Annual SoGES Converge event offers look at new green initiatives

Julia Rentsch

Sustainability-minded Colorado State University community members gathered to learn about the missions of numerous campus environmental groups at the School of Global Environmental Sustainability’s 3rd annual Converge event at Avogadro’s Number Wednesday night.

Jacob Kimiecik, director of the CSU Student Sustainability Center, speaks at the SoGES Converge event last year. (Photo courtesy of CSU SOURCE).
Jacob Kimiecik, director of the CSU Student Sustainability Center, speaks at the SoGES Converge event last year. (Photo courtesy of SOURCE).

Leaders and representatives of 18 CSU-affiliated sustainability centers and programs each spoke briefly about the opportunities offered by their organizations and offered attendees the chance to establish networking connections. Several groups announced news about CSU sustainability initiatives.

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One of the new groups represented was CSU Climate Action, which has just emerged this semester as an official student group after previously existing as the CSU base of the Climate Reality Project’s campaign Know Tomorrow.

Rachel Baiyor, a senior ecosystem science and sustainability major who has been with the group since its early days on campus, spoke on behalf of CSU Climate Action and stated that the group seeks to give its members tools to become more self-sustainable and encourage the community at large to do the same.

Another new addition, the Earth System Modeling and Education Institute, existed on campus for the past 10 years as the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes. Previously funded by the National Science Foundation, ESMEI now has a smaller budget but is looking to continue its climate modeling work within the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at CSU.

Speakers from the newly-formed SoGES Global Biodiversity Center, which is a campus-wide networking initiative of students and faculty, described CSU as a “hotbed” of biodiversity research and described their mission to promote CSU as an international center for biodiversity research through research and public awareness.

The group, which originated as the One Health Initiative at CSU and aimed to recognize the complexity and interconnectedness of today’s climactic, ecological, food security, population and public health challenges, has grown into the One Health Institute, said its new director, Bruno Sobral.

Sobral, who is also a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, said that though the Institute is still in its infancy, the new iteration of One Health will continue to help the CSU campus work together to solve problems related to animal, human and environmental health.

Collegian Reporter Julia Rentsch can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter via @julia_rentsch.