Students will learn about renewable energy, bettering the environment
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
On March 27 and 31, Douglas College will be hosting several events under the title Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability: Energy and Agriculture. The events are funded in part by FortisBC, and will focus on how students can contribute to a healthier environment.
“The event is being coordinated by community connections, which is part of the office of advancement in external relations,” said community connections coordinator Jennifer Henderson. “Sowing the Seeds includes a student-led dialogue on March 27, informative displays in the concourse of the New Westminster campus on the afternoon of March 31, and a panel forum with a reception to follow.”
Speakers for the March 31 panel include Scott Gramm, manager of renewable energy at FortisBC, Ethan Werner of CH Four Biogas, and Peter Schouten of Fraser Valley Biogas.
“These speakers will be talking about FortisBC’s renewable natural gas program and how they work together as business partners to support sustainable energy practices,” said Henderson.
“Rob McGregor, who is the executive director of the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology will join us to talk about using insects to control agricultural pests in an effort to reduce the use of pesticides.”
Henderson added that the displays at the New West campus will be supporting groups such as the New West Environmental Partners, the Coquitlam and Royal City Farmers Markets’ GreenTech Exchange, and the Douglas College UNIBUG pollinators program. “That’s a program encouraging the production of bees in local gardens to aide with pollination,” said Henderson. There will also be a great deal of student involvement at the events, including students from the sociology, earth and environmental sciences, and geography departments at Douglas, as well as student clubs.
“Students will be hosting the dialogue on March 27, and presenting highlights at the panel forum on March 31”
Members of the DSU Light Art Club will also be taking care of photography for some of the renewable energy events. “We will be taking photos, showcasing the student-led dialogue, as well as documenting it on video and creating a short clip, featuring engagement in the topic,” said Celeste Medina of the Light Art Club. “What I would like for students to take away from our involvement is to see the outcome and satisfaction of being engaged in projects organized by a whole community with a common interest.”
Students from the Douglas College Business Association have also taken a part in this year’s renewable energy events. Haidar Waled of the Douglas College Business Association explained the group’s role under the leadership of community connections. Members of the Business Association will be organizing various parts of the Sowing the Seeds event. “One student will be giving a brief welcome and a speech at the beginning of the event,” said Waled.
“Students get a chance to network with local entrepreneurs, New Westminster city representatives, FortisBC, and other companies. Some of the business students are prospective entrepreneurs, and the topic of renewable energy solutions matters. Climate change is an issue and businesses need to find renewable energy sources from fossil fuels.”
The March 27 student-led dialogue will take place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in room 4650. The March 31 panel forum will be in room 2201 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. with displays and booths operating in the concourse from noon to 4:30 p.m.