April 2022 – Concurrent Student Research in Action Sessions

Concurrent Session 1: Environmental Equity and Justice

Moderators: Susie Ho (Monash University), Emma Conrad-Rooney (Boston University) and Julien Paradis (AgroSup, France)

NumberPresentersTitleAbstract
1Isabel Sevilla, Alexis Foster, Avery Schell, Ziwen Sun (Colorado State University)Burma Padauk: How Ecological Indicators Can Provide a Model for Sustainability Goal Planning in CambodiaRepresenting the country of Cambodia, we are analyzing the SDGs, pressures, drivers, current state, impacts, and responses related to the endangered vegetation Pterocarpus macrocarpus, Burma Padauk. We are focusing on the three SDGs of 13: Climate Action, 15: Life on Land, and 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure due to their high correlation to the species, species habitat, and conservation issues. We will discuss how and why the Burma Padauk is endangered, as well as what is being done to protect this species and others like it through discussion in the drivers, current state, and responses both publicly and governmentally.
2Aiden Franklin, Ben Walker, Caroline Spirt, Diego Tovar (Colorado State University)The Togo Slippery Frog and DPSIR FrameworksOur presentation will demonstrate how the Togo Slippery Frog plays an important role in both socio-economic and environmental factors of Togo. These include conservation efforts to restore forests and creating protected areas. This will impact eco-tourism, biodiversity loss and forest fragmentation, as well as agricultural practices. The presentation will also dive deeper into drivers and pressures, such as logging, harvesting, and hunting. The Togo Slippery Frog plays a crucial role in Togo and will be investigated through trends and analysis.
3Anna Shapulenko, Ekaterina Borshchevskaia, Erdni Mangutov (United World Colleges, Moscow State University, Saint Petersburg State University)Pollution in the Arctic: Oil and gas extraction on the continental shelf as a major contributorThe pollution in the Arctic region is partly generated by offshore hydrocarbon projects. The core of the problem is gas flaring which is responsible for rising black carbon emissions in the region. We examined oil spills and other accidents leading to the release of pollutants. The history of the problem was overviewed, the scale and dynamics were assessed. The main consequences with a primer focus on biodiversity and indigenous peoples were analyzed. Finally, we propose several measures to resolve this issue, including the promotion of bird rehabilitation centers, raising awareness on the health problems caused by pollution among indigenous peoples, as well as improving oil spill response systems.
4Mariia Goncharova (Moscow State Linguistic University)The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on EducationThe COVID-19 pandemic has affected many life spheres of the world community bringing huge losses and inconveniences, the consequences of which we will still struggle with in the near future. One of these consequences was a severe blow to the educational system, which led to the aggravation of existing problems as well as further increases in inequality to students. I would like to draw attention to some key consequences, thereby once again drawing attention to this problem and showing how serious the consequences that we need to deal with are.
DebriefAll speakersOverarching debrief of all talks (10 minutes)What were the themes and commonalities among the talks in your session? These ideas will be captured for presentation at COP27
Concurrent Session 2: Indicator Species, Sustainability & Society

Moderators:  Leah Dundon (Vanderbilt University) and Brij Parmar (Monash University)

NumberPresentersTitleAbstract
1Anna Montesanti, Aude de Ruffray, Minna Munson, Cailin Stevens (Colorado State University)The Jamaica Boa as the Ecological Indicator of Jamaica IslandToday, 221 endemic species in Jamaica are considered vulnerable to extinction. In this presentation, we have selected one: the Jamaican boa, which is our ecological indicator.
In our presentation we will explore how the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise, flooding and deforestation affect the Jamaican boa, and more generally, alter the insular state. Faced with these emergencies, we will also present the DPSIR figure with the solutions envisaged by the country and how they are linked to the three sustainable development goals (SDGs 9,11,13) we have selected for Jamaica.
2Helen Flynn, Abigail Hall, Keana Shadwell, Natasha Daney (Colorado State University)The Red Colobus of Nigeria – A DPSIR AnalysisStudying endangered species is vital in understanding the state of ecosystems and socio-ecological dynamics. Via a DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts, Responses) analysis, we explored the state of the critically endangered Piliocolobus Epieni, or the Niger Delta Red Colobus. The main pressure on the species is habitat loss, and the driver of this pressure is human development. Pressures have resulted in habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and human health implications. However, the species is still in decline. In response, the community in the area is supporting conservation and regulations, and more research is being conducted.
3Mo Chen, Miguel Solis Garcia, Samuel Britton, Samantha Gill (Colorado State University)Effects of Habitat Loss on Portugal’s Prunus lusitanica subsp. azoricaOur presentation will focus on the endangered species Prunus lusitanica subsp. azorica which is found in the Azores region of Portugal. The plant is severely threatened in this area by habitat loss and fragmentation that is caused by extreme forest fires in the area as well as the logging and timber industry. It would be a devastating loss of a native species as well have effects on the other native animals that rely on this plant.
4Angelica Andrade, Stojan Hansen, Lexi Hersh, Kade Rogers, Lauren Balsley (Colorado State University)Climate Change and Nubian Ibex of EgyptThe Nubian Ibex is native to the North Western corner of Africa stretching into the Arabian Peninsula and is listed as a ‘Vulnerable’ species on the IUCN Red List. Utilizing the DPSIR framework, the Nubian Ibex can be protected and allowed to regrow in a way that not only benefits the animal itself, but also the health of other species that coexist alongside the ibex.  Large-scale conservation efforts are imperative for maintaining human-environment relationships in order to ensure sustainable use of all ecosystem goods and services, and important animals like the Ibex serve as indicators of sustainability and environmental health.
DebriefAll speakersOverarching debrief of all talks (10 minutes)What were the themes and commonalities among the talks in your session? These ideas will be captured for presentation at COP27
Concurrent Session 3: Senior, Graduate and PhD Research

