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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Time to Act on Climate Change: April 20, 2022

Apr 20, 2022, 6:00pm - 7:30pm



Program Overview

The Ohio State University’s 2022 Signature Earth Day Event highlights efforts underway in Ohio and beyond to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Leaders from various sectors will reinforce this theme by addressing the realities of the climate crisis1 and encourage the audience to leverage their individual innate strengths, interests, and relationships into a tool to solve our complex climate challenges, including nature-based2 mitigation opportunities. This event is co-hosted by the Environmental Professionals Network (EPN), the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State, and Ohio State University Extension, and co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Committee. Join us for this free public event in-person at the Ohio Union’s US Bank Conference Theater in Columbus or virtually through an EPN livestream production.

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1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (April 4, 2022). The evidence is clear: the time for action is now. We can halve emissions by 2030. Read here

Leavitt, S.M. et al. (2021). Natural Climate Solutions Handbook: A Technical Guide for Assessing Nature-Based Mitigation Opportunities in Countries. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA. Read here. 


6:00 p.m. Doors open to the Ohio Union’s US Bank Conference Theater (in-person audience) and livestream production via EPN’s YouTube platform opens (virtual audience).

6:10 p.m. Formal remarks begin by highlighting why it is time to act on climate change. These remarks will explore how one can turn the stark reality of climate change into optimism. Speakers will offer tangible solutions from personal experiences and professional practice. Keynote remarks on this topic will be provided by:  

Sophia Buggs, owner, Lady Buggs Farm, and Mahoning Food Access Coordinator

Jennifer Morris, chief executive officer, The Nature Conservancy (virtual)

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD., president, The Ohio State University.

Additional speakers from The Ohio State University include:   

Cathann A. Kress, PhD., vice president for agricultural administration and dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

Elena Irwin, PhD., distinguished professor of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences in Economics & Sustainability in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and faculty director of the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State

Jeff Sharp, PhD., director, School of Environment and Natural Resources.

7:10 p.m. Audience question and answer for in-person and livestream audiences with Ms. Sophia Buggs.

7:30 p.m. Program concludes.  


EPN Signature Earth Day event keynote speaker, Sophia Buggs

Sophia Buggs, owner, Lady Buggs Farm, and Mahoning Food Access Coordinator

Sophia L. Buggs, also known as Lady Buggs, is the owner and operator of Lady Buggs Farm, a 1.3-acre urban farm located on the South Side of Youngstown, Ohio. She is reclaiming the sacred roots of farming through sustainable spiritual living. A few of her areas of expertise are specialty crop farming, wildcrafting, and fermenting traditional foods. Her mission is to regenerate her community by offering wellbeing from seed to table all while creating a loving urban homestead with her daughter, Passion. Sophia also serves as The Mahoning Food Access Coordinator and as the Environmental and Food Justice Director of Intentional Development Group. Sophia holds a Master of Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from American InterContinental University and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bethune Cookman University. She also has earned a number of accreditations, which includes a year of OJT Specialty Crop Apprenticeship through Goodness Grows, an organization that promotes food, faith, and sustainable farming for all, Market Garden Certifications with Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, and a Certificate of Intuitive Plant Medicine with One Willow Apothecaries.

EPN Signature Earth Day event speaker, Jennifer Morris

Jennifer Morris, chief executive officer, The Nature Conservancy

For the past 25 years, Jennifer Morris has dedicated her life to protecting the environment for people and nature. She brings decades of global leadership, proven management skills, and a passion for conservation to the organization and its ambitious mission—conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Years of working and living in a small community showed her that the health of each individual and each family was inextricably linked to the health of the environment. This realization propelled her to serve by working in economic development, and she went on to receive a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University with a focus on business development and micro-finance. Jennifer was previously president at Conservation International, where she oversaw all programs across 29 countries and more than 600 million hectares of protected land. Jennifer is a passionate storyteller, avid outdoors enthusiast, and mentor to the future generations of conservation leaders. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and daughter.

EPN Signature Earth Day event speaker, Kristina Johnson

Kristina M. Johnson, president, The Ohio State University

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD., is the 16th president of The Ohio State University. She has served as chancellor of the State University of New York since 2017. Prior to that, she founded and served as CEO of several successful science and technology companies, served as under secretary of energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, and held academic leadership positions at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Duke University and the University of Colorado at Boulder. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Inventors, Dr. Johnson is also an inductee of the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame and a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the International Society for Optical Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Johnson earned her BS, MS and PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University.

Additional Information

Time to Act on Climate Change is a free event for all and does not require registration or payment. We’ve made available a brief form that will allow us to follow up with persons that have requested to receive information about parking, a link to the livestream, and/or a recording of the program. Click here to receive event updates and notifications if you are interested.

We strive to host events that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in this activity, please reach out to Cecil Okotah ( Requests made five business days in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access. However, we will make every effort to meet requests made after this time frame. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs. For the virtual audience, a closed captioning option via EPN’s YouTube live stream will be available, as well as other accommodations as requested on the registration.

Masks are optional for all event attendees at this event, in accordance with Ohio State’s Safe and Healthy Protocols as of this date. In-person attendees will be expected to follow Ohio State protocols regarding the prevention of COVID-19 transmission. More health and safety information available on this Personal Safety Practices page

This program will be recorded, edited, and posted to the EPN YouTube page by April 27, 2022.