Sustainability Day 2011

Mark your calendars for the Fourth Annual Campus Sustainability Day!!  It is scheduled for Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 9:30am to 6:00pm in the Student Center. Sustainability Day is a day-long series of events focusing on environmental sustainability issues, including workshops, panel discussions, films, exhibits, and keynote speakers.

9:30am - Performing Arts Room, Student Center

Welcome by Dr. Dennis J. Murray, President Marist College

Introduction by Steve Sansola, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

Keynote speaker, Dr. Sacha Spector, Science Conservation Director of Scenic Hudson

“The Opportunity of a Lifetime: Climate Change and Sustainability in the Hudson Valley.”

 The Hudson Valley’s climate is already changing - average temperatures are going up, precipitation patterns are shifting, and sea level along the Hudson River is rising. Around the Valley, businesses, towns, and citizens are proving that the actions we can take to reduce and avoid climate impacts set the stage for a greener, safer, healthier, and more prosperous – in a word, sustainable – Hudson Valley.

10:45 am-3:00 pm - Vendor Tables & Educational Displays, Student Center third floor
Marist Recycling….Metropool….Clean-Air New York….Live Roof….Lutron Lighting… IBM Smarter Planet…. Marist Physical Plant green cleaning products….Marist Farmers Market Valley Café….Lean Path….Greenway Composting…. Red Barn and Fresh Point – regional foods….SEED….SGA Green…RIDE SHARE…Hudson Valley Clean Energy… Hudson Valley Fresh taste testing…Molloy Pharmacy – expired prescription collection….Fashion Industry Fair Trade exhibit…Teaching Campus Sustainability. . . Fashion and Sustainability

11:00 am – 11:30 am – Tour of the Hancock Center highlighting the buildings’ sustainable designs and features (limited to 10 participants). Meet in front of PAR, Student Center.

12:30 pm-2:00 pm - Dumpster Dive: Transform Your Waste, Student Center green adjacent to Marian Hall.

12:30-1:45pm - Place-Based Education, Performing Arts Room

Presenters: Leonard Nevarez, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Urban Studies, Vassar College; Rich Feldman, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Marist College; Debi Duke, Teaching the Hudson Valley, National Park Service; and Chris Pryslopski, Hudson River Valley Institute Program Director, Marist College.

Moderated by: Ann Davis, Associate Professor of Economics, Marist College

Place-based education increases awareness of the environment through the study of history, culture, and ecology, as well as economics and sociology of a particular location. This approach enhances student's appreciation for the natural world as a context for human flourishing, and creates a heightened commitment for serving as contributing citizens. The lessons of sustainability can be placed in the context of their own specific region, helping students understand that region and the interdisciplinary connections of their immediate surroundings. This in turn helps students to make the connections of that specific place with the role of "place" in general in affecting the conditions of all life around the globe. (For further information, see the Center for Place-Based Education:

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm – Tour of the Hancock Center highlighting the buildings’ sustainable designs and features (limited to 10 participants). Meet in front of PAR, Student Center.

2:00-3:15pm - Sustainability Efforts by Students at Hudson Valley Colleges, Performing Arts Room, Student Center

Students from area colleges will describe the sustainability programs and practices occurring at their respective school. This workshop will also highlight various academic courses taught on a college campus that promote sustainable practices, both in operations and curriculum.

Facilitated by Sally Dwyer-McNulty, Associate Professor of History, Marist College

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Tour of the Hancock Center highlighting the buildings’ sustainable designs and features (limited to 10 participants). Meet in front of PAR, Student Center.

3:30-4:45 pm - Science and the Public: America's Great Climate Change DisconnectPerforming Arts Room, Student Center.

Presenters: Vernon Murray, Marketing, Marist College; Josh Robbins, Media Arts, Marist College; Kristin Janschewitz, Psychology, Marist College; Thomas Lynch, Environmental Science, Marist College.

Moderated by: Thomas Lynch, Environmental Science, Marist College

Panelists will discuss why a significant number of Americans can’t or won’t accept the consensus positions held by the scientific community that global warming is occurring, is being driven by human activity, and could be potentially catastrophic. The scientific consensus position and recent public opinion poll results will be reviewed to provide context for the discussion. Faculty members from the disciplines of communication, marketing, and psychology will provide insights as to why this disconnect exists. The panelists will also make suggestions as to how scientists can more effectively get their concerns across to the general public in order to provide the grassroots support that is needed for government officials to make the needed changes in energy policies. Discussion with the audience with an emphasis on how to get students motivated to demand action from our government officials.

 5:00 pm - Keynote Speaker - Nelly Goletti Theatre


Andrew C. Revkin, Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University.

Introduction by Dr. Geoffrey Brackett, Executive Vice President

“Which Comes First, Peak Everything or Peak Us?”

Most people alive today will witness a momentous juncture in the history of the human species - the point when explosive growth in human numbers and appetites crests and is followed by . . . No one knows.  Despite the uncertainties, decisions made today about energy, education, urban design and other matters can clearly help smooth the transition from a sprint to a marathoner's gait. Business as usual will almost assuredly lead to unnecessary losses. 


FILMS - Nelly Goletti Theatre

11:00-1:00 pm           

HydroFracking, Dir. Allen Xie (2010, 12 min)

This student produced short film offers an introduction to hydraulic fracturing, considered to be a dangerous method of drilling for natural gas and one of the most serious threats to our drinking water today.

Gasland, Dir. Josh Fox (2010, 107 min)

The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing, has unlocked a “Saudia Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of contamination.

1:00-2:10 pm 

Economics of Happiness, Dir. Helena Norberg-Hodge and Steven Gorelick (2011, 67 min)  

A portrait of a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are coming together to re-build more human scale ecological communities based on a new paradigm, an economics of localization.

2:15-3:50 pm

We Feed the World, Dir. Erwin Wagenhofer (2005, 96 min).

Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food we eat in this film about food and globalization, fishermen and farmers, long-distance lorry drivers and high-powered corporate executives, and the flow of goods and cash. A journey that takes us to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil, and Austria to reveal a world of scarcity amid plenty, providing insight about the nature of food production. 

4:00-4:30 pm: Bloom: The Plight of Lake Champlain (2011, 30 min). Written and directed by Victor Gadagno; narrated by Chris Cooper.

A documentary on the health of the 6th largest lake in the United States and the future of the watershed communities of Vermont, NY, and Quebec that surround its waters.  This is a story emblematic of lake basins nation-and worldwide that are in a downward spiral of eutrophication, the fertilization of freshwater systems from a human economy out of balance with its sustaining ecosystem.