At the recent Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards, Ohio Wesleyan professor Sean Kay, student Brianna Graber ’20, and entrepreneur-on-campus Steve Flaherty all were honored for their efforts to improve the environment.
The awards were handed out Dec. 4 by the Keep Delaware County Beautiful Coalition, which provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to county residents and businesses. The coalition is led by the Delaware General Health District.
Sean Kay, Ph.D.
Sean Kay, Ph.D., a politics and government professor, earned the group’s Garrison-Brown Award for his volunteer work at the 2019 Northern Olentangy Watershed Festival, Olentangy River Cleanup, and Scioto River Clean Sweep, where he used his kayaking expertise to keep volunteers safe and moving forward as they pulled debris from the water. According to the coalition, the Garrison-Brown Award “is given to recognize initiative and significant environmental contribution to the community.”
Although Kay is widely known as an expert in global security, he also is interested in environmental issues and currently is researching grassroots campaigns for river conservation in the United States and abroad.
In May and June, he will be traveling to Utah and Colorado with OWU students who completed his Travel-Learning Course, “Environmental Politics and Policy.” After a semester in class, the group will spend 10 days in the two western states, including a four-day river-rafting trip through Dinosaur National Monument. To prepare for the trip, Kay spent two weeks over the summer working as an assistant guide rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.
As part of his hands-on research, Kay also has been working on the River Shannon, Ireland’s largest river, and exploring the Dublin Bay biosphere, a region recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for its environmental, economic, cultural, and tourism significance.
Brianna Graber ’20
Student Brianna Graber, a zoology major and Spanish minor from Noblesville, Indiana, was honored with the Keep Delaware County Beautiful’s 2019 Litter Prevention Award. She earned the award for spearheading a project to install a trash-collecting storm drain net in the Delaware Run, which flows through campus. The device collects trash and organic debris, which Graber and future OWU students will analyze to determine the net’s impact on the quality of the water.
Entrepreneur Steve Flaherty earned the coalition’s 2019 Recycling Award for his work to develop technology that turns non-recyclable plastics into asphalt paving. His business, necoPlastics LLC, is headquartered at the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University.
The 6,000-square-foot entrepreneurial center is a collaboration of Ohio Wesleyan, Delaware County, and the City of Delaware. It is the first-of-its-kind liberal arts business accelerator and the first-of-its-kind city, county, and educational institute partnership.
The Keep Delaware County Beautiful coalition, led by the Delaware General Health District, provides recycling and litter prevention programs and environmental education activities to the residents and businesses of Delaware County. For a complete list of 2019 award winners, visit the health district news and events page.
DELAWARE, Oh. – Several community members, leaders, schools and groups received recognition at the annual Keep Delaware County Beautiful Awards that occurred on Dec. 4 at Stratford Ecological Center.
The Litter Prevention Award recognized Ohio Wesleyan University student Brianna Graber who coordinated with the City of Delaware on a project to install a storm drain net in Delaware Run on the OWU Campus. The 6-and-a-half ton device is the first of its kind installed in the United States and collects trash and organic debris. The collected waste will be analyzed and the water quality will be monitored giving the community a better picture of the health of our water resources.
More on the storm drain net:
With climate change, water rights, and environmental politics dominating world discussions, Ohio Wesleyan University student Kayla Adolph ’20 of Toledo, Ohio, is addressing the issues on campus with a project 10 months in the making.
Collaborating with OWU students, faculty, and staff, as well as workers from the City of Delaware, Adolph spearheaded the installation of a rain garden this fall on the west side of Merrick Hall. The garden is the result of a project in professor John Krygier’s spring 2019 course, Geography 360: Environmental Geography.
Wednesday, November 6
12 p.m. Science Center 207
Ryan holds a degree in Zoology and is a dedicated conservationist. Currently, he works in Activism and Outreach at the World Wildlife Fund, one of the biggest conservation non-profits in the world. During his time at OWU, Ryan engaged in various campus sustainability efforts that shaped his career path.
Live link conversation, using fancy technology.
All are invited.
Part of ENVS 100.2/400.1 Conversations Towards a Sustainable Future.
Promo poster below:
- Successfully worked with Congress to introduce (H.R. 763) The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019. CCL supports this bill, and is working towards its re-introduction in the Senate, and its passage through Congress.
- Instrumental in establishing the House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.
- Partnered with California state legislature to pass a resolution calling on the federal government to enact Carbon Fee and Dividend nationwide.
Elli is committed to the success of CCL volunteers working to start new chapters in communities across the United States. She hosts CCL’s weekly Introductory Calls and trains volunteers around the world to lead Climate Advocate Training Workshop; she also works closely with volunteers in coal and agricultural communities, ensuring that all voices find a place at the solutions table–a passion founded on her own family roots in Appalachia and rural Maryland.
