Session Descriptions

March 16th, 2017

1:40 – 2:30

Facility Management Track
Get Your Energy Management Program Funded: Building the Financial Case and Political Support
Justin Owen, and Jacob Cain
The very first issue that needs to be resolved with an energy program is funding. The realm of funding energy, calculating energy savings, and maintaining those savings over time can be very difficult to navigate. Weber state has built a model that maintains political and financial support for energy projects while reducing utility costs, generating return for the university, and reducing environmental impact. This session will provide background information on how WSU’s energy management program got its start and then will provide practical advice on how attendees can go about garnering political and financial support for their programs.

Sustainability in the Curriculum Track
Integrating Sustainability Across Campus: Engaging Ideas and Audiences
Dr. Adrienne Cachelin
In this session participants will become familiar with tactics for engaging different audiences in sustainability education. We’ll share strategies for integration at multiple academic levels and in multiple disciplinary settings.

Campus & Community Engagement Track
Writing for Change: Statistics and Social Media
Justice Morath
We are living in an increasingly data driven world where claims using statistics are found throughout our news, social media, and from our politicians. Social media (like Facebook and Twitter, to name a couple) are now one of the most common means to spread ideas and information. How do you sort the good from the bad? How do you write using statistics in both an accurate and accessible way in order to invoke social change?  While social media offer great tools for exchanging information and ideas, it can also create conflict and problems. In this workshop you will learn how to best structure statistics and quantitative data in your social media writing to engage and persuade in a positive and productive way.

2:40 – 3:30

Facility Management Track
Alternatively Fueled Commercial Landscaping Equipment: A Frank Discussion about the State of the Technology with Jared Bradley, Jessica Bradley, and Cody Dohse
Poor air quality is a problem along the Wasatch Front and converting landscape equipment over to electrically powered equipment is one strategy that those in facilities management can use to significantly reduce or eliminate emissions. But what are the pros and cons of going electric and are electric mowers, edgers, trimmers, and blowers ready for commercial prime time? During this panel discussion, owners of two local landscape companies, Eco-Friendly Lawn Care and Los Gringos Lawn and Landscape will share their experiences with going electric.

Sustainability in the Curriculum Track
Sustainability In and Outside of the Classroom
Jane Drexler, Jeremy Farner, Jeffery Hill, Jacie Johnson
Join with professors who are teaching sustainability courses ranging from ethics and social/political theory, and botany to construction and interior design, and incorporating sustainability into the curriculum.

Campus & Community Engagement Track
Why Communications Matter in Sustainability
Daniel Bedford, Meaghan McKasy, Sara Yeo
Learn about the science of science communication, public opinion of STEM issues, student attitudes about climate change, and how to present scientific facts without entrenching old beliefs. This session explores why and how behind good communication.

3:30 – 3:45 pm

Student Poster Contest Voting & Networking
Vote on student posters at the Student Poster Contests, and enter to win a $50 gift certificate good toward the 2018 Intermountain Sustainability Summit registration of your choice.

3:45 – 5:00 pm

Open Space Interactive Working Groups
Kerry Case

Join with fellow facility managers, faculty and students for this dynamic, interactive session. We will be collectively working on topics provided by participants, tapping the collective brain trust, grappling with the challenges we face, and renewing passion for our work as we determine how to do more good on our campuses and in our communities. 

5:15 – 6:00 pmTiny House Inside

Tiny House Tour
Jeremy Farner and Jacie Johnson
Come see the strategies implemented to build the first Net-Zero tiny studio in Ogden, Utah. The Net-Zero Studio is a Weber State University design/ build senior project aimed to promote green building certifications such as LEED For Homes, National Green Building Standard, Energy Star, Resnet, and Passive House Standards. The goal of the project is to create a living laboratory as an educational entity for the community. We want to showcase cutting-edge technology and green building techniques that encourage green living. The studio will be used by professors at Weber State for hands on educational experiences in their classes. Along with educating our audience with the project, we want to show that the techniques incorporated are doable for the everyday person. We want to show that it is affordable and there is opportunity to use re-purposed materials.

