Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Environmental Society to host documentary on relationship between food and sustainability

On Tuesday, March 3, the Environmental Society will welcome filmmaker Eleni Vlachos on campus for a screening of her widely-acclaimed documentary, Seeing Through the Fence, as part of its nationwide tour!

Through a series of humorous and poignant interviews conducted across the US and in Greece with ‘random people,’ the documentarian’s family, and activists, Seeing Through the Fence explores the role of food in modern society and our connection, or lack of connection, with both the processes and animals from which our food originates.

The interviews include the philosophical exploration of food traditionally, questioning cultural assumptions and norms transferred to each subsequent generation. The ‘food chain,’ as well as the role ethics and the environment play in food choices, is discussed by omnivore and vegetarian alike, with views not as disparate as might be assumed. Health and diet become an integral part of the discussion, critical at a time when ‘Diet and Poor Physical Activity’ is the second most common cause of death in the United States (tobacco is the first as of 2000).

The documentary will be shown in College Hall 101 on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 at 6:00 pm. Refreshments will be available for purchase, and all proceeds will go toward the expenses associated with the screening.

Click here to view a short trailer of the film.

Alaimo to deliver address at conference on climate & sustainability

PSC co-chair Stacy Alaimo, Associate Professor of English, has been invited to deliver a plenary address at an international conference entitled “Gendering Climate and Sustainability.” The conference will be held in Copenhagen in mid-March.

Conference info

Alaimo’s web page

Welcome to Stacy Alaimo as committee’s new faculty co-chair

At the February meeting, the PSC welcomed Stacy Alaimo, Associate Professor of English, as the committee’s new faculty co-chair (replacing me). Her research, writing, and teaching focus in part on environmental issues. She has been an active member of the Curriculum, Research, and Community Engagement Working Group. Welcome, Dr. Alaimo.

Alaimo’s web page and research profile

Workshop on Texas campus sustainability, March 27

The UT Austin Environmental Science Institute has launched an important new initiative: the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS). The first TRACS event will be a workshop on March 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., to bring representatives of universities and colleges from around Texas together to share ideas about implementing sustainability. Seating will be limited to about 90 people.

Registration form for workshop


Environmental Science Institute

For more info, contact Rob Borowski, 512-851-6995

Post a comment here if you want to share a ride. (If no comment box appears below, click on the word Comments in the line immediately below the headline, above).

Architecture students to help green New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

Architecture students Boback Firoozbakht, Micheal Peguero, Tania Sabillion, and Brenda Gonzales have been invited to participate in a program to help create what is being described as “the nation’s first  zero carbon community.” The program, known as Historic Green, will assist in applying green design and construction techniques to the task of rebuilding New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, devastated by flooding in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The students’ participation is being sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Info on Historic Green

Info on U.S. Green Building Council

Office Green Team will promote sustainability in departments

Maverick Green Team Information Session on Thursday, February 26
While a commitment to individual efforts – like recycling, turning off your computer at night, photocopying on two sides, etc. – can and do have a significant impact on waste management, there is so much more the University can do. But this will take a coordinated, long-term commitment by every department on campus. So come to the next Campus Communicators Forum meeting and learn about the ten functional areas in which the University has made a commitment to sustainability and how you and your department can get involved in the new MAVERICK OFFICE GREEN TEAM. The MAVERICK OFFICE GREEN TEAM will go beyond the typical environmental initiatives – like recycling – that most offices/departments typically support. Recognition and prizes will be awarded to MAVERICK OFFICE GREEN TEAMS including a reception with the President. Open to all faculty and staff. Thursday, February 26 at 8:30am in the Rio Grande Ballroom, U.C.

Brain Imaging and the Gulf War Syndrome, Feb. 27

Professor Tim Odegard, Department of Psychology

Friday Feb 27 Library Parlor, 6th Floor, 12 noon

Some veterans of the first Gulf War experience cognitive deficits associated with prior low-dose neurotoxin exposure they sustained by their time in the war. We consider the role that brain imaging can play in mapping out the relationship between brain function, prior exposure to environmental hazards and cognitive impairment.

The role of chemistry in climate, Feb. 11

Dr. A.R. Ravishankara

Director, Chemical Sciences Division

Earth System Research Laboratory

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration


February 11, 2009

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Nedderman Hall,

Room 100


Bring a brownbag lunch –

Cookies and soft drinks provided by

The College of Science.


Call 817-272-3491 for

additional information.

Atmospheric chemistry is a key determinant in controlling climate and studying present and future climate changes.  Dr. Ravishankara, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the 2009 Robert A. Welch Lecturer, will discuss the role that atmospheric chemistry plays in governing climate and will focus on studies performed by the Earth System Research Laboratory at NOAA.

“Frontiers in Science”

a series of informal presentations on popular science topics