Project Proposal – Nothing with a Face Food Festival

September 29, 2011

Food Awareness on Campus: “Nothing With A Face Food Festival.”

Project Participants:
Olivia Gillison
Christian Ng

Description & Overview:

The idea is for a “day long series of workshops and cooking demos and eating focused on vegan food” on campus, in an attempt to encourage more vegetarianism in food choices among people. There will be focus on vegans and vegetarian options, but the main objective will be to attract skeptics of vegan options and promote more vegetarian and “flexitarian” eating, for the purpose of decreasing meat consumption, more than being just a simple day-event.

There will be two primary goals: one is to raise awareness of the costs of meat based diets, which itself comes in two forms. First is economical/environmental: vast quantities of various resources, mainly water and feed, are required to produce meat for human consumption. By reducing consumption the money can be saved and redirected towards other efforts, as well as being less of a strain on natural resources. The other is health; given that meat heavy diets tend to be less good for health (particularly red meat), lower consumption may reduce disease and obesity. This is a rather grey line, and is something to be determined.

Work will be done with Chartwells and the Healthy Bishop Initiative to plan this event, and hopefully have effects beyond that.

Various options will be given, but the ultimate goal is to convince people of the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet, or partial vegetarian diets. Little will be accomplished without support and favorable opinions. To that end:

–          The term “diet” should be avoided as it immediately projects the idea of eating less, which is not a very important goal. Alternatively, “diet” should be defined well to people as simply “what we eat on a day to day basis,” although this will take significantly more effort.

–          Conversion to total vegetarianism or veganism isn’t necessary or practical: simple meat reduction will suffice. On this, one can promote ideas such as “meat free Monday” which will have a significant impact towards reducing meat, without requiring anyone to “give it all up”

–          People should be convinced that there are good tasting meatless meals. Salads when done well, for example, as well as the myriad of other non-meat products that one typically eats with meat: for example, potato products, bread and spread, etc. None should be forced on those whose genetics make them avert to certain types of food (I, for one, can’t stand celery, caffeine, and sweet potatoes)

Hopefully, the long term will show, if nothing else, an increase in more efficient eating habits, such as asking about the vegan meal options in Welch trattoria or more demand for the salad bar.

Outline:

Research: –

–          Work done on average effects of more vegetable on dietary requirements
–          Determine which options are best for college students: this means not only nutritional information, but convenience: what foods and meals are easier/faster to prepare, to complement the lifestyle
–          Final outcome: how to determine the effects on the student and staff populace

  • Will there be demand for Chartwells to run any changes to campus food offerings?
  • An anonymous poll to determine the effects of the event? (and a prize draw?)

To-do: –
–          Meet with “Dell”
–          Find similar school programs as proof of concept
–          Find others:

  • Portia’s Creations
  • Columbus startup vegan community
  • “Kevin” from community market

–          Digitize cookbook and information

Notes: –

–          DIY food and accessibility (kitchen, ingredients)

Events: –

–          Hopefully, a full day event in the HWCC
–          Meatless Monday runs for Chartwells: offer more options rather than taking them away
–          Adding new options overall for on-the-go foods (see science center, university carts, HWCC, Welch Hall)

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Project Proposal [Final]

September 28, 2011

Project Title: Scientific implications of afforestation activities on global environment and society.

Project Participant(s): Sriharsha Masabathula

Description & overview of project:

Afforestation, in recent times, has always been thought of as a positive change in the environment around us as it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, thereby mitigating climate change significantly. However, the biophysical effects – land surface albedo, evapotranspiration and cloud cover – of afforestation activities are often not taken into account.

Afforestation projects around the world have, rather surprisingly, shown both positive and negative results. Often, we fail to consider many confounding factors that affect the environment when we talk about carbon sequestration. For example, planting trees on a piece of land can change the Albedo or the surface reflectivity of the land. Darker areas have lower albedo which means that more absorption takes place. This could lead to increased absorptivity on the surface of the earth. In other words, afforestation can potentially cause an increase in the global mean temperature of the earth. A major implication of this is that the positive results of carbon sequestration projects are often neutralized by other phenomenon such as the changes in land-surface albedo.

