Environmental Studies

ENV Students present at COSA 2017

Several ENV students participated in the 2017 Celebration of Student Achievement.

Drawing on class-related research projects, directed research experiences with faculty, and independent research projects mentored by faculty, several ENV students participated in the 2017 Celebration of Student Achievement on April at venues across campus. First, students from the Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Systems course taught by Dr. Tristan Ashcroft during the fall shared their research results from examinations of tree mortality associated with tree plantings in the Perkiomen watershed. Posters by Alex Nigro, Carla Maccaroni, Evan Hunt, Mia Belmont, Josh Hoffman, and Rob Bandstra as well as Emily van Mulbregt, Heath Hidlay, Sebastian Khidhayir-Greco, Alana Lorraine, and Brian Meilinge analyzed tree plantings in the Central Perkiomen Valley watershed, while Corey Markovitch’s directed research work analyzed tree plantings at Hunsberger Woods from 2015. Take together, these students’ analyses provided key insights regarding the importance of critical steps associated with the process for tree planting, highlighting the need to install tree guards correctly.

Second, students working with Professor Leah Joseph presented posters on their Fall ENV senior capstone course, Talking Trash. Carla Maccaroni and Rob Bandstra presented findings about plastic contamination in the dining hall compost stream, including follow-up research conducted during the spring semester that further assessed the effect of behavioral interventions in the dining hall. Carrie Connolly shared the results of her investigation into enhancements to the College’s “Sustainable Move-In/Move-out” as part of directed research under the guidance of Dr. Joseph. 

Third, Beth Myers and Alex Nigro shared their efforts to map, monitor, and develop an intervention protocol for trees planted during subsequent semesters and that are in need of additional attention. Their work addresses key tree stewardship issues in Hunsberger woods and was part of directed research with Professor Hurley Tess Beck, Evan Hunt, and Luke Meaney, who are working with Dr. Hurley on mapping the importance of trees to peoples’ experience of the Ursinus campus, shared their emerging results. Their work highlights student, staff, and faculty associations with specific trees and highlighting the importance more generally of trees to the campus. Likewise, Victor Fernandez shared his findings from analysis of data collected by Dr. Hurley that explores the natural resource use by local people of urban forests in Philadelphia and the suburbs.

Finally, graduating senior Josh Hoffman presented on his independent research examining the tree planting activities of the Jewish National Front and their role in shaping Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.