16th Annual Olentangy Forum, Tues. October 15th @ Merrick Hall

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 egibson@delcowater.com or 740-548-7746 ext. 2221.

Lunch is included. Include dietary restrictions when registering.

OWU Career & Grad School Fair including Environment & Sustainability Opportunities

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 white.1917@osu.edu.

 

2nd Annual Delaware Run Watershed Walk: September 22, 2019

Mostly hidden and invisible, Delaware Run weaves itself through the fabric of the city and is often overlooked. The Watershed Walk on Sept. 22, 2019, will shed light on this important natural resource.

2nd Annual Delaware Run Watershed Walk: September 22, 2019

RSVP for this FREE event at Eventbright

Bring rubber boots or old shoes (and a towel for drying off)

Presented by the Boardman Arts Park and the Central Ohio Communities Project

When: September 22, 2019

1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.: Choices for level of involvement: a “short walk” (45 minutes), or a longer walk (90+ minutes), with 3-4 entry or exit points. Led by Local naturalists, historians, MAD Scientist Associates and others.

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: creation of a “Watershed mural”, Badminton and Bocce Ball, upcycle art creation, and other “earth art and sports” (non-fossil fuel fun!)

Mostly hidden and invisible, Delaware Run weaves itself through the fabric of the city and is often overlooked. The Watershed Walk on Sept. 22, 2019 will shed light on this important natural resource.

Participants can choose to do a deep exploration of the run or shorter jaunts along its course.

Local scientists and experts will lead our walks and will explore the history, ecology and geologic features of the stream scavenger hunt style. After the walks, we will meet at the Boardman Arts Park to enjoy refreshments, music and educational programming about the nature nearby.

 

Volunteer for Scioto River Sweep: September 7, 2019

Scioto River Sweep: September 7, 2019, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Lunch, equipment and canoes provided.
Bellpoint Community Church Shelter
4771 OH-257, Delaware, OH 43015

Scioto River Sweep: September 7, 2019, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Lunch, equipment and canoes provided.

Bellpoint Community Church Shelter
4771 OH-257, Delaware, OH 43015

  • Volunteers under 18 must have an adult present.
  • Must wear shoes that stay on feet. No flip flops or bare feet.

Volunteer Registration:

Jenifer Way-Young 740-203-2076 jway-young@delawarehealth.org

Sponsored by

 

Fish Habitat Assembling Volunteer Opportunity: April 28, 2019

In celebration of the Olentangy Watershed Alliance’s 20th Anniversary this year, we have organized a volunteer fish habitat assembling effort. OWA will be working with the Army Corps of Engineers to assemble porcupine crib fish habitat that will be placed into the Delaware Lake once finished.

Delaware Lake, Delaware State Park (source)

Sunday, April 28th, from 9-noon at 3920 U.S. Highway 23 N. Delaware, OH 43015.

In celebration of the Olentangy Watershed Alliance’s 20th Anniversary this year, we have organized a volunteer fish habitat assembling effort. OWA will be working with the Army Corps of Engineers to assemble porcupine crib fish habitat that will be placed into the Delaware Lake once finished.

Please RSVP to olentangyriverwatershed@gmail.com

Flyer below: Click for PDF

 

 

 

 

Ohio Wesleyan Student Earns NSF Funds to Attend First-of-Its-Kind Conference

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University student Janelle Valdinger is one of fewer than 20 undergraduate and graduate students across the country invited to participate in January in the first national Workshop on Community Geography.

Building Community Through Geography

Ohio Wesleyan Student Earns NSF Funds to Attend First-of-Its-Kind Conference

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University student Janelle Valdinger is one of fewer than 20 undergraduate and graduate students across the country invited to participate in January in the first national Workshop on Community Geography.

Valdinger, an OWU geography major, has been named a Community Geography Fellow and awarded funds to attend the two-day conference Jan. 25-26 at Georgia State University in Atlanta. According to organizers, the National Science Foundation-supported workshop will bring together 40 to 50 Community Geography Fellows, who are “academic researchers and community leaders interested in using geographic research for community development, social justice, and environmental sustainability.”

In addition to being a full-time Ohio Wesleyan student, Valdinger also is a full-time employee of the City of Delaware, where she works as a Geographic Information System (GIS) technician.

She said her main goals for the workshop include “learning new ways to use geographic research for community development, especially in other countries … and finding new ways to build a stronger, long-lasting working relationship between Ohio Wesleyan University and the City of Delaware.”

