Weber State hosts the Intermountain Sustainability Summit

Pamphlets containing more information about the Intermountain Sustainability Summit for those attending the Summit.

Weber State University hosted the Intermountain Sustainability Summit on March 23 and 24 in the Shepherd Union Building. The summit featured multiple environmentalist speakers who spoke on issues relating to climate change in Utah and around the world.

“This is kind of like networking and info sharing for … incoming professionals to be able to think about sustainable actions that they can take together,” Keilee Higgs, a volunteer for the event, said. “You can learn so much just by coming here and talking to people and not having to read books about it because everybody’s so willing to share what they are trying to do.”

The first day of the event consisted of a registration breakfast; a morning keynote speech by Nalini Nadkarni, a forest ecologist and science communicator; and four sessions of speakers that attendees could choose from. This was broken up by an hour-long networking lunch, student awards and a second networking session.

The first session of the first day gave attendees the option to choose between a presentation on “Unpacking the Inflation Reduction Act” by Utah Clean Energy; “Driving Fleet Electrification with Telematics” by Merge Electric Fleet Solutions; “Conservation and Restoration of an Urban River” by Utah Hogle Zoo and Jordan River Commission; or “A Global Conversation About Climate Change” by Brigham Young University.

The second session had the option of presentations on “Mining for Sustainable Development” by the Reliable Controls Corporation; “The Development of the Design+Build Salt Lake” by the Haskell Company and the University of Utah; “Centering Equity and Engaging Communities in Climate Change Action Planning” by the University of Utah; and “Implementing Circular Economy Principles in your Programming” by the University of Utah.

After the second session, there was a networking lunch, followed by the third session.

This included presentations on “Sustainability and Indigenous Knowledge” by Navajo Nation Government; “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of Electrifying Your Home” by ES Solar and New City Mechanical; “Building Ecological Literacy at the Library” by the Salt Lake City Public Library; and an “Electrified Building Tour” by WSU.

The final session of the first day included presentations on “Collaboration for Clean Energy” by Summit County Sustainability Program, Cottonwood Heights Planning Department, Ogden City Council and Rocky Mountain Power; “Indoor Air Quality for Buildings and Homes” by Salt Lake Department of Sustainability, Salt Lake City Corporation and Intermountain Health; “Nature and Human Health-Utah” by the University of Utah and the Tracy Aviary; and “Round Table Discussions” by the Salt Lake City Public Library, Utah Clean Energy, WSU, and the University of Utah.

Following the four sessions, the afternoon keynote speaker, Larry Confino, an independent producer/director, spoke on his “50 States of Sustainability” documentary series about renewable energy and sustainability.

The second day of the event consisted of two workshops. The first workshop took place in room 404 in the Shepherd Union and was titled “Electrification: From a Bird’s Eye View to the Nuts & Bolts” and was presented by Jacob Cain and Justin Owen, who are WSU Energy Managers. This workshop taught attendees about WSU’s plan to update the campus and to explore what the university has done so far.

The second workshop of the day was on “Energy Financing,” also given by Cain and Owen. The workshop focused on how to budget and secure money to help with personal and other sustainability projects.

With 38 speakers and many attendees, the Intermountain Sustainability Summit was a big event for WSU’s campus. Students, staff, faculty and community members were all invited to attend the event.