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Fall 2023

Oct. 13 - How native plant landscaping aligns with climate efforts

Kala Willette - Kalamazoo Garden Coordinator with Adapt: Community-Supported Ecology

Kala will discuss some of the benefits of native plants and how the native landscaping movement and philosophy align with climate efforts. She will focus on climate change impacts on freshwater, discuss the vision and scope of Adapt: Community-Supported Ecology, and describe the basics of starting your own native plant garden. By converting more lawns to native, we can reduce the amount of fresh water used for landscaping. She will provide guidance to the process of starting a native plant garden. For more info:

Spring 2023

Jan. 13 - COP27: Outcomes and Implications

Dr. Paul Clements - Professor of Political Science at Western Michigan University

Dr. Clements directs the graduate certificate program in Climate Change Policy and Management. He will discuss the results of the 27th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP27) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change recently held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, in the context of the international politics of climate change.


Jan. 27 - Hydrogen and its Possible Role in a Clean Energy Future

Dr. Krystal York - Researcher at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

There has been some hype in the media about hydrogen lately, but can it actually help decarbonization efforts? And will everything just blow up like the Hidenburg? Krystal, who has recently graduated with her PhD in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University, will help you understand the basics of hydrogen, what do all the different colors of hydrogen mean, and its possible role in the clean energy future. She will also break down the safety and environmental justice considerations of hydrogen. Join us for a presentation and discussion to answer your questions about hydrogen!


Feb 10 - The Laudato Si’ (Care for Our Common Home) Movement in the Catholic Church

Sr. Christine Parks, Member of the Congregation of St. Joseph

Christine Parks is former member of the CSJ Leadership Team, and currently on the congregation’s LSAP Steering Committee, and CSJ/Nazareth Sustainability Committee. She will give an introduction to, and overview of, the Laudato Si’ Movement; the 7 LSAP Goals based in the concept of integral ecology; and how this movement has been embraced by a multitude of Catholic organizations, institutions & Religious women and men's Congregations across the globe—which includes making a 7-year commitment to come as close to carbon neutral sustainability as possible.


Feb 24 - Launch of Climate Emergency Month!  

Jeff Spoelstra - Director, WMU Office for Sustainability

Jeff will unveil the purpose and promise of the month-long series of events, organized and hosted by the WMU Climate Change Working Group. Learn about activities happening across the local community nearly every day in March: keynote speakers, panel discussions, and student workshops. We will explore what it means to lead with justice in the face of climate and other converging crises, and spotlight action and momentum around emergency resolutions, sustainability plans, carbon neutrality commitments amid surge in youth concern and movement leadership.


March 10 - The Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4)

Our Communities Deserve Climate Justice - Although we are all negatively impacted by climate change, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are disproportionately impacted and aren’t genuinely represented in the current environmental and climate change movement. C4 provides the resources for our communities in the fight for climate justice. For more information:

March 24 - Community Voices Series - Michigan Climate Action Network Members’ Meeting 

This month’s Community Voices will feature groups advancing equitable climate solutions in Kalamazoo and West Michigan and the quarterly Members’ Meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss initiatives, actions, and upcoming events. Come ready to learn about Kalamazoo’s efforts toward bold climate action, get updates from MiCAN, and share your work! 
This FFF will be hybrid. Live at the 
Kalamazoo Nature Center Cooper’s Glen Auditorium from Noon-1:30 pm (light refreshments provided).  To join by Zoom, register here.

April 14 - Gardening and Composting at the Gibbs House - The Office for Sustainability at WMU

The Gibbs Site is home to the Gibbs Permaculture Research and Demonstration Site. The site serves as a living laboratory for students to implement their sustainable design solutions and projects. During this in-person event, we will take a tour of the site and learn about the composting program and gardening activities being conducted on site. This will be led by Dr. Krystal York (a previous Office for Sustainability employee) and current student employees. 


Parking Directions: Free parking is available in the WMU Soccer Field Lot at Parkview Campus, Lot P7. PLEASE contact us at (269) 387-0943 or email if you have accessibility needs and need to park closer to the Gibbs House. Path Directions: After you have arrived in Lot P7, follow the signs leading to the Gibbs House. The journey takes about 5 minutes through a parking lot, sidewalk and grass. Carpooling is highly encouraged.

April 28 - The Generation of Exception: Youth Action & Perspective on the Climate Crisis

Learn about a wide variety of climate-related topics through the lens of youth climate activists and young college students. They will speak about how their generation is especially inclined to notice/utilize the intersectionality of the climate crisis and the corresponding environmental movement, as well as how their climate activism is influenced by liberalism, the political sphere, and the rise of information and innovation technology. Finally, they’ll speak to their generation’s ability to counter climate apathy with empathy, and why this special strength is so suited to ensuring a healthy future for this planet.

