Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, will be the keynote speaker at the Virginia Tech Deans' Forum on the Environment on Monday, Feb. 26.

The Deans’ Forum on the Environment will showcase the university’s latest environment research, activity, and expertise. The forum will encourage awareness and foster synergy of research, education, and outreach efforts at Virginia Tech in the environment-related fields, including: water quality and water quantity; waste management, reduction, and recycling; biodiversity and invasive species; land use and reclamation; livable designs, communities, and greenways; energy development and impacts; public health; global climate change; environmental art; environmental planning and management; vehicle emissions; and more.

The event will also provide perspectives from policy leaders on environment-related needs so Virginia Tech can target and enhance activity to address and further define those needs. Poster sessions will provide members of the university community and guests a chance to meet Virginia Tech’s environment researchers and learn about their work. The forum will conclude with award presentations to the best faculty and student posters. The forum, held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Skelton Conference Center of the Inn at Virginia Tech, is free and open to the public.

The Deans’ Forum public lecture, “Our Environmental Destiny,” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., begins at 7:30 p.m. in Burruss Hall Auditorium. Tickets are free, but required for admission. Limit four tickets per person. Tickets are available at the Squires Ticket Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., beginning Monday, Feb. 5. Tickets can be mailed to attendees outside of Blacksburg for a $3 postage-and-handling fee until Wednesday, Feb. 21; after Feb. 21, out-of-town attendees may reserve tickets to be picked up at the event. Seating is limited. For ticket information, call (540) 231-5615 or (800) 843-0332.

Kennedy's reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. He was named one of Time magazine's “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. Kennedy is also a clinical professor and supervising attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. Kennedy’s lecture is followed by a book signing in the Burruss Hall Lobby. Books will be available for purchase.

Learn more about the Deans’ Forum on the Environment and other activities and research resources at The site lists research activity, centers and groups doing energy research, and education programs. The Deans’ Forum on the Environment is the second of a series of four forums.

Deans’ Forum on the Environment Task Force Coordinators Randy Wynne, associate professor of forestry in the College of Natural Resources, can be reached at (540) 231-7811, and Patrick Miller, associate dean for graduate studies and outreach in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, can be reached at or (540) 231-5506.

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