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Cousteau Explores Ocean in Earth Day Address

Environmentalist to discuss other 70 percent of earth in final One Book program

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April 1, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, will deliver the keynote address at Northwestern University's 40th anniversary Earth Day celebration Thursday, April 22.

Cousteau's lecture, titled "The Other 70 Percent: Understanding the Earth's Underwater Ecosystems," will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle, on the University's Evanston campus. The event is free and open to the public. Seating will be made available on a first-call, first-served reservation basis.

An explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer, Cousteau has investigated the world's oceans for much of his life. With more than 80 films to his credit, he is the recipient of an Emmy, the Peabody Award and numerous other honors. 

Cousteau founded the Ocean Futures Society, an organization that has worked to communicate the critical bond between human and oceanic ecosystems and the importance of responsible environmental stewardship.

Earth Day marks the culmination of the 2009-10 One Book One Northwestern program, during which members of the University community read Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Thomas Friedman's "Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- And How it Can Renew America."

Throughout the academic year, the One Book program -- hosted by the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) -- has presented or been a co-sponsor of more than 40 events. The events were designed to promote an ongoing discussion among members of the Northwestern community and the local public on energy and sustainability issues.

Highlights of those events included Friedman's keynote address at the inauguration of Morton O. Schapiro as Northwestern's 16th president; the University's first-ever Climate Change Symposium; a lecture by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. titled "The Green Gold Rush," a panel discussion of the health effects of climate change on Northwestern's Chicago campus and the planting of an on-campus student-run garden, which will provide food for the University.

Additional events occurring through the week of April 19 will include a campus presentation by Northwestern alumni responsible in 1970 for the organization of the University's "Project Survival," one of the largest environmental demonstrations in the country. The organizers will discuss how they helped bring about lasting changes in environmental policy and how we might help meet renewed challenges today.

Students also will have an opportunity to participate in an eco-trivia contest, work in the student garden and see "Mount Trashmore," an eight foot mountain of garbage that visual represents a typical six-hour waste flow from Northwestern's Evanston campus.

To reserve seats for Cousteau's address, visit http://www.tinyurl.com/earthday2010-jmc. Questions about the Earth Day keynote speech also can be directed to Jeff Henderson, project coordinator of One Book One Northwestern, at jeffhenderson@northwestern.edu.

For further information about the lecture, visit the One Book Web site at http://www.northwestern.edu/onebook/ or ISEN at http://www.isen.northwestern.edu/.