Gentlepeople, start your electric engines

Ohio State hosts its third Smart Columbus Ride & Drive Roadshow on June 20–21 in Columbus. You’ll find, yes, a frunkload of details on the sustainability, economic, and fun-to-drive benefits of electric cars. And you’ll have chances to test drive some of them, including Hondas, BMWs, and Teslas. You can also learn about the Smart Columbus initiative.

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Saturday: Go west for sustainability fest

Go west, everyone, to learn more about sustainability. Ohio State’s West Campus Science and Sustainability Festival—or WestFest for short—is set for Saturday, May 18, on the university’s West Campus Quad. Featured will be demonstrations and displays by more than 20 sustainability-related organizations from Ohio State and the Columbus community, including CFAES’ Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park and Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie. Admission is free. Find out more.

Expert to speak on controlled environment ag

More and more farms could be under a roof. Meiny Prins, CEO and co-owner of the Dutch company Priva, presents “Do You Know the Green Belt? Sustainable Urban Agriculture in a Challenging World” from 10–11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. The event is billed as an industry summit on controlled environment agriculture, a technology-driven way to produce food in greenhouses, buildings, grow rooms, and the like. Admission to the event is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance. There’s also a way to watch online. Find full details.

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1 week, 2 honors for innovator Katrina Cornish

CFAES scientist Katrina Cornish had a big week last week, taking home not one but two honors for her sustainability-related research.

Cornish, who is an internationally recognized expert on alternative natural rubber production and on natural rubber biosynthesis, won CFAES’ Innovator of the Year Award on April 22 at the college’s Annual Research Conference; and then, two days later, Ohio State’s Innovator of the Year Award at the university’s new Research and Innovation Showcase.

Visit her lab’s website to learn more about her work.

Surprising findings on rural Ohio job growth

CFAES economist Mark Partridge says that since 2010, job growth in Ohio’s rural areas has been strong—nearly the same as in the state’s major cities. “As long as this economic expansion continues,” Partridge says, “rural Ohio is going to fare pretty well compared to the rest of the U.S.” Read the story.

Stone Lab to ramp up its work for Lake Erie

CFAES’ Stone Laboratory, already the home of extensive long-term Lake Erie water quality efforts, is adding a new research building at Put-in-Bay and new monitoring equipment on the Maumee River, Lake Erie’s largest tributary, thanks to funding provided by Senate Bill 299, the bipartisan Clean Lake 2020 Plan.

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Study: Keep tabs on algae in central Lake Erie

Harmful algal blooms aren’t just a thing in western Lake Erie. They happen in the lake’s central basin too, and when they do, they sometimes produce toxins.

So says a new study led by Justin Chaffin of CFAES’ Stone Laboratory, which set out to learn more about the central basin’s less-studied blooms, including what drives them and whether they produce toxins called cyanobacterial toxins. The toxins, which can threaten human health, must be removed by facilities that treat drinking water.

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