Earthstock, a Stony Brook University tradition since 2002, continues this month with a series of events focusing on today’s important environmental issues.
Dubbed a “Celebration of Earth Day,” Earthstock will be held from April 12 to 22, and attendees will be treated to an eclectic slate of programming featuring industry experts, environmental organizations and other participants, all with an Earth-friendly message. Events are free and open to the public except where noted.
The event kicks off at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 12, with a symposium titled “Global and Local Dimensions of the Plastic Crisis.” Attendees will learn about the plastics crisis’ impact on climate, pollution, environmental justice and inequality. The keynote speaker is Stony Brook alumna Erica Cirino ‘15, environmental journalist and author of Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis. A panel discussion will follow the event, which is sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies, the Safina Center and the Humanities Institute of Stony Brook University. Register for the event on Zoom.
The Earthstock keynote address will be delivered by celebrity chef Barton Seaver at 4 pm on Wednesday, April 20, at the Charles B. Wang Theater. Seaver, one of the world’s leading sustainable seafood experts and educators, will give a brief presentation about sustainable seafood, and how our choices for diet and menus can promote healthier lifestyles, resilient ecosystems, more secure food supplies, and thriving communities. The keynote is co-sponsored by Earthstock, the Office of Student Life and the Faculty Student Association.
Other events include:
Monday, April 18
Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn will deliver a lecture on “Suffolk County Environmental Concerns” at 5:30 pm in Endeavor Hall, Room 120. Hahn will discuss the environmental challenges, needs and opportunities that exist in the local community and Suffolk County. She has led the Suffolk County Environmental Committee and partners with local community members and organizations to improve climate conditions throughout the county.
Tuesday, April 19
The annual State of the Bays Address: “Watershed of Destiny.” On Long Island, the sole-source aquifer is the drinking water supply and primary source of freshwater, nitrogen and other contaminants to coastal ecosystems. The address will explore recent worrisome trends in the quality of both groundwater and surface waters on Long Island. Endowed Chair of Coastal Ecology and Conservation Chris Gobler, director of the Center for Clean Water Technology at Stony Brook, will discuss the challenges we face in reversing the adverse conditions affecting our water quality and fisheries. A YouTube link will be made available that day on the Earthstock website.
“Energy Initiatives, Plans and Dreams for a Sustainable Campus.” A panel of SBU campus leaders will come together via Zoom at 4 pm for the panel discussion. The Zoom link will be made available on the Earthstock website.
Wednesday, April 20
The Ashley Schiff Park Preserve guided tour begins at the park entrance at 1 pm. The Ashley Schiff Preserve is a green gem of the Stony Brook campus, dating back to 1970 when it was dedicated to the memory of Ashley Schiff, a popular political science professor. The preserve sits on 28.2 acres of woodland in between the area of Roth Quad/Life Sciences and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Representatives from the Friends of Ashley Schiff Park Preserve will lead a tour and short hike through a beautiful ecosystem full of vibrant wildlife and vegetation.
Thursday, April 21
The “Sustainable Seafood Teaching Kitchen” will be in session at noon in the Roth Food Court, where attendees will learn why sustainable seafood matters, seafood cooking techniques, sustainable practices and seafood in nutrition. Sign up to participate; the kitchen is open to the first 12 students.
The Sustainable Seafood Dinner will be served at East and West Side Dining at 5 pm. The first 50 guests at East Side or West Side dine-in will receive a Barton Seaver spice packet to try his recipes at home. Note there is a charge for the dinner.
A meet and greet with Seaver at East Side Dining will follow at 6 pm at East Side Dining. A Sustainable Seafood Student Cooking Competition will also take place in East Side Dining at 5 pm, where teams of two students will compete to see who has the best clam chowder recipe. Thursday’s events are sponsored by the Faculty Student Association.
Friday, April 22
The signature Earthstock Festival will be held on the Academic Mall beginning at 11 am. This event features environmental and educational displays and exhibitors, the Green Pledge ceremony, a farmers market, live music and dance performances on two stages, and the traditional rubber duck races at 2:30 pm.
The Stony Brook University Police Department (UPD) Spring Fest will take place at 3 pm on the Staller Steps, offering a fun afternoon of games and interaction between students and the UPD.
Earthstock concludes with a lecture at 4 pm titled “From Plankton to Whales — Why Our Local Waters Are Worth Protecting.” The lecture, which will be held in person at Stony Brook Union 205-45 as well as on Zoom, is in response to the endless stories and photos of fish kills, harmful algal blooms, oil spills, beach closures and more filling daily news feeds — a bombardment of negativity fostering a lack of enthusiasm among local communities when it comes to protecting our environment. Christopher Paparo, manager of the SoMAS Marine Sciences Center at Stony Brook Southampton, will help attendees rediscover their enthusiasm for protecting our marine environment by highlighting some of the fascinating marine life that inhabits the waters of Long Island.
Following Earthstock, the Spirit of Stony Brook’s fourth annual spring concert takes place at 7 pm in Island Federal Arena. Tickets are required for this event.
— Robert Emproto