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The Oregon State University Sustainability Blog

Join the Student Sustainability Initiative Fee Board

May 6th, 2015

Be a voice for sustainability at OSU! Apply for a Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) Fee Board Chair or Member position for 2015-2016! Develop your leadership skills and make decisions that have a direct impact on campus infrastructure and student involvement in sustainability.  The Student Sustainability Initiative Fee Board is composed of five voting student members and four non-voting members, all of whom are current students, faculty, or staff of OSU. The Fee Board is the governing body for the SSI and is primarily responsible for:

  • Reviewing and approving SSI’s annual budget
  • Managing SSI Grant Programs, including Green Fee, Student Wage, Professional Development, Project and Research GrantsPlanting trees
  • Managing the Sustainable Energy Revolving Loan Fund program
  • Strategic planning to support student sustainability efforts at OSU
  • Overseeing the SSI Student Director hiring process

The SSI Fee Board Chair’s primary responsibility is facilitating the SSI Fee Board meetings. The SSI Fee Board Chair also plays a leadership role within SSI budgeting and partnership development through its Grant Program. The SSI Fee Board chair receives a $200 monthly stipend.

To apply for the chair or a member position send a resume and cover letter detailing your relevant experience, saved as a PDF titled “SSI Fee Board Application [your last name]” to Nick Silva, SSI Fee Board Chair at ssi.feeboard@oregonstate.edu. Applications are due Monday May 11th at 5 pm.  Visit SSI’s website for more information and learn more about the SSI here!

Waste Watchers Spotlight: Jessica Collins

May 5th, 2015

Jessica PortraitName: Jessica Collins

Title/Nickname: Star Volunteer/J-Dawg

Degree: Environmental Sciences with an option in Conservation and Sustainability

Year in School: 2nd

When did you start volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

Fall of 2013

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

I’m going to go with the first thing that came to my mind (as there are too many if I really mulled it over) – creating our RecycleMania display last year of the Trash Monster. Oldie but a goodie.

P1090336

Jessica staffs the Campus Recycling booth during the 2015 Community Fair. Click to view larger.

What keeps you volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

The overall spirit of our group, everyone’s ability to work together towards a common goal, and of course all the fun I have with these friends I’ve made.

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

Keep branching out. We may not see/feel immediate results of our reach to the overall student body but we have made ourselves known and must keep at it!

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

I try to bring dishes and silverware to events where I know there’ll be food or to places like Yogurt Extreme, I bring Tupperware instead of using the paper cups they provide.

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

May Repair Fair: Free repairs and D.I.Y. demos

May 4th, 2015

2014 05 repair fair FB event 714x264

Bring those broken or damaged items to the May Repair Fair on Wednesday, May 13 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. The event will be held at the OSU Recycling Warehouse, aka the OSUsed Store (644 SW 13th Street).

Volunteers will teach you how to fix your broken items; attend demos to learn more skills! See the list below for this month’s skills and demonstrations. The event is free and open to all.

Repair skills offered:

  • Appliances (small items only, please)
  • Clothing
  • Computer diagnostics
  • Electronics (small items only, please)
  • Housewares (furniture, ceramics, lamps, etc.)
  • Woodwind Instruments
  • And more!

Demonstrations:

P1090036 - edit5:45 – 6:15 pm: Get Fired Up: D.I.Y. Lint Fire Starters – Full description coming soon. (Leader: Cristina Riani, volunteer of the Waste Watchers)

6:15 – 6:45 pm: All Buttoned Up: Reattaching Buttons – Full description coming soon.  (Leader: Anne Taleff, Linn Benton Master Recyclers)

6:45 – 7:15 pm: Get Pumped: Bike Flat and Chain Repair – Full description coming soon. (Leader: Volunteers from the Corvallis Bicycle Collective)

Additional Details

Note: We don’t have spare parts, but will do our best to repair what we can and/or refer you to where you could find the parts you need. If you have parts already, we may be able to help you install them.

repair-fair-mapDirections: We are located at 644 SW 13th St. in Corvallis; see a map of the entrance and parking here; view our building on Google Maps here. Please enter through the warehouse gate on 13th Street, between A Ave. and the railroad tracks. City buses 36 and 8 stop within 2-4 blocks of our building while routes15 and 7 stop 6 blocks away at 11th & Monroe (view full details on the Corvallis Transit System website or use Google Transit to find the best option for you).

Join this event on Facebook.

