Events--Fall 2014


Monday, November 17, 2014.  7pm.  Culp Center Auditorium

"Chasing Ice" (2012, U.S.A.) an Award-Winning Documentary Film directed by Jeff Orlowski.  Running time: 76 minutes.  With discussion afterwards.  Nature photographer James Balog travels to Greenland to document melting glaciers, in an effort to make a visual record of climate change.  The expedition runs into problems.  This film features stunning footage, including time-lapse photography that took years to obtain.  For more info, see  

This screening is sponsored by E.C.O., ETSU's environmental student group, and by G.I.N.I. (Green Interfaith Network, Inc.), a regional interfaith environmental group.  For more info about this screening, contact E.C.O. president Ben Schaller,; or Carol Landis at G.I.N.I.,


Sunday, September 7, 2014.  7pm.  The Acoustic Coffeehouse "Next Door," 415 West Walnut Street, Johnson City

The new film, "Disruption:  Climate. Change." is produced and sponsored by, a national group promoting action on climate change.  The film will be premiered on Sunday, September 7, via internet streaming at hundreds of small, free screenings to be held throughout the United States.  The Johnson City screening is sponsored by E.C.O. (Environmental Conservation Organization), an ETSU student group, and by the ETSU Environmental Studies minor. 

After the screening, a group discussion will be lead by members of E.C.O. , and by community members who plan to attend the national climate rally at the United Nations in New York City on September 21. 

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, see, or contact Dr. Kevin O'Donnell, Professor in the Department of Literature and Language, and Director of the ETSU Environmental Studies minor, at 



Past Events--Spring 2014

last update: April 1, 2014


Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7pm, Ball Hall Auditorium (Art building, rm 112)

"Giving Character to the Landscape: An Environmental History of the American Chestnut." A talk by Don Davis, environmental historian.
The American Chestnut, Castanea dentata, once dominated Southern Appalachian cove hardwood forests, comprising as much as one quarter of the trees in many mature stands. The species was prized as a food and timber source, and appreciated for its beauty and ecological role. Yet in the 20th century, a blight killed most of the mature trees. Now, after decades of crossbreeding efforts, a version of the species may be poised for a revival. Don Davis will present on the tree's history and cultural significance in the Southern Appalachians--past, present, and future.

Davis is author of Where There Are Mountains: An Environmental History of Southern Appalachia (U of Georgia Press, 2003), and of numerous other books and articles. Davis was the founding President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation and currently serve as the Governmental Affairs Representative of the American Chestnut Foundation in Washington, DC. Formerly of Dalton State University, in Georgia, he is now an independent scholar and author, and is currently writing an environmental history of the American chestnut.

Sponsored by the Department of Appalachian Studies, the Environmental Studies minor, and ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), ETSU's environmental student group. For information, contact Kevin O'Donnell,


Past Events--Spring 2014

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014, 7pm, 225 Nicks Hall (Appalachian Studies Multi-Purpose Room)

Thomas Rain Crowe--Western North Carolina Poet, Musician, Author and Translator--to speak and perform at ETSU.

Free and Open to the Public

Crowe is a widely published, internationally recognized poet who has been a vital part of the Western North Carolina's poetry community for decades. His ETSU talk and performance is entitled "Everything is Sacred: Celebrating Diversity in an Emerging Monoculture." His visit is sponsored by ETSU's Department of Appalachian Studies, Department of Literature and Language, and the Environmental Studies minor, with support from ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), the ETSU student group.

For more information, contact Ted Olson, Professor of Appalachian Studies,


Past Events--Fall 2013

Saturday, September 21, 8:15am to 4pm.

Appalachian Trail Work Day

Help other ETSU students complete a side trail from Backbone Rock up to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, in Johnson County TN, south of Damascus VA. The work on this important trail was begun by students from Appalachian State University. The project is coordinated by members of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing club. For information, contact Dr. O'Donnell,

Tuesday, October 8, 7pm, Brown Hall Auditorium (Science bldg rm 112)

"STAND UP THAT MOUNTAIN: The battle never ends."

A reading and slide show by Jay Leutze, author of "Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail" (Scribner 2013).

Leutze's acclaimed book narrates a five-year legal battle whose goal is to prevent a gravel crushing operation in Avery County, North Carolina, beneath the Roan Highlands, beside a well-known section of the Appalachian Trail. Leutze's talk will address issues raised in the book, including the prevalence of regulatory agency and judicial corruption, the nature of property rights, and a fundamental underlying question--where are we supposed to get our gravel from, after all?

Jay Leutze is the Acquisition Specialist, and a current trustee, for Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

Sponsored by the ECO (ETSU's Environmental Student group) and the Environmental Studies minor. Funded by SGA's BucFund, with support from the Dept. of Literature and Language.  For information contact Dr. O'Donnell,


Thursday, November 7, 7pm, Brown Hall rm 206--on the north side of the building (towards State of Franklin Rd. and the Carnegie Hotel)

Climate Change: Truth and Consequences--a Global Perspective

Presented by Dr. Audrey Depelteau, Director of the ETSU Innovation Laboratory.

