VCU to host annual events promoting environmental awareness

RVA Environmental Film Festival, VCU research showcase and Darwin Day come to campus next week

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This is the week we get our science out to the public.

Interested in learning how global warming impacts the hundreds of miles of Greenland’s ice sheet? What about how urbanization impacts the western black widow spider? The environmentally conscious can learn about these and other concerns next week during a two-day roster of events hosted by either VCU biology and integrative life sciences student associations, local environmentalists or other academic and community partners. All events are free and open to the public.

“This is the week we get our science out to the public,” said Lindsay Miles, Integrative Life Sciences Student Organization member and event organizer. “That’s our main goal. Anyone is welcome.”


Integrative Life Sciences Student Research Showcase  

Feb. 9, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Richmond Salons in the University Student Commons

Doctoral students will share their research through oral and visual presentations on a broad range of topics, from breast cancer to the water composition of Lake Superior.

“This event is unique because our degree program has students working on projects in a variety of disciplines, from physics and medicinal chemistry, to environmental science and ecology,” said Heather Caslin, ILSSO member and event organizer. “Oftentimes the work is interdisciplinary, too.”


RVA Environmental Film Festival

Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Grace Street Theater
Other locations, times and films

VCU’s Grace Street Theater will host the fourth night of the 7th annual RVA Environmental Film Festival. Local environmental action groups have teamed together to organize several film viewings to educate the public about environmental threats.

Schedule of films at Grace Street Theater:

6:30 p.m. “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change” (2016)

Documentarian Josh Fox travels to 12 countries on six continents to tell the story of activists committed to reversing the effects of global warming. Fox notes the impacts of environmental degradation, from Greenland’s melting ice sheet to oil spills in Ecuador.

"How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change" by Josh Fox.

VCU Rice Rivers Center will sponsor the film’s showing at Grace Street Theater.

9 p.m. “True Cost” (2015)

A sobering look at the production of fast fashion to serve the first world, “True Cost” exposes the humanitarian and environmental costs of the industry. Human rights abuses are recounted through observations of garment workers in Bangladesh who make less than $3 a day. The environmental impact is considered through a look at the problems created by the millions of tons of discarded clothing that overwhelms Haitian landfills.


18th annual Darwin Day

Dan Graur, Ph.D.
Dan Graur, Ph.D.

Feb. 10, 11 a.m., Richmond Salons in the University Student Commons

The VCU Graduate Organization of Biology Students will wrap up the festivities with Darwin Day. University of Houston professor Dan Graur, Ph.D., a noted expert in the field of molecular evolution, will give his lecture, “The Imperfection of Evolution and the Evolution of Imperfection.”

High school students from Richmond Public Schools will tour integrative life sciences labs before attending the lecture, which is a new addition to Darwin Day.

“This year, we give them a chance to see science in action before the talk,” Miles said.



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