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Oct. 5, 2018

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Not sure what to do during Reading Week? Join us for the Faculty of Science upcoming Reading Week Café!

Date: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Senate and Board Room Chambers, Wilfrid Laurier University

This is a free public talk. All are welcome. Light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Jeanette Haas by Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Our Nitrogen Footprint: Too Much of a Good Thing?

We all have heard about our carbon footprint and that to decrease it would be good for the planet. Have you ever heard about our nitrogen footprint? Well, it may be if not larger at least equal to our carbon footprint! 

What can we do as a society to decrease use of our nitrogenous products?


Dr Rob Gordon, Vice-President, Academic

Dr. Gordon will provide an introduction to the topic and the event. 

Dr. Robin Slawson and Dr. Frederique Guinel, Biology

Hear an overview of the nitrogen cycle, with a focus on the role of micro-organisms in nutrient mobilization. This will include a general perspective on key transitions of the nitrogen in the environment.

Dr. Ken Maly, Chemistry, Acting Dean of Science

An increase in industrial agriculture has led to a demand for nitrogen-based fertilizers, which are a significant contributor to our nitrogen footprint. I will be discussing current methods for producing nitrogen based fertilizers and outline potential alternative approaches that are more sustainable.

Dr. Jason Venkiteswaran, Geography

Dr. Venkiteswaran will speak to the effects and fate of all this extra nitrogen on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with a focus on the Grand River watershed.

Dr. Manuel Riemer, Psychology

Dr. Riemer will address the question of how we can create conditions that will engage individuals in reducing their nitrogen footprint resulting from the consumption of meet. Some theoretical considerations related to engagement and culture of sustainability will be presented as well as case study information from evolv1, Canada’s first net-positive and carbon-neutral commercial multi-tenant office building located in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park.


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