COLUMBUS, Ohio -- “At this point, we have just one planet to share.”
So said David Hanselmann, a lecturer in Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, in announcing a new Ohio-based professional network for people whose work helps keep the planet green.
The Environmental Professionals Network, which launched on Aug. 7, “is for a broad range of people who are professionally engaged in managing, protecting and using our environment and natural resources -- people who really should be connected but often are not, and sometimes are even at odds,” said Hanselmann, who is the network’s coordinator.
“By focusing on interaction and collaboration among the community of professionals in Ohio and even beyond, we expect that solutions, small and large, will be arrived at in a more positive manner.”
The network has two key components: an extensive community-oriented website, http://epn.osu.edu, and a monthly high-profile speaker series, called the “2nd Tuesdays Breakfast Club.”
Joining the network is free. Students, too, are welcome. Participants can register by going to the network’s website and clicking on “Getting Started.”
“At the highest level, participants will be better able to serve clients, community and society,” Hanselmann said. “By collaborating within their community of professionals, they will be inspired, and will have opportunities to in turn inspire others.
“At a less lofty level, they will be able to get challenging questions answered; share useful information; and seek collaborators, applicants, volunteers, attendees and more -- making daily work activities more effective and efficient.”
The website features a “Community” page for posts and discussions in six general categories: Air Quality; Education, Health and Policy; Energy, Materials and Sustainability; Land Use; Water; and Wildlife. Also on that page are polls, notices, event listings, and a section for questions and answers.
Hanselmann said potential network participants include people who work for businesses, non-governmental organizations, law firms, legislative offices, the media, colleges and universities, and local, state and federal agencies -- and anyone else who works, studies or volunteers in the natural environment.
The idea for the network started in a discussion between Hanselmann and Ron Hendrick, director of the School of Environment and Natural Resources. Hendrick said he realized the environmental and natural resources community “didn’t have an easy-to-use platform for multidisciplinary collaboration and information sharing, and among people from the private and public sectors.”
“Many environmental professionals work hard and are successful in their own special areas, such as stormwater management. But most issues today need multidisciplinary solutions,” Hanselmann said. “The network will make it easy to communicate among the wide range of specialists.
“By strengthening the community of environmental and natural resources professionals, we expect more innovative and cost-effective solutions to be developed.”
Hendrick said he’d also like for the network to connect faculty, staff and students in SENR to people outside Ohio State “in hopes that partnerships emerge along with stronger approaches to key issues.”
“We hope students participate while enrolled (in the school) and once they begin their careers,” he said.
Hanselmann is a former long-time employee of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where he worked on statewide programs related to soil and water resources and to recycling.
The network is a service of the School of Environment and Natural Resources, which is part of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Larry Schweiger, who is the president and CEO of the 4-million-member National Wildlife Federation, will speak in the network’s inaugural “Breakfast Club” program, which runs from 7:20-9:40 a.m. on Sept. 11. Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee will give the opening remarks. The program, which is open to the public, will be at Ohio State’s LEED-certified Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, in Columbus.
Registration for the breakfast program is $15 per person if paid by credit card on the network’s website by 2 p.m. on Sept. 7 (requires registering for free as a participant in the network); or $10 per person (nonrefundable) if paid by a check that is received by Sept. 6.
Checks should be made payable to “Ohio State University” and mailed along with the attendee’s name, affiliation, email address and telephone number to David Hanselmann, 469 Kottman Hall, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210.
Free parking for the program is available at the 4-H Center and nearby in the Bill Davis Stadium Lot.
For more information, visit the network’s website or contact Hanselmann at email@example.com or 614-247-1908.
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