Secretary of the Interior to speak at WSU’s Fifth Annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit

OGDEN, Utah – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will speak at Weber State University March 6 at 10 a.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballrooms to headline the fifth annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit.

“Last summer, Secretary Jewell, at the request of her good friend, former Utah Gov. Olene Walker, agreed to speak at the summit,” said Carol McNamara, director of the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service, which is sponsoring the keynote address. “We are happy to welcome the Secretary to the Weber State campus to share her insights about the issues that concern the Utah community.”

The Walker Institute has 300 reserved seats for the keynote speech at no cost to guests who wish to attend only that portion of the summit. Those interested can RSVP to Carla Price at

Conference Detail

WSU and the Utah Recycling Alliance (URA) co-host the summit, which aims to bring together civic leaders, sustainability professionals, businesses, educators, students and the community to learn, network and develop new strategies for implementing sustainable practices in  homes and businesses.

“Not only does the event provide sustainability professionals with an opportunity to gain the latest knowledge in sustainability best practices but also students are able to network and make connections with a number of green companies and organizations,” said Emily Mead, summit coordinator.

New to the event this year is an air quality and pollution track of classes and lectures.

“With air quality being a topic of increasing concern in Utah, we wanted to make sure that was a focus for this year’s summit,” Mead said.

Air quality expert and Brigham Young University economics professor C. Arden Pope will open the summit with a discussion on particulate air pollution and human health.

In addition to air quality and pollution, tracks will focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, recycling and waste reduction and sustainability in higher education. Green design and building will also be examined in workshops and lectures during the two-day event.

Conference Schedule

The conference will open March 6 at 8:45 a.m. with remarks by representatives of URA and WSU president Charles A. Wight. Pope will follow with his presentation: “Particulate air pollution and human health: Science, controversy and public policy.”  Jewell will then address attendees at 10 a.m., followed by classes and lectures corresponding with each track until 5 p.m.

From 5 to 6 p.m., URA will hold an open meeting for attendees to learn how to become a member and get more involved. At the same hour, a Sustainability Consortium also will be held for students, staff and faculty interested in making their college campuses more sustainable. From 6 to 8 p.m., URA will hold a fundraising and networking dinner at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center (2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden).

Friday will feature four professional workshops, some of which include an aerated composting workshop, two Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) courses, and a free workshop on navigating Utah's political system.

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Emily Mead, Intermountain Sustainability Summit coordinator
Carol McNamara, Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service director
Cozette Jenkins, University Communications
801-626-7948 •