What’s cool? This, both the science and the story

The award for the coolest Ohio State science story of 2019 recently went to a team of CFAES researchers—Xiaoying Zhao, Yael Vodovotz, and Katrina Cornish—who are developing a promising biodegradable alternative to the plastic that covers supermarket food.

Read about the award.

Read the story itself.

‘My goal is to capture a whole story in one frame’

A reminder that Ohio State’s annual Environmental Film Series kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 21, with “A Life in the Wild,” a discussion with renowned wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen, whose traveling retrospective exhibit opened Jan. 15 at COSI in Columbus. Enjoy 6 minutes with him and his art in the video above, 110 minutes (7–8:50 p.m.) on Jan. 21.

SENR film series to host renowned wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen

The fifth Environmental Film Series, hosted by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), starts on Tuesday, Jan. 21, with “A Life in the Wild,” an in-person appearance by and discussion with renowned wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen timed to the opening of his traveling retrospective exhibit at COSI in Columbus (which opens Jan. 15 and runs to Jan. 3 of next year). He talks about the exhibit’s first appearance, at the Durham Museum in his home state of Nebraska, in the video above.

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A drive to make things better

Dave Benfield, pictured below at the wheel of an all-electric GEM car, retires Dec. 31 as CFAES associate vice president of agricultural administration and director of the college’s Wooster campus. Joe Messenger, assistant to the director of OARDC, based in the Facilities Services unit on the Wooster campus, shared the following.

One of the challenges that Dave Benfield asked me to accomplish was to initiate an electric fleet of vehicles on the Wooster campus. During the past five years, we have purchased five electric GEM cars and one electric GEM truck. During the budget year of FY2021, we are planning to buy one GEM flatbed truck, and that will fulfill the electrical fleet needs for our campus.

Thanks to Dave and his vision for future improvements, we have been able to reduce our carbon footprint on this campus, removing six gasoline-fueled vehicles from our service fleet. On average, our electric vehicles can run a full week on one charge. We will be operating our electric fleet long after Dave has retired. He has left us with a positive motivation for continued improvements on our campus.

Read a Dec. 12 Wooster Daily Record story about Benfield and his career, including helping the campus recover from not one, but two, tornadoes. (Photo: Courtesy of Joe Messenger.)

‘This is what our world has to start doing’

As a sustainability intern with Ohio State’s Zero Waste team, CFAES student Melina Mallory, pictured below, spent most of every football game day this season helping divert the tons of waste generated at Ohio Stadium—the beverage cans, nacho trays, and more from 105,000 people—away from landfills and into composting or recycling.

How did she and the team do? Here’s a hint: The football Buckeyes aren’t the only ones ranked No. 1 in the country.

In a recent Ohio State story, Los Angeles native Mallory, an environmental science major specializing in water science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources, said, “To be at Ohio State where you have a platform to show people this is what our world has to start doing, and we are doing it, is pretty cool.”

Read the full story. (Photo: Ohio State News.)

World Soil Day, world soil expert

Celebrate World Soil Day today, Dec. 5, by reading a recent story about CFAES’ own world soil expert, Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science, who received the Glinka World Soil Prize on last year’s World Soil Day and the Japan Prize shortly after that.

“In just a handful of soil,” the Ohio State Alumni Magazine story begins, “Rattan Lal ’68 PhD sees the key to feeding people, to preserving their land for generations, to making Earth a better place for all of us.”

Read the full story, and watch the related video above.

Breakfast to feature Ohio soil experts

The next monthly breakfast program by the CFAES-based Environmental Professionals Network will have you “Digging in With Ohio’s Soil Experts”—including Rattan Lal, CFAES’ 2019 Japan Prize laureate and Glinka World Soil Prize recipient—on the hows and whys of having healthy soils. It’s set for Wednesday, Dec. 4, the day before World Soil Day. Unearth details and register to join us.