March 2022

Keynote Speakers at the Intermountain Sustainability SummitKim Stanley Robinson with a photo of his book The Ministry for the Future as a sticker on the image.

The Intermountain Sustainability Summit (ISS), March 16th – 18th, features three days of events, over 50 speakers, and draws over 400 participants.

This year’s keynotes speakers, New York Times Bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson, and physicist and climate communicator Rob Davies, will be exploring physics, science fiction, economics and the possibilities of reshaping our future.

Kim Stanley Robinson has more than 20 titles to his name, including the international bestselling Mars trilogy. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Nature and Wired. He was recently featured in the New Yorker article "Can Science Fiction Wake Us Up to Our Climate Reality?" His latest novel, The Ministry for the Future, utilizes storytelling to explore how climate change will impact us all, and invites us to reimagine a better future. While fictional, many of his novels are based in current scientific and political realities.

Rob Davies is a physicist at Utah State University who will explore a driving factor behind climate change, deforestation, pollution and extraction, and the hyper-inequity experienced across the globe. Davies is planning to tell a clear, simple story about economics, using physics. Clear, easy, unbreakable, physics. He says, “It’s going to hurt a little… and it’s going to help a lot.” 

In the morning keynote address, Davies will show us the hard limits of our current systems. In the afternoon, Robinson will discuss pathways forward. At the end of the day, both will come together in conversation to explore ways to reimagine and reshape our future.

In addition to our keynotes, the Summit hosts a student poster contest, an art space, and more than 50 speakers presenting on sustainability-focused topics including water conservation, sustainable food systems, civic engagement, building practices, electrification, and renewable energy. Workshops will be held Wednesday March 16 and Friday March 18.

All events this year will be hosted virtually. The general public may register here to attend. Registration is also available for WSU students, faculty and staff.  Pre-recorded sessions and recordings of the live day-of events will be available to registered attendees through April.

Attend an Intermountain Sustainability WorkshopThe Earth as seen from space with a starry background.

Workshops for the Intermountain Sustainability Summit will be hosted March 16th, and 18th. There are three workshops to choose from.

"Securing Utah’s Balanced Water Future in a Climate Change World" will cover simple solutions exist to address our water supply challenges. Learn how we use water, who manages it, what policy options are available, and what strategies we can utilize.

"Permaculture Design as a Framework for Climate Resiliency" will show how design can be applied to build community and resilience in light of climate change, all while attracting pollinators, conserving water, and growing primarily perennial edible food and forage systems.

The "Become a Sustainability Super Champion and Save the World"  workshop invites people that are tired of the doom and gloom to join with the VIRI_vigilantes  🦉🐜⚡️ to identify and build their sustainability alter-ego; one’s inner heroic, balanced, and optimistic change-maker.  Learn more about workshops.

Register or apply for a scholarship to attend a workshop. 

Engage with Climate ChangeClimate Teach-In logo.

Presentations are taking shape for Weber State’s participation in the Worldwide Teach-In for Climate and Justice.  Over a dozen faculty will present flash presentations during four, 50-minute sessions on the morning of Wednesday, March 30th at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. These sessions will be geared to the Weber State community. Participants may attend in-person in the Shepherd Union Skyroom (space is limited to about 100 people) or via Zoom, which will also allow for faculty and their students to join from their classrooms.

To manage attendance given the capacity of the Skyroom, faculty who plan to attend in person with their classes are asked to indicate that on this sheet.

The four sessions will feature an array of topics/perspectives related to climate change including: physical environmental changes, ethics, the global food system, athletics and heat, environment and mental health, net-zero homes, the arts and emotional intelligence, cost management tools, the U.S. West and hope for the future, policy options, and more!  Each session will have time for an interactive Q & A discussion and direction on next steps for engagement.  

A community-facing event is also planned from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Dumke Hall in the Hurst Center, with a virtual option available. 

The Worldwide Teach-In is a project of the Graduate Programs in Sustainability at Bard College in New York, in conjunction with partners worldwide and the Open Society University Network, with the goal of engaging 1000 communities (universities, colleges, K-12 schools and more).

Sustainability Research Awards – Call for SubmissionsSilhouette of a woman with a net walking along the Great Salt Lake with a blue sky reflected on the water below.

The 2021-22 Sustainability Research Awards will be made this spring.  Funded by the Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC) and the WSU Alumni Association, awards are available to both students and faculty to recognize exceptional, completed sustainability research projects. Two awards of $500 are available for students, and two of $1000 for faculty.  Winners will be selected by members of the Environmental Initiatives Committee.

Eligible submissions include any traditional or applied research project in the area of sustainability completed during the 2021 calendar year or 2022 spring semester. The submission form and additional details can be found online. April 1st is the deadline for submissions.

Job Openings for StudentsA woman working in a garden on some crops.

Those looking to get more involved in sustainability should consider applying for these new paid opportunities. Weber State students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher can apply for the Zero Waste Coordinator or the Community Garden Coordinator. All majors are encouraged to apply. Along with part-time weekly hours and competitive pay, both positions come with a tuition waiver.

Ogden City is looking for a GIS summer intern. This position is open to anyone but experience with ESRI products is preferred. This intern will get to work on city projects such as water utility and transportation. Interested candidates should send their resume to

Ogden River Clean-UpA person wearing a blue shirt and hat holding a trash bag and placing in waste picked up from the river in the background.

