Oregon State University


Question of the Week: Foodprint Challenge

Ecologue - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 1:00pm

Time for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU spork.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

The Eco2Go program offers students a sustainable means to eat out by reducing the amount of disposable to-go containers being consumed. How much does it cost to buy into the program, and how much money do you save with each use of an Eco2Go container?


It costs $7 to buy into the Eco2Go program, and there is 20 cents saved with each use.

McNary Dining is currently in the midst of their Foodprint Challenge, where they encourage students to reduce the amount of waste they produce at the dining hall. The challenge asks students to place ALL waste (including organics, trash, and recyclables) on the dish-return trays, so that their staff may properly sort everything.

Six trash cans in the dining hall were audited to evaluate the waste produced from one breakfast that is not captured in the dish-return system. The audit found that in the trash bins, only 5% of the waste was actually trash, with 80% being compostable material, and the remaining 15% were recyclables.

The challenge also encourages students to reduce waste produced from to-go containers by signing up for Eco2Go. More information about the program may be found here.

And congratulations to Seema Mangla for being this week’s winner. Great job!

Categories: Ecologue

Waste Watchers Spotlight: Walker Holden

Ecologue - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 2:25pm

Name: Walker Holden

Title: Star Volunteer

Degree: Environmental Science

Year: Freshman

When did you start volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

I began volunteering at the beginning of Fall term.

What has been your favorite project or event that the Waste Watchers have been involved in?

I love the Repair Fair that we hold twice a term. It’s great that we do this and always have a healthy attendance rate.

What keeps you volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

Wonderful friends, plenty to do, and it feels great to be a part of planning events that will help the environment.

What would you like to see the Waste Watchers do in the future?

I would love it if the Waste Watchers would do more regularly occurring events, ones that happen every month or so.

What is one way you reduce waste in your everyday life?

Whenever I get a paper back, I put it into a drawer, and pull the paper out whenever I need scratch paper or to write something down.

Want to learn more about the Waste Watchers? Visit the volunteer webpage to learn more about how to get involved.

Categories: Ecologue

Earth Week Events!

Ecologue - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:00pm

OSU Earth Week is fast approaching and sure to be a crowd-pleaser! This year Earth Week takes place from April 20th-26th 2014. We have a long list of really fun and exciting events to check out.

For more information visit:

Our Facebook Page and

The Earth Week Website

New this year: Each day of the week has a theme:

  • Sunday 4/20 – Animal Appreciation: Honoring our fellow creatures.
  • Monday 4/21 – Promoting Justice: Improving equity on an Earth with limited resources.
  • Tuesday 4/22 – Celebrating Community: Coming together to celebrate the Earth and each other.
  • Wednesday 4/23 – Built Environment: Shaping the places where we live, work and play.
  • Thursday 4/24 – Conserving Resources: Wisely using what the Earth provides us.
  • Friday 4/25 – Get Outdoors: Experiencing the natural world around us.
  • Saturday 4/26 – Service Day: Giving back to the Earth that supports us.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Animal Shelter Help

9-11 AM

Heartland Humane Society, 398 SW Twin Oaks Cir.

For Animal Appreciation day we have coordinated with Heartland Humane Society for help with feeding animals, cleaning their living spaces, and walking the dogs. Registration required (link coming soon). (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Justice Mural

6:30-9:30 AM

M.U. Quad

Join the SSI and SET in drawing a giant sidewalk chalk mural on the paths of the MU Quad. Each of the paths will represent a different justice issue related to sustainability. Early morning chalking party, free coffee and bagels provided! (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

“Years of Living Dangerously” Film Screening

7-9 PM

Snell Hall International Forum

Screening of “Years of Living Dangerously”, facilitated discussion about our changing climate, it’s environmental/social justice implications, and what we as students can do about it all. (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

14th Annual Earth Week Community Fair

11 AM – 3 PM

M.U. Quad

An annual fair of 50+ groups from on- and off-campus offering activities and environmental information. Learn about what’s going on and how you can plug yourself in! (Sponsored by Campus Recycling)

Earth Day Flash Mob

12:45-1 PM

M.U. Quad

Come together to celebrate Earth Day with a flash mob! The Waste Watchers will provide recycle bins and a rhythm to play on them together. (Sponsored by the Waste Watchers)

Earthday Hoo Haa!