March 17th, 2017

8:15 – 8:30

Opening Remarks
Dr. Alice Mulder, President Charles Wight

8:30 – 9:30

Plenary Speaker
Dr. Rob Davies – Clarity

Friday, 8:30 am to 9:30 am
Unfolding before this generation is an opportunity for grand achievement: the genuine possibility to forge a genuinely sustainable world.  But there remain a few details… Human-driven climate disruption poses extreme risks in the coming decades.  Indeed some people, places, and creatures have already absorbed significant, even mortal injury.  This reality is now driving an era of growing response.  Climate disruption, however, is not a solitary threat that can be treated in isolation. Rather, it is one of a family of existential afflictions emergent from the same underlying pathology― a relentless hyper-consumption withering the living systems that sustain us and corroding the social systems that protect us. And while some climate mitigation pathways ameliorate multiple of these maladies synergistically, other pathways exacerbate them.  We find ourselves at a crossroads, in need of a map that clearly renders the landscape… and a compass to guide the way.  One such map is the framework of ‘planetary boundaries’ … and one such compass is the mindset of a safe, just and fulfilling operating space for all people. At this moment in history, in our nation, the grownups have left the room. Their departure brings additional challenge, but also clarity. The risks couldn’t be higher… nor the rewards… and our window for meaningful response can be measured with a single box of birthday candles. The time for equivocation is done, and we have no one but ourselves to rely upon.

10:00 – 10:50 am

Urban & Community Planning Track
Addressing Climate Change at the Community Scale
Vicki Bennett
Salt Lake City is intent on addressing climate change through transformative, positive measures that reduce carbon pollution and build a more resilient community. SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski and our City Council signed a joint resolution in 2016 committing to 100% renewable electricity for the whole community by 2032 and an 80% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. A sizable amount of strategic planning and formal feasibility work is underway to highlight pathways towards a clean, renewable future for all of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett will speak about the plans and motivations for Salt Lake City as we respond to climate change and encourage others in Utah to do the same. More information about Salt Lake City’s climate goals and implementation plan is included at

Low Carbon Solutions Track
Net Zero Panel – Zero Net Energy Development and its Contribution to Social Benefit and Equity
Shawna Cuan , David Griffin, Tiffany Ivins,  Kevin Emerson
Social inequality in low income communities is often exacerbated by proximity to pollution sources and low quality building stock, leading to negative impacts on health and productivity. Resulting high and unpredictable utility bills negatively impact those most vulnerable to variable costs. Zero Net Energy (ZNE) development, defined as an energy efficient development that consumes no more energy than the renewable energy generated on site, has the potential to reverse this unfortunate cycle. ZNE development guarantees low utility costs providing vulnerable low income populations with firmer financial stability. Additionally, such developments reduce “area source” emissions from buildings dramatically resulting in cleaner air which leads to improved public health. ZNE buildings offer superior interior environments for occupants and productivity and reduce operating and equipment replacement costs, freeing up capital and time to be used towards other resources. Utilizing certifications like the Living Building Challenge and Net Zero Energy Building Certification from the International Living Futures Institute offers a pathway to designing buildings with ZNE goals in mind and advancing the building industry.

Social Side of Sustainability Track 
How Your Inner Social Enterprise Can Save the World
Issac Farley, Lindsey Kneuven, Devin Thorpe, Steve Klass
A highly interactive clinic for people who want to dramatically boost the environmental and social impact of their existing workplace, using lessons learned by a medium and a micro size local social enterprise benefit corporations and national best practices. Most of the time will be expert panel responding to questions and concerns of round table participants. Significant time will also be spent in round table discussions of participants to identify perceived barriers why their organization can’t contribute more to environmental and societal well-being. Each participant will be given an outline to fill in at the end of the session that will provide them with a tailored strategy to deploy key social enterprise techniques within their primary workplace. The proven values and practices of commercial social enterprise are vastly underutilized in Utah. Time is precious and the challenges to human survival are immense. It is time to stop holding back. We need to align our talents and priorities with organizational goals. Utah should be leading the 21st century evolution of beneficial business.

