Many Union College students as well as faculty members have been avid supporters of Earth Day, ever since peace activist John McConnell and others came up with the idea in 1970.
This year, according to Union biology and environmental science professor Jeff Corbin, there seems to be a bit more interest than usual.
“We always gear up for Earth Day and Earth Week, and I think this year there’s more motivation to do something born out of a feeling to take action and to have our voice heard post-election,” said McConnell. “You don’t see scientists taking to the street very often, but since Trump was elected it seems like scientific fact and the scientific method are both under assault. It’s time to take off our lab coats, hit the streets, and tell the public what we think. Science fuels our economy and our health, and it also is very important for our ability to deal with climate change and to continue making advances in scientific knowledge.”
Earth Week concludes Saturday with a number of regional events as well as a national Earth Day March for Science being held in Washington, D.C. The Capital Region, meanwhile, will be holding its own March for Science event Saturday at 1 p.m. on the West Lawn of the State Capitol.
“We’re hoping people really turn out for this like they did for the women’s march,” said Corbin, who expects a large contingent of Union students and faculty to join him in Albany on Saturday. “The Trump administration is directing attacks on the science behind climate change and wanting to roll back the meager but at least hopeful policies of the Obama administration, and that’s what is spurring our students, and our faculty and the whole Union community, to become much more active.”
On Saturday, April 29, the People’s Climate March will be held in Washington, D.C., and so far Corbin and about 30 Union students are registered to take a bus trip and participate in that event.
“We’re going to be leaving on midnight, the 28th, and then come back 24 hours later having marched,” said Corbin. “They’re obviously closely related, but the March for Science and the People’s Climate March are two separate and distinct events. We have chosen to go to the local science march this Saturday and then head to Washington for the national science march next week.”
The University at Albany will be holding its fifth annual Family Earth Day Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at University Hall.
The event is tailored for children and students grades K-12. According to Pamela Eck, a graduate teaching assistant in atmospheric & environment science, the goals of UAlbany Earth Day is to “help educate students about such fields of study as ecology, climate change and geology; emphasizing the importance of keeping the Earth clean and healthy; and sparking an interest and encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM.”
The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center on New Karner Road is looking for volunteers to spend Earth Day in the Pine…