Mansfield University to hold series of events leading up to Earth Day

MANSFIELD – Earth Day is April 22, but Mansfield University will hold a series of events highlighting environmental sustainability and scientific literacy leading up to that day. All events are free and open to the public.

“It’s a big planet and it deserves more than one day,” Lilace Guignard, director of education and outreach for the Institute of Science and the Environment, said.

Organized by Guignard with the help of students and faculty on the sustainability committee, the series will kick off with a multi-media presentation by Ned Gardiner, visualization project manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program Office on Communication Science Through Data Visualization at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Grant Science Center, Room 153.

Gardiner’s work takes data about biosystems and natural events such as droughts and storms and shows how they affect the planet’s atmosphere, weather, and climate.

For more information on his work, visit cli mate.gov/author/ned-gardiner.

Gardiner also will meet with students in classes and open forums during the time he is on campus.

Peterson Toscano, a social justice activist who has used humor and storytelling for over 10 years to connect with audiences about complicated and contentious topics, will perform “There’s Something Funny About Climate Change” at 8 p.m. Thursday in The Hut. Immediately following Toscano, magician, John Cassidy will try to make the glaciers stop disappearing.

In this lively stand-up show, Toscano shares creative and oddball approaches to the world’s biggest problem.

He skillfully transitions into multiple characters and seamlessly draws the connections between climate change, human rights, history and coffee.

Toscano, who also is a Bible scholar and recently presented to the Harvard School of Divinity, will participate in a Forum on Religion and Climate Change at 4 p.m. Thursday in South Hall, Room 208.

Joining him will be local religious leaders, including the Rev. Rowena Gibbons from St. James Episcopal Church. The forum will include short presentations by panelists followed by a group discussion.

There will be a public showing of the documentary “Chasing Ice” at 7 p.m. Friday in Allen Hall, Room 104. This is the story of acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog as he travels with adventure scientists to collect visual data from the world’s shrinking glaciers.

The documentary has been the recipient of more than 30 awards, including from the Sundance Film Festival for Excellence in Cinematography: U.S. Documentary.

Emily Krafjack will present “Something’s in the Air-But What and How Much?” at 7 p.m. April 16 in Allen Hall, Room 104.

Krafjack is the president of COGENT (Connection for Oil, Gas & Environment in the Northern Tier Inc.) COGENT is a grassroots organization proactive in pursuing productive partnerships among those involved in and affected by the natural gas industry.

She recently was appointed to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board.

The fourth annual Earth Day at Mill Cove (EDMC) will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18 at the Mill Cove Environmental Area north of Mansfield. EDMC will feature a full day of activities and presentations suitable for all ages.

Fishing rods, canoes, kayaks, archery equipment and safety gear will be provided. Hiking shoes and rain gear are recommended.

For more information, a downloadable brochure, and directions to the Mill Cove Environmental Area, visit millcove area.org.