By Ethan Kibbe, ’18
St. Bonaventure University will host a forum on sustainable energy and the environment at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the Walsh Center Auditorium.
The Keenan-Martine program sponsors the event, which is free and open to the public.
Dr. Kuppuswamy Arumugam, a St. Bonaventure professor of chemistry and the event’s organizer, said the forum is intended to open the minds of the audience members to the realities of energy production and energy use as well as to promote sustainable energy initiatives.
“A lot of the time, we don’t think about how much energy we are using,” Arumugam said. “We turn on the switch, and we see the light go on; but who is responsible for this? Where is this [energy] coming from, and how do we deal with it?”
The forum will feature three speakers, all of them well known in their fields.
Dr. Wayne E. Jones, Jr., professor of inorganic and materials chemistry at SUNY Binghamton will discuss the advantages of using polymer cells in solar panels as opposed to silicon cells.
Ryan A. McPherson, the chief sustainability officer for the University at Buffalo, will present about his efforts to make the UB campus more “green” as well as the efforts of the university to become more environmentally friendly.
Lastly, Mari L. Snyder, the vice president of social responsibility for Marriott hotels, will share her ideas regarding energy sustainability in the corporate world. Snyder is a 1990 St. Bonaventure alumnae.
In addition to the forum, the event will also feature presentations by students about energy and the environment. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., members of the audience will have access to these projects.
“The students will have posters, and people that arrive early will be able to learn about their projects and ask them questions,” Arumugam said.
Arumugam said the purpose of the forum is not to impose a specific view on the audience, but rather to simply expose people to information about energy production and consumption.
“No matter if someone believes in global warming or not, at some point, we have to account for the energy we’re using,” Arumugam said. “We are an energy-hungry society right now. I want to put the idea in [the audience’s] mind that this energy does not come free. We are burning a lot of natural resources to get this energy, so if you can do it in a sustainable way, that would be best.”
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