Inside the Activist's Studio; Palm-to-Palm Event

Thursday, March 21, 2024
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

"Inside the Activist's Studio," celebrating the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus for reducing palm oil consumption, raising awareness of conservation issues, and achieving the Visionary level of Palm-to-Palm certification. We will be joined by keynote speakers Dr. Paul Garber and Dr. Erik Patel.  

Guest Speakers

Dr. Patel’s Ph D from Cornell University focused on the highly endangered and beautiful lemur, the silky sifaka, one of the100+ lemur species that are all threatened with extinction. Dr. Patel is the Director of Conservation and Research at the Lemur Conservation Foundation based in Florida and Madagascar. His work over many years in Madagascar initiated conservation projects in multiple locations in the island country, and includes systematic surveys of lemur populations, 

conservation education with local communities and rural schools, reforesting in degraded areas for lemur and human habitation, and building professional capacity of Malagasy primatologists and conservationists. Dr. Patel has also been a driving force behind the efforts to end the trade in rosewood and ebony illegally logged from Madagascar’s remaining forests. 


Dr. Garber, an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology(University of Illinois at Champaign) is actively working in areas of Mexico, Central, and South America, and in China, to save an array of endangered, threatened, and rare monkey and ape species and their habitats. His other research areas span from primate spatial cognition and foraging behavior to primate locomotion. In addition to mentoring masters and PhD students in the US, he has mentored numerous individuals from global south countries to build professional conservation capacity in situ, and in doing so, has published more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and edited volumes. Dr. Garber was the Executive editor of the American Journal of Primatology and currently is an editor on the journal, Science Advances

UM-Dearborn Certification 
Tier 3: Visionary 

Inventoried and reduced use of palm oil products across dining services, vending, and facilities In tandem with other institutions, the University of Michigan divested endowment funds from an oil palm plantation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute and AASHE STARS Held various sustainability education events and displayed educational posters 


Event Timeline
  • Palm to Palm Introduction:
    1:00 pm - 1:10 pm
  • Certification Award Ceremony:
    1:10 pm - 1:20 pm
  • Interview with Dr. Paul Garber:
    1:20 pm - 1:50 pm
  • Coffee Break:
    1:50 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Interview with Dr. Erik Patel:
    2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Q/A from Audience:
    2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Reception:
    3:00 pm - 3:45 pm

Palm-to-Palm is a young professional-led initiative dedicated to ending the exploitation of people and wildlife in tropical regions by forming coalitions - with educational and other institutions - to raise awareness and avoid the use of palm oil in foods and other consumer products. Palm-to-Palm was started in 2020 by UM-Dearborn students and faculty concerned by the ongoing environmental and social effects of the palm oil crisis in the Global South.


 For campus visitors, please consult the attached map. Come in through the North Entrance off Evergreen Rd and continue straight on John Monteith Blvd toward the MPS parking structure. From there, turn right, then left into the structure. Visitor parking is located on the third floor. The structure is right next to the EIC. If driving in Northbound on Evergreen, you will need to go past the North Entrance and turn around near Henry Ford College since Evergreen consists of one-way lanes.   

Other Notes:

We are thrilled to share that Palm-to-Palm t-shirts will be on offer for a suggested donation of $10. Cash only.  


Hosted by

Palm-to-Palm, Environmental Interpretive Center


Harry Rahn

Contact email