September 21, 2009

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Michael Dorsey
By Sam Alcorn

LEWISBURG, Pa. — A noted climate scholar will be the keynote speaker at Bucknell University's 350 Climate Action Festival, a four-day event designed to draw attention to the environmental and social repercussions related to climate change.

Michael Dorsey, a professor of environmental sciences at Dartmouth College and principal investigator in Dartmouth's Climate Justice Research Project, will speak Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Elaine Langone Center Forum. This event is free and open to the public.

The talk is part of the four-day Climate Action Festival that gets underway at Bucknell on Wednesday, Oct. 14, and concludes on Saturday, Oct. 17. Hosted by the Environmental Club and the Bucknell University Environmental Center, the festival is part of a nationwide effort taking place on America's campuses during the month.

Festival goals
"Our festival has three primary goals," said Molly Burke, Class of '10 and president of the Environmental Club. "We want to educate Bucknell students about climate change, serve as a catalyst for change for individuals to become more environmentally sustainable, and connect with other environmental associations like peer school students and community groups to form an alliance."

The national 350 Climate Action Festival is an offshoot of, a climate group founded by U.S. author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, and his university friends. The number 350 represents the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide as measured in parts per million in the atmosphere. As the group explained, "It's the number humanity needs to get back below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change."

Keynote speaker Dorsey is a co-contributor of the recently re-released Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society: Negative Returns on South African Investments. For more than a decade, he has provided strategic guidance and advice to governments, foundations and firms on the interplay of multilateral environment policy, finance and economic development.

Ford Foundation
His research has been rewarded with a Ford Foundation grant and he has served as a member of Barack Obama's energy and environmental presidential campaign team.

Dorsey holds degrees from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and The Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to Dorsey's keynote address, festival activities include:

  • Documentary, Earth, on an outdoor projection screen, Science Quad, 8 p.m. Oct. 14. 
  • Local food night and green initiatives in Bucknell's cafeteria, Oct. 14.
  • Smoothies made in a blender powered by a bicycle during lunch and dinner hours, Bostwick Dining Hall, Oct. 14.
  • Panel discussion of Bucknell's Climate Action Plan, noon Oct. 16, Elaine Langone Center Forum. Participants include Dina El-Mogazi, director of the Bucknell Campus Greening Initiative, Dennis Hawley, associate vice president for facilities, and Wendy Chou, a consultant in the Environmental Center. 
  • Open house tour and dinner at Bucknell's new Sustainable Cooperative House, Taylor House, 7 p.m. Oct. 16.

For a complete list of festival activities, visit the Environmental Club.

Throughout the week, the sponsors will host visual demonstrations on Bucknell-specific statistics that include the amount of paper and energy consumed on campus. The groups also will challenge the Bucknell community to a tap water vs. bottled water blind taste challenge.

To encourage student participation in events, the sponsors are conducting a "passport challenge" in that each participant receives a passport stamp. Completed passports are eligible for a drawing for a bicycle.

Contact: Division of Communications