Climate Resilience and Sustainability at IU East

Climate Resilience and Sustainability at IU East

The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference took place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 12.  Aligned with that, there were several events at the IU East campus focused on climate change, climate resilience, and sustainability.  Participation by student organizations included the College Democrats of Indiana and the Animals and Earth Club. A Climate March for Our Lives event in the campus quad on October 26 inspired discussion on the importance of sustainability efforts, both small and large, and how there is much that we can still do at the campus, community, and state levels to make a difference.

An active member of the Campus Climate Resilience Committee, Assistant Librarian of Access and Technical Services Beth South worked with the IU Office of Sustainability Director and IU East biology lecturer Ron Itnyre to host a Campus Climate Resilience Workshop on November 3. Beth is coordinating discussions about campus resiliency efforts in regard to climate change, in the areas of Social Equity & Governance; Economics; Infrastructure; Ecosystem Services; and Health & Wellness. The goal is to develop feasible action items for our campus to improve resiliency to the current effects of climate change and to cut back on carbon emissions. In the coming weeks, a survey listing all the action items from the five groups will be sent to the campus community for people to rank in order of priority.

As a way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month as well as support sustainability education, the Campus Library hosted a film showing on November 10 of a documentary from our AVON database, titled Common Ground: The Story of Bears Ears. This national monument in Southeastern Utah that was established in 2016 and contains a number of historic, cultural, and natural resources important to several local Native American tribes. The film was followed by a presentation by Aaron Comstock, assistant professor of anthropology. He  spoke about his current research at the Guard archaeological site in Lawrenceburg, IN and the Turpin archaeological site in Anderson Township, OH, both ancient village sites on the ancestral lands of the Miami people. Professor Comstock noted the importance of integrating Indigenous voices to preserve our natural and cultural landscapes.

Figure 1 Valley of the Gods, Bears Ear National Monument, Utah. Photo by Thoffman, Adobe Stock

To help promote sustainability initiatives at IU East and provide research assistance on the topic, Assistant Librarian of Access and Technical Services Beth South and Coordinator of Library User Services Jesse Whitton created a new resource guide, Sustainability Resources at IU East. Some of the content highlighted in the guide:

Library ebooks, such as Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by Davide Wallace-Wells, Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration—And Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives by Danny Dorling, or Carbon Blues by Mike Mason.

Library databases, including Environmental Studies and GreenFILE, and recent films accessible via AVON, like Everest Green (2018) and Kiss the Ground (2020).

There is also a list of open access articles and open access films, including The Human Element, Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands and Unbroken Ground: A New Old Way to Grow Food

The guide also highlights various open access TED Talks and Webinars like “How to Prepare for Climate Change presented by David Pogue,” “Climate Change, Poverty, and Migration: It’s All Connected,” by Caroljean Willie, “The Secret Language of Trees,” by Camille Defrenne and Suzanne Simard, and the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” with Van Jones.

You can also find more information about the sustainability initiatives and groups that are active at the IU East campus and links to other local, state-wide, national, and international organizations, to learn more and find ways to get involved, including participating in programs like the Indiana Master Naturalist Program.

If you need any assistance in researching topics related to climate change and sustainability, Ask Us! If you’d like to learn more about the IU East Sustainability Council or the student organization Animals and Earth Club at IU East, please contact Beth South

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