Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are pleased to bring our 50th anniversary Earth Day Conference to you in a virtual format! This online community event will feature a range of live and prerecorded educational sessions throughout the day as well as opportunities for live engagement.
Thanks for a great conference and helping us celebrate the 50th anniversaries of Earth Day and the Nelson Institute!
As we celebrate the past 50 years of the environmental movement, what choices can we make that will improve the world over the next five decades? Join us as we hear from leaders that will discuss the importance of social justice, technology, and intentionality in crafting our shared future.
- Eduardo Brondizio, distinguished professor, anthropology, and director, Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes, Indiana University Bloomington; co-chair, Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Inter-Governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
- Lucas Joppa, chief sustainability officer, Microsoft
- Mariama White-Hammond, pastor of ecological justice, New Roots AME Church
On April 22, 1970, more than 20 million Americans gathered to observe the very first Earth Day. What began as a grassroots effort led by Wisconsin Governor, United States Senator, and Nelson Institute namesake, Gaylord Nelson, has now become a global day of environmental action. Join Nelson’s daughter, Tia Nelson, and Adam Rome, author of The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made for the First Green Generation, for a look at how Earth Day has impacted our culture and what the success of this initiative can teach us as we address global climate change and growing environmental challenges.
- Tia Nelson, managing director – climate, The Outrider Foundation
- Adam Rome, professor, environment and sustainability, University at Buffalo; author, The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation
Presented in partnership with the Outrider Foundation. Check out Outrider’s Earth Day film, “When the Earth Moves.”
(Limited to 1,000 attendees)
12 p.m. CDT April 20
Human health is intrinsically linked to the health of the planet. The emergence of COVID-19 represents the inevitable outcome of human intrusion into natural systems. Rooted in wildlife trade and degradation of wildlife habitats, as well as deforestation and climate change, without a reversal in the current overexploitation of natural resources, the next pandemic is inevitable. We invite you to join us for a live session that will explore the interdependencies between the health of the planet and the health of humans.
- Jonathan Patz, professor and John P. Holton chair in Health and the Environment; director, Global Health Institute, UW-Madison
These pre-recorded sessions can be viewed anytime during the virtual conference. Each session will feature introductory remarks followed by a series of short videos, and will include a discussion board for participants to share comments and questions about the topics.
From gene and sound mapping to artificial intelligence, this session will explore innovative ecological engineering and showcase why technology holds the key to preserving habitats and wildlife.
- Carol Barford, director and associate scientist, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison
- Zuzana Burivalova, assistant professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison
- Francisco Pelegri, professor, Department of Genetics, UW-Madison
- Zhou Zhang, assistant professor, Biological Systems Engineering, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW-Madison
As climate change impacts communities across the globe, food justice, or a community’s right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food remains a concern. This session will explore this topic and the ways in which environmental and societal challenges impact food justice.
- Monica White, associate professor of environmental justice, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison
- Jennifer Gaddis, assistant professor, Department of Civil Society and Community Studies, UW-Madison
- Mariaelena Huambachano, assistant professor, Department of Civil Society and Community Studies, UW-Madison; 4W Director of Biodiversity Protection and Indigeneity
- Sarah Rios, assistant professor, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, UW-Madison
From solar and wind to geothermal and hydropower, neighborhoods are increasingly investing in clean energy technologies. While there are many positive aspects to clean energy, there are also some challenges to consider, including how people from all economic backgrounds can benefit from clean technology. Join us for a discussion on energy justice and learn why energy solutions rooted in democratic, equitable processes are key to the future of sustainability.
From traditional ecological knowledge and hunting to population dynamics and competition, this session will explore the various methods for sustainable wildlife management. Both researchers and practitioners will share how their methods contribute to a more sustainable future and how humans and wildlife can coexist in a mutually beneficial way.
- Tim Van Deelen, Beers-Bascom Professor in Conservation, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology; chair, Nelson Institute Environmental Conservation Professional Master’s Program, UW-Madison
- Emily Iehl, R3 coordinator, Bureau of Law Enforcement, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Anne Lacy, crane research coordinator, International Crane Foundation
- Michael Waasegiizhig Price, traditional ecological knowledge specialist, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Explore the myriad types of research being conducted by graduate students in the Nelson Institute and enjoy presentations on a wide range of topics.
- Colleen Henegan, MS student, Environment and Resources, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison; “But Those are Real bugs! Perceptions of Farmed Edible Insects Among Sellers, Consumers, and Non-Consumers in Lusaka, Zambia”
- Hugh Roland, PhD student, Environment and Resources, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison; Conceptualizing and measuring flood-related vulnerability in the Peruvian Amazon
- Water Resources Management Cohort 2020, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison; A Blueprint for Salt Sustainability of UW-Madison’s Campus
Business Workshop on Carbon: Tactics and Tools for Carbon Strategy and Management
The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council and Evolution Marketing have teamed up to present a four-part series on carbon management and strategies. During this series participants will gain perspective on why carbon is important, the key terms associated with carbon management, and understand what tools and tactics businesses are using to manage, reduce, and offset their carbon footprints. Participants will also hear from industry pioneers leading on innovation and mitigation.
Explore the key terms and resources you need to know when beginning and advancing in your carbon journey.
- Global sustainability class, Oconomowoc High School
Learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint starting with efficiency. This session will also talk about market tools available to support carbon tracking and overall sustainability programming for your business.
(Limited to 1,000 attendees)
10 a.m. CDT April 20
This session will give you an overview of the journey that a business goes on to measure and address carbon, unpack the business case for climate, dive into carbon offset strategies, and explore how to communicate your strategy.
2 p.m. CDT April 20
Businesses today are leading in actions to address climate and carbon concerns in ways that improve environmental performance, strengthen their business, and meet the expectations of the communities in which they operate and serve. In this session you will hear from two pioneering companies setting precedents for carbon actions and strategies taken globally.
- Lisa Geason-Bauer, president, Evolution Marketing
- Jessy Servi Ortiz, managing director, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council
Share Your First Earth Day Story
The 50th anniversary of Earth Day offers a great opportunity for celebration and reflection. In celebration of this monumental occasion, we will invite you to share a memory from your first Earth Day on our discussion board, which will be live on April 20.