Sustainability Week Lightning Talks Set for September 18

This photo shows the advertising image for Blacksburg's Sustainability Week 2019.
Lightning Talks will be one of this year’s Blacksburg Sustainability Week events.

This year’s Sustainability Week lightning talks will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 18, at the Alexander Black House in downtown Blacksburg.

As at last year’s talks, some of the speakers at this fun and informative community event will be “graduates” of our graduate-level communicating science course:

  • Susan Chen, a Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise PhD student and Nutshell Games participant, will speak about her research on food waste.
  • Vasiliy Lakoba, a PhD student in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and a Fellow in Virginia Tech’s Global Change Center, will share his research on invasive plants with a talk titled “Are you smarter than a dandelion? Sustainable approaches to invasive plant management.”
  • Bennett Grooms, a PhD student in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Nutshell Games participant, and member of the Center for Communicating Science’s advisory board, will engage the audience in conversation about economic models for conservation with his talk “How wildlife recreation can help sustainability.”

The lightning talks are aimed at a public audience and have a challenging format for speakers: They must use exactly 20 slides, and the slides will advance automatically every 20 seconds.

Other speakers include

  • Nicole Hersch, who recently earned her master’s degree in landscape architecture at Virginia Tech, will speak about nonpoint source pollution.
  • Alex Hessler, director of organic and sustainable vegetable production at Homefield Farm, will share information about Virginia Tech’s “farm-to-campus” program.
  • Blake Bensman, a sustainability manager at Virginia Tech, will talk about the collective impact of “choosing to reuse.”
  • Gwynn Hamilton of Stonecrop Farm in Newport will speak on community-supported agriculture.
  • Liz Hanson will share ideas about incorporating sustainability into one’s everyday life without sacrificing quality of life.
  • Sara Vogl will talk about supporting local businesses, the organization NRV Homegrown, and why local matters.

This Sustainability Week event is open to the public free of charge.

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