DOES Lunch: Alex Clemetson: Environmental Justice & Race: Tues. Oct. 5 @ Noon

Environment and Race: The Work of Sustainable Community Building

Department of Environment & Sustainability @ OWU

We welcome Alex Clemetson to Ohio Wesleyan to speak to us about his work and experiences surrounding environmentalism and race.

The intention of this discussion is to begin an initial examination into the intersections of environmental justice and injustice, race, and the communities that surround these co-existing realities. Within this DOES Lunch we will also examine the foundations of the communities we are connected to and the sustainable practices of community building that may or may not be in place.

Please come and learn about his experiences and collaborating to make the field of the environment a more equitable space.

When: Tuesday 05 October 2021 at noon
Where: SCSC #207 (GIS Lab)

We’re currently working on some form of food available, so please let Dr. Rowley know if you have any food restrictions.

 

OWU Sustainability Task Force Meeting: Sept 27 @ Noon @ Merrick 201

Dr. Krygier in the OWU ENVS Dunk Tank at the Olentangy River Festival (Sept. 2021)

Our first STF Meeting for the Fall of 2021 is Monday, Sept. 27 @ noon in 201 Merrick Hall.

Organizer: AJ Lashaway

Dr. Krygier/AJ→ OWU Outside update (hopefully MTSO reaches out, call Audubon)(make QR code for groupme)
→ Chimney Swift tower
→ Energy Projects: big and small
→ Bioretention Cells
→ any other sustainability things going on on campus

Ed Pullen→ recycling + waste management on campus

Erin Wolfe→ sustainability in Delaware
→ watershed
→ events OWU students can attend/opportunities available to them

SK (Treehouse) → Green Week, house events outside students can attend/help with

And SO much MORE.

Internships + Lunch: The Power of GIS & Asset Management in Local Government


Join us for a free lunch and presentation by Cityworks. OWU ENVS is working with Cityworks and the City of Delaware on internship opportunities.

 

When: Thursday, September 16, noon-1pm
Where: Science Center 164

Register on Handshake: The link is here.

Asset Management is a broad field associated with the effective governance of an organization’s funds and resources and the services they provide. Cityworks, a Trimble (GPS) company, provides software solutions for local governments and utitlies to manage their staff and resources, and effectively provide services to the public. We are hosting two employers from Cityworks to discuss career development within local government and how Cityworks and geographic information systems (GIS) play a part. This is especially relevant for students in Environment & Sustainability, Business and Economics, Computer Science, Geography, Politics and Government, Data Analytics and STEM fields, but is open to anyone interested in ways to make organizations effective and impactful. You will gain information about how you can carve out a career in the local government industry. Free lunch provided! A meet and greet will follow, so bring your resume!

Register on Handshake: The link is here.

Sept. 11: Olentangy River Festival!

The 8th Annual Olentangy River Festival will be held Saturday, September 11. For the first time, the festival is being held during the academic year, and OWU students can more easily participate.

Students who want to volunteer can contact John Krygier (ENVS)

OWU Chimney Swift Tower. This Fall! Really!

A very cool project, planned and developed since 2012, is funded and ready to build. It has been delayed over and over, and frikkin’ COVID has slowed it down, but the plan is to start construction before the end of August (2021).

Watch for updates here: but for now, the proposal and details are below.


Proposal: OWU Chimney Swift Tower
Ohio Wesleyan University
Spring 2021

Dick Tuttle (’73), Caitlyn Buzza (’12), Alex Johnson (’15), Ashley Tims (’17), Dustin Reichard (Zoology), John Krygier (E&S, Geography)

Contact: John Krygier (jbkrygier@owu.edu)

Summary

The purpose of the Chimney Swift Tower project is to provide a safe area for resting and nesting of chimney swifts. Chimney swifts consume a significant number of mosquitos and thus reduce student’s exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses. The tower will also serve as an important point of interest on the residential side of campus, an attraction for both prospective students and those already on campus. As a student-driven project in collaboration with OWU alumni, the tower serves as a notable example of theory-into-practice and the OWU Connection.

