MARQUETTE – In conjunction with national Earth Day, Northern Michigan University will host several “Earth Week” activities April 17-22.

            Events include speakers, presentations and information on environmental issues. All are open to the public free of charge unless otherwise stated. Presentations will be held in the Marquette and Nicolet rooms of the University Center. The schedule of events is as follows:

            On Monday, April 17, the Environmental Science Organization (ESO) of NMU will sponsor an Environmental Issues Fair from noon-3 p.m. in the New Science Facility atrium. This exhibition will feature information from local non-profit organizations, local chapters of national organizations, and governmental agencies related to environmental issues.

            Two presentations with an earth and soil emphasis will be held on Tuesday, April 18. At 10 a.m., Natasha Gill will discuss organic food and its advantages. Gill owns Dancing Cranes, a local organic farm. From 2-4 p.m., Andrew Ware will speak about the proposed sulfide mining project on the Yellow Dog Plains and discuss how Kennecott Minerals Corp. plans to take precautions against environmental damage at this site. Ware is the Kennecott project manager.

            Three presentations on water issues will be held on Wednesday, April 19. From 10 a.m.-noon, Jessica Mistak will present “Reckoning with the Dead: Restoring the Dead River after a Catastrophic Flood.” Mistak is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries biologist. She will discuss the details of the Dead River restoration project.

            From 2-4 p.m., Doug Knauer will discuss the connections between the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, give examples of local and regional relevance for each, and share suggestions on more effective implementation of both. Knauer is a retired Wisconsin DNR chief of water resources research.

            From 6-8 p.m., Sarah Jandra will give a presentation on the Marquette County Conservation District (MCCD) programs and public involvement, including the conservation programs it offers to the public and how it keeps involved in current environmental issues. Jandra is the watershed project manager for the MCCD.

            Marquette Citizens for Wind Energy will give a presentation at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 20. Hosted by Jen Silverston of Northern Options, this presentation will offer information about the organization and its goals.

            At 3 p.m., personnel from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will offer a storm watcher training program, awarding storm watcher certification to anyone who completes the training. NOAA will offer another presentation about the changing climate of the Upper Peninsula at 5 p.m.

            On Friday, April 21, presentations relating to energy will be held. From 10 a.m. to noon, Steve Waller will talk about his fully functional, off-the-grid house that is supplemented with solar panels and a wind turbine. At 2 p.m., Jen Silverston will discuss updates on Michigan’s renewable energy policies, energy lessons brought back from a trip to Yokaichi, Japan, and Marquette’s Yellow Bike project.

            A reception for Earth Week presenters, ESO members, and community members will be held on Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight at UpFront and Co. Local band Terra Cotta Half-life will perform. There will be a cover charge of $3.

            Earth Week will conclude with wildlife presentations on Saturday, April 22. From 10 a.m. to noon, Brian Roell will discuss the status of the gray wolf in Michigan, wolf recovery and management, and other aspects of the species. Roell is the Michigan wolf coordinator.

            From 2-4 p.m., Ryan Rutherford will discuss species found in and around the Great Lakes region. He will also show clips from his documentary in progress and show some live specimens. Rutherford is a reptile and amphibian expert.

            From 6-8 p.m., Linda Koning will present on the harvester butterfly, the North America’s only carnivorous butterfly. Koning is president of the West Michigan chapter of The North American Butterfly Association.

            All events are sponsored by the ESO. For more information, contact Darcy Daggy at 227-4308.                          

Prepared By
Becky Kratz