I will also study the impact of afforestation on the “emissivity” of the earth’s atmosphere. The emissivity of the earth varies according to the cloud cover and the concentration of GHG’s i.e. those gases that emit or absorb energy in the thermal infrared or in between wavelengths of 8-14 micrometers. The change in the concentration of gases in the earth’s atmosphere – as a result of afforestation – can affect its emissivity i.e. it would affect the energy emitted by the Earth. In other words, it can affect the global mean temperature of the earth.

This calls for an in-depth examination of the nature of plants being considered for afforestation and the land being used to avoid unwanted and unforeseen results. This can be accomplished using Dendrometry, which is a branch of tree allometry that studies the dimensions of trees using parameters such as the diameter at breast height, the height of the tree and the horizontal dimension of the canopy. It is interesting to note that these parameters play a significant role in defining a forest. Different countries around the world have different definitions of forests based on similar data and it could be interesting to see an addition or reduction in a “forest” in a particular country can affect the world climate in addition to its own climate.

Using results and conclusions from the above research, I will explore the political and economic reactions that could surface. I will also take into account the human impact that afforestation on the whole can have on the environment using parameters such as industrial and population growth of a county.

In essence, I aim to accomplish three main objectives through this project using the above parameters:

  • Evaluate the merits and demerits of Afforestation activities around the world using scientific and mathematical models.
  • Examine if forest definitions around the world are conclusive, given the complexity of the nature around us? If not, why and are there better options? 
  • Examine the implications of the above study on political and economic motives. In addition, to study the human impact (both material and emotional) of these activities – both present and future.

Outline of project:

I will use a three part climate model to study the effects of afforestation and deforestation on global mean temperatures. Three latitudes will be taken in approximation. They are as follows:

  • Equatorial: 0-30 degrees
  • Mid-Latitudes: 30-60 degrees
  • Polar Regions: 60-90 degrees

Computer models are useful in accessing changes of different variables on the environment over long periods of time. For the first phase of my project, I will use my knowledge of Vensim, a modeling software to build a model that studies changes in temperatures of the earth as a result of the changes in land-surface albedo. I will examine how the temperature change compares to the equilibrium or stable temperature of the earth and whether it could inflict any changes in climate of the earth. For example, will the change in the temperature be significant enough to cause an ice-age?

In the second part of the project, I will incorporate emissivity into the model. It would be easier to study the impact of changes in emissivity on the temperature of the earth using the Stefan-Boltzmann law. It states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body per unit time is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body’s thermodynamic temperature T, also known as the absolute temperature.

In the third phase of the project, I will assess the impact of these results on political and economic motives in different parts of the world. I will refer to different ideologies and consult various people to gain an insight into their views on the issue.

Annotated bibliography:

1. Climate Data Information. http://www.climatedata.info/Forcing/Forcing/albedo.html [September 24, 2011].

The page has comprehensive information for surface albedos of different surfaces on the planet. It also has a graph showing albedos for different regions on the planet, which is crucial for my project.

2. Accelerated Global Warming and Atmospheric CO2 Emissions. Hydrogen NOW!. < http://www.hydrogen.co.uk/h2_now/journal/articles/1_global_warming.htm> [September 26, 2011].

The article explains changes in global mean temperatures by taking the Amazon rainforest as an example. It talks about the role of the Amazon in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

3. Dr. John Krygier, Department of Geography, Ohio Wesleyan University

I will seek the guidance and advice of Dr. John Krygier for this project. He will direct me on what course of action my project should undertake and his inputs will be very helpful, especially in the third phase of the project.

4. Dr. Craig Jackson, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Ohio Wesleyan University

I will take the guidance and advice of Dr. Craig Jackson for modeling and drawing conclusions in the first and second phases of the project.

5. Digital Earth Emissivity Information System. NASA. <http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/spb/LANDEM/website/index.php>  [September 24, 2011].

The page provides data for emissivity for different parts of the world using data from NASA applications.

6. Total Emissivity of the Earth and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: A Note from Nasif S. Nahle. Nasif S. Nahle. <http://jennifermarohasy.com/2011/03/total-emissivity-of-the-earth-and-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide/>  [September 25, 2011].

This article talks about the importance of accounting for emissivity when talking about climate change and how it can affect the earth’s climate.

7. Emissivity. <http://www.woodrow.org/teachers/esi/2001/princeton/project/wetherald/p6desemiss.htm> [September 25, 2011].

This article briefly explains the role of emissivity in the earth’s atmosphere.

