Environmental Science Student Symposium is Wednesday

Nearly 1,000 students at The Ohio State University have prepared scientific posters about Earth’s biggest challenges for the university’s 2017 Environmental Science Student Symposium.

Among those students, about 400 will present their work in person at the event, which is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in Ohio State’s Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St., in Columbus. Admission is free and open to the public.

This is the fifth year that Ohio State students enrolled in ENR 2100, an introductory environmental science course offered by the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), will present posters on their final projects. The symposium program is available online at go.osu.edu/2017ESSS. SENR is part of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

As in years past, the students chose pressing topics such as air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, urbanization and water pollution. The course attracts a wide range of students, including from nearly every major at the university. Students are required to reflect on the role they can play in protecting Earth and the importance of scientific work and sustainable practices in solving its challenges.

“This reflection is particularly important to many of our students who are interested in learning about ways that they can change their lifestyle to promote healthy living, encourage sustainable choices, and enjoy a clean and safe environment,” said Brian Lower, associate professor in SENR, who teaches the course along with his brother Steven Lower, a professor who has joint appointments in SENR and in Ohio State’s School of Earth Sciences, and Kylienne Clark Shaul, a SENR instructional development specialist.

New this year: Virtual posters

New this year is the Virtual Student Poster Symposium, which was created for the course’s online students by Ella Weaver, an instructional aides associate in SENR.

About 1,000 students a year take ENR 2100 in the classroom, while enrollment in the online version has grown to about 800, Lower said.

“We will have 550 online students present their posters virtually,” said Weaver, who works to support SENR’s eLearning initiatives. “All of our students will prepare their posters, including either an audio or video presentation.” The presentations will be available to the entire class, and peer reviews will be completed by all the students.

“We are also excited to be partnering with (SENR’s) David Hanselmann and the Environmental Professionals Network to combine the student poster symposium with Vik Sahney’s April 12 visit and evening talk titled ‘From Summits to Sustainability: Reaching for High Places, Personally and Professionally,’ ” Weaver said.

Sahney, who is vice president for sustainability for outdoor retailer REI, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Ohio Union. The Environmental Professionals Network, which is a statewide professional group based in SENR, is hosting his talk.

Complete details on the symposium, including a list of the presenters, posters and session times, are at go.osu.edu/posterday. Details on Sahney’s presentation are at go.osu.edu/Br3x.

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