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Posts tagged with “Ecosystem Management” (All posts)

  • Creative Development Alternatives to Copper Extraction in Minnesota

    January 30, 2014 at 10:29 pm

  • Arb Crew and Their Tools This Summer

    August 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm
    Learn what the Arb crew has been up to this summer
  • Lake trout from poster of Fishes of the Great Lakes.

    Siscowet Lake Trout and the Value of Uneconomic Resources

    March 5, 2009 at 3:03 am

    I started thinking about the siscowet strain of lake trout the other night and couldn't stop.  There is something about that elusively pelagic fish that prods my imagination like few other species.  If humans have progressively economized their environments, the siscowet remains naggingly unquantifiable.  But while an attempt to place this fish can lead to sleepless nights, there is something in the siscowet that I prefer to the multi-billion dollar salmon fishery of neighboring Lake Michigan.

  • Somalian Piracy Linked Directly to Foreign Overfishing in the Gulf of Aden?

    February 16, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    The growing rash of piracy off the coast of Somalia has been consistently present in international news for the past several years, and has had a major impact on the security and economy in the region.  Western nations have stepped up anti-piracy patrols in an attempt to re-establish key shipping lanes, as well as to make the gulf and its highly productive fishery safer for fishing vessels.  However, little press has been given to what role these international fishing vessels may have played in the development of Somalian piracy in the first place.

  • Global Food Movements, Local Connections: Terra Madre 2008

    November 10, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Terra Madre Food ConferenceVera Chang and I presented about our experiences at Terra Madre last week, but I’ll elaborate here as well. We attended the Slow Food international Terra Madre conference in Torino, Italy October 25-28. The conference was a gathering of the world’s food communities—thousands growers, producers and eaters all converged to discuss the issues facing our food system, learn from world leaders, and celebrate our unique but interconnected food cultures and traditions.

  • Michael Braungart at the University of Minnesota

    October 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Katie Blanchard recaps a speech given by Micahel Braungart, author of the book Cradle to Cradle.  Braungart emphasized his belief that the degradation of the topsoil is the world's greatest environmental problem, but also discussed how in general the approaches that are taken to changing environmentally harmful behaviors are not very fun or productive and can be seriously improved.

  • Chico Mendez Reforestation Project in Cantel, Guatemala

    Sustainable development and indigenous rights through reforestation in Guatemala

    November 7, 2007 at 8:30 am
    A dinner fundraiser for the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project in Cantel, Guatemala, at St. Olaf College last Thursday illuminated some of the struggles and triumphs of sustainable development. Stories from Carleton and St. Olaf students who had visited the reforestation project during a study abroad program helped give a human face to these difficult international issues.

    The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project was founded in 1999 in response to a dwindling groundwater supply because of decades of deforestation. As a result, Cantel only has access to water for a few hours a day. The project has planted hundreds of thousands of trees, including 65,000 last year alone. Planting trees in Cantel is considered a subversive political act, a defiant stance against the government that allows this deforestation to continue--a sharp contrast, the students noted, to the idea of connecting to the earth and holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Here, planting trees is a necessity to the continuity of community life, and a politically subversive one at that.

    Under Guatemalan law, there must be a certain number of trees planted to replace those that are cut down. The loggers usually do a pretty hasty job of replanting and then leave the seedlings alone. This is not an effective solution. As the students learned in Cantel, it takes a lot of love to make just one tree grow. The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project actually devotes the time and care to the trees they need to thrive.

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  • A Prairie Restoration Project

    A College on a Prairie?

    October 22, 2007 at 11:23 am

    While it is easy to justify the use of native plantings near and around the Arboretum at Carleton, some argue that prairie restoration patches closer to central campus are inappropriate and a nuisance. Depending on the season, prairie can look like dry weeds and it also requires regular burning to maintain. What should the landscape on campus look like? A well-irrigated golf course? An ornamental garden? Native prairie? The jury is still out.

