Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earth Day Events at University of Michigan and Oakland Community College


Time for a linkspam.

First, my alma mater.

Earth Day celebrations planned at U-M

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan celebrates Earth Day with events this week, including:

• A two-day workshop, "Revitalizing Innovation in Michigan for Clean Energy Manufacturing," will explore how to create an ecosystem of innovation throughout the state.

The event will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 21 and 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 22 in the Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor.

The workshop will include state and national leaders, in addition to representatives from the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), OVPR's Office of Technology Transfer and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.
If I were a full-time science journalist, which I'm not, I'd make it a point to cover this. I've been to a conference like this before, and rather enjoyed it.

• North Quad residence hall will host an Andean Thanksgiving Ceremony for Mother Earth. The ceremony known as Despacho a Pachamama in Quechua, the language of the Incas, gives participants an opportunity to express gratitude to the Earth, and the land that provides resources for well-being, says organizer Tatiana Calixto, a lecturer in Spanish and GIEU Teaching Fellow in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

It consists of a series of offerings (seeds, candy, grains and others) that are presented with reverence and gratitude to the Earth. The event also will include video presentations about various aspects of the tradition.

"I've performed this ceremony with my students in my classes, and they compare it to Mother's Day," Calixto said. "I totally agree, since we celebrate a special day by returning to our mothers, perhaps presenting a gift to them, and doing something special for everything that they do for us."

The celebration will be held 5-7 p.m. Friday (April 22) in Room 2435 of North Quad. Calixto says this room provides the perfect space for the event. "For the indigenous peoples—Quechua, Aymara, Arhuaco, Mapuche and many more in the world—the planet is their temple and home. We should learn from that." In addition to Calixto, other organizers include North Quad Programming, the Language Resource Center and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Location: North Quad, 105 South State St., Ann Arbor.
This is way too woo-woo for me. However, I really don't think I should mock it, if for no other reason than any societal transformation requires a spiritual expression. I may not be the person to do it, but I don't know if I trust The Archdruid to do it, either. One of my regular readers and commenters has a really dyspeptic rant about how The Archdruid has a spirtually poisonous take on what he calls "The Long Descent." Speaking of that regular commenter, he has an interesting spritual take that I trust more than The Archdruid's, but that's a subject for another post.

Now, the one community college in the area, other than Lansing Community College, that has a public announcement of Earth Day events. It actually has four.  Full disclosure, it's also my employer (I'm not an anonymous blogger).

Back to Earth

Two of the events take place back to back at the Highland Lakes campus of Oakland Community College (7350 Cooley Lake Road, Waterford, MI 48327) on Thursday afternoon, April 21st. The first one is a presentation on Permaculture Design at 2:00 P.M.

With much of our culture’s attention shifting to all things sustainable, permaculture is emerging as the definitive design methodology for the transition to a sustainable future. By planning human settlements in ways that mimic the relationships found in nature, permaculturists are creating inspiring solutions to the worlds most pressing issues of peak oil, climate change, food and water shortages, and economic instability.
This is exactly on topic for this blog.

A central theme in permaculture is the design of ecological landscapes that produce food. However, permaculture entails much more than organic perennial food production. Integrating renewable energy, natural building, water systems, transportation, waste recycling, and land stewardship are all central themes found in permaculture design.
Too bad I'm not going to this talk. I'd both enjoy it and find it useful.

Speaker Nathan Ayers is a permaculture design educator born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is founder of the Burns Park Green Energy Association, and co-founder of Transition Ann Arbor.
I met the people in charge of Transition Oakland County last summer. I really have to get back in touch with them. After all, they're a bunch of Crazy Eddies just like me!

He is certified in permaculture design, organic gardening, and NABCEP trained in solar photovoltaic systems. With his organization Chiwara Permaculture, Nathan and his team are helping Michigan homes, business, and communities take responsibility for their food and energy production. At any given moment, Nate is also a musician, surfer, and dog lover. You can learn more at
Wow, now I'm really sorry I'm not going to this event!

The second event is about gardening and takes place at 3:30 to 4:30 P.M. in the same location as the previous event.

Join Kate Hart from Cricket Garden
Come and be motivated to start you own garden. Speaker Kate Hart, editor of the Cricket Garden Newsletter, will share what she does to be one with nature. Limited supply of free flower and vegetable seeds, first come first serve.

Kate will talk about how gardening and having her hands in the dirt brought her to a new awareness. The realization there is practically no field of human endeavor that does not relate to gardening in some way. Seen from whatever perspective we might choose, nature touches on every single aspect of human life. Therefore, gardening becomes the metaphor for life or the other way around. But it doesn’t matter as life and growing food are symbiotic with each other which have to be considered, as we improve on, reinvent and are inspired by, to move forward on an ever-changing planet. Nothing is separate as it appears to human perception, but everything is interlinked.
Neither of these events is advertised as "free and open to the public," so contact the Student LIFE Office, 248.942.3243 or to see if the public is welcome.

The next event, which will be held at the Orchard Ridge campus of OCC (27055 Orchard lake Road, Farmington Hills) this Friday at 10 A.M. is billed as "free and open to the public." I also highly recommend it.

The Impact of Urban Farming on American Cities

Taja Sevelle is a music recording artist, songwriter, novelist and inventor from Minneapolis, Minnesota who began her music career in 1987 when she was signed to the Paisley Park Records label by Prince. She has made six music videos, recorded three cds and one ep and toured in eight countries, garnering rave reviews in People, Billboard, Time Out New York and many more. Taja will make a presentation on Urban Farming, the charitable organization she founded in Detroit that cultivates food in unused urban spaces to feed the hungry. Urban Farming is now the official charity of Atlantic Records.
Ms. Sevelle (the photo on the poster does not do her justice, trust me ;-) gave a presentation at the campus I teach for Earth Day last year. It was a blast. I'm sure that she'll give at least as good a performance this year, so if you can make it, please do.

Finally, the Auburn Hills campus is holding a Sustainability Fair from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. on Tuesday the 26th.

1st Annual Sustainability Fair

Join us as we help increase awareness about living sustainably and celebrate projects, products and educational programs created with a commitment to sustainability. This event will gather students, faculty and numerous local businesses and community organizations to share
their resources and expertise through information booths, giveaways, educational activities, demonstrations, displays and more.
This isn't advertised as "open to the public," but I'm fairly sure it is.

And that concludes tonight's linkspam of upcoming Earth Day events in SE Michigan.

1 comment:

  1. Nice try, spammer, but not creative enough. Off to the bit bucket for you!