Fall ENVS Student Research @ OWU Connection Conference

Hannah Cox: Fighting Aquatic Invasive Plants: Summer ’23 Internship


Logan Fraire waiting to present her poster: What Factors Affect Thermoregulatory Decisions in Wall Lizards. Summer Science Research.


Ben Buroker: Multispectral Remote Sensing for High Resolution Environmental Mapping. Summer Science Research.


Aninditha Nair: Assessing the Vulnerability of Coastal Aquifers to Saltwater Intrusion in Arrowsic Island, Maine. Internship

Apply for Student Sustainability Coordinator, Fall ’23 and Spring ’24, By April 4

Time for interested students to apply for the Student Sustainability Coordinator position for the Fall of ’23 and Spring of ’24.

Apply on the STAP site, starting Tuesday, March 21.

Applications are due by Tuesday, April 4 at 11:59 p.m.

For the Fall of ’23: A glitch in our application means we don’t have STAP funding for the Fall, but plan to cover the position with ENVS funds. Duties include organizing the Sustainability Task Force meetings (three per semester, noon on Wednesday). Talk to Krygier

Spring ’24: You must apply for the Spring ’24 position, which is 6 hours a week paying $10.75 per hour. Please plan to organize the Sustainability Task Force meetings (three per semester, noon on Wednesday) and attend either or both of the ENVS 399 Sustainability Practicum course meetings (MW 2:10-4pm). Apply on the STAP site, starting Tuesday, March 21.

Details

STAP Internship Title: Student Sustainability Coordinator

Position Description: The Student Sustainability Coordinator position plays a vital role in maintaining and developing sustainability efforts on campus.

The student will organize and lead the campus Sustainability Task Force and liaise with the Environment & Sustainability Department (Anderson, Krygier, Rowley). Students in the position will also work with faculty, staff, and students (including those in Geography 399 & Geography 499) on campus sustainability projects. Typically, the student attends the 0.25 credit ENVS 198/498 Conversations Towards a Sustainable Future course and works with new ENVS students.

Students may engage with additional research projects with ENVS faculty, pursue environmental activism efforts, help manage OWU’s Green Week, May Move Out, and other initiatives. Two students who previously held the position were authors on research papers published in part based on work undertaken while in a STAP position. 

Skills/Qualifications Required: Candidates should be organized, enthusiastic, and work well with others (students, staff, faculty). Experience with sustainability efforts on campus helps. Ability to maintain outreach and scheduling while working well without excessive oversight. Ability to use Google Drive apps, Doodle, etc. necessary. But who can’t do that?

Examples of Assignments/Duties: Sustainability Task Force (leadership, organization, content) in collaboration with Anderson, Krygier, Rowley. Assist with organization of May Move Out, Green Week, campus habitat enhancements (Chimney Swift Tower, bird habitats, etc.), recycling issues, food issues, composting, liaise with WCSA, Tree House, Citizens Climate Lobby, regional ROAR collaboration (Otterbein, Denison, Kenyon, etc.), City of Delaware, MTSO, Stratford, Preservation Parks.

Applications: Students interested broadly in the environment and sustainability. Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Biological and Earth Sciences, P&G, Sociology, Nutrition, Psychology, etc. Future interests in environmental leadership, careers in the environment, graduate school

Unique Responsibilities: This position, as described above, is literal career training in that it requires passion and competence while allowing the student to pursue and develop important, practical skills. In addition, some previous students have used this position to engage in research, publication, and use the experience as a springboard to graduate school. Responsibility, leadership, motivation, and working for the better good of the environment and sustainability on campus and beyond are central to this position.

OWU ENVS Student Research: Road Salt and Freshwater Ecosystems

OWU Connection Experience: Mapping the impact of road salt on local freshwater ecosystems in Delaware County using ArcGIS, a type of online geographic information system software

Rancher has been working on an independent study project under the direction of Amy Downing, Ph.D., professor of Biological Sciences, with support from Nathan Rowley, Ph.D., associate professor of Environment and Sustainability, and John Krygier, Ph.D., professor of Environment and Sustainability and director of Environmental Studies.

