Rachel D’Angio: “Hydrofracturing: Hot Button Environmental Issue”
Hydrofracturing (a drilling process by which natural gas is extracted from shale) is a local and hot button environmental issue. The southern part of New York State is home to the Marcellus Shale, and many are interested in drilling in the Marcellus Shale for natural gas. There are many positives and negatives to hydrofracturing and using natural gas as an energy source. In this lecture, Rachel will discuss some of these positives and negatives, work with the students to come up with possible environmental policies on energy and hydrofracturing, and have the students vote on which policy seems the best and most feasible. The ultimate goal of the lecture is to show how environmental issues and politics go hand-in-hand and how difficult and vast environmental problems can be.
Julie DiRoma: "The Benefits of the Local Food Movement"
As our food becomes more processed and less natural, people are increasingly concerned over the effects that these foods will have on their health. Julie's presentation highlights the benefits of supporting the movement for local food. She explains the differences between factory farming and small-scale local food production. Julie focuses on three positive impacts of local food: individual health benefits, community economic benefits, and reduced global greenhouse gas emissions. She also incorporates information from her internship experiences to discuss the connection between local food and farmland protection in New York State. The presentation ends with a short, interactive activity to get students thinking about how they can get involved in the local food movement.
Lucas Harris: "Trails"
This presentation discusses how trails are built and maintained and why they are important, based on Lucas' experience over the past two summers doing trail maintenance. Included is an overview of how trail maintenance is done, the reasons for building and maintaining trails and how trails protect the country's cultural and natural heritage. Lucas includes great examples and photographs of trails from his personal experience. He also provides the students with ideas on how they can participate in similar volunteer activities, including through the Student Conservation Association and other non-profit organizations.
Kevin Rowe: "City/Nature: Rethinking the Human Relationship to Nature in Cities"
How do we interact with and identify with nature in cities? How has the relationship between humans and nature changed since cities started to develop more than 12,000 years ago? Kevin's presentation explores these questions and tries to encourage students to think beyond the conventional polarization of humans and nature and cities and wilderness. Using examples of new directions in urban design, the presentation concludes by challenging students to rethink what it means to interact with nature in cities.