Elli’s work is informed by her fifteen years in nonprofit management and by her founding and leadership of Virginia’s first CCL chapter, where she gained experience in nearly every volunteer role. She lives on a family farm in rural Virginia, where she rotates her cattle through the pasture to store carbon in soil and plants.
Please do try to come! It’s a great opportunity to find your voice and political will for climate solutions. We also have a chapter at OWU if you want to stay involved!
Campus Leader, CCL OWU
Interactive maps are HERE.
The Greenspace Analysis summarizes existing GIS layers to identify land important for preservation. A scoring system was developed with consideration of parcel-based features (e.g. Parks & Golf Courses), linear features (e.g. Trails & Utility Easements), and features that span multiple parcels (e.g. Wetland & 100yr Floodplains).
Two scoring displays can be viewed in the web maps HERE. Screenshot below:
Additional interactive maps include
Find Your Home Watershed, Watershed Characteristics, Development in the Watershed, and Dams on the Lower Olentangy River: all HERE.
Once again OWU is hosting the Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum, Tuesday, October 15 from 9-3:30, Merrick Hall 3rd Floor.
The forum consists of central Ohio professionals reviewing the state of the Olentangy Watershed.
Registration (free) is requested by October 8th: calling or email Erin Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-548-7746 ext. 2221.
Lunch is included. Include dietary restrictions when registering.
Ohio Wesleyan University senior Brianna Graber has spent the past year planning and conducting water-quality research on the Delaware Run, which flows through the university campus and into the Olentangy River.
Her work included collaborating with the City of Delaware to install a 4-foot-high, 18.5-foot-wide, concrete-weighted storm drain net directly into the waterway. Put in place by crane Sept. 9, the 13,000-pound trapezoidal net is now capturing trash and green debris (organic waste such as lawn clippings and leaves). The net is one of the first installed in Ohio and the nation.
More information: Net Benefits: OWU News & Media
Visit the storm drain net: then social media it: #delrunstormdrainnet
The storm drain net is accessible from the OWU campus, just east of the 2nd footbridge east of S. Sandusky St.:
A video of the storm drain net in Delaware Run (Sept. 25, 2019)
Rain last weekend started the process of filling the net and trapping stream debris just upstream from the net (below). An assortment of larger trash along with quite a large amount of organic material is evident. Most notable is the impressive collection of cigarette butts.
Brianna Graber (OWU 2020) has been testing Delaware Run water, and will be able to compare water quality before and after the storm drain net installation. Material caught in the storm drain net will be analyzed for content (organic vs waste, etc.). The effects of such larger water-bourne materials on water quality is the focus of Graber’s work.
The presence of so many cigarette butts is of interest. Not only do cigarette butts contain plastic, but they also contain chemicals including nicotine. Some studies have began to investigate the impact of nicotine and other contaminants from cigarette butts on urban water (see Littered cigarette butts as a source of nicotine in urban waters, Journal of Hydrology
Volume 519, Part D, 27 November 2014, Pages 3466-3474).
Analyzing the contents of the storm drain net will allow the City of Delaware and other collaborators to understand and create target efforts to reduce specific kinds of waste, and to understand how both human generated and organic waste effect water quality.
Watch here for updates and let us know if you have questions!
WHERE: Benes Rooms, Hamilton-Williams Campus Center
DATE: Wednesday, September 25, 2019
TIME: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Employers and Graduate Programs at this event listed here.
One regional option for graduate study is OSU – where some recent grads (including Emily Howald) are in OSU’s Environment and Natural Resources Graduate Program. A representative from that program will be at the Careeer & Grad School Fair:
For students curious about graduate school, a representative from the Environment and Natural Resources Graduate Program (ENRGP) at The Ohio State University will be on campus to talk to students about advanced study in the natural and human dimensions of sustainability and natural resources management. Students from any major are invited to come to our booth to learn about our master’s and doctoral degrees in research and applied practice for those pursuing careers in academia, government agencies, non-profits, and the private sector. Full funding packages including tuition payment and monthly stipend are available, and we would be glad to talk to you about your eligibility.
ENRGP, provided by the School of Environment and Natural Resources, brings together faculty and students from a wide array of backgrounds to explore and resolve contemporary challenges from many angles. Over 40 graduate faculty members are involved in seven academic specialization areas and in research labs such as the Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab (TWEL), the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (CMASC), and the Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab (ESSL). For questions about SENR and ENRGP, please contact the graduate program coordinator, Taylor White, at email@example.com.