Sustainability Chats

Join us twice a month at the Office for Sustainability to learn from local and national leaders, educators, and stakeholders as they discuss their work in the field of sustainability. Chats occur every other Friday at 10:30 a.m. 
 
If you have a WMU-issued parking sticker, feel free to park in the lots near our office. If you are a driver without a WMU-issued parking sticker, please see our front desk once you arrive to receive a temporary pass. Bike storage is available for all cyclists. 
 

Past talks:

MARCH 29, 2019 — BRIAN MOLINA, ISAAC GREEN, AND JEFF SPOELSTRA: WALKING THE WALK: AN UPDATE ON CAMPUS WIDE SUSTAINABILITY ACTIONS, PROMISING PRACTICES FROM THE WORLD OF BUSINESS, AND TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT.

Staff members from the WMU Office for Sustainability will discuss campus-wide sustainability efforts documented in WMU's 2019 STARS - 'Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System' - report. The team will share observations on sustainable business practices that were presented at the 2019 GreenBiz Conference. The team will also lead a discussion about challenges and opportunities WMU faces as it works to improve bike infrastructure and align it with federal, state and local best practices.

FEBRUARY 15, 2019 — NATE FULLER, SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN LAND CONSERVANCY: RESILIENCE PLANNING

What does "resiliency" mean for southwest Michigan? Nate Fuller, Conservation and Stewardship Director for Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, presents on the different approaches being considered to address conservation resiliency for the region, Michigan, and broader eastern United States. Discussion includes other aspects of resiliency such as economics and social justice.  

FEBRUARY 1, 2019 — DR. TODD BARKMAN: PLANT SPECIES, COMMUNITY CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY 

Dr. Barkman discusses the challenges and opportunities with plant species within community conservation and sustainability. Dr. Barkman is a professor of Plant Biology in the Biological Sciences department. His background is in Botany and he has spent the last 20 years studying various aspects of plants.

January 18 , 2019 — Dr. brad bazuin: Solar gardens, collection, and conversion

Dr. Bazuin discusses the history and context of solar energy in Michigan as well as the future of solar cells, panels and arrays, solar energy collection and conversion. He also provides an overview of small and large scale solar demonstrations, as well as classroom-appropriate components that can be used for middle or high-school educators.

December 7, 2018 — Dr. Brandy brown: energy futurist

Dr. Brown discusses her sustainability journey from leading electronic vehicle initiates in Detroit to working with power companies in the Kalamazoo area.

November 9, 2018 — David Clark, Amcor: the future of plastics

Mr. Clark discusses how the packaging industry is reckoning with plastic waste while moving towards more sustainable operations.