3:30-7 PM

Organic Growers Club farm, Hwy 34

The annual Hoo Haa is a celebration of the earth, agriculture and features FREE hot supper, FREE live music and FREE transportation to and from the campus! Celebrate the most fundamental of all resources – SOIL! Please leave pets at home. (Sponsored by the OSU Organic Growers Club)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Water Conservation Scavenger Hunt

8 AM – 6 PM

OSU Campus

Search the campus and vicinity for examples of how the built environment affects water resources. Pick-up instructions at Tuesday’s fair or visit http://oregonstate.edu/ssi/water. Email photos by 6 PM to be entered for prizes. (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

OSUsed Store Earth Week Sale

12-3 PM

OSUsed Store, 644 SW 13th St. Corvallis, OR 97333

Choose used! Save money and natural resources by seeking used goods before purchasing new ones. At the OSUsed Store’s public sale you can shop used furniture, bicycles, computers, electronics, housewares and more. (Sponsored by OSU Surplus Property)

Documentary Film: “Addicted to Plastics”

5-6:30 PM

Gleeson Hall 100

Viewing of a documentary on the worldwide use of plastics – pros and cons. The BUILT ENVIROMENT is very much concerned with the use of plastics, since approx. 30% of every US home is made of plastic and recycling rates are terrible (<5%). (Sponsored by Plastics for Poets and CBEE Student Club)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reusable Menstrual Products Workshop

11 AM – 4 PM

OSU Women’s Center

Come by the Women’s Center to learn about reusable menstrual products and enter to win prizes. At 1:30pm – 2:30pm Beth Brown from Student Health Services will be speaking about menstrual health and answering any questions. (Sponsored by the OSU Women’s Center)

Garden Fest!

2:30-6 PM

Student Sustainability Center, 738 SW 15th St.

Get your hands dirty planting in the SSI garden and learn from activities and workshops how students can garden on campus and at their homes! (Sponsored by the Student Sustainability Initiative)

From Rags to Bags Craft Activity

4-5:30 PM

M.U. 206

Come re-purpose old Pride Week T-Shirts and give them new life as reusable grocery bags! Learn the technique and walk away with your very own bag. Bring your own T-shirt or use a provided one. Supplies are limited to the first 20 participants. (Sponsored by the OSU Pride Center)

Panel on Climate and the Economy

6:30-8:30 PM

Westminster House, 101 NW 23rd St.

Is our current economy at the heart the climate crisis? Come hear author Rob Dietz (author of “Enough is Enough”), and others present perspectives on alternative economic systems. (Sponsored by 350Corvallis)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bird Watching Walk: Breeding Birds on Campus

9-10 AM

Meet at the M.U. Steps

Grab your binoculars and we’ll discover the species that choose to raise families on campus. (Sponsored by Neighborhood Naturalist)

Carpool/vanpool Information Meeting

12-1 PM

Kearney 311

Thought about sharing a ride to reduce your environmental impact, save money and avoid parking and traffic hassles? Come hear carpool and vanpool riders experiences and learn about options. Free pizza provided in this casual lunch gathering! (Sponsored by the OSU Sustainability Office)

Arbor Day Tree Planting

12:30-1 PM

Between Langton and Waldo Hall

Celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Week by helping us plant a tree near the new Student Experience Building. Get outdoors and help us support the urban forest we walk beneath every day! (Sponsored by OSU Urban Forestry)

Recess at Avery Park

Get outdoors with the SSI and the Environmental Sciences Club! Stop by Avery Park for fun outdoor activities including frisbee games, a 2-mile team relay, plant/tree tour, BBQ, and more!

Start/End:           2:00 PM–5:00 PM

Location:              Avery Park

Cost:      free activities, food for sale

Hosted By:          Student Sustainability Initiative

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Earth Day of Service (Be rooted in your community)

Times and locations vary by project

The Center for Civic Engagement will host 7 service projects to encourage students to be rooted in their community in observation of Earth Day. Register by April 23 at http://oregonstate.edu/cce/earthday (Sponsored by the OSU Center for Civic Engagement)

For more information visit:

Our Facebook Page or

The Earth Week Website

Categories: Ecologue

Discount Drawing Sales at the OSUsed Store Wednesday and Saturday

Ecologue - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 7:00am

Come to the OSUsed Store sales on Wednesday, April 16, 12:00-3:00 pm and/or Saturday, April 19, 9:00 am – 12 pm and reach in the egg basket for a chance to draw a sale price of 25, 50 or 75% off one item!

