Texas Tech University

Experts, Research Highlighted for Earth Day 2016

George Watson

April 21, 2016

Earth Day

Climate Science Center and agricultural authorities will participate in celebrations.

Earth Day

Earth Day is Friday (April 22) and Texas Tech University experts will be participating in various events or showcasing work related to Earth Day.

Earth Day was created in 1970 to demonstrate support worldwide for environmental protection. It originally occurred every 10 years until it was made an annual event after the 1990 Earth Day celebration.

In accordance with Earth Day, several Texas Tech experts will be participating in events to celebrate the 46th anniversary of Earth Day.

Climate Science Center

Members of the Texas Tech Climate Science Center (CSC) and other associated faculty will participate in Earth Day Texas at Fair Park in Dallas, April 22-24. CSC director Katharine Hayhoe, a professor in the Department of Political Science, and Jennifer Vanos, an assistant professor of atmospheric science in the Department of Geosciences, will give presentations on climate and sustainability to a group of 400 students.

After the presentation, students will be able to visit the Climate Science Center workshop including an air monitoring system that will tell how much pollution is in the air.

Hayhoe also will speak with Karenna Gore, the daughter of former U.S. vice president Al Gore, at the keynote event Friday evening to discuss the intersection of ethics, faith and environmental stewardship.

On Saturday (April 23), Vanos and her graduate students, Grant McKercher and Alexandria Herdt, along with Breanna Allen, communication and outreach coordinator for the Climate Science Center, will be in the Texas Tech booth equipped with the air monitoring system as well as information about the Climate Science Center.

“Between Earth and Sky”

A professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR) and the general manager of KTTZ-TV, Texas Tech Public Media, have collaborated on the film, “Between Earth and Sky.”

David Weindorf, the associate dean for research in CASNR and the B.L. Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, and Paul Allen Hunton, a two-time Emmy Award-winning director, have combined to tell the story of Alaska's permafrost and the effect climate change is having on one of the last regions on the planet untouched by humans.

Scientists estimate by the end of the century, 20 percent of the carbon on the planet will transfer from the ground to the atmosphere. This film is the first of its kind to tell that story through the camera lens of soil science on the Alaskan frontier.

Also working on the project was Emmy Award-winning co-director Jonathan Seaborn, a production director for KTTZ-TV and director of the PBS Digital Series' “24 Frames.” Seaborn also collaborated with Hayhoe for an upcoming feature called “Global Weirding”

The second trailer for the movie will be released on the film's website on Friday to coincide with Earth Day. Production of the film will wrap up this summer and should be available on local PBS stations sometime in 2017.