National Environmentalist Bill McKibben to Give Keynote Address at President's Sustainability Symposium March 30 – April 2

Monday, September 20 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – Nationally renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben will provide the keynote lecture at the University of Idaho President's Sustainability Symposium. The annual event's theme will be "Building Campus Sustainability," and will focus on sustainability in the built environment. It will take place March 30 – April 2 in Moscow, Idaho.

The term built environment refers to the human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, and often includes supporting infrastructure, such as water supply or energy networks.

"The built environment is responsible for about 40-50 percent of carbon emissions in the U.S.," said Bruce Haglund, professor of architecture at the University of Idaho. "The University of Idaho has taken an active role in curbing campus emissions through improvements in its built environment, both in top-down setting of goals and standards, financing energy-efficiency, and supporting campus sustainability efforts, as well as in bottom-up activism by students, staff and faculty."

Haglund noted that the university has been teaching the principles of a sustainable built environment in its College of Art and Architecture programs and through their collaboration with other programs university-wide. "We have a long history of engaging communities throughout the Northwest in envisioning a sustainable future through outreach assignments in our planning and design studios," he said.

As a bestselling author, McKibben has written books that, over the last quarter century, have shaped public perception and public action on climate change, alternative energy and the need for more localized economies. McKibben is the founder of, the first big global grassroots climate change initiative.

McKibben's seminal books include "The End of Nature," widely seen as the first book on climate change for a general audience, and "Deep Economy," a bold challenge to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and to pursue prosperity in a more local direction – an idea that is the cornerstone of much sustainability discourse today. In total, McKibben has penned 10 books. A former New Yorker staff writer and Guggenheim Fellow, he writes for various magazines, including Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, National Geographic and The New York Review of Books.

In 2007, McKibben founded to demand that Congress curb carbon emissions that would reduce global warming pollution 80 percent by 2050. On April 14, 2007, as part of the effort, McKibben helped lead more than a thousand demonstrations across all 50 states, a watershed moment described as the largest day of protest against climate change in the nation's history.

McKibben's presentation is slated for Wednesday, March 30. Additional symposium details will be announced at a later date.

The goal of the President's Sustainability Symposium is to utilize an intimate symposium setting to provide leaders in all societal sectors a venue in which to identify, discuss and understand problems and issues of sustainability and to prepare them to adapt successfully by seizing opportunities. Previous topics have included: transition to sustainable energy systems; water resources management issues in Idaho and the West; and carbon, climate and our environment.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The student population of 12,302 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For more information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit