Spring 2020 Wrap Up

Reading 1: Death of Environmentalism – The death of environmentalism takes a critical approach to some of the pitfalls of modern environmentalism. I especially found the section on environmental group think to be important and interesting to consider when working with green projects.

Reading 2: Sustainability – Argues against the popular definition of sustainability and stresses the importance of three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social.

Reading 3: OWU Sustainability Plan – Lays out a plan in the form of goals for sustainability initiatives at Ohio Wesleyan University with four larger initiatives and more specific actions and goals.

Reading 4: Sustainability, A Comprehensive Foundation – An in depth analysis of sustainability: breaking down the word and further defining it with emphasis on the goal of humans living indefinitely on the earth.

Reading 5: Scrappy Sustainability – One of the main pieces of this class! Making sustainability work in an imperfect situation: lacking resources and funds, but making things happen by being pragmatic. Good for students!

Reading 6: GEOG 360 Projects – Many projects have been undertaken at OWU, not all successfully but with good intentions and sound research.

Reading 7: Special Report: OWU Sustainability – In depth and thorough scoop on OWU sustainability happenings. I wish we had access to the full interviews.

Reading 8: STF Recommendations – Interesting to see just how long there hasĀ  been a building interest inĀ  sustainability efforts onĀ  campus.

Reading 9: NSF & Sustainability Region Map – Great potential, and really sad to see that it could not move forward because lack of suitable contribution by OWU.

Reading 10: Psychology of Sustainable Behavior – This was a super interesting psychological perspective on talking about climate change and environmental issues in general.

Reading 11: Against Environmental Panic – Typical ofĀ Bruckner’s writings, interesting but extremely and (in my opinion) overly critical of the environmental and scientific movements.

Reading 12: How the Rich Plan to Rule a Dying Planet – This was an amazing essay that delved into an argument we hear often: rich people will be just fine when the impacts of climate change hit.

Reading 13: Scrappy Sustainability – How far the sustainability efforts have come despite lacking in funding or a coordinator!

Pre-pandemic work

Post-spring break work: Vearth Week work and helping set up the documentary and teaching kitchen Zooms

Campus Habitat Projects (Delaware Run & Chimney Swift Tower)

Delaware Run

Originally we considered funding a campus Delaware Run restoration project by latching onto a grant being undertaken by Caroline Cicerchi and the Olentangy Watershed Association (OWA). Their nine element plan is part of the process for applying for an EPA grant and requires a restoration project and monitoring. It was decided that a project on campus might be too large of a project to include initially in the grant, so the current goal is a project with high impact and less work. Caroline and OWA could still use some help on the nine element plan, so for the remaining weeks of the semester students will attempt to assist in pushing that forward.

As far as the on campus Delaware Run restoration project, we subsequently met with Laura Fay to discuss other funding opportunities. One of her ideas with serious potential was FEMA’s BRICĀ program (Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities). Further, considering the Delaware Run’s tendency to overflow and block traffic during flood events, creating a map showing 100 and 500 year flood maps (as well as some more recent events if possible) would make a grant application much more competitive. Another possibility is going through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for restoration mitigation they need. They prefer to fund tangible projects with established monitoring programs (many grants would like to see established e coli monitoring efforts) and small to medium price tags (looking for high impact, low price tag) and could be considered for funding projects further upstream to assist with flooding downtown. Several other options discussed have already been researched by other students (here, and here).

Chimney Swift Tower Project

Before COVID-19 swept in, this project was moving forward and simply requiring city approval. The construction of this project can likely continue to move forward despite the quarantine due to construction services being deemed essential and the work taking place outside with just one or a small handful of people. If the city approval comes promptly and the contractor can move forward with construction, the work can likely be finished before the start of fall semester 2020.