Green Campus team presents inaugural speaker series; Green Club to host farmers market, organic lunch and other events; Bike-to-school campaign also planned
MERCED — Students at the University of California, Merced, have organized a series of events to celebrate Earth Week, April 19 to 23, including guest speakers, campus tours, a farmers market and a bike-to-school campaign.
The Alliance to Save Energy's Green Campus UC Merced team is leading the way with its first annual Earth Week Speaker Series. (A full schedule of events, including details of the speaker series, can be found at the end of this release.)
The speaker series, which is open to the public and free of charge but geared toward university students, faculty and staff, is designed to showcase the increasing availability of so-called "green" jobs. Featuring speakers from various sectors — from both on campus and off — whose jobs focus in one way or another on the environment, the series will culminate on Earth Day, April 22.
"We really want to make it clear to students that there are jobs in the sustainability field for people in all majors," said Green Campus team manager Diana Franklin, a UC Merced sophomore and management major. "The purpose of this event is to showcase various people working in those careers now."
Each speaker will be given 20 minutes to explain their organization's sustainability efforts and offer advice for students who wish to pursue "green" careers. Organizers said there will be time for the audience to ask questions of each speaker and time near the end of each day's event for mingling and networking. Free food and beverages will also be provided at each presentation.
The UC Merced Green Club also has events scheduled throughout the week, highlighted by tours of the university's solar array on April 19, a farmers market April 20 and a film festival April 23. And the campus' Cycling Alliance will offer free snacks and beverages from 9 a.m. to noon all week to those who bicycle to school.
"It is truly inspiring to see UC Merced students working so hard to raise awareness of sustainability and how it can influence our day-to-day lives," said Jim Genes, special assistant to the vice chancellor of administration and co-chair of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability . "Earth Week is a perfect time to promote these efforts, but we all need to make positive changes year-round if we're going to preserve our environment and its resources."
In addition to the student-driven events, UC Merced will be the final stop on a self-guided Green Tour of Merced County from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 18. The tour, presented by the Valley Land Alliance , includes 14 stops that highlight county homes, businesses and gardens that feature ideas for healthy, economical living and environmental performance. Tickets for the tour are $10 and can be purchased at the alliance's Web site or at UC Merced, Forté Frozen Yogurt or Okuye Straw Bale House.
Below is a complete schedule of the Earth Week events on campus:
The Green Campus program works with universities and colleges across California to help campuses save money, reduce energy and water usage, and embrace sustainability. The program is funded by the ratepayers of California under the auspices of Southern California Edison, PG&E and Sempra Energy.