Notes 9/28: Emily

September 28, 2016

Nature Notes:

“‘This desire stemmed from the belief that man’s essential nature resided in his emotions (‘I feel therefore I am’)  rather than his reason (‘I think therefore I am’)…'” This really represents a struggle of values, emotions versus thought that is around even today and has been for awhile.

“None wanted to trade permanently the benefits of modern life for the charms of existence in rude nature. Most sought only a temporary antidote. ‘Cataracts and mountains are good occasional society’, Wordsworth conceded, ‘but they will not do for constant companions.'” You can often call out the “posers” who call for a return to nature but won’t sleep outside all night.

“human domination over nature ‘did not rest upon columns of steel and shafts of timber but rather upon the soul’s aptitude to use nature in exploits of self-discovery and to contemplate the essential, spiritual harmony exhibited by the created universe.'” This is super interesting, the idea that nature’s true value is it’s assistance is self-discovery and knowledge.

“Besides, these middle-class initiatives often displayed more concern with the detrimental effects that enjoyment of cruelty would have on the moral status of the lower orders and their behavior towards other humans than sincere interest in the well-being of the animal victims. Whereas the ancient Roman elite trusted that gory spectacles would exhaust plebeian emotional urges, rendering the populace more tractable, the British Victorian establishment believed that sadistic amusements exacerbated people’s natural bestiality.”

“Each interest group takes from evolutionary theory and ecological study what best serves its needs.”

We worked on defining ‘Wilderness’ and ‘Nature’. Now I want to define ‘Conservation’, ‘Environmentalism’, and ‘Ecology”.

ecologist=’social healer’, not heal nature but to be healed by it

There seems to be three ways of finding actual value in Nature: Aesthetic value, Spiritual value, or Materialistic value.

Also seems to be two separate moral reasonings for environmentalist concern: concern for the physical earth and concern for humans. For example, the excuse that natural parks should be around for future generations is not true concern for the earth itself but concern of humanity. This is another reason why access to what is preserved is as important as the actual act of preservation.

The idea that the environmental struggle is the the struggle against capitalism is interesting. “In short, who owns the means of production is not such a trivial issue.” I have often felt this way when judging what I could do to really help the environmentalism cause. Effects in industry are far more than the effects of the individual but I personally can’t control industry. So it does feel like the struggle to decide how resources are used with an upper class.

I noticed that often “recreation” was named as one of the main enjoyments/uses of nature.

Coates has a fantastic conclusion at the end of ‘the future of nature’!

Environmental Stuff Notes:

A conversation today brought up a good point about the sustainable practice of buying local foods. What defines local? Within the city? Within the county? Within the state?  Within so many miles such as 150 miles? Is it reasonable to only buy food within the county which has very limiting options or availability? Buying from southern Ohio might be reasonable but this hardly seems as local. What about buying regionally? This still lessens the travel of the food and still ensures variety, quality, and availability.

Pacia Purcell: Project Proposal

September 28, 2016

Overview: The overall goal of this project is to implement composting on campus to reduce the amount of food wasted here on campus.

Firstly I want to research and find all the places on campus that would benefit from the fertilizer produced by composting, such as the flower beds and gardens and possibly the greenhouse.

For my project I also want to research the amount of money composting would save the university. Money is spent through throwing food waste away, which then ends up in dumpsters, and then the university pays to have these dumpsters emptied. I plan to find out how much food is wasted and thrown away and how much dumpster space the food waste takes up. Additionally through composting fertilizer is made. I plan to calculate the amount of money the university currently pays for fertilizer. I will then combine the savings from both calculations to come up with an overall savings for the implementation of composting.

I recently visited Aleks Ilich, who composts in town. He used to take food scraps from Smith, but recently stopped due to their lack of cooperation. I would like to see if Aleks would be willing to start taking food scraps from Smith again if we worked with the Smith to ensure their cooperation.

Also, I know the Seminary Hill Farm is very interested in composting for their gardens. I want to meet with representatives from the farm in order to incorporate our efforts with theirs.

Lastly, my visit with Aleks has inspired me to start composting myself. I want to start a small worm colony myself for all of the food scraps from the house I live in (Honors House).


