Blog post

February 28, 2018

Nature by Peter Coates raised some interesting points about nature. The first part of the book is based on defining nature and what it consists. I liked how he tries to determine if the lawn is natural or unnatural? There is also a detailed overview of the history of nature and environment throughout the centuries. I think that nature is everything that has nothing to do with man and reading this book stirred a lot of thought process in my mind. For the second part of the book, I was mostly annoyed with how it was written. It felt abrupt in a lot of places. Coates was talking about something and it felt like he was eager on quoting different several people on the subject before finishing his thought on the subject. That is something I felt very frustrated with. He does raise a lot of questions in the second part but it almost left a very unsatisfactory taste. Some of his stuff that he talks about like the idea of red and green was very interesting to read through. I felt he said a lot of provoking stuff in there and sometimes his own views were kind of contradicting. I am still not sure how Peter Coates actually feels about Marxism, socialism or capitalism in general. Overall, it was an interesting read but I think he could have done a better job by just adjusting his writing style a little bit.

Week 6 Blog Post – 02/28/2018

February 28, 2018


Coates discusses much of the same in the second half of the book. He looks into more evils towards nature, including the dynamic between the Colonists and the Native Americans, where Native Americans were portrayed as the killers of nature by manipulating it for their personal benefit, even though the Colonists kicked them out of their native land. He goes on to say that “every culture projects its values onto nature and then holds them up as nature’s own authority.” This can be seen with the Native Americans, but can also be seen in with capitalism and socialism. Lastly, Coates points out some environmentalists believe that no part of the world is untouched by humans now because of the effects of climate change.

Environmental News:

The article discusses how the world is attempting to release less greenhouse gases into the environment, and corn is not the best alternative as fuel. Researchers at Colorado State University found new biofuels produced from switchgrass, which can be found in many parts of North America. Biofuels like gasoline emit 94 grams of carbon-dioxide/mega joule. This new alternative is predicted to emit 10 to 11 grams of carbon-dioxide/mega joule. This significant of an improvement is worth looking further into.


Week 7 Blog Post – Caroline Hamlin

February 28, 2018

The second half of Peter Coates’s – Nature focuses on the future of nature instead of the many perspectives of nature throughout history. The idea of nature has a history that must be preserved and understood however, the history of Earth has very complex topics that require many scientists and perspectives. This can be challenging because of the differences in the fields involving chemistry, biology, geology, etc. Understanding the future of ecology is very essential to conservation activism now.

This article talks about what climate change is and why it is essential to learn about the cause and effects of our changing environment.

Week 7 Blog Post- Matt Yung

February 28, 2018

Another clue for mast motion of the Hawaiian hotspot

Recent studies are beginning to support the hypothesis that the Hawaiian hotspot moved very quickly, in a southern direction, from about 60 to 50 million years ago. A hotspot is an area where hot magma and material rise from the Earth’s mantle. Prior information suggested the hotspot was stationary and that tectonic plate moved across it, thus forming the chain of volcanoes from oldest to youngest. The research has began to evaluate new rocks from the Rurutu volcanic chain and added more data from the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Louisville chain.


The second half of Nature focuses more on ecology and future of nature while the first half gave many perspectives of it throughout history. Coates discusses the idea that nature, including both physical and living (ie plants and animals), has a history that we should understand and work toward preserving. Understanding the history of Earth is a very complex topic that requires many studies involving chemistry, biology, and geology. Our understanding of the laws of nature is improving but not yet comprehensive. Coates presents the idea that our physical environment influences our culture and I agree with that. Earlier civilizations and societies flourished all throughout the world in very different climates. When I read Guns, Germs, and Steel and looked at the origins of cultivated plants, North America’s climate which included seasonal shifts in temperature produced very different crops than those from the Mediterranean region with dry and arid conditions. This is an example of how our physical environment shapes us.


Delanie Baker Project Proposal

February 22, 2018

Campus Foraging Pamphlet

Morel mushroom (Morchella). Five species in Ohio late March to mid-May. Edible. Photo courtesy of W. Sturgeon: Wild Mushrooms: OhioLine

Brief Description:

A foraging resource will be put together in the form of a pamphlet that contains short guides for foraging for foods around campus.

The process of collecting information for this project will include searching for and identifying edible plants/fungi on or near campus and mapping the areas where edible plants/fungi have been found. I will be talking with various professors about their experiences with foraging (if any) and their favourite found foods, including Dr. Ichida and Dr. Laura-Tuhela Reuning.

Included in the pamphlet:

  1. What is foraging?
  2. What can we forage?
    1. Plants
    2. Mushrooms
    3. Flowers for tea?
  3. How to identify mushrooms/plants.
  4. How to dry, store, and cook edible mushrooms.
  5. Map of areas around campus edible plants are found.
  6. Pictures of some species of edible mushrooms/plants
  7. Resources for mushroom foraging

Locations to be searched:

  1. OWU’s Campus
  2. Blue Limestone park
  3. Wherever my feet may take me around campus


  1. Lincoff G. The audubon society field guide to north american mushrooms. 3rd ed. United States: Knopf, 1981.
  2. Mushrooms and Macrofungi of Ohio and the Midwestern States: A Resource Handbook by L.H. Rhodes, B.A. Bunyard, W.E. Sturgeon and S.D. Ellis Williams. The Ohio State University.
  3. The North American Mycology Association. The North American Mycology Association Web site.
  4. The Ohio Mushroom Society.
  5. Williams S, Bunyard B, Sturgeon W. Wild mushrooms OhioLine. OhioLine Web site. Updated 2014.

Lucas Farmer: Project Proposal

February 22, 2018

Delaware Run Restoration

Lucas Farmer, Justin Smith

The presentation of this project will go over/discuss issues/concerns with the Delaware Run, the top of data collected and how, and how this data will then be used during a charrette that will be held over the summer.

Justin and I will be working with Ted Miller to create a longterm plan to help restore Delaware Run. This project will include multiple different aspects of Delaware Run.

Rough Draft: edited by John Krygier and Ted Miller 2/21

  1. Identify areas of concern or benefit along Delaware Run- specifically analyzing the impacts to public health, water quality and economy. Create GIS layers of Greenway area with associated data.
  2. Water Quality: Contaminants increasing
    1. Document previous water sampling data for comparison (GIS)
      1. Watershed Coordinator, Delco Water, ?
  3. Expand sampling network: Are contaminants found?
    1. Need to determine new network of sampling locations
    2. Can contamination sources be determined?
    3. Are there areas of high water quality?
      1. Document natural causes of high water quality
  1. Water Quantity: Flooding more common and affecting infrastructure, property
    1. Document floodplain (100, 500 yr; GIS)
    2. Document evidence that amount of water in Run is increasing
      1. Source of this information?
    3. Document developed areas susceptible to flooding?
    4. Document other areas susceptible to flooding.
  1. Biological Health: Decreasing over time
    1. Document previous data documenting biological diversity of Run
    2. Current native vs invasive species & quantity of species
      1. BioBlitz of selected areas along Delaware Run?
    3.  identify areas overrun by invasive species.
      1. What invasive species are most common?
      2. Invasive species causing specific problems
      3. Develop a plan to increase species diversity along Delaware Run
  1. Embankment destabilization
  1. Explore conceptual restoration standards-each district will be unique
    1. Campus
    2. Business/Downtown
    3. Residential
    4. Agricultural
  2. Prepare analysis of best practice examples to examine other communities that have restored similar natural features.
  3. Design Charette (July 2018)


Link to Google drive folder with different pictures, data sets, and reports


Project Proposal

February 22, 2018



Title: Project Nature Experience

Participants: Armando Polizzi

Description and Overview of the Project:


In the beginning of Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey says that everyone has their own “most beautiful place.” For Robert Sullivan, that place may be the Meadowlands. For Thoreau, likely Walden Pond. You may have your own place in mind, as I have mine.


But what makes these places special is not what other people told us to think about these places. Edward Abbey came to love Moab, Utah only after much exploration on his own time there. This has been referred to as a constant, positive experience. In my RA training, my boss (Dwayne Todd) said that this is exactly what we are trying to create for first year students especially.


With this project, I hope to create another positive experience to continue the tradition that is forming with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Last semester, there was a trip to a nearby park, via bus provided by Preservation Parks. While OWU was on winter break, the Littles went to Blue Limestone Park with a naturalist from the Forestry Service. In the perfect world, my ideal location to take the kids would be Shale Hollow.


