Final Project

December 16, 2016

Project Title:

Owu Eco-Contatiners




Last year, Ohio Wesleyan introduced the “reusable green to-go box” at Hamwill. These boxes could be purchased for a $5 charge which will be refunded upon return of the box, located around campus (Hamwil, Stuye Face, Bishop Cafe, Merrick). Our project will aim to spread knowledge about the box and how it impacts our University and environment. Although totally switching to the “green box” seems like the obvious choice, there are still many problems that it faces. The two main issues we plan to focus on are the appeal of the “green boxes” to the student body and if it is possible to work with Chartwells in order to figure out a way to completely switch over to the “green boxes” that fits within their budget.




Our main objective for our project was to provide more knowledge about the logistics surrounding the eco-containers in order to increase their appeal to students, and to increase the likelihood of them becoming the primary choice for to-go boxes. In order to do this we had to get a baseline of information to see where we were as a campus in terms of use and information regarding the green boxes. We first met with the Tree house to talk about the road barriers and issues with making the transition. We found that the two biggest issues were appeal and money. In order to hopefully solve these problems, we connected with other campuses and did research on how they managed to use these as a primary to-go box. From there we planned to meet with Chartwell’s and distribute surveys to students regarding the green boxes.


Project Participants:


Munir Qaddourah and Jassiem Shabazz




Connected with 4 schools that use some form of containers.

– Mount Holyoke

-Columbia University

-Williams College

-Berea College

Gave a Survey to 75 students and recorded first 50 volunteers


-Survey Questions

  1. Rate the overall effectiveness of the green containers program
  2. Would you consider using the eco-containers if they were free?
  3. What is the biggest concern you have regarding the program?
  4. Have you heard of the OWU eco-container program?




Question 1- highest scores 2/5 and 4/5

Question 2- Yes 62%, No 16%, Maybe 22%

Question 3- Convenience 24, Price 13

Question 4- Yes



  • (10/3) – A meeting has been scheduled with the Tree House to being discussing our project and how we will go about it
  • (10/4) – We have began to compile a list of schools currently using more environmentally friendly dining options and contact information for the schools



Project link:

Book Reviews

December 16, 2016

Book Reviews


Meadowlands (Week 1)


Reading about Robert Sullivan’s experiences in the Meadowlands was a very interesting introduction into the class. He discussed the area and culture, essentially describing it as a once culturally rich area that now has turned into a place where things die. He discusses the wild life and how it has changed over time due to human pollution and other impacts that we have on the area.


Overall I enjoyed this read. It was an interesting time for me to read the book because I had just finished watching the Sopranos, an area that shares a lot of parallels with the story we read. I culturally rich and wildlife induced area turned into a “dump”. It was interesting to see how essentially the only thing keeping it alive was the fact that humans could not physically live there. It made me think about our impact on nature as a whole.


Desert Solitaire (Week 2)


This store reflects on a man’s experiences working at a national park over a couple of months. I am someone who appreciates nature, but rarely ever goes to visit national parks or explores through camping trips. For this reason, I couldn’t really connect on a personal level to this book, but I do feel Abbey brought forth some interesting things to think about. He talks about how these preserved nature parks are actually in fact being destroyed by humans who interact with the land from touring and camping. Essentially he is trying to convey that humans, although we think we do; do not know what is best for nature.
This made me think about the question of “is everything that humans touch doomed.” It made me think that the best way to save nature was to completely leave it alone entirely. I found this to be an interesting concept to try and grasp. Although we do things to try and preserve and save nature, we end up still having negative effects.


Bruckner (Week 3)


Bruckner harshly criticizes our ways of life and culture and links it to our effect on the earth’s natural state as a whole. He wants human kind to go back to a simpler way of life because he feels that ultimately our complex ways of living have more negative effects than positive ones. Something I found kind of interesting was his talk about carbon and how great of an effect it has had on our world. Carbon concentration is out of control and the damage is so deep that we are at a point where solving it would take hundreds of lifetimes, if we were to stop using carbon. His overall tone of the reading is a sense of doomedness and lack of confidence in our earths future.


