Carbon Offset for the Presidents Climate Commitment.

September 30, 2014

Title- Carbon Offset for the President’s Climate Commitment

Participant – Lili Fikter

For this project I am looking into the variety of methods that Ohio Wesleyan University could use to offset its carbon footprint. This involves figuring out an efficient way of documenting the air travel that is funded by OWU. This will involve trying to calculate the amount of miles traveled given the cost of the air tickets. The ways in which we could offset the carbon footprint would need to be to meet the standards of the President’s Climate Commitment. The project will be divided into two parts calculating air travel and figuring carbon offset methods.

Main focus

Air Travel

  • Ways to record air travel for accounting
  • Calculating ticket cost
  • Calculating distance traveled based on cost

Carbon Offset

  • Different methods used to offset carbon costs
  • Most efficient method for Ohio Wesleyan


“American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.” Voluntary Carbon Offset Protocol. American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

  • This site it really useful for figuring out where to look for other information figuring out what needs to be done. There is a list of frequently asked questions. There is also information connecting to specific pages in the Presidents Climate Commitments workbook that will help in getting the information directly.

Investing in Carbon Offset: Guidelines for ACUPCC Institutions. N.p.: American College & University Presidents Climate Commitments, n.d. PDF.

  • This is the guidebook informing about the offset programs. This talks about different programs that can be used to work as the carbon offset. It also talks in different ways about the importance of the carbon offset. This basically shows what will need to be done to complete the Carbon offset.

“Airline Fare Analysis: Comparing Cost per Mile.” Weblog post. Rome2rio. N.p., 2 Jan. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

  • This blog has an equation for calculating the cost of air travel and one part of the equation is the distance traveled so this might be useful for calculating the distance traveled. This is from 2013 so over time the costs might have changed for airlines but it might be a good starting point.

These are not cited I am not sure if I am going to use them but it is a collection of websites and blogs that other schools who have signed the President’s Climate Commitment have made.

The only major thing I still need is the information from accounting that has the money spent on air travel.

Nature – Coates

September 30, 2014

Blake Fajack and Lili Fikter

Green Countryside

Chapter 6: Nature as Landscape

  1. This chapter focuses on the enclosure and imparkation of 18th and 19th century Europe, mainly England.
  2. The enclosure of nature in layman’s terms is more or less the fencing in of nature. At this time in Europe the industrial revolution drew people in from the rural areas to the cities, leaving a vacuum in the rural areas. Upper class people looking to hunt big game bought up the land leftover.
  3. Imparkation and landscaping is more or less mold nature to meet some ideal model or nature aesthetic. In Europe this was practiced to meet a certain ideal look, a mowed lawn, trimmed hedges, controlled gardens, etc. This was more or less a way for the upper class to show their dominance over nature.
  4. “Art perfects imperfect nature” (pg.131)
  • Native Americans practiced something similar to imparkation; only it was designed to meet a functional ideal, to attract big game. Is this necessarily a bad thing?
  • Why do you think practices such as lawn mowing still exist today? Is it for practical reasons? Is it to meet some cultural norm? Or is it still to show one’s superiority over nature?


Chapter 7: Reassessments of Nature

  1. This chapter is about some of the cultural changes that lead to the Environmental movement in the 20th One of those changes being Romanticism, the other being Darwinism.
  2. The Romanticism of nature was a movement that cast a positive (almost holy) light onto nature. Poets like Emerson and Thoreau drew nature as something beautiful and perfect on it’s own. Many started looking to nature as a place to get in touch with human spirituality (almost exploiting it). However poets like Emerson never made an effort to collapse the distinction of nature and culture.
  3. Darwinism is what the author says closed the gap between nature and culture. People began seeing humanity as a species of animal, as something that is part of nature. However, even with this distinction gone, people still put humanity on a pedestal above nature, often using Darwinism to support that view. Although Darwin’s view was the opposite.
  • Why would you say humanity tends to put itself on a pedestal above nature? Is this human-centric world-view an example of “specieism” (also touched upon in the chapter)?
  • Why do you think that people thought (and still think) that the belief that humans are tied up with nature was dangerous? Why do you think people fear this notion? The author states that many of them said that “this point could provoke human descent into the animalism of unrestrained sexual activity and violence,” (pg. 141) what do you think of this statement?


