SMU hosts April series of sustainability-themed events

SMU kicks off a month of events focused on water conservation and sustainability.


DALLAS (SMU) – The free campus screenings of two popular environmental documentaries April 4-5 will begin a series of sustainability-themed SMU events throughout the month that will underscore the celebration of Earth Day 2013 on April 22.

Living with the TrinityLiving With the Trinity, showing at 7 p.m. Thursday,  April 4, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, focuses on the political history surrounding management of the Trinity River and will feature an introduction by writer, producer and director Rob Tranchin.   Find out more at   

YERT, Your Environmental Road Trip, showing at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater, takes a humorous cross-country look at environmental issues through the eyes of three friends travelling together.  Check out the trailer at

SMU’s Sustainability Committee and the Friends of the SMU Libraries sponsor the film festival.

The SMU student-organized “Barefoot on the Boulevard” sustainability and music festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. April 6 on the Bishop Boulevard lawn, just south of the landmark SMU flagpole.  Also free and open to the public, “Barefoot” will feature a short talk and concert at 4:30 p.m. by former Sudanese child soldier and hip-hop humanitarian Emmanuel Jal, whose appearance is being made possible by the organizers of Engineering & Humanity Week.  

Sponsored by Students For a Better Society and the SMU Sustainability Committee, “Barefoot on the Boulevard” also will feature student bands, economically priced food, and booths featuring environmental organizations and vendors.  The student bands, in order, will be the Southern Gentlemen, JSpear, Sean Hadeler, Adam the Bard, Chris Escarfullery, Sudie and Dan Howard.

Engineering & Humanity Week is April 6-12, bringing global solution seekers to Dallas and SMU around this year’s theme of Water: Ripple Effects. Most of the program is scheduled for the SMU campus and is free and open to the public – such as the outdoor, interactive water distribution camp that mimics sites in refugee camps.  “The Water Tap” (see drawing below) on April 9-10 will allow both the SMU community and visitors to learn about and try solutions for problems of water scarcity and sanitation in the developing world.

Other E&H Week events free and open to the public on the SMU Campus include:

  • Special indoor and outdoor exhibits in close proximity to “The Water Tap”
  • A conversation with filmmakers behind a new documentary, Living on One, about the experience of living on a dollar a day in Guatemala
  • What it’s like to work in a humanitarian crisis – panel discussion
  • Refugees and Water – a panel exploring scalable solutions for refugees, led by Alexander Betts, Associate Professor in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, University of Oxford
  • Water & Women – a panel discussion among global leaders, linked by simulcast to a complementary discussion at Emory University, examining the burdens on women from water sanitation and availability issues.

Free SMU parking for E&H Week events will be available on Bishop Boulevard until 6 p.m. April 9 and until 10 p.m. April 10.  Find the full program for Engineering & Humanity week at  E&H Week is sponsored by Hunter and Stephanie Hunt, SMU’s Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity and the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Center.

ecologist David de RothschildThe Plastiki, a unique sailing vessal made of reclaimed plastic drink bottles will take the spotlight on the evening of April 6 as Engineering & Humanity Week honors its captain, David de Rothschild, with the 2013 Visionary Award at a dinner and reception in Fair Park’s Centennial Hall.   Hip-hop humanitarian Emmanuel Jal, featured performer at SMU’s Barefoot on the Boulevard festival earlier in the day, will also be honored at the dinner with the E&H Week Humanitarian Award and will perform his international hit, “We Want Peace,” accompanied by student musicians from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.  The 6 p.m. dinner is open to the public, and tickets may be purchased at

The third annual Earth Day Dallas is scheduled for April 20-21, and SMU will host three booths at the Fair Park festival designed to elevate environmental awareness and influence the way North Texans think, live and work.  The SMU booths are being sponsored by the Sustainability Committee, the Lyle School of Engineering (which will feature the work of its student chapter of Engineers Without Borders) and Dedman College – home to SMU’s programs in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies as well as its renowned Geothermal Laboratory.

Engineering and Humanity Week is making its own special contribution to Earth Day Dallas, leaving David de Rothschild’s “Plastiki” catamaran at Fair Park for exhibit at the two-day festival before moving it to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in downtown Dallas for the summer. 

Access an interactive map for locations of all SMU events and parking facilities at

The Water Tap map
The Water Tap