Dr. Depelteau was selected to participate in the Climate Change Reality Leadership Corps Training program in Chicago this summer. The program is an initiative of The Climate Reality Project founded and chaired by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. So, basically, Dr. Depelteau has Al Gore's latest slide show, complete with citations to the latest science. Be prepared to take some notes!  

Sponsored by the ECO (ETSU's Environmental Student group) and the Environmental Studies minor. For information contact Dr. O'Donnell,


Events--Spring 2013

last update:  March 3, 2013


Monday, February 11, 7pm, Culp Auditorium

"Eating Alabama" Documentary Film (U.S.A. 2012, 62 min)

Sponsored by Mary B. Martin School of the Arts.  Following a film screening, Producer/Director/Photographer/Editor/Writer Andrew Beck Grace will talk with the audience.


Sunday, February 17, noon-4pm, Washington D.C. 

"Forward On Climate" Rally, on the National Mall  A group of ETSU students will be attending, leaving ETSU on Saturday, Feb 16 at noon, and returning late Sunday.  Contact student Annie Bronez for more info,


March 10-17, Doddrige County Park, West Union WV

Mountain Justice Spring Break in West Virginia,

A group of ETSU students is going. Trip sponsored by ECO and the Environmental Studies minor. For more info contact David McGuinn, President of ECO, at


Thursday, March 28, 7:30 pm, Culp Center Auditorium

"The Spirit of the Great Auk," a performance by storyteller Jay O'Callahan

Sponsored by the May B. Martin School of the Arts. Jay's stirring drama is inspired by the real-life odyssey of Dick Wheeler's four month 1,500 mile kayak journey from Newfoundland to Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts.  Here is more information about the performance, Jay, and Dick: "Haunted Cry of a Long Gone Bird" A PBS Nova broadcast from 1994 documenting Dick's kayaking journey


Weds April 3, 7pm, Brown Hall Auditorium

"A Clean Water Act Citizen Suit: Appalachian Voices Investigates Coal Co. Discharge Monitoring Reports, Kentucky 2008-2012" A presentation by Erin Savage, of Appalachian Voices, Boone NC

Sponsored by ECO, by the Environmental Studies minor, and by TEHA (TN Environmental Health Association). For more info, contact Dr. Kevin O'Donnell, Director of the minor, at


Tuesday, April 9, 7pm, Brown Hall Auditorim (?--location to be confirmed)

Dirty Energy Road Show, Eric Blevins, presenter

The Dirty Energy Road Show is an educational presentation examining the parallels of coal and nuclear issues and connecting them to other form of dirty energy and climate change. It also looks at work being done to transition us away from these dirty industries and towards a more sustainable and healthier future. Sponsored by the Environmental Studies minor and ECO. For more info, contact David McGuinn, President of ECO, at


Weds April 17, starting at Borchuck Plaza (in front of the Sherrod Library), 3pm

ETSU Bike Parade

A bike parade to promote bicycling and bike awareness on campus. Sponsored by ECO. Contact David McGuinn, ECO President, at


Thursday, April 18, 5:30-6:30pm, Culp Center rm 311

"Sow True Seeds" Lecture

Sow True Seed is based in Asheville, NC. The group was founded by a lifelong gardener and is dedicated to providing open-pollinated, non-hybrid, and non-GMO seed.  A representative will speak on the importance of planting non-GMO seeds and their gardening philosophy.  The talk is sponsored by the ETSU Farmers Market.  Contact Rachel Ward,


Thurs April 18th, 7pm, Rogers-Stout 102

"Climate of Doubt: Frontline goes inside the groups who shifted the direction of the climate change debate."

Runtime: 53:46. Originally aired October 23, 2012. WGBH Blueridge PBS.   Public screening and discussion. Organized by Heather Covington, Sociology major/ Env Studies minor, for Dr. Longo's SOCI 4957-002 Special Topics: Environmental Sociology. For info contact Heather at


Mon April 22, Borchuck Plaza (in front of the Sherrod Library), 10am-2pm

ETSU Earth Day Festival

Sponsored by ECO and by the Environmental Studies minor. For more information, contact Jacqui Sikora, ECO member and festival coordinator,


Thurs April 25, Galaxy Lounge, downtown Johnson City, 8pm-midnite

Mountain Justice Benefit Concert, sponsored by ECO

Mountain Justice is a social justice and environmental education nonprofit based in West Virginia.  They have actively campaigned against mountaintop removal, and in May they will be doing an action on the next, scary, post-apocalyptic, environmentally destructive plan that you haven't heard of yet: GMO tree plantations (50 million acres projected in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina--google it!). 

