Animal/human diseases and climate change

Will we catch more diseases from animals because of climate change? Lonnie King, dean of Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, presents a free webinar tomorrow (12/1). Sign up (scroll down). It’s part of a robust series by Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team, which has members from our college. Check out the archives.

Go here to grow as a leader

A reminder that the new Ohio Environmental Leaders Institute holds its first program on Dec. 9. It’s a skill-building workshop for public, private, and non-profit environmental leaders, set for Columbus. Check out the topics and speakers. Bonus: You’ll be in a building that’s also a leader (or LEEDer, as the case may be) — Ohio State’s green-in-more-ways-than-one Ohio 4-H Center. OSU Extension and the School of Environment and Natural Resources are the hosts. Register here.

What a state looks like on kudzu (OK, under it)

Anne Dorrance, a plant pathologist with OARDC and OSU Extension, talks about kudzu in Ohio: Where it’s at, what can be done, what it may mean to farmers. (It may or may not host a serious soybean disease.) The creeping, invasive, non-native vine is a long-time scourge in the South. But it’s in 22 of Ohio’s 88 counties now too. (The shot at the left is from Mississippi.)

Snakes in good hands

Congratulations to Kristin Stanford, outreach coordinator at Stone Lab (a part of our college) and her collaborators, who were honored as a “Success Story” at the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference in Erie, Pa., on Oct. 26. Stanford — aka “The Island Snake Lady” and featured on a popular episode of TV’s “Dirty Jobs” — and team were recognized for their efforts in keeping the Lake Erie watersnake from extinction. Previously listed as an endangered species, the Lake Erie watersnake came off that list on Sept. 15.

Planning going strong for campus green roof


West elevation of Howlett green roof

Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens will install a 10,000 square-foot green roof on Howlett Hall next fall. Benefits include mitigation of storm water runoff to the Olentangy River, increased biodiversity, and energy savings, aligning with the University Sustainability Plan. Perhaps the defining quality of this green roof is its location. Accessible from 139 Howlett Hall — just beyond the front doors of the building — the green roof will be the first of its kind in Columbus – and a tremendous resource for education, industry advancement, and research. See more at

How to stop Lake Erie algae blooms?

Greg LaBarge, a leader of OSU Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team: Nutrient management by farmers is key to reducing dissolved phosphorus in Lake Erie, and new guidelines are being developed to that end. Dissolved phosphorus is a cause of the lake’s toxic algae blooms. This year’s bloom is considered the worst in decades. Check out NASA’s satellite shots.

Squeezing corn

Corn can give us more ethanol, a biofuel, and Fred Michel, a CFAES biosystems engineer (pictured), and Cleveland’s Arisdyne Systems Inc. are working together to get it. Arisdyne’s new “cavitation” technology produces 2-3 percent more ethanol from the same amount of corn, and Michel is helping to test, validate, and refine how it works. Adopting cavitation could boost the U.S. ethanol industry’s annual revenue by an estimated $500-plus million.

Go green, save green, but do it by today

A reminder that today is the last day to register early for the 2011 Renewable Energy Workshop at OARDC on Nov. 10. Register today and save $10. A special college-student rate is available too — $10 total, both before and after today. E-mail Mary Wicks or call her at 330-202-3533. Also, click here (pdf) for the workshop’s brochure, including a registration form.