On CU-Boulder’s campus this week, learn how sugar plantations in Central America are connected with an epidemic of chronic kidney disease. Also find out about bears coming out of hibernation and a prehistoric reconstruction of the Sierra Nevada snowpack. A course that looks at sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s patterns and strategies, or biomimicry principles, will also be presented at this week’s university events.
Next Sunday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. The Center for Resource Conservation, with a mission of empowering our community to conserve natural resources, will be holding an Earth Day 5k from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the University of Colorado Research Park 4001 Discovery Drive, Boulder.
“Food is Fuel: Biofuel Policy and Its Human Costs,” hosted by CU-Boulder’s Student Environmental Action Coalition and Environmental Studies Club. April 16.
What? Today, sugar is not only used widely as a food — with negative impacts on sugar consumers’ health — but also in the push for biofuels. This widespread use of sugar also has a hidden cost: a work-associated epidemic among sugarcane workers in Central America. In Nicaragua, so many workers have died that there is now a community known as the “Island of Widows.” While working on a documentary about bananas workers, filmmaker Jason Glaser learned about La Isla and chronic kidney disease. Over a number of months, Jason watched his friends die one by one from kidney failure. Glaser will give a presentation following Dr. Richard Johnson’s talk from 5:30 – 6:30 on why fructose may be at the root of the obesity epidemic.
Where? CU-Boulder, Eaton Humanities, room 1B50. Map
Time? 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
“Coming Out of Hibernation: Bears, their Stories, and You,” hosted by the Center of the American West. April 17.
What? How much do you know about the bears that occupy our state? Laura Pritchett, author of the new book “Great Colorado Bear Stories,” and Jeff Mitton, University of Colorado Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and “Daily Camera” columnist, will create a portrait of the human-bear intersect by weaving stories of bears and science. Grizzlies that once roamed here and the black bears that still do will also be part of the evening’s discussion.
Where? CU-Boulder, ATLAS 100. Map
Time? 7:00 p.m.
“Paleoreconstructions of Sierra Nevada Snowpack Using Diatom Inference Models,” hosted by CU-Boulder’s Geography Department. April 20.
What? Associate professor of hydrology in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of California-Riverside James Sickman will present his research at the colloquium. Sickman specializes in watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry and application of stable and radioisotopes to environmental science.
Where? CU-Boulder, Guggenheim, room 205. Map
Time? 3:30 p.m.
“Biomimicry: Nature-Inspired Design,” hosted by CU-Boulder’s Sustainable Practices Program. April 20.
What? A scientific design discipline, biomimicry looks for sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s patterns and strategies. This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to design principles and techniques of biomimicry, the benefits of bio-inspired design, as well as industry and governmental case studies where natural design has been mimicked to solve environmental challenges. This course is designed for sustainability professionals seeking an intensive, experiential introduction to biomimicry principles.
Time? 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost? General participants – $355. CU-Boulder students – $177.50. CU-Boulder Faculty/Staff – $284.00