Lineup--8pm:  Seth Young;  9pm: The Rose Sisters; 10pm: Rickshaw Roadshow; 11pm: Strut'in Mud (Adam Timbs and Rebekah Welch)

Come support a super good cause, and hear some great music.  $3 suggested donation.   All proceeds go to Mountain Justice.  Contact David McGuinn, president of ECO, at


Events--Fall 2012


Thursday, September 20, 7pm, Forum Room in the D.P. Culp Center

No Impact Man: The Documentary (U.S.A. 2009) 93 minutes

Sponsored by the Dept of Sustainability.  For more information contact Kathleen Moore, Director of Sustainability,


Friday, September 21, 10pm until...  Galaxy Lounge, downtown Johnson City

Night of the E.C.O.nox, Featuring D.J. Naanstop

A benefit concert for ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), ETSU's environmental student group.  $3 admission.  Must be 18 to get in and 21+ to drink.  All proceeds go to ECO


Thursday, September 27, 7pm.  Rogers-Stout 118

Stories from the Field: The Direct Action Campaign to Stop Mountaintop Removal

Presentation by Ricki Draper and other Mountain Justice coalfields activists.  Sponsored by the Environmental Studies minor, and by ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), an ETSU Student Group. For more information, contact Kevin O'Donnell, director of the Env Studies minor,


Thursday, October 18, 7pm, Forum Room in the D.P. Culp Center

Flow: For the Love of Water (U.S.A. 2008) 93 minutes

Sponsored by the Dept of Sustainability.  For more information contact Kathleen Moore, Director of Sustainability,


Saturday, October 20, 9am-3pm, Appalachia VA, in Wise County

ETSU Students Visit a Mountaintop Removal Site

Meet at 9am, at parking lot 18, near the ETSU Vehicle pool, in the Bond Building (bldg #42 on the ETSU campus map:  You can leave a car there.  Transportation is provided. Bring your own lunch and water.  Dress for the weather.  We will drive 2 minivans up to the town of Appalachia, VA, in Wise Co.  There, we will talk with representatives of SAMS (Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards), a local, anti-MTR volunteer activist group.  We will then drive up to the Kentucky State line to view a mountaintop removal site.  This is open to any ETSU student, but you must have a reservation.  Contact David McGuinn, president of ECO, at , for a reservation. 

Sponsored by the Environmental Studies minor, and by ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), an ETSU Student Group. For more information, contact Kevin O'Donnell, director of the Env Studies minor,


Tuesday, October 23, 7pm, Brown Hall Auditorium (Science Building, Room 112)

Tennessee Wild Presents: "The Future of Wilderness in East TN"

A history of, and update on the progress of, the TN Wilderness Act of 2011, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.

Presentation by Jeff Hunter, Director of Tennessee Wild Campaign, Wild South.   Sponsored by the Environmental Studies minor, and by ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), an ETSU Student Group. For more information, contact Kevin O'Donnell, director of the Env Studies minor,


Saturday, November 3, 6:15pm, Multipurpose Room, 2nd Floor of Basler Center for Physical Activity

James Howard Kunstler, book-signing and free public lecture

Kunstler is the author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, the World Made By Hand novels and The Geography of Nowhere, among others.

Support for Kunstler's talk at ETSU is provided by the ETSU Student Government Association, Public Administration Program, Public City Managers Association of Graduate Students, the Environmental Studies minor, Sociology Club, Basler Center for Physical Activity, Beau Saigon and ETSU. For more information, or to request special assistance for persons with disabilities, contact Carl Brown at


Monday, November 5, 7pm, Culp Center Auditorium,

"Bag It (The Movie)"

U.S.A. 2010. Running time: 74 minutes.

A Q&A with film maker Jeb Barrier will follow the movie!

Part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Filmmakers sponsored by South Arts. This event produced by ETSU's Mary B. Martin School of the Arts. For more information, contact Anita DeAngelis, director of the M.B.M. School of the Arts,


Thurs Nov 8, at 7pm, Ball Hall Auditorium (Art building, rm 127)

 "Climate of Doubt:  Frontline goes inside the groups who shifted the direction of the climate change debate." 

Runtime: 53:46.  October 23, 2012.  WGBH Blueridge PBS.   Public screening and discussion. Sponsored by the Environmental Studies minor, and by ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), an ETSU Student Group. For more information, contact Kevin O'Donnell, director of the Env Studies minor,


Wednesday, November, 5:30-6:30pm, At the intersection of Univ. Parkway & State of Franklin Rd., Johnson City, in grassy area with benches on the corner (there is an adjacent parking lot off of State of Franklin).