Chapter 8: The disunited Colours of Nature

  1. Capitalism, socialism, and Nature- Marx criticized capitalism and the fact that while they used many raw materials the failed to recycle wastes materials Engels criticized the idea of man / nature and focused on that we are tied to nature and that the actions are likely to have a result that impacts us. While they both were thinking environmentally neither commented much on the destruction of wildlife habitats. Arne Naess coined the concept of ‘Deep Ecology’ where the real solution to environmental problems is sought at the individual level.
  2. British ‘Green’ Tradition – Thoreau was greatly admired by many and had great influences on the opinions of nature. There was a large attraction to the unspoiled nature. At the populations increased the demand for small non-private city parks increased.
  3. Ethics of Preserving Nature- When parent bird were taken for there feathers to be used the baby birds were left alone. Women then wanted to step in and preserve the birds due to their maternal instinct. “While the motivations can hardly be described as ecological….worked to arouse sense of shame among fellow women by playing on maternal instinct.” -165
  • Does the reason behind the conservation change the value of the conservation?


Chapter 9: The Future of Nature

  1. Mortality of the Earth- In the 16th century environmental problems were associated with “the physical decay of the world”-175. These problems were primarily weeds, diseases, and inclement weather. Now with pollutants that get spread worldwide there are not part of nature that is not impacted by man. McKibben’s belief was that while some local problems could be repaired while largely spread problems are less capable of being repaired.
  2. Idea of Nature- Nature goes beyond what we imagine as nature. Many unban environments such as, parks, college campuses, and fields play the part as wildlife habitats. Even man made things, like buildings can become home to a species. This plays into the idea of ‘new’ ecology, which talks about the idea that even nature that is left alone is always changing.
  • “The crucial Question is not how wild or natural nature is, but how healthy it is.”-190 This goes into the debate about nature and if we force nature to stay, as one pristine environment is it still nature?


Decrease in Global wildlife populations

September 30, 2014

Looking over the past 40 years there has been a large decline of populations. Fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians had an overall decline of 52 percent. Original finding had it at a decline of 28 percent but with more data from tropical areas it was actually found to be much higher. Freshwater species suffered the most declining by 76% while marine and terrestrial species still declined but only at 39%.

Environmental issue

September 30, 2014

peta shows us 25 Reasons You Should Never Fly Air France.

Nature 2

September 30, 2014

In the second half of Nature, Coates discuss nature throughout the world and how back when the first world countries were growing and how the characteristics of how they were growing were foreshadowing how they were going to be. Next he moves into the idea of nature and romanticism. Three main points were talked about including Darwinism, ecology, and nature. In each of these points he discusses how it all began through Darwinism, and how Darwin did not romanticize in nature contrary to popular belief at the time. He was in love with nature, not for how it looked but how nature functioned and thrived.  To illustrate this point, here is a good example. Bees pollinate clovers, however, bee hives are destroyed by mice. Naturally, the more cats there are in an area, the less mice there will be, so the more cats there are in an area, the more clovers there will be. It continues to discuss more about how he saw or interpreted ecology and nature.bee hive

“The American identification of freedom and independence with wild nature produces the fear that the values of nationalism itself will be damaged if you destroy the symbols of nationalism because they depend on embodiment in tangible objects.  Killing a bald eagle becomes as heinous a crime as burning the Stars and the Stripes.  This objectification of cultural beliefs through attachment to certain landscapes or animals results in an odd sort of conservation: the bald eagle’s value derives not from any ecological role but from its status as a national emblem.  Nature as a national heritage offers no reason for an American to be worried about the fate of Canadian or Mexican eagles.” (pg 109) This quote really stood out to me because it shows that some things in nature are protected not for their rarity or imperativeness to the ecosystem, but for their sentimental value.


