Students to dig through trash as part of National Sustainability Day in Potsdam
Monday, October 14, 2013 - 6:21 am

POTSDAM -- A day's worth of trash from Clarkson University's Student Center will be displayed on the lawn Oct. 23 as part of Sustainability Week, Oct. 17 to Oct. 24.

Students will sort through the trash like archaeologists, separating out recyclables and compostable food waste.

The week will kick off Oct. 17 with National Bioenergy Day events in the Student Center.

Activities will include a tour of biomass demonstration projects, including an energy cabin and greenhouse digester, at 1 p.m.; a 2:15 p.m. poster session and reception featuring biomass projects across the region; a 3 p.m. talk by Mark Bryden, program director of the U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory Simulation, Modeling and Decision Science Research Program; a 3:45 p.m. presentation by Senior Project Manager Ellen Burkhard, who will discuss NYSERDA’s Biomass Combustion Programs; and a 4 p.m. panel discussion with state and regional biomass energy researchers and development partners.

Full details are available at

As part of the "Let's Make Cheel Sustainable" effort, students will be stationed around Cheel Arena at the men’s hockey games Oct. 18, 19, 25, and 26 to guide hockey fans into making proper recycling choices.

Arnie and Maggie Gundersen, former nuclear industry whistleblowers, will speak Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. in the Student Center multipurpose rooms. The couple, with a combined 60-plus years of experience in the nuclear field, will address ethics, science and public health through the lens of nuclear power.

They will discuss their personal experiences as whistleblowers in the nuclear industry, as well as the current situation in Japan after Fukushima Daiichi.

Topics addressed will include the suppression of Japanese scientists and doctors before and after the 2011 triple meltdown, the Daubert decision and its impact on science and law, and industry control over peer-reviewed scientific journals.

National Sustainability Day, Oct. 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. campus dining will offer food tasting from local food providers in the Cheel Campus Center. Samples will include Kilcoyne beef sliders and jerky, local apples, vegetables and more.

The Institute for a Sustainable Environment and Clarkson's Adirondack Semester program will host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Technology Advancement Center Room 122.

Oct. 24 Clarkson University will go "print-free." Faculty, staff and students will be challenged not to print anything for 24 hours including printing, copying, or faxing, except exams.

Sustainability Week will wrap up Oct. 24 with a local foods dinner in the Ross-Brooks dining hall from 4 to 8 p.m.

For more information visit