Communicating Sustainability Track
Path to Positive SLC: The Power of Research Based Communication and Networks
Ryan Stolley
Path to Positive Salt Lake City is the second Path to Positive Communities program by ecoAmerica that amplifies support for local climate mitigation and resilience efforts through partnerships with trusted institutions, increases depth and breadth of local sustainability leadership by bringing together diverse local leaders across key community sectors, and provides sector-specific engagement strategy and content designed to broaden public awareness and support for local policies and programs. This program is a collaboration of Utah Climate Action Network (UCAN) and ecoAmerica who have independent and mutual goals to expand public support and political will for climate solutions in Salt Lake City, Utah and the United States. The program will for a complementary public facing project building on the organizational network structure already being piloted by UCAN.

11:00 – 11:50 am

Round Table Conversations
Lindsey Kneuven – Corporate Social Responsibility, Kate Bailey – Recycling , Kate Bowman – Solar Energy Policy, Vicki Bennett – Municipal Sustainability, Jörg Rügemer – EcoVillage
Come have a conversation with Summit speakers in a small group setting, about the topics that matter to you. Each conversation will last approximately 20 minutes, allowing for you to sit with 2 table hosts.

Pitch Your Sustainability StoryLaura Jones
Greta deJong – Catalyst Magazine, Lara Jones – KRCL Radio Active, Leia Larsen – Standard Examiner, George Pyle – Salt Lake Tribune
Media representatives from Catalyst Magazine, KRCL Radio, Salt Lake Tribune, and the Standard Examiner are here to hear your sustainability story. Come with a 3 minute pitch, (a press release if you have one), and your business card. Then tell your story to those who can help spread the word. Media representatives will follow up on those stories that piqued their interest for publication.

Urban & Community Planning Track
The End of Mobility: Moving to Accessibility as a Framework for Policymaking
Reid Ewing
Reid Ewing will present the results of an NSF-funded study evaluating the extent of accessibility-based planning in the U.S., its status versus other planning concepts, and its emerging adoption in the transportation plans of some larger population metro areas. For at least two decades, academicians and others interested in planning policy have advocated the use of accessibility as a framework for transportation planning. The asserted benefits of using an accessibility framework include planning outcomes that succeed in reducing vehicle travel and associated impacts on energy consumption, air quality, and societal and personal costs. Despite these purported advantages, the adoption of an accessibility framework by transportation planning agencies has been slow. This presentation presents the results of an NSF-funded study evaluating the extent of accessibility-based planning in the U.S. The analysis shows that while accessibility continues to lag behind other planning concepts, some agencies are starting to advance accessibility-based themes in their transportation plans, particularly those from larger population metro areas. The presentation concludes with the introduction of a new, simpler method that can facilitate greater adoption of accessibility-oriented transportation planning practices.

Low Carbon Solutions Track
Energy Transparency as a Market Force
Wendy Lee
Data transparency plays an integral role in shaping decisions by consumers, manufacturers and policy makers. We have gotten used to seeing and relying on nutrition labels on foods and MPG ratings on cars. Building energy performance policies seek to bring this kind of awareness to existing buildings that define our skylines and are spaces we spend a majority of our adult lives in. Salt Lake City has lead the way among 15 plus other cities across the nation to propose an ordinance that requires benchmarking and transparency for large buildings. This ordinance will increase competition and market choices for energy efficiency in our commercial buildings. Additionally, cities that have implemented similar policies have seen consistent increase in community-wide energy savings year to year. Wendy will speak about the process behind Salt Lake City’s initiative as well as research behind the efficacy of this ordinance.

Social Side of Sustainability Track
JUST: Make Social Justice Your Business
Kenner Kingston
Help your organization optimize policies that improve social equity and enhance employee engagement. The JUST program is a voluntary disclosure tool for organizations. JUST is not a certification program, it is a transparency platform for organizations to disclose their operations, including how they treat their employees and where they make financial and community investments. JUST is a nutrition label for socially just and equitable organizations. This approach requires reporting on a range of organization–and employee-related indicators. Each of the indicator metrics asks for simple yet specific and measurable accountabilities in order for the organization to be recognized at a One, Two, or Three Star Level, which is then summarized elegantly on a label. Organizations can use the label on their website or marketing to demonstrate their commitments to these issues. The Institute also transparently posts the detailed information in our publicly viewable database. JUST marks the beginning of a new era of corporate transparency. The Institute invites organizations everywhere to evaluate themselves through this social justice and equity lens and become a JUST organization. With support from participating organizations, JUST will help create a better, more socially just and equitable world.

