Environmental Conservation Graduate Student Symposium 2021 offered a full day of talks and a panel discussion focused on diverse fields of study within the Department of Environmental Conservation. The symposium was held on March 19th, 2021 and brought together 140 registered participants. Sessions included traditional talks, lightning talks, and one panel discussion. The invited keynote speaker, J. Casey Clapp, who received his Masters of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry at UMass Amherst and is the Forester for the city of Portland, Oregon, addressed “The Urban Tree and Me”.

The symposium co-organizers included UMass Amherst faculty advisor Timothy Randhir and graduate students, Patricia Levasseur, Alexia Perides, Amanda Suzzi, Ayodele O’uhuru, Samantha Myers, and Grace Casselberry.

The panel discussion was co-organized by three UMass Amherst Ph.D. students, Mahsa Farid Mohajer, Hossam Mahmoud, Suncica Milosevic, focusing on the importance of energy efficiency considerations, built environment, and climate change. Farid Mohajer moderated the session, and the panelists were, Ajla Aksamija (Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and Adjunct Professor in BCT/ECO), Dwayne Breger (Director of the Clean Energy Extension), and Ph.D. students, Mahsa Farid Mohajer, Hossam Mahmoud, and Suncica Milosevic.

The focus of the talks spanned over a variety of topics including: building science, plant species, renewable energy certificates, municipal energy reduction, etc. The winners of the audience choice award competition for best traditional and lightning talks were:

Traditional Talks

  1. Emma Sylvia
  2. Mahsa Farid Mohajer
  3. Ayodele C. O’Uhuru

Lightning Talks

  1. Katrina A. Zarrella Smith
  2. Ryan Suttle and Will Pfadenhauer
  3. Jacqueline Dias

Harvard Forest, Dunkin Donuts, Soil and Water Conservation Society – Southern New England Chapter were the sponsors of the 2021 ECoGSS symposium.