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Writer Rebecca Solnit Discusses “Hope, Disaster and Utopia” in Lawrence University Convocation

In collaboration with Green Roots’ Earth Week celebration, award-winning author and cultural historian Rebecca Solnit presents “Swimming Upstream in History: Hope, Disaster, Utopia” April 20 at 11:10 a.m. as part of Lawrence University’s 2009-10 convocation series.

Solnit’s address in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 520 E. College Ave., will be followed by a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

Rebecca Solnit

An activist for ecological and human rights issues, Solnit is the author of 12 books, among them “Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities,” “Wanderlust: A History of Walking” and 2004’s “River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West,” a historical tour de force that has been hailed as one of the best books of the past decade.

In her most recent book, 2009’s “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster,” Solnit offers an investigation of human emotion in the face of catastrophe. She explore the common citizen responses of empathy, spontaneous altruism and mutual aid, which turn out to be more typical than the conventional perception of violence and selfishness, in the face of such disasters as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

A contributing editor at Orion Magazine, the San Francisco-based Solnit has been recognized with two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction. She has been awarded grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Solnit serves as contributing editor to Harper’s magazine and writes for the “London Review of Books” and the political website

Green Roots Sponsoring “Community Read” Spring Term

Farm City BookTaking a page from Freshman Studies, Green Roots is sponsoring a special 1-unit course for Term III under the umbrella of Topics in Environmental Studies that will feature a campus community read of the 2009 book “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.” The book’s author, Novella Carpenter, will visit campus in April in conjunction with Earth Day and the Fox Cities Book Festival.

The book chronicles Carpenter’s efforts to operate a sustainable farm 10 blocks from the ghetto of downtown Oakland, Calif., utilizing a vacant lot to grow pumpkins and artichokes and the scraps in dumpsters to feed her collection of chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits and pigs.

Registration for the one-hour-per-week, five-week-long class is currently open to all students and will feature 16 faculty from across the curriculum team-teaching the course with a colleague.

“I am thrilled to see such a positive campus-wide response to this initiative,” said Associate Professor of Geology Andrew Knudsen, who spearheaded the community read course with Jason Brozek, assistant professor of government and Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs. “We have students and instructors from all across the university signed up to participate in this program. It will be very exciting to be a part of a campus-wide discussion of this book. If you can run a farm on a vacant lot in Oakland, it seems like the possibilities are limitless.”

Lawrence University Tickling Top 10 in National Recycling Competition

Lawrence University students, faculty and staff are among the best recyclers in the country based on the early returns of the 2010 RecycleMania competition.

In the competition’s Per Capita Classic category, which tracks the amount of acceptable recyclables per person, Lawrence ranked 11th nationally among 315 colleges and universities through the first two weeks of the contest, which began Jan. 17.

Lawrence had recycled 8.67 pounds per person, just a few soda cans behind no. 10 Stanford University’s average of 8.73 pounds. Colorado College was leading the category at 18.73 pounds per person. Lawrence was the top recycler among 10 Wisconsin colleges participating in the per capita category, which includes St. Norbert College, UW-Madison and UW-Oshkosh.

“This is an opportunity to see how much recycling and waste reduction we can do if we come together as a community and focus our energy,” said Jeff Clark, faculty associate to the president for Green Roots: the sustainable Lawrence initiative. “The data we get from this also helps us identify areas that we need to improve upon, so it will have lasting effects even after the competition is over.”

RecycleMania is a friendly, 10-week-long competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.

Sponsored by the College and University Recycling Council, a technical council of the National Recycling Coalition, RecycleMania has several goals, among them increase on-campus recycling participation by students and staff, heighten awareness of a schools’ waste management and recycling programs, lower waste generated on-campus and expand economic opportunities while addressing environmental issues in a positive way.

First conducted in 2001 between Miami University and Ohio University, the RecycleMania competition has grown steadily every year since. In 2009, all 50 states were represented for the first time and in 2010, a record 607 colleges and universities across the United States, Canada and as far away as Qatar are participating. This year’s competition runs through March 27.

RecycleMania includes four primary competition categories:

• Grand Champion, which combines trash and core recyclable materials to determine a school’s recycling rate as a percentage of its overall waste generation.

• Per Capita Classic, in which schools compete to see which can collect the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans per person.

• Waste Minimization, in which schools compete to see which produces the least amount of municipal solid waste (recyclables and trash) per person.