8. Climate Realists. <http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7466> [September 26, 2011].

This website has some information on the role of emissivity on the Earth’s atmosphere in addition to many articles on climate change that might be useful in my research.

9. Climate Data information. < http://www.climatedata.info/Temperature/reconstructions.html > [September 24,2011].

This page has information on global temperatures and some graphs that will be useful when incorporating emissivity into our model.

10. World Meteorological Organization. <http://www.wmo.int/pages/index_en.html>  [September 22, 2011].

This website has lots of information on different climate parameters. It will be useful in incorporating some more parameters to assess the impact of afforestation.


Project proposal

September 28, 2011

Campus Org Success Through Recycling With Terracycle

Participant: Emily Knobbe

Two issues currently exist on campus that many may not be aware of.  The first: students produce a staggering amount of waste each day just through the amount of food a campus consumes.  There are places all over campus to pick up food items, but the wrappers and containers just go into the trash.  Plastic bottles are given designated recycling locations, but there are so many materials that are not recycled because we do not support the proper programs.  By generating so much waste and throwing away almost all of it, our campus contributes to pollution and resource wasting more than we would like to believe.  If only there were a way to broaden the spectrum of recycling on campus…

Ohio Wesleyan is home to over one hundred student organizations, many of which participate in philanthropy -related programs.  While traditional methods can still be effective, students may find themselves becoming bored by the stream of fundraisers and Greek-organized events.  Knowing it is still important to support a cause and be involved in community service, organizations may have trouble searching for a way to make a difference that is out-of-the-box but still not too time consuming.

Terracycle offers a solution to both of these problems.  Terracycle offers recycling programs for 44 types of atypical materials.  Amount of materials sent in is recorded through use of a point system; certain types of materials are worth more points than others, but almost all materials can contribute to gaining some amount of points.  After accruing a certain amount of points, they can be redeemed for items ranging from circuit board coasters to recycled plastic benches.  A program designed to target recycling cookie wrappers could redeem points for tote bags made from cookie wrappers to further advertise their initiative.  Possibly the best way to help a cause is to donate the points through one of Terracycle’s charity partners.  Points can be redeemed to provide people with clean water, to adopt land, to donate to organizations such as Heifer International and Red Cross, and many more.

I plan to provide information on how to strengthen an organizations philanthropy through Terracycle by documenting my own collecting of plastic cups on campus.  My plan is to provide receptacles in places where plastic cups are most frequently used, such as fraternity houses and SLUs.  I will collect from these receptacles and keep records of the number of cups recycled from each receptacle.  I may be able to try different locations for the receptacles to get optimum usage by students.  Through my efforts to start this program, I can spread the word about the Terracycle programs through campus-wide advertising, and potentially help other organizations start their own recycling brigade.  Recycling programs that would be useful on campus include chip bags, candy wrappers, cookie packaging, energy bar wrapper, gum packaging, home storage, writing instrument, and flip-flop recycling.  Since almost all of these items are available from Thompson convenience store, it might be convenient to look at setting up various recycling containers in the seating area outside of Thompson.  Student organizations could sponsor at least one of these programs and be responsible for managing the container.

The end goal for this project is to generate awareness on campus of a project that can both support our student organizations in their philanthropic pursuits as well as provide a widespread recycling program that will cut down on campus waste.  Through my efforts this semester and documentation of the process, it will become easier for groups on campus to take advantage of this type of philanthropy.  As we participate in community service, we will also gain the chance to reduce waste in our world.

1.  Terracycle, http://www.terracycle.net/

This website will serve as the primary source for this project.  It provides information on all of the recycling brigades and all possible options for point redemption.  Terracycle also offers mailing labels that require no postage to make recycling through Terracycle cheap and convenient.


Project Proposal: Pond Reconciliation

September 28, 2011

Project Title:  Reconcile the Pond

Project Participants:  Cole Oberli and Jack Hall

Description and Overview of the Project: 

Description/overview

The Meek Aquatic Center, the newest addition to the buildings here at Ohio Wesleyan University, has a fairly large pond outside of it, splitting the grounds between the building and the road. The pond looks to be well maintained, however a hue of blue in the water detracts from the natural splendor it is capable of. As a group, we would like to explore the several different avenues of environmental reconciliation and promote the “invasion” of wildlife from all facets of nature, from amphibians to birds and etcetera. Although the spread of amphibians may be almost too hands on, the approach would be literally moving these animals to the pond, other animals such as birds can be attracted to these areas through the construction of birdhouses. Cole and I have found a few native species of birds that are naturally found around bodies of water, and do well with large fields and semi-dense forests. Through the collection of data we have narrowed the bird species to five.

