Engaging, Enabling and Empowering
Our Sustainable Future

The 9th annual Iowa State University Symposium on Sustainability was held Feb. 19-20, 2018 in the Memorial Union.

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

The 2018 Symposium on Sustainability celebrated the diversity of sustainability efforts and initiatives taking place within our campus community focused on supporting and nurturing enablement and empowerment toward a sustainable future that extends into the Ames community, as well as communities across the state and throughout the world. Features of this year’s event included a sustainability poster and tabling reception, keynote lecture, documentary screening, GIY "Green-It-Yourself" Centers and the presentation of the 2017 Live Green! Awards for Excellence in Sustainability.

Keynote Lecture:
Nick Mullins - "Coal, Climate and Environmental Backlash"

Nick Mullins is a former fifth generation coal miner from Appalachia seeking to better educate audiences about Appalachia's jobs-versus-environment dichotomy. An energy transition advocate and author of the blog The Thoughtful Coal Miner, Mullins hopes to inspire deeper conversations on the relationship between activists, corporate interests and rural working-class communities, as well as help audiences understand the political motivations of mining communities. His presentation looks at community reactions to both environmental activism against surface mining practices and the coal industry’s response through public relations campaigns and the “War on Coal” rhetoric.

Mullins' lecture took place at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19, in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. For more information about Mullins and his work, as well as to download a podcast of the lecture, visit the Lectures Program website.

Sustainability Poster & Tabling Reception

Poster abstracts and tabling displays were 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! Excellence Awards recognize Iowa State University students, faculty and staff 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, 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. 

Symposium Archives