School Time Approacheth!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo credit: Merissa Mueller

Summer is drawing to a close and as the hours on my banking excel sheet dwindle, it seems like a good idea to summarize the projects I have worked on this summer. After all, for all you know I have been sitting at this desk watching The Mentalist and Lie to Me, twiddling my thumbs (which I did do, for a week actually- more on that later).

I began my summer with data crunching. I sat in front of my computer staring at piles of data that was gathered by Eric Crighton’s first year Global Environmental Challenges class and compiling it into more useful information with the aid of pivot tables. The finished product was produced by Jon because of his talent with infographics. I also spent some of my time reviewing last year’s surveys and fixing them up to be more geographically correct (thank you, methods courses) for Crighton’s next year class.

On campus we have a board entitled the “SUDCOM” or Sustainable Development Committee that oversees various green initiatives on campus. I basically spent a month trying to put together a new format for this group and prepare for coming September- writing up all sorts of fancy agreements and letters which now get to be translated to make them legit before they get sent out to our new recruits. I’m excited for this to get up and running as it plays a major role in decision making on campus.

Who doesn’t love a good community garden? On campus, even better! Yes, the start of the summer involved a bit of planning and prep for our community garden including some surveying of past participants and writing up requests for space. Once we got the gardens created, they ran themselves! But now that the season is almost done, I sent ot some surveys hoping for some great feedback for next year.

Furniture inventory for the recycling program on campus would have gone a lot better except that we’re in the process of finding a new space. ALT 101 week kind of went for a flop too after I had mapped out a lovely green tour and started a workshop- oh well! We are still doing the Free Store for them and International Students.

Green guides! I have felt like Katherine with the amount of people I have been calling and emailing for answers about making events more sustainable on campus. It is close to complete thankfully and should be ready for some time in September if all goes well!

Let’s think.. what else.. mapping, of course! It took up the majority of my summer after all, gathering data for Emerald Ash Borer in Sandy Hill and for Transportation on campus. I am a G.I.S expert and my laptop and I have formed a bond over the hours I have spent in ArcMap trying to plot data. We are also starting to think about an accessibility map on campus which will be quite the challenge!

There were numerous other things I helped out with like Dump and Run- gotta love doing dishes for six hours straight and folding compost liners for residence students- hence the twiddling my thumbs while watching The Mentalist. This summer has been fantastic overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed working here in Ottawa and only mildly miss my home town.


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