Biofuels advocate, award-winning film director to appear at Quest

Biofuels expert, award-winning director and bestselling author Josh Tickell will keynote Quest, SUNY Oswego’s daylong celebration of faculty and student research and scholarship, on Wednesday, April 13.

Josh Tickell with his biofuel-powered bus.Tickell (ti-KELL), author of “From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel,” also will screen his film “Fuel,” named Best Documentary at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

The presentation, titled “The Current State of the Energy Crisis,” will take place at 1 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium. Tickell will screen and discuss the 111-minute “Fuel” at 2 p.m. in Room 201 of the Campus Center.

As a director, Tickell focuses on environmentally conscious films with social impact. “Fuel,” which played theatrically in more than 50 cities across the United States, zeroes in unflinchingly and often entertainingly on the environmental, health and economic price Americans pay for our addiction to oil.

Driving sustainably

Tickell will speak during the Quest Sustainability Symposium, a link between the day’s scholarly presentations and showings—hundreds of student and faculty studies and projects, along with works in the fine arts—and the second Sustainability Fair, which will run 4 to 8 p.m. April 13 in the Campus Center arena. For a schedule and room assignments for presentations, exhibitions and events at Quest, visit

The Student Activities Programming Board (SAPB) sponsors the Quest keynote speaker each year. Damoy Green, lectures coordinator for SAPB, said the link is intentional, and springs from students’ interest in sustainability, alternative fuels and doing something about the high price of gasoline.

“Many of our students commute. Gas prices are killer,” Green said. “We saw clips of Josh Tickell on YouTube and saw that he was younger, energetic and that his Quest presentation would blend well with the Sustainability Fair.”

Thad Mantaro, SUNY Oswego’s civic engagement coordinator, agreed. “I’m excited to see Josh Tickell chosen as keynote speaker for Quest, because his work nicely bridges our students’ interest in progressive sustainability practices and the intent of the Sustainability Fair, which is, in part, to promote awareness of sustainability solutions,” he said.

As director and narrator of “Fuel,” Tickell offers a virtual tour through various fuels’ history, politics and society’s current predicament, as well as alternatives for a way out.

New York Times reviewer Jeannette Catsoulis called the film “sweeping and exhilarating … Thanks to an informative, buoyant tone and the director’s own restless intelligence, the film preaches to the unconverted with passion, energy and graphics so clear that they would make Al Gore weep all over his PowerPoint.”

Tickell and his wife, Rebecca Harrell Tickell, drove the first car powered by a blend of algae gasoline across America. They lead the Veggie Van Organization, an educational, activist touring group that focuses on shifting waste streams to energy streams. They also have a marketing and production company, GreenPlanet3D.

PHOTO CAPTION: Veggie power—Award-winning director and bestselling author Josh Tickell displays the vegetable-based biofuel that powers the “Veggie Van.” Tickell will appear as keynote speaker of SUNY Oswego’s Quest, at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the Campus Center auditorium. For a schedule and room assignments for all presentations, exhibitions and events at Quest, check out

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(Posted: Mar 22, 2011)

Tags: quest