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MSU's Sustainability Conference Will Address Energy, Green Building

credit: MSU College of Natural and Applied Sciences
credit: MSU College of Natural and Applied Sciences

Missouri State University will host the 4th annual sustainability conference Wednesday. Organized by the university’s sustainability advisory committee, the conference will highlight several hot button environmental issues.

The conference will start off with a panel discussion on sustainable energy, and will feature four panelists who’ll discuss their work and projects in regards to alternative energy sources. Audience members will be able to ask questions after the presentations.

A keynote address follows the panel discussion, given by two professionals involved with green building after natural disasters.  One of them is Andrew Whitehead, who’s working to rebuild Joplin by utilizing green construction techniques.

After the keynote address is a movie called Too Hot Not to Handle. The movie will discuss the effects of global warming in the United States.

Dr. Tammy Jahnke is the dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at MSU, and is head of the sustainability advisory committee. She says the recent drought that hit the Midwest proves sustainability is a topic everyone must think about.

“You know, when you think about water, there’s only a finite amount of water. So how do we use that, and how do we make sure we all have clean water? Those are issues that it’s gotten home to all of us now. It’s not just that group of people or in this place, but it’s hitting us more broadly now, and I think we all need to pay attention,” Jahnke said.  

Lauren Bansbach, director of sustainability for the student government association, says the conference is a great resource for her fellow students to learn more about sustainability, and the impact our actions have on the environment.  

“Climate change is a real issue, and the only way to combat that is by fully embracing the concept of sustainability. Through that, it can help out our economy, all of our social structure, and it’s an issue that you can’t ignore,” Bansbach said.

The sustainability conference starts at 3 pm Wednesday afternoon inside the Plaster Student Union. It’s free and open to the public. Click here for more information about the conference.