Sixth Annual Natural Areas Celebration Week

May 2nd, 2015

It’s time for the sixth annual Natural Areas Celebration Week, a celebration of the incredible natural resources in our community. Join the celebration for a hike, walk, workshop, or lecture! Every event is family-friendly, free and open to the public, so come and spend some time exploring the natural world around us. Below are a few of the events happening the first weekend, click here to see the full calendar!NACW-top-2015-1024x511 (1)

Saturday, May 2

Marys Peak Interpretation Workshop
Saturday, May 2 – 8am-5pm
Participants will be trained over two full days to be Marys Peak Interpreters of the cultural and natural history of Marys Peak. Registration is limited to 25 people. Information pertaining to the workshop will be provided upon request.
Meeting Location: Registration Required
Contact Information: Dave Eckert maryspeakinterpreters@gmail.com
Sponsor: Alliance for Recreation and Natural Areas (Marys Peak Alliance), US Forest Service

Work Party at Fiechter House & Cabell Barn
Saturday, May 2 – 10am
This is the annual fluff ‘n buff before the Open House the following weekend. Come sweep out the 1910 barn and gather owl pellets, or vacuum the 1850s Fiechter House and clean the windows!
Meeting Location: Fiechter House. South on 99W to mile marker 93; follow signs for Finley Refuge. After crossing Muddy Creek look for Fiechter House on the left. Park by the picket fence.
Contact Information: Finley Wildlife Refuge: 541.757.7236
Sponsor: PreservationWORKS

Raptor Conservation Program @ Chintimini Wildlife Center
Saturday, May 2 
– 10am-2pm
Come meet the Chintimini Wildlife Center’s live educational birds of prey and learn about Chintimini’s new weekly Raptor Conservation Program.  This program will feature hawks, owls, falcons and vultures and will include free-flight demonstrations with some of the birds.
Meeting Location: 311 NW Lewisburg Ave, Corvallis, OR
Contact Information: Zach Heesch: (541) 745-5324
Sponsor: Chintimini Wildlife Center

Wildbird Wetland Walk
Saturday, May 2 – 1-4pm
Family Fun Bird Adventure along an easy boardwalk trail include Hands on stations for Bird ID, Nest Building, Food searching,  and wetland habitat Investigation. (Bring your own Binoculars or borrow a pair at welcome table) Suggested donation $10. Details at www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org
Meeting Location: Sunset Park Board walk (45th and SW Country Club Drive)
Contact Information:  www.corvallisenvironmentalcenter.org
Sponsor: Avery House of the Corvallis Environmental Center

Sunday, May 3

Marys Peak Interpretation Workshop
Sunday, May 3 – 8am-5pm
Participants will be trained over two full days to be Marys Peak Interpreters of the cultural and natural history of Marys Peak. Registration is limited to 25 people. Information pertaining to the workshop will be provided upon request.
Meeting Location: Registration Required
Contact Information: Dave Eckert maryspeakinterpreters@gmail.com
Sponsor: Alliance for Recreation and Natural Areas (Marys Peak Alliance), US Forest Service

Spring Garden Festival
Sunday, May 3 – 9am-4pm
Mark your calendar for the 28th Annual Madison Avenue Task Force’s Spring Garden Festival on The Arts Center Plaza, 7th and Madison. Each year the Festival features dozens of vendors and information booths offering gardening products, advice and inspiration that will help you limber up your green thumb. We hope to see you there!
Contact Information: www.madisonavenuetaskforce.org
Sponsor: Madison Avenue Task Force

Forest Health Post November Ice Storm @ Peavy Arboretum
Sunday, May 3 – 9am-12pm
Steve Pilkerton, a forester and forest engineer with the OSU College of Forestry’s Research Forests, will discuss the types of damages sustained, what the forest community can learn in the aftermath from the type and pattern of damage, what and when to salvage, and to what extent forest practices might change, if at all. The route will most likely be along the first 1.25 miles of Davies RD 580, starting at the Lewisburg Saddle, with little or no elevation gain. Limited to 25 participants. Contact leader for meeting time and place when pre-registering.
Meeting Location: RSVP for Meeting Directions
Contact Information: Robert Verhoogen: at rverhoogen@mac.com or 541-745-5185
Sponsor: Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club

Oak Creek Aquatic Ecology Experience
Sunday, May 3 – 2pm-4pm
In our special Aquatic Ecology class, we will explore Oak Creek and learn about the basic environmental quality of the waterway through the various life that makes Oak Creek its home! We will do our own water testing and learn about environment interactions within the riparian zone near Hesthavn . We will spend part of the time learning about food webs and ecosystem health while hiking around Hesthavn and Macdonald Forest. The second half of the session we will carefully be exploring Oak Creek, collecting macro invertebrates, and enjoying some aquatic testing and fun data collecting! *Geared towards 4th grade and older.*
Meeting Location: Hesthavn Nature Center, 8590 NW Oak Creek Drive
Contact Information: Jessica Brothers: educationaudubon@gmail.com
Sponsor: Audubon Society of Oregon