May 12 - Ardea Youth Climate leaders:Peer Education and Community Connections

Members of the Ardea Youth Climate Coalition will give an overview of the Youth Climate Leaders program as well as what they have been working on this year. They will touch on their World Food Day community free meal event, how they created and taught 4 lessons for Edison Elementary 5th graders about climate change, their upcoming upcycling and mending spring event, and various other activities and tabling they have done in an effort to peer educate other youth like them on the climate crisis. Each Ardea member will go over their own "why" of being a part of this group and how it has changed and affected them individually.


May 26 - Carbon storage in forests and how it affects climate change. 

Two Heronwood students will discuss how and why carbon is being stored in our forested areas. They will show how to measure the amount of carbon being stored in a singular tree and then in a heavily wooded area. They will also discuss what we are doing to manage the Heronwood property to reduce the affects of climate change. The Heronwood property is 90 acres of land that the Kalamazoo Nature center owns. It is the land that holds the building for their conservation biology class. They have studied the land throughout the last school year, and they used the forest to learn how to measure carbon within it. 

Fall 2022

Dec. 9 - Adaptive Reuse and Embodied Carbon

Dann Sytsma - the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition (KNAC)

The second of the environmental 3Rs is “Reuse,” which can apply to whole buildings as well as a single bottle, can, or box. Whole building reuse has advantages beyond the preservation of historical sites and their remarkable architecture. In fact, there are climate-related reasons to reuse old buildings, including preserving the building's embodied carbon: the thousands of tons of atmospheric carbon that went into the original materials' extraction, transportation, and processing.  KNAC is reusing the First Baptist Church in downtown Kalamazoo.  Join us for an interview and discussion with Dann, who has spearheaded the restoration and repurposing of this 30,000 square-foot building.



Nov. 11 - Climate-Friendly Holiday Meals (a virtual presentation with a cooking demo)

Hristina Petrovska - KVCC

The food that we eat and the way it is produced are significant contributors to environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. Food is also an essential part of the solution! The traditions we create around the holidays, and the foods we choose as we celebrate, can help shape the future we want for our food. 


Join this presentation to learn about the multiple interconnections between our food system and the climate, and how to make some climate-friendly meals that can become a part of your holiday traditions!


Oct. 28 - Doing Climate Science Research at Two Biological Stations in Michigan

Dr. David Karowe, professor of Biological Science at WMU, has spent over 30 summers at the University of Michigan’s Biological Station (UMBS) in Pellston conducting climate change research and running training programs for undergraduate and graduate students.  He will describe some of the large-scale climate-related research projects at UMBS and highlight several of the 150 or so projects completed by undergraduate students in the UMBS summer research training program.

Located near the town of Hickory Corners, MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) has been doing long-term ecological research since 1987. The KBS Long-Term Ecological Research Science Coordinator, Dr. Nameer Baker, and climate change scientists Moriah Young and Kara Dobson will describe programs offered to undergraduate and graduate students, the tools available at KBS for doing climate research, and some projects of KBS scientists and student researchers. 


Oct. 14 - Empowering Voters and Protecting Democracy

How can we, as voters, make climate action a top priority for candidates? Aedin Clements and Connie Ferguson (from the local League of Women Voters) and Jace Bylenga (from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters) will describe how their organizations work to ensure that voters can evaluate candidates and proposals, while protecting voters' rights and supporting policies that are good for democracy.

Moderator: Dr. Cybelle Shattuck, WMU’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Department of Comparative Religion.


Sept. 23 - English professor Allen Webb will speak about Extinction Rebellion: An International Perspective on Climate Activism.


Sept. 9 - current work of the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition,

Spring 2022

Jan. 14 - Kirsten Clemente, director of the DeLano Farm at the Kalamazoo Nature Center

This program will focus on regenerative agriculture practices and the work the Nature Center is doing to incorporate kids' farm camp, the farm internship program and community volunteers in various facets of the farm's operations, including an expanding Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.


Jan. 28 - People's Food Co-op: Our Anti-racism Journey
Chris Dilley, General Manager of Natural Grocery & Deli (People's Food Co-op)
Liis LahtiCo-Executive Director of ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity)

People's Food Co-op has been in business to build and nourish an equitable, resilient community in Kalamazoo for 51 years, and on an intentional journey to eliminate racism as part of our work for over a decade.  Why did we start down that path?  What has that work looked like?  Where do we go from here?  These are some of the things we'll explore together.


Feb. 11- Daniel Schoonmaker, Executive Director of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum 

WMSBF promotes business practices that advance climate leadership, community resilience, social justice and the creation of a circular economy. Schoonmaker (he/him/his), will discuss the organization's work in Southwest Michigan, highlighting opportunities for local engagement.  The presentation will include an introduction to local and statewide efforts to advance sustainable materials management and how those efforts support decarbonization, the intersection of sustainable business and environmental justice, and a brief discussion about the need for the business community to support climate adaptation and resilience.  WMSBF is a regional partner of the Climate Action Campaign.


Feb. 25 - Lucy Dilley, Founder and Executive Director of the Can-Do Kitchen.

The Can-Do Kitchen has been supporting local food entrepreneurs for 14 years. What started out as a small kitchen in a trailer has grown into a shared commercial kitchen with multiple stations and a full menu of business support tools. Now in 2022, Can-Do Kitchen is becoming Can-Do Kalamazoo, a highly collaborative, multipurpose business incubator hub.


Mar. 11 - Lori Evesque, co-shepherd and caretaker at Natural Cycles Farm,LLC


Mar. 25 - Better World Builders: Healthy & Efficient Homes: Mark Lee, Owner and Founder, Isaac Bertman, Energy Auditor, Shawn Farrell, Energy Auditor
Join us as we learn from Better World Builders about what makes a home healthy & efficient, how to identify an unhealthy & inefficient home and how to fix it. Examples from house projects local to Southwest Michigan will be discussed.

Apr. 8 - Dr. Susan Schneider, Climate activist, behavioral psychologist, and award-winning author of The Science of Consequences
Learning to Fight the Climate Crisis - The IPCC warns that humanity has only about eight years to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half, and the consequences of failure are dire.  The technology to solve the climate crisis has been available for years:  This is a behavioral challenge.  Simply providing information about what’s needed is seldom sufficient, sadly.  This talk focuses on learning principles like positive reinforcement - more complex than it might seem.  From the fuel efficiency feedback in car dashboards to gamification of all sorts of sustainable behaviors, we can learn to make green choices. Standouts include Seattle’s transportation program, an internationally successful approach getting kids to eat their veggies, and energy efficiency campaigns with surprising incentives.

Apr. 22 - Jamie McCarthy, Sustainable Development Coordinator & Nolan Bergstrom, Community Planner, City of Kalamazoo

A draft of the Kalamazoo City Community Sustainability Plan is now available for public review.  This Earth Day session of Fridays for Future will provide an overview of the plan and ways to provide feedback.

Fall 2021

October 8, Citizens' Climate Lobby, People's Church, and Countywide Climate Action Campaign, watch the recording here.

October 22, The Climate Mobilization, watch the recording here

November 12, City of Kalamazoo Sustainable Development Coordinator, Jamie McCarthy, will provide an update on the Sustainability Strategy planning process, status, and opportunities to get involved. Kalamazoo Sustainability Strategy
350 Kalamazoo coordinator, Kate Miller, will provide an overview of a No Idle Policy Campaign. Read their blog submission here!

December 10,

  • Kalamazoo Township Climate Committee

  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters: How to Give Effective Public Comment

  • Countywide KCCC Action Campaign 

Spring 2021

February 12 -  Open Doors Kalamazoo, Stephanie Hoffman 

February 26 - "Environmental Justice and Climate Action" Dr. Cybelle Shattuck,

March 12 - "Why are electric vehicles the way of the future and what should you do about it? " Dr. Steve Bertman and Dr. Paul Pancella.

March 26 - Conservation Stewardship at Kalamazoo Nature Center (KNC). Jessica Simons

Winter/Spring 2020 (Truncated by Covid-19)

January 10 – "Climate History to 1850: The Geological Record" - Duane Hampton
January 17 – "The Seas are Rising: Ocean Systems" - Michelle Kominz
January 24 – "Debunking Climate Myths" – Duane Hampton
January 31 – "Climate Change in the American Mind" – Denise Keele
February 7 – "Climate Impacts on the Great Lakes" – Dave Karowe
February 14 – "Climate Policies & Politics" – Paul Clements
February 21 – "Making Your Voice Heard: Your Climate Vote" – MI LCV
February 28 – "Beyond Food Justice: Rights to Land, Water and Seed" – Brionne Fonville
Saturday, March 7 – "Regenerative Agriculture Panel" – Kalamazoo Nature Center
March 13 – "The Global Political Economy of Sustainability" – Paul Clements
March 20 – "Carbon Neutral Power" – Cancelled

March 27 – "Climate Reality: Building Resilience" – Cancelled
April 3 – "Celebrating Food Around Lake Michigan" – Cancelled
April 10 – "Carbon Criminals, Climate Crimes" – Cancelled
Saturday, April 18 – "Kalamazoo Earth Day Celebration" – Cancelled

Fall 2019

September 27 – "The Scientific Case for Urgent Action on Climate Change" - David Karowe
October 4 – "Institutions and Politics of the Climate Crisis" - Paul Clements

October 11 – "Climate Refugees, Migrants and Displaced People" - Deirdre Courtney, Casey Schotter and Allen Webb
October 18 – "Empowering Youth to Act" – Kalamazoo Central High School
October 25 – "Meet the KCCC" – Arcus Center
November 1 – "Climate Action Planning in Higher Education" - Jeff Spoelstra and Sara Stockwood
November 8 – "Day of Student Action-TBA" - Kalamazoo Central High School students
November 15 – "Low Carbon Cooking" Chefs: Hristina Petrovska and Lauren Johnson

November 22 – "Gathering and Gifts: How to Holiday Differently" - Jenny Doezema
December 6 – "Michigan Climate Policy" - Denise Keele

December 13 – "Eating for Climate Resilience" - Jenny Doezema and Hristina Petrovska

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