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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Ohio State students address sustainability goals

June 1, 2016
Student research teams presented their final capstone projects at April’s Environmental Professionals Network breakfast (Photo by Hannah Kirby)
Nine student research teams from The Ohio State University presented their final capstone projects at April’s Environmental Professionals Network breakfast held at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on April 12, 2016.
The Environmental Professionals Network is a service of the School of Environment and Natural Resources in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The breakfast program focused on sustainability success with Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther presenting the city’s 2016 GreenSpotLight Awards and featured an Expo with projects by nine teams of students in the “Assessing Sustainability: Project Experience” capstone course.
The course is a requirement of students in the Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) major, which is jointly offered through the college’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) and the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE).

“The EEDS capstone project is a great example of the hands-on real-world education students in the EEDS major receive,” said Tim Haab, chair of AEDE. “The tools-based focus in EEDS not only gives students an academic background in sustainability, but it also equips them with a practical toolbox that is attractive to potential employers.” 



Gregory Hitzhusen, assistant professor in SENR, and Abdoul Sam, associate professor in AEDE, co-taught the spring semester offering.
The teams developed and presented projects specifically to support Ohio State’s new sustainability goals.
“The projects this semester were particularly noteworthy in how immediately they've had an impact,” said co-instructor Greg Hitzhusen. 
“For example, some of the projects have already had an impact on university planning.  The group analyzing OSU’s AASHE STARS score was able to determine that if Ohio State enhances its sustainability curriculum and stays on course to achieve its recently ratified sustainability goals, the university should be able to achieve Platinum status by 2018. Another group that focused on the Zero Waste culture at OSU is building on their research findings to help the university implement the distribution of 11,000 re-usable mugs for incoming OSU students in the autumn of 2016,” Hitzhusen said.

Student teams and projects presented at the Expo included:

AASHE STARS:  Platinum by 2018 - James Heinen, Brandon Swanzer, Sammie Keitlen, Remy Pascine, Evan McElhinny (partners: Aparna Dial)
Leaky Pipes, Leaky Wallets:  Water Savings through Steam and Condensate Return - Yidan Wang, Luke Treece, Luke Howard, Katie Dorow, Heather Bell (partners: Aparna Dial, Patrick Smith, Kent Halloran)
Local And Sustainable Food:  Capstone Course Proposal - Kori Goldberg, Graham Spangler, Anne Fruth, Andrew Goldsword, Alayna Reckner (partners: Zia Ahmed)
Wexner Medical Center Electricity Energy Reduction - Landon Kimble, Jenna Grayson, James Rabal, Daniel Grainger, Conor Long (partners: Tracy Wilcoxon, John Rappleye, Patrick Smith, Michael Schmit)
OSU Medical Center Waste Reduction Proposal - Ryan Hallowell, John Berger, Jaymes St. Clair, Daniel Woda, Christopher Donohue (partners: Tracy Wilcoxon, John Rappleye, Patrick Smith, Michael Schmit)
Ohio State Green Purchasing Policy - Lizzy George, Kristina Bomberger, Kaitlyn Williams, Haley Noll, Brian Trainor (partners: Russ Chung)
Buckeyes for Buckeyes:  Increasing the Tree Canopy on OSU's Main Campus - Veronica Havran-Vena, Ryan Ludwig, Kennedy Kowalski, Anna Madrishin, Anna Koontz (partners: Steve Volkmann)
Creating A Zero Waste Culture: Responsible Reuse And Recycling - Taylor Faecher, Nicole Ratliff, Laura Hagler, John Johnson, Austin McKinley (partners: Tony Gillund)
Pilot Compost Project At OSU's RPAC Facility - Marina Zahran, John Kominko, Brianna Stack, Alex Judkins, Ryan Thomas (partners: Tony Gillund)


Gregory Hitzhusen