UWF Earth Day

Press Release: The University of West Florida commemorates Earth Day and the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with three special events. The events, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Studies, Emerald Coastkeeper and Gulf Coast Energy Network, take place April 20 in the UWF Conference Center. The presentations will focus on what has been learned since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and what the future of energy might hold beyond oil dependency.

“We want to look at alternative, non-polluting fuel sources,” said Chasidy Hobbs, an instructor in UWF’s Environmental Sciences program. “Since we have 3 percent of the world’s oil reserve, yet use 25 percent of the supplies, the only way to become energy independent is to shift our dependence to clean, renewable energy which is available to us.”

From 9 a.m. to noon will be the annual Earth Day Symposium titled “Beyond Oil: The Future of Energy.” First, the challenges with drilling for oil will be presented, followed by several presentations highlighting clean, renewable energy alternatives. From 1 to 3 p.m., members of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals and others will be available for discussions about local career and internship opportunities in the environmental field. Finally at 6 p.m., a panel discussion titled “Northwest Florida’s Recovery and Response, One Year after the BP Disaster” will be presented.

Beyond Oil: The Future of Energy 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Notable presentations:

9:10 to 9:40 a.m. – “Environmental Impacts of Oil Drilling,” Enid Sisskin

10:30 to 11 a.m. – “Emerging Energy Technologies: Algae to Fuels: Clean, Renewable, Abundant Fuel Source,” Norm Richards

11 to 11:30 a.m. – “Emerging Energy Technologies: Advances in Solar Technology,” Brody Newman, IGT Solar

11:30 a.m. to noon – “Emerging Energy Technologies: Plasma Waste-to-Energy Systems,” Dave Robau, Gulf Coast Energy Network

1 to 3 p.m. – Environmental career and internship fair

BP one-year memorial panel discussion 6 to 8 p.m.

Notable presentations:

6:20 p.m. – “Media Coverage One Year Later and Media’s Role in this Disaster,” Rick Outzen

6:30 p.m. – “Known Ecological Impacts, Highlight Unknowns and Current Ongoing Research,” Richard Snyder

6:40 p.m. – “Economic Impacts,” Rick Harper

6:50 p.m. – “Ongoing Local Response and Restoration Plans,” Keith Wilkins

For more information or a complete schedule of the day’s events, contact Chasidy Hobbs, chobbs@uwf.edu.