ENVX symposium focuses on climate change

Keynote speakers Julia Baum, Alex Trembath will address fears, concerns about planet’s fragile future

The four symposium co-chairs pose with a bicycle shaped bike rack.
Courtesy of ENVS Co-Chairs

The Environmental Studies (ENVS) program is sponsoring the upcoming Environment Across Boundaries (ENVX) Symposium “Deconstructing the Apocalypse: Holistic Evaluations of Climate Futures” from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20. 

ENVX is an intersectional approach to environmental studies that represents the goals of the program, which include inclusivity, equity, environmental justice, communication and reflection. According to the ENVS’s page statement, “ENVX is a commitment to equip students with skills to cross, intellectual, geographic, and communication boundaries.” 

The symposium was planned by Co-Chairs Umi Fulgencio ’23, Oskar Kohlbrenner ’23, Elizabeth McCarthy, Francisco Perzo ’23, Keilani Vega ’22, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Jessica Kleiss and ENVS Administrative Specialist Laura Mundt. The panel discussions, workshops and activities will explore how current and future climates are conceptualized, reflecting on both the theoretical and the practical. The symposium will examine climate anxiety in the past, present and future, as well as how that influences everyday decisions and the impact of recent natural disasters. 

ENVS major and Entrepreneurship and Leadership Innovation minor Fulgencio explained why the theme Apocalypse was chosen. 

“Our approach was to make this message as accessible as possible where, after hearing from diversified viewpoints and expertise, one can make their own decisions and actions toward climate anxiety-induced fear,” Fulgencio said. “Our two keynote speakers demonstrate that interdisciplinary approach in communicating that message”.

The event’s keynote speakers are Julia Baum and Alex Trembath. Baum is a professor of ocean ecology and global change at the University of Victoria, and will give an address titled “From Climate Despair to Action: A Personal Journal of Corals, COVID, and Kids.” Trembath is a director at the Breakthrough Institute doing research on the role of technology in solving environmental issues. He is also a published author, with an address titled “Why Ecomodernism?” Both Trembath and Baum’s addresses will take place on Oct. 18 from 7 to 8:45 p.m. in the Council Chamber, and will have a reception in the foyer afterward. 

Other speakers include water rights and Native American advocate Brook Thompson, prominent climate dataset researcher Katherine Hegewisch and Dr. Thomas Doherty, a clinical and environmental psychologist who previously taught at LC. 

Kicking off the symposium is a screening and discussion of the film “The Ants and The Grasshopper” in the Council Chamber within Templeton Student Center from 7 to 9 p.m. The following day is a mindfulness workshop called “Active Hope for Apocalyptic Anxiety,” held in the Gregg Pavilion from 6 to7 p.m. 

Students can sign up for lunch with the keynote speakers on Oct. 19 from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in the Gregg Pavilion, as well as a map and graph data story workshop in J.R. Howard Hall room 102 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. That evening from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Council Chamber another panel discussion will take place. 

The event ends on Oct. 20 with an RSVP-only art workshop from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Fields Dining Room, a virtual career fair from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. hosted by the Career Center and the Sustainability in Portland Networking Event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Corbett House. 

The organizers invite all LC students, and outside community members to attend and participate. 

“Non-major, or major, we hope to communicate a message that is clear to all students and individuals,” Fulgencio said. “That is a message of hope and optimism for our climate future, through your own understanding from distinguished areas of psychology, science, and even storytelling.”

Proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person events. Any questions can be directed to envs@lclark.edu. To find more information visit @lcenvs on Instagram and RVSP for events on LC’s ENVX Symposium webpage. 

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