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Earth Week Events to be Held at UWRF

By Andy Barker
University Communications

APRIL10, 2009 | The University of Wisconsin-River Falls students, staff and community will come together during Earth Week to show their support of the environment with many events and activities planned.

The UWRF St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development (SCISCD) has been working very hard with the student Earth Consciousness Organization (ECO Club) to make this an entertaining and informative week, says Kelly Cain, director of SCISCD.

The keynote speaker will be Nate Hagens, (left) a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Vermont Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and editor of “The Oil Drum,” an online global think-tank devoted to energy and sustainability. Visiting professors Joy Cuming, a green architect, and Gordon Peabody, a land environmental manager, will present programs April 20, 23 and 24 on Sustainability and Climate Change: Sharing Perspectives from the Edge of the Earth. Their visit is made possible by the Visiting Professor Program grant and is sponsored by the UWRF Foundation Learning Resources Committee and the SCISCD.

Hagens will present, “Energy, Natural Resources, & Economics: Human Behavior on a Full Planet,” on Wednesday, April 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Kinnickinnic Theater of the University Center on campus. His talk will provide a framework for planning supply and demand mitigation/adaptation strategies to resource depletion and environmental change from a personal, business, and community decision-making perspective. A discussion will follow.

Prior to attending UV, Hagens, who lives just south of River Falls, had developed trading algorithms for commodity systems. He was previously a president of Sanctuary Asset Management, managing director of the Pension Research Institute, and vice president at the investment firms Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers. Nate has an M.B.A. with honors from University of Chicago and a B.B.A. in business administration from UW-Madison.

“Nate Hagens is a unique individual and is probably one of the best in the world to be talking about this topic because of his experience with “The Oil Drum,” says Cain. Hagens presentation is sponsored by SCISCD, the UWRF Department of Environmental Science and Management Unit, and the UWRF ECO Club.

Other related events include:

Tuesday, April 14, 7 p.m. Poetry Reading, Paradise Lost Exhibit, River Falls Public Library. Jenny Brantley, a professor in the UWRF English department, will read poems inspired by Lake Superior. Eight other local poets – Maureen Ash, Wanda Brown, Phyllis Goldin, Jeffrey Kulow, Jim Lenfestey, Thomas R. Smith, Susan Wagner, and Sue West – will each read their own poem that is on display with the Paradise Lost exhibit at the River Falls Public Library.

Thursday, April 16, 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., Protecting the St. Croix River Basin Conference, University Center, UWRF. Fee; preregistration required; call 715-635-7406. This day-long workshop celebrating the 41st anniversary of the designation of the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers as a National Scenic Riverway, will offer ways to reduce and manage damaging nutrients and sediments in the St. Croix River Basin.

Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m. Global Warming: Fact, Fiction or Future? Paradise Lost Exhibit, River Falls Public Library. Free. Presentation by Don Wylie, a senior scientist at the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center.

Monday, April 20, 4 p.m. Visiting Professors on Sustainability Welcome, Pete's Creek, University Center. Free. A reception will be held for Gordon Peabody and Joy Cuming who will be on campus for the week working with classes and giving several talks on sustainability open to faculty, students and the community.

Monday, April 20, 6-8 p.m., Tipping Points: A Perspective on Climate Change from the Edge of the Earth, 271 Centennial Science Hall. Free. Visiting professors Gordon Peabody will share his expertise and experiences relevant to climate change.

Tuesday, April 21, 7 p.m. Third Tuesday Book Discussion, Paradise Lost Exhibit, River Falls Public Library. Free. “Ordinary Wolves” by Seth Kantner, led by Katie Chaffee of the River Falls Public Library.

Thursday, April 23, 7 p.m. Presentation, Renewable Energy: The Responsible Choice for the Future, Paradise Lost Exhibit, River Falls Public Library. Free. Led by Craig Tarr of Hudson-based Energy Concepts. Tarr discusses renewable energy options for home and business installation and state and federal incentive programs available.

Thursday, April 23, 5-7 p.m., Building the Future: Integrating Sustainability into the Curriculum, Kinnickinnic Theater, University Center. Free. Visiting Professors Gordon Peabody and Joy Cuming will share their expertise, stories and strategies related to integrating sustainability into the curriculum.

Friday, April 24, 3:30-5 p.m., “Building Tomorrow with Today's Resources: A Hard Look at the Challenges of Leaving Carbon Behind,” Chalmer Davee Library. Free. Visiting Professors Joy Cuming, and Gordon Peabody will share their views on the topic.

Thursday, April 30, 5-8:30 p.m. An Evening with Winona LaDuke: Cultivating a Local Food Community, Riverview Ballroom, University Center. Donations accepted. LaDuke will discuss the definition of a local food system and look at why local food systems are important. A rural development economist who lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, LaDuke and is the executive director of the Honor the Earth Fund. She speaks nationally on the importance of sustainable development, renewable energy and food systems. Pre-register by emailing Sarah Rykal at before April 20 or call Gayle Dodge at 715-425-3176. This event is co-sponsored by the UWRF Falls College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and a USDA grant.

“The Earth Week events are hopefully going to spark the consideration that every day is Earth Day,” said Cain. “We are coming to a point where we are beginning to have a collective conscience about the environment and we have another opportunity to really seal it in and act upon it.”

For more information regarding this event the SCISCD at 715-425-3479 or visit


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