    As Carleton enters into a new phase of construction with a new Arts Building and one or more dormitory projects, the College is increasingly forced think about space. Believe it or not, space is limited on our campus. As a result, the placement of every landscape feature, ranging from our large recreation center to the kale now sitting in the Sayles planters, is intentional. Given the pending expansion of the Carleton student body, it is in the college’s best interest to maintain green space as well as to make the green spaces it has more green. How does the college incorporate sustainability into its landscaping operations? While Carleton does not have a specific provision in its landscaping operational guidelines that formally incorporates sustainability, there is an intentional effort to do so.

    First and foremost, Carleton strives to use plants native to southeastern Minnesota in its design scheme. According to an unofficial landscaping document drafted in the summer of 2007, the campus is divided into a variety of zones, each with their own design parameters (vegetation choices and placement, maintenance specifications, etc). Vegetation in Zone 1 (which encompasses the Rec Center/ Goodhue building sites) is expected to consist of species native to southeastern MN. Non-native plants are to be used sparingly and only when similar native species are not available in the proper size, form, or quantity. Vegetation in Zones 2 and 3 (the Arboretum Corridor and the Arboretum itself) are even more specified. Plants in these areas are limited to vegetation common to Rice County and, in the Arb, should be arranged “randomly or in associations typically found in the area”. The fourth and last landscaping zone includes campus and off-campus properties. This zone is perhaps the most important and the most difficult to design. With respect to Zone 4, the unofficial landscaping document states, “While there are no established limitations regarding the use of non-native plant material, it is understood that responsible and sustainable landscaping practices favor the selection and predominant use of fully hardy species native and adapted to the region.”

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  • Apple Orchard

    Rotten to the Core?

    October 10, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    It's fall in Minnesota. The leaves are turning colors, and it's time to go apple picking, right?

    Daniel Gross in an article available at Slate.com argues that the Fall apple-picking tradition is more idiotic than idyllic and represents American tendencies to esteem overconsumption and balk at nature that's a little too natural.

    In my opinion, that may be a little harsh and condemning. It may be true that when we go out to buy a half-bushel for our house or floor, we may not eat it all, but of all battles to choose, why apple-picking? What do you think?

  • Parking Lot

    The Perils of Parking Lots

    October 1, 2007 at 9:48 am

    A recent study undertaken by a researcher at Purdue University has found that in one Midwestern county, parking spaces outnumber residents three to one. Using software based upon aerial photographs, researcher Bryan Pijanowski has discovered that parking spaces are taking over Tippecanoe County in Indiana. This study has important environmental ramifications that connect to pollution, land use, and even global warming.

    Even at Carleton, there is a lot of land dedicated to parking. Last year, on a Friday during convocation, student volunteers counted 588 vehicles on campus, roughly one car for every three students on campus. Furthermore, last year there were 455 student permits issued, along with 1,178 faculty/staff permits.

    Parking stress has been a critical issue on campus and the demand for more parking spaces does not come without its costs. You wouldn’t think it when you look at them, but parking lots are hotspots of environmental degradation. Certainly, on a most basic level, parking lots mean less space for plants and animals to inhabit, but the environmental impacts of parking go much deeper.

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  • Carleton's green roof

    Re-familiarizing Ourselves with One of Carleton’s Green Assets

    September 27, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Although the Carleton College Green Roof is still in its infancy at two and half years old, it’s legacy is already starting to fade. Few people on Carleton’s campus notice the small, 666 sq ft. patch of prairie located on a roof outside the Olin- Mudd indoor “link”. The informational sign overlooking the green roof is now sun-bleached and tattered. Even fewer people at Carleton, with the exception of only a handful of current seniors, remember the week of May 13th-19th, 2005 when Dave Holman (’06), Jason Lord (’06), Jake Gold (’07), Mandi Fix (’08), and Andrew Kaplan (‘08) spent countless hours on top of the Olin chemical storage facility installing the roof.

    Why the decline in excitement and activity surrounding the green roof on campus? It’s important to acknowledge that students aren’t entirely responsible for this seeming lack of focus. After all, the annual flux of new freshman and graduated seniors doesn’t make it easy to keep long-term projects like the green roof alive. So how can students rise to the challenge of overcoming the generational disconnect created every four years and simultaneously ensure that Carleton students don’t reinvent the wheel? The simple answer is this: through reeducation. Students at Carleton need to be informed about projects others might consider to be long finished in order to inspire and equip the next generation of Carleton students to build from those initiatives.

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