Select Page

Earth Month

Join us for a month-long of events honoring Earth Month and Earth Day on April 22nd! Individual events can also be found on our Sustainability Calendar.

Week 1: April 410 

Saturday, April 3: Birdwatching at Picnic Point 

8:00-10:00 AM Birdwatching at Picnic Point at Asylum Bay located on the north side of Oshkosh.   The trail winds through a variety of habitats including grasslands, wetlands, forest, and ends at the shores of Lake Winnebago.  Dress for the weather and be prepared for muddy conditions. Use the parking lot at the head of the trail at the end of East Snell Road.


Monday, April 5- Friday, April 9: SEAC Free School! 

This year UWO Free School will be a full week of FREE learning for all people of all ages! Sustainability-related topics include health, social justice, and community building. 

Free Schools are necessary as a means to help bridge a social injustice. We live in a world where only “some people” can afford to receive education. The UWO Free School hopes to provide a forum for community engagement and a place where all can come together to learn.

2021 schedule 


Tuesday, April 6 

3:00-4:00 PM – Go Green for Menstrual Hygiene (WAC, Women’s Center)


Wednesday, April 7 

7:00-8:15 p.m. – Alicia Garza, Principal at Black Futures Lab, Author of “The Purpose of Power”  & Co-founder of The Black Lives Matter Global Network
Recording link: 
Alicia believes that Black communities deserve what all communities deserve — to be powerful in every aspect of their lives. An author, political strategist, organizer, and cheeseburger enthusiast, Alicia founded the Black Futures Lab to make Black communities powerful in politics. She is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, serves as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and is a co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism. Alicia has become a powerful voice in the media and frequently contributes thoughtful opinion pieces and expert commentary on politics, race and more to outlets such as MSNBC and The New York Times. She has received numerous accolades and recognitions, including being on the cover of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue and being named to Bloomberg’s 50 and Politico’s 50 lists. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart (One World Penguin Random House), and she warns you — hashtags don’t start movements. People do.  

Co-sponsored by the Student Organization of Latinos, Women’s Advocacy Council, University Speaker Series, Pepsi Fund, Women’s Center, LGBTQ+ Resource Center, Black Student Union, SIRT, and Social Justice Club. 


7:00 PM Solve Climate 2030 

Please join us for an online panel discussion with state climate leaders—including Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes—around three themes: green recovery, climate solutions, and a just transition. UW–Madison is playing webinar host (specifically, the Wisconsin Energy Institute and Office of Sustainability), but this event is about and open to all WI institutions. Go to for details and registration. 


Thursday, April 8Sustainability Jobs Panel and Networking Event 

4:00-6:00 PM

Interested in learning about the growing world of sustainability jobs, and meeting potential employers in a low-stakes setting? Listen to a panel and then chat informally with employers from the business, nonprofit, and government sectors! Representatives from a numerous industries will share their experiences and backgrounds and offer advice on pursuing careers in the rapidly growing sustainability field. Participants include Appvion Operations, Evergreen Credit Union, The Nature Conservancy, the Oshkosh Food Co-Op, City of Oshkosh, and more. Students of all backgrounds are welcome.

Hosted by SIRT and Career and Professional Development.

Recording here



Week 2: April 11-17 

Monday, April 12th  

3:00-4:00 PM – Go Green for Menstrual Hygiene (WAC, Women’s Center) 


7:00-8:00 PM – Amanda Nguyen, CEO and founder of Rise 

Amanda Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Rise, a social movement accelerator. She is a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Nguyen penned her own civil rights into existence and unanimously passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, after having to navigate the broken criminal justice system after her own rape. 27 bills protecting more than 72 million sexual violence survivors have been created modeled off of her federal law. The federal law was the 21st bill in modern US history to pass unanimously on the record. She has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30, a Top 100 Leading Global Thinker by Foreign Policy, a Young Woman of the Year by Marie Claire, and The Tempest’s #1 Woman of Color Trailblazer. Previously, Nguyen was appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Department of State as his Deputy White House Liaison and served at NASA. Nguyen, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, graduated from Harvard University. 

Part of Asian Heritage Month, Earth Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Social Justice Week Programming. 



Tuesday, April 13th  

5:00 PM – SPARKing Sustainability (SPARK task force) 

Join the UWO SPARK Task Force to learn more about the many environmental impacts of tobacco product waste on and off our campus.


Thursday, April 15 

8:30 AM Rachel Brookins, Wildlife Biologist with the WI DNR

Rachel will speak about her job, career path, and her advice to students who are looking to get into a similar line of work. This informal event will offer the opportunity for students to ask questions. Please join us if you’re interested in working in the field of wildlife conservation! Cosponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Club.


3:00-4:30 PM Eco-Anxiety Workshop location: Outdoor Classroom; rain location: Sage 1235 

Worried about the impacts of a changing climate? Depressed by the news of hurricanes, forest fires, and other climate catastrophes? Looking for ways to find firm ground in what often seems like a chaotic world? Come to this workshop to learn strategies to manage and channel these disruptive feelings. Hosted by the Counseling Center and the Environmental Studies Program. 



Week 3: April 18-24 

Monday, April 19 

3:00-4:00 PM – Go Green for Menstrual Hygiene (WAC, Women’s Center) Microsoft Teams 


Tuesday, April 20: Growing Heirloom Apples

9:10 – 10:10 AM Grafting class HS 202 

10:20  11:00 AM – Orchard planting by Lot 11. 

2:00  4:00 PM – 1st Annual Heirloom Apple Scion Wood Exchange Fair, Sage Hall courtyard. Are you interested in grafting rare heirloom fruit trees? Do you have wood to exchange with other fruit tree enthusiasts? There will be a few distributors of scion wood with root stock and scion wood to take home. Please park in lot 7 and enter through doors (#). Masks and distancing will be enforced. 


Wednesday, April 21 

10:20-11:20 AM – Melissa Weyland presents “What is sustainable food, really?” 

Carbon footprints, animal-welfare, ingredient labels, single-use packaging, oh my! Grocery options can be overwhelming. We are all drawn to or away from specific foods for different reasons. In this workshop, we will pick apart a real-life lunch that a conscious consumer might enjoy. You’ll leave with a sense of empowerment to make choices that support your own value system with clarity of how they impact our planet. 

Melissa Weyland has over twenty years of organic farming experience and has worked professionally in the consumer-packaged-goods industry for over a decade.  


Thursday, April 22: Earth Day 

5:00-6:30 pm, Keynote: Dina Gilio-Whitaker, author of “As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock”

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and an independent consultant and educator in environmental justice policy planning. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. As a public intellectual, Dina brings her scholarship into focus as an award-winning journalist as well, contributing to numerous online outlets including Indian Country Today, the Los Angeles TimesHigh Country News and many more. Dina is co-author with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of Beacon Press’s “All the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (2016), and her most recent book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock, was released in 2019. Her talk will discuss highlights from As Long As Grass Grows and will includes a discussion of Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge. 

Cosponsored by SIRT, the Intertribal Student Council, English Club, and Sigma Tau Delta 



Week 4: April 25-May 1 

Monday, April 26 

3:00-4:00 PM – Go Green for Menstrual Hygiene (WAC, Women’s Center) Microsoft Teams


5:00-6:30 PM- Ka Oskar Ly, “Cultivating Creative Space for Community Futures” 

The meaning of a place, space, and land can largely depend on how we experience it. Yet, those who came before us have cultivated it for us. What can we learn from the generations before us?  Ka Oskar Ly will share their work as an artist and cultural worker fostering community, space, and place. For Hmong Americans, war and displacement have often made us feel like strangers on the lands we occupy and the bodies we embody. We are more rooted than we realize. We can reclaim that.  

As the co-founder of ArtCrop, Ka led a 3-year inquiry merging art and culture through a Community-Supported Art and Agriculture (CSAA) share model. This facilitated reconnecting second-gen+ Hmong Americans and invited broader communities to experience Hmong culture without appropriation. This talk will invite participants to consider their role in culture, the places, and the land we occupy. 

Ka Oskar Ly (she/her/they/them) is a queer Hmoob (Hmong) French American artist and cultural producer rooted in creating social change. Ly draws on their identities, lived experiences, and various communities to redefine and reclaim Hmoob and queer aesthetics, cultural innovation, and community futures. They have organized community by transforming campaigns through Hmong textile, cultural experiences, and public space installations and murals to raise awareness of equity and visibility of gender, queer/trans, and racial justice. Pairing organizing and art empowers them to stay curious and to continuously be in conversation with ourselves and communities about how we show up. 


**NEW DATE- weather permitting** Tues, April 27th  

Tree planting with classes April 29th 10:00-2:50. Work with the Grounds crew in various locations around campus to help plant trees in observance of Arbor Day on Friday April 30th. In addition, crews will be spreading mulch. If you are interested in helping or having your class involved, Faculty email Brad Spanbauer, students attending this event for a class fill out this form  



Wed, April 28th

10:20-11:20 AM Dolly Ledin and Bob Martini present “A Voice for Science: Wisconsin’s Green  Fire”  

Bob Martini, retired DNR, will present what we’ve learned about protecting water in Wisconsin over the past 45 years and what it means for the future. An interactive session will follow the presentation. We want to learn about your interests as the next generation of natural resource professionals and citizens.  We work to elevate the voices of citizens and work to make sure political decisions are based on sound science.   

Wisconsin’s Green Fire organization works to promote science-based management of natural resources in Wisconsin.  Our members include hundreds of environmental professionals with expertise in science, policy, law and education.   


Thursday, April 29 

5:00-6:30 pm- Dr. Misty McPhee, The science of denial:  Why people reject climate change 

From climate change to COVID-19, many people refuse to accept the science that could save their lives.  Why?  In this talk, I will explore that question from multiple perspectives, ultimately grounding the answer in evolutionary theory (interestingly, another science that is often rejected despite deep scientific understanding).  Rejection of science is a relevant topic and urgent challenge that has profound moral implications.  Understanding why people deny the scientific realities of climate change and other issues can help us work toward effective cooperation versus division.


Saturday, May 1  

Fox-Wolf Watershed Cleanup 

Fox-Wolf’s 2021 Fox-Wolf Watershed Cleanup event set to take place on Saturday, May 1st from 9-11:30 a.m. We are looking to have volunteers clean up the UW-Oshkosh riverfront area as we have for several years, but feel free to sign up for any of the locations in the watershed!. For the UWO site we will meet at Culver Family Welcome Center parking lot – bags, gloves, etc. provided. Instructions will be given at the meeting spot at 9:00 AM. Register here:  


10th Oshkosh Bird Fest

Oshkosh Bird Fest will be back in 2021! Nothing is for certain during this pandemic and things could change, so we are scaling back and planning activities that allow for social distancing and ask that you please wear a face mask, for our safety and yours. We look forward to seeing everyone! Rain or shine! Free! Fun for the whole family. Bring your binoculars.

Spend the day at Oshkosh Bird Fest:
Menominee Park 6:00am-Noon

Event website


   UW-Oshkosh Engergy and Resource Saving Projects

  • Lighting Retrofits/Upgrades
    • T-8’s & Electronic Ballasts (2001)
    • Classroom/conference room motion sensors (2001)
    • Field House sporting upgrades (2006)
    • Student Union upgrades (2006)
    • LED Lighting (2010-11)
    • Pool light (2010-11)
  • Water Conservation: (See Water) 
  • Control Modifications
    • Pumps and Converters (2001)
    • Metasys Trunk (2006)
    • Condenser water reset control  (2006)
  • Water-Cooled Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Retrofit (2006)
  • Steam Trap Efficiency
    • Repair/Replacement (2001)
  • Campus Metering
    • Separate meters for all buildings (2006)
  • HVAC System Upgrades/Re-commissioning
    • Supply fan speed reduction (2010-11)
    • Constant volume to VAV retrofit (2010-11)
  • Bas Upgrades
    • Pneumatic to DDC (2010-11)
  • Renewable Energy
    • Solar Thermal (2010-11)
    • Solar Photovoltaics (2010-11)

   On Campus Renewable Energy Production

Wind Power

  • Energy produced by wind makes up the majority of power acquired through green power purchases (16% of total consumption)

Solar Power

In 2010, UW Oshkosh installed the first photovoltaic panels to generate electricity on campus. To date, we have solar installations on the following buildings:

  • Albee Hall
    • Solar Thermal: 64 panels, 7,692 Therms/year
    • Heat the indoor swimming pool
  • Blackhawk Commons
    • Solar Thermal: 24 panels, 1,878 Therms/year
    • Hot water for dishwashers and taps
  • Sage Hall
    • Solar Thermal: 60 panels, 4,745 Therms/year
    • Photovoltaic (PV): 188 rooftop panels, 46,000 kWh/year
    • Three pole-mounted PV tracking arrays, each unit = 2.5 kW
  • Student Success Center
    • Photovoltaic (PV): 20 kW
  • Taylor Residence Hall
    • Solar Thermal: 16 panels, 1,300 Therms/year
    • Hot water
  • Heating Plant
    • Solar Thermal: 16 panels, 1,910 Therms/year
    • Pre-heat the water that is heated by the furnaces for steam to heat campus buildings


  • Student Success Center: geothermal energy from 65 vertical wells provides all heating and cooling for the building
  • Horizon Village: up to 60% of the building’s heating and cooling comes from the geothermal system that includes 56 vertical wells


Click here to learn more about our biogas program or to request a tour.

Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digester (BD1)

  • First of its kind in North America
  • Dry biodigesters use fewer resources such as water which reduces impact
  • Located on campus, the plant produces methane gas from organic wastes including food, municipal yards waste, and farm bedding
  • Food wastes from campus cafeterias are diverted from landfills to this facility
  • BD1 processes more than 11,000 tons of organic waste annually
  • At full capacity, the plant is equipped generate 10% of campus electricity needs
  • Thermal energy will heat Facilities Services, saving campus $20,000/year

Small Farm Digester (Allen Farms)

  • The Allen Farms digester uses the manure from 135 cows and other farm waste to make methane gas to generate electricity and thermal heat
  • This facility generates 64 kWh of electricity and thermal energy to power and heat the farm
  • The technology may be scaled to suit small to medium sized farms of various sizes
  • A recent grant from the USDA is being used to educate regional farmers about the technology in hopes of increasing the numbers of such facilities in the state of Wisconsin and the country

Large Farm Wet Digester (Rosendale Digester)

  • Located at Rosendale Dairy, Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm
  • From the manure of 9,000 cows, the facility uses 110,000 tons of manure annually to make methane gas
  • Electricity produced from a 1.4 MW generator is sold to Alliant Energy and is equipped to generate 40% of UWO’s electricity needs
  • Learn more about carbon credits from this digester

   Renewable Energy Purchases

On May 13, 2003 UW-Oshkosh became the first Wisconsin university to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, a commitment to purchase alternative energy. 

  • Presented with an EPA Leadership award (2003)

 In 2006, UWO increased its annual green power commitment from 4% to 11% of total power purchased

  • Purchase was equivalent to 288,800 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month for 12 months
  • Today, 16% of total power purchased comes from renewable sources, mostly wind

Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations


UW Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Contact Info:

(920) 424-0440
SIRT Office: 4483 Sage Hall