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Earth Day

Earth Day - Invest In Our Planet

Earth Day 2023

ORNL Earth Day Celebration: Invest In Our Planet
Main Event: April 19, 2023, 11:00am-1:00pm
Located on Main Street, Court of Flags and the Quad

Earth Day: Invest In Our Planet - Representatives and Displays: Come Ask the Experts
Sustainable ORNL Partnering with:

  • A&W Office Supply
  • Anderson County Beekeepers
  • ASAP of Anderson County
  • Copper, Silver & Gold Pennies with Mike Zach of the Stable Isotope Materials and Chemistry Group
  • Discover Life in America
  • Farragut Stormwater Matters Program
  • Firehawk
  • Foothills Land Conservancy
  • Grainger
  • Habitat for Humanity - Anderson County
  • Ijams
  • Keep Anderson County Beautiful
  • Kel-San
  • Knoxville Parks & Recreation
  • National Park Service
  • Oak Ridge Police Department
  • ORNL Natural Resources
  • ORNL Wellness Program
  • ORNL Recycle and Reuse Program
  • Responsible Stewardship
  • Scientific Sales
  • Smart Trips
  • Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development (SEEED)
  • Solar Alliance
  • Sustainable ORNL Program
  • Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)
  • Young Williams Animal Center

Come out and enjoy the EV and Hybrid Car Show on the Quad; and stop by the Sustainable ORNL table to register for one of the sustainable giveaways! Raffle tickets are free for all employees and all employees are eligible!

Ride & Drive

EV Ride & Drive with East Tennessee Clean Fuels, Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association, Mercedes Benz of Knoxville, Lance Cunningham Ford, and Volvo will be onsite for staff to test drive an electric vehicle. You must have a valid driver's license and proof of insurance. Waiver required.

Butterfly Weed

Seminar: Growing Greener Communities through Tennessee Smart Yards
Speaker: Dr. Andrea Ludwig, Associate Professor
Affiliation: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Date/Time: April 17, 2023, 1:00pm-2:00pm
Location: Weinberg Auditorium, Room I126, 4500N

Abstract: In the face of dramatic biodiversity loss globally, a changing climate, land use pressures across Tennessee, and inadequate protection policies for natural capitol, the role of voluntary land stewardship practices has never been more important. Tennessee Smart Yards is a university-led education and yard certification program for residents and their private property. Through the program, participants first learn about ecologically-sound landscaping principles, then adopt a tailored set of stewardship practices in their landscape that meets their unique needs and environmental conditions. After a level of stewardship is reached, they report back their actions as they certify their yards as Tennessee Smart Yards, protecting water and natural resources one yard at a time. This presentation will provide both an overview and update on the statewide program and future trajectories for outreach efforts in sustainable landscapes. 

Bio: Dr. Andrea Ludwig is an Associate Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee and has served as the Stormwater Management Specialist for UT Extension since 2010. She is the Program Director for Tennessee Smart Yards and co-leads Backyard STEM curriculum development for Tennessee 4H. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Bio & Ag Engineering and Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arkansas, and a PhD in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. She is a Past President of the American Ecological Engineering Society and an elected Board Member of the Universities Council on Water Resources. She is an avid trail runner and mountain biker and a budding naturalist.


Seminar: Science and Society: Working Together for a Nature-Inclusive Energy Transition
Speaker: Dr. David McCollum, Senior R&D Staff
Affiliation: ORNL's Buildings and Transportation Science Division
Date/Time: April 20, 2023, 11:00am-12:00pm
Location: Weinberg Auditorium, Room I126, 4500N

Abstract: International agreements and domestic policies call for deep decarbonization of the global energy system while ensuring that broader objectives for sustainability (social, economic, and environmental) are simultaneously achieved. Analysis of such futures demands integrated modeling tools that bridge sectors, scales, and disciplines. This presentation will provide examples of such analyses, with a particular eye toward the social, technical, and investment pathways for achieving a nature-inclusive energy transition.

Bio: Dr. David L. McCollum is a Senior R&D Staff in the Mobility and Energy Transitions Analysis (META) Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with expertise spanning economics, engineering, policy analysis, and corporate advisory services. His research attempts to inform state, national (developed and developing) and global energy and environmental issues on matters related to, among others, deep decarbonization, net-zero emissions pathways, energy-transport-climate policies, electric sector planning, end-use sector electrification (transport, buildings, industry), Sustainable Development Goals (including inter-dependencies), financing needs for the energy system transformation, and human dimensions of climate change. He employs energy-economic systems and integrated assessment models in support of this work (e.g., MESSAGEix-GLOBIOM, TIMES-MARKAL, REGEN, GCAM).

Before joining ORNL in September 2021, David was a Senior Research Scholar with the Energy Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria, and a Principal Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in Palo Alto, California. He currently holds secondary appointments as Guest Senior Research Scholar at IIASA; Research Fellow in Energy and Environment at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee; and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London. The latter is in his capacity with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Support Unit (TSU - Working Group III) for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). David previously led activities within the Global Energy Assessment; IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 - WG III); IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C; and other international, multi-stakeholder initiatives, such as for the World Bank and International Council for Science (ICSU). He is listed by Reuters as one of the world’s 250 most influential climate scientists.

David received a PhD and MS in Transportation Technology & Policy from the University of California, Davis (USA), Institute of Transportation Studies; an MS in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the same institution; and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (USA).


Seminar: The State of Sustainability in Tennessee
Speaker: Chris Pianta, Program Manager
Affiliation: Department of Environment & Conservation Office of Sustainable Practices
Date/Time: April 21, 2023, 12:30pm-1:30pm
Location: Weinberg Auditorium, Room I126, 4500N

Abstract: The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) exists to enhance the quality of life for citizens of Tennessee and to be stewards of our natural environment by protecting and improving the quality of Tennessee's air, land, and water through a responsible regulatory system. This is done through both regulatory enforcement and stakeholder engagement. TDEC’s Division of Stakeholder Engagement (DSE) engages and empowers stakeholders through clear communication with a focus on customers, sustainability, resourceful problem solving, and leading by example. Within DSE, the Office of Sustainable Practices works with businesses, communities, and governments and institutions to provide programming, resources, and technical assistance that promote environmental sustainability and resilience throughout Tennessee.

Bio: Christopher Pianta is an Environmental Program Manager for the Office of Sustainable Practices. He has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee, and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University. Chris spent the early part of his career in consulting, working mostly on solid waste and remediation projects. Since transitioning to his current career with the State, Chris has developed both an expertise and a passion for sustainability, particularly in the field of waste reduction and energy efficiency. He is one of the Office's Team Leads and is responsible for managing several programs that focus on assisting businesses, communities, and institutions with improving their triple bottom line through the implementation of sustainable practices.