Center for the Environment welcomes campus community during kickoff events

Fall foliage
Beautiful fall colors brighten a tree-lined path at Washington University's environmental field station, Tyson Research Center, located near Eureka, Mo. (Photo courtesy of Tyson Research Center)

Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for the Environment, a key initiative of the university’s strategic plan “Here and Next,” will host a weeklong series of kickoff events next month designed to encourage the entire campus community to become more familiar with WashU’s work to advance environmental research.

“From the start, we’ve envisioned the center as an enriching catalyst for WashU’s ecosystem of environmental research,” said Daniel Giammar, the Walter E. Browne Professor of Environmental Engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering and the center’s inaugural director. “Everyone at WashU can find a place in this critically important work.”


The week’s worth of programming begins Feb. 12 with an Assembly Series talk from Elizabeth Kolbert, a Pulitzer Prize-winning, national bestselling author and journalist focused on environmental issues, concerns and solutions. Her address, “The Fate of the Earth,” takes place at 4 p.m. at Graham Chapel and is open to all; Kolbert’s remarks also will be livestreamed.

The rest of the week’s events include topics ranging from science communication and storytelling to the state of plastics in consumer goods to an update on the Living Earth Collaborative’s ongoing research in Madagascar. The offerings reflect the Center for the Environment’s primary purpose: to serve as a cross-cutting collaboration hub, encouraging community partners, faculty and students to advance research projects in areas including biodiversity, climate change and earth systems, environmental justice, environmental solutions and planetary health.

 “While the center is a research accelerator confronting environmental challenges, it’s important that our entire campus community know about what we are doing and our ‘why’,” Giammar said. “Here at WashU, we have the potential to advance effective remedies here at home in St. Louis, nationally and globally. We want everyone to know about the importance of this work, become familiar with the university’s efforts and engage in their own way to address the threats of our changing environment.”

To learn more about the kickoff week and to register for events, visit the “Here and Next” website.