Science for Citizens Blog.
There are a lot of good ways to get things done without wasting people’s time….and to use the time people are already wasting!
I was captivated by two recent events: (1) a lecture by the people running Zooniverse , a citizen science telescope image id project and (2) a discussion with colleagues from the Department of Crop Sciences that a graduate student recently digitized all the urban gardens in Chicago from Google Earth (and I mean more than just the official ones posted here).
After attending the festivities of Sustainability Week, there is no doubt in my mind that the University of Illinois is taking the right steps in becoming a more sustainable environment. With over 250 courses in 43 different departments, education on sustainability as well as sustainable decision making are major concerns at this university. Currently iCAP, Illinois Climate Action Plan, has set a campus-wide goal to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The major initiatives involved in this process are food and waste composting, renewable energy, space management, education and outreach, energy conservation, purchase of local foods, active transportation, behavior modification and water conservation. Each effort has specific projects and aims in order to achieve the ultimate goal. Some of the current projects include the LEED initiative at Lincoln Hall. The renovations on this building are projected to receive a gold standing in LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Already, the new residence hall, Nugent Hall, has received a silver standing for its sustainable design. Another project currently under way is the Bike Sharing program. This program is funded by the Student Sustainability Committee with plans to update the present university Bike Plan. The new plan entails Bike Fix-It stations across campus including air pumps and other tools to fix broken bikes. Bettering the transportation system, and improving building energy conservation are just two of the ways in wich the University is planning to achieve its goal and ultimately create a cleaner, greener, more sustainable campus.
EPA – EJView.
I can’t believe I didn’t use this in my class (yet). The EJ View hosted by the EPA is a good way to introduce students to spatial ideas of environmental justice without requiring that they know how to use geographic information systems.