Terms: Coupons exclude spot bid and online merchandise. Use of coupons are limited to no more than one per customer, on one item, during one public sale (April 16, 12-3 pm or April 19, 9 am-12 pm). Customers may receive and a use one coupon at one or both public sales.

Available merchandise will include computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

The OSUsed Store is located at 644 SW 13th Street in Corvallis (view on Google Maps). We will have many items for personal or departmental use – computers and computer accessories, furniture (desks, file cabinets, tables, chairs, bookcases, etc), office supplies, sporting goods, household items, bicycles and much more.

Our public sales provide an opportunity for the general public to make personal purchases. Departments are welcome to shop 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, or during public sales on Wednesdays. Coupons are only valid during the public sale time listed above.

See our other sale dates on our calendar. For more information, visit our public sale page or contact us.

Categories: Ecologue

SSI Travel Grantee: Amy Kordosky

Ecologue - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 11:00am
Amy Kordosky received an SSI Travel Grant of $250 to travel to Costa Rica during OSU’s Spring break and participate in a construction & renovation project in San Jose. She wrote up a blog post for the Ecologue to describe her experience and provided a few pictures. ________________________________________

Team of engineers and their team leaders

Ten engineers from Oregon State University, including myself, went to San Jose, Costa Rica to volunteer in a construction and renovation program through International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ). The project our group worked on was to turn an old parking lot into a children’s playground for a local church. While there, we cleared out the lot, leveled the ground, mixed and set concrete over the area, and painted a mural with the neighborhood children.

OSU team with the kids!

Much of my time on this trip was spent which shovel in hand, mixing batch after batch of concrete in the street, and I loved every minute of it. After taking civil engineering classes for four years, I thought I knew much of how concrete works. However, being a part of the process of making the concrete and practicing methods that I have not learned about in school really made me appreciate the difference in the way people do things. Although the concrete got mixed much slower than it would have in the United States, it was nice to see that we were able to make it just based off our own manpower, no electricity or outside energy necessary. I felt like I was making a difference for this church and neighborhood, and at the end of the week I was wishing I had more time to give. I would love to go on another volunteer trip soon, and appreciate the Student Sustainability Initiative for helping me with this experience.

- Amy Kordosky

Before & After

Categories: Ecologue

OSU Sustainability Office Hiring for Three Student Worker Postions

Ecologue - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 12:48pm
Join the OSU Sustainability Office Team!

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks outgoing and enthusiastic students to fill three different paid positions beginning in May 2014 and running through at least the 2015 school year. All positions are available to work study and non-work-study students. Applications are due midnight, April 27, 2014.


Digital Media and Marketing Student:

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student worker to deliver marketing and outreach via the web, social media, and in person. This position supports Sustainability Office staff in developing and delivering various programs that promote behavior change. Work schedule is flexible but the student should expect to work 20-30 hours/week during the summer and 10-20 hours/week during the school year. The student should excel in verbal and written communication and can expect to work with social media and web content management, event planning and assistance, and collaboration with other OSU sustainability-related groups. For the position description, please click here.

Transportation Project Student Technical Assistant:

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student employee to support transportation options programs on the Corvallis campus. The Sustainability Office, in collaboration with Transit and Parking Services and University Relations and Marketing, seeks to reduce the university community’s reliance on single occupancy vehicles. The work schedule is flexible but the student should expect to work 20-40 hours/week during summer and 10-20 hours/week during the school year. The student will be providing support to transportation options programs, participating in OSU Alternative Transportation Advisory Committee Meetings, administering the Drive Less. Connect. carpool matching system for OSU, and more. For the full position description, please click here.

