Upcoming Events

Interconnections – Earth Week Schedule, Spring 2016

Previous Events

Interconnections – Earth Week Festival, Spring 2014

Earth Week Research and Arts Festival, Spring 2013

Sustainability Research Workshop, Fall 2012

Panel: “Updates on Water Research”
Apr 16 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Panelists include:

Philippe Baveye, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty Webpage
Philippe Baveye To Join Rensselaer Faculty as Kodak Chair in Environmental Engineering

Faye Duchin, Economics/Science and Technology Studies

Faculty Webpage

Do Water-Rich Regions have a Comparative Advantage in Food Production?: Improving the Representation of Water for Agriculture in Economic Models,” and“Policies and Technologies for a Sustainable Use of Water in Mexico: A Scenario Analysis,” both inEconomic Systems Research (co-authored with C. Lopez-Morales), and “Embodied Resource Flows in the Global Economy,” Journal of Industrial Ecology

Abby Kinchy, Science and Technology Studies
Personal Webpage

Michael Mascarenhas, Science and Technology Studies
Personal Webpage

Kathleen Ruiz, Arts

The Watershed Project

Flo: The Watershed Project: a continuation of her artistic research in using simulation technology to explore first person experience, intentionality, and empathy. “Flo” offers a rare opportunity to create a unique bridge between the digital and natural worlds and uses art and science to create a deep awareness of the delicate balance of the environment. Here one experiences what it may be like to “be” water. Using a custom designed physical interface to an interactive 3dimensional simulation that traces the formation of water as rain and then onwards thorough streams, reservoirs and aqueducts to become drinking water. Not only an artwork, this project has educational components in the form of field experiments and mini-games that address flooding, climate change, water pollution, sustainability, and ecofriendly practices. This project brings together unique alliance of scientists, environmental educators, university students and middle school students from upstate and from the South Bronx.

This panel will be co-chaired by Mike Fortun and Jim Napolitano.

Panel: “Environmental Leadership: Challenges and Directions”
Apr 17 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Panelists will include:

Elizabeth Anderson, EcoLogic President
Ecologic is the longest-running environmental club at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Our mission is to make progress toward a greener world and educate the community about environmental issues. We run lots of fun projects and events throughout the year. Meetings are currently on Tuesdays at 8:00pm in the Games Room (downstairs in the Union).

Deborah Kraft, Terra Cafe President

The Terra Café is a service provided by RPI students to enhance the community of RPI while educating our peers of the benefits of supporting the local and organic movement.This full service, sit-down restaurant, is committed to serving local and organic foods. Each week will feature a new menu with a meat option, vegetarian option, and a dessert.

Taylor Prince, Student Sustainability Task Force Chair, Green Greeks Representative
The Student Sustainability Task Force is a body created by the RPI Student Senate to address broad issues of sustainability on campus. It is a focal point for all student clubs and interested parties on campus, and aims to transform RPI into a sustainable institution.

Green Greeks is a Union recognized club that promotes sustainability on campus. Greek houses are now participating in single stream recycling, veggie oil pickup, and composting.

Kenny Campbell, Vasudha President

Vasudha is a new first-year living & learning community at Rensselaer. Being a living and learning community, students get a chance to study and live with other students who share their interests in the Earth, its environment, and our natural and energy resources.

Engineers for a Sustainable World

Engineers for a Sustainable World is a student run organization dedicated to combining the knowledge, skills, and experience of the RPI community to engineer solutions to social, environmental, and economic problems, both domestic and foreign, in the most sustainable way possible.

Panel: “Updates on Disaster Research”
Apr 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Panelists include Deborah McGuinness, Jose Holguin-Veras, David Mendonca, and Kim Fortun.

Panel & Film: “Updates on Shale Gas Research: A Systems Approach”
Apr 20 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


The Panel

Escalating investment in natural gas extraction over the last few years has provoked sharp debate, and also extensive research into associated risks. Studies have examined the technologies and processes used in shale gas extraction, the extensive infrastructure required, economic implications at local, national and international levels, and impacts on soil, air, water, human health and social life. This panel discussion will explore the implications of these research findings, and what further research needs to be carried out.

The panel will be co-chaired by RPI Professors Philippe Baveye (School of Engineering) and Kim Fortun (School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences).

The panel will start with the New York premier of the short film Fracking our Future, made by RPI Professors Yuri Gorby (Environmental Engineering) and Branda Miller (Arts), and RPI alum Elizabeth Press. Panelists will describe recent developments in their own work, and how recent research findings have shaped their perspectives and the grounds for collective deliberation about our energy future. An open discussion period will follow.

Panelists include:

Professor David Carpenter, MD Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, SUNY Albany

Professor Yuri Gorby, microbiologists, Department of Environmental Engineering, RPI

Professor Branda Miller, video artist, Department of Arts, RPI

Katherine Nadeau, Water and Natural Resources Program Director, Environmental Advocates of New York

Collin Thomas, Co-founder Capital District Against Fracking

Wei Zhou, Lecturer, Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The Film

Fracking the Future tells the stories of people in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio impacted by rapid expansion of the shale gas industry, highlighted effects on human health and everyday life.  The film is narrated by Rensselaer Professor of Environmental Engineering Yuri Gorby,  centering on his hometown in Bethany, West Virginia, and looks at the impact on health for residents living within a one mile radius of drilling sites. Director, Elizabeth Press. Executive Producer, Professor of Arts Branda Miller.

Be sure to check out our resources on fracking research.

Panel and Discussion: Sustainability, Economics and STS
Apr 23 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Economists Faye Duchin and John Gowdy (Rensselaer) will describe their current research, and how it advances contemporary theory and practice in Economics, while contributing to growing understanding of requirements for the sustainability of natural and human systems. The discussion will explore how economic research in this vein can build on and contribute to work in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies.