MSUToday
Published: March 5, 2020

‘Fate of the Earth’: discussing environmental challenges

Contact(s): Karessa Weir Environmental Science and Policy Program office: (517) 353-9246 weirkare@msu.edu, Caroline Brooks Communications and Brand Strategy office: 517-432-0920 brooks78@msu.edu

Mona Hanna-Attisha, an MSU pediatrician who raised awareness about the Flint water crisis, is the keynote speaker at this year’s Fate of the Earth Symposium on March 21 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

This is the seventh year that MSU’s Environmental Science and Policy Program has hosted the public gathering, charged by its founders with educating the public on environmental issues by combining cutting-edge social and natural sciences with science communications. Former MSU Trustee Barbara Sawyer-Koch and the late Donald Koch, professor emeritus of philosophy, envisioned a way to connect MSU’s eminent researchers plus external experts with community activists, policy leaders and everyday citizens. Keynote speakers in the past have included New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin, National Geographic photo editor Dennis Dimmick and author Charles Fishman.

In addition to Hanna-Attisha, this year’s symposium will feature discussions with:

  • James Clift, policy director of the Michigan Department of Environment and Natural Resources and former head of the Michigan Environmental Council.
  • Kyle Whyte, professor and Timnick Chair of the Department of Philosophy, MSU and a national expert on indigenous peoples and the environment.
  • Nathan Murphy, state director of Environment Michigan.

A favorite feature of the symposium are the hands-on workshops that allow participants to get applicable advice on ways they can improve the environment on their own. Workshop topics include “Fighting Climate Change Where You Live,” “Addressing PFAs Contamination in Michigan” and “How to Communicate Effectively with Your Legislator.”

Over lunch, participants can view student research posters from high school, undergraduate and graduate students from across the region as well as an environmentally focused art show.

All events are free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of the Sawyer-Koch family. For a full schedule and to register to attend, see the Fate of the Earth event page.

Mona Hanna-Attisha, an MSU pediatrician who raised awareness about the Flint water crisis, is the keynote speaker at this year’s Fate of the Earth Symposium on March 21 at Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.