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UAlbany Earth Day Events Highlight New York Heritage

Features Family Earth Day, April 19, for Community-at-Large

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 26, 2015) – The University at Albany will welcome Mohawk storyteller Kay Olan (Ionataiewas) on Earth Day, April 22, to help dedicate the University’s newly established Heritage Garden with a traditional greeting. The ceremony is one of several events planned to celebrate Earth Day and sustainability during the month of April.

UAlbany's Heritage Garden is a student-led initiative designed to honor and reflect the cultural and natural history of the surrounding region while utilizing sustainable gardening practices. It was designed to promote the use of native plants, specifically those with cultural significance, while creating a low-water landscape. The garden also serves as an educational tool for the community to learn about the history and biodiversity of New York.

Photos: Family Earth Day 2014

UAlbany Family Earth Day 2014
Students observe an experiment by Atmospheric Scientist Brian Tang at Family Earth Day in 2014. (Paul Buckowski, Times Union Photo Used by Permission)

Olan, who taught elementary school in New York for more than 33 years, has been giving cultural presentations and sharing the stories of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) for the last three decades.

Sustainable Fashion Show

Among the other highlights, students at UAlbany will once again be showcasing new uses for unneeded or obsolete items in the Second Annual Trashion Fashion Show on Tuesday, March 31 in the Campus Center Ballroom on the uptown campus. The competition challenges students to create an ensemble made from reclaimed and recycled materials. Winners receive $150 for their designs, which will be on display in the Science Library Atrium during the month of April. The event is free.

Family Earth Day

UAlbany’s Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences will host a celebration of the Earth, the environment and sustainability at the Third Annual Family Earth Day on Sunday, April 19 from 1-4 p.m. on the University's uptown campus. The event, which is geared toward children and families, offers a wide range of activities to appeal to a broad youth audience including a land planning challenge; composting station; glaciers: then and now visual; arctic creatures mobiles, and a traveling nitrogen game, where students learn how clouds are formed. Event is free and open to the public.

Destination Green

The University's Office of Parking and Mass Transit Services has teamed up with the Capital District Clean Communities Coalition to an alternative vehicle and strategy display display, called Destination Green, on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include vehicles and displays from CDTA, Capital Car Share, Hoosick Valley, Bikeable UAlbany and RPI.

The goal of the collaboration is to advance the knowledge of the Capital Region’s economic, environmental, and energy security by promoting the use of alternative fuels, advanced vehicle technologies and policies that reduce petroleum consumption in transportation. Among the vehicles on display will be several hybrid and electric vehicles from around the Capital Region.

Severe Weather Conference

On April 23, UAlbany will partner with the Rockefeller Institute of Government to host a forum on the threats posed by severe weather called Facing the Storm: Severe Weather Challenges Confronting New York State in the 21st Century. This year's event, which is geared toward emergency managers, not-for-profit executives, and government officials, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Campus Center on the uptown campus.

The program, co-created with UAlbany's Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the NYS Emergency Management Association, is designed to focus on severe weather events of the past year and consider what these teach us about the future and how we should prepare for it, including mitigation efforts such as the NYS Mesonet, a UAlbany-led statewide network of 125 weather stations feeding weather prediction models and decision-support tools for users across New York.

Earth and Wellness Day

Also on April 23, the Office of Environmental Sustainability and the Employee Assistance Program will host the annual Earth and Wellness Day. The 2015 Earth and Wellness Day theme focuses on “Our Heritage: The Root of What Sustains Us,” in which will explore how our culture, history, and “roots” are an important aspect of overall health and well-being and means of creating a sense of community. The event will feature community exhibitors including: Historic Albany Foundation, Iroquois Museum, Radix Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Fox Creek Farms, and many more. This year, an academic poster session will show research student and faculty projects related to the theme.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.