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Academics > Majors & Minors > Environmental Studies

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 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.

Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference
February 9-11, 2018

Knox College, Ford Center for the Fine Arts (Campus Map)
Interactive workshops, local food, renowned speakers, and more!
Free to all participants. Registration includes complimentary meals.

Registration is now open! Register online.
(online registration will close at the end of Feb 7, but walk in attendance is highly encouraged)

Questions? Contact us at

The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference is brought to you by the Office of Sustainability and the Department of Environmental Studies.

Follow the Prairie Fire Bioneers Facebook page for photos, updates, and announcements about the upcoming conference.


All events take place in Ford Center for Fine Arts (CFA), unless noted.
On-site program will provide room numbers for the workshops and plenary videos.

Friday, February 9

4:oo pm - Registration Opens

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

  • Victor Pineda: Cities, Technology and the Power of Inclusive Thinking
  • Heather McGhee: A New "We The People" For a Sustainable Future

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

7:30 pm - Evening event of music and poetry - located in Seymour Union, Taylor Lounge

Saturday, February 10

8:30 am - Registration Opens

9:00 am - Morning Activities (concurrent options)

  • Yoga with Laura Bush
  • Plant Your Own Microgreens with Sofia Tagkaloglou
  • Bicycles? Give Me a Brake: An Introduction To Fixing Your Bike's Brakes with Alex Davis

10:15 am - Break

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

  • Amy Goodman: Democracy Now! Covering the Movements Changing America
  • Youth Leadership Keynote: Naelyn Pike 

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

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

  • Building Healthy Community Food Systems, Kim Keenan
  • From Plastic Bag to Costume and Choreography, Kathleen Ridlon
  • Sanctuary: More than a name, M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan / Chicano Student Movement from Aztlan)

2:00 pm - Break

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

  • Creating Community Through Education, Abby Clayton
  • Japanese Beetles and Donald Trump: Curious Commonalities, Craig Watson
  • Upcycle Workshop: Make New from Old, Julietta Cervantes and Monica Martinez

3:15 pm - Break

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

  • A Footprint, Tony Gant
  • La Sureña: Journey of an Latino Organic Veggie Co-op, Cira Paz Valbuena, Guillermo Martin, and Julieta Cervantes
  • Student Research, Sofia Tagkaloglou

4:30 pm - Break

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

  • Mariel Nanasi: Taking on Coal & Nuclear Domination
  • John Wick and Calla Rose Ostrander: Carbon Farming

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

7:00 pm - Live Keynote Event 

Robots, Refugees, and Revolutions: Climate Justice at the Tipping Point
Meleiza Figueroa
PhD Candidate in Geography at UC Berkeley and former National Press Director for the 2016 Stein/Baraka Green Party presidential campaign. Figueroa has been a longtime political educator and organizer involved in a wide range of movements for social and environmental justice.

Sunday, February 11

9:00 am - Registration Opens

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

  • Kandi Mossett: Strengthen Our Communities and Defend the Earth

10:15 am - Break

10:30 am - Morning Activities (concurrent options)

  • Yoga with Tina Hope
  • Continuing the Message of Bioneers through the Year, 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)*

  • Saru Jayaraman - We the People: Workers Rising for Fair Wages
  • john a. powell: Co-Creating Alternative Spaces to Heal

2:30 pm - Break

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

  • How an Activist Researcher became a Cartoon Character: HyperCapitalism, Values, & Environmental Sustainability, Tim Kasser
  • Herbs to the Rescue : Herbal Remedies for Winter Woes, Tina Hope
  • Methods for Practical Action: History, Theory, Strategy, Tactics, Meleiza Figueroa

3:45 pm - Break

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

  • Greenlords Aquaponics, Demarkius medley and Kelvin medley
  • Landscape Photos that Connect With Climate Change, Mike Godsil
  • Listen & Discuss: Code Switch Podcast: Being 'Outdoorsy' when You're Black or Brown, Monica Martinez and Julieta Cervantes

5:00 pm - Break

5:15 pm - Closing Ceremony

*Plenary speaker sessions include video recordings of talks presented at the 2017 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 Monday, March 19, 2018