Spring 2015 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.                                        

February 2015


"Foot Stamping and Booming! Prairie Chickens in Illinois"
Monday, February 2, 2015 7:00 pm Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101

The Greater Prairie Chicken is an iconic bird of the tallgrass prairies that once covered much or Illinois. Their population in Illinois once numbered in the millions but they are now found only in the Prairie Ridge State Natural Area. Over the past several years their population had declined to about 60 birds. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Audubon Society have embarked on a multi-year project to revitalize the Illinois Prairie Chicken population by translocating 300 birds from Kansas. Bob Gillespie, who is coordinating the current recovery project for the IDNR, will talk about the restoration efforts for this fascinating grassland bird. Sponsored by the JWP Audubon, IWU Environmental Studies Program, and IWU Biology Department. 


Environmental Studies Alumni Panel
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
7:00 pm
Welcome Center Auditorium 

Join professionals and IWU alum as they share their insights and advice about their work in the environmental and conservation areas. Featured on this panel are

       Bethany Evans, '01 Greenhouse Manager & Curators, ISU
       Katie Coleman, '04 Digital Advocacy Specialist at Environmental Law & Policy Center
       Vera Leopold, '05 Grants Manager/Development Associate at the Wetlands Initiative
       Ellen Cornelius, '14 Environmental Program Coordinator at American Lung Association

This panel is presented by the Hart Career Center. 

March 2015 


"The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Project: Restoring Functional Floodplain for Nature and People"
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
7:00 pm 
Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101

The 6,600-acre Emiquon preserve was once among the biologically richest wetlands in North America. In the 20th century, the lakes and wetlands were converted into farmland, isolating the area from the Illinois River. In spring 2007, after 7 years of science-based planning, The Nature Conservancy turned off the pumps that had dried out the land since the 1920s. Within months water reappeared in the historic lakebeds and native plants returned from their seeds that had lain dormant for years. Emiquon is the premiere demonstration site for The Nature Conservancy's work within the Upper Mississippi River system, and will help guide large floodplain river restoration efforts around the world. The next phase of restoration at Emiquon will be the installation of a water management structure that will provide a connection between the wetland and the Illinois River, facilitating the water control needed to sustain these high-quality habitats long term. Doug Blodgett, Director of River Conservation for the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, will give a presentation on the Emiquon Preserve and discuss the science behind the planned reconnection of the Illinois River. Sponsored by the JWP Audubon, IWU Environmental Studies Program, and IWU Biology Department. 


Environmental Internship Panel
Thursday, March 19, 2015
7:00 pm
State Farm Hall (SFH) 103

Interested in gaining "real world" experience or learning about different internship options? The Panel will feature several current students who have had various environmental related internships -- for credit and non-credit. The panelists are able to give personal experiences and describe the types of duties and what they've learned through their internship. You will also be introduced to what is involved if an internship if taken for class credit, how to search for internships, and how to apply. 


Photographer Tom Ulrich
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
7:00 pm
Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) C101

Nature photographer Tom Ulrich will present a photographic journey in the life of a wildlife photographer in 2014. This year's focus will include the birds of Ecuador, bird migration in Texas, and the spectacular wildlife and landscapes of Glacier National Park in Montana. He dazzles his audiences with amazing photographs, tips for photographers and humorous narration. Tom's work has been featured in National GeographicNational WildlifeTime, Audubon, and many other publications. Admission is free for IWU students with their university ID card. Sponsored by the JWP Audubon, IWU Environmental Studies Program, and IWU Biology Department. 


"China, Peak Oil, Climate Change, and the 21st Century Crisis"
LI Minqi, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Utah
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
4:00 pm
Beckman Auditorium, Ames Library  

China is at the center of global environmental contradictions. As China becomes the world's largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter, the global ecological system is approaching the point of no return. The current global ecological crisis is a part of the structural crisis of global capitalism. Both crises cannot be resolved withing the historical framework of the existing world system. Sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program and the IWU Asian Studies Team, International Studies Program. 

Click here for a sampling of Fall 2014 Events and Speakers