Thursday, October 4, 2012

Environmental Lecture Series on The Ecology of Urban Living

The 21st Ashland University Environmental Lecture Series kicked off on Sept. 20 with a discussion of urban streams by Dr. Anne Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Geology, Kent State University. Our theme this year is "The Ecology of Urban Living."  

Dr. Jefferson's presentation was titled "The Science of Streams in the City" and can be viewed here.

This year's series continues Thursday, Oct. 11 with a presentation by by Dr. Parwinder Grewal, Director of the Center for Urban Development and the Environment at OSU-OARDC. He will be discussing "Urban Agriculture, Food Security, and Ecological Footprint of Cities."  [7:30 pm, HCSC Auditorium] 

Dr. Grewal will focus on the potential value and hurdles in developing sustainable urban agricultural enterprises. Daily needs of cities for food, water, energy, and other materials are met almost exclusively through importation of goods from distant places, often across continents. Urban agriculture offers a comprehensive framework for local self-reliance and resilience and a means to reducing the ecological footprint of cities. Interest in urban agriculture has escalated recently due to the accumulation of vacant land particularly in post-industrial U.S. cities and motivation to address food insecurity and childhood obesity issues in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Urban agriculture can revitalize affected neighborhoods and cities by generating new employment opportunities, increasing access to healthy food and sustaining cities by  forming closed-loop ecological systems with vacant spaces, waste water and solid waste as potential resources. 

Extension. Dr. Grewal’s basic research has  made important contributions to the mitigation of insect pests in both agricultural and urban settings.  Grewal created the interdisciplinary Urban Landscape Ecology Program,  which brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines to address challenges to urban landscapes and ecosystems.

The Environmental Lecture Series is supported by the Ashland University Environmental Science Program and a grant from the Lubrizol Foundation.  All lectures are free and open to the public.

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