Fall 2014 Speakers and Events


Students at the 2014 Environmental Studies Picnic
Washington elementary
Kira Miller '16 digs grape bushes at Washington Elementary School 

Also see GREENetwork for more environment-related events.                                           

September 2014


 Environmental Studies Department Annual Picnic

Sunday, September 7, 2014 4:30-6:30 pm Sugar Grove Nature Center

The Environmental Studies Program will host its annual picnic at the Sugar Grove Nature Center. This is a great time to gather outdoors, meet new people, and enjoy some down time with your ES faculty and fellow students.  

The ES program will provide basic staples for burgers and veggie burgers, as well as drinks.  Faculty and students are encouraged to bring a potluck item to share.  In years past, this has been an opportunity for a great feast. So come and join in on the fun!


 "Vernon Smith, Economic Experiments, and the Visible Hand"
Dr. Don L. Coursey, Ameritech Professor of Public Policy at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 
7 pm
Hansen Student Center

Having studied under Nobel Prize-winner Vernon L. Smith, Dr. Coursey has applied the techniques of experimental economics to investigate natural resource issues and seeks to understand ‘alternative institutions’ impact prior to implementation. Coursey’s work has significantly expanded economists’ knowledge of such issues as endangered species protection, the marketing of water, and understanding insurance behavior under different risk conditions for natural disasters. 


“From Major to ES Career: Next Steps”
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
11am- noon
Welcome Center Auditorium

Preparing for the future? Stop by to hear Robyn Walter discuss information including how to: explore ES career paths, identify and learn from professionals in a field of interest, get your feet wet and gain practical experience, apply for internships, begin a job search, and also things to consider if graduate school is on the horizon. Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Department and Robyn Walter of the Hart Career Center


 “Graduate School Essentials”
Thursday, September 25, 2014
4:00 pm
Welcome Center Auditorium 

Applying to grad schools can be a part-time job!  Learn how to find good programs, what tests to take and when, soliciting good recommendation letters, and write descriptive, articulate, and strong personal statements!


 "People's Climate March: A Report from the Front Lines"
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
4:00 pm
State Farm Hall 102

Join Professor Tom Lutze and local high school students Nate Jahiel and Christian Prenzler, who recently returned from the 2014 People's Climate March in New York City, the largest climate march in history! They will share their first-hand experiences, show photos and videos, discuss the political significance of this march, and compare this march to other mass demonstrations that have taken place since the 1960s. Co-sponsored by Sierra Student Coalition, Environmental Studies Program, and the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice 


October 2014


 IWU Peace Garden's Harvest Festival
Friday, October 3, 2014
IWU Peace Garden

Illinois Wesleyan University's Peace Garden is hosting it's annual Harvest Festival! There will be live music from the Red Scarves, organic and sustainably sourced food, and a bonfire to follow. 


“Exploring the Nature of Illinois”

Dr. Michael Jeffords and Ms. Susan Post
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
7 pm
Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101

Dr. Michael Jeffords and Ms Susan Post will present their explorations of the stunning landscapes of the prairies, lakesides, river bottoms, and woodlands of Illinois.  These findings were highlighted in their recently published book, Exploring Nature in Illinois: A Field Guide to the Prairie State.  Dr. Jeffords is the retired education/outreach director for the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) and was staff photographer for The Illinois Steward magazine.  Ms. Post is a retired INHS research scientist and staff writer for The Illinois Steward magazine, and author of Hiking Illinois. They are co-authors of Illinois Wilds. Sponsored by the JWP Audubon, the IWU Biology Department, and the IWU Environmental Studies Program. 


"The Story Behind Pollination"
Mr. Tom Pankonen
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
7:00 pm
Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101

Join local beekeeper Tom Pankonen of Honey Pimp Apiaries as he shares his knowledge of beekeeping and the great importance that bees have as pollinators. Honey Pimp Apiaries provides products such as honey, bees wax, lip balm, honeybee consulting, and honeybee education for the Central Illinois region. Co-sponsored by the IWU Sierra Student Coalition and the IWU Environmental Studies Program. 


 November 2014


"Butterflies of the American Prairie"
Dr. Doug Taron
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
7 pm
Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101

Dr. Doug Taron, the Curator of Biology and Vice-president of Conservation and Research at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, will talk about "Butterflies of the American Prairie."  Dr. Taron will explore the ecology of prairie butterfly species and highlight the special relationships between caterpillars and their host plants.  He will also discuss his regional butterfly conservation efforts undertaken at the museum, including rearing and releasing locally imperiled butterfly species.  Dr. Taron coordinates the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network, a volunteer-based organization that monitors the health of butterfly populations on nature preserves throughout Illinois. Sponsored by the JWP Audubon, the IWU Biology Department, and the IWU Environmental Studies Program. 


America Recycles Day
Saturday, November 15, 2014
8:00 am-1:00 pm
Hansen Student Center Parking Lot

The Ecology Action Center and Illinois Wesleyan University are teaming up to host a MegaRecycling event. On America Recycles Day, residents can recycle: electronics, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), household batteries, clothes, textiles and shoes (usable or not), plastic garden pots, and TerraCycle items. There will also be free and confidential paper shredding services. Please note that CRT style TVs and monitors as well as hazardous waste items will not be accepted at this event. For more information or to volunteer, visit the Ecology Action Center website. This Event is sponsored by State Farm and brought to you by Home Sweet Home Ministries, Springfield Electric, C.O.P.S. Confidential On-Site Paper Shredding, the Illinois Plastic Pot Recycling Project, Illinois Wesleyan University, and the Ecology Action Center. 


Click here for a sampling of Spring 2014 Events and Speakers