Utility Data Student Technical Assistant:

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student to assist with utility data requests, analyses and management, and administration of OSU’s new utility data dashboard. This position supports Sustainability Office staff in customer service and raising awareness with the broader campus community in understanding energy consumption at OSU.  Work schedule is flexible but the student should expect to work 20-30 hours/week during the summer and 10-20 hours/week during the school year. The student can expect to work on utility data requests, utility data management, real-time energy dashboard management, as well as other duties. For the full position description, please click here.

The OSU Sustainability Office seeks a student intern to deliver marketing and outreach material via the web, social media and in person. The Sustainability Office, with two full time staff and five student workers, is the central support organization for sustainability efforts at OSU and serves the broader campus through a wide variety of services and programs. This position supports Sustainability Office staff in delivering various programs that promote behavior change.

Categories: Ecologue

RecycleMania 2014 Civil War Results

Ecologue - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 5:00pm

The final results for this year’s RecycleMania Civil War are in! The winner of this year’s competition is…University of Oregon. This is the second consecutive year that UO has won the recycling Civil War.

Overall, we collected 238,916 lbs of recycling (plus an additional 44,333 lbs of organics in compost), and 545,871 lbs of trash this year. These results were lower than last year’s weights; we experienced a 10% decrease in total recycling, along with a 22% decrease in items composted, but we also received a 21% decrease in trash.

The decrease in items disposed of, along with an increase in student population, led to a lower per capita of what was being recycled and composted, as can be noted above. Last year, the per capita results were 16.5 and 16.7 lbs/person for OSU and UO respectively. The benefits of this lay in that our waste reduction has increased, with less material overall being thrown away.

These lower rates also led to an increase in the amount of material being recovered, with a total recovery rate of 34.2%, up from last year’s 31.9%.

Categories: Ecologue

Question of the Week: Items in Container Recycling

Ecologue - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:00pm

Time for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable stainless steel OSU coffee mug.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

Which item shown below does NOT go into the container recycling on campus?


The coffee cup.

Disposable coffee cups are never recyclable on campus, and should go in the trash (although the paper sleeve can be recycled). The reason for this is that the plastic lining used in the cups is difficult to separate from the paper, preventing it from being pulped back into paper.

Both the yogurt tub and its lid are accepted in the containers recycling, as well as the soda can and the aluminium foil. It’s best to wash these items out before recycling them to prevent food contamination and mold from occurring.

And congratulations to Becky Johnson for winning this week’s Question of the Week!

Categories: Ecologue

Earth Week 2014

Ecologue - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 6:52pm

OSU has been celebrating Earth day ever since the first one in 1970. We love our earth so much that we celebrate our love with a full week! This year we have more events than ever before! Earth week is aimed to be a week of fun geared towards environmental awareness, engagement and educational activities. The fun will start April 20th and run into April 26th!

Below is the link to the full calendar! Make sure to take a look since every day has one a different theme consisting of Animal appreciation, Promoting justice, Celebrating community, Built environment. Conserving resources, Get outdoors, and Service day.  http://web.businessservices.oregonstate.edu/apps/recycle/EarthDay/eventCalendar.cfm

Categories: Ecologue

Campus Conservation Nationals 2014 Results

Ecologue - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 11:47pm

Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) is the largest conservation competition for colleges and universities in the world! This friendly competition measures the percent reduction of electricity and water usage in the residence buildings on campuses. Last year, the competition saved over 2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 1.5 million gallons of water! This year, our campus competition ran from February 24th to March 14th to help contribute to the 1,189,149 kWh and 287,948 gallons saved in the national competition thus far!

The results from this year’s inter-hall challenge CCN competition are finally in! The winner for the 2014 CCN Competition at Oregon State University is…(drumroll please!)…SACKETT HALL! Sackett Hall won with a 6.24% reduction in energy and water. The image below shows the standings for each of the halls. Congratulations to all of the halls!

Thank you to all the residents in the residence halls for participating in the competition. A special thank you also goes out to the Building Captains and EcoReps for promoting the competition in the halls!

Try to treat every day as if it were a CCN competition. To learn more about what you can do to conserve electricity and water, check out the SSI’s weekly sustainability tips.

Categories: Ecologue

Sustainable printing, it’s not all about the paper!

