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All About the Greeks

Posted by: cohenoa | April 16, 2014 | No Comment |
Virginia and her sorority sister at the Greek Week/Sustainability Week Kickoff Event

Virginia and her sorority sister at the Greek Week/Sustainability Week Kickoff Event

When you ask someone to define “sustainability” you get answers ranging from recycling to those that seem to have come from Dr. Vandana Shiva herself. In the three months that I have been working with the Office of Sustainability, my definition of sustainability has changed multiple times but always includes positive relationships and the process of building them. Some could say that sustainability is the synergistic relationships between individuals, between organizations, between natural ecosystems, and between each other to ensure a better tomorrow.

In September 2012, I was initiated into Kappa Alpha Theta, a Greek letter women’s fraternity that is a part of the National Panhellentic Council. Being a part of Theta has been a life changing experience and has not only given me sisters that I can count on, but it has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in my values as a young woman.

Greek life has gained a pretty strong reputation over the years and is part of almost every college campus in the United States. This type of community that serves multiple campuses and holds a strong presence on those campuses (20% at CofC) is a community that is able to make an impact. As someone involved with the Greek Life community here, I am confident in saying that we all share core values close to our hearts and truly strive to be the best we can. Historically Greeks hold higher GPAs, participate more on campus and many have gone on to be quite successful. (44% of U.S. Presidents & 76% of congressmen & senators have been Greek.)

This desire to get involved with the campus community is something that is essential to sustainability. Thanks to two determined members of the Panhellenic council, in the fall of 2012 the Office of Sustainability launched the sustainable Greek chair initiative with a handful of representatives from organizations on campus. Since then, the program has grown and now includes 21 members from 13 organizations. Every other week we hold a meeting for the chairs where they learn about a new aspect of sustainability and the ways that they can educate their chapters. We also have been working toward holding events with the Greek Life Office in hopes of strengthening the relationship between the two offices. Our first event was held Monday April 7th, a kick-off event for both Sustainability Week and Greek Week. Not only was this the first event to be co-hosted by the two offices, but the turn out and interest was incredible! While we did have to move venues due to inclement weather, I am very happy with the way the whole thing played out.

In a way Greek Life is the perfect example of what sustainability is; it is many synergistic relationships working together (within chapters and among organizations) to create something bigger than an individual and something that strives to impact the future. Greek life is a living organism just like a human and just like the entire College of Charleston campus. I believe that this is the start of a beautiful and sustainable friendship between the Office of Sustainability and Greek Life.

-Virginia Whorley

under: Uncategorized

Standing on the cure for the allergy epidemic

Posted by: cohenoa | April 2, 2014 | No Comment |
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Photo by Ceyln Brazier

Have you noticed that you can now order gluten-free foods in restaurants and many of your friends have allergies to things as seemingly harmless as dust? The population has become increasingly more allergic to the environment and more sensitive to all types of food. Have you stopped to think what has changed? What is different in our world today that might be the cause of all this? Before launching too quickly into a debate on climate change or political banter, let’s look at something much more pragmatic.

The human body is an amazing battlefield, emergency room and well-oiled manufacturing plant that runs flawlessly and unmonitored day after day, year after year. The only thing standing in its way is the mind’s decisions that lead to exposures. In other words, what you put in your body, where you live and where you work has an effect on the daily operations of your body.

In recent years there have been numerous studies suggesting that the environment has begun to take its toll on our fragile, human bodies.  What has been called the “allergy epidemic” since the late 20th century has produced a 2 and 3 fold increase of allergic disease and asthma.  1 in 5 American children have a respiratory allergy like hay fever and 1 in 10 have asthma. Also food and skin allergies cases continue to rise. For instance, 5% of the population is allergic to peanuts and other foods. These data have doubled in the last 15 years.[1] But researchers are suggesting that there may be something we can do about this. Although some allergic conditions are genetic, and some of these allergies are due to environmental exposures, there is plenty of research to suggest that the solution may be in the dirt we dig.

Also there is a strong suggestion that you are susceptible to the exposures of your mother for the entire 9 months you are in the womb. What happens to your mother during this time may affect your vulnerability to many diseases even decades later from heart disease and obesity to schizophrenia! [2] For instance one study showed that an infant’s risk of eczema was inverse to the microbial load in her mother’s mattress.[3] Additionally, children who are born into families that own livestock and handle manure are exposed to many more microbes than those who are not. It is these children who seem to be invulnerable to allergic disease later in life. Especially if their mother’s carried them along during daily farm chores during which time they had the opportunity to be exposed to a plethora of both good and bad bacteria.

