Climate summit set April 9 at UW-River Falls

Posted February 24, 2016

UW-River Falls will be hosting a regional climate summit on April 9 in the University Center ballroom. The summit will feature a variety of distinguished speakers and workshops focused on case studies of environmental issues.

The attendees at the summit will include student leaders, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and businesses that have been involved with environmental sustainability.

In addition to having a variety of keynote speakers, the climate summit also will work with campus environmental groups such as ECOS (the Environmental Corps of Sustainability) and SALSA (Student Alliance for Local and Sustainable Agriculture).

Veronica Justen, assistant professor of crop science and advisor of SALSA, is pleased about student involvement in the summit.

“I’m always happy when students are engaged and they plan these events primarily independent of faculty members,” she said, “and I love when they take the initiative to develop these types of activities for students on their own.”

Leaders from UWRF are hoping that the summit will spike interest in the climate and the issues that surround it.

“I would like to see that it would just get a couple individuals more interested in or thinking more about how they impact the environment around them,” said Jason Hubing, president of SALSA.

The summit originated after the Campus National Leadership Council, Defend our Future Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund approached UWRF to host the event.

The major undertaking of the project was started by Student Senate, which filed the application to host the summit. Student Senate President Chris Morgan outlined some of the aspects of the summit, which will address topics such as sustainability, environmental awareness, and how businesses can use environmentally beneficial practices.

“It’s our hope that the majority of the events will happen April 9 in the ballroom but also on April 9th we will be reserving rooms throughout the University Center to have workshops in, so there will be a local workshop, a federal workshop and a state workshop and in each one of those rooms they will have a case study,” Morgan said. “For instance we could have (the city of) River Falls in to talk about their solar garden”

In addition to the climate summit on April 9, groups such as SALSA and ECOS will be hosting events, including a film series, for the entire month of April leading up to Earth Day on April 22.