1.) The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City, Robert Sullivan
The first chapter of the book, to me offered a wide variety of descriptions and backgrounds of the Meadowlands then and now. I think it was good to set the book up as such.
Page 36: Relates to the definition of wilderness we discussed on day 1 of class. The book gives various Hackensack/European names for the land. All of them relate to the definitions paper. It is interesting to see the rest of the world simply not take one specific definition of something that is simply nature, yet actually is hard to define. This, in my opinion is because everyone has had various geographical and physical experiences with wilderness and pure nature.
The chapter entitled “The Trapper and the Fisherman” (pg 185- pg 201) stood out to me the most in the whole book. This is because it had so much to do with politics, government, organizations, environmental science, zoology, and environmental protection. For example, it mentioned the HDMC in the Meadowlands, animals trappers, environmentalists in the area and each of their views and stories on how things should be done, wildlife biologists, eco-tours (shown above in a picture), and the EPA. It also deals with governmental policy versus reality. To me, this was one of the most important chapters.
I also think another chapter that was important was “Valley of Garbage Hills.” This chapter talked a lot of about the now toxic landfills and dumps all throughout the meadowlands. It was interesting to me how they are now named sanitary landfills when they are still dumps. The dumps are so bad, according to the text, “leachate welled up in their sinks and toilet bowls.” (Sullivan, Meadowlands, 102) However, the landfill did contain animals such as songbirds and pheasants that were not shy. In the next chapter, it also talked about to environmental and solid mass of mosquitoes in the area which also add to the “wilderness” aspect in a sense of it being another kind of wildlife and them being so abundant.
I really enjoyed each chapter from one to the next because each gave me a perspective on the definition of wilderness (and nature) by giving a different aspect of what the Meadowlands used to be and what it is now based on the location Sullivan was in. Not a single one was wrong to me, yet each was different. It also offers different geographical perspectives at once even though it is all technically in the meadowlands because of there being various stretches and paths. This is mentioned when the author and his friend Dave begin their Meadowlands trip and talk about figuring out where to go and in the very last chapter when the author says he does not want to go any further into the Meadowlands that what he has already explored.
*Important quotes underlined throughout book* basic points I thought of discussed here, underlined discussed in class.
My name is Brianna Graber, I’m from Indianapolis, Indiana and am a junior here at OWU. I’m a Zoology major and Spanish minor and plan on going to Grad school for Conservation Biology and plan to do field conservation field work and possible research. I have a strong interest in large animals like horses. I have rode horses for 10 years and this past summer worked/interned as an assistant trainer and stable hand at Carson Training Center. I also have worked at Stony Creek Golf Course for 5 seasons in a snack bar and also coached kids golf camp at the same golf course.
3.) Project proposals:
- Teaming up with Dr. Johnson (BOMI professor) to plant plants to help with declining wildlife populations around/ near campus
- Olentangy River and Delaware Run clean ups (form a group and help coordinate clean ups- with possible help from Dr. Carreno)
- From the OWU Sustainability Plan, somehow enhance the quality and/or quantity of a species of plant or animal on campus
4.) Environmental news from Science Daily:
An ocean apart, carnivorous pitcher plants create similar communities
The article above talks about a pitcher plant from the Malaysian Borneo that was transported to Massachusetts bogs. A quote describing the success of the experiment says: “Asian pitchers transplanted to Massachusetts bogs can even mimic the natives so well that the pitcher plant mosquito — a specialized insect that evolved to complete its life cycle exclusively in North American pitchers — lays eggs in the impostors.” This being convergent evolution, the researchers involved studied convergent ecosystems and saw how this plant can evolve over and over again.
How forest conservation helps coral reefs
The article above briefs on how forest management near the reefs can impact and ultimately help nearby reefs survive by controlling activities such a logging, mining, and development in general. The results were shared with resource committees and agencies in the area. The model of this experiment provides information regarding conservation efforts and decision making processes. Dr. Stacy Jupiter says, “The results provide hope because they demonstrate that resilience of coral reefs to global change can be promoted through local actions, thereby empowering local people to become better stewards over their resources.” This is something that really speaks to me as a future conservationist, but also relates to our class. The fact that one location and ecosystem and the actions within it can severely impact (good or bad) another location and ecosystem shows how the land and nature is linked. It also can impact humans and the resources we need and use from these ecosystems such as wood from logging, heat from coal mined, and on the flip side, fish and food from the coral reefs.
Environmental news from enn.com
I’ve never seen “Environmental News Network” before. As I came across this website, there were many exciting articles. I felt like this was an important site to share due to the nature of this course. It has many relevant articles on geographical environmental and/or conservation news. This particularly interested me because I want to specialize in conservation and environmental news attributes to a portion of this field. Some of the posts I read on this website have to do with farming as this is also another important and multivariable field in science. These articles had to do with spraying chemicals and fertilizers on crops to various environmentally friendly farming techniques. A quote from this article that explained this more in detail said: “The researchers analyzed farms that use some form of “sustainable intensification,” a term for various practices, including organic farming, that use land, water, biodiversity, labor, knowledge and technology to both grow crops and reduce environmental impacts like pesticide pollution, soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.” (web link on farming)