University News

Ninth Annual Environmental Summit Set for April at Western Illinois University

December 14, 2011

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MACOMB, IL – Save the date for the ninth annual Western Illinois University Environmental Summit, set for April 4, 2012 in Macomb.

A summit will also be held on April 3 at the WIU Quad Cities campus, with a keynote speaker at 7 p.m.

The Macomb event will run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the University Union and is open free to the public.

According to Mindy Pheiffer, summit chair, and coordinator for WIU's Horn Field Campus, the theme for the 2012 event is "Scientific Discovery and Technological Innovation: Understanding the Environmental Impacts and Creating Solutions." The summit theme coincides with the 2011-2012 Universitywide theme, "Science and Technology: Discover, Innovate, Create."

The 2012 Summit Community Partner is Waste Management, Inc.

A Green Expo will also be held and environmentally-themed displays will be featured from campus departments and organizations, area businesses and community groups. Entries will also be accepted again this year for the student sustainability awards, which will be presented during the 2012 summit.

From 6 – 8 p.m. on April 4, a summit reception will be held at the West Central Illinois Arts Center on the east side of Macomb's downtown square.

This year's keynote speaker will be Peter Schwartzman, a Knox College associate professor and chair of the school's environmental studies program.

Schwartzman will speak at noon at the WIU-Macomb Summit and at 7 p.m. at the WIU-QC Summit with the theme, "Living Green...It Is Happening But it Could Happen in a MUCH Bigger Way."

Schwartzman, a Galesburg Fifth Ward alderman, is a trained climatologist with interests in a variety of environmental areas, including energy, social justice, population and sustainability.

His most recent publication is titled, "A Solar Transition is Possible," which was published by the Institute for Policy Research & Development.

Schwartzman's academic degrees include a bachelor of science in physics from Harvey Mudd College, a masters of science in science and technology studies at Virginia Tech, and Ph.D. in environmental sciences at the University of Virginia.

Groups, individuals and organizations interested in being involved in the 2012 summit at WIU should contact Pheiffer at (309) 833-5798 or

For more information about the summit visit

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Relations