Western Attitudes (Week 4)


Ultimately, I found this to be a little bit more boring than any of the other reads this semester. It was less of a story and more informational, but we had been warned that was the case. Despite this books semi-boring tone, I do think the content was interesting. I enjoyed how the booked talked about us as humans destroying nature. That was an old theory we had already heard, but what I thought was interesting is how he brought forth the point of saying it could be some sort of natural selection. This was a very different and interesting way to think about our destruction of nature. Maybe we are that “meteor” that wiped out the dinosaurs. History has shown that when extinctions do happen, they often show some biological purpose, it was interesting to think of us as not actually doing things wrong and viewing us as just a biological fate. I thought this was something that is rarely mentioned and a very interesting outlook on the matter


Eating Animals (Week 5)

  • In this book the narrator takes us on a dietary journey and lays out the timeline of his thoughts and reasoning’s behind supporting a vegetarian life style. He discusses the meat industries and the horrors behind it as well as slaughter houses and humans self interested reasons for eating meat. This book I found very interesting, yet conflicting. I have been on both sides of the meat/non-meat eating spectrum and have evaluated my stance on eating very firmly. After being a vegetarian for 8 years I decided that meat was the way to go. There were 3 things that I thought about when going through this process.
  • The first was, social reasons for eating meat
    • Wrong, apart of pop culture, inhumane
    • In high school I became a vegetarian more times than I can now remember, most often as an effort to claim some identity in a world of people whose identities seemed to come effortlessly
  • The second was how far in terms of eating meat
    • ways they are killed
    • what animals would you eat versus not eat
      • where is the line drawn
    • Lastly is eating meat an important part of the human diet
    • Job loss-expensive
      • “for every $1 billion in beef exports [from America] 12,700 jobs are created; for every $1 billion in pork exports [from America] 13,333 jobs are created; and for every $1 billion in exports [from America] 11,853 jobs are created” (Free Trade Agreements).

Over 15% of the work force in meat industry (roughly 21 million)


Placing Animals (Week 7)


Overall, I enjoyed this book. I was able to draw similarities from my presentation about eating animals. It was more about the actual animals and their role in our society, but if felt like it spoke from the side of the animals. Reading these stories, I never realized how much I take the role of animals in our daily life for granted. It made me think about how we view animals and how little care we really show for them. As I talked about in my presentation the role they play in the animal products industry is beyond excessive. When she talked about the slaughtering of the animals and the amount of killing that we do in comparison to what you think we really need, the skew is hard to believe. It makes me think about an earlier time when we used to hunt for what we ate, therefore we only took what we needed. Were there just less animals at that time or was there an overpopulation?

Carter Rae: Final

December 15, 2016

    About Me


Analysis of OWU’s  Water Fill-Up Stations

My Proposal


My objective for this project was to asses the locations of the current water re-fill stations and provide possible alternative locations. Alternative locations in the sense that will promote more uses by students, which translates into less of a demand for the purchase of plastic bottles.

The purpose for selecting this as my project is in response to the sustainability issues that currently have an impact on both humans and animals around the planet. Over consumption of plastic bottles has led to massive amounts of waste that have not been properly dealt with. Steps for recycling these plastic water bottles that are available in multiple locations on campus have been made and implemented but this is not my aim for this project. Since most students I’ve seen over the three and a half years I’ve attended OWU I came to the conclusion that the majority of students elect to buy a plastic water bottle like “Smartwater” and then throw it away.

I propose that students will be more inclined to re-fill those bottles if the opportunity is there and is efficient for them to use.


The research that I did was to put boots to ground and assess locations that currently have or do not have a re-fill station. Locations I studied were Edwards Gym, Merrick Hall, University Hall, Philips Hall, and the library. What these locations all have in common was foot traffic. This increases the probability that a station will be used coupled with the possible demand of students needing to re-fill. The results I found were good and bad but also led me to suggest possible areas that could benefit from a re-fill station. Examples of these are below.


The photo on the left Hamwill’s lobby which is the place most frequented during any day. The re-fill station is just behind off frame between the two bathrooms and a waste container. Students getting lunch or just going from the parking lot to the Jaywalk pass by it, increasing the chance of usage.  The middle photo is in Merrick Hall and is another example if a good location but for another reason. Waste containers are often locations of high frequency which represents an added chance of usage. If a student is on their way to throw the empty water bottle away and sees a re-fill station then the chances are they will re-fill the bottle instead of tossing it. The final picture on the right is in Philips Hall which represents an inefficient location. The water fountain is located in the lobby of a popular building in which the lobby itself acts as a location to sit and wait for your class or take a study break. The addition of vending machines and bathrooms in close proximity to this water fountain only boost this locations possible usage.

