Appalachian’s Sustainable Development Department to host author Jeff Biggers Feb. 17

The Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University welcomes noted author, performer and educator Jeff Biggers to campus Friday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. for his multimedia theatrical piece “An Evening at the Ecopolis: Envisioning a Regenerative City.” Biggers, a writer-in residence at the University of Iowa’s Office of Sustainability, will be joined by local musician and Appalachian alumna Alexa Rose. The performance will be held in Grandfather Mountain Ballroom in Plemmons Student Union and is free and open to the public.

“Ecopolis” features music, stories and a deep passion for the world in which we live. Biggers, who founded the Climate Narrative Project, first presented “Ecopolis” in Iowa City and now tours nationally, adapting the performance to local history and including home-grown musicians. The performance encourages the community to consider and pursue local sustainable initiatives.

Laura England, lecturer in the Sustainable Development Department, invited Biggers to campus after participating in one of his workshops in Baltimore last fall.

“We’re really excited for Jeff and Alexa to collaborate on ‘Ecopolis,’” she shared. “The performance promises to be thought-provoking, inspiring and fun. At its heart, Biggers’ work is about justice and community-building, which we need now more than ever.”

Biggers is the author of six books, including “The United States of Appalachia,” and a recipient of the David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting. He is also the founder of the Climate Narrative Project, which is designed to reach across academic disciplines and chronicle climate solutions and regenerative approaches to energy, food, agriculture, water and waste management, community planning and transportation. 

Local musician Alexa Rose, a 2015 graduate of Appalachian’s Sustainable Development Department, will join Biggers for the performance. Born in Virginia, singer-songwriter Rose tours her Appalachian folk-infused Americana throughout the region and released her sophomore album “Low and Lonesome” on January 1, 2017.

“An Evening at the Ecopolis: Envisioning a Regenerative City” is coordinated and sponsored by the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development with support from the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Office of Sustainability, the Center for Appalachian Studies, the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, the Department of English, the Department of Anthropology and the Humanities Council. To learn more, visit

About the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development

One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University prepares students to thoughtfully analyze human development while focusing on the applied practice of pursuing transformative, community-driven development and social change. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable development with concentrations in agroecology and sustainable agriculture; community, regional and global development; and environmental studies; as well as a Bachelor of Arts and minor in sustainable development.

About Appalachian

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Jeff Biggers
Published: Feb 9, 2017 1:08pm