Environmental Studies (Bi-College)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    Closed-Loop Composting at Haverford College: Proposal and Implementation Plan
    (2022) Edwards, Alexandra; Douglas, Joanne
    Proposal for a Closed-Loop Composting System on Haverford's Campus
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    Anthropogenic Contamination in US Nearshore Waters: Analysis of Coastal Flooding Concerns and Nonpoint Pollution Risk Factors
    (2022) Kerns, Ellie; White, Helen K.
    Runoff from land introduces anthropogenic contaminants to nearshore marine environments impacting water quality and ecosystem health. The expansion of urban land area and associated urban population growth, without efforts to reduce urban runoff, threatens the health of nearshore waters. Due to sea level rise there will be a greater frequency of general coastal flooding and major flood events that can amplify this problem. This study explores 185 coastal counties within the 18 states of the United States that have coastal land area and the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. We looked at the occurrences of coastal flooding, storm surge, and tropical storms and hurricanes within each county. To identify areas of particular concern for increased runoff of anthropogenic contaminants, we cross-referenced each county's city structure, population growth, superfund sites, farmland percentage, and copper and coal mines. Overall, we found 33 counties with high flood concern and within that 6 counties that have high risk for increased anthropogenic contamination. Looking into the future, as the US continues to coastally urbanize and climate change continues to impact coastal waters, we will need to continue to monitor anthropogenic contamination of nearshore waters.
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    Greensgrow Garden Activities: Engaging urban youth in experiential environmental learning
    (2021) Kane, Alex; Grossman, Sara J.; DeBrito, Meg
    Greensgrow is an urban farm located in Philadelphia whose mission is to provide an essential connection to food and nature in an urban community, connecting wellness through green space and promoting the greening of Philadelphia's homes and gardens. As they grow and develop as a non-profit, they are seeking to build more extensive educational opportunities at their farm. This project builds off a previous work creating activities for a somatic curriculum for Greensgrow. Last semester, three environmental studies seniors created 8 activities, to which we will add 15 more to create a more comprehensive booklet for Greensgrow to run activities starting in fall 2021. Through this work, we hope to connect urban-living students with nature, expanding their knowledge of and connection to the land. Through movement-based activities, students will gain a greater understanding of a variety of environmental topics such as pollination, water, plant identification/characteristics, and more. Ultimately, students should feel empowered and passionate about making their urban environments more green and connected with nature.
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    Acclimation of Ginkgo biloba Photosynthetic Biochemistry Under Elevated Carbon Dioxide: Paleo-proxy and Conservation Consequences
    (2021) Dougherty, James Fitzmyer; Wilson, Jonathan
    Climate change poses an enormous threat to the world's ecosystems (Shukla et. al 2019). As a result, it is important to evaluate the ecological consequences of other climates in Earth's history. A valuable way to approximate paleo-CO2 concentrations is by using plant proxies, such as the Ginkgo biloba stomatal index - paleo-CO2 model (Barlcay and Wing 2016). To determine the reliability of G. biloba as a paleo-CO2 proxy, it is necessary to understand whether G. biloba photosynthetic biochemistry acclimates to elevated CO2. If the biochemistry is significantly different than it is under ambient conditions, researchers will need to reassess the model. We planted three ages of G. biloba in open-top chambers with different CO2 concentrations, measured photosynthetic data using a Li-cor 6400XT, and calculated biochemical parameters utilizing the Plantecophys package in R. These results suggest that the G. biloba paleo-CO2 proxy should not need major modification, since a change in Jmax is less disruptive than a change in Vcmax.
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    From the Reservoir: A Feasibility Report for Migratory Bird Habitats and Educational Materials for the Philadelphia Discovery Center
    (2020) Luu, Michelle; Dhillon, Carla May
    The Discovery Center is a nature and education center operated by the Audubon Society and Outward Bound. It is located in Philadelphia's East Fairmount Park, one of the largest and only green spaces in the urban area. It consists of a bird-friendly building, a climbing structure, and a nature trail, all situated around the Strawberry Mansion reservoir. The Center is only one year old and is in the process of diversifying its current ecosystems while continuing to serve the surrounding community to fulfill its mission of conservation and environmental justice. Our project combined dialogue with members of the center, observation of bird and plant species, and several rounds of water testing to establish background data for the report. This paper is divided into ecological and educational components. The ecology section includes a review of biodiversity and artificial habitats, an analysis of our water testing and observational data, and proposals and information for construction of an artificial floating habitat. By constructing this habitat, the Center will increase and preserve the biodiversity of the reservoir, which will encourage migration and provide resiliency against climate change. The educational component begins with a review of land-based education, accessibility, and informal learning, then provides some sample didactic materials for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to gather comprehensive baseline data and provide feasible recommendations and materials that the Discovery Center will be able to implement in years to come.