Posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 2:51 pm under Events

by
Brian, Class of 2012

Sure is a busy time of year. Today is the beginning of a special event for us on the Potsdam campus. This is the first day of a triennial academic festival that draws people from all over the Northeast. I am told that this is the third such festival, and this year the title is “Footprints in the North Country: Pathways on the Planet.” The theme of the festival is one of re-evaluation of the human impact on our planet and motivating people to lead more sustainable lifestyles.

The program consists of performances, guest speakers, and input from students in the form of projects and interactive panels. Earlier today I participated in the Research and Learning Fair, where I presented a project from last semester where I created a map of a recreational trail system in a small town south of Potsdam. There were lots of other interesting posters displaying all sorts of student projects and research.

Later this afternoon the festival will officially begin with a keynote address by the college president and Jim Merkel, an expert in sustainable living. Tomorrow, the event continues with panels on varying topics and an interactive panel teleconference with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the eight students to interact and interview AC. The focus will be on his experiences covering the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January. And on Friday, there are multiple sessions with various themes, all of which sound interesting. But being a space nut, I will be attending “Footsteps to Outer Space.” Speaking at this session will be Andrew Chaikin, author of “A Passion for Mars” (a book I’ve read), my father (whose company made the reflective mirrors in numerous space telescopes, including Hubble), my academic advisor (who will be presenting a visiting collection of moon rocks), and a physicist from Syracuse University who will lecture on the Big Bang.

Then early Saturday morning I leave for a geology field trip to the Catskill Mountains. Going to be a crazy five days!

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