“12 Easy Steps to a Sustainable Garden” Presentation
Sunday, May 3 – 6.30pm
Hear from Lane County Master Gardener Jody Fairchild as she leads a presentation on ‘The 12 steps to a Sustainable Garden’, a quick synopsis of a 2 day class offered in the Lane County Master Gardener class. This presentation will also cover components of the ‘Wildlife in the Garden’ program discussing the importance of backyards for wildlife and suggestions for gardeners to think about wildlife in their garden design and examples on how to do it.
Meeting Location: Corvallis-Benton Library – Main Meeting Room, 645 NW Monroe, Corvallis
Sponsor: Natural Areas Action Team

 

 

Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center links research, education and outreach

May 1st, 2015

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As part of our annual sustainability report building for FY14, we learned about a fun connection between research, education and outreach.  The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) was established at OSU in 2008 and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate the development of marine renewable energy technologies via research, education, and outreach. Partner universities include the University of Washington and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

2

NNMREC hosts weekly educational forums on campus, has developed hands-on educational materials for K-12 (accessible through all Oregon STEM centers), and is assisting in the development of two college-level courses on renewable energy technology. During FY14, NNMREC hosted 22 presentations at OSU on marine renewable energy through Marine Forum, engaged over 60 K-12 students in build-it-yourself wave energy converter activities, and began developing a college-level introductory course and textbook on renewable energy technology.  Keep making waves, NNMREC!

1

Washington Way Pocket Park Project

April 30th, 2015

STARKER-pond

 

Oregon State campus is home to many beautiful green spaces, gathering spots, recreational areas, and study spaces. Starting this May, we we need your help to develop another beautiful addition to the campus. OSU is embarking on a collaborative pocket park design effort for the vacant space left after construction of the 15th & Washington Way street improvements in 2014. This May, there will be three workshops for developing the new green space, so make sure to come and voice your opinion.

Workshop #1 – Introduction and Brainstorming

May 1, 2015
10:00 am—4:00 pm
MU211 American Indian Conference Room

Workshop #2 – Reviewing Concepts and Creating a Preferred Alternative

May 18, 2015
10:00 am—4:00 pm
MU211 American Indian Conference RoomPocket-Park-Diagram

Workshop #3 – Review and Discussion of Vision for Park Space

June 4, 2015
10:00 am—4:00 pm
MU206 Asian/Pacific American Conference Room

 

With input from the campus and Corvallis communities, the design will reflect the desired and expected use of students, staff, faculty, and community members for construction completion by fall 2015. For more information about the park or the meeting times, click here!

Waste Watchers Spotlight: Amy Salisbury

April 28th, 2015

P1090370Name: Amy Salisbury

Title/Nickname: Membership Chair

Degree: Civil Engineering

Year in School: Freshman

When did you start volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

October 2014

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

“Spin to Win” and “Got a Mug? Get FREE Coffee!”

What keeps you volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

I really like what they are centered around (waste reduction) and I like that they are so involved on campus. There is always something going on, some kind of campaign or event or competition and it’s all for a good cause. It feels good to volunteer some of my time to help educate my community in creating a healthier planet.

Amy

Amy staffs the Eco-Representative booth during the 2015 Community Fair. Click to view larger.

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

I would love for them to find a way to get involved in sporting events. I know it’s fairly difficult but it would be amazing outreach. Hopefully something can work out in the future.

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

I try to use resuable items as much as I can. I bring my own cup for to-go drinks and I always refuse a bag – plastic or not. I also just started regularly composting and that takes away a lot of waste.

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

Arbor Day At OSU

April 24th, 2015

Happy Arbor Day everyone! Oregon State has a long long-running tradition of tree planting, care and stewardship and this year is no exception. This week we have been celebrating  Beyond Earth Day, ten days of exciting events to raise awareness of and engagement in sustainability.

For the last six years, Oregon State has been the recipient of Tree Campus USA, awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Oregon Department of Forestry. The Tree Campus standards require the school to have a campus tree advisory committee, campus tree care plan, campus tree program with dedicated annual expenditures, Arbor Day observance, and a service learning project. OSU has succeeded in receiving the award every year since 2010.   bicycle,

In addition to tree care on campus, OSU landscapers have taken many steps to reduce their operation’s impact on the environment via:

  • Incorporating native and/or drought tolerant plants into landscaped areas
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawns to return nutrients
  • Obtain annual Oregon Dept. of Agriculture training to maintain pesticide best practices and application licenses
  • Maintain the campus to different standards based on need (i.e., MU quad vs. low profile areas)
  • Use of Maxi-com computerized irrigation system with weather-based watering to conserve water
  • Minimal use of only slow release fertilizers to avoid fertilizer run off
  • On-campus handling and chipping of woody debris and compostable material
  • Application as groundcover of mulch and wood chips to reduce watering and weeding needs

To learn more about Oregon State’s natural features, check it out on our website here. Also, don’t forget that Beyond Earth Day events continue until Tuesday, April 28th!

