CSUN volunteers help add more plants to a garden. Photo by Lee Choo.

The Institute for Sustainability will work to spread awareness to California State University, Northridge students, faculty and staff about topics such as solar energy, how food choices impact the environment and the importance of avoiding pesticides, during its annual Campus Sustainability Day on Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Free to the public, the program — titled “Building Resilience” — will feature three separate sessions and take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. in the Northridge Center Theatre of the University Student Union, located on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

“Students will have an opportunity to connect with other students and outside organizations by getting involved with sustainability-related activities,” said Sarah Johnson, administrative coordinator for the Institute of Sustainability. “This provides [students] with great hands-on experiences, builds their resumé and provides valuable service to the organizations they work with.”

The first session, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., will feature presentations from CSUN professors Erica Wohldmann of the Department of Psychology and Mario Giraldo of the Department of Geography. Wohldmann will explain how our food choices impact the environment in her presentation, “Making a Difference, One Bite at a Time,” and Giraldo will discuss how to grow food and create organic fertilizer in his presentation, “Urban Agriculture and the Sustainable City.”

From 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., alumni Max Aram and Chris Blevins, co-founders of the company Pick My Solar, will present “Leveraging Technology to Increase the Adoption of Solar,” which will cover the basics of solar energy. Shirley Powers, from the nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives, will talk to students about getting involved in the solar industry in her presentation, “Solar Technology and Job Training for Communities Who Need It Most.”

During the 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. session, CSUN biology professor Paula Schiffman will present “Backyard Ecology in Suburban Los Angeles,” which will discuss the Southern California suburban landscape as well as gardening with native plants. The final presentation will be “Conservation Biocontrol” by Kyra Ankenbruck, who will share the importance of avoiding disruptive pesticides and building habitats for native species.

For more information, contact the Institute for Sustainability at (818) 677-7710 or visit the Institute for Sustainability website.