Taking into account the nature of different birds, some are territorial and may not exist well with others, possibly deciding on one type of bird to attract is one option. Many birds nest very high in the trees, making the practicality of these birdhouses fairly small; however a few species only need about 8 feet from the ground. This information is still being collected and sorted.

Kestrels in particular would like the area around Meek.  It is relatively flat, there’s a water source, and there are plenty of high places for a Kestrel to perch.  Kestrels would also appreciate bird houses because they usually don’t build their own nests.  They either steal them or use houses.

Another possibility is to construct a bat house to be placed directly onto the Meeks Aquatic Center. Bats live in large communes and many can sleep in the same “house”. The pond, because of the attraction of bugs, would be an excellent location for them. Bats also would be able to limit the insect populations that the pond will produce, the one insect in particular that comes to mind is mosquitoes.

Butterflies can also be attracted to the pond.  They are attracted to milkweeds, which are plants that would fit in around the pond.  Their presence would be appreciated by both the birds and walkers by.

More plants can be added to the area surrounding the pond.  The addition of plants attracts more insects and small mammals.  These are food sources for the birds. 

Outline of the Project:  Jack and I could install birdhouses at several points around the retention pond.  The building of Meek could be used.  Birdhouses could also be erected on poles in the field near the retention pond.  Birdhouses could also be erected in the “garden” surround the edge of the pond closest to Meek. 

Belfries for the bats could be hidden along the walls of the upper section of Meek, where they’d be mostly out of sight.  Bats are less sightly (and dirtier) than birds, so housing for them should be hidden from sight.

Buying and building belfries and birdhouses will be expensive.  Birdhouses could cost $30 a piece and belfries would be at least twice that.  Besides those prices poles and cement to stabilize the poles will cost money. 


A new section of plants could be planted on the side of the pond closest to the road.  These would be the plants to attract butterflies and insects for birds to eat. 

Bibliography:

Ackley, Jeffery, and Peter Meylan. “Watersnake Eden.” Herptological Conservation and Ecolog 5.1 (2010): 17-22. herpconbio.org. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.

The case study studies the differences between watersnakes living retention ponds and watersnakes living in natural ponds and streams.  The study finds little difference.

“Butterfly Gardening – Plants to Attract Butterflies, Hummingbirds, and Wildlife.” The Butterfly WebSite – butterfly photos, butterfly clipart, education, butterfly zoos and more!. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. <http://butterflywebsite.com/butterflygardening.cfm&gt;.

Other than birds, we thought attracting butterflies to the pond would be helpful.  This webpage lists what kinds of plants caterpillars of a species like and what kinds of plants butterflies of a species like.

“Cardinal (Bird).” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardinal_%28bird%29>.
Cardinals are among the birds we are most interested in attracting.  This page lists habitats, food sources, and habits of the cardinal.

“Coveside Bird Houses & Bird Feeders.” Coveside Bird Houses & Bird Feeders. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. <http://www.coveside.biz/&gt;.

If you want to attract birds, you need a place for them to live.  This page has different ideas for birdhouses of different species.

“Monarch (butterfly) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_%28butterfly%29

We also want to attract butterflies.  The wikipedia article summarizes the habits and habitats of the butterfly.

Ohio Division of Wildlife. Common Birds of Ohio Guidebook. Web. <http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/9/pdf/pub414.pdf&gt;.

This handy guidebook provided information about species of birds are common in the Delaware area and what species of birds would be attracted to a pond.

“Providing Safe Food.” How to Attract Birds — . N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. <http://howtoattractbirds.com/providing-safe-food/&gt;.

This article contains information for keeping birds fed long term.  It suggests finding ways to attract insects long-term.

“Reconciliation ecology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reconciliation_ecology&gt;.

The Wikipedia article explained the basics of Reconciliation Ecology, which as it turns out is what we wanted to do for the project.

“Reliable Prosperity: Ecological Infrastructure.” Reliable Prosperity. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011. <http://www.reliableprosperity.net/ecological_infrastructure.html&gt;.
The article summarizes the effects of stormwater retention ponds on the ecological infrastructure of an area.

