environment

Geomiracles

 

Science fiction and popular science writer Arthur C. Clarke once wrote that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Riffing on that theme, I once gave a talk in which I proclaimed that "any sufficiently improbable event is distinguishable from the miraculous." Some definitions of "miracle" invoke the divine or supernatural, but I have in mind the definition (in this case from the Merriam-Webster dictionary) as: "an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment." The point of the argument is that, due to the inescapable, irreducible role of geographical and historical contingency in Earth surface systems, all such systems (landscapes, ecosystems, soils, etc.) are unique in some respects (a formal argument along these lines is presented in this article: Phillips, J.D.  2007.  The perfect landscape.  Geomorphology 84: 159-169.). Thus the probability of existence of any given state of any given system at a given point in time is infinitesimally low. This exceedingly low probability makes nearly any environment in some senses extremely outstanding and unusual, and thus a miracle.

Greenhouse Commercial: see blue. live green.

We wanted to make a really cool commercial to show the world all the great things happening with UK's new Environment and Sustainability Residential College - Greenhouse.

Unfortunately, this is what the auditions looked like.

see blue. live green.

Go to greenhouse.uky.edu to find out more details. You can also find us on Facebook at facebook.com/UKGreenhouse

Stormwater Management with Greenhouse's Carmen Agouridis

When it rains on roads, rooftops and parking lots at the University of Kentucky, where does all of the untreated stormwater go? Stormwater flows across these impervious surfaces picking up pollutants such as sediment, nutrients, pathogens, and trash before it flows through a series storm sewers on its ways to streams. Currently, this stormwater is not treated, but can we change that? Various entities on campus decided to tackle this question including Drs. Carmen Agouridis (Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering), Ned Crankshaw and Brian Lee (Landscape Architecture), and Rick Durham (Horticulture); the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment; and the Department of Environmental Management . What started out as a student vision, for turning a non-functioning detention basin into a beneficial stormwater treatment system, has become a reality thanks in part to funding from UK’s Student Sustainability Council and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Visit the website for more info: tfise.uky.edu Also visit greenhouse.uky.edu to find out more about UK's Environment & Sustainability Residential College.

Inside Greenhouse: Shannon Bell and Alan Fryar

Two of the faculty co-directors, Shannon Bell from the Department of Sociology and Alan Fryar from the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, share some of their thoughts about the exciting new opportunity that Greenhouse can provide for students living on campus.

UK’s Greenhouse is designed for students interested in learning different aspects of their local environment, all in the context of sustainability. Greenhouse students will extend their classroom learning through community engagement with organizations and like-minded students committed to developing a sustainable Lexington.

Visit the website for more info: greenhouse.uky.edu

Inside Greenhouse: Shane Tedder and Mariah Lewis

UK Sustainability Coordinator Shane Tedder and Student Programming Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability Mariah Lewis, share some of their thoughts about the exciting new opportunity that Greenhouse can provide for students living on campus.

UK’s Greenhouse is designed for students interested in learning different aspects of their local environment, all in the context of sustainability. Greenhouse students will extend their classroom learning through community engagement with organizations and like-minded students committed to developing a sustainable Lexington.

Visit the website for more info: greenhouse.uky.edu

New Faculty 2013: Meet Michael McGlue

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences is excited to welcome Assistant Professor Michael McGlue to its faculty!
 
McGlue's research background rests in both stratigraphy—or the study of rock layers and layering—and Earth history. In both cases, McGlue aims to answer questions related to environmental change and energy resources. In the decade that McGlue has spent studying these issues, his research has carried him around the world and he has plans to carry it even further here at UK.
 
This podcast is part of a series highlighting the new faculty members who joined the College of Arts and Sciences in the fall 2013 semester.
 

Produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Human Side of the Environment

By Guy Spriggs

According to Spanish and topical studies major Sammi Meador, it can be hard to use words like environmentalism and sustainability when talking about her personal and academic interests.

“These are hot topics right now,” Meador said, “and a lot of people think these are just wishy-washy terms.”

As she explains, however, sustainability is about far more than buzz words and empty gestures. Environmental studies is also about people.

Mountains of Empowerment

SOC 360: Environmental Sociology with John Johnson

A sociological study of the emergence of the environment as a social issue in contemporary societies. Topics may include the social, cultural and economic factors associated with the perception of environmental issues; risk perception; and the mobilization of publics around environmental issues.

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