Astronaut lecture, retrospective panel highlight 10th sustainability symposium

Iowa State's 10th sustainability symposium next week (Feb. 18-19) offers two evenings to reflect on a decade of "living green."


Retired U.S. Navy Captain and astronaut Scott Kelly will present the keynote address, "The Sky is Not the Limit," Feb. 18 (7 p.m., Stephens Auditorium, doors open at 6 p.m.). All seats are general admission.

In addition to commanding three space flights -- in 1999, 2007 and 2010 -- Kelly lived for a year on the International Space Station (March 2015-March 2016), primarily to observe the effects of long-term space flight on the human body. His twin brother and fellow astronaut, Mark Kelly, served as a ground control subject for genetic assessments. His 2017 book, "Endurance," reflects on his year in space. Kelly also helped the world see the impact of climate change with photos of Earth covered in pollution, which he shot from the ISS.

Following his lecture, Kelly will sign copies of his book in Stephens' Celebrity Cafe.


A panel of Iowa State staff and recent alumni involved in sustainability will look back on 10 years of achievements and take a peek at what the next green decade could bring to campus. Their discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

Scheduled staff panelists are Kerry Dixon, sustainability coordinator for design and construction services, and Randy Larabee, assistant director for utilities, both in facilities planning and management; Roger Graden, associate director for facilities in the residence department; and assistant vice president for research Jerry Zamzow. They'll be joined by alumni Chandra Peterson ('12) and Casey Fangmann ('13), cofounders of Iowa State's Green Umbrella student organizations network. Fangmann, an environmental engineer working for Schneider Electric in suburban Chicago, also launched recycling in the residence halls as an undergraduate. Peterson, a trial attorney for the nonprofit Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., was student government vice president and also helped launch the Campustown Student Association and Campustown Action Association. She earned her law degree at University of California, Berkeley.

Prior to the panel, recipients of this year's Live Green Award for Excellence in Sustainability will be announced. The nomination deadline for the award is 5 p.m. Feb. 14.

Tuesday's events begin at 5 p.m. with a green fair of sorts in the MU Great Hall and Oak Room. More than a dozen campus and local organizations will have information tables about their activities. Two others, ISU peer wellness educators and the state's Iowa Waste Exchange, will offer "green it yourself" projects attendees can complete in a short time.

The sustainability symposium's annual clothing swap also will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sustainability director Merry Rankin said more than 600 pieces of clothing were donated prior to the event, and visitors are invited to bring clothing to swap. Those without clothing to trade may participate by donating two nonperishable food items or $2 for one item (or three items for $5). All food and cash donations will go to the SHOP on-campus student food pantry.