About the Sustainability Institute
Ohio State Energy in the News
The (Medina) Gazette
July 25, 2018
Hands shot in the air after Medina County Park District capital projects coordinator Nate Eppink asked, “Has anyone in the room been affected by algal blooms?”...
...Chris Winslow of the Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory used Lake Erie as an example of a body of water that has sustained multiple algal blooms in recent years.
Featured expert: Chris Winslow, director, Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab
July 25, 2018
Lake Erie's harmful algal blooms typically spend the summer in the Western Basin, but as the lake warms and winds from the west blow the blooms eastward, they merge with a separate, less toxic bloom of a different type of algae in the Central Basin.
Featured expert: Jeff Reutter, retired director of Ohio State's Sea Grant and Stone Lab
The Columbus Dispatch
July 25, 2018
American Electric Power has joined with the state of Ohio to create a college- and career-readiness program for high schoolers.
… ONE was approved in the most recent state budget, Burgess said, so Ohio’s high school class of 2018 saw the first eligible students. As the program grows and attracts more employees to serve as mentors, the volume of participants will grow, too.
“I definitely see the program continuing to build,” Burgess said. “For one, there is a growing list of businesses across the state who support the initiative ... and Ohio State (University) is supporting this, too.”
July 25, 2018
Columbus, Ohio, may have won the nationwide Smart City Challenge, but all the grant money in the world won’t help it prepare for the future if the city doesn’t also win over public opinion
… Meanwhile, Ohio State University and Honda have partnered to build a nearby autonomous vehicle testing facility.
July 24, 2018
Millions of Americans head outdoors in the summer, whether for a day at a nearby lake or a monthlong road trip. For environmental economists like me, decisions by vacationers and outdoor recreators offer clues to a challenging puzzle: estimating what environmental resources are worth.
Featured expert: Timothy Haab, professor of environmental economics
July 22, 2018
Australian biologists recently reported an increase in major coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef over the past 40 years.
Featured expert: column author Steve Rissing, professor of biology
July 18, 2018
About 30 urban farmers tend land in Columbus, up from just five a few years ago. About a quarter of the farmers grow vegetables full-time for their income. The Ohio State University Extension office, the outreach arm of CFAES, wants to encourage more people to start an urban farm.
“We have a project right now where the university is committed to buying about 40 percent of its food purchases from local sources," says Mike Hogan, associate professor at Ohio State Extension in Franklin County. "And we’re working with families very close in the University District to help them develop microbusinesses where they learn how to grow food that the university is willing to purchase."
July 18, 2018
Predicting climate change can be tricky, in part because there is so much that we just don't know. But new research on microbes and viruses in Sweden's thawing permafrost – aka a thick subterranean layer of soil that has remained completely frozen for two years or more – may hold some answers. The results have been published in Nature, Nature Microbiology, and the ISME Journal.
Featured expert: Virginia Rich, assistant professor of microbiology
The Daily Beast The Daily Beast
...And while fracking has faced plenty of environmental vitriol, it could have the potential of being a live simulation of how microbes thrive in crevices. That’s because microbes seem to do just that in the crevices created by fracking.
Featured experts: Kelly Wrighton, assistant professor, and Mikayla Borton, graduate research associate, microbiology
July 15, 2018
At Thursday’s seventh annual Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast announcement at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory, NOAA and Heidelberg University researchers concurred with what boaters have already been observing this summer — there is an algal bloom underway...
...A recent report led by retired Ohio Sea Grant Director Jeff Reutter concluded that nearly 88 percent of non-point phosphorus loading comes from agricultural sources. It is clear that Ohio’s largest industry has a long way to go to slow the eutrophication (aging) of the lake.
Featured expert: retired Ohio Sea Grant Director Jeff Reutter
July 13, 2018
This summer’s Lake Erie algal bloom is forecast to be six on a scale of 10 for severity — not quite as large as last summer’s bloom, but thick and sizable nonetheless.
