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Book Discussion | What the Eyes Don't See

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 9:36pm

Stephen Henderson of WDET's Detroit Today leads a discussion of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha’s What The Eyes Don’t See: The Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

The book dives into Dr. Hanna-Attisha's story in contributing to the discovery of elevated lead levels in Flint’s public water infrastructure.  Henderson is in conversation with Michigan Radio Investigative Reporter Lindsey Smith ​and State Senator Jeff Irwin.

This event is part of a community-wide discussion on the story of Flint and how it’s affected the country’s views on infrastructure, justice and the relationship between state and local government.

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Nerd Nite #65 - A Tale of Two Lakes: Eutrophy in Western Lake Erie and Oligotrophy in Lake Michigan

Wed, 08/21/2019 - 4:24pm

In Western Lake Erie, massive mats of blue-green algae blossom every summer, stirring up memories of the 2014 Toledo Water Crisis with every reappearance. Meanwhile, in Lake Michigan, there are nearly as many invasive mussels in the lake as there are gallons of water. Each mussel is the size of a thumbnail and, under the right conditions, their combined force can filter the entire volume of water in Lake Michigan in less than a week. The resulting crystal clear waters are great for beachgoers but extremely problematic for the lake ecosystem. In this talk, Christine discusses some of the causes of eutrophy (too much vegetation) in Western Lake Erie and oligotrophy (too little vegetation) in Lake Michigan and how lake-wide management strategies for one problem can exacerbate another.

About Christine:

Christine Kitchens is a research technician at the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research at the University of Michigan. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from North Carolina State University and an M.S. in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan. While she performs a variety of tasks at the cooperative institute, she primarily spends her days helping monitor and understand harmful algal blooms in Western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. When she does manage to find some free time, she spends it running around doing more volunteering with the Huron River Watershed Council and other various local environmental organizations, playing video/board games, and basically being a massive nerd in all facets of life.

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Farms and Open Space: Preserving Rural Washtenaw County

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 10:36am

A panel of experts from Washtenaw County government agencies and nonprofits discuss what we can do to preserve farmland, forests, open space, and natural areas in Washtenaw County. They will highlight what efforts are already under way, and how we can expand efforts to help local farmers and conservationists.

This panel includes members from the Mindful Eating Team of the Ann Arbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation, the Park Planning and Natural Areas Planning Department of Washtenaw County, members of the Legacy Land Conservancy, local farmers, and Argus Farm Stop.

This event is in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor.

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Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum | Adapting to a Changing Climate

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 10:32am

The City of Ann Arbor is already experiencing impacts from climate change. More severe storms, increased precipitation, rising temperatures and extended heat waves all pose challenges to how we live, work, and play in our community. Join a conversation on how the Ann Arbor community is taking steps to address climate impacts and what more we could be doing at the city, neighborhood and individual level. Climate adaptation experts will share the soup to nuts on climate change for Ann Arbor and what we can do to thrive in a changing future. 

Beth Gibbons - Beth Gibbons is the Executive Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP). In this role, she is responsible for strengthening ASAP as an emerging nonprofit organization, managing relationships with its members, board and donors, and bringing adaptation best practices into the broader conversation. Previously, Beth was Director of the University of Michigan Climate Center and managed NOAA’s Great Lakes Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center. She also worked for the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute as a research specialist, helping develop and implement the Great Lakes Adaptation Assessment for Cities. Previously, Beth worked for the International Forestry and Research Institute and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs supporting organization operations and communications. She served in the Peace Corps in Agodopke, Togo. Beth earned her undergraduate degree in Comparative Politics from the Catholic University of America and holds a Master of Urban Planning and a Masters Certificate in African Studies from the University of Michigan. Beth is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Jennifer Lawson, Water Quality Manager, City of Ann Arbor - Jennifer Lawson started her career as a Civil Engineer’s daughter and at the age of 7, started working at her Dad’s office, running bluelines, holding a survey rod and coloring mylars. Jen is currently the Water Quality Manager for the City of Ann Arbor. She has a Bachelor of Science in Resource Development from MSU and a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from U of M focusing on Landscape as Infrastructure (How the ecology of the landscape can provide a service). With 18 years of experience in both private consulting and municipal engineering, she has a unique balance and understanding of water infrastructure regulations and management needs.

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Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum | Climate Change 201

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 10:19am

Join the conversation as UM professors and other speakers dig deeper into the latest thinking about the science and impacts of climate change, both locally and globally. This month’s panelists include: Dr. Jonathan Overpeck (Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan) and Emily Drennen (Sustainability Analyst, City of Ann Arbor).

Sustainable Ann Arbor is an annual series presented by the City of Ann Arbor and hosted by the Ann Arbor District Library. The series includes four events held monthly through April, each with a focus on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s Sustainability Framework.

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Legacies Project Oral History: Former U.S. Congressman John Dingell

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 10:57am

John Dingell Jr. (D) served in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Michigan delegation from 1955-2015. His 60 years in office make him the longest serving member in the history of the House. A long-time member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including 16 years as Chairman, Dingell was an advocate for environmental issues and a supporter of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Dingell was also the longest serving Dean of the House of Representatives. He passed away on February 7, 2019.               

John Dingell was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2015-2016 as part of the Legacies Project.

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A2Energy Power Hour

Wed, 09/12/2018 - 6:15pm

This fun and informative event explains how your house can be made more energy efficient and whether solar power might be an option. 

Presenters include:

-MI Saves: to explain their contractor network and financing options.
-Washtenaw County Staff: to describe their free programs for low-income home owners

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Author Event | The Poisoned City: Anna Clark on the Flint Water Crisis

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:28pm

Anna Clark's new book is an account of the disastrous decisions that switched Flint, Michigan's water supply to a source that corroded the city's aging lead pipes—and the eighteen months of activism that finally forced the state government to admit that Flint's water had been poisoned with lead. In the first full account of this American tragedy, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. The Poisoned City is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision making.

Anna Clark is a journalist living in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in ELLE Magazine, The New York Times, POLITICO Magazine, Next City, and other publications. She received the 2017 Excellence in Environmental Journalism award from the Great Lakes Environmental Law Council. Her writing was a “notable” pick in Best American Sports Writing 2012; a “best commentary” finalist from the 2015 Mirror Awards; and a 2016 first-place winner from SPJ-Detroit in online investigative reporting.

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Nerd Nite #52: Is It Cold In Here or Is It Just Me?

Wed, 07/25/2018 - 8:17pm

Maris Wicks — Is It Cold In Here or Is It Just Me?
Everything you ever wanted to know about Antarctica, and probably some stuff you didn’t (like that time I pooped in a bucket).

About Maris:
Comic book artist and writer with an insatiable appetite for science. Especially science in strange places

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Water 101 | City of Ann Arbor 2018 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 3:21pm

This forum is about the lifecycle of water in Ann Arbor. There is a video about extreme storms in Ann Arbor, presentations from some experts in the field, even a trivia game!

Sustainable Ann Arbor is an annual series presented by the City of Ann Arbor and hosted by the Ann Arbor District Library. The series includes four events held monthly through April, each with a focus on a different element of sustainability from Ann Arbor’s Sustainability Framework. This event is cosponsored by the City of Ann Arbor and details of the series will be posted online on The City of Ann Arbor's Sustainability site. For information and videos from current and past Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums, please visit the City’s Sustainability website.