10th Annual Environmental Justice Conference - April 26

The 10th annual Environmental Justice Conference will feature speakers discussing the impacts of fracking; geothermal heating and cooling as a form of alternative energy; and water problems in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that have the potential to be worldwide issues. Student papers and posters will also be highlighted at the conference.

The conference will be held in the Slak Shak at Kent State University’s East Liverpool campus, 400 E. Fourth St., on April 26, from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students will present papers and posters at the conference at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 

The conference is free and the public is urged to attend. A continental breakfast will be served from 8 to 9 a.m., and lunch will be provided as well. T-shirts and trees will be available to attendees.

Roger Greenawalt, who, with his wife and sons, owns Sweet Meadow Farms Drainage in Beloit, will discuss information about installing geothermal heating and cooling units and the resulting savings. He installed geothermal units in two family homes and in the offices of the family business, and did contracting work for other geothermal providers. Greenawalt will share cost benefit figures from geothermal energy and demonstrate how energy credits and energy savings reduce the initial high installation costs of this heating and cooling source.

In addition to his work with Sweet Meadow Farms Drainage, Greenawalt is chair of Beloit’s Board of Public Affairs, and is a board member and past president of the Ohio Land Improvement Contractors of America. He serves on the Mahoning-Columbiana Counties Farm Service Commission.  

Greenawalt, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio State University and taught agriculture at West Branch High School before beginning his drainage business.

Caitlin Johnson will discuss fracking and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative’s “Listening Posts,” designed to gather information about fracking in Ohio. She will share the results of the information gathering from other areas of Ohio and will pose questions to the audience. Johnson earned a degree in government and English from Cornell University, a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University; and a master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University.

Before joining the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Johnson served as the 2011–2013 George Gund Foundation Fellow where she helped craft the foundation's grant-making response to Ohio's oil and gas drilling boom.  She worked as a broadcast, print and digital journalist and producer in Boston, New York and Cleveland, covering a wide range of subjects from prison overcrowding to the plight of Darfuri refugees.

Dr. Sarah Smiley will discuss her field research about water in Dar es Salaam. Smiley became interested in water use and conservation on a trip to Africa and is a geography professor on Kent State’s Salem campus. She will discuss the importance of clean and inexpensive sources of water globally, using her research to demonstrate the increasing importance and value of water.

Smiley’s research interests lie at the intersection of urban, historical and cultural geography. She is especially interested in the ways that colonial legacies of segregation, housing and development policy, and amenity provision affect everyday life in Dar es Salaam.
Smiley’s current research considers the complexity of water access in Dar es Salaam. It demonstrates that the price, reliability, quality and accessibility of water are as important as the location of water. She will return to Dar es Salaam in May to collect qualitative survey and mapping data on water access.
Smiley’s research has been funded by a Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fellowship, the Indiana University African Studies Program and Kent State’s University Research Council. She published her research in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Applied Geography, Social and Cultural Geography, the African Geographical Review and the Journal of Cultural Geography.

Smiley holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Cincinnati. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in geography from the University of Kansas. Prior to coming to Kent State’s Salem campus in 2010, she was an assistant professor of geography at Morgan State University in Baltimore.


Media Contact:
Bethany Zirillo, 330-3827430, bgadd@kent.edu 

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 09:30 AM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 09:22 AM

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