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UAlbany Students Convene Upstate Colleges April 2 to Discuss Sustainability Innovations and Initiatives

Student Sustainability Council to Run "World Climate Simulation" April 3

College students from seven Upstate campuses meet on Saturday for a day of presentations on ways to preserve the environment

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 30, 2011) --

Environmentally concerned college students from seven Upstate campuses will be on hand Saturday, April 2, at the University at Albany for the first-ever Capital District Student Sustainability Conference.

The 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. event, hosted by the UAlbany Student Sustainability Council, will feature a wide range of presentation topics, including reports on local college sustainability efforts, emerging transportation technologies, sustainability training for urban or rural environments, the expanding list of environmental career fields, and even a dance floor that, put to use, generates reusable energy.

Six colleges from the Capital Region will be represented — host UAlbany, Siena College, Hudson Valley Community College, College of St. Rose, Skidmore College and RPI — plus Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Interest in the conference was so intense that registration closed two weeks ahead of the deadline.

Gary Kleppel, UAlbany professor of biology and director of the University’s Biodiversity Conversation & Policy Program, will offer the keynote presentation, "50 by ’15: The Local Food Campaign" at 11:15 a.m. in the Standish Room of UAlbany's Science Library. Kleppel will discuss the history, successes and remaining challenges of the campus drive to increase the amount of locally produced food served in dining halls, and the benefits such an effort will have to health and the local and state economies.

In addition to the conference, on Sunday, April 3, members of the Sustainability Council, campus greens and NYPIRG will present as a class project a "World Climate Simulation." Run by Assistant Professor Eliot Rich as part of his systems class in the Department of Information Technology Management, the simulation will divide the students into developing world, developed world and emerging world groups.

From there, the students will make policy choices based on their group's point of view, with a computer delivering the consequent effect on environmental resources. A final discussion will deal with changes needed to effectively slow climate change and avoid major environmental impacts.

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