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Students from campuses throughout Maine and Atlantic Canada will come together April 2 and 3 at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, for a Green Campus Summit-a student-planned conference to promote sustainability on campuses and to discuss transnational climate change issues.
About 100 people from colleges, nonprofit environmental organizations and foundations will participate in the two-day summit, which will include lectures and discussions that are open to the public in Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center. Saturday’s speakers will include:
Elizabeth May, executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, keynote address (8 p.m., Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center)
Thomas Tietenberg, professor of economics and environmental studies at Colby and a world authority on emissions trading, climate change, and economic incentives for pollution control (9:30 a.m., Page Commons, Cotter Union)
Beth Nagusky, director of energy independence for the Maine governor’s office (10:45 a.m., Page Commons, Cotter Union)
David Coon, policy director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (11:15 a.m., Page Commons, Cotter Union)
On Sunday Leith Sharp, director of the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, will speak at 9 a.m. in room 1, Olin Science Center, followed by workshops on student activism and on campus sustainability at Colby.
A complete schedule and additional information is online at http://www.colby.edu/environ/climate/.
Allison Stewart, a Colby senior majoring in environmental policy and one of the students who planned the events, said the summit is an effort to share ideas and concerns among representatives of a dozen public and private colleges and universities. The goals of the conference are to explore issues around climate change, to see what campuses can do to promote sustainability, and to share best practices toward achieving sustainability goals and positively affecting climate change.
Students will share a “sustainability dinner” on Saturday featuring almost all locally produced food. A contradance will follow. The students agreed in advance to purchase emissions credits that will offset greenhouse-gas emissions created by the vehicles bringing participants from other colleges to Waterville.
The summit was planned by Colby students with support from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. Ted Smith, executive director of the foundation, said that a visit to Colby last year revealed a “community approach to sustainability,” involving students, faculty, administrators, and facilities managers. “We came away very impressed… There is a culture of interest,” he said. Smith added that the foundation is eager to see a continuing dialogue develop among Maine and Canadian institutions.