WGU Celebrates Earth Week with Free Online Discussion Series

Join us the week of April 20–25, 2015, as we discuss issues facing the global environment in celebration of Earth Week. WGU’s outstanding faculty will lead these free, web-based discussions on a range of topics.

To join, visit wgu.adobeconnect.com at the scheduled time, and dial in via telephone to 1-888-585-9008, room #797-443-392, for audio.

Monday, April 20, noon MDT — Extinction: Why Should We Care? Dr. Ami Robinson We will review current extinction trends and issues related to extinction and biodiversity. Come and discuss the importance of biodiversity and what is being done to reverse current trends.

Tuesday, April 21, noon MDT — The 2015 State of the Earth Address Dr. Heather Dodds and Dr. Erinn Nicely This session will introduce a brief history of Earth Day and then explore current sociopolitical issues connected with global population and climate change. We’ll end with some baby announcements about what is new with planet Earth in 2015.

Tuesday, April 21, 2 p.m. MDT — Cleaning Green: How to Clean Your House Safely, Cheaply, and Sustainably Dr. Kristen Gravitte (half-hour) Want to learn why and how you can clean your house (and your office) organically? For non-toxic cleaning recipes and more, come to this 30-minute talk on organic cleaning. This discussion will get you started and point out resources you can use to educate yourself further.

Tuesday, April 21, 7 p.m. MDT — Café Scientifique at Your School? Yes You Can, and Here’s How Dr. Kara Lukin Café Scientifiques have sprung up all over the world as a way for the lay public and scientists to discuss and share cutting-edge discoveries in an informal, relaxed setting. “Café Sci’s” are a great vehicle for engaging students in science as well as the variety of activities (read: prospective non-science careers) related to running the events. In this session, Dr. Lukin will model a bit of the Café Sci experience and present some effective strategies to establish Cafés (in schools and other venues). Dr. Lukin’s research has focused on the development of the immune system and STEM outreach. She helped her pedagogy mentor, Dr. J. J. Cohen, establish Denver’s first Café Sci and speaks about the topic nationally. http://cafescicolorado.org/ and http://www.cafescientifique.org/

Wednesday April 22, noon MDT — Speaking Science with the Public

  • Measles and Mothers: The Vaccination Debate, Kathy Franklin, Program Mentor
  • The Future of Fracking, Amanda Grunden, Program Mentor
  • Geoengineering & Climate Change, Suzanne Metlay, Course Instructor

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that “citizens and scientists often see science-related issues through different sets of eyes. There are large differences in their views across a host of issues.” Kathy Franklin delves into personal choice and public health in “Measles and Mothers: The Vaccination Debate.” Amanda Grunden looks into “The Future of Fracking” with short-term economic gains weighed against potential but not proven long-term environmental problems. Suzanne Metlay considers “Geoengineering & Climate Change” as actual and proposed changes to Earth’s atmosphere each result in unintended consequences. A short Q&A session will follow each presentation.

Thursday April 23, 10 a.m. MDT — How to Celebrate Earth Day/Week Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, Dr. Alison Lockman, Dr. Angela Nelson, and Dr. Kate Porter Come join us for a discussion and to share your thoughts on ways that you can impact the Earth. Find out what your ecological footprint is. How can you reduce your impact? How can you get involved in science projects that might benefit our understanding of things like climate change, pollution, or conservation efforts? We’ll talk about fun and creative ways that you can love the Earth on Earth Day and all year round.

Saturday April 25, 7:30 p.m. MDT — How Vaccines Function and Contribute to Global Population Growth Dr. Kara Lukin The phenomenal success of vaccines for childhood diseases saves an estimated 2–3 million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare costs and productivity globally per year. Come learn how vaccines actually function and discuss the global environmental impact they are having.

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