The Center for the Environment regularly hosts events that allow community citizens and students to interact with influential environmental leaders. Recent events include:
- Clean Air Lecture Series (an award-winning program that served as a catalyst for addressing the health and economic impacts of poor air quality).
- Clean Air Conference: Community Strategies for Action.
- Faith, Spirituality and Environmental Stewardship Conference (one of the first and largest conferences of its kind in the Southeast).
Environmental leaders who have spoken at the Center in recent years include:
- Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute’s cofounder, chairman and chief scientist. Newsweek called him “one of the Western world’s most influential energy thinkers.” (watch the video);
- Sarah Susanka, bestselling author, called “an innovator in American culture” by U.S. News & World Report and one of the “most influential people in the building industry” by Builder Magazine (watch the video);
- Lester Brown, founder of Worldwatch Institute and current founder and president of Earth Policy Institute (watch the video);
- Bill Ross, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
- Gary Gardner, senior researcher at Worldwatch Institute, a leading source on the interactions among key environmental, social and economic trends;
- Larry Shirley, director of the N.C. State Energy Office;
- Dr. William Schlesinger, president of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and former Dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment;
- Dr. Clay Ballantine, nationally recognized authority on air pollution and health (watch the video);
- David Walters, urban designer and author of Designing Community;
- Randall Arendt, internationally known land-use planner and advocate of conservation planning;
- Dr. Viney Aneja, air quality research director at North Carolina State University (watch the video).