Espen’s Intro


I’m Espen Stalder, a sophomore Geography and SOAN double major. I’m from Bellingham, Washington, right on the Canadian border (closer to Vancouver than Seattle). At OWU I’m on the ultimate frisbee team and the jazz band. I go hiking whenever possible back home (I at least try to in Ohio)

The Meadowlands:

I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. I knew the area around Newark was gross and swampy, but never knew that there’s many people that actually appreciate it for what it is. I’ve always been able to appreciate “urban wasteland” stuff as pretty in its own way, but the combination of the two has never seemed appealing at all. I don’t think the book changed my mind about that personally, but it did at least show me that it is possible to appreciate that kind of landscape and that it does have its merits. The book almost read like an ethnography of the people associated with the Meadowlands, and I was surprised at how many creative uses for it people had. I was surprised that a place so close to the largest city in North America could be so relatively isolated. Even with highways all around the author rarely saw other people while canoeing. It’s great that such a place exists, regardless of how swampy. Everyone needs time away from big cities now and then.

Project Ideas:

  1. Bringing recycling programs to the fraternities (and maybe the whole campus eventually). I’m always frustrated that my house has literally no recycling bins anywhere near.
  2. Some way to encourage students to drive to classes less
  3. Looking into ways to help the new Bashford be built with energy efficiency in mind

Current Event:

Over the summer, 4 separate wildfires started in Olympic National Park in Washington. Wildfires are normal in the dry eastern part of the state but Olympic is the wettest place in the lower 48 states, and lightning fires like these usually go out very quickly. The fires weren’t particularly big, but the fact that they started in such a normally wet environment is worrying as climate change continues to make weather more unpredictable.


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