Spot the connections: Stone Lab offers climate, sustainability class

How do corn and soybeans affect Lake Erie? How might climate change affect corn and soybeans? And how are corn, soybeans, Lake Erie, climate, soils, watersheds, water quality, the environment, and society all interconnected? Learn about it while living three miles out in the lake itself.

Burning decisions about this bird

A talk this coming Tuesday in Columbus looks at the complexities of managing endangered species using the Kirtland’s warbler (pictured) as an example. What goes into making decisions about how we manage the bird’s habitat? What can we learn from the process? How can this help us help other species?

One of our posts last week mentioned the Kirtland’s warbler, the “fire-dependent” ecosystem that it needs to survive, and the sometimes-complicated management involved.

He partly unpaved a parking lot … and it has sort of become a paradise

A nice shot of Joe Kovach’s “parking lot” plots taken yesterday by CFAES photographer Ken Chamberlain. (Click it to make it bigger.) The beds shown here have been set into cut-out trenches in the asphalt, which is one of the methods being studied (video, 1:21). Want to learn more? There’s a tour next Thursday.

For teachers in the Great Lakes region: Help in teaching climate science

Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State’s Climate Change Outreach Team are offering two free one-day workshops to introduce an updated Great Lakes Climate Change Curriculum. They’re for you if you’re a Great Lakes-area science teacher and you want to integrate “regionally relevant” climate science into your classroom. Here are the dates and locations.

Two summer classes on sustainable agriculture … and two wider programs beyond them

Lorain County Community College, which is located west of Cleveland, and Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute, which is part of our college, are teaming to offer two sustainable agriculture courses (pdf) this summer. Both have credit and non-credit options.

By way of some background, LCCC offers a short-term certificate program in sustainable agriculture, which it presents in collaboration with ATI and the New Agrarian Center in Oberlin, while ATI itself offers a two-year associate degree in sustainable agriculture (pdf).

Berry good on asphalt?

Joe Kovach, a scientist in our college who is studying the best ways to grow fresh, abundant food in old asphalt parking lots, such as for urban farming, is giving free tours of his test plots this summer. “People say parking lots are barren,” he says. “But you can get more production off of a back parking lot than you ever thought you could do.” He adds: “But there’s not much data on growing fruit on a parking lot, I can tell you that.” Video (0:34).

Best ways to burn, or not, certain forests around the Great Lakes

Jack pines and Kirtland’s warblers, to name just a few, should benefit from a new federal project based in our college in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service. The focus: “Fire-dependent” forest ecosystems around the Great Lakes. Read more …