The project is an expansion of research Downing conducted with scientists across North America and Europe to show the damage being done to freshwater lakes by salt concentrations that fall below the ranges government regulators have deemed safe for freshwater organisms.

“In this project,” Rancher said of his independent study, “we conducted an analysis to predict which ponds in Delaware County are most vulnerable to (road) salt exposure based on factors such as pond size, watershed size, distance from impervious surfaces, amount of impervious surfaces, and the amount of salt applied near a pond.”

Assessing Salt Vulnerability

“We connected with city and county departments to access data files such as digital elevation models (DEM), street centerlines, and aerial imagery, as well as to develop an understanding of how much salt is applied to which roads. At this point in time, we have been able to successfully apply this model to about five individual ponds, but the goal is to increase this amount to around 20 or more ponds and then go out and sample these ponds for chloride concentrations to compare to our predictions.

“The goal is to find a way to automate our analytical process in ArcGIS to allow us to develop a salt vulnerability assessment for all ponds in Delaware County and create a well-rounded map of the landscape. In theory, this might look something like a heat map where we score ponds based on our predictions for their vulnerability to salinization.

“For example, a pond with a high vulnerability might be scored a 10, correlated with dark red, and a low vulnerability pond might be a 1, associated with tan or yellow. In the end, our map may look different than this because we are dealing with hundreds of ponds and various factors that could sway a pond’s vulnerability to salt even to a degree. Therefore, this is something we must keep in mind in order to accurately represent and map our results.

“The intention would be to make the map accessible to the University and to the public through Arc Online once it is finalized.”

Lessons Learned

“Fall semester was very pivotal for me because I have gained confidence with ArcGIS and the research process, which I know will be very applicable in my graduate studies.

“There is always something that you are learning in the classroom that can have a real-world application, so I always try to approach a new class with this mindset and get something out of the experience.

“Moreover, independent research, whether it is by yourself and a professor or with a few peers and a professor, is a very genuine opportunity to develop hands-on skills and new interests/passions that you could then convert into your focus in graduate studies or even a career.”

My Favorite Moment

“My favorite moment throughout this experience was witnessing first-hand how receptive individuals of city and county departments were and seeing their willingness to help me find the information I needed and well wishes for the project. This is very meaningful because you can tell they care about who we are as students and what we have to offer, and they are not here to act as a barrier but to help you break down barriers and learn as much as possible.

“There is a lot that could come out of continued connections between OWU and people who work for Delaware City and County departments, and a lot of good is to come with a greater connection with the Delaware community.”

Next Steps

Rancher and Downing have drafted a first article outlining the project, “Developing a predictive model for pond salinization using readily available geospatial data,” which they hope, ultimately, to publish in a scientific journal.

“If we can automate our processes and establish a significant correlation between our predictions and actual observed concentrations for ponds, then publishing a paper would be the next step. Our (fall) project did not involve any other students, but including students in the future to help develop the model more or to go out and collect data would be awesome whether it be this spring or in future semesters.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose Ohio Wesleyan because it was close to home so I could commute, and the campus was very beautiful.

“When I was looking into the University back in high school, I was unaware of the opportunities it would later provide me with. However, I am very grateful for my experience because of the close connections I have developed with peers and professors; opportunities to hone in on multidisciplinary skills in Science, Philosophy, and Spanish; and (ability to) conduct and present research through the OWU Connection and SSRP (Summer Science Research Program).”

My Plans After Graduation

“My plans after graduation are to enroll in a graduate program in Geography. I have applied to a few different master’s programs at universities in the U.S.

“Subsequent to my graduate studies, I really do not know what I want to do, but I would love to work in industry in a niche scientific field, either at a company that works on solving environmental problems out in the world, or at a company that needs more sophisticated understanding, recognition, and initiative towards its own environmental impact.

“To help me achieve my goals, OWU has provided me with a broad skill set and ability to problem-solve by considering multiple perspectives, and a stern objective to protect the welfare of future generations thanks to the motivations of various professors and a diverse course load that has interested and excited me.”

