Welcome to the February WSU Sustainability Newsletter!

A Series on Global Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Nature: February 19-22

This weeklong series of events on the rights of nature explores ideas from around the globe and here at home and considers how they might be applied in the future. All events are free and open to the public. Come see the film and join in on the discussions.

Tuesday, February 19
11:30 a.m. | Student Union, Room 320 | Pacific Islander Meet and Greet
Meet and Greet with Hon Chris Finlayson and Kirsti Luke

12 Noon| Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theatre| Film Screening
The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement - Discussion to follow with Hon Chris Finlayson, former New Zealand attorney general; Kirsti Luke, CEO of Tuhoe Tribal Authority, New Zealand; and Hal Crimmel and Issac Goeckeritz (film producers)

Wednesday, February 20
11:30 a.m.| Elizabeth Hall, Room 229 | Rights of Nature Lecture
With Hon Chris Finlayson, former New Zealand attorney general and Minister for the Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

7 p.m. | Hurst Center, Dumke Hall | Film Screening
The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement - Discussion to follow with Hon Chris Finlayson, Kirsti Luke, Hal Crimmel, and Issac Goeckeritz (film producers)

Thursday, February 21
12 Noon | Shepherd Union, Wildcat Theater | Panel on Comparative Treaty Politics: How Are Indigenous Rights Approached in Different Countries?

Moderator: Thom Kuehls (chair, Weber State University Department of Political Science and Philosophy)
Panelists: Hon Chris Finlayson, Kirsti Luke, Michael Platero, J.D. (public advocacy manager, Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, Utah), and Rupert Steele (Tribal Chairman for the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Indian Reservation, Utah)

Friday, February 22
12:30 p.m. | Shepherd Union, Skyroom | Utah Public Lands and Tribal Rights Policy Solutions Roundtable

Featuring: Hon Chris Finlayson, Kirsti Luke, Michael Platero, J.D. (public advocacy manager, Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, Utah), and Rupert Steele (Tribal Chairman for the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Indian Reservation, Utah)

Intermountain Sustainability Summit- 10th Anniversary March 21-22

Over 400 sustainability professionals, engaged citizens, and emerging leaders will gather at Weber State for the 10th annual celebration of the Intermountain Sustainability Summit on March 21 – 22. The event, hosted by WSU’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center, is a premier sustainability-focused event, drawing representatives from business, non-profit, government, and education sectors. This year’s keynotes are Paul Hawken and Brenda Ekwurzel.

Thursday, March 21, brings together over 40 local and national speakers, offers the Eco Expo, the Student Poster Contest, and a myriad of networking opportunities. Friday, March 22, offers one full day and two ½ day workshops. Participants may register to attend one or both days. (WSU faculty, staff, and students may drop in to hear any sessions.)

Workshops include sessions on reducing risks of climate change with Brenda Ekwurzel; The Art of Convening, with Quanita Roberson and Tenneson Woolf; and The Living Building Challenge, with Kenner Kingston.

Paul Hawken, environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist will keynote the event on Thursday, March 21, at 2:30 p.m. His work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. His most recent project is Drawdown, The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, which debuted April 18, 2017, as #9 NYT bestseller. 

Brenda Ekwurzel is the morning keynote. She is the senior climate scientist and director of climate at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Ekwurzel has studied climate variability in places as disparate as the Arctic and the desert Southwest. She contributed to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, working on chapter 29, titled Reducing Risks through Emissions Mitigation. In addition to keynoting, Ekwurzel will host a ½ day workshop on Friday, March 22.

Students may submit posters through Friday, February 15, for entry into the Student Poster Competition. Those whose posters are selected will receive free registration to the main Summit day, March 21. 

Registration scholarships are available, on a competitive basis, to support up-and-coming leaders as they explore sustainability-related careers and network with professionals in the field.

Come engage with the organizations and dedicated individuals who are advancing sustainability solutions across Utah and the Intermountain West at the Summit this March.


Monitoring Campus Air Quality

Did you know that Weber State now has air quality monitors installed all over the Ogden campus? In Spring Semester 2018, geography professor Dan Bedford and students in his research methods class learned what it took to get a sensor network up and running. With funding from the Geography Department and WSU Environmental Ambassadors (funded in turn by Facilities Management), the class purchased six low-cost, high-accuracy, air quality monitors from local company PurpleAir. The class identified locations around campus where measurements of particulate matter could answer potentially interesting research questions, and scouted the sites to check suitability (the instruments require power and wireless internet, and should not be in direct sunlight). Facilities Management then installed the instruments, and students configured them and made sure they were properly connected to the Internet. Anyone can now go to PurpleAir.com’s map and zoom in to see the campus’s air quality measurements. Instruments are located on the Public Safety, Education, Health Professions, and Facilities Management buildings, Stewart Library, and the Wildcat Village residence halls.