Fertilizer on Campus

  • Talk to Buildings and Grounds to find the landscapers used on campus
  • Talk to the landscapers to find out how much fertilizer they use and how much it costs
  • Talk to professors who use the greenhouse and find out what fertilizer and how much fertilizer is used


  • Over the period of a week calculate the total amount (weight and volume) of food waste from Smith
  • Find out how much the Delaware Waste people charge per dumpster
  • Calculate how much of the dumpster is taken up by food waste
  • Calculate how much fertilizer could be produced (talk to Aleks for this) to find out how much could be put towards the university’s needs

Food Scraps for Immediate composting

  • Talk to the person in charge of Chartwells to see if they would be willing to set aside food scraps for Aleks to take
  • Talk to Aleks and see if he would be willing to take the scraps again

Seminary Farm Hill

  • Go visit the farm and see what they’re all about
  • Talk to them about starting composting there

Small scale composting

  • Ask my housemates to save food waste
  • Prepare tubs (found in my closet) for worm composting
  • Buy worms and start composting


Nature Pt. 2

September 28, 2016

by Amanda Apicella

I found Coates’ discussion of the controversy regarding “raw” nature and the gardens that altered and proportioned nature for aesthetics quite interesting. Although the “nature” and green is there, it is altered to be mathematically proportioned according to artistic/aesthetic preferences. But the question is, is it still “nature”? Is it “wrong”? There was much controversy in regards to this issue and much of it surrounds the dichotomy between Nature and Art. When Jean-Jacques Rousseau described a particular garden as “… you see nothing here in an exact row, nothing level, Nature plants nothing by the ruler.” he hadn’t known the garden was actually thoroughly contrived and planned, despite appearing less kempt and orderly. Is Nature only Nature or “right” when it is not put there by human hands or when it only appears to have not been put there by human hands?

Coates almost appears to dance around the various approaches and historic attempts to draw the line as to what counts as nature and what doesn’t (or what is the “right” form of nature) as it shifts constantly as the society itself changes over time. There are so many different ideologies and regarding this that this book highlights in order to blur the line and pretty much show how varied the word Nature is in terms of what it describes (as the way nature is viewed/defined and/or treated seems to reflect the changes within a society). It honestly makes me wonder if there is even a “true” definition of nature and it is odd considering it is used in some laws to describe areas yet is extremely vague in reality.


Project proposal

September 28, 2016


Project title: Lobby Posters for OWU play “Enemy of the People

Project Participant(s): James Ormerod & Pat Watson

Description & overview of project:

The theater department contacted Dr. Krygier early in the semester saying that they are putting on a play that revolves are water crisis. Although the play is about 100 years old, this is still a very relevant issue facing society. Elane from the theater department wants to collaborate with students on this topic. She wants us to make poster boards to be put in the lobby of the theater after the show so that people have something to bring the message home to them. These images should represent water crisis. Elane also wanted to have images to project onto the background of the play while being preformed. We will be in the lobby after the show to talk to people about what water crisis looks like today and what solutions are happening. We chose to focus on more local events rather then a worldwide perspective, for if we cant solve our own issues here we cannot solve them elsewhere. OWU’s Environment and Wildlife club will also be making posters and lobbying with us to further promote our collaboration with the theater department.

Outline of project: 

The play is to be preformed the weekend of Friday, October 7-9th. So far we have provided them with pictures depicting water crisis in Flint, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio- and the recovery that is still happening. We will continue to do research and educate ourselves on the subject as there are many layers to a water crisis. There is the government aspect, the social part, and the scientific side to every crisis. We will provide educational posters with pictures and descriptions about how society faces these current issues.

Another part of the project revolves around what happens after the play, as we have more than half of the semester left. I want to play a trip to visit the newly build Delaware water treatment plant to see what they are doing to keep our water clean. It would encompass the chemical, governmental, and local social dilemmas of water in our world today. We could also write a report on what a modern day water crisis looks like compared to what the play depicted.


Current News: Carter Rae

September 28, 2016



The Paris Agreement is one of the latest agreements that sets forth efforts to curb climate change. Its objective is to put forth a global action plan prevent long term harm to the environment by agreeing on numerous limitations of carbon emissions in an attempt to keep the global average temperature “well below 2°C”, while also aiming “to limit the increase to 1.5°C”. What this article states is that the governments that agreed to this have no idea what they signed and probably also have no intention of honoring it even if they do. To effectively meet fossil fuel levels then countries would have to curb back production and stop developing future fossils fuels as well. Top government officials and politicians think they can prevent carbon emissions from rising by putting the carbon dioxide that is extracted rom the natural gas at power stations back into the ground. The author states “despite vast efforts to demonstrate the technology, it has not been proved at scale, and appears to be going nowhere. Our energy policies rely on vapourware.”

Project Proposal: Rethinking Fill-Up Stations-Carter Rae

September 28, 2016

Objective: To asses the placement of current stations and provide possible alternative locations that would be more beneficial to users.

