WMU Home > WMU News >

WMU News

Renewable energy experts to speak at WMU

Feb. 16, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Brion and Kathy Dickens, supporters of renewable energy projects in Michigan, will speak at Western Michigan University at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21.

Held in Room 1301 of Wood Hall, the couple's discussion is part of WMU's Gwen Frostic Environmental Studies Series. The event is open to the public without charge.

Brion Dickens is a general contractor and has seven years of experience in the renewable energy industry with expertise in wind, solar, biomass, biogas, biodiesel and renewable energy education. He is a member of the State of Michigan Wind Outreach Team, a member of several University Renewable Energy Advisory Boards and works closely with all branches of Michigan government to promote renewable energy in the state.

Kathy Dickens is the principal at Laker Junior High School in Pigeon, Mich., where she has worked to promote environmental education.

The couple from Huron County, Mich., heat their 4,000-square-foot home with a biomass boiler, have their own wind turbine and an electric car that charges off their windmill, and they make their own diesel fuel from local waste grease. Their work has helped bring wind turbines and biodiesel buses to their local school district, where 60 percent of their local elementary school's electricity comes from renewable energy.

They have garnered more than $1 million to support renewable energy projects which have been recognized by the State of Michigan, Department of Energy, American Wind Energy Association and Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm.

The series is named for WMU alumna Gwen Frostic, a noted artist and naturalist who died in 2001. Her nearly $13 million bequest remains the largest private gift in University history. The series coordinated and sponsored by WMU's Environmental Studies Program.

A reception for the speakers will immediately follow the talk.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400