An Introduction to Armando

January 24, 2018

Hello, my name is Armando Polizzi. Many, many people know me by my hair. I have been growing my hair out since last May, and I am not sure when I will get my next haircut. However, beyond what I look like, I am currently a Botany and Environmental Studies major. Since my first semester here at OWU, I have been a part of both the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team and on Tuesday’s volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), where I have been paired with the same Little for 6 semesters. I have really enjoyed traveling with the Ultimate Frisbee team, and my highlights for that include Texas and Myrtle Beach. I am now the Captain of the club, and have been working toward success in the group. My time at Big Brothers allowed me to land a job at Camp Oty’Okwa, which is owned and operated by BBBS. This was probably the best summer of my life – I worked with many kids who I literally saw transform in as short a time as 5 days. Additionally, I was really close to the staff and overall the experience was incredibly positive. I am hopeful that I may return and use the knowledge I am learning to prove myself as an environmental educator.

Personal Introduction: Amanda Apicella

August 31, 2016

My name is Amanda Apicella and I am currently a 5th year senior majoring in Geology with a minor in Environmental Studies (would be a major but I switched late and don’t have an independent study) and Art History. I am from Richfield, Ohio and own a mini-macaw named Jack. I also collect minerals/crystals and fossils and am a bit of a beginner rock hound. I am very passionate about science in general but my primary interest is the environment and interactions within it as well as its’ relationship/balance with human development. I love learning new things, discussion/debate, and reading so I am really looking forward to this semester.

As for my background I was born in the US but actually lived in Hong Kong, China for the first several years of my life due to my father’s work. We moved back when I was 7 as my father and one of his business partners started a company called American Environmental which provides specialty environmental, construction, and maintenance services for companies that deal with solid/hazardous waste, the environment, energy, and mining. What I always remembered is that they made landfills environmentally friendly by turning trash into mountains/hills using tarps and pipes so that they decompose properly. I have traveled to many places including Arizona (Have seen the Grand Canyon a few times), Utah, Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park), Massachusetts, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines when I was little.


Pacia Purcell: Introduction

August 31, 2016


Hello everyone! My name is Pacia Purcell and I’m a junior zoology and environmental studies double major. I am a member of Delta Zeta, the Equestrian Team, and I am on the Panhellenic Council. My hometown is Centerville, Indiana, which is a small farming community in the boons of Indiana. I have lived on a farm the majority of my life and love farm life. I currently have two horses, two dogs, and I recently adopted a newborn calf. My favorite pastime is definitely riding my horses, even though they sometimes hate me. I have been a vegetarian for the past eight years and hopefully after I graduate I will transition to being vegan. In the future I hope to live on and run a sustainable farm.

As far as traveling goes, I haven’t really traveled to that many cool places. When I was younger I took a vacation with my family to Mexico, although I feel like I was much too young to enjoy the culture. Also, at the beginning of the summer my friend and I traveled to South Africa to volunteer on a big cat sanctuary, which was amazing.

Second Class Notes, Emily Howald

August 31, 2016

Reading Notes:

Reading through both the book and article, along with some pondering of my own, I came to a surprising conclusion: As an objective scientist concerned for “the big picture”, environmentalism is useless. Now as a subjective and passionate person, I am an environmentalist. But taking morals and emotions out of the picture and using the history of the Earth and the life on Earth, it is hard to make a case that people could really mess it up that badly and that it must be the moral additions that give environmentalism its strength. Also, some selfish intention boosts the cause even more. If you trace most environmental and conservation causes they lead to the sustaining of diversity of life on earth. Killing of life and extinctions are the core of the cause. But life is more incredible than we are giving it credit with this view. First, if 90% of life could go extinct in a single extinction event plus several other events since and there is the amazing life diversity we have today then the extinction event people “cause” will be pretty normal and recoverable. Extinction events are simply the passing from one era of life forms to another on earth. The ones around today are really cool making it sad to think of them replaced but that is the course of life. Second, people won’t be around forever. This may seem to go with the theory that only the death of the human species could save earth but really I’m just pointing out that we are simply a transient part of the story of life on earth. Third, whatever people leave behind, life will overcome. Creatures have been evolving to survive harsh environments and perform feats pretty much forever. It would be underestimating of the natural world to think it can’t “come up” with new solutions to whatever things humans leave (like plastic and the ruins of cities). Fish have been making homes of shipwrecks since ships starting sailing. Animals have been digesting new substances and poisons for awhile too. The meadowlands are a perfect example of other organisms overcoming what people leave behind. If toxic water and dumps next to the once “unhealthiest city in America” can sustain so many insects, plants, and birds, and even the occasional fish, and rodent, the world will be alright. The real problem of an extinction event is that hundreds of generations of humans (probably until humans are also extinct, assuming that, as with other life, they will be) will have to live in the world of transition with little diversity. The levels of diversity will recover but humans probably won’t witness it so we must selfishly preserve it. Again, I really am an environmentalist, and I am simply “playing devil’s advocate” and looking at the problem objectively. I’ll admit that this is kind of a relief. My environmentalist side can know that not all hope is lost and focus on what environmentalism means to culture and to people and less what it means to the world.