Reflecting on the field trip that took place in the fall, it seemed very structured. Additionally, while in the room looking at cool animals, a select few kids were really disruptive. The most positive experience these kids could have will be built by them. At the summer camp I worked at, we referred to this as making kids feel “powerful and significant.” These kids should have the power to go out and play in the woods if they want to. This was the underlying theme of camp: freedom. The gym and dining hall were never locked, you could go play until 1 in the morning if you wanted to. In fact, you could even sleep in the gym if that suits your fancy.


There are several types of alternative education which capitalize on freedom and the curiosity of children Reggio Emilia, which has a big following in Columbus, utilizes “loose parts,” which are in a sense like Legos that are very open ended, and kids are free to use them in whichever way they wish. The loose parts are often natural or not as traditional as Legos, and an example would using recyclable materials to create a spinning top.


But at the core of everything is what the child wants to do. These types of schools build constant, positive experiences and kids want to go to school at these places. In just two hours (or less, if you include the time it takes to go to/from the park), I want to create a positive experience for kids. These positive experiences will lead to a better understanding of nature, and an increased desire to want to protect the earth. “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum, 1968.)


I want to go to Shale Hollow because there is this amazing play area, which is all nature-based. The idea of the playground is that it is imagination-based, with many cool loose-part style objects from the woods. I believe this area would allow the kids to run free and enjoy themselves and create their own positive experience.


Outline of the Project:


  1. Identifying what the kids would want to do
    1. After talking with Daniel, who ran the field trip last semester, I received the surveys he took of the kids before and after the field trip. I am hoping to use these to help plan the field trip, in case there was something universally liked. After the initial read through, it seems as if everyone really liked the animals. I am thinking it may be beneficial to have an optional time exploring the creek for salamanders with help of a Preservation Parks naturalist. I may do another survey
  2. Setting up the Dates and travel
    1. I have been in contact with a few people from Preservation Parks as well as Mike, who is the Program Coordinator of Big Brothers Big Sisters. We are currently working on setting up dates in late March/early April, which will hopefully provide ideal weather for the event. At the suggestion of Dr. Krygier, I have talked to Mike about possibly setting up two dates – one being at the local Blue Limestone Park, another being at (ideally) Shale Hollow
  3. Execute
    1. On the day of the field trips, each Little should have a Big that accompanies them. For the trip to Blue Limestone, no permission slip is necessary because we can walk. For Preservation Parks, we need a bus. I am currently in contact with Preservation Parks to see if they can provide us with transportation. I have been thinking about providing options for people to do, in order to build upon the experience. One idea is having a naturalist to explore the creek for salamanders. Another may be building forts. Additionally, I have many nature games on hand for any bored child. But the experience will hopefully fill itself out


Annotated Bibliography:

Brockfield, Michael. Program Coordinator. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. (Contact)

I have been in constant communication with Mike since the beginning of the project and he has been really helpful so far, really wants to see the project succeed.


Cornell, Joseph. 1998. Sharing Nature with Children. DAWN Publications. (Book)

This is a book I own which is filled with the awesome-est games about nature ever. I have played many and they definitely work.


Camp Oty’Okwa. The Magic of Camp (Place/Guide)

My place of work last summer, where I learned a lot about taking care of kids. “The Magic of Camp” is the name of the guide we were given before starting work, which has a lot of tips for taking care of children.


Delatte, Daniel. 2017. Project Adventure. Ohio Wesleyan University (Contact/Previous Project)

Daniel has been really helpful in contacting Preservation Parks and providing ideas for the trip based on his project last fall.


George, Serena. 2017. Cooking Matters for Kids. OWU (Contact/Previous Project)

Serena did a project involving allowing the kids to make food, and her work was helpful in preparing my own project.


Greenberg, Daniel. 1992. Education in America: A View from Sudbury Valley. Sudbury Valley School Press. (Book)

A book I read that was really influential to me. It talks about the benefits of giving kids freedom in school.


Niccum, Rich. Preservation Parks. (Contact)

According to Daniel, this is the main guy for fundraising at Preservation Parks. I sent him an email and am waiting to hear back from him about funds for a bus.


Ohio Voices for Learning (Other)

Forum I have been to which talks about using Reggio methods in modern classrooms, including loose parts.


Vanhaaften, Mary. Preservation Parks. (Contact)

A contact of Preservation Parks that Daniel put me in contact with. I have met with her and she is supportive of the project.


Willoughby, Alexis. Student of Early Childhood Education at Ohio State University (Contact)

My girlfriend, who has taught me all I know about education and provided many of the resources already listed.