Chimney swifts evolved to live in dead, hollow, tree trunks and adapted to chimneys over time. Chimneys are increasingly rare in new buildings and often closed off in older buildings. Thus humans created a habitat for these birds, and are now removing that human-constructed habitat. In response to this problem, artificial chimney swift towers have been constructed over the last few decades. OWU Alumni Dick Tuttle has spent years documenting the many chimney swifts in Delaware, and his experience suggests that a swift tower on OWU’s campus, near Stuyvesant Hall, would be a prime location for the birds. We have visited the site with Peter Schantz who sees no practical problems with the proposed location. Tuttle has tentatively agreed to fund the construction of the tower with a gift to OWU. The typical tower, about 5’ x 5’ and 20’ to 30’ tall, can accommodate around 100 birds. The swift tower will attract student attention: swifts entering the tower at dusk are an impressive sight. For students (and prospective students) pursuing biology, environmental science, and environmental studies the towers will be of much interest. Importantly, for the typical student (or prospective student) the towers will be an intriguing addition to OWU’s campus, signaling OWU’s commitment to the environment while promoting interest in the natural world. The tower, which will have information about chimney swifts and the function of the tower, will serve as an important point of interest on the residential side of campus.

Key Components

Planning for the tower is and will continue to be a collaboration between students, faculty, and alumni. Plans have been developed over several years by students (Caitlyn Buzza ’12, Alex Johnson ’16, and Ashley Tims ’17) working in collaboration with OWU Alumni Dick Tuttle (’73) and faculty members Dustin Reichard (Zoology, ornithology), John Krygier (Geography & Environmental Studies, sustainability), and Kristina Bogdanov (Art, ceramics). Tuttle, Reichard, Bogdanov, and Krygier will work with mason John Kuhn on design details and construction of the tower.

1. The tower will meet the standards set by Paul D. Kyle in his book Chimney Swift Towers: New Habitat for America’s Mysterious Birds, A Construction Guide (Texas A&M University Press, 2005). These guidelines have been used for many successful towers. John Kuhn, our contractor, is an experienced mason who has also taught masonry courses. He should be able to integrate OWU students in the building project if appropriate.

 2. Chimney swifts are of immense value to their immediate environment: they are disinterested in humans and are neither aggressive nor dangerous. They consume an immense amount of flying insects, including mosquitos. Thus they serve an important public health role. A functioning chimney swift tower will significantly reduce the number of mosquitos on campus (as they will most likely fly back and forth from the tower to the Olentangy River).

3. The tower will be located to the north-east of Stuyvesant Hall, near the top of the hill that slopes down to William St. This is a good location for the chimney swifts (high, open) but also for observing birds from the residential halls, the newly renovated terrace in front of Stuyvesant Hall, and William St. Peter Schantz has recommended this location. (see below)

Map of location for proposed chimney swift tower.

 4. The tower will serve specific courses on campus, and associated faculty and students. In particular, Dr. Dustin Reichard and his ZOOL 341: Ornithology course. See Dr. Reichard’s letter of support. (See Appendix 1).

5. The tower project is representative of student theory-into-practice projects on and around campus, focused on environment and sustainability. For prospective students, the project provides a tangible example of theory-into-practice and campus/community collaboration. The tower project serves as an example of and inspiration for the kind of projects students in the Environment and Sustainability Program (Environmental Studies and Environmental Science) have undertaken in courses such as John Krygier’s GEOG 360: Environmental Geography and GEOG 499: Sustainability Practicum, as well as independent studies and SIP funded projects.

6. The tower will be attractive, fitting into the aesthetic of OWU’s campus while serving as a landmark and destination for students (and prospective students). The preliminary proposal includes brick construction with stone accents using recycled bricks and stone from campus, to match the materials used in Stuyvesant Hall. (see below)

Draft design of proposed chimney swift tower (access hatch, left, tile inserts, right)

 7. The tower will also be tastefully distinctive, with Ohio Wesleyan-themed ceramic artwork near the base. Dr. Kristina Bogdanov (Art, ceramics) has agreed to assist with removable (or permanent) panels at the base of the tower. The primary medium will be tiles, created from recycled clay and dyes. Building on a project started by former OWU biology and art major Ashley Tims (’17), Bogdanov and students will create tiles with permanent images, such as historical OWU photographs (see below). In addition, tiles will be created that depict the leaves of local, native trees and plants, common birds and animals, insects, bees, and other natural features of the campus area. These OWU inspired tiles can be changed out or added to over time. The tiles can be used in activities by admissions (with prospective students) as well as part of orientation for new students, as a way of relating the history and environment of our campus. We also propose a mosaic tile description of the tower, chimney swifts, and illustrations of how the towers work. Thus un-guided visitors can learn what the tower is about and how it works.