   Course of Action

With the existing water pipes that currently run to water fountains in buildings such as Philips Hall, University, and the library I propose that Ohio Wesleyan accolade funds into implementing re-fill stations in areas that meet the mention criteria for good and effective locations. The costs of both installing and modifying the pipes in addition to the purchasing of the stations I do not know but it will be an expensive operation. However, for a school that already attempts to make changes to reduce their footprint on the environment, this would be a great step.

Long term payoffs of less waste coupled with greater access to water would only boost the environmental state of mind that seems to be gaining widespread attention.

    My Presentation on Google Docs



    Book Reviews and Current Events

Meadow Land

Desert Solitaire


Eating Animals

Placing Animals

Garbage Matters



Project Proposal: Save the Night

December 15, 2016

Save the Night

Participants: Max Kerns & Amanda Apicella

Description of Project: To research Ohio Wesleyan University’s history in regards to Astronomy as well as look into the topic of light pollution and how it can be addressed both on campus and off. We are going to be looking into past projects and proposals at OWU and to other campuses/areas that have taken steps or made attempts to address this issue. We also hope to propose potential solutions to issues of light pollution and the pros & cons of each for our campus and the city of Delaware Ohio. It is also important to look into ways to raise awareness to start getting others involved so that future plans/projects can get the support they need.

Project Outline:

  1. Ohio Wesleyan University’s History with Astronomy
    1. Perkins Observatory
    2. Student Observatory
  2. Previous Projects and Proposals
    1. Lights Out OWU (by Brendan Wood and Varalie Vanichstin)
    2. Incandescent Suppressant Fluorescent Project (by Andrea Mac Vay and Sean Kinghorn)
  3. Details and Information on Light Pollution
    1. Types of light pollution and what causes them (types of lights and uses of them)
    2. Effects on Environment and Human Health
    3. Security and crime
  4. Recommendations and Potential models
    1. Earth Hour Promis
    2. Retrofitting city lighting
      1. Potentially adding top covers for outdoor lighting to limit amount of upward-facing light
    3. Energy saving initiatives


Final Evaluation: Max Kerns

December 15, 2016

About Me

Discussion I led – The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse, Pascal Bruckner

Current Events Postings:

1. Colorado Towns Work to Preserve a Diminishing Resource: Darkness

2. Pressure on UK to sign climate deal

3. World’s watersheds lost 6 percent of their forests in 14 years

4. Climate Impacts: Melting Glaciers, Shifting Biomes and Dying Trees in US National Parks

5. Geoengineering in the sky with diamonds

6. Groundwater discharge to upper Colorado River Basin varies in response to drought

7. China makes headway in reversing desertification

8. REPORT: Oregon Lost 500,000 Acres to Deforestation Since 2000

Notes on Reading:

1. Meadowlands

2. Desert Solitaire

3. The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse – See above

4. Nature I

5. Nature II

6. Eating Animals

7. Environment and Society

8. Placing Animals – Missing Notes

9. Garbology

Project Related

1. Ideas

2. Proposal

3. Presentation

4. Project Report





Pat Watson: Final Portfolio

December 15, 2016

Current Events:

Week 1 (intro)

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8 (Fall Break)

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13



The Meadowlands

Desert Solitaire

Fanaticism of the Apocalypse


Eating Animals (Entire Book)

Environment & Society

Placing Animals






Report (Sent in PDF)

Project Report: “Save the Night” Amanda Apicella and Max Kerns

December 15, 2016

Save the Night   


Amanda Apicella and Max Kerns


“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” ~Neil Armstrong

During the process of putting together our project we were inspired by many communities around the United States that have initiated policy in order to reduce light pollution. Humankind has long had a deep and meaningful connection to the cosmos. It is through this connection, that dreams are inspired, questions are born, and we dare to hope.

OWU has also had a lasting history in Astronomy, since the late 1800s. One particular figure, Hiram Mills Perkins, a long time Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, made great efforts to provide facilities to better the ability of learning about our universe. His donation of two facilities, provided many benefits. The Student Observatory, at Ohio wesleyan, was built in the early 1900s and is still in use by students today. The second, Perkins Observatory was built just south of Delaware City on State route 23. Perkins observatory has been host to numerous research teams from Ohio Wesleyan University and  The Ohio State University. It was even on the grounds of Perkins observatory that the WOW signal was heard, using the Big Ear radio telescope.

