ENVS Funded Projects
Nick Righi, an alumni of Ithaca College where I graduated with a degree in Television-Radio and minors in Business Administration & Outdoor Recreation, created Invading the Everglades, a documentary on invasive species and their impact on the Florida Everglades. Righi was awarded Commit-to-Change funding through the Environmental Studies and Sciences department to help fund the film-making process of this documentary. Invasive species are a constant threat to delicate ecosystems such as the Florida Everglades. For over 200 years humans have had a great impact on these wetlands through agricultural development. More recently, the introduction of invasive species into the Everglades has proven to be detrimental to the native flora and fauna. An area once in balance has been disrupted by these foreign invaders, and is now in great danger. This documentary explains what invasive species are, where they came from, how invasive some species are, and what is being done to prevent future impacts such as Florida's Pet Amnesty Day.
For more information or if you would like to view Invading the Everglades
Jeff Hatzel (Environmental Science '11) presented in November at the Sigma Xi annual conference, which allowed Jeff to present his project: Reintroduction of American Chestnut (C. dentata) to the South Hill Natural Area where researchers from many disciplines attended this conference. Commit-to-Change funding assisted Hazel in travel to the annual conference to present his project as he studied the implementation of American chestnut seeds directly introduced into a forest ecosystem because of the Chestnut blight. Found in Hazel's research, despite the extreme weather of the growing season, germination rates on South Hill were not severely impacted. The deer cages are successful; yet herbivory by small rodents does still exist. Growth between test plots has been fairly consistent. Seeds started in the greenhouse have shown the most success, with nearly 100% germination. Regardless of the long-term results, this study will have important implications for a variety of fields. It will be important to disseminate this information to researchers from many other backgrounds.
In 2009 the Environmental Studies Department chose to support a student run project to build a small, community run organic garden on campus. With help from the department, many students helped to build a 60 x 80 foot garden plot down by the Facilities building on campus.
With the creation of the garden, a new student run organization was also created to manage the garden - the Organic Growers of Ithaca College.
You can see their progress!