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University Library highlights climate change

Library ExhibitionThis quarter, the University Main Library is displaying “Two Degrees and You: An NU Approach to Climate Change,” an exhibit that serves to educate viewers about Northwestern’s efforts to reduce their environmental impact through science, innovative engineering, student initiatives, and strategic imperatives. The effort was organized by a team from the School of Continuing Studies, Museum Studies program, in partnership with sustainably-minded organizations from across NU including, the Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI), NU Solar, Medill School of Journalism, Office of Sustainability, as well as the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Chemistry, Materials Science, and Anthropology.

The exhibit is made up of artifacts, information, and potential solutions that illustrate some of the efforts underway to research and ameliorate climate change. Among the items in the exhibit is an artificial tree developed by SOFI that can convert water, sunlight, and carbon into clean fuel. There is also an interactive part of the exhibit in which visitors can write on the walls in dry-erase markers to provide their answers to questions such as, “Who do you think will be the most affected by climate change” and “Why is climate change so controversial?” This part of the exhibit has been extremely popular and has sparked some interesting dialogue.

The goal of “Two Degrees and You” is to educate viewers on the impacts that climate change has on world food and water supplies, weather, oceans, and health. The exhibit is also meant to show what Northwestern researchers are doing to combat the problem as well as educate people on what they can do to make a difference. One of the creators of the exhibit, Alison Witt-Janssen, states, “I want audiences to take away that this problem is in their backyards. It is real and scary. I want to convey that many researchers here are devoting their professional lives to finding solutions. I want audiences to get informed.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public 8:30 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Saturdays. Members of the Northwestern community with a valid WildCARD can visit during all open library hours. For more information, contact Clare Roccaforte at 847-467-5918.