We have heard for many years that digging in the dirt has health benefits. And that “mud pie” you made as a child had more in it than just bacteria, fungi and roundworms in it. It has been suggested that it may have been a “primitive self-vaccination” by letting your immune system get accustomed to the bacteria within that particular soil. [4] However the dirt from the garden or even the cornfield is considered sterile unless it has the exposure to the fresh manure and thus fresh bacteria from the cows or other farm animals. [5] So even if you didn’t grow up on a farm or have not been exposed to these environmental elements, it is not too late for you! You can get exposure to these types of environmental exposures and according to research, still prevent new allergic sensitivities from developing.

In a study performed in Denmark, young adults who begin farming (with livestock) were less likely to develop new allergic sensitivities than rural peers who chose other professions. Existing allergies did not disappear; rather the farming environment seemed to prevent new sensitivities. [6]

In closing it is important to note that by playing outside, taking walks with friends and potentially exposing yourself to new environmental microbes can benefit your health and the health of future generations! Even if you don’t have plans to be a farmer, there are other ways to get outside and get back to nature. I hope that our generation takes advantage of this beautiful planet while we still can. As technology takes over our world, you still have the opportunity to choose whether you go outside and join friends for a neighborhood BBQ or sit alone in the sterile environment that is your living room, watching television. I hope for our future generations you choose to go outside and dig in the dirt, get your hands dirty and embrace the bacteria all around you!

-Keri Hlavin



[1] Feature, Katrina. “Food Allergy, Food Intolerance, Food Sensitivity: 5 Myths Debunked.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/food-allergy-myths>.

 

[2] Velasquez-manoff, Moises. “A Cure for the Allergy Epidemic?.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 9 Nov. 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/opinion/sunday/a-cure-for-the-allergy-epidemic.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.

 

[3] Velasquez-Manoff.

[4] Viinikka, Tai . “The hazards and benefits of eating dirt.” AboutKidsHealth. N.p., 16 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/en/news/newsandfeatures/pages/the-hazards-and-benefits-of-eating-dirt.aspx>.

 

[5] Riddle, John . “The “Big 8″ Food Allergens.” The “Big 8″ Food Allergens. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. <http://www.healthcentral.com/allergy/food-allergy-225110-5.html>.

 

[6] Velasquez-Manoff.

under: Uncategorized

Dixie Plantation and Will Allen

Posted by: cohenoa | March 26, 2014 | No Comment |
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Dixie Plantation provides students with the opportunity to experiment with organic farming techniques.

This past Saturday I joined the Office of Sustainability on a tour and workday at the Dixie Plantation student garden. This wasn’t my first trip to Dixie Plantation, but the remarkable beauty of the plantation never fails to surprise me. If you have never been to the plantation, I would highly recommend a visit. Our tour guides, Carmen and Nolan, allowed us to get our hands dirty in the garden while also providing a great overview of the various sustainable agriculture efforts at the student garden. Projects in the garden ranged from commonplace herb gardens to the bizarre, such as vermiculture (earthworm culture) and apiculture (bee-keeping)

The most exciting part of Dixie Plantation and the garden is the potential for the future. The garden has already expanded from its original size to include experimental land plots for independent student projects, and it is very possible that this growth could continue. Potential projects such as an aquaponics system (which harnesses a natural symbiosis between fish and plants for food production) as well as a black fly larvae composting system may also be implemented at Dixie plantation. Dixie plantation is also home to many other fledgling program such as student research stations, forest management programs, nature trails, and fundraising to name a few. A major question for the future of the College of Charleston is how Dixie Plantation will be utilized.

These exciting agricultural projects at the Dixie garden echo the work of the internationally recognized urban farmer—and former professional basketball player—Will Allen. In Allen’s recent visit to the College of Charleston, he gave the audience at the Sottile Theater a walkthrough of his work in urban farming and how sustainable food production improves the health of disadvantaged communities. This improved health includes both physical and societal health, resulting from education and exposure to sustainable agriculture as well as an increased sense of community. In the words of Will Allen, “We cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system.” This same principal holds true in Charleston and is addressed in part by some community gardens and organizations that are already in place, such as the Greenheart project and the Chicora Place Community Garden.

Although the College of Charleston is not the same as the disadvantaged communities that Will Allen normally works with, the College could also benefit from expanding its sustainable agriculture efforts. Although there are many competing interests at Dixie Plantation, as a student, I believe some priority should be given to expanding the current sustainable agriculture efforts to a scale that could provide a reasonable amount of food for the college itself in a sustainable way. In a program such as this, not only could students, faculty and staff enjoy the benefit of healthy food, they could also learn about sustainable agriculture and use the program for outreach programs in much the same way Will Allen has done with his organization Growing Power. Although a project like this at Dixie Plantation would be far down the line, it is exciting for me to think of what the College of Charleston and Dixie could become.

-John Brooker

under: CofC Agriculture, Sustainable Food
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Sustainability Abroad: The One Acre Fund

Posted by: cohenoa | March 24, 2014 | No Comment |

DSC0018In East Africa, agriculture serves as the backbone of most countries’ economies, however agricultural productivity in these areas has consistently dropped in recent years.  There are multiple factors contributing to this decline including degradation of natural resources, decreased market access, low investment in training and research, and general reduction of human health/life expectancy.  One Acre Fund, a start-up non profit organization based in East Africa, is working to combat these issues; through implementing a business strategy model, the organization is helping farmers in rural areas of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to build a smallholder network and increase regional agricultural productivity.  One Acre Fund is working with established systems in ways that promote collaboration among communities and create a realistic platform from which to address some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems related to agriculture.

As a relatively new organization, One Acre Fund has already taken great strides in improving the harvest yields of farmers in rural East Africa.  By constructing a sustainable market system made up of a four-component process (providing farmers with credit and supplies, delivering materials directly to isolated geographic areas, training farmers to improve their production methods, and increasing harvest sales by opening access to markets), representatives from One Acre Fund are empowering farmers to improve the profitability of their land and eliminate hunger and poverty in their communities.  They estimate that in 2020, their organization will serve 1 million farm families (consisting of more than 5 million people) and these farmers will produce enough surplus to support another 5 million neighbors.

The unique combination of staff that One Acre Fund brings together is key in maintaining the sustainability of the organization.  The collaborative efforts of local farmers and international workers allow One Acre Fund to promote leadership development and an outlet for career growth, both domestically and abroad.  One Acre Fund is expected to grow substantially in the years to come: multiple pilot locations in different African countries are being explored and the organization has successfully built the capacity to open a new country operation every year.  One Acre Fund’s approach to sustainability has effectively combined a business model method with local entities, international development staff, government officials and private sector groups to create a system that produces results in these rural communities.  Through this innovation, investment and collaborative effort, One Acre Fund is contributing to drastic positive changes in the status of agricultural production and distribution in East Africa and serving as an example for sustainable organizational and community development.

Check out their website at http://www.oneacrefund.org.

-Erika Hoffman

under: Uncategorized

1966957_10153895065090576_2137361900_nEach year, CofC students anxiously plan their spring break destinations to vacation hotspots,excited for some sun, beach and relaxation. But what if you want to do something different? The Office of Civic Engagement  has developed a program for students to do spring break the “alternative” way. This past break, I had the opportunity to work on an agroecological farm for a week in beautiful San Isidros, Costa Rica, with the College’s Alternative Break program. The trip centered on seeing aspects of sustainability at work in the farming systems and practices, experiencing the Costa Rican culture, and developing our own opinions and ideas regarding the topic of sustainable farming and the environment.

As we rode up the rocky mountainside to Don Villalobos’ farm, La Gran Vista, we passed by slopes covered in sugar cane. It was a hauntingly beautiful sight. From our windows, we saw breathtaking forested mountainsides in the distance. Closer were the vast fields of green stalks alternating with charred stubble of harvested sugarcane. Smoke and ash rose from where the field workers burned away pests and weeds in preparation for harvest, supplemented by the sugar cane factory visible at the bottom of the valley. At the top of the mountain, we entered the gates of La Gran Vista and were enveloped by fruit trees, a very social flock of chickens hopping up the hillside, and terraces of vegetables, medicinal plants and flowers.