Rosenzweig, Michael. Win-Win Ecology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.

In the chapter “Hardcore Reconciliation” Rosenzweig gives examples of reconciliation.  In particular he writes about projects which can be undertaken on stormwater retention ponds.


Stream bank habitat for native pollinators

September 28, 2011

Creating Habitat for Native Pollinators

Glenn Skiles (working in conjunction with Hannah Benzing)

Description and Overview of Project:

Native pollinator species have been in decline in most regions of the world and it has raised concerns over what the potential ecological impact may be. It is estimated that 75% of plant species humans rely on require propagation by pollinators. Although honey bees are the most commonly know pollinator, they are not the most effective and can in fact spread disease to native populations when shipped in to pollinate large agricultural areas. Alternative pollinators include a variety of other insects in the hymenoptera family such as carpenter bees, sweat bees, and bumble bees. Butterflies and moths are also effective pollinators, as are beetles and even some ants. Unlike honeybees, most native bees are docile and because they do not live in large hives will not sting to defend their nests. Bumble bees do live in colonies underground that if disturbed might be defended, but this is a rare occurrence.

For my project I would like to combine restoring the stream bank of Delaware Run with native plants species and with them creating habitat for native pollinators. Habitat loss is thought to be one of the top causes of population declines of native pollinators in North America. By carefully choosing plants which are both attractive to visitors of the campus and native to this part of Ohio, a useful habitat for native species can be created. Because most pollinators do not travel great distances for food, even a small area of land planted with a diversity of native plants could be enough to be beneficial to local populations.

The primary needs required by native pollinators are a sources of food, water, and shelter. The native plants will be selected as those most attractive to pollinators (which incidentally tend to be brightly colored and attractive to guests as well). They will be native and adapted to our climate, therefore low maintenance. Delaware Run will provide water to the pollinators. Pollinator nest boxes can easily be built out of 2X4s for and even sand boxes (which could be nicely decorated). Pollinators will also take advantage of the preexisting trees and shrubs found along the Run. Potential problems will include mowing and the use of pesticides which could of course be deadly to the insects.

I recently narrowed down the direction of my project from just planting native species to actively trying to attract native pollinators and so I have not yet identified which plants will be the best to choose. It will be important to choose plants of a variety of colors and to have something in bloom for as much of the year as possible.

Project Outline:

1. I will need to contact the appropriate faculty with the expertise in which plants and pollinators would be the best to select for and why. It will be important that the plants are attractive and low maintenance. I will also need to figure out who is in charge of giving permission to plant and clearing everything with Buildings and Grounds. Getting student groups involved such as the Horticulture Club and Environment and Wildlife Club will also be beneficial as it may add some sustainability to the project.

2. Solidifying a plan as to how the area should be designed, what plants need to go were based on light and water needs, etc. Choosing the exact location(s) will also be important. It will be important to have a solid design down before submitting the project to any school or city officials for approval.

3. Finally, it will be important for the site to not only be beautiful, but also useful to academic departments or the greater Delaware community. Perhaps an event could be planned that would bring awareness to the site, its benefits, and how it can be replicated.

Annotated Bibliography:

Gordon, David. “Enhancing Alternative Pollinators.” Redirecting. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2011. http://faculty.pittstate.edu/~dgordon/altpol/altpolptext_frame.htm.
   This website gave useful information on the life histories of the insects and how to encourage them to use your land. It also gave a lot of information on what kind of habitat each pollinator required along with some potential problems with native pollinators. This website was not as useful or easy to use as others that I found.

Ley, Elizabeth , Stephan Buchmann, Katherine Macguire, and Larry Stritch. “Eastern Broadleaf Forest Continental Province.” Selecting Plants for Pollinators. Pollinator Partnership and NAPPC, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2011.. 

    Selecting plants for pollinators was an extremely useful PDF that divided up the country into diverse regions. It was a guide whose purpose was to give you the information necessary to choose which plants would be best suited for planting according to what you were looking to attract. It also gave information on a wide range of pollinators.

“Native Pollinators.” Fish and Wildlife Habitat Management Leaflet . Version 34. Wildlife Habitat Management Institute, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <plants.usda.gov/pollinators/Native_Pollinators.pdf>.

    This was another useful PDF that went more in-depth as to the habitat  and shelter that should be created for each specific type of pollinator. It was aimed more at agricultural areas and as a guide to farmers looking to increase pollinators in their fields.