Photograph transfer tiles for base of proposed chimney swift tower.

 Appendix 1: Letter of faculty support from Dr. Dustin Reichard (Zoology) & Dr. John Krygier (Geology & Geography, Environment & Sustainability)

To: OWU University Advancement & Administration

From: Dustin Reichard (Zoology), John Krygier (ENVS, Geography)

Re: Chimney Swift Tower on OWU Campus

We are writing to convey our strong support for the installation of a chimney swift tower on the OWU campus. Chimney swifts are migratory songbirds that spend their summers breeding in eastern North America and their winters in western South America. Over the past few decades, chimney swifts have been experiencing a steady decline in population size. A major cause of their decline has been the loss of nesting and roosting habitat as homeowners have transitioned away from brick chimneys and either capped or removed chimneys that are no longer in use. The installation of chimney swift towers is one method for mitigating this decline. Delaware is the summer home of a sizable population of breeding chimney swifts that have been monitored for many years by Dick Tuttle, a committed conservationist from the local community that has offered a generous gift in support of this project.

The addition of a chimney swift tower to the OWU campus will provide numerous benefits to the campus community with relatively limited investment from OWU faculty and staff. From a pedagogical perspective, the tower will provide ample opportunities for students to collect and analyze data of swift roosting, migration, and breeding biology. These opportunities will be utilized by students in Ornithology (ZOOL 341), which is taught every spring, and Organisms and Their Environment (BIOL 122), which is taught every semester. Many of our zoology students are interested in careers related to conservation, and the accessibility of a swift tower on campus would allow them to develop skills in population monitoring while working with an at-risk species.

Additionally, chimney swifts are aerial insectivores that will contribute to the management of aerial insects, such as mosquitoes, which are a nuisance and can carry disease. This issue is particularly relevant given the recent expansion of the Zika virus to the southern United States, and the increased likelihood of more tropical parasites in the future as a result of climate change. The swifts also undertake a tremendous migration to the tropics each winter, which makes the bird an excellent international ambassador as OWU seeks to attract a larger number of international students. Finally, observing the birds enter the tower each evening to roost is an amazing natural spectacle that will undoubtedly thrill members of the community for years to come.

This proposal for chimney swift towers grew out of efforts to enhance habitats for birds, insects, and animals on and around the OWU campus. Work on this project over the past year or two has entailed determining viable locations for the tower, generating plans and designs, all done in consultation with Buildings and Grounds (for advice and input). Additional related campus projects include birdhouses, bat houses, and bee hotels. The development of such habitats on campus is one component of our proposed campus sustainability plan.

Please contact us with any additional questions, and let us know how we can proceed on this important opportunity.

Dustin Reichard

John Krygier

 

May Move Out ’21

After a year’s pause, due to the COVID, May Move Out is back for 2021.

May Move Out is OWU’s student-created and managed program to keep tons of usable materials out of the landfill each spring.

Volunteers contact Meg Edwards: email or sign up on this spreadsheet.

It’s simple:

Students can easily donate unneeded stuff to Goodwill as they move off-campus.

Mobile storage pods with May Move Out banners are placed around the residential side of campus for ease of donation.

Dump your stuff in the pod and get on your way. It’s that easy.

In previous years we’ve deferred up to 10 tons of reusable stuff.

More info here: http://maymoveout.owu.edu

 

OWU Sponsored Event: 17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, Thursday, Oct. 22

17th Annual Virtual Olentangy Watershed Forum, October 22, 2020


Recording of event is here.