The first morning, Don took us on a tour of his farm. What I expected to be a 30 minute stroll turned out to be a four hour wildlife excursion. We began in the garden, where we munched on various treats, like peppers, stevia leaves, lettuces and tomatoes, while Don explained his open air green houses that enable year round growth. Then we headed back to the wood shed where we literally uncovered Don’s prized collection of California Redwood Worms, which are from the Redwood Forest and are speedy soil converters. We made our way to the energy source of the farm, the two little piggies that generate enough biogas to cook all meals on the farm. My favorite part of the farm was the delicious fruit orchards of citrus and starfruit that brimmed along the terraces, which were constructed to reduce soil erosion. We learned of Don’s background which is in environmental engineering, which brought him to a job with Costa Rica’s federal department of agriculture, as the sustainability director. Through this job, the microcosms of sustainable agriculture that compose the farm are projected and integrated into agriculture throughout the country.

As much as Don taught us, even more valuable was what he and his staff showed us. One can take classes and read textbooks, but it is an entirely different learning experience to eat breakfast off a tree or wrap your lunch in a banana leaf.  As members of the group, we each noticed our understanding the relationship between humans and nature grow and change throughout the week. Economics, Arts Management, Business and Geology students alike took away their own valuable lesson applicable to their area of study.

-Lisa DeAlmeida

under: Uncategorized

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St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday to celebrate all things Irish. Being Irish myself, this has always been a festive holiday in my family and is looked forward to year round. Everyone knows to wear green or run the risk of a painful pinch, but there is more than one way to go green today.  This year, don’t just celebrate the holiday, put some green into your actions to really get into the spirit. Here are a few things you can do to celebrate:

1. Celebrate your green surroundings

You might consider taking a hike or picnicking in the park to celebrate the wonderful landscape around you. Some great locations on the College of Charleston campus include Rivers Green, Stern Gardens, and the Cistern. If you’re able to make the trip, Dixie Plantation is also beautiful spot. This is a fun and free activity that allows you to escape the chaos of life and enjoy the sun while taking in some scenic views.

2. Get green with envy over the College of Charleston’s Pre and Post Consumer Composting at Liberty Dinging Hall

This composting program started last July and has been going strong with almost 20% of the waste produced by this dining hall diverted from landfills. Last semester alone, 80,341 pounds of food waste were collected and composted. A lot of this is post consumer waste, meaning it is left over food on people’s plates being thrown away. You can help reduce food waste today by taking only what you’ll eat and cleaning your plate.

3.  Have a sustainable sip

When hitting the bars today, order draft beer. Most bars will use a reusable glass, reducing waste produced from hundreds of bottles, aluminum cans and packaging material.  In addition, you can also support local breweries, which will help the local economy and reduce the shipping impact of beers produced halfway across the country, or even the world. If you’re not of age, you can also fill your reusable water bottle with the new refill stations in Craig, CATO, Bell South, and the Cougar Mall.

4. Swap out your clothing

If you are less than thrilled with the choices of green garb in your closest this year, don’t run straight to the mall. Instead, swap, trade, or borrow clothing from friends or purchase from a secondhand clothing store to reduce your environmental impact without sacrificing any of the fun. There is an upcoming clothing swap at the College on April 18th. This event is part of the Give and Go project that the college initiates during move out. Students Sylvie Baele, Kelsey DePorte, and Connelly (Callie) Rhodin are heading this project with the goal of reaching out to students about the current waste-management situation, educating them about how to reduce their impact, how to influence others and our school to make a difference, and help divert the total amount of waste during move-out that goes in to the landfill.

5. Craft with trash

Get into the spirit and create your own festive decorations. You can find DIY projects that allow you repurpose items you already own. With Alliance for Planet Earth’s upcoming Waste Audit on April 8th, what better way to get into the habit of reducing your waste?

You can also take our challenge to see how many green actions you can do today. Actions like these are small steps towards living a more sustainable lifestyle and can even help you create your own pot of gold by saving you money. Who needs to find a leprechaun when you can do this?

  1. Go paperless for an entire day
  2. Unplug unused appliances
  3. Recycle
  4. Purchase your food from a local farmer or farmer’s market
  5. Compost your scraps
  6. Use reusable bags when shopping
  7. Walk, bike, carpool, or take public transport today
  8. Take a shorter shower
  9. Turn off the lights when you leave a room
  10. Challenge your friends to do the same
  11. Follow the Office of Sustainably on Twitter  and Like us on Facebook 

-Morgan Larimer

under: Uncategorized

South Eastern Wildlife Expo and Local Food

Posted by: cohenoa | February 19, 2014 | No Comment |
Local foods promote a healthy population and a strong community.

Local foods promote a healthy population and a strong community.

As the 32nd annual South Eastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) wraps up and the throngs of visitors return home, Marion Square seems quieter than normal. This past weekend an estimated 40,000 visitors experienced annual favorites such as Awendaw’s Birds of Prey flight demos, the Dock-Dogs competition, television personality Jack Hanna, and beautiful art exhibitions. In addition to shows,  many local representatives set up booths advertising everything from ecotourism opportunities, such as the hiking the Palmetto Trail and Charleston Kayaking tours, to outdoor furniture.

Perhaps just as anticipated by the young and old alike was the chance to sample food from local vendors and growers. In the past seven years, the demand for local food has increased dramatically in South Carolina. Membership in the Certified South Carolina program, administered by S.C.’s Department of Agriculture, has “exploded from only sixty in 2007 to more than 1200 farmers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers” said writer Joanie Stiers. But it does not stop there. Two similar programs, know as Fresh on the Menu and Farm to School, encourage restaurants and schools respectively to also promote local foods. Currently more than 300 restaurants have agreed to include as least 25% Certified S.C. Foods on their menus and nearly 100 schools have earned grants to help them purchase more local food for schoolchildren.

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This symbol, found on food packaging, guarantees that it was grown, manufactured, and/or processed in South Carolina.

 

Even if these programs only encouraged local food consumption, the economic and community benefits would outweigh the costs. Nonetheless, in addition to contributing to the local job economy, they promote healthy food choices and fundamentally reconnect us to the food production process through hands-on learning. For the City of Charleston, annual events such as SEWE provide an ideal educational platform to showcase the advantages of “being local.” In addition to SEWE, Charleston offers more frequent events such as the Marion Square Farmer’s Market (beginning April 12th) that also encourage the growing local movement. Our own Office of Sustainability is working constantly and is always on the lookout for project ideas.

If you have an idea you would like to work on, we offer grants up to $2000 and would love to work with you to move your project to fruition.Please visit our webpage at: https://sustainability.cofc.edu/index.php or contact our coordinator, Jen Jones at jejones2@cofc.edu. Hope to hear from you soon!

-Craig Bennett

under: Blog
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Speaking for the trees

Posted by: cohenoa | February 17, 2014 | 2 Comments |
Cara Lauria

Cara gives her opinion on the SCDOT’s plan to clear cut trees on 1-26 in order to reduce the number of traffic accidents in the area. What do you think?

Last month I attended a public hearing held by the South Carolina Department of Transportation to discuss the clear cutting of 30 miles of forest that dwell in the median of I-26 from Charleston to Columbia. The proposed removal would reduce fatalities, which occur at high rates due to collisions between drivers and the trees that surround the interstate. SCDOT began the hearing by explaining the full proposal of the project, costs, and various options. The most expensive of the options is to leave the trees, slightly correct the slope of the median, and implement guard rails on all sides of the interstate. The avenue DOT wishes to pursue is the least costly, which is full clear cutting and implementation of one guard cable between the median. During the public comment period person after person “spoke for the trees” discussing how these accidents are mere reflections of larger issues, like distracted, tired, stressed drivers, not violent conifers. Issues between flora and fauna vs. people of Charleston seem to be a reoccurring problem, i.e. coyotes on Sullivan’s Island. It appears in this case, though, that the majority of the community surrounding the area doesn’t want the clear cutting to occur.

