Sustainability... On Campus

In battle for Lake Erie, ‘an unprecedented, comprehensive counteroffensive’

image of Lake Erie algal bloomEfforts by, among others, CFAES’s Jeff Reutter and Libby Dayton to stop Lake Erie’s algal blooms were noted yesterday in a Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial. (Photo: Tom Archer, Michigan Sea Grant, via NOAA.)

Healthy Water Ohio in the news

Yesterday’s launch of the new Healthy Water Ohio initiative gets coverage by WKSU, WYSUFarm and Dairy, the Toledo Blade, Ohio’s Country Journal and Ideastream (Cleveland public radio).

Two CFAES speakers at Stone Lab this Thursday

More good reasons to visit Ohio State’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie: CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron will present “Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences: Three Ways of Describing a Singular Mission” as the lab’s weekly guest lecture this Thursday evening, July 10. And CFAES economist Elena Irwin will give a research brief before the main talk called “A Sustainability Science Approach to Lake Erie: Assessing the Linkages and Trade-offs Between Agricultural Land Management and Lake Ecosystem Services.” Admission is free and open to the public. But you’ll need to ride a water taxi to get from Put-in-Bay to the lab and back ($3 each way). You also can watch online.

Yes, you can say he stands out in his field

Rattan_LalThe International Union of Soil Sciences has named CFAES’s Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of soil science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, as its president-elect. The Vienna, Austria-based group has 16,000 members from around the world. Lal directs the school’s Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and, among other things, recently served on the advisory committee of the National Climate Assessment. (Photo: CFAES Communications.)

First day on the job

image of new Ohio State President Michael DrakeWe bid a big welcome to Ohio State’s new president, Michael V. Drake, M.D., who started today. Details on his sustainability achievements at UC-Irvine in a previous post. (Photo: University Communications.)

Plant power: Ohio naturalist, author to speak July 8

grasslands and woods image 2

The next monthly breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network, “Plants Make the World Go ’Round: Why We Must Protect Our Native Ecosystems,” is July 8 at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus. The speaker will be the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Jim McCormac, who writes the Ohio Birds and Biodiversity blog and is the author of Birds of Ohio, Great Lakes Nature Guide and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural HeritageAfter his talk and the breakfast, he’ll lead a nature walk in the surrounding Scioto Audubon Metro Park on the Scioto River. For details and a link to online registration, click here. (Photo: iStock.)

CFAES scientists get grant to study biocontrol of deadly bat disease

white nose syndrome in little brown batA team including CFAES scientists has received a $223,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant to study possible biocontrol agents for white-nose syndrome in bats. The grant was one of eight awarded last week by the agency for studying the disease. White-nose syndrome is a fungal infection that has killed millions of hibernating bats in eastern North America. It was first found in New York in 2006 and since then has spread, including to Ohio. Bats eat massive amounts of night-flying insects, including food crop pests and mosquitoes. Fewer bats would mean more of these pests. (Photo: Infected little brown bat by Al Hicks, N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation.)

Certainly getting his feet wet

CFAES student Ben Rubinoff, a junior in the School of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Science Honors Program, is interning this summer with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on Chesapeake Bay. From a story called “Seeking Life in the Mud” on the center’s website:

Once the math is done, they head to the field. Either from inside a jon boat or up to their knees in murky water along the shore, they use a tool called a “petite ponar” to snatch sediment from the bottom surface. “It’s like big salad tongs,” said Rubinoff.

Toronto’s trees score big. How do yours rate?

sugar maple leafThere’s money in those maple leafs leaves, says a story today in The Globe and Mail. Toronto’s 10 million trees are worth about $7 billion Canadian ($6.4 billion U.S.), and their benefits — including reducing stormwater runoff and lowering summer cooling bills — far outweigh their costs. Here’s how to put a dollar (U.S.) on your own trees’ benefits. (Photo: Sugar maple by Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

Target yield? ‘500 tires per acre’

Dandelion videoThe “Our Ohio” TV series, produced by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, reports on CFAES’s Buckeye Gold research program. The pioneering program aims to turn a one-of-a-kind dandelion into a domestic, sustainable source of quality rubber. Watch.