Ecumenical Candlelight Climate Vigil--with GINI (Green Interfaith Network, Inc.) and TN Interfaith Power and Light

First climate vigil in the TriCities region, to be held at ETSU at dusk on Nov. 14. We'll be there for about an hour as the sun sets. "We'll light candles and be renewed as we gather with others who know we need to act more conscientiously toward the Earth. We will offer a few brief prayers and readings, and then we'll introduce the Earth Choir songbook, being developed by TN Interfaith Power & Light (TN-IPL). Please bring your musical instruments and accompany our voices." So writes Carol Landis, of GINI (Green Interfaith Network, Inc.), an ecumenical religious group devoted to Creation Care. This event is coordinated with ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), ETSU's environmental student group, and with the Environmental Studies minor. Contact Carol <> for more information about the songs, or about the event in general contact <>



Past Events--Spring 2012

Click here for other past event listings: Fall 2011; Spring 2011; Fall 2010; Spring 2010; Fall 2009   

"Google Earth Mountaintop Removal Talk"

Wednesday, April 4, 7pm, Ball Hall Auditorium

Presenter:  Matt Helper, of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards

The creators of Google Earth have worked with Appalachian academics and activists to use satellite photography to create audio-visual imagery of the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining in southern Appalachia.  This mining technique permanently alters landforms, as visible from space. 

Helper has a graduate degree in mapping from Appalachian State University, and he specializes in mapping watershed disturbance.  He will present watershed mapping images, along with the Google Earth satellite imagery.

Sponsored by ECO (Environmental Conservation Organization), an ETSU student group.  More more info contact 


"Disproportionate Harm: Radiation Exposure, Women, and Children," A presentation by Dr. Helen Caldicott

Thurs, April 12, 12-2pm in Dining Rm 2, on the 3rd floor of the Culp Center

Dr. Caldicott is an Australian Physician, internationally known anti-nuclear activist, and President of the Helen Caldicott Foundation.  Salad and light lunch will be served.  Sponsored by the Appalachian Peace Education Center. 


University Woods Appreciation Week to be held April 9th-13th

In conjunction with Earth Month, The Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO) at ETSU will be hosting a series of events to bring a greater awareness for the University Woods located on the ETSU campus.

The University Woods is a natural area that offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, botany, wildlife viewing and other outdoor activities. The woods are a part of the ETSU Arboretum. The woods are also host to a recent planting of a new blight-resistant strain of American Chestnut trees, a species that went virtually extinct due to blight in the early 20th century. The woods also have rare foliage that is native to the Appalachian region. The most convenient access to the University Woods is the trailhead and pavilion at Parking lot 13 on Southwest Avenue, directly behind the train track.

Events include:

Monday the 9th, Awareness Day (all day): ECO will be spreading awareness about the woods and upcoming woods appreciation events on the Culp Center's SORC Patio (right outside the Martha Culp Auditorium). ECO invites the public to come by and learn more about the woods and what they have to offer.

Wednesday the 11th, Biggest Tree Treasure Hunt (beginning at 1:30pm): Come by the University Woods to seek out the largest trees of the forest. Dr. Tim McDowell of the Biology dept. will lead a contest to see which team can seek out the most trees out of the top ten largest in the woods. The treasure hunt is to begin at the new University Woods Pavilion, located at the end of parking lot 13 on Southwest Ave. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Friday the 13th, University Woods Service Day (beginning at 1pm): in conjunction with campus beautification day, ECO and the Dept. of Sustainability will be leading an afternoon of service work including installing ten benches in the woods, adding a coat of varnish to the new university woods pavilion, pulling out invasive species of plants, and general trail maintenance.

The service day starts at the University Woods Pavilion, located at parking lot 13.

For information about accommodating those with disabilities or any other concerns, you may contact ECO at


ETSU Earth Month Environmental Film Series

Mondays, April 2nd, 9th, and 16th, in Brown Hall Auditorium

Sponsored by the Department of Sustainability and Buc Funds

Films are free and open to the public. Door prizes will be awarded and refreshments will be served!

Film #1: Bag It – Mon, April 2nd, 7 pm

This film follows Jeb Berrier as he undertakes a global tour to investigate the complexities of our plastic world. He begins with a look at plastic bags, but the film then begins to question plastic's effects on our oceans, environment, and bodies.

Film #2: Taken for a Ride – Mon, April 9th, 7 pm

This film reveals why America has the worst public transit in the industrialized world. It details the story of an auto and oil campaign, led by General Motors, which included buying and dismantling streetcar lines. Taken for a Ride provides viewers with a basis for discussion about corporate power, city form, citizen protest, and the social and environmental implications of transportation.

Film #3: Sun Come Up – Mon, April 16, 7 pm

This is an Oscar nominated film that strives to show the human face of climate change. It follows the relocation of the Carteret Islanders, a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. As climate change threatens their survival, they must leave their ancestral land in search of a new home. Their search takes them to war-torn Bougainville, 50 miles across the open ocean.