In a cross-collaboration effort between Academic Affairs and the Office of Sustainability, the annual Earth Month celebration has expanded to ‘Earth Semester’ to honor the 50th Earth Day.
Traditionally celebrated on April 22, Earth Day has been recognized since 1970, making this year’s a half-century milestone. In recent years, the University has celebrated Earth Month to increase awareness beyond one day. Each year, the list of events grows larger. Last year marked the largest event yet, with the Earth Day festival in Belk Plaza.
“We hope that by expanding from a day, to a month, to a semester, the campus community will start to recognize the impact of sustainable practices on our planet and make year-round changes on campus and at home,” said Mike Lizotte, University sustainability officer.
This year’s Earth Semester includes campus-wide events hosted by faculty, staff and students, all with sustainability-focused topics. Some events include partnerships with state and regional organizations. Dr. Nicole Peterson, associate professor of anthropology, led the planning for Earth Semester while serving as a Provost’s Fellow.
“Earth Semester made a first impression in Fall when Academic Affairs published a list of sustainability courses for students to consider during registration. Since January, we have been promoting many stimulating speakers, films and discussions that our faculty generated to help us understand people and our planet,” said Peterson.
“I want to acknowledge those faculty who have already adopted a sustainability-focus to their courses, and challenge other faculty to provide stimulating speakers, discussions and films throughout this semester,” said Lizotte.
Some highlighted events later in the semester include: