Climate Summit set for April 9 at UW-River Falls

By Paul Langfellow
Falcon News Service

February 24, 2016--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will host a Regional Climate Summit on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Riverview Ballroom of the University Center. The summit will feature a variety of distinguished speakers, roundtables and workshops focused on case studies of environmental issues.

The attendees at the summit will include student leaders of all 26 UW institutions as well as student leaders from Minnesota and the surrounding region, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and businesses that have been involved with environmental sustainability.

In addition to having a variety of keynote speakers, the climate summit also will work with campus environmental groups such as the Environmental Corps of Sustainability (ECOS) and the Student Alliance for Local and Sustainable Agriculture (SALSA).

Veronica Justen, assistant professor of crop science and SALSA adviser, is pleased about student involvement in the summit.

"I'm always happy when students are engaged and they plan these events primarily independent of faculty members," Justen said. "I love when they take the initiative to develop these types of activities for students on their own."

UWRF leaders are hoping that the summit will spike interest in the climate and the issues that surround it.

"I would like to see that it would just get a couple individuals more interested in or thinking more about how they impact the environment around them," said Jason Hubing, president of SALSA.

The summit originated after the Campus National Leadership Council, Defend our Future Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund approached UWRF to host the event.

The major undertaking of the project was started by Student Senate, which filed the application to host the summit. Student Senate President Chris Morgan outlined some of the aspects of the summit, which will address topics such as sustainability, environmental awareness, and how businesses can use environmentally beneficial practices.

"It's our hope that the majority of the events will happen April 9 in the Ballroom but also on April 9 we will be reserving rooms throughout the University Center to have workshops in, so there will be a local workshop, a federal workshop and a state workshop and in each one of those rooms they will have a case study," Morgan said. "For instance we could have (the city of) River Falls in to talk about their solar garden."

In addition to the climate summit on April 9, groups such as SALSA and ECOS will be hosting events, including a film series, for the entire month of April leading up to Earth Day on April 22.

For more information, email Morgan at


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