Event Title

Environmental Impact

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Start Date

8-5-2021 1:45 PM

End Date

8-5-2021 2:30 PM

Description

Environmental Impact (speakers in order of appearance)

Emily Bulifant '22 “Addressing Climate Change at Hollins University” (Faculty Sponsor: Mary Jane Carmichael)

Since the 2009-10 fiscal year, Hollins University has made headway towards a goal of carbon neutrality, but in a series of events involving the loss of several sustainability officers and energy managers, Hollins is no longer making the proper steps to annually update and move towards this objective. The purpose of this project is to act as a call to action for Hollins to continue working towards carbon neutrality, to increase the transparency and availability of applicable information regarding sustainability initiatives, and to update the campus official carbon footprint. To do this, the future outlook of climate change in Virginia's Blue Ridge region will be discussed along with Hollins' current and past energy usage and costs. The presenter will propose more feasible solutions to reduce the campus footprint, focusing on those already accomplished by other sustainable college environments, such as taking advantage of rooftop space or installing solar photovoltaic technology. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis will be conducted for each solution. As climate change becomes an increasingly dire situation, it is only harming us to not make sustainability a priority.

Bronte Hoefer '21 “The Role of Edge Effects in Emerald Ash Borer Infestation and Forest Responses” (Faculty Sponsor: Liz Gleim)

The emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis) is a buprestid beetle native to Asia that is now an invasive species in North America. EAB infests trees of the genus Fraxinus (ash), and has spread to 35 states since its introduction in the early-to-mid-1990s. EAB has the potential to functionally extirpate all native ash species within North America. The presenter's study aims to characterize the ecological impacts of EAB infestation in Southwest Virginia, quantify the impact of edge effects on forest invasion and subsequent mortality of ash trees, as well as define the role that forest edge effects play in forest regeneration post-ash tree mortality. In 2017, a total of 33 forest transects across 12 study sites located in the Roanoke Valley were established. Data was collected annually on woody species composition, growth, canopy position, and understory woody plant composition. Signs of EAB infestation and ash mortality were tracked at ash sites across all study years. Although analyses are ongoing, initial findings indicate significant increases in dieback scores of large (>12cm DBH) and small (DBH) trees across all years, indicating progressive mortality of ash trees. Trees in the core had significantly higher average dieback scores than trees in the edge in 2019, and large trees died more rapidly than small trees, particularly in 2019 and 2020. Finally, the mean number of seedlings at ash sites at the edge and core significantly decreased from 2017 to 2020 as ash mortality progressed. Additional analyses are underway to determine whether this might indicate a depletion of ash seeds in the seed bank and the potential for ash to persist in forests across North America.

Simran Shrestha '22 “The Relationship Between Household Income and Desert Attitudes in Phoenix” (Faculty Sponsor: Meg du Bray)

This presentation attempts to unravel the relationship between total household income level and desert attitudes. The data is based on the survey results of the 2017 Phoenix Area Social Survey which was taken by 65 respondents for each of 12 neighborhoods located near a variety of Central Arizona- Phoenix's ecological monitoring sites. Spearman correlation statistics were used to investigate the relationship between the household income and the attitude towards the desert. People from lower household income groups had more negative attitudes towards the desert. Implications of this study include how the city can potentially develop programs that improve the experiences of groups of people of certain household income ranges experiencing the desert negatively.

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May 8th, 1:45 PM May 8th, 2:30 PM

Environmental Impact

https://hollins.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EsDnpbEBQE6iH2p1XDO9DQ

Environmental Impact (speakers in order of appearance)

Emily Bulifant '22 “Addressing Climate Change at Hollins University” (Faculty Sponsor: Mary Jane Carmichael)

Since the 2009-10 fiscal year, Hollins University has made headway towards a goal of carbon neutrality, but in a series of events involving the loss of several sustainability officers and energy managers, Hollins is no longer making the proper steps to annually update and move towards this objective. The purpose of this project is to act as a call to action for Hollins to continue working towards carbon neutrality, to increase the transparency and availability of applicable information regarding sustainability initiatives, and to update the campus official carbon footprint. To do this, the future outlook of climate change in Virginia's Blue Ridge region will be discussed along with Hollins' current and past energy usage and costs. The presenter will propose more feasible solutions to reduce the campus footprint, focusing on those already accomplished by other sustainable college environments, such as taking advantage of rooftop space or installing solar photovoltaic technology. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis will be conducted for each solution. As climate change becomes an increasingly dire situation, it is only harming us to not make sustainability a priority.

Bronte Hoefer '21 “The Role of Edge Effects in Emerald Ash Borer Infestation and Forest Responses” (Faculty Sponsor: Liz Gleim)

The emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis) is a buprestid beetle native to Asia that is now an invasive species in North America. EAB infests trees of the genus Fraxinus (ash), and has spread to 35 states since its introduction in the early-to-mid-1990s. EAB has the potential to functionally extirpate all native ash species within North America. The presenter's study aims to characterize the ecological impacts of EAB infestation in Southwest Virginia, quantify the impact of edge effects on forest invasion and subsequent mortality of ash trees, as well as define the role that forest edge effects play in forest regeneration post-ash tree mortality. In 2017, a total of 33 forest transects across 12 study sites located in the Roanoke Valley were established. Data was collected annually on woody species composition, growth, canopy position, and understory woody plant composition. Signs of EAB infestation and ash mortality were tracked at ash sites across all study years. Although analyses are ongoing, initial findings indicate significant increases in dieback scores of large (>12cm DBH) and small (DBH) trees across all years, indicating progressive mortality of ash trees. Trees in the core had significantly higher average dieback scores than trees in the edge in 2019, and large trees died more rapidly than small trees, particularly in 2019 and 2020. Finally, the mean number of seedlings at ash sites at the edge and core significantly decreased from 2017 to 2020 as ash mortality progressed. Additional analyses are underway to determine whether this might indicate a depletion of ash seeds in the seed bank and the potential for ash to persist in forests across North America.

Simran Shrestha '22 “The Relationship Between Household Income and Desert Attitudes in Phoenix” (Faculty Sponsor: Meg du Bray)

This presentation attempts to unravel the relationship between total household income level and desert attitudes. The data is based on the survey results of the 2017 Phoenix Area Social Survey which was taken by 65 respondents for each of 12 neighborhoods located near a variety of Central Arizona- Phoenix's ecological monitoring sites. Spearman correlation statistics were used to investigate the relationship between the household income and the attitude towards the desert. People from lower household income groups had more negative attitudes towards the desert. Implications of this study include how the city can potentially develop programs that improve the experiences of groups of people of certain household income ranges experiencing the desert negatively.