Introduction: With climate change sparking environmental concerns in the previous years, Ohio Wesleyan University has taken charge in creating a more sustainable foot print in the landscape. Ever since there have been quite a few projects that have launched aiming to help in the effort. Last year, for example, the introduction of plastic to-go containers in Hamwill gave students an alternative to the styrofoam containers and helped OWU lower its usage of materials that present a possible harm to the landscape. Another prominent project implemented on campus is the water bottle fill-up stations that double as a drinking fountain. These stations promote the use of refilling their water bottles instead of throwing them away which decreases the overall amount of plastic they throw away. The purpose of this project is not to put in more stations specifically but rather provide locations that would better serve students and faculty alike in there refilling, translating to the limiting of purchasing a new water bottle when they are done.

Data Method: To gather the required data needed to properly come up with credible alternative locations, I will focus on finding and mapping current locations on the academic side of campus. Specifically everything from the theater to Selby Stadium. I plan on staying around the station in between classes and during sport events while not acting to sketchy and recording the timespan and how many times the refill part of the station is used while also noting how much activity is in the area. Knowing how many times a space is used is essential due to the fact that a higher number of people means a greater demand for water.  A possible second method to acquiring data is to write down the current number of refills a station has underwent, then visiting after a week and record how much the number has increased.

Data Assessment: By gathering the refill usage number and information on how frequently an area is visited  from two weeks time, I will be able to sketch a brief map visualizing high demand and low demand areas as well as usage numbers. What this data will give are places were that are efficient and less efficient signaling a need to either move a station or build a station, depending on cost.



Project Proposal: Pat Watson 9/28

September 28, 2016

This fall, October 6-9 the department of theatre and dance will be preforming Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” directed by Professor Denny-Todd. This is a classic play that elaborates on the destruction of our water and ecology systems through the misuse of power. I have been working on this project with James Ormerod for over a week and we have gathered data on the Flint and Toledo water crises. Whether from neglected government funding or environmental catalysts these issues are very important and relevant to this class and the play. Aside from the water crises at large in the world, we will provide educational information expounding on the destruction of ecology and water systems due to misuse of power. Since the date of the production is quickly approaching, we have began assembling pictures and data on  issues regarding the destruction of ecology and water system such as the Toledo, Ohio water crisis as well as the more well known water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Additionally, we will have posters and information in the lobby of the Chappelear Center to provide more data to anyone who would like a more extensive or educational explanation of the idea behind the play and the message that it illustrates. For this play the stage has been built out into the seating area to give a more involved feel to the production. With this, there is room behind the original stage location to have a white drop screen with projections displayed in the background behind the set during the play to add a visually descriptive reminder of what the side effects of the water and ecology crises are and how they affect the populations living in these unfortunate areas of the country. Also, the Environmental and Wildlife Club will be having a table and displaying a poster with educational information regarding the play and any relatable issues. This will hopefully further integrate the student body into not only the preforming arts program but also the bigger picture of environmental awareness.

Pacia Purcell: Nature Part 2

September 28, 2016

In one part of the book Coates discusses the mountains and how some people of the Romantic era saw them differently than the majestic piles of beauty that we see them as today. Travelers and poets expressed them to be “boils, warts, and blisters that disfigured the fair face of nature” (pg 130). Coates says that these views are the product of a combination of bad roads when traveling through the mountains, which made travels uncomfortable, and the literature at the time, which assess mountains as dreary and dismal. This leads me to think about the modern era and the way we think about mountains today. If today’s artists and writers depicted the mountains as they were depicted during this time would we still revel in them as we do today? Do we just think certain parts of nature are beautiful because others tell us to think so?

“‘Cataracts and mountains are good for occasional society…but they will not do for constant companions'” (pg 135). Alexander Supertramp would agree. There are those who believe they have a strong connection with nature and feel as if it is where they truly belong. But how long could these people actually last in what they consider true nature? And is it not an argument that humans are apart of nature so would not living as we do among humans also be considered living in nature? I think it would be hard for any one human to live without other humans. Even those who live in the mountains, spending loads of money to build their lavish, exclusive houses, have neighbors, or roads that can lead to potential civilizations. Likewise, although we have a lot more information about science about science than humans throughout history, our knowledge is still very basic and the common human probably could not survive in the undisturbed parts of nature for any substantial amount of time.

Coates mentions Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty (one of my all time favorite books) as part of the humanitarian movement of the time. Black Beauty follows the life of a horse, Black Beauty, as he is passed from owner to owner, facing abuse as well as kindness from humans. One of the biggest controversies of the books is using the horses for fashion in abusive ways. For instance, Beauty and his companion Ginger are forced to hold there heads unbearably high while pulling a cart. It was a practice performed by the aristocrats of the time in the name of fashion, with no regards to the horses who experience excruciating pain. Beauty is later sold from these people after been throwing a shoe while being ridden hard by a drunk man and scraping his knees. The aristocratic woman cannot have something looking so bad pulling her around town, so she sells him. Yet another way humans try to bend nature to their will. Society says it’s wrong to abuse animals, but only the animals humans like and some abuse is okay as long as it’s not the wrong kind of abuse.