Featured expert: Jeffrey Reutter, director emeritus, Ohio Sea Grant
New satellite data to bring more accurate and detailed predictions
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
July 12, 2018
NOAA and its research partners predict that western Lake Erie will experience a harmful algal bloom (HAB) of cyanobacteria this summer that is smaller than in 2017 but larger than the mild bloom in 2016.
July 5, 2018
After delivering an impassioned speech to the University of Michigan's Board of Regents asking for more serious follow-through on reducing the campus' greenhouse gas emissions, Adam Simon caught the room's attention when asked by a board member which peer institutions were leading the way toward carbon neutrality.
"It's the university that's beaten us in football 13 out of the last 14 years - Ohio State," Simon said in May, citing the university's status as the Big Ten's largest green power user, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. "Ohio State is recognized globally as the leader in implementing sustainability on their campus."
The process of turning a city into a smart transportation hub is a process. Find out how Columbus is making it happen.
July 3, 2018
…The Vulcan grant is a three-year grant and the city is in the midst of the second year of it. In the past year, the city has purchased 93 electric vehicles, with a plan to purchase 100 more over the next two years, Braun said.
… Some of the challenges of getting the tech in place for the Vulcan grant has been due to it being a collaborative effort while working with partners such as Ohio State University and the Columbus Partnership.
Star Beacon (Ashtabula)
July 2, 2018
An Ohio Senate bill now headed to the governor’s desk appropriates $36 million toward water quality efforts in Lake Erie’s western basin.
… The bill appropriates the following toward water quality research and assistance along Lake Erie’s western basin: $2.65 million to monitor phosphorous loading, harmful algal growth and toxicity levels at The Ohio State University’s Sea Grant and Stone Lab.
June 28, 2018
...Research into autonomous vehicles is already unleashing a change in education and igniting concerns among owners of small repair shops.
What makes a self-driving car work is less about the mechanics and more about the controls.
“It’s about the software and hardware within the vehicle and how they interact with the sensors; whether it’s Lidar sensors, radar sensors; those types of visual systems, and how those feedback into the computer systems of the vehicle. ” said Maryn Weimer, senior associate director of Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research in Columbus.
Featured expert: Maryn Weimer, senior associate director, Center for Automotive Research
June 25, 2018
The bedrock below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is rising more rapidly than expected, according to an international team of researchers. The unexpected discovery has several implications for the future of the Antarctic continent...
...“The rate of uplift we found is unusual and very surprising. It’s a game changer,” says Terry Wilson, another lead author of the new study.
Featured expert: Terry Wilson, professor emeritus of earth sciences
The Columbus Dispatch
June 21, 2018
...In the absence of a new farm bill or extending the current law, agriculture policy would revert to 1938 and 1949 farm bill laws, ending many current farm programs and setting crop and dairy subsidy levels higher than current levels and far above market prices.
Carl Zulauf, an Ohio State University agriculture economist who has tracked farm bills since 1981, said it’s likely there will be an extension of some kind before there is a new bill.
Featured expert: Carl Zulauf, professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics
The New York Times
June 21, 2018
Antarctica's bedrock is rising surprisingly fast as a vast mass of ice melts into the oceans, a trend that might slow an ascent in sea levels caused by global warming, scientists said on Thursday.
Featured expert: Terry Wilson, professor of earth sciences
ALSO: The Columbus Dispatch: Antarctica research offers good news in battle against rising seas
ALSO: Science Magazine: Rising bedrock below West Antarctica could delay catastrophic ice sheet collapse
ALSO: Cosmos:Rare good news: bedrock rise may slow ice melt
Wooster Daily Record
June 20, 2018
ATI’s greenhouse manager needn’t concern himself with the old cliche, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”
It doesn’t even take that long for Nathan Donley to change the climatic conditions in the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute greenhouse complex; rather, just one touch of the computerized control system adjusts the “weather.”