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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI’s Honors Colloquium to focus on
sustainability of natural resources

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 28, 2001 -- The University of Rhode Island will present a semester-long series of events this fall designed to provoke discussion about the fair and sustainable use of natural resources.

URI’s Honors Colloquium, "A Just and Sustainable Future: Overcoming Barriers to Action," will run from September 12 through December 16 and will include weekly lectures, photography exhibits, film and video showings, a poster contest for K-12 students, and other activities. All events are free and open to the public.

The events will address such questions as: How can we protect the environment and still earn a living? Can we reduce greenhouse gases and treat both rich and poor nations fairly? Can the earth be saved without helping the poor? Are we unwitting accomplices to global eco-crimes? How will we feed, house and clothe eight billion people?

"The concept of sustainability has emerged in response to the need to reconcile the rapid growth in human societies with the resources of a living and finite planet," explained Robert Thompson, assistant professor of community planning at URI and co-coordinator of the colloquium. "Sustainability focuses on the vital questions of how humanity can continue to thrive on earth. It is becoming a unifying theme of the environmental movement for the first quarter of the 21st century."

The weekly line-up of twelve speakers will include Lester Brown, chairman of Worldwatch Institute and president of the Earth Policy Institute; Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and a former U.S. assistant secretary of state; architect William McDonough, the sole recipient of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development who was named by Time Magazine a Hero of the Planet; and Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and the leading voice for energy efficiency.

The colloquium will also a day long symposium on managing the state’s coastal ecosystems.

"The URI Honors Colloquium traditionally addresses multiple audiences. It serves as the foundation for a full-credit course for honors students, while also reaching out to a broad professional and community audience to stimulate public interest in important topics for our society. This year’s program asks how we as a global human community, can foster social equity, stimulate our economy, and still limit our impact on the natural environment," said colloquium co-coordinators Deborah Grossman-Garber and Judith Swift.

The colloquium is part of a University-wide sustainable communities initiative that includes the development of innovative curricula on sustainability, various community-university partnerships, planning for a new facility, and the design of a sustainable neighborhood on campus.

For a complete list of colloquium events, including dates, times and locations, visit the Sustainable Communities website at (EDITORS: a colloquium flier is attached.) For additional information, call the URI Honors Center at 401-874-4732.

For Information: Deborah Grossman-Garber 874-5401, Todd McLeish 401-874-7892

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