US Forest Service Intern: Idaho, Summer 2022

OWU alumni Aaron McCown ‘11 sent along information on a summer environmental science / geoscience internship at the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest for the summer of 2022.

Many Federal government internships for the summer of 2022 will be posted soon and close before the end of the year. This means you have to be on top of these opportunities.

Aaron wrote up some guidelines for prospective interns for us a few years back, and much of the information is still relevant: How to get a Land Management Job.

Aaron will be sending along more internship opportunities from his employer, also the National Forest Service, in his area: Hungry Horse, MT. Stay tuned.

Information on the Nez Perce-Clearwater position – in a PDF – is below.

1399_Physical_Sciences_Intern_Outreach

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

 

OWU Chimney Swift Tower: Could Spring ’21 be the Charm?

A very cool project, planned and developed since 2012, is funded and ready to build. It might happen this spring! Stay tuned.

The proposal and details are below.


Proposal: OWU Chimney Swift Tower
Ohio Wesleyan University
January 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

 

#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.

 

 

Speaker: Ryan Zlatanova OWU ’17: Environment & Sustainability: Campus to Career (W, Nov. 6)

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:

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Richard B. Alexander Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies: Emily Howald

Above (from left): Emily Howald, Holly Keating, Kait Aromy, and Eva Blockstein

Emily Howald received the 2018 Richard B. Alexander Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies at the Environment & Sustainability Program’s year-end event, in April of 2018. Emily is currently a Graduate Fellow at The Ohio State University, in the Department of Environment & Natural Resources.

Emily exceeded the requirements of the Alexander Award, which includes

  1. GPA: 3.5 or above
  2. If an ES major is elected to Phi Beta Kappa then that student should also receive the Alexander Award
  3. Campus environmental activism
  4. Statewide or national activism

Emily also received E&S Program Honors for her research project and paper entitled “An Unlikely Alliance: Endangered Species Conservation on the Military Estate.”

Emily’s accomplishments also include, Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, Phi Eta Sigma and she was awarded the Bridge Builder Golden Bishop Award.

While at OWU, Emily was instrumental in the three-year process behind our recently adopted Sustainability Plan. The plan was largely the work of students in collaboration with faculty and staff at OWU. The last year consisted of Emily meeting with diverse groups and individuals across campus, including administrators, faculty committees, campus Buildings & Grounds, food service, cleaning service, student organizations, and student government. The effort concluded with a lunch with Rock Jones, President of OWU, where she convinced him to support the adoption of the Plan.

Emily and faculty member John Krygier co-wrote a book chapter on experiences getting sustainability on the agenda at OWU with grass-roots, campus-wide efforts. The chapter was published in a book edited by OWU alumni Woody Clark (’67). Clark has been long involved with environmental and sustainability efforts. The second edition of his Sustainable Cities and Communities Design Handbook (December 2017 info here and here) contains the book chapter, entitled “‘Scrappy” Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University.”

Emily was the Sustainability intern during her senior year and co-chaired OWU’s Sustainability Task Force. She was involved in dozens of campus sustainability projects and exemplifies the spirit of “scrappy sustainability” at OWU. She was also involved in statewide student environmental efforts.

Eva Blockstein at the Spring 2018 Environment & Sustainability program get-together.

Campus Talk! Thurs. Sept. 20: Dr. Timothy Hawthorne, OWU 2003 “The Power of People in Science: Exploring Community-Based Uses of Maps, Apps and Drones”

Above: Tim Hawthorne (left) and OWU Geography major Lucas Farmer on a drone survey in Belize. Credit: Citizen Science GIS

Dr. Timothy Hawthorne OWU 2003, University of Central Florida

“The Power of People in Science: Exploring Community-Based Uses of Maps, Apps and Drones”

Thursday, September 20
 at 4:10 p.m. in Science Center 163

Abstract: The community is where mutually beneficial research and education outcomes are discovered together through the power of citizen science, maps, apps, and drones. Our work through Citizen Science GIS seeks to engage academics and community organizations/residents in shared knowledge production focused on community-engaged research that benefits real-world communities. In this talk, we unravel the potential of engaging communities and science in meaningful collaboration. We will highlight opportunities to use interactive and visual mapping technologies to share the spatial stories and knowledge of community members around the world to understand some of the most pressing challenges in coastal communities.

Biography: Timothy L. Hawthorne is a 2003 Ohio Wesleyan University alumnus. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Department of Sociology at University of Central Florida and the State of Florida Geography Steward with National Geographic. He earned his Ph.D. in geography in 2010 from The Ohio State University. He is a broadly trained human geographer with deep interests in citizen science GIS, community geography, qualitative GIS, and critical GIS. Professor Hawthorne is Principal Investigator of the Citizen Science GIS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site in Orlando and Belize, funded by the National Science Foundation. He also is an associate editor for both the Journal of Geography and The International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research.

OWU Talk Feb. 20: Kemi Fuentes-George (OWU ’01): Post-Slavery Narratives and Conservation in Rural Jamaica

Kemi Fuentes-George’s (OWU ’01) recent book, Between Preservation and Exploitation: Transnational Networks and Conservation in Developing Countries explores how local justice claims affect states’ abilities to implement their obligations under international environmental agreements.

