Plant green trees to stop global warming? Answer has shades of gray

Kaiguang ZhaoCould planting trees actually worsen global warming? CFAES scientist Kaiguang Zhao discusses the seemingly counterintuitive question Thursday, Nov. 20, in the autumn seminar series by CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. Zhao’s research, according to his website, “focuses on mapping, monitoring, modeling and managing terrestrial environments across scales, especially in the context of global environmental changes.” (Photo: SENR.)

A wet, green buffer to harmful effects of development

image of water drops on green leaf

Rain gardens can give residential, commercial, and industrial developments a greener, and also bluer, footprint, says a CFAES student research project (1-page report; downloadable pdf or text file). “By reducing runoff volume and peak flow, (rain gardens) provide a dynamic internal water storage zone with the potential to improve water quality,” the researchers wrote. “Rain gardens … represent a sustainable and economical method for decreasing the volume of water that flows into rivers and streams during storm events.” The project was funded by the SEEDS grant program of CFAES’s research arm, OARDC.

Calendar worthy

calendar image for GBA reminder about several dates: This Thursday, Jan. 10, is the deadline to register for the Ohio Farmland Preservation Summit, which is Jan. 17 in Columbus. This Friday, Jan. 11, is the Ohio Land Use Conference, also in Columbus (registration closed Dec. 31). And next Tuesday, Jan. 15, is the registration deadline for the high tunnel workshop in Piketon in southeast Ohio.

Can religion and the environment mix?

Cal DeWitt, a leading Christian environmentalist, speaks five times in Wooster and Columbus later this week, sponsored four of those times by parts of our college. He’s a professor with the University of Wisconsin’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the author of Earth-wise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues, and as the elected town chair of Dunn, Wisc., helped develop an innovative, award-winning land use plan. None other than Bill McKibben (The End of Nature) has written, “I have a lot of heroes, but Cal DeWitt is high on the list.”

Maumee study: Why we do what we do there … and then what it does

Backed by a $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant, six departments at two universities (Ohio State, Case Western Reserve) will combine three science branches (social, physical, biological) to explore a single watershed — the Maumee River’s, the Great Lakes’ largest. Why? To better understand people’s actions there, especially when it comes to land use and policy, and how those actions affect Lake Erie. Factored in, too: Possible climate change impacts. Check out the project’s website.