UGA to host Sustainable UGA Earth Day lecture

Athens, Ga. – To commemorate the 41st Earth Day Celebration at the University of Georgia, Justin Gillis will present the 2011 Sustainable UGA Earth Day Lecture, Writing in a Hothouse:The Journalism of Climate Change, on April 22 at 12:30 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Building upon the groundswell of environmental action during the first Earth Day Celebration in 1970, students of UGA continue to seek and promote a more sustainable future through daily and ongoing engagement as well as focused events during Earth Week. To culminate a week of sustainability-related events and activities, UGA Students for Environmental Action and Student Government Association have teamed up with the UGA Office of Sustainability, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the New York Times to host Gillis, an alumnus of the university.

Gillis covers environmental science and policy for the New York Times. He previously served as the Times’ business editor where he oversaw energy coverage and as an editor and reporter at the Washington Post, where he logged a decade-long stint covering the biotechnology industry.Before working at the Post, Gillis spent a dozen years as a reporter and editor at the Miami Herald. He is a native of Georgia and a 1982 UGA journalism graduate. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for an article on hidden land dealings by the top county government official in Miami, and he has won numerous other journalism awards. He studied biology, geology and energy policy in 2004-05 on a professional fellowship at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

UGA’s Earth Week 2011 includes other themed activities for each day of the week.Monday-Conservation Day-features a volunteer opportunity for removing invasive plants with sheep and a screening of the film Tapped which focuses on water conservation.Tuesday-Consumption Day-features a waste audit of the Miller Learning Center and a no waste dinner and panel discussion on “Food, the Environment and You.”Wednesday-Healthy Action Day, a collaboration between the Go Green Alliance andthe University Health Center-includes car-free commuting and exhibits at Tate Student Center Plaza, Thursday-Energy Day-features tours of UGA’s central steam plant, an environmental short film, and a “Light Raid” to turn off lights in campus buildings.Friday-Earth Day-features the Sustainable UGA Earth Day lecture. For more information on Earth Week 2011, see http://gogreenuga.org/?page_id=162.

UGA campuses increasingly serve as living laboratories in which sustainability is researched, taught, practiced, and constantly refined.An inventory of greenhouse gas emissions at the university and a climate action plan to reduce emissions and energy consumption are currently underway.For more information on sustainability initiatives at UGA, see http://www.sustainability.uga.edu/.