University of Pittsburgh
April 13, 2016

Pitt Students to Host Sustainability Symposium April 15


Katie Fike


PITTSBURGH—Students from the University of Pittsburgh will present the sustainability work they have accomplished at the ninth annual Student Sustainability Symposium from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 15 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public. 

Highlights include keynote speaker Joylette Portlock. Portlock is the president of Communitopia, a Pittsburgh nonprofit that focuses on climate-change communication. She stars in a series of funny, short web videos on climate change for the general public called Don’t Just Sit There - Do Something! Portlock received a PhD in genetics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has worked on environmental issues at the local, state, and federal level and has focused on global climate change since 2007. Portlock is a blogger for The Huffington Post and serves on the Allegheny County Board of Health.

Pitt students will deliver presentations on their efforts to engage students in the intersection between faith, the arts, and the environment; promote sustainable landscaping and native planting on campus; add an edible growing space on upper campus; eliminate plastic water bottles on campus; reallocate additional funds to the Student Office of Sustainability and restructure the Sustainable Solutions Competition; and show the difference that no-impact living can have on quality of life.

The event schedule follows:

  • 10:30 a.m., Opening Remarks: Mark Collins, Environmental Studies Program coordinator
  • 10:45 a.m., Student Presentations: Sustainability Class and Flash Lab
  • Noon, Tabling and EcoArt Creation
  • 1 p.m., Food Committee
  • 2 p.m., Sustainable Solutions Presentations and Pitt Sustainability Award Winners
  • 2:15 p.m., Last chance to vote for tables
  • 2:45 p.m., Keynote Speaker Joylette Portlock

The symposium is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program in the Department of Geology and Environmental Science and PittServes. The annual student symposium was initiated in 2007 in response to the Rachel Carson Legacy Challenge issued by the Rachel Carson Homestead Association.