So putting together these ideas, those of a reduction in light pollution and being able to reconnect to a enriched past, we began to look for ways to incorporate a model of reducing light usage. It was not long that we found that some of these concepts had been brought up before as ways to help greening of Ohio Wesleyan Campus and greatly reduce energy needs. Furthermore we found innovative programs from other universities throughout the United States. This combined with Earth Hour programs seemed a logical step in bringing several projects together on a campus initiative to save money, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce light pollution, in hopes to save the night sky.

Methods and Results

Previous research Proposals:

In order to move forward with the “Save the Night Project” we wanted to try and merge some information from the past and implement these with our project.

Lights Out OWU – Proposed by Brendan Wood and Varalie Vanichstin


This project definitely has potential to be made into something. From where the project can go from here there are several options. One of the first ideas to work to calculate the actual figures of power draw from before the lights are shut off more regularly and what they will be afterwards. Another idea to help construct a student group that could be responsible for helping promote this idea of helping to keep lights and equipment off when not in use. This group could also be put to work to help shut the lights off, initially perhaps before weekends and from there an even more regularly weekly event. If properly managed this could definitely be fostered into a solid initiative to help promote the idea and actual practice of being more green and safer to the environment.

Incandescent Suppressant Fluorescent Project – Proposed by Andrea Mac Vay and Sean Kinghorn


With regards to this university, acceptance of this proposal would be highly recommended. The university would benefit greatly in electricity costs while also enjoying the benefits of having conducted an environmentally-friendly project that will bring attention to the campus. However, most recommendations with this project involve the problems with LED technology itself. The City of Pittsburgh also conducted an extensive exterior lighting retrofit and discovered it would be most beneficial to replace all fixtures rather than merely replacing the lamps – a question that was debated in this project as well. Though it would initially cost more money, this study condones this course of action, as well as encouraging more research to be conducted on LED lights. The original cost of this project may appear daunting to members of the board, but the reality is that the long-term benefits will be innumerable. Currently, the university’s ten year energy costs exceed $340,000, but if the LED lights provided by Eco Lumens are installed, this cost will be reduced to just under $57,500 (Appendix 2). It seems ridiculous to not support this project when presented with such numbers, and if one also considers the environmental benefits it seems the project is a guaranteed success.

Combination of Ideas:

Using Lights out proposal along with a campus wide initiative to reduce electricity costs, savings could then be used to implement new lighting as lights deteriorate or are need of repair. We recommend when replacing lighting to use more effective lights that reduce light pollution. Also using these initiatives savings could be tracked to also help facilitate the process. The more that Ohio Wesleyan saves the more the university can use to replace the current lighting. The lighting then saves more money, with less electric being used, to then foster replacing more lights.

[Detailed description of the project. Include your question or goal for the project, relevant sources of information (articles, books, web sites, people, etc.). Describe what you did, how you did it, and the outcome of your project. Please include details including how you did things, created/made things, planned, etc. Include the outcomes, including problems you encountered, and suggestions for future work.]


Earth Hour Promise:

The idea is really quite simple. Turn off all non-essential lighting on OWU campus. Get student and faculty to commit to one hour. Earth Hour 25 March 2017, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Hopefully this will create interest in Earth Hour and the message of #changeclimatechange. We can use this initiative to get a meaningful dialogue started about reducing our energy in a simple way. With long term benefits of saving the night, and reducing light pollution.

Depending on time and budget, It would be nice to have an event on the Jay where donations could be received for Earth Hour. One simple idea would be to sell led candles for $10 representing OWU’s commitment to bringing back the night. This could hopefully turn into an annual event that would focus on climate issues keep the dialogue alive.

Potential model for Delaware Community:

Hopefully with enough participation, in the future we could use models from OWU to further this Earth Hour event to the community of Delaware. Helping to reduce light pollution for the city and saving money as well. Then using the same model to retrofit city lighting into more useful and energy efficient varieties.  This would be the “Skies the Limit” project that would help get the community involved. It would also be nice to see Perkins get involved.


Max Kerns:

Amanda Apicella:


Potential model for Delaware Community:

Hopefully with enough participation, in the future we could use models from OWU to further this Earth Hour event to the community of Delaware. Helping to reduce light pollution for the city and saving money as well. Then using the same model to retrofit city lighting into more useful and energy efficient varieties.  This would be the “Sky’s the Limit” project that would help get the community involved. It would also be nice to see Perkins get involved.

Things to consider:

History at OWU with astronomy. <- info on the Perkins Observatory. Only observatory in Ohio that provides public programs to tens of thousands of people every year. Founded by OWU.