Communicating Sustainability Track
A Primer in Community-Based Social Marketing: Effective Tools to Help You Foster Change
Roslynn Brain
Many of us look for ways to improve our community, yet feel a roadblock when it comes to getting people excited about involvement. This presentation will help those interested in implementing sustainability projects in their communities, but who aren’t sure how to build and continue momentum. Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM), a set of tools designed by Doug McKenzie-Mohr, provides a road map for how. This interactive presentation will outline the steps involved in CBSM, as well as a few additional tools. Conducting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis, barrier benefit analysis, innovative ways to raise funds while building community momentum and support, involving local press, ensuring long-term commitment, as well as other marketing tips will be included.

1:25 – 2:15 pm

Round Table Conversations
Judd Werner – Citizens Climate Lobby, Rob Davies – Planetary Boundaries, Jeremy Franer – Tiny House, Steve Jones – Water (Room 305) 

Julie Sieving – #real #student #engagement, Ryan Stolley – Utah Climate Action Network, John Cook – Climate Communication & Myth Debunking, Michael Shea – HEAL Utah (Room 312)
Come have a conversation with Summit speakers in a small group setting, about the topics that matter to you. Each conversation will last approximately 20 minutes, allowing for you to sit with 2 table hosts.

Urban & Community Planning Track
The Field of Dreams Eco-Community
Jörg Rügemer
The collaborative, interdisciplinary community project: Field of Dreams Eco-Community is a 20-unit housing development that is under construction on an abandoned baseball field in Kearns, UT. Designed by Atelier Jörg Rügemer, Park City and developed and constructed by Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, the project is a complete overhaul of the typical code-standard Habitat home. As a major step towards a clear, impactful and innovative contribution to sustainability, the goal is to showcase that resilient, sustainable and affordable buildings can be developed at an affordable budget and within a micro-neighborhood and a larger community. The project became an exploration of new means of density and performance in the Kearns neighborhood, allowing twice as many units on the property as original zoning would allow. Utilizing extensive energy performance simulations during the design process, each 1,500 square feet unit is projected to run on average energy costs of about $1.50 per day, with the overall purchase price per unit at $150,000.

Low Carbon Solutions Track
Stuff, Stuff & More Stuff: How Consumption Emissions are Changing the Climate Conversation 
Kate Bailey
How much we buy, how often we travel, the foods we eat —these everyday lifestyle choices all influence the size of our climate footprint. It’s called our  And it’s far from small: More than 40% of our climate impact in the U.S. comes from our stuff and our food — how we make it, haul it, use it and throw it away. But communities are not measuring consumption emissions. Local greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories typically measure what are called “sector” emissions from transportation, energy and landfills. When consumption emissions are integrated into your climate action plans, new opportunities to reduce GHG emissions emerge. And Zero Waste stands out as one of the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective solutions.
Following a presentation, we’ll work through interactive small group exercises to identify which materials and strategies offer the biggest bang for the buck and explore how to get the conversation started in your community.

Social Side of Sustainability Track
The Importance of Conserving Public Lands
Dave Pacheco

America’s public lands are our birthright. For the history of our country, people have freely used our shared commons for a wide variety of recreational activities: hunting, fishing, camping, and all the accompanying family memories of our unique, individual make up. Among those multiple uses are environmental protections such as wilderness (where no permanent development occurs), national monuments, national parks, and other protective designations with a range of activities and purposes. These designations and management tools are oriented to human activities as varied as the landscape. Beyond protected areas, our public lands are filled with resource extraction and development of all kinds, ranging from oil & gas operations to mining to dam development, all with their own unique footprint on people’s use of public lands. Over the past 20 years or so, new forms of recreation such as off-road vehicles have increased dramatically, bringing with it new environmental concerns and access to more remote places. Last, but certainly not least, our society grasps the concept that public lands hold deeper meanings – something beyond what open spaces mean for us, but an intrinsic value itself.   This intrinsic value is at the center of another interesting and fascinating aspect of our public lands. American Indians who were here before us have a much deeper connection to our continent as their ancestral homeland – this is the only land they’ve ever known. And they consider a large portion of it sacred and an element for their way of life – a way of life that was abruptly altered a few hundred years ago. Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah is the latest flash point of the ongoing effort to protect an ancestral homeland that many tribes feel a deep, personal connection to. This session will explore a variety of social interactions and beliefs about America’s public lands. They mean different things to different people, but they are universally loved by all.

