Preview: Annual sustainability symposium

Charles Beers, Staff Writer

University students will gather in Walls Lounge on April 7 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. for this year’s Sustainability Symposium. The theme of the event is “Global Sustainabilities,” and graduate and undergraduate students alike are invited to submit their co-curricular research projects and creative works related to the field of sustainability.

Ever since the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development published “Our Common Future nearly 30 years ago, sustainable development has played a part in worldwide decision-making regarding the economy and the environment.

Despite this increased visibility, many important questions remain unanswered in the study of sustainability, such as creating a standard definition for the process and determining how it can be put into practice on a global scale.

According to its website, the Sustainability Symposium aims to “critically examine the trajectory of sustainability as a global phenomenon.” 

Executive Director of the Center for Sustainability & the Environment Peter Wilshusen shed some light on what exactly the Sustainability Symposium entails and his hopes for the event.

We are expecting a wide variety of student research on sustainability stemming from independent study, class projects, and work with faculty mentors,” Wilshusen said. “The poster session will be the focus of student work [while] the panels will center around discussions featuring faculty.”

University students are already excited for the presentations, acknowledging the significance of the sustainability discussion in the modern world.

“The Sustainability Symposium is extremely important for the campus,” Maddie Liotta ’18 said. “The world is coming to acknowledge the importance of sustainability while making decisions related to economy, society, and the environment.”

“I find the idea of a symposium very fascinating,” Renee Rouleau ’19 said. “I am very interested in what’s to come from this event.”

The Bucknell Center for Sustainability & the Environment is hoping for a large turnout at the event so that students can learn more about the sustainability issue and contribute to the ongoing discussion.

“I hope that Bucknellians will explore the different dimensions of sustainability, particularly as it relates to global scale activities such as the newly launched UN Sustainable Development Goals and the recent UN-sponsored conference in Paris focused on climate change,” Wilshusen said. “Engaging in these discussions often leads to conversations about local actions relevant to life on campus.”

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