The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday September 26th

Earth Day celebration shines light on student and professional work

UNC environmentalists are holding events featuring student and professional work to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

Film Festival

The UNC Institute for the Environment is holding the first Carolina Environmental Film Festival from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Varsity Theatre.

“We had 193 submissions, and we had films come from 22 countries,” said sophomore Reece Williams, the director of the festival and an environmental health science major.

Williams said judges selected 15 films for the festival, and all of the films are under 10 minutes. There are seven student films and eight non-student films in the festival.

There will be films on hurricanes, whales, solar power in Nepal, venus fly traps, pollution and e-waste, Williams said. 

David Salvesen, a research associate in the UNC Institute for the Environment, said two of the 15 films are from UNC students, and one is a collaboration between a UNC student and a professor.

Williams said the event was paid for by donations from The Chapel of the Cross, the UNC Institute for the Environment and the UNC Sustainability Office and fees from submitting films to the festival. The money — a total of $770 — raised for the festival went to advertising, renting the Varsity Theatre and buying door prizes.

“We’re hoping to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote dialogue and discussion and encourage students to explore these issues through the medium of film," Williams said.

Maura Devetski, a senior media and journalism and political science major, is the festival’s social media coordinator. She said she is excited to see students’ work alongside professionals' work.

“I just think that this is a great opportunity for students to come out and see their peers’ work and then see some great work that … is raising good dialogue and conversation about these issues. I think film is such a powerful way to do that,” she said. 

Climate Change Symposium

The third annual Climate Change Symposium will be held in the Genome Sciences Building from 3 to 6 p.m. — where there will be free food. 

Diego Riveros-Iregui, a geography professor and event chairperson, said the symposium will have four speakers representing different disciplines and a reception with student work afterwards.

“The students will present their work through posters," he said. "We have a hallway in a building that we’ve reserved so students can hang their posters around the room. We’ll have some food and non-alcoholic beverages."

Jenna Hartley, an environmental sciences and engineering graduate student, organized the event. She said the event cost $1,250, and $850 of that will go to cash prizes for the best three of the 23 student poster presentations.

Hartley said she hopes 200 people attend the event.

“We’re really excited about the diversity of presenters, both from inside and outside the University, professors and otherwise, that are coming," she said. "We think it’ll be a great event.”

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