Shared from here

TPG started in ENVS 110!

This social flock of scarlet macaws bonds with each other as the birds are readied for release back into the wild. (Photo by Zynnia Peterson)


Chance to Soar

Ohio Wesleyan Zoology Major Volunteers to Help Parrots in Costa Rica

By Cole Hatcher

Zynnia Peterson ’23

Name: Zynnia Peterson ’23
Hometown: Mt. Vernon, Ohio
Major: Zoology
Minor: Environmental Science
OWU Connection Experience: Volunteering with the Macaw Recovery Network in Costa Rica

Peterson volunteered with the Macaw Recovery Network’s Punta Islita Breeding Center for a month this summer. After she completed training, Peterson was able to help prepare food for captive and pre-release parrots, monitor their health and behavior, and ensure they had clean and safe living conditions.

Peterson earned an OWU Connection Theory-to-Practice Grant to support her Central American experience and received support in writing and editing her grant application from John Krygier, Ph.D., professor of Environment and Sustainability.

This macaw chick gets a check-up at the Macaw Recovery Network, including being weighed. (Photo by Keiran Ragoonanan)

Readying for Release

“Something I learned specific to parrot conservation is that human aversion and flight training are absolute musts when preparing a flock for release.

“Parrots, being more gregarious birds, can become used to humans in captivity and this can increase their likelihood of being recaptured after release unless they are taught that humans are actually scary, even though not all of them are.

“Flight training then also increases their strength and ability to fly long distances once released as well. A lot of it is just about promoting natural behaviors that parrots learn from other parrots and their environment. Since they’re more intelligent, they have to be taught these things through experience rather than via instinct alone.”

Valuable Volunteering

“I also learned that volunteering is a good way to travel. It gives you a group of like-minded people that you get to know really well as long as a safe space to go back to while you still have the ability to explore the local area on your days off.

“While I didn’t immerse myself in Costa Rican culture as I had hoped, I still had the opportunity to meet amazing people from all around the world and form close friendships.”

Identifying What’s Important

“My experience also helped me relax a little bit. I feel like it’s easy to get caught up in the busy lifestyle most Americans have, but being in Costa Rica and only having to worry about a bit of food management (we only drove to the grocery store once a week) and whether I had to do specific chores that day really gave me a new perspective on what I actually viewed as important.

“By the time I made it back home I was able to create new habits that serve me better than some of the wasteful and unpleasant habits I had before.”

ET is one of the macaws Zynnia Peterson ’23 helped to care for at the Macaw Recovery Network. (Photo courtesy of Zynnia Peterson)

My Favorite Moment

“Even though the purpose of my experience was to learn more about conservation, I would have to say my favorite moment was the night before a fellow volunteer was about to leave. She taught us all some Latin dances and then made Argentinean empanadas.

“Something I unexpectedly loved about my trip was how close you get to everyone on site, especially during our communal dinners. Everyone I met was an absolutely lovely human being, and I hope in the future we can someday meet again.”

Beneficial Bishop Encounter

“Unexpectedly my trip did involve an OWU alum. On my plane to Miami, I sat next to Mrs. Marcy Rodgers. She graduated (in 1982), and we were able to chat a lot on the plane and during my layover. She has a lot of experience traveling in Latin America, and she was very helpful and calmed some of my worries about traveling.”

Why I Chose OWU

“I chose OWU because of their affordability with GLCA (Great Lakes Colleges Association), smaller size, easier ability to connect with staff due to the smaller size, as well as their Zoology program.” (Ohio Wesleyan is a GLCA school, and Peterson’s father is employed by another GLCA school.)

My Plans After Graduation

“Until this summer, my future plans were to work in zoology with hopes of improving the pet trade for exotic animals like reptiles and parrots.

“I have been recently looking into requirements for science librarians due to my very enjoyable part-time job at my local public library, which complicates things a bit as far as the experience in conservation.

“No matter which path I choose, I think OWU has prepared me for either with skills in writing, networking, and the ability to work with others from different walks of life.”

