April 18, 2021

UMW, Marstel-Day to Present Climate Series

A Climate of Change flyerAt the University of Mary Washington’s 2014 commencement ceremony, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger heard something he knew he’d never forget.

A patch of garbage, estimated to be twice the size of Texas, is floating in the Pacific, Mellinger said, and is the largest of five offshore zones accumulating in the world’s oceans. That fact, which he called “truly alarming,” was shared by Rebecca Rubin, who gave that year’s commencement address to UMW graduates eager to make their mark on the world – while also reducing their carbon footprint.

“You don’t have to be a scientist or an academic to help save nature,” Rubin told them. Everyone plays a part in protecting and preserving the planet.

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, UMW and Marstel-Day, the Fredericksburg-based environmental consulting firm Rubin founded, are teaming up to present A Climate of Change. This three-part series of public discussions with local leaders, held on Tuesdays in April on Zoom, aims to amp up critical dialogue about climate change and issues like environmental justice, clean energy and conservation. Following each discussion, Mellinger and Rubin will moderate a public question-and-answer session.

“UMW is sort of the anchor of the region,” said Mellinger, whose childhood experiences camping and hiking cultivated an interest in environmental and sustainability issues. “We pull together folks and facilitate conversation and collaboration.” Read more.