Also, in contribution on the discussion of wilderness I found that in reading about the meadowlands, they are never considered good. On one hand they are wild which has the connotations of chaos, uncontrollably (like all the people that were determined to utilize it) and on the other hand they aren’t wild because they are imprinted on by people which has the connotation of waste (like all those who want to clean it). At least in this particular instance being wild or not has nothing to do with value because both are bad.

Personal Introduction: I am a zoology and environmental studies major from Ohio. I have recently gotten involved in the sustainability issues on campus like the sustainability plan. I also help with Earthdance Ohio, a super cool hippie event held every fall. I work in IS and for the alumni center.

Project Ideas:

  1. Start the student run energy reduction challenge from the sustainability plan
  2. Promote and work on the sustainability plan
  3. Work on the food collaboration proposal in the sustainability plan
  4. Get proposal for “life hacks” quarter credit courses

Current Environmental Topic:

Why is compressed natural gas not more popular?


Image Source

Recently while in Columbus I saw a bus with a sign that it was run by compressed natural gas. Having little knowledge or experience of this fuel source, I investigated. Turns out it is super abundant, cheap, and safe plus it emits 90% less harmful emissions than traditional car fuel sources. Usually this fuel source is retrieved from natural gas deposits in the Earth however there are even sustainable ways of getting it since it is mostly just methane. One example is the gases that come off of manure or landfills. Sadly the US has yet to embrace this fuel source yet it seems other places globally have. At least in my experience, electric cars are the green model of vehicles in the US but electricity is produced by mostly non-renewable resources, some still harmful like coal burning. That isn’t very green especially compared to compressed natural gas. This source for vehicles may not be perfect but it seems a lot better to me. Here and Here are two links concerning compressed natural gas.

Introduction: Max Kerns

August 30, 2016


(Photo Of Me)

Hello All,

My name is Max Kerns, I am a senior here at Ohio Wesleyan. My major is Professional Geology. I have very much enjoyed my journey here and look forward to another exciting semester. I learn mostly from interaction with other students. If you ever want to discuss ideas or have a study session please let me know.

I have plans  to get my degree and hopefully move out west to the Portland, Oregon area. I am still exploring ideas to what career I will be pursuing. I would like to do something in the field as I enjoy being out in nature working.

In my spare time, when I am not working at Son of Thurman and getting my education on, I enjoy getting out and exploring the world, from finding a special place to eat, locating unique landmarks, listening to music, and exploring virtual realms.

I am generally very laid back and easy to talk to. I also like to help others when I can. So if you need anything feel free to ask.


Max Kerns (Phoenix)



Introduction: Lonnie Barnes

January 19, 2016

I’m a senior geography major with a minor in Spanish. Within geography, I’m most interested in GIS/remote sensing. I’ve been working on a research project that studies the relationship between socioeconomic inequality and urban heat island intensity in Chicago. I currently plan on attending grad school next year and expanding this project. At OWU, I am involved in Phi Gamma Delta, and was on the men’s soccer team for four years.

I live in Champaign, Illinois, though I lived in Cape Town, Soth Africa until I was 14. I grew up surrounded by a diverse environment – mountains, oceans, beaches, indigenous plants, and now I live in the boring old midwest. As is much of this part of the world, the landscape of central Illinois is dominated by agriculture. In the case of Champaign, corn fields are the dominant surrounding feature. In the future, I hope to live somewhere slightly more exciting.

Introduction: Ashley Tims

January 19, 2016

I am a junior, zoology and environmental science major, and studio art minor at OWU. I also attend Capital University for Army ROTC. I play soccer for OWU, and partake in long and triple jump on the Track team, although I am currently taking the year off from track. I have traveled with Dr. Anderson to the Amazon Rainforest, and will be traveling again with Dr. Gatz to the Serengeti.

I live in upstate New York, and black bears are common enough in my area to enjoy walking on the railings at my grandparents house, and they also have a pair of bald eagles the nest at the bottom of their hill. Anyways! I absolutely love the natural world and everything within it. I grew up watching the Jeff Corwin Experience, and The Crocodile instead of Sponge Bob and various other kids shows. I do however, have a rather “nerdy” family in that we watch Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, and between all 10 of us grand kids know almost everything there is to know about the Marvel and DC Universe.

When it comes to my future plans..after graduation I will commission as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Army, and serve my term before hopefully going back to school for conservation biology. Ultimately doing work with rescuing, rehabilitating, and reinstating wild animals.