For years, various groups at UTPA have hosted activities honoring Earth Day, which falls on April 22. Those celebrations have expanded to a week's worth of activities and, this year, UTPA is hosting its Earth Week festivities April 21-25 throughout campus.
"We're really happy because in previous years there were organizations that were celebrating their own Earth Week and this is the first time that we're doing in collaboration with so many others," said Monica Raygada, program coordinator for the Office for Sustainability.
This year, the University is hosting the award-winning entrepreneur and biomimetic inventor Jay Harman as its Earth Week Distinguished Speaker at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 in the Library Auditorium. Harman, author of the book "The Shark's Paintbrush," will be discussing his work in biomimicry, which uses patterns in nature in engineering and science.
Harman, who has been called a visionary and a futurist by the Science Channel, founded and grew multi-million-dollar research and manufacturing companies that develop, patent and license innovative products. He will be signing copies of his book after his presentation.
Raygada said the office invited Harman to speak after it showed the documentary "Elemental" at an event it hosted earlier. Harman was one of three people featured in that film.
"He is stimulating the research and development of the industry of manufacturing to think out of the box and to start really inspiring their designs in nature's designs," Raygada said. "I think, from a learning standpoint, this is an amazing person to talk to and someone who can inspire many students who are doing design and research in engineering."
Other activities for the week include:
Monday, April 21:
• Lil' Broncs Buds in a Box at the Child Development Center from 9-10:30 a.m. UTPA students will assist children at the center to planting seedlings in the center's garden.
• Official Earth Week Kickoff and Green Pledge Weeklong Sign-in at the Student Union Theater from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Broncs Backyard Bird Watching Nature Walk at the UTPA Veterans Memorial Garden from noon- 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22:
• Health and Wellness Event at the UTPA Ballroom from 9 a.m.-noon.
• Movie screening of "The Wisdom to Survive" at the Student Union Theater from noon-1 p.m.
• Interactive green art exhibit, "Running the Numbers" at the Student Union from 1-3 p.m.
• Unveiling of water refilling stations at the Student Union from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday , April 23:
• Soul of our Urban Forestry Walk at the Veterans Memorial Garden from 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
• Interactive green art exhibit, "Running the Numbers" at the Library Lobby from 2-4 p.m.
• Get Your Green On Recycled Art Exhibit Opening Ceremony at the Library Gallery from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 24:
• Live music at the Student Union Café from 11:15 a.m.-noon.
• Real Food Movement presentation at the Student Union Café from 11:30 a.m.-noon.
• Green Aprons Cooking Demo at the Student Union Café from noon- 1 p.m.
• Movie screening of "Food Inc." at the Student Union Theater from 1-2 p.m.
Friday, April 25:
• Recycling drive at the UTPA Quad from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Green Ride Expo with live music at the UTPA Quad from noon-3 p.m.
• Get Your Green On Recycled Art Exhibit Awards Ceremony at the UTPA Quad from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
• Get Your Green On Fashion Show at the UTPA Quad from 3-4 p.m.
• Bronc Social Bike Ride at the Rotunda parking area from 4-5 p.m.
• Bronc Mutt Strutt at the UTPA Quad from 4-5 p.m.
A full schedule can be found here.
For more information, contact the Office for Sustainability at (956) 665-3030.