The rest of the book talks about the future of our earth and where we are now. how things we have done are irreversible. The world may be on a path to destruction that we will not be able to recover from. i thought this was very enlightening because it makes us feel like we are doomed.


Nature part2 -Bouch

September 30, 2014

I found the 2nd half of the book more interesting than the first, especially due to the fact that he talked about Jefferson and Locke, and as a politics and government major I found it interesting. When he talked about ‘Jefferson’s taste in estate aesthetics’, I found that compelling to discuss. The fact Jefferson appreciated nature and beauty, in feeling that way he did so many things to assure his estate was top notch, having all his slaves keep the plantation in tip top shape. Not to hate on the guy, I am related to him, no joke he’s on my family tree, but he did go hard to make sure his land was kept pristine.


Monticello -aerial view depiction

Anyways I found a lot of things in the second half of the book more compelling to discuss and read. For instance, the reoccurring theme of our class, the constant disagreement and competition concerning the definition of nature and use of nature. “The latest generation of human geographers and the ‘new’ garden historians seek to reveal the victors and victims in the competition for control over the definition and use of nature.” P. 111, Coates

Coates speaks about the past and present use of nature and changes around the globe from England to California, as well as several others in his chapter Nature as Landscape.

He discusses how “Wilderness was the raw material out of which nature was fashioned- nature being the improved, privately owned landscape of farms, gardens, and rural estates that occupied middle ground between industrial urban society and untamed savagery.” P. 124, Coates

I feel what Coates is stepping in there, and the fact that many of us today treat nature and wilderness in that way exactly. Although, appreciation of nature and wilderness still exists, we turn it into farms, gardens and estates just as he says.

I found Coates’ discussion about Charles Darwin’s theory of Darwinism, ecology and nature very interesting. My favorite quote was, “Darwin’s agreement with Thomas Malthus, the eighteenth century population theorist, that life involved a ‘struggle for existence’ (a phrase he adopted from Malthus), seems a far cry from the Romantic view of nature as a harmonious community of life.” P. 139, Coates

A controversial discussion I read over several times and had to talk about was in regards to Coates’ chapter The Disunited Colours of Nature, in which he talked about the British ‘green’ tradition and nature as outdoor amenity. The fact that nature is considered an outdoor amenity to many people including myself, is definitely true and I understand completely. The last quote I will share in which I enjoyed very much was ” Green socialists aim to steal deep ecology’s thunder by showing how much current green thinking is prefigured in the history of socialism. True greens, in their view, are also red.” P. 155, Coates

Coates is a baller and I enjoyed his book more than any other author we have read so far. _Bouch


Project – Bug chips/foods outline

September 30, 2014

Thomas Cary Boucher

Professor Krygier

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 6.01.06 PM

  1. Research—Get in touch with Youngstown cricket farm guy with Krygier **possibly visit Big Cricket Farms

Entomophagy- Practice of eating insects

Why Eat Bugs-

Insects have served as a nutritional, tasty and safe food source for people for tens of thousands of years, all over the planet. Today insect eating is rare in the developed world, but eating insects is a common practice in over 13 countries. Insects remain a popular food in many developing regions of Central and South America, Africa, Australia and Asia. It’s only a matter of time till Eurocentric based cultures, like the United States, Canada and Europe catch on.


How many insects are edible for human consumption

There are an estimated 1,462 species of recorded edible insects according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

How nutritional are bugs?

Insects are very nutritional; they tend to be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Let’s take the cricket as an example: 100 grams of cricket contains: 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, 5.5 g. of fat, 5.1 g. of carbohydrates, 75.8 mg. calcium, 185.3 mg. of phosphorous, 9.5 mg. of iron, 0.36 mg. of thiamin, 1.09 mg. of riboflavin, 3.10 mg. of niacin and .05% fat.

Compare that with 100 grams of ground beef, which, although it contains more protein, about 23.5 g. to be exact, it has 288.2 calories and an enormous amount of fat, in fact 21.2 grams worth! Lou Sorkin, Advisor for Insects Are Food, would like to add that like any food, how you prepare them can change their status from healthy to not so healthy. Deep-frying them or using them only as a novelty in a sugared or chocolate coating might be tasty, but then you’re eating a junk-food preparation, albeit a tasty one.

