Earth Days 2018 at Salem State

State of Nature: Past, Present – and Future?

April 9 - 13, 2018

The theme of this year’s Earth Day celebration at Salem State University is “State of Nature: Past, Present – and Future?” The theme seeks to bring attention to the imminent threats that the natural world faces from climate change, deregulation, environmental degradation and habitat loss.

The week’s events will highlight the unprecedented attacks on science, climate change prevention and mitigation, environmental laws, and protections of wildlife and critical habitats and examine the consequences of this assault on nature for humans and other species, including societal conflict, rampant poverty, pervasive inequality, horrifying drought and famine, extreme and disastrous weather events and devastating species extinctions. Earth Days Week 2018 will explore the implications for the environment and society of population growth and policies that favor reliance on fossil fuels, which threaten the lives, habitat and welfare of wildlife in the U.S. and globally.

At the same time that the natural world is imperiled, public interest in nature and wildlife is at an all-time high. During the week, we will look at the ecological, psychological, social and political importance of nature to society and actions that can be taken to protect the natural world.

The Earth Days Planning Committee invites you to participate in this year’s events to learn, contemplate, discuss and share ideas on the theme: “State of Nature: Past, Present – and Future?”


Monday April 9, 2018

Earth Days Art Installation: Shadows of Nature, in front of North Campus Dining Commons

Organized by Professor Ken Reker (Art + Design). Exhibit will be on display April 9 - 23.


Earth Days Library Display, Frederick Berry Library, North Campus

Organized by Librarian Carol Zoppel. Exhibit will continue all week.

Earth Days Poster Competition. Veterans Hall, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus. 11:00am - 12:20pm (poster and judge check-in: 10:30 - 11a.m., Lobby)

The Earth Day Student Poster Competition is the only judged poster competition on campus. Any class at 200-level or higher is able to submit posters on the Earth Days Week theme. Approximately 100 research posters, submitted by SSU students in many disciplines, will be judged in the morning. Visitors are encouraged to view the posters and speak with the students who created them during the competition phase and until 12:20pm.
Organized by Severin Kitanov (Philosophy), and Marcos Luna (Geography) and the Earth Day Planning Committee

Panel: Nature and Climate Change: Wildlife, Plants and Biodiversity. 12:30 - 2 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Speakers: David Moon, Director, Joppa Flats Sanctuary, Mass Audubon; Lisa Delissio, Department of Biology, Salem State University; Mendy Garron, NOAA Marine Biologist and Greater Atlantic Region Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator


Tuesday April 10, 2018

Talk: Challenging Exxon. 8 – 9:15a.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Speaker: Josh Kratka, Attorney, National Environmental Law Center
Hosted by Brad Bannon, Organized by Theresa Soldan

Breakfast reception with artists who created Shadows of Nature, the Earth Days Week Public Art Installation. 9:25 – 10:40 a.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Shadows of Nature was designed specifically for Earth Days Week and will remain on view in the library commons from Monday, April 9 until Friday, April 13. For inquiries contact Professor Ken Reker at (Rain location: Winfisky Gallery)

Forest River Park Clean Up. 12 - 3:00p.m. Meet in front of Dunkin' Donuts, Meier Hall, North Campus

Organized by the Center for Civic Engagement

Environmental Policy Panel: Trump Administration's Proposal to Open Off-Shore Drilling on the Atlantic Coast. 3 - 4:00p.m. Underground Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Panel: Guy Bellino (Political Science), Morgan Bell (Regional Director for Congressman Seth Moulton)
Hosted by Political Science Academy, Organized by Paul Wilkens


Wednesday April 11, 2018

Tours of Salem State’s Cat Cove Aquaculture Lab, 9:25 - 10:40 a.m., 92 Fort Avenue, Salem [just past the Salem power plant] .

Participants in the Cat Cove tour will observe aquatic organisms being produced and grown for restoration, enhancement, and commercial initiatives. A brief history of the facility and how it has evolved will be provided. Projects from Cape Ann to Cape Cod will be discussed and linked to securing a safe and dependable supply of high quality seafood (whether from the ocean or freshwater; such as largemouth bass being grown in cranberry bogs). Tours will be led by Drs. Mark Fregeau (Biology) and/or Joe Buttner (Biology), with assistance provided by Hatchery Manager Scott Weston and student workers.

Organized by Joe Buttner (Biology)

Film: Merchants of Doubt. 10:50a.m. - 12:05 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

This documentary exposes how a handful of scientists, conservative think tanks and private corporations spread doubt and confusion in attempts to prevent action on the threats posed by tobacco, acid rain and climate change.

Sponsored by the Geographical Society, Organized by John Hayes (Geography)

Panel: Carbon Fee and Rebate: An Effective Market-Based Plan to Cut Use of Fossil Fuels. 1:40 – 2:50 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Speakers: Robert Bonney and Jim Mulloy,Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Sponsored by HealthLink
Hosted by Professor Guy Bellino (Political Science)

Panel: "Sustainability at Salem State." 3- 4:30 p.m., Veterans Hall A, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

Speakers: Tara Gallagher (Moderator, Sustainability Coordinator), Academics: Gail Gasparich (Dean of College of Arts and Sciences), Buildings & Energy: Ben Szalewicz (AVP, Capital Planning and Facilities Management), Dining & Food Waste: Peter Connors (Director of Dining Services), and Zagster Bike Share: Karl Alexander (Zagster Account Manager). Organized by Tara Gallagher (Sustainability)


Thursday April 12, 2018

Student Breakfast with SSU President John Keenan on Sustainability. 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Charlotte Forten Legacy Room, Meier Hall, North Campus

Please note that the student breakfast with the president is by invitation only.

Hosted by the Office of Sustainability, Organized by Tara Gallagher

Film: Time and Tide. 9:25 - 10:40 a.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

"An award-winning, poetic and thought-provoking documentary that follows a group of expatriates from Tuvalu returning home after 20 years to find their island being engulfed by the rising sea and threatened by globalization."


Organized by Ken Reker (Art + Design)

Film: Cowspiracy. 10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

This documentary follows filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers "the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it."

Sponsored by Philosophy Club
Organized by Profoessor Krishna Mallick (Philosophy)

Panel: Climate Change Resiliency Planning by MA Cities and Towns. 12:15 - 1:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Panel: Gail Kubik (AIA State Disaster Coordinator and Member, Salem Sustainability, Energy and Resiliency Committee), Jenna Ide (City of Salem Director of Capital Projects & Municipal Operations), and Jeff Barz-Snell (Chair, City of Salem Sustainability, Energy and Resiliency Committee & Co-chair, Salem Alliance for the Environment)
Sponsored by Salem Sustainability, Energy and Resiliency Committee
Hosted by Steve Silvern (Philosophy), Organized by John Hayes (Geography) and Jeff Barz-Snell (SAFE)

Tour: O'Keefe Solar Panels and LEED Features at Gassett Fitness Center. Reservations Required. 1:40 - 2:50 p.m., O'Keefe Campus Center, North Campus

Hosted by Lynn Fletcher (Biology)
Organized by Tara Gallagher (Sustainability)
Pre-registration required. Contact

Earth Days 2018 Environmental Fair & Awards Ceremony, 5 - 7 p.m., Veterans Hall, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

Environmental Fair

  • Meet representatives from local environmental organizations and agencies

Keynote Address

  • Nature Photographer Kim Smith, “Beauty on the Wing: The Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly”

Earth Days Awards Ceremony

Presentation of Friend of Earth Awards to:

Announcement of student Poster and Art Competition winners


See a list of past Friend of the Earth Award recipients (pdf)

Press coverage for 2015 Earth Days Week.

See past press coverage: Earth Days 2011, 2008, 2006

Friday April 13, 2018

Film: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. 10:50a.m. - 12:05p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

"A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought the climate crisis into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. "

Hosted by Andrea Zeren (Psychology) and Chris Shoen (SMS). Organized by John Hayes.

Film: WALL-E. 1:40 - 2:50 p.m.Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Hosted by Professor Guy Bellino (Political Science)


Financial Support for Earth Days Generously Provided By the following:

  • Salem State University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Salem State University First Year Experience
  • Geographical Society
  • HealthLink
  • Political Science Academy
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