Earth Days 2017 at Salem State

It's Your World, It's Your Future: Get Involved!

April 10 - 14, 2017

The theme of this year’s Earth Day celebration at Salem State University is “It's Your World, It's Your Future: Get Involved!”

Earth Days Week 2017 will explore and highlight the pivotal role of environmental activism and grassroots mobilization in the effort to change deeply ingrained misperceptions and prejudices regarding the most significant global issue of our time, viz. the rapidly occurring and devastating changes of our planet’s delicate climate. The election of Donald Trump as President presents major challenges for the environment and its protection both in the U.S and globally. With atmospheric CO₂ concentrations consistently surpassing 400 ppm and nuisance coastal flooding regularly happening with high tides along our East Coast, and extreme droughts and weather events occurring frequently – the risk of doing nothing may bring us to the point of no return.

The importance of grassroots mobilization and activism in the coming years will be unprecedented. With full control of the government in the hands of President Trump and the Republican Congress, the international climate change agreement, environmental policies from clean air and clean water to wildlife protections, and our national parks and wildlife refuges are at risk. The appointment of climate change deniers to high-level positions in the new administration demands immediate action.

Earth Days Week 2017 will explore the implications of increased reliance on coal and expansion of fracking and off-shore drilling on the environment and climate change. During the week, we will feature the organizations leading the fight on campus and at the local, state and federal level to prevent retreat from the policy gains of the past five decades and to move forward science-based initiatives to address climate change.

We believe that climate change, over-development, environmental degradation, over-consumption and over-population are central challenges to the survival of the planet and its human and non-human inhabitants. The costs of climate change include conflict, poverty, inequality, hunger and species extinctions.

The Earth Day Planning Committee invites you to participate in this year’s Earth Days events to learn, contemplate, discuss and share ideas on this theme.


Monday April 10, 2017

Week-long Art Installation: Message in a Bottle, Frederick Berry Library Foyer

Organized by Professor Ken Reker (Art + Design). Exhibit will continue all week.


Earth Day Poster Competition. Check in for Student Posters, 10:30 - 11:00am, Lobby, Ellison Campus Center

Student Poster & Art Competition, 11:00am - 12:20pm, Ellison Campus Center

The Earth Day Student Poster Competition is the only judged poster competition on campus and features cash awards to the top ten percent of submitted posters. 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.
Coordinators for poster competition: Dr. Severin Kitanov, Philosophy, and Dr. Marcos Luna, Geography

Panel: "Organizing for the Environment in a Post-Truth Era." 12:15 - 1:30 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

The panel will discuss the work of organizations to address climate change and preserve environmental and wildlife protections in the current political climate.

Panel members will include:

  • Sharon Young, Marine Issues Field Director for the Humane Society of the United States
  • Cindy Luppi, New England Director for Clean Water Action
  • Noel Healy, Assistant Professor, Geography

Organized by Jennifer Jackman, Political Science, and John Hayes, Geography
Sponsored by Political Science, Geography, Human Dimensions of Wildlife Unit of Bates Centre for Public Affairs


Tuesday April 11, 2017

Breakfast reception with artists of Message in a Bottle. 9:25 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Frederick Berry Library Quad, North Campus.

Message in a Bottle is an outdoor public sculpture designed by Professor Ken Reker and students from the Art + Design Department. Message in a Bottle was designed specifically for Earth Days Week and will remain on view in the library commons from Friday, April 7 until Friday, April 21. For inquiries contact Professor Ken Reker at (Rain location: Winfisky Gallery)

Talk: "Mesophotic Coral Reefs: How Much Progress Have We Made?" 10:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

Dr. Michael Lesser is a physiological ecologist at the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire, who studies the ecology and photobiology of mesophotic coral reefs, which are coral reefs (sometimes called "twilight reefs") 30 to 150 meters beneath the ocean surface in tropical and subtropical marine environments. They appear to serve as sources of fish and invertebrate larvae that may sustain nearby shallow reef ecosystems and the tourism and fishing economies that depend on them.

Talk: "How to Recognize Disinformation and Fake News: Be a Media-Literate Advocate for Your Cause." 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

Panelists will examine how disinformation and fake news have permeated the media landscape and will discuss media-literacy strategies for telling the difference between truth and fiction in the news. Moderated by Peg Dillon (Communications)

Panel members will include:

Organized by Peg Dillon, Communications
Sponsored by Communications

Film: Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy. 6 – 8 p.m., Slater Hall, 4th Floor, Meier Hall, North Campus.

Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy spotlights the United States’ first-ever regional ocean plans in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The film chronicles ocean planning efforts in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to manage and balance oceans for sustainability.

Sponsored by Biology and The Scuba Club


Wednesday April 12, 2017

Tours of Salem State’s Cat Cove Aquaculture Lab, 10 a.m. and 12 p.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 and/or Joe Buttner, with assistance provided by Hatchery Manager Scott Weston and student workers.

Film: La Buena Vida (The Good Life), or the dark side of progress. 1:40- 4 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

This film tells the story of the of the Wayuu in the forests of Colombia who fought for their community’s survival against global energy corporations.

Sponsored by History Department.

Organized by Avi Chomsky


Thursday April 13, 2017

Film: Earth Days. 10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. ROOM CHANGE TO Veterans Hall (back), Ellison Campus Center, North Campus.

This film chronicles the history of the environmental movement.

Organized by Carol Zoppel (Library)

Sponsored by Frederick Berry Library

Film: Merchants of Doubt. 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. ROOM CHANGE TO Veterans Hall (back), 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

Earth Days 2017 Awards Ceremony, 5 - 7 p.m., Petrowski Room (Marsh Hall 210), Central Campus

Keynote Address

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 14, 2017

Film: Planet Earth II. 9:25 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Room, Ellison Campus Center, North Campus

This nature documentary explores the unique locations around the globe that serve as habitats for animals.

Organized by Guy Bellino, Political Science
Sponsored by Political Science

Film: Before the Flood. 12:15 - 1:30 p.m. ROOM CHANGE TO Petrowski Room (Marsh Hall 210), Central Campus

Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, this film documents the reality of climate change and the powerful interests that oppose climate action.

Sponsored by Geology Department and Earth Society Association

Event:"Bug Girl," by Judith Black. 1:40 - 3 p.m. ROOM CHANGE TO Petrowski Room (Marsh Hall 210), Central Campus

Judith Black, one of the nation’s foremost storytellers, creates and tells compelling, humorous, and riveting stories. They are sculpted both from her own observed life and created to augment the missions of educational, historic, and governmental organizations. Featured on stages from the Montreal Comedy Festival to The Smithsonian Institution, to the Art Museum of Cape Town, she has appeared 15 times at the National Storytelling Festival, and is the winner of the Oracle Award, storytelling’s most coveted laurel.

Professional Storyteller Judith Black will tell a tale about entomology, community and climate change.

Organized by Lisa Delissio
Sponsored by Biology


Financial Support for Earth Days Generously Provided By the following:

  • Tefferteller Foundation
  • Chartwells of Salem State University
  • Hayden-MacNeal Publishers
  • Pearson Publishers
  • Salem State University First Year Experience
  • Salem State University School of Graduate Studies
  • Salem State Univesity School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Salem State University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Salem State University College of Health and Human Services
  • Salem State University Bertolon School of Business
  • HealthLink
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