Ecologue - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:00pm

When printing in an office or for school you may be printing large amounts of material multiple times. Printing double sided, and trimming down content is always a great way to cut back on material use. Those are great ways to start, but if you could save yourself even more money at the printer by doing one simple edit, would you do it?

The money saving is in the ink! Different fonts use different amounts of ink based upon their volume. There are many different default typefaces to choose from, some of the most popular are: Calibri, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Cooper Black. The following shows each of the fonts compared at the same size, which do you think is the best for bulk printing?

If you answered Garamond, you are correct! Garamond is a great font face, it uses less ink while preserving legibility in smaller sizes. Many top selling books are printed in Garamond to save money at the printers, examples of those books include: the Harry Potter series, and the Hunger Games trilogy. Whether you’re printing a novel, or a memo you can make an impact on your wallet, and your environment with this simple change!

Categories: Ecologue

Question of the Week: “All in the Hall” Buildings

Ecologue - Wed, 04/02/2014 - 11:00am

Time for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable cold cup (with straw).

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

“All in the Hall” is a pilot program starting this term, which focuses on increasing recycling by providing equal opportunity to recycle or landfill waste. In which buildings has this program been implemented in?


The program is currently in Cordley, Gilbert, Gilfillan Auditorium, and Weniger.

The aim of the program is to increase recycling by pairing all trash receptacles with recycling, to provide an equal opportunity to properly dispose of waste. Trash cans have been removed from the classrooms, and replaced with hallway units to allow for this goal to be achieved.

The bins will be audited throughout the term. More information, along with future results of the audits, may be found here.

And congratulations to Iza Petek, the winner of this week’s Question of the Week!

Categories: Ecologue

Eco Event Month

Ecologue - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 2:41pm

The month of February may as well be renamed Sustainability month on the Oregon State Campus. Recycle Mania and Campus Conservation Nationals are both national sustainability focused campus wide competitions that take place and overlap during the month of February. In addition to the campus versus campus competition, both have residence hall competitions. To capitalize on all of the sustainability focused thinking during this time, the West Hall Eco-Taskforce decided to take things one step further and create a competition between the floors in our hall. Eco Event Month was created to highlight and add to all of sustainability information being shared during February.

Decorated Reusable Water Bottles

Eco Event Month was structured to include four weeks each with an eco-theme and four events per week. Every week had a documentary showing, a jeopardy game, and two other events based upon that week’s theme. Examples of these events include metal reusable water bottle decorating, water taste testing, and a compost program scavenger hunt. Attendance at events earned the individuals a point and a point for their respective floor. An eco-basket full of sustainable prizes was given to the individual with the most points at the end of the four weeks, and the floor with the most cumulative points will be given a pizza party and money to donate to a sustainability focused charity or non-profit.

This competition was meant to be a fun and interactive way to combine the efforts of Recycle Mania and Campus Conservation Nationals and overall it was very successful. Setting up the competition is quite simple and fun event ideas can be easily found, so if you like our idea maybe think about setting up your own Eco Event Month next year, or even better adjust it to work along side Earth Week in April!

Categories: Ecologue

TOP Indicators help with Tracking Oregon’s Progress

Ecologue - Mon, 03/24/2014 - 2:17pm

Newly released by the Oregon Community Foundation and the OSU Rural Studies Program, Tracking Oregon’s Progress, or TOP Indicators are a new addition to the Oregon Explorer and Rural Communities Explorer’s Communities Reporter Tool.  They are aimed at helping understand trends in Oregon’s economy, people and communities and environment.

The TOP indicators include 89 metrics from 1990 to 2011 across all counties in the state.  They were selected to reflect state priorities as expressed in the Oregon Benchmarks (now discontinued) and the Governor’s 10-year Plan for Oregon. A 2014 State TOP report (Weber et al.) that is accessible from the site reveals the following 20-year trends:

  • Oregon’s economy has grown based on increases in population and number of jobs, but inequality persists
  • Poverty rates have increased, especially for children
  • Oregonians have become better educated and are healthier, but some groups lag behind
  • Oregonians have reduced solid waste
  • Timber harvests have declined by nearly 50%
  • Air pollution continues to expose sensitive groups to unhealthy air

These trends and others can be generated and compared for each of Oregon’s counties using the Communities Reporter Tool. The TOP indicators project was sponsored by The Oregon Community
Foundation, OSU (Rural Studies Program, Extension Service,and Libraries & Press), and the Ford Family Foundation. Institute for Natural Resources is in on-going conversations with the Oregon State University Rural Studies Program, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Portland State University, and Metro to see if the reporting of TOP indicators can be an on-going collaborative program that continues the legacy of the Oregon Benchmarks.

