Spring ’20 Wrap Up

Reading 1: The Death of Environmentalism M. Shellenberger & T. Nordhaus

The definition of what is environmental needs expansion. CAFE reminds me of the Volkswagen scandal. I’ve never heard of the New Apollo Project, so it probably wasn’t super successful, but since it’s mentioned in the reading, there are at least take-aways to get from it. Coalition building is cool.

Reading 2: Sustainability Thwink.org

Definitions of sustainability in a comparative sense. I hadn’t thought of it in a pillared manner before, but I’m down for the environmental, economic, and social.

Reading 3: OWU Sustainability Plan (2017)

Goals Reached:More grassroots work! More collaboration!

Goals not Reached: Not as many quantifiable goals. Future edits have more potentially.

Reading 4: Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation

Sustainability really means to uphold. This definition and analysis is a foundation for ensuring human existence in the near and distant future.

Reading 5: “‘Scrappy’ Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University,” 

Wow #theoryintopractice am I right? It is a great look at how to further sustainability with a lack of funding but sense of scrappiness in making it happen. I knew Emily just a little bit, so it was cool to read this.

Reading 6: Geography 360 Environmental Geography Projects

Ah geography 360. It was good to read what projects are in motion, which ones have been achieved and which ones flopped. I hope we have a lot more successful ones in the future!

Reading 7: Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

An interesting read on how sustainability has changed in recent years. Cool interviews and familiar faces in the professors and administrators.

Reading 8:Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Sustainability– Spring, 2009 & Supplemental Web Material 

Just how many wordpress blogs have you made? Glad to see that there has been consistent interest in promoting sustainability on campus.

Reading 9: Sustainability Region NSF Grant Proposal and Map/Poster.

I’ve seen these maps in the classroom, and now I know where they came from! Hopefully these individual pieces can still come together, even if they are funded or achieved in different manners.

Reading 10: The Psychology of Sustainable Behavior

A bit of a longer reading, but a great how-to on sustainable behaviors and continued interest for the self and for others.

Reading 11: “Against Environmental Panic.”

Bruckner is a little harsh, but man his prose is beautiful. It can be very entertaining/infuriating to get a view like this on environmentalism.

Reading 12: “How the Rich Plan to Rule a Burning Planet

This is something I feel like isn’t talked about enough. Climate change and pollution affects economic classes differently, especially in the midst of crises.

Reading 13: Scrappy Sustainability — Fall 2019

Wow look at OWU go! Would a sustainability coordinator even help us out that much? Seems like we’ve made a lot of progress without one

Earth Day 2020 sign

Pre-pandemic work

Post-Pandemic Work

Virtual Earth Day in carbon footprint calculator and work on student symposium

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 has  been a building interest in  sustainability efforts on  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 of 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

Vearth week 2020 4/23

H.R. 763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019

To create a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund for the American people in order to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies and market efficiencies which will reduce harmful pollution and leave a healthier, more stable, and more prosperous nation for future generations.”

 This Bill Incentives lowering Carbon emissions by setting a fee on the extraction of coal, natural gas, crude oils and the like from the earth, specifically anything that will emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The fee will be put on producers and importers of the products. The fee is based on the greenhouse gas content of the product multiplied by the current fee($15 starting 2019 and increasing by $10 a year until we have reached our target emissions). The fees will be put into a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund that will be used for dividend payments to citizens and administrative expenses.

  • exemptions for fuels used for agricultural or nonemitting purposes,
  • exemptions for fuels used by the Armed Forces,
  • rebates for facilities that capture and sequester carbon dioxide, and
  • border adjustment provisions that require certain fees or refunds for carbon-intensive products that are exported or imported.    

 The Congress finds that—

(1) efficient markets strengthen our economy and benefit our Nation by encouraging competition, innovation, and technological progress;

(2) efficient markets should reflect all costs of goods to ensure that they advance America’s prosperity and national interests;

(3) emissions of carbon pollution and other harmful pollutants into our Nation’s air impose substantial costs on all Americans and on future generations; and

(4) creation of a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund, to be distributed to the American people, will make markets more efficient, create jobs, and stimulate competition, innovation, and technological progress that benefit all Americans and future generations.      