This repeating theme of nature vs. people is something local government and policy writers must address. All facets of the debate need to be studied, including the ecological benefits of the trees. They not only act as carbon sinks, habitat and stormwater collection, but they are aesthetically valuable to the identity of Charleston and South Carolina in general. Before we choose the ecologically costly option I urge, along with the many residents and community members of the Charleston area, for DOT to explore solutions such as reducing the speed limit, ban texting and driving, and increase police enforcement of already in place laws around the interstate. Part of promoting safety and  sustainability of our transportation sector is studying all aspects of their projects, including the ecological costs as well as fiscal. The more we reduce our natural economy the more we’ll eventually be paying for it in the long term, to compensate for the ecological services we lost. I hope to see the SC DOT seriously consider the voices of the Charleston community and remember to evaluate the long term consequences of what ever they choose.

under: Blog
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“SolarPonics” at Charleston’s first STEM Festival

Posted by: Walter Blair | February 14, 2014 | No Comment |

The Office of Sustainability had the great opportunity to join Charleston’s first STEM festival at Liberty Square on February 8th. CofC’s tent hosted by the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math was packed with a full schedule of groups that rotated through to showcase the awesome STEM-related work being done at the College.

Spring 2014 Interns Virginia Whorley and Drew Gardner represented the innovative work of our Office by demonstrating our new solar-powered aquaponics system.

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Photograph by Drew Gardner

This system is pretty cool – We took a Back to the Roots aquaponics kit, planted our own “crops” from Sea Island Savory Herbs in Johns Island, adopted a betta fish from our local Age of Aquariums in West Ashley, and installed a solar power system from West Marine in West Ashly to power the water circulation pump. With this system, we were able to demonstrate a practical model for some very complex and versatile concepts. We were able to tell people about alternative energy generation and storage, unconventional agricultural technology suited to urban environments like our own, food systems, and complex biological ecosystems.

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Photograph by Drew Gardner

This was a perfect venue for our Office, because we were able to talk to people of all different ages, from elementary school children to adults, and everyone found some part of it that interested them. It’s hard not to hope that some of the little ones will grow up to engineer systems that rethink the way we do things for a more sustainable future.

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Photograph by Drew Gardner

Hopefully we’ll get more opportunities to combine education, STEM, outreach, and sustainability. Stay tuned!

under: Events, STEM, Walter Blair

Information Part II

I wrote last summer about my interest in information and some of the ways I was exploring the information problems that organizations such as our own face. I saw two big areas where information is increasingly difficult to handle – managing information flow within an office as well as effectively communicating information to the public.

It’s interesting for me to revisit my thoughts from when I was only a few months into my work with the Office of Sustainability. I was just becoming familiar with the goings on of my coworkers and the College as a whole as well as getting a feel for how I could marry my talents with the Office’s needs. Having now been in the Office through one full semester’s cohort of interns, I’m still very much interested in the information-related projects that I was pursuing last summer. The Mendeley research library, for example (geeky but aaawesome!) seems to me more important than ever to help sustain all of the amazing knowledge and experience gained from our interns as well as sustainability offices at neighboring institutions. While we’re on the subject of my geekdom, it’s worth mentioning that when our new multimedia intern Drew suggested that the Office could benefit from a logical filesystem that he could create for us, I almost wept with joy (Drew, you are the man). But projects aside, what I’d like to share at the moment is how my perspective on information has developed since the summer.

In some sense I feel like I’ve been catching up for the last few months. I was very interested in learning how to present information online in a way that was convenient, intuitive, and maybe even slightly attractive. I’ve been working hard to pick up skills in web design in order to better communicate information to the public. Check! Aside from dabbling in some pretty cool AWS technology, I feel like I have recently caught up to maybe 2004-2005 in terms of a fluency with online resources. A feat of which I am nonetheless very proud!

Now I’m facing the new information problem – communicating with the public is not really about having pretty websites anymore. They certainly don’t hurt, but what I realize now is that communication is about reciprocation. This is a pretty big step for a guy who still has a flip phone.

I understand that social media tools have been around for a few years now, but what taught me the lesson that effective communication requires mutual engagement and interaction wasn’t signing up for Instagram. Teaching in the classroom has helped me understand that students are at their best when they feel like they have a voice and when they realize that they have important lessons to teach fellow students as well as the professor.

My sense of how to share information has changed, and now it’s time to learn the necessary skills for the task at hand. I can’t think of a better context in which to do it – the Office of Sustainability has been a wonderfully supportive and challenging environment. I’m excited about our new online magazine Synergies, because this publication is an awesome opportunity to take our Office’s capacity for communication to the next level. We are reaching out into the broader community and region and will therefore have even more opportunities for our students to learn new skills and perspectives in the process. I can’t wait to share what happens next.

under: Uncategorized, Walter Blair

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