Post-Slavery Narratives and Conservation in Rural Jamaica:
How Local Culture Affects Global Environmental Governance

Tuesday, Feb. 20th 7:00 p.m. HWCC Benes B

Kemi Fuentes-George (OWU ’01)

Kemi Fuentes-George (OWU ’01) is an Assistant Professor at Middlebury College. His recent book, Between Preservation and Exploitation: Transnational Networks and Conservation in Developing Countries, published by MIT Press, explores how local justice claims affect states’ abilities to implement their obligations under international environmental agreements. He has also published research in Global Environmental Politics Journal, book chapters in Routledge, and written about environmental justice on Salon.com. He is active in his community as a member of the Town of Middlebury Conservation Commission, and as a volunteer for the Vermont chapter of Migrant Justice.

 

Publication: “Scrappy Sustainability at OWU” – Chapter written by OWU Student & Faculty

“‘Scrappy” Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University” is a recently published book chapter which describes OWU’s sustainability efforts and strategies over the last decade.

Woodrow (Woody) Clark is an OWU alumnus (’67) long involved with environmental and sustainability efforts. The second edition of his Sustainable Cities and Communities Design Handbook (December 2017 info here and here) contains a chapter written by OWU student Emily Howald (OWU, ’18) and Professor of Geography John Krygier.

“‘Scrappy” Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University” describes OWU’s sustainability efforts and strategies over the last decade. These efforts have been the work of students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members all working at a grassroots level. These efforts, in practice, have led us to develop a series of strategies, Scrappy Sustainability, which is particularly appropriate for colleges and universities.

The first page of the chapter below. PDF here.

…and a text from the first few pages:


“Scrappy” Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University

Emily Howald, John Krygier

Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, United States

Chapter Outline
A Grassroots Model for Sustainability in Higher Education 561
The Context of Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University 561
Coordinating Sustainability Without a Sustainability Coordinator 564
“Scrappy Sustainability” Outcomes 565
A New Model for Sustainability? 570

A GRASSROOTS MODEL FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION

There are colleges and universities with the expertise and financial resources to invest in large-scale, conspicuous sustainability efforts (such as large solar arrays, stylish LEED-certified buildings, and full-time sustainability staff) and there are those who do not. However, those without the funds for conspicuous sustainability are not necessarily excluded from substantive sustainability efforts. Indeed, we suggest that grassroots, “scrappy” sustainability efforts on college campuses and at other institutions may have certain benefits over top-down, high-investment sustainability.

THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABILITY AT OHIO WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) is a small, private, liberal arts college in central Ohio that serves as a modest showcase for a relatively low-cost, grassroots, and distributed approach to sustainability. The university neither has a sustainability coordinator position nor any other employee with distinct expertise in sustainability. None of the faculty have specializations in the field, and there are no classes taught on the subject. As of yet, there is no official sustainability plan and there are neither funds nor donations set aside specifically for sustainability projects. OWU has, over the last decade, expanded its endowment, raised significant funds for student travel and research, and embarked on a substantial upgrade to campus student housing. These are all fundamentally important and easily justifiable priorities. Given this situation, it is easy for students, faculty, and staff to feel like not enough is being done to foster sustainability on campus. Instead of complaining about the lack of top-down, large-investment sustainability, a group of students, faculty, and staff have embarked on a grassroots effort to make sustainability work at OWU despite limited resources. Ultimately, we argue, sustainability efforts can succeed if those who believe in the value of sustainability actually do something, then persist in furthering the efforts until something takes hold, and then persist in keeping the efforts going. Successes with these smaller, “scrappy” efforts will, hopefully, lead to larger efforts, backed by a spreading culture of sustainability.

OWU has a rocky history with sustainability efforts. Many higher education institutions believe that they must be leaders in finding solutions to the environmental crisis by developing and promoting the knowledge, tools, and technologies needed to transition to a sustainable society. As the environmental movement emerged and developed in the 1960s and the 1970s, OWU established an Environmental Studies major, the first such program in an academic institution in Ohio. In its nearly 40-year existence, the program has produced hundreds of majors that have gone on to successful careers related to the environment. In 2009, a Sustainability Task Force was created to evaluate the President’s Climate Commitment (PCC), which 80% of students voted to support. Despite the lack of any direct negative consequences for not meeting the PCC goals, the Task Force was concerned about the capital investments and employee time needed to implement and monitor the necessary energy efficiency upgrades to campus facilities, and recommended that a sustainability coordinator be hired (rather than signing the PCC). In 2011, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funded a 2-year sustainability coordinator position. The university hired Sean Kinghorn for the position, and his efforts generated significant rebate funds for the university, as well as energy-saving efforts and dozens of sustainability projects (many led by students). In 2013, Kinghorn’s position ended, after the failure of several grants intended to acquire additional funds for the position. A student protest later that year demonstrated student commitment to the sustainability coordinator position. With the decision not to sign the PCC and the lack of funds to continue the sustainability coordinator position, one might expect the prospects for sustainability on campus to fade. At that point, the campus Sustainability Task Force set out on an effort to encourage grassroots sustainability efforts and create a campus sustainability plan, despite the setbacks.