Sustainability

West Chester University

 

Speakers' Bureau

The Speakers Bureau is a way in which all Faculty, Staff and Students can get involved. If you have expertise in a certain area and would like to share this knowledge by giving talks and presentations, you can list your activities and interests here.

In addition, if you have writtten up a project concerning a sustainability issue, your work can be featured here.

Faculty and Administration Contributions

President Weisenstein
President Weisenstein's Earth Day Address was a strong confirmation of WCU's commitment to sustainability.

Paul Morgan, Sustainability Coordinator 2012-2014 and Professor of Professional & Secondary Education

Below is a link to Professor Morgan's TEDx talk about sustainability. The title of the talk is Against Rhythm: How Postmodern Humans can Wake Up and Find their Groove.

West Chester University Magazine
WCU's sustainability efforts, Prof. Tim Lutz (who was at that time the Sustainability Co-ordinator) and the Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC) were featured in the cover story of WCU Magazine's summer issue.

Kurt W Kolasinski, Department of Chemistry
The human population is now so large that its impact on the environment no longer causes simply local changes. It is forcing global changes. The human impact on global climate is but one aspect - albeit an immensely important one - of the challenges facing civilization going forward. The focus of my presentation is that of sustainable energy. What the laws of physics tell us is that given enough energy, we can do almost anything, even slow time. But we do not have limitless sources of energy and what does an energy-constrained future mean to the future of humanity? What are the scientific challenges (particularly in chemistry) and technologies that need to be addressed in the future?

A version of this presentation is available to download as a pdf file.

"Making Bread from Air" is not only part of a memorable quote from Max von Laue's eulogy to Fritz Haber. It is also the title of this presentation on the science behind and the importance of ammonia synthesis in the modern world.

Green Legacy: The Campus Tree Project
A collaboration between Geography and Planning, Biology, and Grounds Maintenance Departments, this presentation was prepared by Eunice Alexander, Joy Fritschle, Gary Coutu, and Joan Welch.

Adequate planning and management of urban forests requires thorough understanding of existing conditions. The objective of this project was the creation of the Green Legacy database of campus trees. Once established this database can be used to

  • Evaluate the functionality, applicability, and quality of results of CITYgreen vs. i-Tree ECO software programs
  • Evaluate benefits, management issues, and where improvements to the urban forest can be made.

On-going research will use this data to address topics such as

  • In-depth analysis of risks and benefits of our campus forest (e.g., susceptibility to disease outbreaks, etc.)
  • Assess impact of scale on CITYgreen output
  • Manage campus forest to better offset carbon footprint, reduce stormwater, etc.
  • Create community-based support and education, using i-Tree and CITYgreen analysis

Here is the latest update to this project.

The Green Legacy Project: Evaluating Campus Tree Benefits

Drs. Joy Fritschle, Gary Coutu, Joan Welch, and Gerry Hertel, Departments of Geography & Planning and Biology Abstract: Urban trees, including those found on many college campuses, can contribute to sequestering and storing carbon, mitigating urban heat island effects, ameliorating air pollution, reducing stormwater runoff, improving water quality, providing habitat for native species, and enhancing aesthetics. In order to better understand and thus maximize the benefits provided by our campus trees, a collaborative group of faculty, staff, and students at West Chester University initiated the Green Legacy Project. We conducted a complete inventory and assessment of north campus tree resources and developed a management GIS database. The primary research objective of this study was to evaluate the benefits and management issues of our campus forest. Approximately 1900 trees cover 16% of north campus, half of which are non-native species. The value of the trees is an estimated $3.2 million. Our analysis found the benefits of campus trees exceeds $250,000 annually in reduction of stormwater runoff, storage of carbon, removal of air pollutants, and lowered building energy costs, in addition to the provision of habitat and enhanced aesthetics. Some key areas of concern include significant vulnerability of the campus tree population to pests, such as the Asian long-horned beetle, and the low ratio of tree canopy to impervious surface. Recommendations to better maximize the benefits of our campus forest include increased efforts to protect and manage existing trees, and to both increase and diversify campus tree cover.

A pdf of this presentation is available to download.

"Will WCU Need a Tree Museum?" slideshow.

Kristen Crossney has put together a brochure to greet the cherry blossoms PDF: Cherry Blossoms Brochure.


Student Contributions

Sustainability Promotional Videos

WCU's social media intern, Phil Zaccareli, was inspired to create this video to promote some of WCU’s sustainable efforts. This joins QOTW Sustainability and the Project Green videos on YouTube. There's more on the Hang Your Clothes video below.

Green In 3 Winning Contribution
Congratulations to Angela Cuff, Junior/Elementary Ed Program, Courtland Jackson, Sophomore/Elementary Ed Program, Colleen Kokai, Senior/Music Education and their group leader Dr Jordan Schugar for producing a winning video in the Green in 3 contest.

The contest was established by Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment and asked students to create a video that would make the environment better. The parameters of the contest were: (a) the video had to be less than 30 seconds; (b) could only use three words; and (c) no audio. The students made the video using Flip Cameras and iMovie. A total of 15 winners were selected over a 3 month span and each winner was awarded $500. This project was part of Dr. Schugar's one section of EDM 300 (Intro to Ed. Technology), and the students obviously earned an A for their video!

Outdoor Classroom and Demonstration Garden

A comprehensive guide to establishing and maintaining an outdoor classroom for educational and recreational purposes by Erika Szonntag.

 

Student Lifestyle and Sustainability
Students in Humans and the Environment (ESS 102) examined and reconsidered their lifestyle choices - decisions about driving, electricity use, food and water consumption, and waste and recycling - and they wrote about their accomplishments. Most students want to keep the lifestyle changes they made; many have advice and encouragement for you!

Follow this link to see a slide show about what they thought. Or you can join us on Facebook

Recycling Essay
In WRT220, Stacy Andrews took on a writing project regarding recycling. Much of her work has been incorporated into our page on recycling.