Students reflect on international climate change strikes

Last year, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg began capturing the attention of the world when she elected to skip school every Friday in order to sit outside the Swedish Parliament building until her nation’s government did more to acknowledge climate change and become in accordance with the Paris Agreement.  A few short months later, the sixteen-year-old schoolgirl has become the head of an international movement to stop climate change and protect the earth. On March 15, schoolchildren in over 100 countries went on strike from school to demand change, according to Time.

Photographed by Benjamin Hunt. Childrening learning environment. Calder. Monday 4/8/19.

Offering: The art of environmental education

Grand Valley State University artist-in-resident Melanie Daniels collaborated with the CA Frost Environmental and Science Academy to guide children in spreading environmental awareness through artistic expression.   Daniels, also a visiting professor, presented the “Offering” exhibit in the Padnos Gallery of the Calder Art Center. Amy Paul’s fourth-grade students were invited to the GVSU Visual Arts building, where they began to take part in the project which combined exploring themes of the environment as they created art for the gallery.  

GVL / Courtesy - Metro Connection

Michigan measles outbreaks spark precautions

In recent months, the count of children in Michigan infected with the measles virus has been rising, with the total reaching being 39 infected. The newly confirmed cases were found in Oakland county and one case in Wayne county. While there haven’t been any confirmed cases in west Michigan or at Grand Valley State University, staff are urging students to take precautions against the virus.  Measles is a highly contagious disease, spread when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes in proximity of others. The virus can live for up to two hours in the air or on surfaces where an infected person was present. 

Courtesy / GVSU CSLC

Hundreds take to service, celebrate Community Outreach Week

Grand Valley State University is celebrating its tenth annual Community Outreach Week from March 23-30. Sponsored by GVSU’s Office of Alumni Relations, Community Outreach Week allows students, alumni, faculty and staff to participate in planned service projects or develop a volunteer opportunity of their own. Kyle Barnhart has served as GVSU’s Alumni Volunteer Coordinator for the past year and a half. As part of this job, he said he helps with recruiting participants and registering them in various service projects.

Courtesy / Grand Rapids RCE Virtual Conference

GVSU hosts fourth annual Youth Virtual Conference on Sustainability

On Feb. 20, Grand Rapids Public Schools partnered with the Center for Economicology in Grand Rapids to host the fourth annual Youth Virtual Conference on sustainability and climate change.  According to a Grand Valley State University press release, the schools involved in the event are part of the United Nations University Network of Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCEs). GVSU is a member of the Grand Rapids RCE, which also includes other local universities and West Michigan businesses. 

courtesy / recyclemania.org

GV tackles waste issues with RecyleMania

Spanning from Feb. 4 through March 30, Grand Valley State University will compete in RecycleMania for another year. RecycleMania is a nationwide competition challenging all colleges and universities to bring awareness to recycling.  “Recycling (should be a) part of your life, it’s not just a one-time thing,” said Janet Aubil, waste management leader of the campus sustainability advisory council. 

Drew McWilliams tests water from Lake Michigan for E-Coli inside of the Robert B. Annis Water Resource Institute (AWRI) in Muskegon on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. GVL/Archive

GV's Annis Water Research Institute formally partners with MSU

Research into water-related issues and threats continue to be a primary concern for Michiganders, whose identity is rooted in the Great Lakes; this is what makes Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) so essential to ongoing discussions about water. Recently, AWRI has partnered with Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research (IWR) to collaborate on future water research projects. 

courtesy / gvsu.edu

Board of Trustees approves environmental and sustainability studies major for fall 2019

During Grand Valley State University’s Feb. 8 Board of Trustees meeting, board members approved the creation of an Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENS) major. The new major builds on the structure of the preexisting minor, offered by the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, and will go into effect fall 2019.  The ENS major will be available both as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and spans 35-37 credits, according to the program proposal. The coursework will be diverse, drawing largely from the ENS minor.