Sustainability events begin 4 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12, with a seminar on, "Sustainable and Organic Farming in Virginia," with Matt Lohr, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. © Lindsey Kolb, EMU marketing and communications

Fall Equals Sustainability at EMU

Sustainability will be front and center during the fall semester at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) as Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, sustainability coordinator, announced a full slate of activities, from singing and storytelling to seminars.

“The events make use of different media formats—music, film and guest presentations—in covering sustainable topics,” said Lantz-Trissel.

The events focus on the social, economic and environmental impact of human activity, with the hope of generating discussion at EMU and in the broader Harrisonburg area, said Lantz-Trissel.

“The work of building resilient, sustainable communities requires head, heart and hands… I hope these events inspire our hearts to do the work with our hands,” said Lantz-Trissel.


Monday, September 12, 2011, 4 p.m. – Suter Science Center, Room 104

Seminar on “Sustainable and Organic Farming in Virginia,” Matt Lohr, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Matt Lohr will address the importance of agriculture to Virginia, the state’s largest industry. While acknowledging the benefits of traditional agriculture, he will speak of the growing trend of buying local and track its surge in popularity in the last 10 years. The session will end with information on the complexity of today’s agriculture systems and the ways different systems interconnect.

Commissioner Lohr serves as Virginia’s 14th Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He was appointed by Governor Bob McDonnell in 2010.


Wednesday, September 14, Undergraduate Chapel  and Evening Concert

Jen Chaplin, a singer songwriter, will deliver urban folkstory songs on searching for community and shared meaning. Chaplin, a mother, educator and activist, has a lifelong involvement in “WhyHunger,” an organization that champions innovative, community-based solutions to hunger and poverty. Chaplin is also active in the local and sustainable food movement.


Monday, September 26, 2011, 4 p.m. – Suter Science Center, Room 104

Seminar on “The Capacity Factor Approach to Water & Sanitation Services in Developing Communities,” with Garrick Louis, PhD, associate professor of systems engineering, University of Virginia.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011, time and place to be announced

Seminar on “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip,” an award-winning film celebrating the American spirit in the face of adversity. This film is a docu-comedy profiling individuals, groups, businesses who are tackling environmental issues and threats. Director Mark Dixon will be on campus during the day to speak in classes and moderate a question- and-answer session after the evening film showing. A trailer is available for this film.


Monday, October 17, 2011, 4 p.m. – Suter Science Center, Room 104

Seminar on “25x ’25”— “An Impending Global Oil Crisis and America’s Renewable Energy Goal (25% renewable energy by the year 2025),” with Christopher Bachmann, PhD, College of Integrated Sciences & Technology, JMU.


Monday, November 7, 2011, 4 p.m. – Suter Science Center, Room 104

Seminar discussing “A Shenandoah Valley of 10,000 Smokes,” with Tony Hartshorn, PhD, department of geology and environmental science, JMU.


Friday, November 18, 2011, 4 p.m. – Suter Science Center, Room 106

Seminar on “Bushmeat Hunting, Palm Oil, and Primate Conservation in Cameroon,” with Joshua Linder, PhD, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, JMU.


Thursday, December 1, 2011, 8 p.m. – Common Grounds Coffeehouse

Rev. Jim Ball speaks from his newest book, “Global Warming & The Risen Lord.” This book moves beyond the old debates about climate change to a new conversation filled with inspirational stories and sobering scientific research. Rev. Ball illustrates that global warming is one of the major challenges of our time, but one that can be overcome by following the Risen Lord. Rev. Ball will be speaking in undergraduate chapel on Dec. 2.