This spring reconnect with the Ogden River and make a difference in our community. On Saturday, April 2nd volunteers will be working to clean up as much trash and debris as possible that has made its way into the river and surrounding trails.

This event will start at 10:00 a.m. and go until 2:00 p.m. but volunteers are encouraged to show up whenever they can. Carpooling from Weber State will be available with a pickup/meeting location to be announced later. More information, updates, and registration can be found on GivePulse.

Water Future of the Intermountain WestWater future of the Intermountain West logo. Large text "water" filled in with an image of a lake.

Each spring semester the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences’ Geoscience and Society Seminar Series brings in different local and national experts each week to talk about sustainability-related topics. The series is aimed at educating about how limited natural resources, climate change, natural disasters, and environmental concerns affect and are affected by society. This spring the series is focused on water in the Intermountain West.

Highlights include discussions on water conservation, groundwater, snowpack, water quality, and water planning. The goal of this year’s series is to explain the current state of water and water issues on the Wasatch Front, and help students and attendees develop informed stances on local and national policy issues related to water resources.

Seminars are currently being held virtually on Zoom with student workshops and discussions following each session. All sessions are free to join, and students, faculty, staff, and community members alike are encouraged to join. The next session on March 25 features a timely panel discussion on the Great Salt Lake’s Water.  More information, recordings of previous sessions, and a full schedule can be found online.

Welcome New Sustainability Team MemberA woman smiling wearing a beanie and standing in a white winter landscape.

Allison Stanley is the new Environmental Compliance Intern working with the Weber State Green Department Program and Water Conservation Manager in Facilities Management. She is currently a senior in the new Environmental Science program with a minor in Criminal Justice.

Allison hopes to one day combine her passion for law enforcement with her love for the environment. In her free time, she is an avid hiker and enjoys spending time with her family.

Clear the Air ChallengeA woman standing smiling hold an Amazon gift card in front of a large white sign that says Clear the Air Challenge.

The 2022 Weber State Clear the Air Challenge has officially come to a close. In just one month, Team Weber traveled over 17,100 miles, burned 35,896 calories through active transportation and saved over 4,450 kg of CO2 from entering our air.

The winning Division, for the 2nd year in a row, is WSU Academic Affairs with 369 trips logged and 1,652.7 kg of CO2 savings! The winning college, for the 2nd year in a row (and currently undefeated), is WSU College of Social & Behavioral Sciences with 301 trips logged and 1,386.8 kg of CO2 savings! The top 3 performing individuals are Belinda McElheny with 513.6 kg of savings, Jenna Daniels with 362.1 kg of savings, and Tiana Witkamp with 282.7 kg of CO2 savings. Thank you to all of the individuals, colleges, and divisions for participating this year.

Bike Fix-It ProgramA woman holding tools and looking down at a table.

During February the student Environmental Ambassadors helped run Weber State’s Clear the Air Challenge. This event encouraged students, faculty, staff to take initiative and help reduce CO­2 emissions from motorized vehicles by using active and alternative transportation.


In honor of the challenge, the sustainable clubs visited the Ogden Bicycle Collective where they volunteered and learned about bikes and how to fix them with a hands-on approach.

The Ogden Bicycle Collective's mission is to promote cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation and recreation, and a cornerstone of a cleaner, healthier, and safer society.

Green Team Update A child standing in front of an adult playing with blocks and wooden cars on a table.

Every month departments on campus have an opportunity to join a Green Team or move up in their certification. This month we want to congratulate our newest groups, the Center for Science and Math Education and the Environmental Science Program, who came in strong having joined at the highest level of Green.

We also want to congratulate groups who have moved up in their certification. Political Science and Philosophy have moved up to the highest rating of Green and Stewart Library has been able to move up to Silver. Congratulations to these teams for their achievements. If you would like to learn more about joining a Green Team or advancing your rating you can check out our website or contact Analeah Vaughn at


March 16

Intermountain Sustainability Summit Workshop

Securing Utah's Balanced Water Future (Part 1)

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

March 17

Intermountain Sustainability Summit Main Event Day 

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Virtual Event

March 18

Intermountain Sustainability Summit Workshops

"Permaculture Design as a Framework for Climate Resiliency" 8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.

"Become a Sustainability Super Champion and Save the World!" 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

"Securing Utah's Balanced Water Future" (Part 2) 2:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m.

March 25

Great Salt Lake’s water panel discussion

Water Future of the Intermountain West Seminar Series

12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. via Zoom

March 30

Worldwide Climate/Justice Teach-In

Campus-focused event

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Shepherd Union Skyroom (SU404) or via Zoom

Community-focused event 

6:00-7:30 p.m. Dumke Hall in the Hurst Center or via Zoom

April 1

Deadline to Submit for Faculty and Student Research Awards

April 1

Water regulations & policy

Water Future of the Intermountain West Seminar Series

12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. via Zoom

April 2

Reconnect to the River - Ogden River Clean-up

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Ogden River @ 21st Street

April 8

Water planning in Utah

Water Future of the Intermountain West Seminar Series

12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. via Zoom

In the News

Utah solar battery program hopes to create 'virtual power plants'

Can the Great Salt Lake be saved? Partnership will explore solutions

Edible Extinction: Why We Need to Revive Global Food Diversity

Tribes Negotiate for a Fairer Future Along the Colorado River