Valdinger already has helped to coordinate a joint university-city project to install three water-purifying rain gardens on OWU’s campus. She is helping now to implement a collaborative relationship that involves the city’s Department of Public Utilities hosting OWU students as interns and “developing a partnership with the OWU Summer Science Research Program where the city hires a student-intern for the summer and the university provides housing, along with faculty guidance for a research project.”

The first Ohio Wesleyan student to hold the summer research internship is junior zoology major Brianna Graber. Graber is working with the city this semester on a project to fund and install storm-drain nets to catch large waste items and prevent them from entering the Olentangy River.

While attending the Georgia conference, Valdinger will present information on the developing OWU-Delaware partnership, which currently includes eight university students working on environmental projects.

In addition, she hopes to glean information to assist with her Ohio Wesleyan departmental honors project, which focuses on mapping public utilities in Belize.

On campus, she is collaborating on the honors project with Department of Geology and Geography faculty members John Krygier, Ph.D., director of environmental studies; Nathan Amador Rowley, Ph.D.; and Ashley Allen, Ph.D., and with Jay Scheffel, assistant director of physical plant. Off campus, Valdinger is working with 2003 OWU alumnus Tim Hawthorne, Ph.D., assistant professor of GIS at the University of Central Florida.

“Not only will we be mapping utilities, but we will be providing utility locators to the local government officials in Belize,” Valdinger said. “Citizen Science will play a large role in this project, and learning (at the workshop) about what avenues other professionals have taken will help greatly in the execution of my project.”

Krygier, who was also named a Community Geography Fellow, said he is excited for Valdinger to attend the workshop and share her OWU accomplishments with scholars from across the country, and to learn how to further community engagement on campus, in Delaware, and abroad.

He also is excited by the overall potential of community geography, one of his research specialties, and its focus on engaged community work.

“It’s about creating a win-win situation for colleges and their communities,” Krygier said, “with positive impacts, research experiences, and real-world engagement between people and institutions who share many common goals.”

Learn more about the upcoming national Workshop on Community Geography at www.communitymappinglab.org/commgeog19.html and more about OWU’s geography major at www.owu.edu/geography or https://sustainability.owu.edu.

Special Spring Course: Geog 490: Humanitarian Mapping

For the Spring of 2018, Dr. Amador-Rowley and Dr. Allen along with student Janelle Valdinger have organized a “group independent study” course focused on creating better maps for areas of rural Tanzania through a non-profit organization called Crowd2Map.

For the Spring of 2018, Dr. Amador-Rowley and Dr. Allen along with student Janelle Valdinger have organized a “group independent study” course focused on creating better maps for areas of rural Tanzania through a non-profit organization called Crowd2Map.

No experience necessary!

You can take the class either Tuesday (Dr. Amador-Rowley) or Thursday (Dr. Allen) afternoon.

Space is limited!

Contact Dr. Rowley (nsamador@owu.edu) or Dr. Allen (alallen@owu.edu) ASAP.

Probably best if you fill out a Change-of-Schedule Form from the Registrar’s site and use that to enroll in the class.


Independent Study Description: Students will help create better maps of rural Tanzania, particularly those areas where girls are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation. Students will liaise with volunteers in Tanzania and worldwide. Adding roads and buildings from satellite images into OpenStreetMap will allow activists to better protect girls at risk of FGM and allow better delivery and monitoring of services, as well as improved navigation. After training, students will also give feedback to new mappers and assist with validation. They will liaise with community mappers on the ground and also create village level printable maps using QGIS. We will work with small communities that do not typically show up on maps. The open-source map developed in this independent study effort will be open to everyone and help better planning of services. No previous mapping experience necessary!!

New .25 credit Activity Course on Zero Waste! Spring 2019

It took us more than a year but we now are able to offer an ACTV (Activity Course) with sustainability content. This started as a student initiative.

For the spring of 2018, this course will be offered during the first and second module for .25 credit. Thus the course is a great add-on to your normal class load.

Please sign up for the class, and urge others to do so. We can offer additional topics (organic gardening, repair, etc.) in the future if this one flies.

The instructor is Aleks Ilik: he is an OWU grad and happens to be married to Kristina Bogdanov (Art). Aleks runs the Blue House Worm Farm in town and is currently working with students Matt Burke and Peyton Hardesty on a worm composting table at MTSO. One goal for the course is to expand this effort to OWU’s campus.

Chris Fink of HHK is listed as the instructor, but that is only because Aleks is not yet in the OWU system.

Meetings are scheduled Wednesday, noon-1 and Friday 2:10-4pm. Location TBA.

