ARLINGTON - Planting trees, collecting electronic
waste for recycling and learning how to use barrels to collect rainwater are a
few of the ways that faculty, staff and students at The University of Texas at
Arlington will mark Earth Day next week.
Participants in UT Arlington Earth Day activities can exchange something recyclable for an herb plant.
The celebration starts on Wednesday,
April 20. From 8 a.m. to noon, volunteers will plant about 90 trees at
locations across campus. The saplings were donated by the city of Arlington.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., several
demonstrations – including aquaponic gardening, solar cooking and building rain
retention systems – will happen on the University Center mall. Keith McHenry, cofounder
of the Food Not Bombs movement, is
also scheduled to speak on campus Wednesday. Earth Day is Friday, April 22.
reminds students and the campus community about how changes in their daily
lives can help the planet,” said Meghna Tare, director of UT Arlington’s Office
of Sustainability. “It brings a sense of commitment and responsibility towards
planet Earth and motivates everyone to contribute towards keeping it
UT Arlington has launched several Earth-friendly
initiatives in the past year, including car-sharing and bike programs. The bike
program started in January when the Office of Sustainability chose 20 students
to receive a bike for the semester and opened up a bike repair shop in one of
the campus apartment buildings. The shop has become a busy place, both
servicing the University-owned bikes and others owned by faculty, staff and
students. Customers only pay for parts.
University faculty members also continue
to address environmental issues in their work, with the results sometimes
taking a surprising turn. Roger Meiners,
Goolsby Distinguished Professor of Economics and chair of the UT Arlington
Economics Department, recently co-authored a book called “The False Promise of
Green Energy.” The book offers a nearly
unprecedented evaluation of claims by green energy and green jobs proponents
that such emphasis can improve the economy and the environment, almost
risk-free, by spending billions of dollars.
“Green energy projects are rarely
pure research that could generate breakthroughs,” Meiners said. “We looked at
the issue with the critical eye of economic analysis. There are too many
unanswered questions, too many aspects of green energy that have not been
checked.” More information is available here.
Some other UT Arlington professors conducting
research with environmental themes include:
- Laura Mydlarz, assistant
professor of biology, is in the first year of a $409,537 National Science
Foundation grant to study coral disease, especially associated with
environmental stress and climate change. In her lab on campus, Mydlarz and her
students are analyzing samples of Caribbean coral that they collect during
summer field trips to Puerto Rico. She is working with researchers at the
University of Puerto Rico and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Andrew Hunt,
an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, will soon begin
testing a unique method for cleaning up dangerous lead contamination in urban
soil with the help of a new $498,138 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development. Hunt will use a phosphate called Apatite II to
treat plots of vacant land in New Orleans. Years of leaded gasoline use and
repeated applications of lead-based paint to the outside of homes have left
many areas in New Orleans and other urban environments with unsafe levels of
lead in the soil, Hunt said. More information is available here.
The University of Texas at
Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,800 students in the
heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.