Please register using this Eventbrite link. To get the Zoom link, check your email (OWU students, staff and faculty) or contact Carline Cicerchi or John Krygier.


The Annual Olentangy Watershed Forum brings together a series of speakers to discuss the status of the watershed. This year features Keynote speaker Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

The forum is great for regional practitioners as well as students, who can network and make contacts for internships and projects.


8:00 – 8:10 Welcome and introductions, Sean Kay, Ohio Wesleyan University

8:10 – 8:55 Keynote speaker: Jonathan Overpeck, co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the United Nations advisory group on climate change and Dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, “American Rivers and Climate Change: a Tale of Two Hydrologic Extremes”

8:55 – 9:05: Q & A

State of the Watershed Updates

9:05 – 9:15: Update from Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) by Kelly Thiel. FLOW was formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 in August 1997. FLOW’s mission is to keep the Olentangy River and its tributaries clean and safe for all to enjoy, through public education, volunteer activities, and coordination with local decision-makers.

9:15 – 9:30: Update from Del-Co Water by Jeff Kauffman. Del-Co Water Company, Inc. was formed in 1969 and provides quality drinking water to seven counties (Delaware, Morrow, Marion, Knox, Franklin, Union, and Crawford) serving a population of over 140,000.

9:30 – 9:45: Update from City of Delaware and Olentangy Watershed Alliance (OWA) by Caroline Cicerchi. The City of Delaware works diligently to protect existing stormwater infrastructure as well as the Olentangy River and its tributaries through its Stormwater Management Program. OWA was formed as a non-profit in April 1999, with a mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of the Upper Olentangy River and its watershed.

9:45 – 9:55: Update from Preservation Parks by Chris Roshon. The mission of Preservation Parks of Delaware County is to protect and conserve the natural and historic features of Delaware County and to inspire outdoor exploration and learning.

9:55 – 10:05: Q & A and Break

10:05 – 10:15: Vanessa Bishop, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

10:15 – 10:30: Erin Wolfe, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation District. “Del-Aware Water: Outreach Efforts in the Watershed”

10:30 – 10:50: Jim Palus, FLOW. “Putting FLOW’s Greenspace Implementation Plan Into Action”

10:50 – 11:20: Ed Rankin & Anthony Sasson, Midwest Biodiversity Institute, “Fish and Mussels Trends in the Central Scioto River Basin”

11:20-11:50: Jesse Womack, The Nature Conservancy. “The Nature Conservancy & the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework”

11:50 – 12:00: Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University, “Connecting with Career Connection”

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.

Event: 3rd Annual Ohio Microfarm Project Symposium

NECIC invites you to the 3rd Annual Ohio Microfarm Project Symposium

October 23, 2020 @ 9am-4:15pm
October 24, 2020  @ 9am-11am

Register Here

(Registration will close on October 22nd at 12pm)

In partnership with The Ohio State University-Mansfield Campus, please join us for an updated overview of the Ohio Microfarm Project.

See the second-year results of this three-year project! The October 23rd event virtually showcases community partnerships, urban farming, resiliency of farming, and co-op development. The October 24th event is brought to you by the Richland Gro-Op and will exhibit two urban microfarm and two rural microfarm outings, all a result of the input received from last year’s symposium.

Schedule: 2020 Ohio Microfarm Project Virtual Symposium October 23, 2020
2020SymposiumSchedule

Videos: Careers in Water Management Speaker Series (October, 2020)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series I: Video

  • Jeff Paetz, Phoenix Environmental (15 minutes)
  • Heather Sheets, Ohio Clean Marinas (15 minutes)
  • Caroline Cicerchi, City of Delaware (15 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series II: Video

  • Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant (15 minutes)
  • Chad Spring, City of Delaware (15 minutes)
  • Erin Wolfe, Delaware SWCD (15 minutes)
  • Janelle Valdinger, Ohio Wesleyan University (10 minutes)

Careers in Water Management Speaker Series III: Video

  • Christine Szymanski, ODNR Scenic Rivers (15 minutes)
  • Jeff Kauffman, Del-Co Water Company (15 minutes)
  • Chris Roshon, Preservation Parks (15 minutes)