Green Corner: Conferences bring together environmental pioneers

In the same way that environmental sustainability requires ecological balance, fighting environmental issues requires a balance of unique skill sets. Conquering a new wave of ecological unrest will necessitate coming together with our peers. Scientists, artists, businesspeople and entrepreneurs alike are encouraged to check out the following opportunities to unite our individual and special talents to fight for a better future.

The GreenAllies Conference

The GreenAllies Conference at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is hosting its third annual student networking conference from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 11. Speakers will discuss topics like the environmental impacts on national security, energy efficiency at universities and beekeeping. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with local, passionate students and discuss campus sustainability initiatives.

The EcoCareer Virtual Conference

EcoCareer Virtual Conference is presented by the National Wildlife Federation. Rider will be streaming this virtual conference on campus from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Science and Technology 124, on Feb. 22, and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Science and Technology 204 on Feb. 23. Stop in to find out about resources like career planning, identifying degree programs, finding jobs in the clean energy economy and working with people in other fields toward a clean future. Come and go as you please throughout the day. Interested students should email Sustainability Manager Melissa Greenberg to register by Feb. 17.

The Climate Reality Project

Politician, environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore founded The Climate Reality Project, a group that hosts its own conference called Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training. This is another wonderful opportunity for mass mobilization. Over the course of three days, attendees, who include students and workers of all ages, learn how to communicate the urgency of climate change. Through an opening session with Al Gore and various breakout sessions, participants will train in strategic communication, grassroots organizing and have the opportunity to network with global leaders. Applications to this year’s conference in Denver on March 2-4 are now closed; however, more conferences are being organized. Signing up for The Climate Reality Project newsletter ensures that those interested are alerted when a new conference is happening. Greenberg will be attending the Leadership Corps training in Denver.

For the past eight years, Greenberg has worked with her staff in the Office of Sustainability to lower Rider’s carbon footprint. She feels that because environmental impacts extend beyond our own campus borders, it’s important to stay educated and pass the information forward.

“Since the election in November, I have been seeking more guidance from climate leaders in order to motivate myself and my staff in the face of new leadership that denies the existence of climate change,” Greenberg said. “The Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training comes at a time where I personally need it the most and I’m looking forward to being trained by experts in the field so I can bring this experience back to my staff and to Rider in an effort to continue the great work that we have already started.”

The Power Shift Network

Power Shift Network is a coalition geared toward young people facing a system of inequality and climate crisis. It mobilizes the unique powers of the youth to build an intersectional, “bottom-up” movement to fight against environmental injustice. By simply signing up for their emails in the “Get Involved” tab on the website, you can receive communications tailored to your interests — fighting pipelines, political education, gender justice and climate, and a clean energy democracy — and find out more about their campaigns and rallies. For many years, Rider student Eco Reps have participated in Power Shift Conferences in Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

For curious minds seeking opportunities to learn something new or join forces with fellow students, there are and will always be ways to get involved. Utilizing the above resources is an immediate way to start engaging in the world of environmental sustainability.

GreenAllies is free to all college students and registration can be found at bit.ly/GreenAlliesConference. Questions about any of the other upcoming opportunities can be emailed to megreenberg@rider.edu

—Jillian Spratt

Graduate Assistant for Sustainability

 

Printed in the 2/8/17 issue.

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