The Activity course will expand this effort, working with AVI and other folks to reduce waste on campus.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

 

Spring 2019 Externships and Summer 2019 Internships & Summer Sustainability Practicum

The worm composting table constructed by Matt Burke (right) intern at MTSO and member of the Summer Sustainability Practicum. A few of the other practicum members are shown in the photograph, on MTSO’s Seminary Hill Farm, where the practicum is held. The worm table construction was guided by Aleks Ilic of Blue House Worm Farms, in Delaware Ohio.

Students: It’s time to act together for Spring 2019 externships and Summer 2019 internships in the OWU region. These opportunities are available to any student, freshmen through senior.

We would like you to take the initiative and contact us if you are interested, as soon as possible, so we can work to line up opportunities for you.

  • Externships happen during the semester, typically unpaid and for credit (GEOG 495 or ENVS 495) and are about 8 hours a week.
  • Internships happen during the summer, typically paid and can be for credit (GEOG 495 or ENVS 495) and range from part to full time.

We are always adding partners and work to find specific opportunities if we know students are interested.

Please contact Dr. John Krygier (jbkrygier@owu.edu) ASAP if you are interested.


Below find some internship/externship opportunities: This is not a complete list!

Summer Sustainability Seminar & Practicum:

Tentatively scheduled for 3 hours a week for 10 weeks over the summer, meeting (and eating) on MTSO’s campus. This seminar can be taken for credit if you wish. We hope to get many of the area summer interns together, including students from Otterbein and MTSO.

Summer Science Research Program (OWU):

If you are interested in this funded, 10-week research program with OWU faclty (for students between their junior and senior years) please review information about the program here and talk to faculty you are interested in working with. If you are unsure, ask Dr. Krygier or Dr. Anderson. Students may attend the summer Sustainability Seminar and Practicum as part of the SSRP.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Seminary Hill Farm:

MTSO is a leader in food and environmental justice and this summer are tentatively offering several full-time internships which come with lodging, a stipend, and some food. Work last summer included the development of a worm composting table, work on pond restoration and assistance on the farm and with the farm’s food justice efforts. A great place to get all hot and sweaty working on a real farm growing real food for a noble purpose.

Delaware Public Utilities and GIS Department:

Typically working with OWU student and Public Utility employee (and all around terrific person) Janelle Valdinger, on various environmental and sustainability efforts. Recent student-involved projects include bio-retention cell planning and construction, utilities tracking and mapping, stormwater drain netting, green-roofed bike racks, composting and

Delaware Watershed and Sustainability Coordinator’s Office: Caroline Cicerchi:

Caroline and Janelle (Public Utilities) work closely together on sustainability, environmental and ecological projects. Caroline, like Janelle, is a masterful project coordinator and terrific to work with.

Stratford Ecological Center:

One of the longest-running relationships with our program is with the Stratford Ecological Center and Farm, just south of campus. OWU typically has 3-5 externships each semester, and several full-time internships each summer. Work is on projects related to the Center farm, its plants, and animals, its nature preserve, as well as environmental education with the many K-8 summer camps offered at Stratford.

Preservation Parks of Delaware County:

With nine parks county-wide and more on the horizon, Preservation Parks is the primary organization developing and maintaining a range of green spaces which also include a working farm. A range of semester externships and summer internships focused on ecological projects, environmental education, outreach and other efforts. If you like to dress up like a 1930s farmer, this is your gig.

DelCo Water Company

One of the largest water companies in the state of Ohio, both semester externships and summer internships are typically available. Projects include water infrastructure mapping, water sampling and analysis, and water education.

Price Farms Organics:

If your idea of summer fun is driving large tractors and bulldozers, look no further. Price Farms Organics is a regional leader in composting and typically employes a student or two to help with the practical aspects of large-scale composting.

Innovative Organics Recycling:

A new company run by Ray Leard is currently employing students to help with their drop-off food waste and food scraps composting program.

More possibilities include:

  • Central Ohio Communities Project (Terry Hermson)
  • Citizens Climate Lobby (Delaware chapter)
  • AVI Food Service (OWU Campus)
  • OWU Buildings and Grounds (OWU Campus)
  • Delaware City Health
  • Delaware County GIS Office
  • Delaware Parks and Natural Resources

2018-19 The Libby Reed Scholarship in the Geosciences: Janelle Valdinger

Libby Reed

We are pleased to announce that rising junior Janelle Valdinger has been awarded the 2018-19 Libby Reed Scholarship, currently $9,000 per academic year, to be extended through her senior year at OWU.

“The most selective colleges and universities, such as Ohio Wesleyan, have students and professors whose thirst for knowledge surpasses those of most of their peers. They are eager to transcend the ordinary challenge of everyday courses and laboratory work and adopt a pace appropriate to their extraordinary talents and motivation. Incredible professors make indelible imprints on these lives. Professor Libby Reed exemplified such a thirst for learning complemented by an intense desire and talent for teaching.”