Communicating Sustainability Track 
Strategies to Engage Community and Policy Makers Panel
Lara Jones, Denni Cawley, Michael Shea 
Join representatives from non-profits Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and Heal Utah, and moderator Lara Jones to learn about strategies to engage community members, and turn that engagement into political will. From newsletters, to call in sessions these organizations are effectively championing a cleaner Utah.

3:30 – 4:00 pmMary Book

Book Signing with Mary Robinson

Book signing will take place in the Sustainability Expo Hall at booth #17.  You can purchase a copy of Robinson’s book Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice, at the booth throughout the day.

4:00  – 4:50 pm

Urban & Community Planning Track
Net Zero Intersections: Energy, Carbon and Water
Julie Sieving, Bina Skordas, Steve Jones
“Net zero” is a ubiquitous term today in sustainability circles generally emoting the idea of producing as much of something as gets used for a net neutral effect. While some net zero concepts, such as net zero energy, have been around longer, other concepts, such as net zero water, are also emerging. The session’s panel will explore the intersections and possibilities of net zero energy, carbon, and water as diverse system components of the greater whole. The panel will address applications and scalability of these net zero concepts – and how the concepts can and should shape planning and goal-setting related to individual buildings as well as entire communities, including municipalities and campus communities. Hear about some recent and relevant innovative water-focused work in Park City – including a net zero water case study − and Park City’s recent water system optimization efforts that represent transferable lessons learned not only for Utah municipalities but also higher education campuses. Be prepared for a dynamic discussion with interactive audience polling that we hope will encourage your own ideas and experiences around this evolving topic.

Low Carbon Solutions Track
A Bright Future: 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan for Utah
Kate Bowman, Utah Clean Energy
Utah’s emerging solar market is ripe to elevate Utah as a national leader in the solar arena. Formerly a nascent market, Utah must now address challenges associated with increased solar market penetration. Utah leaders can ensure market certainty for the solar industry, and fairness for consumers and utilities. The solar industry, regulators, and utilities must work together to address new topic areas relate to emerging solar technologies and prepare for the continued evolution of the solar market. A Bright Future: 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan for Utah provides a clear path to overcome these challenges and guide the development of a sustainable and robust solar market. As pioneers for solar best practices and innovation, Utah Clean Energy and Salt Lake City drafted the 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan to provide Utah-specific solutions, readily implementable, to accelerate solar adoption in Utah.

Social Side of Sustainability Track
Why women have become smarter than men: “It’s the environment, stupid (seriously)
Dr. Brian Moench
Prominent researchers now say we are in the midst of a “global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity” that is compromising the behavior and intellect of children before they are even born, and males are the greatest victims. Girls now outperform boys in educational achievement in 70% of the countries studied by researchers regardless of the level of gender, political, economic or social equality. Girls are outperforming boys in reading, mathematics and science literacy even in countries where women’s liberties are severely restricted. Women are now beating men on IQ tests. What is going on? Environmental insults are proving to have a profound effect on the human brain–we are literally changing who people are. Dr. Moench will explore the reasons why the male brain is more vulnerable to the toxicity of pollution, heavy metals and chemical exposures. Public policy, implemented primarily by men, is currently doing essentially nothing to protect the male gender. Ironically, handing over political power to women, is probably the best hope to save men from themselves.

Communicating Sustainability Track
Countering Alternative Facts and Post Truthism
John Cook
How should scientists and educators respond to the growing prevalence of fake news and alternative facts? The decades-old phenomenon of climate science denial offers insights into our current predicament. Science denial manifests the same characteristics of motivated reasoning as those observed in the post-truth movement. This talk will explore the psychological research explaining why some people reject climate science, the tell-tale characteristics of science denial and how we can respond to alternative facts.