For more information on the Rural Communities Explorer, check out this video!

Categories: Ecologue

SSI Travel Grantee: Danielle Heenehan

Ecologue - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 12:08pm
Danielle Heenehan received an SSI Travel Grant for $160.90 to attend the Portland Mushroom Cultivation Weekend in November of 2013. Danielle wrote a short summary and brought back a few pictures for the Ecologue. —————————————————————

Fungi are some of the most important and ecologically diverse groups of organisms on the planet. They play an important role in nutrient cycling in forests by breaking down organic matter; they inhabit the roots of most vascular plants providing them with essential nutrients which in turn provides us with good healthy food crops; they provide numerous drugs for mankind such as penicillin; and also provide many different foods for us to eat. After taking Mycology and Permaculture Design at OSU as well as jumping on the “mushrooms can save the world” bandwagon, I was very excited for the opportunity to attend a 2-day Intensive Mushroom Cultivation/Mycopermaculture Course in Portland, Oregon thanks to a travel grant I received from the Student Sustainability Initiative!

Almost twenty hours of learning about fungi was a lot to take in! However, we learned about a variety of interesting topics including conservation strategies such as spore saving (somewhat like plant gene banks); education programs emphasizing specific

aspects of conservation; and using fungi to clean up polluted soil or water (mycoremediation). In order to reap the many benefits fungi have to share with us, we must know how to cultivate them and this was the main focus of the course. We learned a variety of sustainable mushroom cultivation methods. This included growing mushrooms on easily accessible or recycled materials (cardboard, wood block, or raw sawdust) as well as materials to fruit mushrooms on (logs, compost, straw, and food waste). Overall, the course was a lot of fun and I am excited to apply some of what I learned towards working on local permaculture and/or sustainability projects.

-Danielle Heenehan

Categories: Ecologue

Question of the Week: Confidential Shredding Discount

Ecologue - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 2:00pm

Time for our Question of the Week!

The first person to respond with the correct answer will win a reusable OSU spork.

Submit your answer here (“Leave a Reply,” below) or on our Facebook page. Only one post per person, please.

Question of the Week

This week, we are offering a discount for any departments who place a confidential shred request. How large is this discount?


Departments who place a confidential shred request this week will receive a 50% discount (regular price is 15 cents per lb.)

The event is being held as a part of RecycleMania to encourage departments to recycle. We have two weeks to go, and are just behind UO. Help OSU win the civil war and reclaim the trophy!

And congrats to Sahar Mohtashamipour for winning this week’s Question of the Week!

Categories: Ecologue

Dept. Shredding Discount Week offers 50% off and a chance to win RecycleMania

Ecologue - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 7:00am

In order to encourage OSU departments to recycle during the RecycleMania competition, Campus Recycling is offering a Departmental Shredding Discount Week this week, Monday-Friday, March 17-21.

OSU departments that submit confidential paper pick-up requests online during this timeframe will get 50% off (regular price is 15¢ per lb.). Please note that only paper from OSU departments will be accepted.

Get a discount, clean house and help OSU boost its paper recycling weights before the end of the RecycleMania competition!

According to our calculations, if we collected the same amount of confidential collected during this event last year, we would nearly tie up the competition!

  • Submit an online request here during this week (must be placed on or between Monday, March 17 and Friday, March 21 for fee to be waived).
  • While we ask that you submit your request during this week, we cannot guarantee that your material will be picked up this week (since we anticipate having a high number of requests, we may not be able to pick-up within our usual 3 business days). However, all requests submitted during finals week will receive the discount even if they are not picked up during that week.
  • We anticipate picking up all finals week requests by the end of spring break – Friday, March 28.