• Gorilla Prize, which recognizes schools that recycle the highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, bottles and cans during the 10-week competition, regardless of campus population.

Expanded Earth Day Celebration Offers Scholarly, Artistic, Musical Look at Environmental Issues

APPLETON, WIS. — Earth Day, the annual nationwide observance of environmental education and activism, celebrates its 39th birthday Wednesday, April 22 and Lawrence University will mark the occasion with a week-long series of events.

Jeff Clark, associate professor of geology and faculty associate to the president for Green Roots: The Sustainable Lawrence Initiative, which is one of the celebration sponsors, said part of Green Roots’ mission is to “cultivate habits of mind and dispositions that lead to care of the earth.

“We hope that by hosting a full week of programming we will engage the broader Fox Cities community in discussions of timely and locally relevant environmental issues such as local food systems and agriculture, waste and recycling and artistic expressions of the environment,” said Clark, chair of Lawrence’s interdisciplinary program in environmental studies.

Each day of the Earth week celebration will be devoted to a singular topic theme. The complete schedule is as follows:

Monday, April 20 — Food and Agriculture Day

• “Hands on Gardening,” 1-4 p.m., Sustainable Lawrence University Garden (bottom of Union Hill).

• “Food vs. Agricultural Biotechnology,” Andrew McCann, coordinator, Sustainable Local Food for All Canadians Program, St. Lawrence College, 6:30 p.m., Science Hall 102

Tuesday April 21 — Waste Reduction Day

• “Where Does Your Waste Go?,” an overview of the Outagamie County

Solid Waste and Recycling Facility, 5:15 p.m., Science Hall 102.

• “The Story of Stuff,” an animated, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of production and consumption patterns with Annie Leonard, an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues, 6:15 p.m., Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Wednesday, April 22 — Global Climate Change Day

• “Climate Feedbacks and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Northern Peatlands: Meltdown of the Great White North,” Jeffrey White, professor of environmental sciences, Indiana University, 4:30 p.m., Science Hall 102

Thursday, April 23 — Environmental Art Day

• “Primitive Ways in an Accelerated World,” a presentation by sculptor Patrick Dougherty, who combines his carpentry skills with his love for nature to create works that allude to nests, cocoons and hives as well as the man-made forms of huts, haystacks and baskets by interweaving branches and twigs, 4:30 p.m., Wriston Art Center auditorium.

Friday, April 24 — Green Music Day

• “Music for Sea and Sky,” Lawrence University Wind Ensemble concert, featuring the world premiere of “Awaiting the Ghost Bird,” written by Lawrence Instructor of Music John Benson and “Peace is the River, Gently Flowing…” written by 1957 Lawrence graduate John Harmon, 8 p.m., Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Saturday, April 25 — Greenfire Day, a variety of music and volunteer activities sponsored by Greenfire, the student environmental organization

&bull: Pancake Breakfast, 9 a.m., Greenfire House.

• Fox River clean-up, 10 a.m., meeting point is the sustainable garden.

• Information booths, music, children’s activities, 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Main Hall Green.

Tribal Attorney Discusses Ojibwe Treaty Reserved Rights in Lawrence University Address

APPLETON, WIS. — Kekek Jason Stark, a tribal attorney and policy analyst for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, discusses the concepts and principles of treaty reserved rights and how those rights are being applied today in an address at Lawrence University.

Stark presents “Ojibwe Treaty Reserved Rights and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission” Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the pubic.

Stark’s presentation will examine U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have upheld American Indian rights to their land based on the recognition of Anishinaabe title and Anishinaabe rights.

Under the theory of Anishinaabe title, also known as aboriginal Indian title, Indigenous Nations have legal rights in the territories that they occupied. From Anishinaabe title comes the concept of Anishinaabe rights, which entail the use of a specifically allocated area for traditional purposes. This long established rule of Federal Indian Law supports the implementation of the treaty reserved rights of the Ojibwe bands.

Stark’s work with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission focuses on the preservation, implementation and utilization of treaty rights for 11 Ojibwe bands living in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Commission regulates the harvest of treaty resources in cooperation with the states to ensure conservation.

A graduate of Hamline University School of Law and a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, Stark is a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe and a member of the Bizhiw (Lynx) Clan.

His appearance is sponsored by the Lawrence University Office of Multicultural Affairs, the history department and is supported by the Green Roots Committee.