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CCU’s inaugural Sustainability Symposium to connect community with environmental experts, including climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe

April 6, 2023
Katharine Hayhoe, an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change, will give the keynote address at CCU's inaugural Sustainability Symposium.

Coastal Carolina University’s President’s Council for Sustainability and Coastal Resilience (PCSCR) will host its inaugural Sustainability Symposium on Tuesday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Lib Jackson Student Union and Wheelwright Auditorium. The event is CCU’s newest sustainability initiative to connect the community with local, regional, and national environmental experts. This year’s theme is “Creating a Resilient Future.”

The symposium will feature a keynote address by Katharine Hayhoe, an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters. Her presentation, titled “Mitigate, Adapt – or Suffer: Connecting Global Change to Local Impacts and Solutions,” will be held in Wheelwright Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. and is part of CCU’s Presidential Signature Series.

Hayhoe serves as chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy and a distinguished professor and chair at Texas Tech University. She has been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, United Nations Champion of the Environment, and the World Evangelical Alliance’s Climate Ambassador. Her writing has appeared in a broad range of outlets including The New York Times, Wired, O Magazine, and Chatelaine. Her TED talk, “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it,” has nearly 4 million views. Her most recent book is Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, published by Simon & Schuster.

“With President [Michael T.] Benson’s direct support of creating the President’s Council for Sustainability and Coastal Resilience, Katharine’s visit to our campus pairs perfectly with the mission of the Presidential Signature Series,” said Jeremy Monday, senior director of campus environments and co-coordinator of the event. Established by Benson in 2021, the Presidential Signature Series events range from lectures and performances to art displays and community celebrations.

There is no registration cost to attend the symposium, and CCU students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community, are invited to attend. Reservations are required for Hayhoe’s address and can be made here. The day will also include research presentations from undergraduate students, networking opportunities, panel discussions on intersectional environmentalism and climate resilience, and sustainability grant award presentations.

While the PCSCR is the main host of the event, various campus partners will present throughout the day, including professors of politics, language, finance and economics, sociology, educational research, and engineering science. Other presenters include representatives from CCU’s Accessibility and Disability Services and Intercultural and Inclusion Services, and local, state, and national leaders in sustainability.

“This is the benefit of the President’s Council for Sustainability and Coastal Resilience,” said Rachel Abarbanell, communication coordinator for auxiliary enterprises at CCU and co-coordinator of the event. “The council connects individuals from all areas of campus who work on sustainability related projects. This day offers an opportunity to showcase these efforts in one place. We are thrilled to host this inaugural event and promise that the day will be highly engaging.”

PCSCR works to create a more sustainable campus, centering sustainability in the University’s curriculum and student services, and serving the surrounding communities to build toward a sustainable future. The symposium is funded in part by a $500,000 gift from Aramark Higher Education, CCU’s contracted food service provider.

For more information and a full event schedule, click here.