Moderators: Gillian Boswer (Colorado State University) and Ayush Chutani (Michigan Technical University)

NumberPresentersTitleAbstract
1Joanna Joy Torreda (Monash University)Sustainability of Organic Agriculture Using the Sixth Industrialization in the Philippines: A Case Study of Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, LagunaPeople see organic agriculture differently. It can be a luxurious necessity while to others it is a way of helping the environment and keeping the body healthy. It is quickly gaining its momentum in the agriculture sector but still far from its full potential. The main objective of this study is to see the different challenges affecting the sustainability of a farm in the Philippines that uses the sixth industrialization, a Japanese management strategy related to organic farming.
2Jessica Cordaro (University of Wisconsin)Cooking to Connect – Food Education Through a Sustainability LensTake a bite into a project-based learning experience that takes place in the kitchen. See how cyber school students learn cooking skills, content knowledge and how to create a sustainable future while examining the impact of food on the environment and making recipes to reduce food waste. 
3Christopher U. Ezeh (Kswame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology)Modelling Soil Erosion Using the Revised Universal Soil Equation Model (RUSLE) in Anambra, NigeriaSoil erosion is a major environmental problem ravaging Anambra, Nigeria. The soil loss was assessed via a RUSLE Model integrated into a GIS environment. The annual soil loss in the area ranges from 0 to over 5000 tha-1yr-1 with an annual mean of 18.9 tha-1yr-1. It shows that severe erosion occurs in the central, southern and eastern parts of the area. The areas within the tolerable erosion rates are about 65.64% (3179.6 km2) of the area while about 28.03% (1357.77 km2) is under extreme soil erosion. However, there are very wide variations in the soil erosion across the area with a standard deviation of 88.6 tha-1yr-1. Thus, the severe soil degradation going on in the area calls for immediate and sustainable intervention to conserve the soil.
4Jack Martinus, Miles Innes, Cameron Anderson, Brian Sasaki (Colorado State University)Connecting a DPSIR model and SDGs to the Sierra Leone PriniaSierra Leone is a West African country that is home to eight million people. As a developing country with an increasing population, it faces the challenges of creating affordable yet sustainable infrastructure, updating its agricultural sector, and combating the implications of climate change. Focusing on the endangered Sierra Leone Prinia (Schistolais leontica) as an indicator species, these challenges can be assessed through a DPSIR model. Connecting the indicator species, DPSIR model, and Sustainable Development Goals will create appropriate solutions for Sierra Leone to develop sustainably.
DebriefAll speakersOverarching debrief of all talks (10 minutes)What were the themes and commonalities among the talks in your session? These ideas will be captured for presentation at COP27
Concurrent Session 4:  Education, Health and Sustainability

Moderators: Brain Forist (Indiana University) and Keegan Schealer (Moravian University)

