On Thursday, July 24, the Institute of Green and Sustainable Science (IGSS) at Marian University held their fifth annual Community Symposium. The symposium included sustainability research presentations from Marian University and Butler University undergraduate students, local high school science teachers’ curriculum development, and research projects by Camp ROC and iROCC students.
The IGSS allows current undergraduates conduct research pertaining to environmental sustainability and green sciences.
“The IGSS program opened my eyes to green sciences and opened the door to doing more in this field in the future,” said Will Grabowski ’16.
Samantha Collins ’16 said, “This class helped me gain a very well-rounded understanding of environmental science as a whole. We covered all aspects of the subject, including the political side of things.”
Collins and Grabowski studied lonicera maackii, more commonly known as honeysuckle, for their research portion of the IGSS program this summer. Their goal was to see how honeysuckle affected bacterial communities in soil. Collins and Grabowski evaluated native ecosystems in the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab in comparison to areas in the Ecolab with honeysuckle. After much lab work, results showed that honeysuckle has a negative impact on the ecosystem decreasing biodiversity.
Students ranging from grades 8-11 worked on microbiology projects at ROC and iROCC camp. Some experiments included evaluating fertility in flies and looking for pathogenic E. Coli in frozen yogurt.
David Doub ’15, helped instruct ROC and iROCC students throughout their time at camp.
“These students were all pretty spectacular. I was completely floored by the ability of the students to use the information they learned and apply it in a project,” said Doub.
The success of the 2014 ROC, iROCC, and IGSS showcased at the symposium has participants and teachers hoping that the programs continue to grow.
Carl Lecher, Ph.D., director of the IGSS and associate professor of chemistry, said, “In order to address some of our biggest problems in the 21st century, we have to have our smartest people working on them and I think we have that here through IGSS.”
“The symposium is a great opportunity for the IGSS to show how much work is being done in this field. I enjoyed helping this summer, and am really glad that Marian University runs programs like these. It makes me proud to be a Knight,” said Doub.
Collins said, “We had a variety of lecturers and learned so much. This was my favorite class I have taken at Marian University so far. Continuing education on the green sciences is really important, and I am glad Marian University is taking the steps to do that.”
Vendors from local sustainability and environmental organizations were present for the symposium and light food and refreshments were supplied by farmers’ market patrons.