Student Life

SAU Students Prepare for Earth Day

As spring approaches, the biology department at St. Ambrose University is experiencing its busiest time of the year. With the involvement of staff, alumni, and current students, the department is in the process of presenting SAU’s biggest Earth Day fair yet. In hopes of spreading the message of sustainability, the Sustainability Committee and Student Club Green Life have been hosting various events leading up to the big day. 

As one of the largest countries in the world, the United States features various climates and experiences substantial natural disasters every year. From droughts and wildfires in the west to hurricanes and floods in the East, 1 in 10 homes in the US is impacted by natural disasters according to CNBC. 

SAU has always been committed to developing and implementing plans for the betterment of our planet. On March 1, the university welcomed back its alumni, Dr. Gabriel Price-Christenson, for the annual Hauber Chair of Biology Lecture, to share his research on the application of ecology to address major sustainability problems. 

“I’m excited to share what I know because this is a well, knit community that is great about bringing in new experiences, so I celebrate being a part of that,” Dr. Price-Christensen said. “Out of this presentation, I hope you all get that agriculture is a complex discipline that we are all working on really hard to improve, and there is lots of room for advancement, and innovation to help combat and improve sustainability.”

Over 150 seats were filled as students learned and gained awareness of sustainability. 

“These kinds of events are important because it informs us that modern-day technologies can help us sustain plants and help improve crop yields in agriculture,” a student attendee stated. 

Within that same week, a group of students from Green Life took a trip to Vanderveer park to plant trees. 

Vice president of the student club green life, Greta Solbrig, stated, “We did the tree planting to contribute to the million trees project in the Quad Cities. SAU alumni, Laura Moley, who used to be in Green Life, is helping run it at Vanderveer park, so some Green Life members went and helped out. They raised young trees and we wrapped their roots in wet newspaper to package them so they can be distributed through the QC area.” 

The tree-wrapping event was open to anyone, not just Green Life members. 

“It was such a fun experience and I helped wrap about thirty trees. As a vice president of Green Life and a member of the Sustainability Committee, it is important to look beyond the scope of just our campus community and work with other local organizations. These trees will provide food and shelter,” Solbrig said. 

On March 3, the Sustainability Committee gathered to discuss the Earth Day Fair scheduled for April. Not only are campus organizations participating, but local communities will also be joining this big fair celebrating Earth. 

“Campus ministry is making soap, the library will have button making, and other clubs are pitching in activities too. Midcity High School environmental science club has also been reaching out to see what they can do,” Dr. Amy Blair, Professor of Biology, said. “I’m also pushing the student Green Life club to have a sustainable temporary tattoos station so little kids will have fun things to do.” 

The event will be open to the public and vendors of all ages are also welcome.

“There is an 11-year-old girl who started knitting pouches for reusable straws after learning about the impact plastic has on the environment, particularly for the animals,” Dr. Tarasi said. “She will be joining as one of the vendors and selling her products while spreading the message about sustainability.” 

Earth Day fair will be held on Friday, April 21, with a wide range of campus organizations and local communities taking part. Official details for times and activities will be sent out via email to all students and staff.