Questions? Please contact Andrea Norris via email or 541-737-5398.

contact Andrea Norris via email or 541-737-5398
Categories: Ecologue

SSI Travel Grantee: Casey Taylor

Ecologue - Sun, 03/16/2014 - 9:00am

Casey Taylor is a student at OSU who received $500 in funding from the SSI Fee Board in order to attend the Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Casey wrote up a blog for the Ecologue to describe the trip and benefits that she got from attending the meeting. ———————————————————————————————— It is commonly argued within the ecological community that ecologists should become more involved with the public and with public policy concerning environmental sustainability. Many ecologists complain, though, that getting involved publicly is often considered to be an “extra”—something nice to do if you have the time after all your other responsibilities, or worse, something that may negatively affect your credibility among other scientists. That being said, how do ecologists engage in the public sphere when given an institutional motivation for doing so? Last summer, I traveled to the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota to share the initial results of a research project aimed at this question, and to see how the organization’s members would respond.

I wanted to study these questions because, as a community, ecologists are well aware of the connection between their field of study and the wider environmental problems that face society, and often advocate for greater public involvement. However, my previous experience conducting ecological research during my confirmed the prevalence of the concerns mentioned above among ecologists about such public involvement.

Recently, the National Science Foundation has begun requiring attention to the broader impacts of proposed research projects, the NSF hopes to encourage a greater connection between the world of scientific research and the society that sponsors it, and has the potential to address these concerns among ecologists and other scientists. I wondered if ecologists, as a subset of scientists that acknowledges its closeness to the environmental issues faced by society, would take up this requirement as an opportunity to carry out more public engagement activities considered within the academic establishment as a distracting and potentially damaging extracurricular activity.

My research in this area is still in its early phase, but a few patterns have emerged.  What I have found so far is that ecologists do engage in public engagement projects more than the other groups that have been studied in response to the NSF’s broader impacts requirement, but that they preferred to stick the familiar terrain of training graduate students and building academic collaborations (two other suggested ways of meeting the NSF requirement) rather than engaging with the broader community.

When the time came for my session, lots of conference attendants stopped by my poster to talk about these topics. Many were enthusiastic about the importance of fostering better connections between ecologists and public audiences. Some emphasized the frustration they felt toward the resistance within the scientific community toward public engagement activities, while others were optimistic about the changes they felt the broader impacts requirement was beginning to affect in academic culture. Certainly, there appears to be a solid core of ecologists who welcome the changes brought by the NSF, and the greater legitimacy it offers to get involved in the public realm and bridge the divide between the scientific community and broader society.

After the ESA meeting, I had the opportunity to meet with an organization of ecologists called the New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG). The members of this group are dedicated to bridging their academic work with issues of conservation, social justice, and sustainability. This group, which also includes my mentors from my Master’s program at the University of Michigan, is inspiring for the way its members and their colleagues persistently strive to connect their research to the most troublesome problems faced in efforts to create a more sustainable and just global society. For my part, I found myself able to participate in their discussions from a whole new angle based on my time in OSU’s Public Policy program.

Now that I am back in Corvallis, the experiences that I had this summer attending the ESA and NWAEG meetings in Minneapolis will be incredibly helpful not only in continuing with my work studying public engagement by ecologists, but in helping me to chart my own future as an academic dedicated to maintaining an active connection to the community surrounding me.

- Casey Taylor

Categories: Ecologue

Campus Conservation Nationals Water Reads

Ecologue - Sat, 03/15/2014 - 2:00pm

Howdy All! Today is the final day of water meter reads for this years conservation competition and what a beautiful day to end such an important and uplifting event. Y’all did a great job this year keep up the good work and enjoy the sunshine!

Categories: Ecologue

Get Caught Green Handed

Ecologue - Fri, 03/14/2014 - 2:07pm

Throughout the second week of March, members of SSI and the “Waste Watchers” sought out to catch students at OSU on their best ‘green’ behavior. Those that were seen recycling, composting, reusing, or performing other healthy environmental activities were rewarded with a variety of prizes. This promotion of being “green” was held throughout all last week covering highly populated areas on campus, as well as an OSU baseball game and men’s basketball game in which autographed memorabilia was presented.

Environmental health should be practiced regularly as our duty for the generations to come, but occasionally these activities can be much more rewarding when you “Get Caught Green Handed!”

Categories: Ecologue

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