Barbara Wiehe – Greenhouse manager. Has interest in native plants and is knowledgable as to the best environment for them

Ramon Carreno – Professor of Zoology: etymology. A resource on the local pollinators that would be best to attract.

 

Project Proposal

September 28, 2011

Project Title: Haven’t come up with a clever title yet, but it is in the works! ….(Park your car, it’s not too far!)?

Project Participant: Alexandra Bishop

 

Overview and Description:

For my project this year in Geography 360, I would like to raise awareness about the usage of your legs or a bicycle as the primary means of transportation in getting to class instead of using a car. Personally, I do drive to class sometimes, and every time I go to park at Selby stadium or anywhere else near the academic side of campus, I notice parking lots that are full of students’ vehicles. I feel that is important to raise awareness about this issue because right now the world is beginning to run out of natural resources such as gas, and walking to class could have a large impact on the amount of resources we consume at Ohio Wesleyan. The basic idea behind this project is that it is very important to protect the resources that we have, so we don’t run out! If more people walked to class instead of driving, they would save a lot of money that they would normally spend on gas, and have a lot more money to spend on other personal items! Therefore, this is a win-win situation! In order to accomplish raising awareness about this issue, I would like to send out an all-campus email which would include a survey asking people how they get to class: biking, walking, or driving. I would also like to spend days counting the numbers of cars in the parking lot of Selby and other areas where students park, then separate the types of cars into small cars, small SUVs, large SUVs, and trucks. After doing this, I would search the average gas mileage that these cars get, in order to figure out the cost of gas that these students are spending. I will also figure out the amount of miles that a student would drive to class and back everyday, separating groups into dorms, SLUs, and other student housing such as fraternities, in order to calculate how much money each student would spend on gas per week. After doing this, I would post flyers around campus with information in a “Did You Know” fashion about the money they are spending by driving, and possibly also include the amount of calories that could be burned while walking (i have a Nike+ watch which counts the amount of calories burned), in order to provide another incentive. After posting flyers and trying to raise awareness, I will continue to count the number of cars in parking areas, to determine if the numbers have changed. This project is meaningful to me as I realize how much we are affecting the environment in emissions and usage of natural resources, and I think that it is also a project that can easily be continued in future years.

 

Project Outline:

I will begin the project by collecting data through surveying students with a campus-wide email, as well as counting cars in student parking areas around campus. After doing this, it is time to separate types of cars, then figure out mileage from residence areas to the designated parking areas. I will then research the average gas mileage that each type of car gets to figure out the weekly cost of driving to class, and figure out calories burned from walking instead of driving, in order to create a flyer that can be posted all around campus that will raise awareness for this issue. I will make sure to post flyers in all popular places around campus, so that everyone will have a chance to see the impact they are making when they drive to class. After raising awareness, I will continue to count the cars several times per week, and continue to post different types of flyers that would encourage students to walk instead of driving. When the project is finished, I will have plenty of data that we can use to determine if the awareness has changed people’s’ minds about wasting our natural resources and polluting the environment.

 

Sources:

As I have just recently decided to use this as my project (Monday), I have not had time to find many sources on the issue. I will be able to use resources to find gas mileage, and other informative sources about the pros and cons between driving and walking. My project is still in the works, and I am open to any suggestions that anyone might have!

 

 


Plants in the Atrium Project Proposal

September 28, 2011

Arthur Taylor

Mr. Krygier

Environmental Geography

Project Name: Plants in the Atrium

Participant: Arthur Taylor

Description: My project is a continuation on a project that was started a few years ago. The goal of this project is to place some plants in the atrium of the Science Center. The science center has plants, but not in that general area, though the original plans for the building did call for plants to be placed there. I think that adding plants to the science center atrium would be a welcome addiction by students and staff alike. Plants have been described as a miracle of nature. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, effectively the reverse of what we do. They are also a source of beauty and people who look at them usually feel at peace. It’s true that nothing brightens up a room like flowers. Almost every house in America has a garden or at least some form of plants living outside on its lawn, having plants inside is basically the next step. It has been shown that trees or other plants placed in workstations make the area seem more inviting, and trees are among the best ways to “naturalize” a workplace.

