Educating for the environment

Education, Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel has written, is “one of our most powerful tools for nurturing the leaders of a sustainable future.” Case in point: Our own Rosanne Fortner (School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio Sea Grant), a national leader in environmental education, especially about Great Lakes and marine issues, who was recently honored for her achievements.

Green energy, bioproducts workshop Nov. 10 in Wooster

Companies, farmers, and university and private researchers will converge in Wooster on Thursday, Nov. 10, to show the growth of Ohio’s renewable energy and products sector and explore new opportunities within this promising green industry. And they want you to be a part of it.

Registration is now open for the fourth annual Renewable Energy Workshop at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

Registration (including lunch and materials) costs $25 before Nov. 3 and $35 after that date. The cost for college students is $10. To register, fill out the form available at or contact Mary Wicks, 330-202-3533,

This year, the workshop will focus on the production of biogas through anaerobic digestion and the conversion of agricultural feedstocks and waste to industrial products, said Yebo Li, a biosystems engineer with OARDC and OSU Extension.

Read more here.


PD reporter to talk today on environmental journalism

Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Michael Scott will present “Environmental Journalism: Avoiding Advocacy and Advocating Accuracy” today (10/26) at OARDC in Wooster. He writes often about the environment, especially the Great Lakes, and is a 2011 fellow in Ohio State’s Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. 3:30-4:30 p.m., 121 Fisher Auditorium, with a video link to 244 Kottman Hall, Columbus. Free and open to the public. It’s part of the Entomology Departmental Seminar Series.

Great minds

Bill Mitsch and Rattan Lal, both of our School of Environment and Natural Resources, are two of the nearly dozen keynote speakers set so far for EcoSummit 2012, which takes place just less than a year from now in Columbus. The conference, says its website, “will bring together the world’s most respected minds in ecological science to discuss restoring the planet’s ecosystems.” Harvard’s E.O. Wilson (author of Biophilia and The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, among many) and UCLA’s Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed) are also in the lineup. See the full list of speakers and the program.

New tree No. 1,000 and counting

“If a tree dies, plant another in its place.” Linnaeus, a father of modern ecology, said it, and OARDC’s Secrest Arboretum is doing it. The 120-acre Wooster plant collection, a part of our college, recently planted its 1,000th new tree to replace the 1,600 lost to last year’s tornado, and friends and officials paused to celebrate.

Turning Secrest green (again)

Props to Ohio’s Master Gardeners, who on Sept. 16 donated $93,868 to OARDC’s Secrest Arboretum in Wooster, which continues rebuilding following last year’s tornado. The group’s gift — a $50,084 check and 2,080 hours of in-kind labor worth $43,784 — went to the arboretum’s tornado renewal fund. “We’re very blessed to work for a group of dedicated volunteers who went over and above,” said Pam Bennett, OSU Extension’s state Master Gardener coordinator. (OSU Extension and OARDC are both a part of our college.) The arboretum saw 30 of its 120 acres, including 1,600 trees, virtually clearcut by the storm.

A tree grows in Brooklyn (near Cleveland) … and that’s good

Ohio’s sixth annual Why Trees Matter Forum, a look at the social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees in cities and suburbs, takes place Oct. 19 in Wooster. It’s for anyone interested in Ohio’s community forests, including landscapers, street-tree commissioners, plant nursery operators, local government officials, utility company workers, and economic and community development managers. OSU Extension (especially its Why Trees Matter Signature Program), Secrest Arboretum, OARDC, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, and The Davey Tree Expert Company are the sponsors. Register here by Oct. 14.