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Southwestern to Host Environmental Summit for High School Students March 8

Southwestern University is hosting an “environmental summit” for high school students and interested community members on Saturday, March 8.

Southwestern University is hosting an “environmental summit” for high school students and interested community members on Saturday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the F.W. Olin Building.

Summit participants will learn about environmental issues from a variety of disciplines, network with students from across central Texas, and learn about activism opportunities and organizing techniques.

“We want to get students engaged in the environmental movement,” said coordinator Kimberly Griffin, a sophomore at Southwestern. “The discussions are going to look at environmental issues through economic, historical and philosophical perspectives. The purpose is to try to get high school students talking to each other.”

Griffin helped organize the summit as part of an internship project sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS).

Keynote speaker for the conference will be Trevor Lovell of Public Citizen in Austin. Other speakers will include Laura Hobgood-Oster, chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Southwestern; Melissa Johnson, associate professor of anthropology at Southwestern; Erik Loomis, a visiting scholar in history at Southwestern; Sue Mennicke, director of intercultural learning at Southwestern; Emily Northrop, associate professor of economics at Southwestern; and Suzy Pukys, coordinator of volunteer resources and community-based learning at Southwestern.

Loomis will give a brief history of the environmental movement and give a presentation titled “The Environment: The Problem of the 21st Century.” Hobgood-Oster will give a presentation titled “Thinking About Food: Factory Farming and Global Warming.” Johnson will give a presentation titled “Overconsumption, Environmental Crisis and YOU!” Mennicke and Pukys will give a presentation titled “The Dirt on Community Gardening: A Look at Sustainability and Community Participation.” Northrop will give a presentation titled “How Sustainable is GDP?”

An $8 donation is requested to attend the event, which will include a free lunch donated by Chipotle. For more information on the event, or to register, go to www.southwestern.edu/enviro_summit or contact Griffin at griffink@southwestern.edu. For directions to the F.W. Olin Building, go to www.southwestern.edu/tour/campus-map.pdf).

Teaching local elementary and secondary school students about the environment and sustainable development is one of the components of the Talloires Declaration, which Southwestern signed in April 2007.