“In recognition of Professor Reed’s enthusiasm and dedication to education and her persistence in teaching him to write, Richard Alexander ‘ 82 established The Libby Reed Scholarship in the Geosciences. The income from this endowed fund will be used annually to award a scholarship to a rising Junior who exemplifies academic excellence and who shows promise and dedication to the study of the geosciences.”

Janelle Valdinger

Janelle works for the City of Delaware Public Utilities Department, as a GIS Technician, and chose to finish her undergraduate coursework (started at OSU) at OWU last year. In the short time Janelle has been at OWU she has had a profound impact on campus by engaging with faculty, staff, and students on collaborative projects of interest to both OWU and the City of Delaware.

In the Fall of 2017 she developed a project proposal to install two bio-retention cells (rain gardens) on OWU’s campus, near Branch Ricky Arena. The cells were installed in the spring of 2018. Funds for the gardens came from a City of Delaware grant, and OWU contributes to the maintenance of the gardens. An OWU press release written by Cole Hatcher details the project and Janelle’s collaborators on the project: “Purposeful Plantings.”

John Krygier, co-director of the Environment & Sustainability Program at OWU has been working with Janelle, city Watershed and Sustainability Coordinator Caroline Cicerchi on a series of student collaborative projects, internships and externships. The ultimate goal is to provide students with engaged, OWU Connection experiences that are intellectually and practically challenging and that benefit OWU and the City.

Projects guided by Valdinger, Cicerchi and Krygier underway this semester include:

City Public Utilities Externship: Genaro Garcia (Environmental Studies, ’20): Gain practical knowledge in watershed planning, water quality monitoring efforts, water quality improvement initiatives, storm-water management planning, MS4 permit implementation, the use of GIS software and equipment, reading/understanding record drawings, grant research, community outreach, professional conferences, and formal meetings. Build critical thinking, research, and writing skills by assisting with multiple projects developed in collaboration with Public Utilities staff, and submitting a final report on this work.

Bio-Retention Cells: Kayla Adolph (Geography, Politics & Government ’19): Assess and develop a plan for a bio-retention cell near OWU’s Merrick Hall and one near OWU’s Citizens of the World House.

Green-Roofed Bike Racks: Celeste Wallick (Environmental Studies, ’20): Develop a plan and budget for one or two covered bike racks on OWU’s campus and in Delaware. Ideally, these bike racks would have a green, living roof, which would allow OWU students to do research on the plants on an actual green roof.

Delaware Food Scraps Composting Project: Kait Aromy (Botany, Environmental Studies, ’20): Working with Worthington (OH)-based Compost Exchange/Innovative Organics on a drop-off program for food scraps at the Delaware Farmer’s Market.

Storm Drain Net Project: Brianna Graber (Zoology, ’20): Working with City Public Utilities to fund and install a storm drain net over one or two major storm drains in the City of Delaware. These nets catch larger items washed into the storm drains before they get into the Olentangy River. The material caught by the net will be analyzed to develop a sense of the kinds of larger waste being washed into the Olentangy via the storm drain sewers, leading to strategies to reduce such waste at the origin.

E Coli Testing for Delaware Run: Ashley McCracken (Chemistry, ’19): Delaware Run, which flows along OWU’s campus and empties into the Olentangy River, has had a notable increase in e coli detected by tests on Run water done over the past few years. The e coli counts are particularly high during the increasing number of storm events. Ashley McCracken, a senior Chemistry major and Geography minor is developing a procedure for a lower-cost method to test for e coli, allowing us to do more sampling and testing of the water and, hopefully, determine the source of the e coli contamination.

Storm Water Awareness: Cole Petty (Business, ’19): Developing an interactive presentation and short “field” experience for city of Delaware 4th grade students, focused on understanding the problem of stormwater pollution. The effort includes an exploration of stormwater drains near the elementary schools, which will be marked with “Drains to the River” plaques.

Trashy Art: Shayla Scheitler (Environmental Studies, ’20): An environmental art project, using an array of spectacular and mundane items extracted from waterways in the city of Delaware. An assemblage will be partially created with these items, and a Peace and Justice House (SLU) open house held, where students and other visitors can manipulate the items and ponder the role of waste in our environment.

“City of Delaware Public Utilities Department geographic information system (GIS) technician Janelle Valdinger, left, shows co-worker Ron Spring how to update work orders in the field using one of the department’s new tablets.”

Photo above from the Delaware Gazette: “Technology increases efficiency: City utility crews using tablets, GPS in field.”