Archive for January, 2013

Large-scale composting? This is how you do it

composting facilitySpend two days learning everything you can about large-scale composting (such as by farms, cities, and commercial operations) so you understand it even more deeply and can do it even better. Beneficially. Sustainably. Non-odoriferously. The Ohio Compost Operators Education Course is March 26-27 at OARDC.

Now hiring? Need a job? Put this on your list for tomorrow

CFAES career expoIf you’re looking for a job or internship in sustainability … are looking to hire people in fields related to sustainability … or just want to network with students, graduates, faculty, and employers with an interest in sustainability, then come to CFAES’s Environmental Career Expo Jan. 31, which, as of today, is tomorrow. It’s a once-a-year chance to do just that. Details here (scroll down).

Despite drought, conservation tillage left him smiling

Image of David BrandtWhen it became apparent that the dry spell many Ohio growers were experiencing last year would become the worst drought in 50 years, David Brandt, pictured, wasn’t worried about how well the corn and soybeans on his 1,150-acre farm would fare. The Carroll, Ohio, farmer instead relied on a natural form of insurance that left the soils in his fields protected against the devastating effects of the record heat and drought that decimated many farmers nationwide in 2012. Read the story …

Color them scarlet and green: How plantings like this can keep Olentangy clean

Stormwater runoff carries oil, grease, trash, sediment, and other pollutants into water bodies. This is a main cause of pollution in the Olentangy River, which flows through Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. Although the university is currently involved in the Olentangy River restoration project, a stormwater management plan will be necessary to ensure that the river’s water quality remains healthy after the restoration project is completed. We suggest the use of rain gardens as tools to stop polluted runoff from reaching the river. How rain gardens work Rain gardens are landscaped areas that absorb stormwater runoff and filter pollutants. They may look like your average garden, but beneath the surface they contain multiple la...    Read More »

Shale/fracking programs set for Jan. 24, Feb. 23

Two shale gas/fracking-related programs you may find of interest:

• “A Theoretical Framework for Analyzing Hydraulic Fracking Policy” on Jan. 24, which at this point is tomorrow, on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. The speaker is Gwen Arnold, assistant professor of environmental policy, University of Cincinnati. It’s part of the spring seminar series of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.

“Shale and You: A Workshop for Landowners” on Feb. 23 in Canfield near Youngstown in northeast Ohio. The sponsor is CFAES’s statewide outreach arm, OSU Extension.

Student team: Restored Olentangy needs a boardwalk

Attention, all birders: Are you sick of your birding being interrupted by bikers screaming “To your left!”? Do you wish you had a place to go birding without someone scaring all the birds away? Do you want to walk 10 feet without seeing litter? If you answered yes to all these questions, you’ll like what you’re about to hear. Following completion of the 5th Avenue dam removal project, wetland restoration along the Olentangy River on Ohio State's campus will take place in the next five years. Along with this restoration, a plan for a boardwalk through the wetland could be put into action. Now you’re probably asking, “How can a boardwalk help birders?” A boardwalk would mean birders wouldn’t have to fear bikers (who a...    Read More »

New sustainability major: Great (and surpassed) expectations

EEDS major

CFAES’s new Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) program has surpassed its enrollment expectations and has added three new courses.

The program launched at the start of fall semester 2012 and is one of Ohio State’s newest majors. It recently added four other new courses.

Climate change, the food you grow, and ‘seasonal sustainability’

canned garden food

CFAES’s Linnette Goard will talk on “Preserving Your Fall Garden Harvest” Jan. 26 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s 8th Annual Sustainability Symposium. She’s a food safety, selection, and management specialist with our outreach arm, OSU Extension. The event’s theme is “Seasonal Sustainability for Gardeners and Everyone.” Kent State climatology professor Scott Sheridan will give the keynote speech, “Climate Change and Our Future Environment.”

Lots to pick from, including scarlet and gray ones

organic peppers for GBThe Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s annual conference in February will have a record number of presenters from CFAES. The event focuses entirely on sustainable, organic food and farming.

Restoring the Olentangy’s plant life: Keep out invaders

The removal of the Fifth Avenue dam on the Olentangy River is great for aquatic ecosystems and will increase central Ohio’s plant and animal biodiversity. The river's banks will be heavily disturbed and will offer new, fresh territory for plants to propagate and succeed. Wind, water, and even birds will contribute to the spread of seeds. Native vegetation, however, can’t become established when outcompeted by invasive non-native plants, some of which may include bush honeysuckle, narrow-leaved cattail, and common reed, or phragmites, which is pictured. Our plant-related recommendations for the river’s restoration: • Use native plants in the landscaping. • Lobby legislators concerning quarantine areas and invasive species ...    Read More »