Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 27, 2007

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lecture part of September environmental programming

A public lecture by environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the centerpiece of a month of environmentally focused programming on the University of Iowa campus and in the Iowa City community. Kennedy will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Main Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union on the UI campus. He will discuss the role that natural resources play in our work, health and identity as Americans.

The September environmental programming is being coordinated by Iowa HEALS (Health, Environment, and Lasting Security), a partnership of UI departments and local organizations that share an interest in the many implications of climate change. Partners include The UI Pentacrest Museums: Museum of Natural History and Old Capitol, The UI Center for Human Rights, University Lecture Committee and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Kennedy serves as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeepers and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at Pace University School of Law's Environmental Litigation Clinic. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant district attorney in New York City. He is the author of the New York Times' bestseller "Crimes Against Nature," published in 2004.

He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas, and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He also helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress.

"Mr. Kennedy is passionate about the defense of the environment and of how continued environmental neglect affects the future of the planet and the health of future generations," said Pamela Trimpe, director of UI Pentacrest Museums. "He advocates a direct and aggressive approach against pollution and the status quo, calling upon all people to actively contribute and make a difference in their world."

In addition to the Iowa HEALS partnership, major sponsors of the Kennedy lecture are the UI College of Law and UI Office of the Vice President for Research. Co-sponsors include the UI Civic Engagement Program, UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and UI Department of Geography.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Other elements of the environmental programming series include:

-- "Know the Score Live," 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, Macbride Auditorium, Macbride Hall. A live broadcast of the KSUI 91.7 FM radio series will feature guests discussing aspects of the upcoming environmental programming.

-- Opening of the Biosphere Discovery Hub, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, Macbride Hall. The Biosphere Discovery Hub is a new gallery at the UI Museum of Natural History. The exhibit opening will feature family-centered activities and self-guided tours. The gallery explores the interaction of humans with the Iowa landscape through history and features UI research addressing both local and global environmental issues. Modern interactive displays and a flexible design will allow the gallery to serve as a public window into UI research projects and as a venue for public presentations on a variety of environmental topics.

-- Environmental Film Festival, 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 10 to 11, Macbride Auditorium, Macbride Hall. Documentaries focusing on environmental concerns will be screened, including "Kilowatt Ours," "Oil on Ice," "The Great Warming" and "The Planet." For a complete schedule visit

-- "Inconvenient Jokes: Hot Humor for a Hot Planet," 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, Hancher Auditorium. A satirical and musical look at global warming and climate change. This event is a fundraiser for Common Ground Clinic New Orleans and PSR programs to combat global warming. Tickets are available from the Hancher box office, 319-335-1160 or 800-HANCHER.

-- "Health Consequences of Global Warming: Examining the Links, Breaking the Chains" conference, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 14 to 16, Hotel Vetro Conference Center, 201 S. Linn St., Iowa City. This conference, organized by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), is geared toward an audience of academics, professionals and students in the health sciences, law, environmental sciences, engineering and global studies, as well as environmental activists and the general public. For registration information and a conference schedule, visit

-- Art Show reception, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, Hotel Vetro Conference Center. A special reception recognizing the artwork displayed for the PSR Conference. This event is a fundraiser for Common Ground Clinic New Orleans and PSR programs to combat global warming.

-- UI Explorers Lecture Series, 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 27, Biosphere Discovery Hub, Macbride Hall. James Collins, UI Office of the State Archaeologist, will bethe first guest. He will present "Annular-Stamped Pottery, Native American Circle Symbolism, and Gendered Ritual Space at the Dolomite Ridge Site." Visit for more information.

For more information or special accommodations to attend any of these events, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900 or

The UI Center for Human Rights supports the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa and beyond. The UICHR is a part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

NOTE: Readers of this news release may also be interested in learning about the University of Iowa's 2007 Energy Expo, which will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5 on the UI campus. More information about the expo, which is not affiliated with the series of programs described above, is available at:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026,; Pamela Trimpe, UI Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-0546,; Writer: Julia LaBua