by Kyle Scott, Agribusiness and Applied Economics major
Even though I have been doing a lot of writing and talking about invasive species, but I also wanted to take the opportunity to discuss how my classmate’s presentations also got me thinking. I wrote my paper on whether or not invasive species could potentially be good for certain environments. Obviously, only a few invasive species, if that, deliver benefits to species around them. I do not believe I have witnessed these relationships but while I am on the job outside I come across plenty of Reed Canary Grass and Phragmites and Japanese Knotwood.
Recently, I was walking along a bridge and THROUGH the pavement, reed canary grass was beginning to grow. Not just a small weed here or there, but literally stalks growing up to my knees. It was invading a bridge through pavement! I could not believe how many sprouts were able to grow through and I figure that if they are not disturbed they would continue to grow just like normal. Sometimes it almost feels like the plant knows it is invasive and wants to show off how much it can take over.
However, enough about invasive species I want to also discuss just a few thoughts I had while listening to and reading my classmate’s presentations. I was absolutely shocked to hear about a few facts Joey Conway was talking about in his Animal Agriculture presentation. For example, the fact that for one hamburger to be consumed, it requires 660 gallons of water before the hamburger reaches your plate. This is way too much water and this is a major problem we are dealing with. Humans use way too much water for many activities and it is showing. In Ethan Dolby’s presentation on the Aral Sea, we can specifically see, these pictures represent the rapid loss of water Earth is going through (below). The general public needs to be more efficient with our use of water before even more drastic events take place. I am very happy we got to share our presentations with each other. I learned a lot about things I never even knew about.