Symposium on Sustainability


Ensuring a Sustainable and Resilient Future:
There Is No Planet B


The 8th Annual Iowa State University Symposium on Sustainability will be held Monday, February 27, and Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Iowa State University's Live Green! Initiative provides a call to action to all students, faculty, and staff to be fully committed and engaged in ensuring a sustainable future. Through our actions and decisions regarding our campus, its operations, and initiatives we can make efforts to support a sustainable future.

Symposium Overview

This year’s Symposium on Sustainability focuses specifically on engaging discussions and dialogue related to research, projects, initiatives, events and operations that embrace a sustainable and a resilient future. Features of this year’s event include a sustainability poster and tabling display reception, keynote lecture, documentary screening, Green It Yourself (GIY) Centers and the presentation of the 2016 Live Green! Awards for Excellence in Sustainability.

Keynote Lecture:
Colin Khoury - "Seeds of a Sustainable Future"

Colin Khoury is a research scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) headquartered in Cali, Colombia, and at the USDA National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado. He previously worked at the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, the organization that collaborated with the Norwegian government and Nordic Genebank to create the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Khoury studies diversity in the crops people grow and eat worldwide, and the implications of change in this diversity on human health and environmental sustainability. He is particularly interested in the wild relatives of crops native to the United States. 

Khoury is the lead author of "Origins of Food Crops Connect Countries Worldwide," which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study estimates the degree to which countries use foreign crops – that is, crops from regions other than their own - and quantifies changes in this usage over the past 50 years. The results provide a novel perspective on the ongoing globalization of food systems worldwide, and bolster evidence for the importance of international collaboration on genetic resource conservation and exchange. Khoury earned his PhD in production ecology and resource conservation at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

    Sustainability Poster and Tabling Reception

    Poster abstracts and tabling displays are encouraged from all campus activities and projects including research, administration, operations, student/student organizations, community, and personal initiatives that support and further sustainability and the Live Green Initiative. Poster and tabling sessions provide an excellent venue for discussions and exchange of scientific information.

    Posters are invited and encouraged from the following areas:

    • Alternative/Renewable Energy Sources
    • Arts and Culture
    • BioDiversity
    • Energy Efficiency & Resource Conservation
    • Food Systems
    • Green Design & Products
    • Green Transportation
    • Social Engineering/Behavioral Change
    • Sustainable Community Planning
    • Sustainable Materials
    • Toxic Reductions
    • Waste Management, Diversion and Reduction
    • Water Quality/Flood Management



    Live Green! Awards for Excellence in Sustainability

    The Live Green Awards for Excellence in Sustainability recognized by Iowa State University faculty, staff, and students who are making an impact on the campus sustainability efforts by generating awareness and interest through initiatives that focus on teaching, research, outreach, and/or operations.

    All nominations are evaluated based on their impacts in the following areas: Cultural Impact, Impact on Natural Resources, Economic Impact, Transferability, and Legacy to the Live Green Initiative and Sustainability. For more information on the specific focus of interest within each of these areas, refer to the Live Green Award for Excellence in Sustainability Selection Criteria document.

    Excellence in areas or initiatives related to sustainability that are applicable to nomination for the Live Green Award could include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Teaching –expanding and diversifying sustainability awareness and education through efforts and achievements related to a course, curriculum, or program.
    • Research –expanding and diversifying sustainability understanding and discovery through efforts and achievements.
    • Outreach –expanding and diversifying sustainability relevance and transferability through efforts and achievements to internal and/or external audiences at Iowa State, Ames and/or local communities.
    • Operations –expanding and diversifying sustainable practices and procedures as related to the day-to-day operational management and maintenance of Iowa State University.