Apr 13, 2011
By Aaron Krumheuer
California surfer and educator Rob Caughlan has been crusading for environmental rights for more than 40 years. This Thursday, April 14, he will share stories about his activism with the Ohio University community in Walter Hall 235 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Caughlan is the keynote speaker for the University's annual Earth Month celebration. With its theme of "People (Em)powered," Earth Month 2011 celebrates the power of humans, both individually and collectively.
"I think that he captures the theme well," said Erin Sykes, interim director of the Office of Sustainability, which is organizing Earth Month events. "He's going to speak of movement building, which is a big part of making changes in the way we live."
Based in San Francisco, Caughlan's career has spanned documentary filmmaking, nonprofit work and political campaigns. In the 1970s, he worked at the White House with the Environmental Protection Agency under President Jimmy Carter.
He campaigned for clean oceans as the first president of the Surfrider Foundation. Caughlan also co-founded Friends of the River, an advocacy group for California rivers.
"He's a surfer, and his love for the ocean inspired him to be an environmental activist," Sykes said. "We like the way his passion motivated him, the way people can use what they're most excited about as a tool for social change."
As a filmmaker, Caughlan produced the documentary "Solar Energy: The Great Adventure," a movie about global population called "Future In the Cradle" and a 10-hour television series called "Voice of the Planet."
Caughlan's lecture is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Sierra Student Coalition, Surf Club, EcoReps and the Student Activities Commission.