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American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment to meet at Arizona State University

TEMPE, Ariz. Nearly 675 strong, American colleges and universities are signatories to a commitment to reduce and eventually neutralize carbon dioxide emissions on their campuses that contribute to global warming and to integrate sustainability into their curriculum. But how do you get from commitment to planning to action to accomplishment? That will be the focus of the 2012 Southwest Regional Collaborative Symposium of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) March 1-2 at Arizona State University.

Titled "Creating a Climate Legacy: Fulfilling the Presidents' Climate Commitment," this ACUPCC regional symposium is not a typical conference. Instead, it will include three working sessions to foster collaboration among ACUPCC signatories who are facing similar challenges and opportunities in their regions. Sustainability teams from signatory schools across the Southwest are attending this event and will come away with tangible resources, contacts and ideas to support their efforts. There will be a strong focus on making progress in a weak economy and addressing the unique needs of minority-serving and underserved institutions.

ASU President Michael Crow will moderate a presidents' panel on March 2 that focuses on how higher education in the Southwest can lead the way to a clean, green and sustainable economy. Participants on the panel include David J. Schmidly, president of the University of New Mexico; John D. Haeger, president of Northern Arizona University; and Jan Gehler, president of Scottsdale Community College.

A keynote address at 6 p.m. March 1 will be given by Diana Liverman, co-director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona. Liverman, a Regents' Professor at UA, focuses her research on the human dimensions of global environmental change and includes climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, climate change and food security, and climate policy, mitigation and justice, especially in the developing world.

Attendees who are scheduled to participate in energy and financing case studies include representatives from Alamo Colleges, Texas; University of California, Irvine; Weber State University, Utah; Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico; and Rio Salado College, Arizona.

The symposium will be held at ASU's Tempe campus in Old Main. A complete agenda is at


Contact: Carol Hughes
Arizona State University

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