Lecturer addresses Sustainability and the Polytechnic
By Eric C. Rich
mustang daily staff writer
Environmental issues and sustainability are the focus of this year’s
History Day at Cal Poly. The second annual event is in conjunction with
the ongoing Centennial Celebration and features a lecture by environmentalist
The program, entitled “Sustainability and the Future of the Polytechnic
University,” is sponsored by the newly founded Campus Sustainability Initiative.
The March 8 event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium, and the lecture
will be followed by a reception. Cal Poly Provost Paul Zingg encourages
everyone to attend the program, which is free to the public.
“It’s only the second History Day, and we wanted to choose a topic that
reflects on the distinctive aspects of Cal Poly’s location and identity,”
Zingg said. “It’s our goal to have the students develop a deeper appreciation
for the beauty of the campus and its natural resources.”
Lovins is a nationally recognized author, physicist and environmentalist
who attended Harvard and Oxford universities, Zingg said. Lovins is one
of the world’s foremost authorities on sustainability, and he serves on
the U.S. Department of Energy’s senior advisory board. He was among 39
people named by The Wall Street Journal’s centennial issue as “most likely
to change the course of business.” He also received a “Hero of the Planet”
award from Time magazine.
“It’s extremely exciting to have someone like Lovins coming to this
university,” said Steve Marx, English professor and coordinator of the
event. “He’s got demand all across the world and has an outstanding reputation.”
In addition to Lovins’ lecture, Marx will be giving a multimedia presentation
on the Cal Poly Land Project. The project is a faculty effort that focuses
on the nature, science, and recreation that takes place on the university’s
“Our focus is on the conservation, education and preservation of Cal
Poly’s land,” Marx said. “As landowners, we have to be responsible with
our land use and balance the interests of biology and recreation.”
The land presentation will include a preview of the forthcoming book
titled “Cal Poly: A Field Guide.” The 250-page hardcover book documents
the history of the land, and it provides maps and pictures to guide readers
on hikes. Marx is the editor of the book, which will be used as a textbook
for a new general education course this spring.
Its organizer, Associated Students Inc. President Angie Hacker, will
give an introduction to the Campus Sustainability Initiative. The student-run
organization works to promote solutions to a variety of environmental issues
“Hopefully the student population will gain some environmental awareness
from the lectures,” Hacker said.
History Day is now an annual event after last year’s Centennial Celebration.
It will take place each year on March 8, which is the day the university
received its charter in 1901.