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Biology faculty Jennifer Templeton and a student work on a project with dogs brought to campus by other faculty and staff.

Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference


Peter Schwartzman

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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The prairie on fire during the annual Green Oaks Prairie Burn.

February 8-10, 2019

The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference includes video recordings of nationally recognized plenary speakers combined with in-person workshops and presentations by local experts—all social and scientific innovators who have practical and visionary solutions for the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges. 

Interactive workshops, local food, and more! Free to all participants. Advanced registration includes complimentary meals, but on site registration is available.

Thanks to all who attended 2019 Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference and made it such a success!    

Follow the Prairie Fire Bioneers Facebook page for photos, updates, and announcements about the  conference. Questions? Contact us.

The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference is brought to you by the Office of Sustainability and the Mary Filosa Brown Endowed Memorial Fund for Community Service.

The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference is a local, self-organized Bioneers Pollinators Event. To learn more about Bioneers, visit

See the agenda for last year's 2.5 day conference below:

2019 Agenda

Friday, February 8

4:00 pm - Registration Opens

4:30 pm - Opening Ceremony and Plenary Speakers and discussion (videos from National Conference)*

  • May Boeve – Climate Change is Changing the World - Now We Too Must Change 
  • Rupa Marya – Health and Justice: The Path of Liberation through Medicine  

6:30 pm - Dinner (free with advance registration)

7:30 pm - Evening event of music and poetry 

Saturday, February 9

8:30 am - Registration Opens (coffee & tea)

9:00 am - Morning Activities (concurrent options)

  • Upcycle Workshop 
  • Planting Microgreens with Nature Club  

10:15 am - Break

10:30 am - Plenary Speakers and discussion (videos from National Conference)*

  • Kenny Ausubel – Dung Beetle Medicine   
  • Kevin Powell – Re-defining Manhood: A Message to Men, to Boys, to Us All  

12:00 pm - Lunch (free with advance registration)

1:00 pm - Local Interactive Workshops (concurrent options)

  • Solar in Illinois: How to Go Green and Save on Energy Costs - Derek Bus, Borrego Solar 
  • The Blanchard River Watershed Partnership - Bob Connour II, Owens Community College
  • Grassroots Effort to Increase Food Rescue and Reduce Food Waste - Pete Vogel, Food Rescue Partnership

2:00 pm - Break

2:15 pm - Local Interactive Workshops (concurrent options)

  • Creating Community Through Education - Abby Pardick '10, Kent School Services Network
  • Integrated Vegetation Management and The Utility Industry - Sara Dreiser '10, Davey Resource Group & Marla Westerhold, ComEd

3:15 pm - Break

3:30 pm - Local Interactive Workshops (concurrent options)

  • How Did You Get There? - Bob Connour II, Blanchard River Watershed Partnership, Sara Dreiser, Davey Resource Group, and Sarah Tallman, NRDC
  • AmeriCorps VISTA & Housing’s Role in Environmental Justice - Willie Heineke, Housing Action Illinois
  • What is an Apocalypse and how do I survive - Joseph Peterson, Knox College

4:30 pm - Break

4:45 pm - Plenary Speakers and discussion (videos from National Conference)*

  • Jacqueline Martinez Garcel – Latino Leadership & the Power of Love in Philanthropy 
  • Rebecca Moore – Google Earth and Using Big Data to Map Solutions  

6:15 pm - Dinner (free with advance registration)

7:00 pm - Live Keynote Event 

  • Fighting for Safe Water in Flint, Michigan: Perspectives on Community-Driven Lawyering - Sarah Tallman, Natural Resources Defense Council

Sunday, February 10

9:00 am - Registration Opens (coffee & tea)

9:30 am - Plenary Speaker and discussion (video from National Conference)*

  • Monica Gagliano – Plant Intelligence and the Importance of Imagination In Science  

10:15 am - Break

10:30 am - Morning Activities (concurrent options)

  • Yoga with Tina Hope  (located in Andrew Fitness Center)
  • Reflecting on Bioneers and What it Means for Us with Students for Sustainability  

11:45 am - Break

12:00 am - Brunch (free with advance registration)

1:00 pm - Plenary Speakers and discussion (videos from National Conference)*

  • The Ceibo Alliance – Protecting the Amazon Rainforest from Industrial Development 
  • Alex Eaton – Smallholder Farmers as Climate Change and Food Security Leaders  

2:30 pm - Break

2:45 pm - Local Interactive Workshops (concurrent options)

  • The Hidden Price Tag of Industrial Agriculture - Karen Hudson, Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water (ICCAW)
  • Medicinal Herbs in the Midwest - Tina Hope, Community Herbalist, Tina's Botanicals

3:45 pm - Break

4:00 pm - Local Interactive Workshops (concurrent options)

  • From Plastic Bag to Costume and Choreography - Kathleen Ridlon, Knox College 
  • One Fair Wage: Fighting for a Livable Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers in Illinois - Isaac Hughes, Grace LaDuca, and Poornima Tat, One Fair Wage Illinois Task Force 

5:00 pm - Break

5:15 pm - Closing Ceremony

*Plenary speaker sessions include video recordings of talks presented at the 2018 National Bioneers Conference in California that are rebroadcast for our audience on a large theater screen followed by in-person audience discussions.

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Printed on Sunday, May 26, 2019