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E-cycleEarth Day, once again this year, finds itself embedded in a rich lineup of events, forums and celebrations at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

The goal of Earth Week at UW Oshkosh is to highlight local and global environmental issues and to encourage students, faculty, staff and the community to learn about the issues and take action–as individuals and communities– in creating a more sustainable world in the face of unprecedented global-scale change.

This year, Earth Week will closely examines the issue of climate change and encourage the campus and broader community to engage in the conversation.

“The reason we make such a big deal about Earth Week at UW Oshkosh is because we’ve really made a strong commitment to sustainability,” said Stephanie Spehar, University Leadership Fellow For Sustainability. “You can see that with our curriculum, what we’ve done with our buildings and grounds–you can see it in every aspect of campus. Earth Week is really away to publicize that commitment and really try to get faculty, staff and students involved.”

Starting April 21, UW Oshkosh will feature a variety of Earth Week speakers, films, workshops and events and offer plenty of opportunities to get involved, organizers said. All events are free and open to the public.

“Earth Week on campus is often the first step for people in getting involved and interested in environmental issues. A lot of times, it’s the first time a student has done anything like this–taken a step to improve our community,” Spehar said. “Earth Week really provides a great opportunity for that first step. It’s really exciting and a great way to make a difference.”

The centerpiece of Earth Week this year is also one of its day-one kickoff events: the Earth Week Banquet. The banquet will be held from 6 until 9 p.m. on Monday, April 21 at the new Alumni Welcome and Conference Center and will feature a presentation by Jeff Phillips, Climate and Health Effects Program Manager with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Phillips will provide a brief overview of Wisconsin’s climate trends and projections, and then discuss the potential health impacts caused by climate and extreme weather event exposures. The banquet will also feature the finalists in the Creating a Stronger Community Contest. A delicious meal, with plenty of vegetarian options, will be served.

Tickets are available by contacting Titan Central in Reeve Memorial Union at (920) 424-1234. Be sure to reserve and pick yours up ahead of time.  Suggested donations (which are paid at the door) are $5 for students, and $20 for faculty, staff and community members.

“The banquet is really a tradition that brings people together around good food and a good topic,” Spehar said.

Among many other exciting events and presentations, new this year is an e-cycling event, which will be held in the Blackhawk Commons parking lot (lot #15) April 21 from 7:45 a.m. until 3 p.m. Electronic devices including printers, cell phones, DVDs, VCRs and other electronics can be dropped off to be properly recycled.

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