September 29, 2022 ~ reposted from here

New article by recent grad Jessie Dong & Dr. Anderson

From Dr. Anderson: Some of you may remember Jess Dong, who graduated in 2021. Jess wrote an awesome student paper in my Plant Responses to Global Change class in Spring 2020 and I suggested she develop it into a review article for publication. With some help from me and lots of input from peer review, she worked over the last two years to generate this publication in the journal Food Webs.

The article is in an open source journal, and can be found at the link below.

Predicted impacts of global change on bottom-up trophic interactions in the plant-ungulate-wolf food chain in boreal forests

Jess Dong
Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, United States of America

Laurel J. Anderson
Ohio Wesleyan University, Departments of Biological Sciences and Environment & Sustainability, 61 S Sandusky St, Delaware, OH 40315, United States of America

 

 

The Dirt: Interdivisional Studies of Waste and Discards

Starting off the postings with a re-post of “The Dirt” – a compilation of research on discards, waste, and related topics. The newish field of discard studies is remarkably interdisciplinary and interdivisional.

Recent Discard Studies Posts

Peer-reviewed publications (articles & books)

Note: If an article is behind a paywall, email the author. They are almost always authorized by copyright to distribute their own work.

We have begun posting the gender parity of The Dirt, especially given evidence that COVID-19 is increasing the skew in knowledge production to be ever more male, white, and childless. This bibliography is 53.6% percent women authors, based on Dr. Jane Summer’s  Gender Balance Assessment Tool. This is the first Dirt to have more women than men authors since we’ve been recording gender figures, likely thanks to a call out via Twitter where we mentioned that over 90% of the people who send us notice of their publications (which we love!) are white men. Keep those notices coming, women/non-binary/tw-spirit/trans/gender minitory authors!

Other publications

Special Issues and Collections

Theses and Dissertations

Calls for Proposals & Participation

The following are calls for papers for Special sessions in the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) conference, online & at Toronto, October 6-9:

 

Positions

 

If you have an item to add to The Dirt, please contact editors@discardstudies.com. We are especially interested in non-English language submissions, and those from outside North America and Europe.

OWU Zoom Event: Rock and Roll Environmental Non-Profits – conversation with Lauren Sullivan of Reverb

Dr. Sean Kay is hosting a Zoom to the Classroom event this Tuesday at 12:00-1:00 PM – over the lunch hour.  This is built around his Environmental Politics and Policy course, but all are very welcome to join: please email Dr. Kay for a Zoom invite.

Our guest this week is Lauren Sullivan, who with her husband Adam Gardner of the band Guster, formed Reverb – one of America’s most active non-profits working in the music industry, in particular, green rock and roll touring – they work with groups from the 1975, to Dave Mathews to Santana and many more.  This will be a fun chance to take a deep dive into how environmental non-profits work and how they intersect with mass culture in the United States.

Details on what Reverb does:

We partner with MusiciansFestivals and Venues to green their concert events while engaging fans face-to-face at shows to take environmental and social action.

We create and execute comprehensive programs to reduce concert and tour footprints from eliminating single-use water bottles to coordinating local farm food to fueling sustainable biodiesel in tour buses to composting and donating food waste and much more.  See Example HERE

In our fan-facing Action Villages, concertgoers connect with local and national nonprofits and campaigns, fill up at our RocknRefill free water stations, win prizes like signed guitars, and ticket upgrades for taking action, and much more.

Dr. Anderson Receives NSF Funds for Online Field Ecology and Data Science

OWU’s Dr. Anderson, the second nicest professor on campus, has been awarded a NSF grant!


The National Science Foundation is awarding Ohio Wesleyan University a one-year, $86,735 grant to oversee the creation of online teaching tools that advance field ecology and data science.

Laurel J. Anderson, Ph.D., OWU’s Morris Family Professor of Natural Sciences, is the principal investigator on the federal grant. She also is president of the Board of Directors for the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN), a consortium of colleges and universities that will work together to create the new teaching tools. Dr. Anderson will partner with Dr. Tim McCay from Colgate University to administer the project.