Can’t find as much about student observatory though :/ Maybe try to get more info or contact someone in charge of it

Laying out the project plan for this years Earth Hour.

Putting together additional information. This year it might be as simple as getting the message out about Earth Hour.

Future initiatives to get the City of Delaware involved. (energy saving)

Possibly inquire about potentially adding top covers for outdoor lighting to limit the amount of light that travels upwards. The lights near Austin Manor could use covers and could inquire about that.

Additional Resources:

Earth Hour Link

Emerson Link:

Huffington Posts

Cornell Link:

University of Alberta Link:

Light Pollution Link:



Perkins II

Student Observatory

General Information Light Pollution:




Pat Watson: The Meadowlands 8/31

December 15, 2016

This book was a nice and enjoyable read describing the author, Robert Sullivan’s, experiences exploring what is called the meadowlands. The meadowlands is essentially about a 30 square mile swamp which over time has attracted a beautifully diverse ecosystem and also much of the not so beautiful byproducts of human life. Especially with the meadowland’s proximity to New York City. In fact this swamp has been written of and documented since the early settlers arrived in NYC simply because of its extensive size and mass. Sullivan describes his years of traveling through the swamp and all the while observing and taking notes of what he was seeing from the birds to the aquatic life to the human impact and remains, he has it all.

I think this book was well written and entertaining enough to be accessible to anyone willing to just give it a read. When you think about how this huge swamp and how close it is to New York and New Jersey it is no wonder it is in such a crisis. The city has used this space consuming swamp a dump for decades and the remnants are everywhere. When you think about most other areas in the United States with the same amount of swampland, it is protected sheerly by its inconvenience to inhabit, but with the proximity to one of the biggest cities in the US the meadowlands have long been subject to its pollution.

Pat Watson: Environmental Issue 11/9

December 15, 2016
Institute for War and Peace Reporting: Armenia’s Breadbasket Risks Desertification
This article describes the recent ecological happenings in the Ararat valley in Armenia. This area is (or was) extremely fertile and a vital area of food production for the entire country. Its fertility is mainly due to the large amount of underground fresh water available in the basin. For years farmers have been able to take advantage of this natural resource without interfering with its natural self recovery rate. Lately however there has been a sharp increase in fish farms in the area which dig wells and pull out excessive amounts of water in order to farm salmon. This industry has a lot of money tied to it but without any sort of control or regulation of these businesses and their tapping they have started to really deplete the underground water. This is causing all sorts of havoc. Local farmers need to dig deeper wells each year or stop farming because of the expense of deeper wells and subsequent pumps. Desertification is taking place as the area is now deemed semi-arid. Temperatures are on the rise, soil moisture is on the decrease as with average humidity and the larger region is suffering from food shortages.
This article was exceptionally well written and clearly intended for a larger, broader audience instead of just ecologists or scientists. That being said the facts were clearly laid out and well explained using laymen terms. The fish farming is so obviously effecting the area in such a negative way I am surprised that more efforts have not been made to reverse this.
I think it is very interesting that there has been so little done to change or attempt to reverse this obvious problem. While some wells have been sealed there is still no regulations on digging wells or consistency in sealing them. This article made me realize the longer list of possible contributors to desertification and how badly we need environmental awareness and industrial regulations.

Pat Watson: Environmental Issue 11/2

December 15, 2016

Cool roofs and the heat island effect: the evidence is in the-evidence-is-in/85938

As discussed in class the urban heat island is a very real and unnatural occurrence. Localized heat inflections gives way to to sublimates and varying ecosystems within small physical distances. This article discusses this in order to present a new tested and seemingly simple fix, white and colored roofing. By deflecting the suns light these roofs adsorb substantially smaller amounts of the solar energy and therefore avoiding the main cause of the urban heat island phenomena.

This article was well written and used heat analysis tests to decide the true presence or level of roof color impact. With strong evidence for a light color decreasing heat energy locally. While the environmental system might not be immediately changed this knowledge being put to effective use could make a huge impact to decrease the effects of UHI could have a huge effect on stabilization on local and temporal scales. The data was credibly compared to more tangible units, allowing the reader to understand that light roof coloring could have an effect larger than you ever imagined. While the argument benefitted from this statistic I still think the areal heat analysis photos are the strongest piece of evidence for this movements credibility and effectiveness. This article was well written and aimed at anyone with general interest in subject giving different resources and studies.