Sunday March 12, 2017

SEE: Sustainability, Energy & the Environment

Sustainability, Energy, Environment Integrated Living-Learning Community 2016-2017

The SEE ILLC students were welcomed during New Student Orientation by an ice-cream social where they met the SEE faculty and sophomores, juniors and seniors that had previously been in the SEE ILLC.  A Welcome Night featured presentations on summer breakouts and local service initiatives by older UD students engaged in Sustainability, Energy, Environment concerns, including members of ETHOS, River Stewards, Sustainability Club, Hanley Sustainability Institute (HSI) student fellow, and student sustainability leaders.  

September and March brought full-day trips to the Cincinnati zoo - the greenest zoo in the US - to experience their sustainability initiatives.  In November, many enjoyed a trip to Yellow Springs, where Dr. Al McGrew led a hike in Glen Helen and Dr. Bob Brecha shared his strawbale home and other energy-efficiency initiatives.  Students relaxed in Yellow Springs village over Ha-Ha pizza and at Young’s Dairy Farm, enjoying ice cream, the animals, and miniature golf.

On many Friday or Saturday autumn and springtime afternoons, there were service field trips to participate in land service work at two Dayton land connected organizations where UD alumni are in leadership.  At Mission of Mary farm, students learned about urban food deserts and helped harvest fresh produce for the neighborhood.  At the Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC), students harvested native plant seeds in the fall, planted in the winter, and enjoyed hikes on the 100-acre nature preserve.  

Several taco bar Dinner Dialogues connecting sustainability, justice, and faith-concerns were held over the year, which allowed SEE ILLC students to mix with older students and members of the greater Dayton community.  During Hunger Awareness week in November, we learned about Dayton food deserts and the hunger and urban farming initiatives.  In February, we watched the movie Racing Extinction and learned about the impacts of our food choices on climate change and species diversity.  

We kicked off the spring semester hearing from faculty, students, and alumni speakers engaged in sustainability initiatives locally, nationally, and internationally and were inspired to think about how we could engage.  Many enrolled in the Exploring SEE mini-course for the spring semester, to continue the field trips, special-event experiences, and earn some free academic credit too!  

A full-day Saturday field trip to Newport Aquarium featured a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour and stop at Jungle Jim's International Market. On a  Friday afternoon in February, we headed downtown to experience several sustainability initiatives including the Proto-Build Bar 3-D printing and Riverscape’s educational features about Dayton inventiveness regarding flood control. River Stewards who were formerly in the SEE ILLC led a group to view some of the rivers and dams of Dayton’s five-rivers systems.The trip also included a stop at the 2nd Street Market downtown.     

The February Winter Wisdom retreat -- The Nature of Living Simply held at the Marianist Environmental Education Center and co-sponsored by the  Hanley Sustainability Institute -- gave opportunities for guided nature hikes, learning about native Ohio plants and pollinators, and ways to meditate and reflect with nature and be inspired for action on sustainability.

We joined packed Kennedy Union Ballrooms for two very inspiring events.  The student-led Climate Change Forum helped us explore our own thoughts and feelings about climate change and energy choices; we learned from other students about the facts on surrounding the issues and UD initiatives.  We also posed questions to faculty from diverse departments who shared their perspectives.  The young adult founder of Living Lands Waters, Chad Pregracke inspired us all with his story of cleaning up the Mississippi and encouragement to engage locally to respond to environmental needs.




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