Technology Services. Representatives will also explain the new U.Va. Box service, which allows electronic storage of files and reduces paper waste.

At 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, Ed Freeman, University Professor and Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration in the Darden School of Business, will speak on sustainable, socially responsible and economically beneficial corporate leadership in Rouss Hall, room 116. In addition to teaching, Freeman holds numerous leadership positions, including being a senior fellow of the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics and the academic director of the Institute for Business in Society. He is also a professor of religious studies and a faculty adviser to the University’s Institute for Practical Ethics.

On Thursday at 5 p.m., U.Va. Dining will offer a tour of recycling, composting and waste disposal facilities at Runk Dining Hall.

On Friday at 3 p.m., students and community members can gain hands-on experience in planting herbs or building a composting system with Engineering Students Without Borders at the Community Garden at the intersection of Alderman and McCormick roads.

Saturday offers numerous events, starting at 10 a.m. with a five-kilometer run/walk through Grounds to benefit cancer research through the Patients & Friends Research Fund. The run begins and ends at Thornton Hall.

Also Saturday, the Farmer’s Market Progressive will encourage on-Grounds residents to ride the Charlottesville Trolley to visit the Farmer’s Market, held Saturday mornings downtown between Water and South streets. Volunteers will hand out reusable shopping bags from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Observatory Hill Dining Hall and Chemistry Building bus stops.

From 2 to 4 p.m., Sigma Kappa and the InterFraternity Council will host a slow-food potluck picnic at the Community Garden.

At 4 p.m., student groups Net Impact and Cavalier Cooking will gather at the Lorna Sundberg International Center in University Circle to host a cooking class on healthful and environmentally responsible dishes taught by Kevin Nguyen, a program assistant with Cavalier Cooking.  

Rounding out the day at 7 p.m., a “SustainaBanquet” at the Ern Commons will celebrate outstanding students, faculty, clubs and courses in the area of sustainability. The event, to be catered by U.Va. Dining, is free, but seating is limited to 100 people and RSVPs are required. Attire is semi-formal.

On Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., the Community Garden will host a work day, with watering, planting and weeding.

On April 21 at 1 p.m., U.Va. environmental scientist Robert Swap will discuss sustainable development and public service with members of the Global Development Organization in Clark Hall, room 148.

At 5 p.m., the film “Trashed,” starring Jeremy Irons, will be screened at the Runk Green Room.

On April 22 from 2 to 5 p.m., McIntire Amphitheatre will host an Earth Week Festival featuring activities and demonstrations; just up the hill at Clark Hall, the Department of Parking and Transportation  will offer a bicycle maintenance workshop from 5 to 7 p.m.

Global Water Games, the final event of the week, will be held on April 24 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library. Global Water Games, which includes the U.Va. Bay Game, is a U.Va. sustainability project that applies interactive game technology to watershed education and stewardship and policy management to generate innovative policies. The game will allow 150 participants to take on the roles of stakeholders – farmers, watermen, developers and policymakers – and see how their individual actions and decisions affect the long-term outcome of the health of the bay and the economy. (Registration is required; click here.)

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications