Earth Week at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will explore and celebrate environmental issues through lectures, exhibits, films and fun.
This year's theme, "The Water-Energy Nexus," combines issues of energy and water that have been discussed separately in the past. However, water and energy are connected and sustainable management of either resource requires consideration of the other.
"Part of the reason why sustainability at UW-Whitewater is so relevant is because overall it is a general trend, not only the idea of new environmentalism, but a lot more about efficiency," said Wesley Enterline, sustainability coordinator at UW-Whitewater.
Earth Week begins Tuesday, April 19, at 10:30 a.m. with members of Students Allied for a Green Earth (S.A.G.E.) planting 20 small bur oak trees on the drumlin near the observatory. With help from the learning community Green Business is Good Business and the campus grounds crew, students hope to plant hundreds of trees on campus and in the community by the end of April.
Also Tuesday, Chancellor Richard Telfer will speak at 10:45 a.m. in the atrium of Timothy J. Hyland Hall to highlight recent campus accomplishments in sustainability.
Observances continue with an 11 a.m. lecture on "Climate and Water: Rising to the Challenges with Creative Energy Solutions" in Timmerman Auditorium at Hyland Hall by A. Scott Denning, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University. Other lectures, panel discussions and films will be offered in the afternoon and evening.
Events focus on transportation on Wednesday, April 20, beginning with a presentation for car lovers of all ages by Chelsea Sexton, an advocate of electric cars who will share her experience driving a GM/Chevrolet Volt for four months. She's speaking at 11 a.m. in Timmerman Auditorium. After her speech, car lovers are invited to Lot 14 near Upham Hall, where an alternative vehicle show will offer a display of electric, hybrid and alternate-fuel choices from noon-3 p.m.
More trees will be planted Thursday, April 21, before Earth Week Expo begins at noon in the Hamilton Room of the James R. Connor University Center. Sponsored by EcoFair 360, a nonprofit group that produces a summer event in Walworth County, the expo features local businesses and organizations and will offer such children's activities as making pinwheels from recycled materials.
Chemistry students will make poster presentations from 2-4 p.m. in University Center Room 275 on topics ranging from global warming to deforestation to alternative energy.
Festivities conclude at 3:45 p.m. Thursday with the announcement of the annual Whitewater Environmental Achievement Awards in Timmerman Auditorium. Individuals, schools and organizations that have made significant contributions to addressing important issues regarding the environment and energy conservation are recognized each year.
This year's Earth Week event was organized by co-chairs Holly Denning of the Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice Department and Linda Reid of the Finance and Business Law Department. Student organizations such as S.A.G.E and the UW-Whitewater Water Council also participated in planning.
For a complete list of events, see the Earth Week website. All activities are open to the public.