As of yet, no Ohio representatives have backed this bill.

CCL already has really good talking points outlined and there’s a little script when you find your representative so I decided to find out information on what exactly we’re calling them for in hopes that that might get people to call.

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 BRIC 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.

Solar Array Project Status as of 03/25/2020


-A solar variablility study may still be needed in order to establish how much energy can be produced on any given day. 

-Assess the feasibility of a larger solar array somewhere on campus (7-8 Acres =1 Megawatt)

-Implementing Educational Purposes: Dr. Rowley’s GEOG 235 (energy Resources), GEOG 245 (Weather and Climate)

Which company should be utilized: The Solar Network- group that works with Universities to implement solar (midWest Renewable Energy Association) Nonprofit coalition- Alden

Working with Alden Shepherd at Invenergy- Has an Excel sheet of others’ completed projects. Noted these places- Tennesee Knoxville larger parking lot use. Eaton (has charger ports- only an electric lot)

Funding:Looking into different grants outside of OWU, such as EPA, OWU resources are TPG, alumni (through Advancement’s fundraising and in encouraging Board of Trustees)

Parking lot between Beeghly and Corns

Other Projects researched

Toledo Museum of Art 

  • Partial parking lot canopy with plug-in availability for electric vehicles
  • With canopy and array- were able to go completely off of the city’s energy grid within a year.
  • State and federal grants from the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Energy Efficiency and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Company: Solscient Energy 

Denison Garden/Solar Hybrid

  • Pollinator-friendly project (1st of its’ kind- presents research questions)
  • Sustainability Coordinator (Carbon neutral campus by 2030)
  • Dashboard to see energy production
  • Difficulties- neighbors sued because of zoning
  • Company: Third Sun Solar

Potential ways to Implement

  •  Advancement may be able to have electric shuttles or what have you for assisting. Prefers residential side of campus.
  • A smaller, feasible project that Advancement can ‘sell’ as a package to donors, such as a solar panel picnic table.

Other Notes

Potential space for an array in parking lot between Beeghly and Corns is approximately 1,510 sqft, according to an analysis done utilizing the Delaware County Auditor’s GIS website

Zoom notes 3/23/20: Welcome back from covidcation

3.23.2020 1:10-2pm
Updated by John K (Mar 25, 10 am)

ENVS Zoom Call: summary: A lot can be done off-campus to prepare for the future. 

Priorities for the rest of the semester:

  • Meg: Update Sustainability Plan to include cost estimates for certain items and current ENVS projects.

    • Cost estimates will be brief and included in the second part of the plan, with more details in a separate proposal.

    • For example: use Google maps to determine measurements for a small solar array and contact Alden Shepherd for help estimating a cost.

  • Everyone: For projects that can’t be done remotely (like AVI) document what has been done so far and upload to ENVS blog so it can be picked up easily in a more normal future.

    • Everyone have a summary post on this blog by Friday, March 27
  • Everyone: Start using the hashtag #owuenvs to keep our community together and bring environmental issues back into people’s conversations (memo to come)

    • Meg: Reach out to Eco Floor and Trouse for help spreading #owuenvs tag. Also: STF, other groups. 

    • Sustainable people & networks: Dr. Krygier is part of the higher education sustainability professionals network (or a similar name) now. Those are good contacts and so are the contacts in ROAR (Regional Ohio Alliance for Resilience) which Dr. Anderson is a part of.

  • John: Chimney Tower will probably continue as planned! Need to contact B&G for final go-ahead, but construction is an essential service. Won’t need much effort.

  • Celeste: Review, revise and synthesize May Move Out info on blog: https://maymoveout.owu.edu Roll ideas for recylcing on campus into the May Move Out project. Contact Ed Pullen (ABM) about what is happening with the waste and recycling contract.
  • Dustin: Help Caroline Cicerchi (Delaware Watershed Coordinator) with developing 9 Point Plan for watershed, It’s a crazy time but many people actually have extra hours on their hands, and that can work to our advantage. Include Delaware Run project. Delaware Run information: https://sites.owu.edu/delawarerun/
  • Kayla:  Solar projects: Contact Alden. Small, show project and larger solar array project.
  • Genaro:
  • Ayla: