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Focus the Nation on Jan. 31

focusAugsburg will host a teach-in on Jan. 31, targeting a single issue — global warming solutions — as part of a national effort sponsored by Focus the Nation. Across the country, more than 1,000 colleges, high schools, civic organizations and businesses will create a day of brainstorming and engagement in discussions concerning responses to environmental challenges. Focus the Nation identifies a clear goal: “Our intent is to move America beyond fatalism to a determination to face up to this civilizational challenge, the challenge of our generation.” Their hope is “to launch a discussion far-reaching enough to change the future.”

The teach-in schedule lines up with the daily class schedule, so that professors can take their classes to the presentations. Faculty, staff, and students from more than 20 departments will engage their audiences in a myriad of issues and perspectives. A panel of alumni, “Auggie alums and the Environment,” will also network with the campus community during lunch. All sessions are open to the public.

At 11:20 a.m. in Hoversten Chapel, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Professor of Peace Studies at St. Thomas University, will speak in the chapel service. From 5-6 p.m. in Hoversten Chapel, an Action Forum will feature local elected officials and environmental advocates.

For information on the Focus the Nation national program, go to

To kick off the next day’s many events, there will be a Focus the Nation webcast at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Minneapolis Room of the Christensen Center. It’s entitled, “The 2% Solution,” and it will be moderated by Professor Michael Lansing (History).

The Focus the Nation schedule at Augsburg on Thursday, Jan. 31 is:

8 a.m. Presentation Group, Sateren Auditorium

Phil Adamo (History), “The Medieval Ice Age”

Mark Englebretson (Physics), “The Physics of Global Warming”

Beverly Smith-Keiling (Biology), “Microbiology Aspects of Water and Outbreak of Disease”

9:40 a.m. Presentation Group, Christensen Center East Commons

Robert Stacke (Music)

Rob Peterson (Student), “Environmental Considerations in Plastics: Materials Development, Product Applications and Life Cycle”

Gregory Krueger (Education), “The Role of K-12 Schools in Promoting Ecological Awareness and Activism”

9:40 a.m. Presentation Group, Sateren Auditorium

Keith Gilsdorf (Economics), “The Economics of Externalities”

Phil Adamo (History), “The Medieval Ice Age”

Garry Hesser (Sociology), “Our Energy Problem: Choices for an Uncertain Future”

9:40 a.m. Presentation Group, Oren Gateway Center Room 202

Bev Stratton (Religion), “Genesis and Human ‘Dominion'”

Student-Led Presentations, “Addressing Global Climate Change — Getting Involved at Augsburg & Twin Cities”

11:20 a.m. Chapel Service, Hoversten Chapel

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer (Professor of Peace Studies at St. Thomas University)

11:50 a.m. Presentation Group, Science Hall Room 123

Lori Peterson (Augsburg for Adults), “Privatization of Recycling & Other Eco-Initiatives”

Lars Christiansen (Sociology), “Less Car”

Lynn Lindow (Education)

11:50 a.m. Alumni Lunch Panel, Christensen Center East Commons
1:30 p.m. Presentation, Science Hall Room 123

Ngoh Tiong Tan (Social Work), Christina Erickson (Social Work), Barbara Lehmann (Social Work),

“Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami Disaster in SE Asia and the issue of Climate Refugees”

1:30 p.m. Presentation Group, Christensen Center East Commons

Nancy Rodenborg (Social Work), “Dialogue: Creating Climate Change Through Conversation”

Joe Underhill (Political Science), “The Role of Political Leadership and Grassroots Movements in Responding to Climate Change”

Keith Gilsdorf (Economics), “The Economics of Externalities”

3:10 p.m. Presentation Group, Science Hall Room 123

Ralph Butowski (Biology), “In the Greenhouse: Biological Indicators of Change”

Julia Frost Nerbonne (Biology), “Barriers and Bridges to Mitigating Climate Change in Minneapolis”

Alec Rabine (Student)

3:10 p.m. Presentation Group, Christensen Center East Commons

Jeffrey Kolnick (History), “Intimate Choices and Global Warming: Eating Local on the Global Food Chain”

Brian Krohn (Student), “Biodiesel: The Fuel of the Future — A Novel Method and Catalysts for Biodiesel Production”

Brian Corner (Biology), “Evolution and Climate Change”

5-6 p.m. Focus the Nation: Action Forum, Hoversten Chapel

Mark Ritchie (Minnesota Secretary of State)

Doug Leszewski (Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy)

Larry Baker (Resources Center, University of Minnesota)

Cam Gordon (Minneapolis City Council, Ward 2)

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