Some of the benefits for having trees in the science center include better air quality, since the trees naturally recycle air we breathe out, as well as being able to produce a soothing effect and helping to lower the levels of stress. In the science center, seeing as how many classes are taught there (and many exams are given there), the presence of a few plants could dramatically lower the stress levels of students, which might lead to an increase in grade averages. According to reports that I’ve looked at, a person who works in an environment with greenery often feels better than a person who has been working in a place without greenery.

However, there are some cons to this strategy. The most obvious of which is space. Though there is usually a vast amount of floor space in the science center atrium, during celebrations and other events like presidents ball, tings get moved around constantly and there is always a danger that the plants might get in the way, which is why I’ve been leaning towards the concept of vertical plants. This idea is basically placing plants on the walls, which will not only solve the problem of space, but also provide an abnormal feature to the atrium. Also there is the worry of mold spores, since the science center’s air system is reusable, but this problem can be solved with finding the right species of plants, ones that produce little of no mold at all.

In conclusion, I feel that adding plants to the science center atrium, as it should have been done originally, with be a change that will we widely welcomed by students and staff alike and will have a positive affect on the environment of the science center.

Project outline: The aim of this project is to ultimately place plants into the science center atrium. To do this, I will be tackling this from two different directions. My original plan was to set up trees in various corners of the atrium, based in mobile bases so they can be transported without too much trouble when staff are re-arranging, and I’d still like to peruse that. But I’m also interested in vertical planting. This could be arranged in two forms. A simple plan would be to place plants on the balconies that overlook the atrium, in window boxes. This would give the balconies a kind of “natural’ look to them. However, I’m hoping to go with a fancier system with would involve putting planters vertically on the walls themselves. This would give a unique image to the science center and make for a fascinating display to visitors. The direction that I decide to go in would most likely revolve around getting permission from the University to install a vertical planter, and of securing the required funds necessary. I may end up going with just window boxes and movable planters, but I’d like to install a vertical planter.

Sources:

  1. Report created by Ali Samir Oosman and Sayan Ghosal, which dictates not only the pros and cons to having plants in the atrium, but also recommends species of plants that could thrive in the atrium, as well as the contact information for local nurseries
  2. Plants on Walls website: http://www.plantsonwalls.com/?gclid=CJP_zaeLrasCFYjBKgodwVsSJg This website talks about the pros of installing a vertical garden, which include how to set them up and how to take care of them
  3. Michelle Li, helping me to plan locations for plants in the atrium by making a GIS scan of the floor plans of the atrium
  4. Interiorscape Integrated Pest Management; this website talks about the light requirements that indoor plants need. This will come in handy when it is time to choose what species of plants to place in the atrium. http://ipm.ncsu.edu/InteriorScapes/PLNTMGMT.html
  5. Barbara Wiehe, member of the greenhouse staff, she’s given me information for choosing what plants to use, she’s also recommending the tests of water and humidity
  6. Bachman’s Floral Gifts and Garden; this website offers advice on indoor trees, which I was originally looking into. If I decide to stick with plants in movable bases, I will go with indoor trees. http://www.bachmans.com/Care-Handling/Plants/divHomePage.html?cnb=Plants&categoryCode=01&pageIndex=_pageIndexToken_largePlantsandIndoorTrees
  7. “Benefits of plants” from Washington State University; this report talks about the responses that people have to the presence of indoor plants. http://public.wsu.edu/~lohr/hih/
  8. Tropical-Rainforest-Animals.com; this website has an interesting article about air pollution, describing its causes. It mentions indoor air pollution, which I think may soon become a problem in OWU. http://www.tropical-rainforest-animals.com/air-pollution.html
  9. “An Engineering approach to controlling indoor air quality” By James E. Woods; this article talks about how plants can be used tin improve the air quality inside a room or building. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3431100?&Search=yes&searchText=indoor&searchText=plants&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dindoor%2Bplants%26acc%3Don%26wc%3Don&prevSearch=&item=8&ttl=2996&returnArticleService=showFullText
  10. “Fungal Spores, Hazardous to health?” By W.G. Sorenson; this article talks about mold and other fungus spores, and how they affect people. This is important because mold is a key problem I face in my project. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25071012?&Search=yes&searchText=mold&searchText=indoor&searchText=plants&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dindoor%2Bplants%2Bmold%26acc%3Don%26wc%3Don&prevSearch=&item=7&ttl=186&returnArticleService=showFullText