Check the current air quality, and how it’s changed over the last several days, at PurpleAir.com, or directly from this link.

Clear the Air Challenge

It’s not too late to join the challenge! Weber State University is competing in the statewide Clear the Air Challenge with the help of WSU Employee Wellness, WSU Student Wellness, the Energy and Sustainability Office, and the Environmental Ambassadors. Participants have the opportunity to compete with students, faculty, and staff to win prizes, Wellness points, and Green Team points while helping WSU take on the University of Utah. Participants also actively help limit the health-harming pm 2.5 emissions during a time when the inversion traps such pollution along the Wasatch Front. Help Team Weber Clear the Air during the month of February and take down the University of Utah!

Register at https://travelwisetracker.com/#/ and record your trips. Weber State students should register under the networks Weber-Morgan Residents and Weber State Students. Faculty will register with Weber-Morgan Residents and Weber State Academic Affairs. Community members will register with Weber-Morgan Residents.

Trips logged will help us understand the amount of CO2 we’re emitting into the atmosphere and also how beneficial alternative transport, such as walking, carpooling, or riding the bus, can be. Prizes will be awarded weekly as well as grand prizes at the end!

Email kyiahill@weber.edu for any questions about the challenge.


WSU is an EV Technology and Training Leader

Recently featured on the front cover of the January 2019 MotorAge magazine, the Department of Automotive Technology at WSU is recognized as a leader in hybrid and electric vehicle education.  Students in the world-renowned B.S. degree program have benefited from this educational opportunity since 2008. Many graduates work for automobile manufacturers in positions where this technology education has directly benefitted them. 

The department has produced 57+ YouTube videos detailing different aspects of hybrid-electric and electric vehicle technology and operation. The videos attract students from across the country and world into the program. Visit the WeberAuto YouTube channel to see the videos. The department utilizes a 2018 Tesla Model S, 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, 2018 Chevrolet Volt, and several Toyota Prius generations in its program. Call 801-626-6579 for more information or to schedule a tour of the program and facility.

Great Salt Lake Society and Seminar Series

Every Friday this semester at 12:30 p.m. in Lindquist Hall room 280, anyone is welcome to drop in to the Great Salt Lake and Society Seminar Series as a lunch and learn event.  Upcoming presentations are:

February 15th

Dr. Carla Trentelman, Weber State Sociology Department: Perceptions of Great Salt Lake      

February 22nd                                      

Don Leonard, GSL Brine Shrimp Cooperative, Inc., and Joe Havasi, Compass Mineral: Industry & Great Salt Lake              

March 1st

John Luft, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources / Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program: Great Salt Lake Ecosystem

The Library Outpost

Students, are you submitting a poster for the Intermountain Sustainability Summit or applying for one of SPARC's Student Research Awards for work in the area of sustainability? Writing a paper? Working on a capstone? Doing research or homework? Don't forget about the library outpost! From 12:30 to 1:30 each Wednesday and Thursday, stop by the Atrium to talk to Miranda Kispert, the Science Librarian.  Not a good time? Email mirandakispert@weber.edu to make an appointment!

Instructors, get in touch to arrange a library session for your class at point of need. Assigning a paper? Give your students a refresher on using your preferred library tools, finding articles, and more.


Faculty/Student Sustainability Research Awards Submission Deadline

The deadline is March 1 for submissions to be considered for both the faculty and student sustainability research awards. Two student awards of $500 each are available. Thanks to the generous support of donors to the Sustainability Practices and Research Center, the two faculty awards are now $1000 each for exceptional, completed, traditional or applied research. Directions to apply and submission forms are available at the links above.





February 2019 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

The Rights of Nature 

  • Tuesday, February 19
    • Film Screening, 12:00 p.m., Wildcat Theater
    • Pacific Islander Meet & Greet, 3:00 p.m., SU 320
  • Wednesday, February 20
    • Lecture, 11:30 a.m., EH 229
    • Film Screening, 7:00 p.m., Dumke Hall
  • Thursday, February 21
    • Panel on Treaty Politics, 12:00 p.m., Wildcat Theatre
  • Friday, February 22
    • Policy Solutions Roundtable, 12:30 p.m., Skyroom

Brown Bag Lunches: Great Salt Lake Seminar Series
Fridays, 12:30-1:30 Lindquist Hall 280

Student Sustainability Posters Submission Deadline 
Friday, Feb. 15th

Brown Bag Lunch: Watts the Point? Sustainability in Theatrical Lighting Design
Thursday, February 28,12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Tracy Hall 407B

Sustaining Aspen Forests: Are we really left with borders & barriers (again)?
Thursday, Feb. 21st
2:30-3:30 p.m. Tracy Hall 324

Student/Faculty Research Award Deadline
March 1st

Intermountain Sustainability Summit
March 21-22nd


See our calendar for updates

For more information, contact katherinemeyr@weber.edu