The difference however between a regular chocolate chip cookie and one made with crickets is that the one made with crickets has a lot more protein! It’s a no-brainer to choose the chocolate chip cookie with crickets (or as entomophagists call them, “chocolate chirp” cookies) over any other brand!

The insects taste. What do they taste like?

Dave Gracer, Advisor for Insects Are Food, has an answer that covers both sides of the coin: “One kind of answer deals with the details – dry-toasted cricket tastes like sunflower seeds; katydid like toasted avocado; palm grub like bacon soup with a chewy, sweet finish. Weaver ant pupae have practically no flavor, while the meat of the giant water bug is, astonishingly, like a salty, fruity, flowery Jolly Rancher. The other kind of answer is more theoretical and conceptual: often, insects taste the way that people expect them to. If insects were delicious then we’d all know it and we’d eat them, since we like delicious food. Whereas if insects are perceived, however incorrectly as disgusting, the chances that they’ll be deemed delicious are pretty low.”

  1. Set up booth in November or December at OWU offering bug chips for sampling & give nutritional facts about them.

“Three Harvard grads recently set up a $30,000 Kick starter campaign to make tortilla chips out of ground-up crickets; they weren’t sure they’d make it.”

Climate change -influenced extreme heat -new report

September 30, 2014

According to a recent report following research done from 2013’s weather patterns and heat, it seems that climate change has been a factor in extreme heat around the globe.

Man-made climate change stoked some of 2013’s most extreme heat on the planet, a new report shows.

Twenty-two separate research teams analyzed 16 of last year’s extreme weather events, for instance the California drought and devastating flooding in Colorado, to determine whether climate change — primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels — made any of the events more likely or severe.

Scientists found clear fingerprints of climate change on all five of the heat waves analyzed in the report, which was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  But for other events, isolating the impact of climate change from natural variability proved to be more difficult.

Map of extreme weather events 2013

Natural to Resort to Atlantis!

September 30, 2014

Barrier Islands of the United States Atlantic coasts will feel some of the most dramatic impacts of climate change. The only uncertainty is when will these Islands be absorbed by the ocean, not if.

These are also Islands were a lot of development is going on.


The problem with both rising sea levels and development happening on these Islands is the development will soon be under water. Developments also make for slower recoveries from flooding.


Wildlife Homes project

September 30, 2014

Title: Wildlife Homes on Campus


Participants: Blake Fajack and Jayne Ackerman



Delaware county is Ohio’s fastest growing county. Human encroachment into wildlife habitats has limited areas for food and shelter for wildlife.  Bats, bees, and birds are some of most impactful species present in Delware country that are in need of shelter. Many species resort to finding shelter in human homes, where they can cause damage to housing, spread disease, or be exterminated by the humans that live there. To offer more options we are building shelters for these animals to live on campus.

Bee hotel

One of the bat boxes made this weekend, needs painted.

One of the bat boxes made this weekend, needs painted.



  • Meet with Dick Tuttle (October 3rd)
    • get plan for bird houses together
  • Build 2 bat houses
  • Get supplies for Bee Hotels and bird houses
    • Dr. K’s bamboo
  • Look around campus for good locations
  • Make up plan before talking with BG
  • Talk with BG about where to put homes
  • Plan event for building bee hotels and mounting all houses
  • Make plans for future maintenance and sustainability of wildlife homes


  • Sheffield, S.R., Shaw, J.H., Heidt, G.A., McClenaghan, L.R. 1992. Guidelines for the protection of bat roosts. Journal of Mammalogy 73: 707-710.
    • Focus on bat conservation, why roost are important, how humans are limiting roosts

Tentative set of key dates:

  • November – bird house/bee hotel event (assembly, painting houses, hanging houses, etc.)
    • Before Thanksgiving break
    • Maybe Nov 14th
  • Meet with Dick Tuttle and Dr. K on Friday Oct 3
  • Survey good areas for house locations Oct. 9 with Dick Tuttle and Dr. K