Sun comes up, it’s Tuesday morning

“Green is for life!” says the tagline for the fifth annual  Wooster Campus Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair, set for April 17 (during Earth Week) at OARDC. “Our goal is to educate people about the variety of environmentally friendly products and research on the market today,” said OARDC’s Gwen Covert, head of the fair’s planning committee. “The green industry is evolving at an amazing rate.” Read more …

The top insect friends of your vegetable garden

Cool video by our college on the natural enemies of vegetable pests (25:03). Support these hungry helpers (mantises, lady beetles, parasitic wasps, and others plus non-insects such as spiders) and get fewer pests, spray less, and see your costs go down and yields go up. (Good yields, profits, and biodiversity, too, are foundations of sustainability.) Featured are scientist Mary Gardiner and others from our Department of Entomology and IPM program.

New way to treat lead in soil: Save $22,500 per acre

Nick Basta, a scientist in our college, has developed a new, much cheaper way to treat lead in soil (video, 2:14). Using compost and other material, it costs 75 percent less than the next-cheapest option ($7,500 an acre vs. $30,000) and can benefit cash-strapped cities. Lead in soil is a health risk to kids, especially in cities, and a snag for urban farming. Basta is shown here working in Cleveland, which SmartPlanet calls one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. for urban farming.

Trouble hanging in there … and what’s being done

Learn more about white-nose syndrome, which has killed millions of bats and is spreading, next Thursday (March 29). The School of Environment and Natural Resources holds a free public seminar by Ann Froschauer, a SENR alum who’s the national white-nose syndrome communications leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Among the topics: A new coordinated national response to the outbreak. Here’s why farmers and eaters may care (video, 2:38).

Growing progress

USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program has provided researchers in our college with $2.8 million in grant funding over the past 23 years. Result: Continuing progress for farmers, their families, and Ohio in sustainable agriculture (farming that considers yields, the land, profits, and people’s quality of life all together). Ohio’s current SARE grants (pdf).

Major in sustainability? Now you can do it as a Buckeye

Ohio State has a new major in sustainability. Called Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability, it “gives students the opportunity to take their passion for helping people, communities, and the environment to a new level,” said Elena Irwin, a professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics. AEDE and the School of Environment and Natural Resources, both a part of our college, teamed up to plan and will offer the major. Kickoff is fall 2012.

Lake effects: Will Great Lakes see greater invaders?

What does climate change hold for the Great Lakes? Especially in terms of invasive species? That’s the topic of the next webinar by Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team, which has members from our college. It’s this Tuesday (March 20) at noon. Speaking is Cindy Kolar, science advisor in the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fisheries and Aquatic Endangered Resources Program. Free to register.

Green energy? New 2-year program here

Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute, a part of our college in Wooster, now offers a two-year degree program in renewable energy. Students in the program specialize in bioenergy or in solar energy and wind energy, complete a paid internship, and gain the skills they need to go on to successful careers in the industry. That industry, say the program’s organizers, is projected to grow worldwide nearly 10 times from 2007 to 2030, to $630 billion. Printable fact sheet here (pdf).