Get your fix at the April Repair Fair!

April 23rd, 2015

April Repair Fair

Bring those broken or damaged items to the April Repair Fair on Tuesday, April 28 from 3:30 – 5:30 PM. This time, the event will be held at the Student Experience Center Plaza (2251 SW Jefferson Way) located between the Student Experience Center and the MU Quad.

Volunteers will teach you how to fix your broken items; attend demos to learn more skills! See the list below for this month’s skills and demonstrations. The event is free and open to all.

Repair skills offered:

  • Appliances (small items only, please)
  • Bicycles
  • Clothing (hand and machine sewing)
  • Electronics (small items only, please)
  • Housewares (furniture, ceramics, lamps, etc.)
  • Instruments (woodwinds, brass, and guitars only)
  • Jewelry
  • And more!

Demonstrations:

3:30-4:00 pm

  • Cut ‘Cho Hair: Cutting your own hair empowers you to define yourself. This demonstration includes tips and tricks for becoming your own hairdresser. Be prepared for a small spiritual journey that will be useful for the rest of your life. (Leader: Jesse Pettibone, Director of the Student Sustainability Initiative)
  • Basic Shoe & Boot Repair: Drop by to learn how re-attach loose soles, fix scrapes and tears, and polish shoes to lengthen the life of your footwear. We’ll show you how it’s done and you can try your hand at it with our sample shoes. (Leaders: GEO 300 class project group)
  • Everything You Want to Know About Recycling: Ever had a specific waste item and not known if it should go in the trash or recycling? Drop by this demo booth and learn from the masters – the Master Recyclers of Linn and Benton Counties! Play the sorting game or simply bring your questions and questionable items. (Leaders: Linn Benton Master Recyclers)

4:00-4:30 pm

  • Bombs for Butterflies: We are going to teach you how to make beautiful landing patches for butterflies by making seed balls! (Leader: Lauren Armony, Garden Manager for the Student Sustainability Initiative)
  • Basic Shoe & Boot Repair continues (see description above)
  • Everything You Want to Know About Recycling continues (see description above)

4:30-5:30 pm

  • Turning Tubes into Treasures: Bicycle inner tubes are replaced very regularly, leaving discarded tubes to be destined to be thrown away. Luckily for people who don’t like throwing things in the trash, there are many things that can be done with these inner tubes. With a bit of nylon thread you can make bags, wallets, and belts. Come by this demo to learn how to make a belt out of bike inner tubes. (Leader: Tyler Coleman, volunteer with the Waste Watchers).
  • Basic Shoe & Boot Repair continues (see description above)
  • Everything You Want to Know About Recycling continues (see description above)

Additional Details

Note: We don’t have spare parts, but will do our best to repair what we can and/or refer you to where you could find the parts you need. If you have parts already, we may be able to help you install them.

Directions:The Student Experience Center Plaza is the new outdoor, covered area between the Memorial Union and the new Student Experience Center (S.E.C.). View the S.E.C. on the OSU campus map (http://oregonstate.edu/campusmap/?locations=1025) to see the locations and parking options.

Join this event on Facebook.

Save the Date: May Repair Fair

Can’t make it to the April event? Don’t worry: we will be hosting our second Repair Fair on Wednesday,May 13 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Repair skills and demos are TBA.

Waste Watchers Spotlight: Zach Stark

April 21st, 2015
Zach teaches attendees how to recycle during last year's Earth Week Community Fair.

Zach teaches attendees how to recycle during the 2014 Earth Week Community Fair. Click to view larger.

Name: Zachary Stark

Title/Nickname: Zachster

Degree: Electrical Engineering

Year in School: Sophomore

When did you start volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

Last year, winter term

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

Repair Fairs hands down.

Zach staffs the Waste Watchers booth at the 2015 Community Fair. Click to view larger

Zach staffs the Waste Watchers booth at the 2015 Community Fair. Click to view larger

What keeps you volunteering with the Waste Watchers?

The people are so nice and welcoming while the work is meaningful.

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

Work on the athletics department. They should really care about going green. Their waste is very significant.

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

I keep a recycle bag next to my trash bag to remind myself to recycle when I’m cooking.

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

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