Volume 10 (2018)
Ritzel & Cosgrove: SIU Carbondale Touch of Nature Environmental Center: A Long History of Environmental Education
Authors: Dale O. Ritzel, Ph.D. and Mark "Skip" Cosgrove, M.S.
Abstract: Based upon a presentation given at the 8th Winter Meeting of the International Consortium for Interdisciplinary Education about Health and the Environment, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany - December 6-7, 2014.
"... Here we have national forests, national and state bird and game refuges, beautiful state parks, magnificent scenery, an archeological treasure house, a rich and revealing natural geological laboratory, and a region favored with recreational possibilities in its lakes, its forests, its hills, its streams."
"It is obvious that we need to develop thorough, on-going instructional and research programs in such field as Forestry, Horticulture, Recreation, Geography, Geology, Sociology, Archaeology, Ichthyology, Ornithology, Flood Control, and Wildlife Studies."
Quotes from Dr. Delyte Morris' 1948 inaugural address as President of Southern Illinois University
Bannwarth: Contribution to the discussion about brown coal burning: Effects of brown coal ash and FGD gypsum on ecosystems. Ways to a better understanding of human influence on environment
Author: Horst Bannwarth
Abstract: Criticisms of brown coal burning fall mostly under the aspect of its contribution to emission of carbon dioxide CO2 and subsequently to the climate problematic. Moreover brown coal mining and coal combustion have a bad image, largely because of the landscape destruction and the possible environmental pollution caused by heavy metals, the most common of which is mercury. On a contrary note, this contribution, points out the positive effects of minerals in lignite coal ashes and gypsum from desulphurization plants (FGD gypsum) on environment and health in order to get a better understanding of the influence of human beings on the environment, the concept of human action, responsibility and care. The idea of “biomimetic” use of natural resources for energy supply and for re-cultivation, harmonized and adapted on natural conditions that include carbon recycling and recycling of minerals has also been proposed. Results and conclusions were obtained through a combination of simple experiments, investigations and observations. Students were encouraged to construct their own concept of understanding. These ways are beneficial to expedite the understanding of the positive effects of ashes and FGD gypsum on plant growth and on acidic mineral deficient soils including the “self-liming effect”. The importance of the concept of “action oriented responsibility and care” in education has been emphasized.
Stolz: Living with the legacy of Coal
Author: John F Stolz
Abstract: Coal has played a crucial role in the advancement of humankind and the development of civilization. It fueled the industrial revolution, the creation of the electrical grid that powers developed countries and helped build Pittsburgh into a major American city. This legacy, however, is tempered by the environmental and human health costs. A major contributor to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and concomitant global warming, it has also resulted in diminished air quality with smoke and particulates, especially PM2.5. The need for proper disposal of coal combustion byproducts (CCB) produced by power plants has resulted in a number of suggested beneficial uses including soil augmentation. These applications, however, must be tempered by the understanding that microbial activity can impact the mobility and toxicity of the metals and metalloids in the CBB, increasing the risk of soil, surface water and groundwater contamination.