From an intercollegiate research project to an energy survey to collaboration with Delaware community representatives on issues of sustainability, “green” things are happening at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Laurel Anderson, Ph.D., associate professor of botany-microbiology, is involved in all of these initiatives, and she’s helping to share environmental news via a new Sustainability @ OWU Web site and a new “Sustainability at Ohio Wesleyan University” Facebook group.
Some of the highlights of OWU’s growing green initiatives include:
- An energy audit currently is under way of the entire campus, consisting of 1.6 million square feet in 67 facilities on 104 acres. Results from this grant-funded audit will be used to create a comprehensive energy efficiency and conservation plan. Grant funds also will be used to hire a temporary sustainability coordinator for two years to help develop and implement the plan.
- The President’s Task Force on Campus Sustainability will meet again September 17 to continue its efforts to recommend strategies for making campus more environmentally friendly.
- All major renovations or construction projects on campus will be designed with energy efficiency as a priority. In September, the new energy-efficient stadium lights at Selby Field will be turned on for the first time during an athletic event. And the Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center, which includes a geothermal heating and cooling system, will open its doors to the public during an open house on October 30.
- Student organizations—including the Environment and Wildlife Club, the Tree House Small Living Unit, and the WCSA Environmental Committee will continue their work to educate the campus community about environmental issues. Senior Sylvie Hundley is this year’s Student Recycling Educator. She will work with Anderson and Dennis Wall of Buildings and Grounds to keep the recycling program running smoothly.
- In addition, Anderson is leading an ecological research project involving Ohio Wesleyan and 11 other primarily undergraduate institutions. The education network will develop collaborative research projects, engage students in coursework that will be team-taught by educators from the participating institutions, and establish an online database of collaborative data collected during the project.
- Anderson also has been meeting with Delaware city officials and community groups to establish a list of potential sustainability projects in the community that could involve OWU students, clubs, or organizations.
Here’s to a great and green year!