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School of Public and Environmental Affairs

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IU Media Relations

Last modified: Monday, March 27, 2006

SPEA to create a 'carbon grove' to honor former EPA leader

William Ruckelshaus to speak at IU on April 19

March 27, 2006

William Ruckelshaus

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In recognition of the 35th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency, Indiana University is taking the unique step of creating a carbon grove to honor one of the EPA's former leaders. The Ruckelshaus Carbon Grove will be planted by students on April 1 in appreciation of the April 19 lecture by the EPA's first administrator, William Ruckelshaus. The grove is sponsored by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Research and Teaching Preserve. Both are based at IU Bloomington.

The project consists of planting trees and prairie vegetation on two plots, each about one acre in size. A third area will be left undisturbed to serve as a control plot. The trees and grasses will capture enough carbon to offset the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the travel of speakers and attendees to the April 19 celebration of the EPA's anniversary, making this a "carbon neutral" event. The grove will provide a research and teaching opportunity for IU faculty and students.

"William Ruckelshaus is a true American hero," said Kenneth Richards, a SPEA faculty member who teaches environmental policy. "Not only is he a visionary, but he has demonstrated moral character in the most trying of circumstances. We are so fortunate to have him joining us for the symposium and celebration. I know that the faculty members and students of SPEA are looking forward to hearing what he has to say. The Ruckelshaus Carbon Grove is a both practical and symbolic way of thanking him."

Over the coming years the newly planted area, located north of Bloomington in the IU Research and Teaching Preserve, is expected to capture and store carbon, offsetting hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide emissions. It's a perfect fit since the university is home to some of the world's leading natural and social scientists involved in the analysis of "carbon sequestration." Their students will be able to use the carbon grove partially as a way to learn more about "scrubbing" the level of greenhouse gases in the air by increasing the number of plants on the ground.

The Ruckelshaus Carbon Grove was inspired by the upcoming April 19 symposium, featuring a lecture by Ruckelshaus. He will speak about how to sustain environmental protection in the face of population and economic growth, particularly in democracies around the world. Following that will be a panel discussion of Ruckelshaus' address and related issues in environmental policy. In addition to Ruckelshaus, the panel will include:

  • Marcus Peacock, current deputy administrator at EPA.
  • Bernard D. Goldstein, M.D., former dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, an environmental health specialist, and a former officer with the U.S. Public Health Service and assistant administrator for research and development at EPA.
  • Paul Portney, dean of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona in Tucson and former president of Resources for the Future.

The discussion will be moderated by A. James Barnes, IU professor of public and environmental affairs and adjunct professor of law and a former deputy administrator for EPA under Ruckelshaus.

The symposium will begin at 1 p.m. at the Wells-Metz Theatre on the IU Bloomington campus, 275 N. Jordan Ave. The panel discussion will begin at 2:15 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, located on eight campuses, is committed to teaching, research and service in areas such as public and nonprofit management, public policy, environmental science, criminal justice, arts administration and health administration. The school maintains continuing relationships with a large number of public agencies at all levels of government; public and private hospitals and health organizations; and nonprofit organizations and corporations in the private sector. SPEA has earned national distinction for innovative educational programs that combine administrative, social, economic, financial and science disciplines.

NOTE: The IU Research and Teaching Preserve is located just south of Lake Griffey on Matlock Road, which is accessible from Indiana Roads 45/46 near the Indiana State Police Post.