Grass food crops facing climate change challenge

September 28, 2016

An Article by the BBC discusses a study that has highlighted the risk posed by projected climate change on the grass family (Poaceae) and in turn the  world’s ability to grow enough food. The speed at which the climate is predicted to shift by 2070 would occur too quickly for species of grass to adapt to the new conditions. These grass species include wheat, corn, rice, and sorghum (which provide almost half the calories consumed by humans) which could mean disaster for humans as well. Also, natural grasslands cover about 1/4th of the planet’s land area that contain a lot of biodiversity and would be lost should climate change have strong negative impacts on grasses.

The study used a representative sample of 236 grass species and estimated rates of change for their climatic niches (the temperature and precipitation conditions where a species occurs)  and compared them to the projected rates of climate change.

Project Proposal: Sustainable Heating and Cooling at OWU

September 28, 2016

Participant: Chris Pessell

About half of the buildings on campus have no AC or have insufficient heating. Some of the buildings that do have H&C are inefficient, such as the Science Center. This project aims to find alternative methods that could provide efficient, cost effective, and environmentally conscious air conditioning and heating throughout the year. Some alternative methods that I have found include geothermal H&C that may be promising. However, entirely new heating and cooling systems are not the only focus. Additional ideas may be taken on a smaller scale such as adding more plants or painting buildings in such a way as to reflect heat. I believe this project is important because there is no reason that the buildings on campus shouldn’t have some form of air conditioning and heating. It would be an addition that could improve student retention rates which would fit well into the current 2020 goal. It would also fit in well with the proposed Sustainability Plan. portion of the plan is that building renovations should be made with environmental sustainability in mind. Adding effective and sustainable temperature control would be an important addition.

There is going to be a lot of research put into this project. First, research on alternative methods will need to be explored. Based on that research, 1-3 prospective alternatives (large scale or small scale) to conventional H&C should be selected. Next, I will need to contact a representative of the school to discuss current H&C methods and future plans for building renovations in terms of H&C. Based on that discussion, we could add some of the options to the Campus Sustainability Plan and/ or begin implementing small scale changes to the buildings.

Another benefit of this project would be the decrease in the urban heat island in Delaware. The Urban Heat Island is a phenomena where urban areas give off more heat due to the large amount of surfaces that absorb but don’t release heat and the amount of exhaust from cars or houses. The result is a higher temperature in urban areas when compared to the rural areas that surround the urban area. While Delaware is unlikely to have a large UHI when compared to a big city like Columbus, finding alternative ways to generate air conditioning or heat or making small changes to the ways we construct and paint our buildings could help to alleviate the UHI affect.


Summary of Project and the Results (Similar to an abstract)

  • Overview of why this project is important and the goals
  • Summary of effective alternatives and possible results of project.

Overview of Current, Conventional H&C on Campus

  • Discuss what methods are currently used on campus.
  • Discuss efficiency, cost, and environmental impact of current methods.
  • Discuss any future plans with building renovations.

Research of 1-3 Alternatives to Conventional H&C

  • Research on how each alternative could be beneficial to the campus (cost, efficiency, sustainability).
  • Details of each alternative.
  • Discuss other potential benefits.

How to Begin

  • Give ways that we could improve on temperature control in campus buildings that have not been renovated.

Projected Benefits of Project

  • Discuss overall benefits of project.
  • Relation to Campus Sustainability.
  • Final Take-Away Message

Annotated Bibliography

Source 1

This article discusses small scale ways of cooling, primarily through ventilation. I am unsure that this will be effective for dorm or large buildings, smaller buildings such as Sturges could probably take advantage of some of these techniques.

Source 2

This source is from another college’s sustainability plan giving ideas of how to make heating and cooling systems more efficient.

Source 3

This article focuses on the use of solar energy for heating and cooling, using examples of residential, offices, and hotels. The study looked at the efficiency and any CO2 emissions.

Source 4

This is a book that covers everything you need to know about thermogeology, although it is not about creating a way of capturing and using heat in the ground. This book will be primarily used for details about thermogeology when it’s used as a heating source.

Source 5

This article about a campus using waste pumps to generate heating and cooling for their buildings. This system could cut the school’s emissions in half, but it still needs a lot of electricity to run it.

Source 6

This article reviews the use of district heating and cooling. One building or centralized area would generate the energy and then distribute it throughout the surrounding areas.

Source 7

This source focuses on geothermal HVAC for college campuses.

Source 8

Chapter 7 of David JC Mackay’s Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air discusses the energy use for traditional heating and cooling methods. The book may explore it further, but I haven’t read far enough into it to know.

Source 9

This is an informative article from a company about how geothermal energy works.

Source 10

This article focuses on heating and cooling use groundwater.