“The pandemic has created an urgent need to reimagine our teaching of field ecology, which is usually done with in-person field trips,” said Dr. Anderson, who helped to found EREN in 2010.

“However, field ecologists also use computer technology extensively to explore natural patterns at large scales,” she continued. “These projects allow us to meet our need to socially distance and have students collecting data wherever they happen to be. Then, we use online tools and datasets to see how their data fits into large-scale patterns.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will support four projects developed by teams of faculty-researchers at schools across the nation. The projects are:

  • Backyard Pollinator Surveys led by Dr. Kaitlin Stack Whitney at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
  • Plants in the Human-Altered Environment led by Drs. Jason Kilgore at Washington & Jefferson College and Karen Kuers at The University of the South.
  • Mosquito Surveys along Anthropogenic Impact Gradients led by Dr. Allison T. Parker at Northern Kentucky University.
  • Lichens in Diverse Landscapes led by Drs. Danielle Garneau at SUNY Plattsburgh, Matthew Heard at Belmont University, and Mary Beth Kolozsvary at Siena College.

The teaching tools being created will use data from the National Ecological Observatory Network(NEON) to show students how local data connects to ecological patterns at a continental scale.

NEON is a continental-scale ecological observation facility fully funded by the NSF and operated by Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle. NEON provides open data from 81 field sites nationwide to document how ecosystems are changing. The information is used to better understand how human activities affect ecology and how society can more effectively address critical ecological issues.

Source: OWU News & Media

OWU ENVS Earth Day ’20: Cooking for a Healthy World with Chef Del Sroufe

About Chef Del Sroufe

Chef Del Del’s cooking career began when he was just eight years old; creating dishes from whatever he could find in his father’s kitchen. By age of thirteen he was flaunting his culinary talents by preparing family dinners, much to his mother’s delight. After high school Del shelved his love for the kitchen and sold men’s clothing while he attended The Ohio State University School of Business. Selling suits and ties did not polish Del’s wing tipped shoes so he set out to pursue his passion, cooking. He landed a position at one of Columbus, Ohio’s premier vegetarian restaurants, The King Avenue Coffeehouse, and began to establish himself as a leader in the industry.

In 1997 Del opened his own bakery, Del’s Bread, where he created, prepared and served delicious vegan pastries, breads, potpies, calzones, smoothies and other sorted delicacies to the palate of his Columbus based clientele. In 2001, Del transitioned from his bakery business to start a vegan Personal Chef Service, preparing eclectic plant-based cuisine to his already captivated audience. During this time, he developed what became a very popular cooking class series, sharing many of the delicious recipes he had created over the years with his students.

In 2006, Del joined Wellness Forum Foods as Executive Chef, where today he continues the tradition of delivering great tasting plant-based meals to clients locally and throughout the continental United States. Del continues to teach cooking and health classes and is a keynote speaker at local venues and events around the country.

Del is the author of Forks over Knives: the Cookbook, on the New York Bestseller list for more than 30 weeks; Better than Vegan, the story of his struggle with weight loss and gain, and how he managed to lose over 200 pounds on a low fat, plant based diet and; The China Study Quick and Easy Cookbook due to be published in May of 2015.

More: https://chefdelsroufe.com/about-chef-del/

#OWUENVS

In the overwhelming crush of media about the COVID 19 pandemic we don’t want to lose sight of the profound importance of the environment.

#OWUENVS is a collective effort to push environmental news and ideas and advocacy and creative efforts out through social media and other media by students, faculty, and staff in the Environment & Sustainability Program at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Find or create relevant stuff. Anything having to do with the environment anywhere. Links, ideas, videos, maps, photos, music, data, artwork, etc. Focus on the stuff you care about.

Put it out there: use the hashtag or tag #OWUENVS so we can track the effort. Focus on the media you use. On social media, video sites, music sites, whatever. Be creative.

Please let Meg Edwards or  John Krygier or Laurie Anderson know if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

This effort is what we make it. It keeps us connected, and it matters.