10th Annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium

Climate Change: 10 Years of Progression, Aggression & Suppression

April 13, 2017
Central Connecticut State University


Come join us as we examine the current status of climate change.
What has or hasn't changed during the past 10 years?
What needs to occur?

The CCSU Global Environmental Sustainability Action Coalition (GESAC) invites you to learn and teach about the actions humans must take to ensure that our children and grandchildren will experience
a life of peace, health, and harmony with our one and only home -EARTH.

Click here for directions to CCSU and campus map

9:30 - 10:00 AM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

Welcome & Opening

Welcome: Charles E. Button, Ph.D., GESAC Founder & Chair, & CCSU Professor of Geography & Sustainability
Opening Address: Zulma Toro, Ph.D., CCSU President

10:00 - 10:45 AM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

The Art, Science, and Politics of Bees and their Impact on Climate Change

Ted Kennedy, Jr., CT Senator & Co-Chair of CT Environment Committee (invited)
Mark H. Creighton, CT Apiary Inspector
Carol Padberg, Program Director,
Nomad/9 Interdisciplinary MFA, University of Hartford

Bees are pollinators of 1 of every 3 bites of food that we eat. But bees are already disappearing in massive numbers around the globe. In 2016 Senator Kennedy succeeded in getting the bipartisan CT Senate Bill 231 passed, the most comprehensive pollinator health law in the nation. Mark Creighton brings to this panel his experience in the field. The work of the artist/educator Carol Padberg from the Hartford Art School is on display in the ongoing exhibition in the CCSU art gallery, Earth Fire Water, Air: Elements of Climate Change. She has created a bee-themed sculpture to raise awareness in the public schools of the distress of bees and ways to help these pollinators.

11:00 - 11:45 AM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

How has the Climate Changed at Central Connecticut State University?    

Charles E. Button, Ph.D., GESAC Founder & Chair, & CCSU Professor of Geography & Sustainability
Karen Misbach, Director, CCSU Environmental Health, Safety &

In 2007, the President of CCSU signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging CCSU to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.   Presenters will discuss institutional successes and future challenges for academic programs and facilities management divisions of CCSU that seek to transition the campus towards a climate neutral reality.

12:00 - 12:45 PM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

Click Here to Register 

Climate Change Research: Past, Present & Future

Lunch & Keynote Address:
Stan Rullman, PhD, Research Director, Earthwatch Institute

Dr. Rullman will present a synthesis of Earthwatch’s 45 years of engaging members of the public in field research, including significant contributions to climate change science—starting before scientists fully comprehended that such changes were systemic and attributable to increasing greenhouse gas levels. He will highlight the organization’s targeted support of climate change research over the last 10 years in diverse ecosystems around the globe, focusing on research findings and impacts, and address, in part, the role of citizen scientists as a vital component of “what needs to occur?” next.

1:00 - 1:45 PM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

Watersheds & Climate Change

Mary Pelletier, Executive Director, Park River Watershed
Anne Hulick, Executive Director, Clean Water Action
Margaret Miner, Executive Director, Rivers Alliance CT

Panel members will explore relationships between hyper-local watershed conditions of the Park River regional watershed; toxic conditions that impair water and human health; as well as the state water planning process and related legislation. Discussion will include a summary of regional paradigm shifts in climate, planning and urban design, government budgets and policy as well as current opportunities for citizen and professional involvement. Panelists will highlight how attention to local issues, such as implementation of green infrastructure, which can increase local resiliency to extreme weather events, can mitigate global climate change challenges.

2:00 - 2:45 PM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

10 Years Towards Sustainable Corporate Behavior: Enough Momentum to Survive the Next Four Years?

Drew Harris, Ph.D., CCSU School of Business
Daniel Esty, Ph.D., Yale University Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy
Robert Araujo, Retired Manager of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety Programs at Sikorsky Aircraft

Ten years ago, corporate sustainability was a theoretical subject. Since then, much of the talk became reality: reduction in waste streams and improved energy use, more resource efficient products, green branding. Yet, nationally there is a push back, a call to dismantle the regulatory environment that has aided progress in sustainability. This panel explores this history and asks whether the market will carry forward this momentum towards sustainability.

3:00 - 3:45 PM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

Improving Transportation to Improve Livability and Reduce our Carbon Footprint

Tim Garceau, Ph.D., CCSU Geography Department
Mark Moriarty, Director of Public Works, City of New Britain
Jameelah Muhammad, Senior Organizing Representative, Electric Car Initiative, Sierra Club
Dave Oliveria, Secretary,
New England Electric Auto Association
Elise Greenberg, Planner, Office of Strategic Planning and Projects, Connecticut Department of Transportation

Transportation infrastructure is a critical element to economic growth that also shapes our cities and ultimately how we live out our lives.  The automobile-oriented system that has been built in the U.S. during the last century has stimulated economic growth but often to the detriment of the people it was meant to serve and to the environment. In Connecticut, the impact of transportation is higher than the national average with 40% of statewide emissions generated by transportation.  This panel will discuss changes that are afoot that will create a transportation network in the state that not only provides options and improves quality of life, but will ultimately serve to reduce the environmental impacts of our mobile society.

4:00 - 6:00 PM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

Illustrated Poster Session, Sustainability Fair & Social

This session will provide the opportunity to interact with presenters of scholarly posters, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and governmental agencies that offer sustainability information, jobs/internships, and service to society. Socialize with other sustainability enthusiasts, and enjoy the sweet jazz stylings of Brown Paper Sax.

Jazz Music provided by Brown Paper Sax

Sustainability Fair Exhibitors
If your organization, governmental agency, or business wishes to have an exhibit, email
Dr. Charles Button:
(click on vendor's name to see their website):

CCSU Geography Department (confirmed)
CCSU Sustainability Studies (confirmed)
CCSU Public History Program (confirmed)
CCSU Office of Environmental Health & Safety and Sustainability (confirmed)

Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (confirmed)
Connecticut Preservation Action (confirmed)
Connecticut Sierra Club (confirmed)

Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation (confirmed)
CT rides (invited) 
CT fastrak (invited)
Direct Energy Solar (confirmed) 
Global Environmental Sustainability Action Coalition
New Britain Roots (invited)
Protect Our Watersheds (confirmed) 
The ReConnstruction Center (invited)
Rocky Corner Co-housing Community (confirmed)
Solar City (invited)
Solar Energy Association of Connecticut (confirmed)
Urban Miners (invited)
USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (invited; crimestop) (confirmed)

and others

6:00 - 6:15 PM

Student Center, Alumni Hall

Closing Remarks

Charles E. Button, Ph.D., GESAC Founder & Chair and CCSU Professor of Geography & Sustainability