Although Earth Day is recognized nationally on April 22, the holiday will be celebrated from April 16 to 26 by various NSU clubs, organizations and faculty.
The largest of the events, an Arbor Day/ Earth Day tree planting ceremony at the Gold Circle Lake, hosted by the Student Chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (SCNAEP), will possibly earn NSU a “Tree Campus” designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
NSU’s recognition of Earth Day will commence with several free faculty lectures open to all NSU students, faculty and staff. Stefan Kautsch and Bryan Armentrout, assistant professors in the Division of Math, Science and Technology at the Farquhar College of Arts of Sciences, will speak about “Earth Secrets” and the planet’s light energy on April 17 from noon to 1 p.m. in room 1047 of the Carl DeSantis Building.
On April 18 from noon to 1 p.m. in the second floor auditorium of the Mailman-Hollywood Building, Hugh Gladwin, professor in the Department of Global and Sociocultural studies at Florida International University, will deliver a lecture as part of the Climate-Sustainability Lecture Series hosted by the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.
On April 19 from noon to 1 p.m. in room 1047 of the Carl DeSantis Building, Paul Arena, assistant professor of biology and ecology in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, will deliver a lecture titled “Earthly Life: Macroscopic and Microscopic”.
“That title is just a broad description,” said Arena. “I am actually doing a lecture on the importance of using natives in landscapes, particularly residential ones, so anyone who has a yard or a patch of land should be interested.”
The Arbor Day/Earth Day tree planting ceremony on April 19 is part of the SCNAEP’s larger initiative to have NSU recognized as a “Tree Campus”. The organization is co-sponsoring with the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences; the trees will be planted from 2 to 4 p.m. by Farquhar faculty and SCNAEP members.
“This is our first time hosting this ceremony at NSU, and we plan to hold it annually,” said Jay Petalio, SCNAEP officer and senior environmental science major.
According to Petalio, the organization will document the event and compile a report to be submitted to the Department of Agriculture. He said, “We have already been in contact with the department, and they have communicated to us that if we send the report, we will hear from them within a few days.”
He and other SCNAEP members are confident that NSU will be granted the designation.
NSU’s Earth Day celebrations will continue with a barbeque at the Commons Residence Hall courtyard at 5 p.m. on April 20, hosted by NSU’s Nature Club, and a movie screening at 5 p.m. on April 22 in the Knight Auditorium. The film, “State of the Planet” by PBS, is a segment of the “Journey to Planet Earth” series on PBS, narrated and hosted by movie star Matt Damon.
“This fascinating movie investigates some of the most crucial environmental and earth science questions facing the 21st century,” said Song Gao, associate professor in the Division of Math, Science, and Technology at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. “It covers topics on human population growth, water demand and conservation, sustainability and climate change.”
The Student Poster Showcase will also take place on April 22, in the Don Taft University Center from 4 to 5 p.m. According to Gao, more than 20 Earth related posters have been created by students and will be on display outside of the Flight Deck.
“The posters are mostly from class projects and assignments related to some aspects of the Earth, such as the natural history of Earth and green chemistry,” said Gao.
Students can contact Gao at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested in participating.
Following the showcase, an Earth Day Celebratory Social at the Flight Deck will be hosted by the Division of Math, Science and Technology at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.
“It actually will be more like a “Science Cafe” style this year, where three professors will show video images and PowerPoint slides to discuss some Earth secrets,” said Gao.
Refreshments will be served, and NSU faculty will be available after the social to facilitate discussion about Earth Day.