NumberPresentersTitleAbstract
1Abbey Lehigh, Sam Merino-Herzog, Soph Corioso, Kennalyn Peterson  (Colorado State University)Marine Pollution in the Mediterranean
(Croatia DPSIR Framework for Adriatic Sturgeon)
An investigation on human actions effects on the Mediterranean ecosystem, looking specifically at the effects on the Adriatic Sturgeon. As human populations in the area continue to increase and seek opportunities to reverse the harm of traditionally unsustainable practices, it is valuable to consider ecological indicators and how their population dynamics can be interpreted to better understand environmental harms. Using the DPSIR (driver, pressure, state, impact, response) evaluation format we seek to better understand what is causing the population decline of the Adriatic Sturgeon and what responses the country of Croatia, and the EU, have taken to reverse these harms.
2Ryley Gross, Kendall Murphy, Spencer Tenant
(Colorado State University)
Human Impacts on the Southern Lapwing: a DPSIR FrameworkThe Southern Lapwing is the national bird in Uruguay. There are drivers in Uruguay such as agricultural practices, tourism, and expansion of industry that directly impacts this species. Agricultural practices lead to land use change and soil erosion and Southern Lapwing rely on this land to build their nests on and the land is being compromised by industrialization.  The state of Uruguay reflects the industrial practices through habitat loss, loss of biodiversity, sea level rise, etc. The Southern Lapwing is increasingly at risk since their habitat and resources they rely on is being degraded by human activities.
3Alexis Tanner, Dasha Petrova, Aubry Sapp, Tierra Stansbury (Colorado State University)The Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana (Cyclura cychlura) as an Ecological Indicator in The DPSIR Framework for the Commonwealth of the BahamasA DPSIR—which stands for – drivers-pressures-state-impact-response – is a framework for modeling the interactions between social and environmental factors. It is an aid in understanding the influencing factors in a state or country, interconnectedness of social-ecological systems and can inform policymakers in their decision-making process. Using The Bahamas’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, and other sources, we have crafted a DPSIR network model for The Commonwealth of the Bahamas that lays out the current conditions, influences, and responses of the small island developing state.
4Paige Lewis, Fiona Hynes, Gabe Farrier, Tony Cabrales (Colorado State University)Albanian Tulip and Sustainable DevelopmentAs a developing country, Albania still relies heavily upon coal and agriculture. Drivers such as coal mining, deforestation and livestock grazing result in increased carbon emissions, reduced freshwater availability and habitat destruction. Land degradation due to soil degradation and erosion as well as reduced water availability pressures the local ecosystem, making it hard for endangered species such as the Albanian tulip to survive. Albania’s main industries, coal and agriculture, have adverse effects globally as well, such as increasing global temperatures, causing species extinction and decreasing soil moisture. In response to these drivers of industry, Albania must adapt to different energy sources and mitigate the adverse effects of agriculture.
5Jenna Wooten, Blake Buhrer, LeAnna Warren, Yujin Bao (Colorado State University)The Mauritius Olive White-EyeGiven the dramatic decline in the population of the Mauritius Olive white-eye, this species has been listed as critically endangered. This bird is endemic to Mauritius, yet its habitat has been destroyed for infrastructure, introduced species have turned this species into prey and have also taken over this species’ niche. Mauritius has the responsibility and obligation to explore and analyze the correlation between the Mauritius Olive white-eye and SDGs, pressures, drivers, states, impacts, and responses. Previously, this team has perceived this bird as an ecological indicator species: wildlife that gives insight into the surrounding ecosystem’s health. We will focus on the analysis of the Mauritius Olive white-eye in combination with SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 15: Life on Land, considering their high relevance to the living environment and conservation issues of this species.
DebriefAll speakersOverarching debrief of all talks (10 minutes)What were the themes and commonalities among the talks in your session? These ideas will be captured for presentation at COP27
Concurrent Session 5:  Industry, Community and Sustainability

Moderators: Shane French (Monash University) and Chloe Recouvreur (AgroSup, France)

NumberPresentersTitleAbstract
1Allie Lawler, Avery Ackelbein, Kristin Karashinski, Leah Mendoza (Colorado State University)Singapore DPSIRThe Singapore freshwater crab is an ecological indicator for Singapore that is vulnerable to climate change effects such as saltwater intrusion. In response, Singapore has committed to a set of NDCs that can be linked to SDGs the country also has to further prevent climate related disruptions to species like the Singapore freshwater crab. This project will explore the connections made between the Singapore freshwater crab and other aspects of sustainability in Singapore through a DPSIR framework to go into more depth on these connections and the future of sustainability and meeting climate action goals in Singapore.
2Monserrat Rodriguez, Cody Bingham, Mae Tice, Kaitlyn Weber (Colorado State University)Austrian DPSIR and NDCsThe DPSIR model relates an Austrian species, the golden eagle, to Austria’s Nationally Determined Contributions as outlined by the European Union’s Sustainable Development Goals. This poster discusses the cultural significance of this ecological indicator species and relates that to the sustainability efforts happening within Austria. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that closely relate to our ecological indicator include 15: Life on Land, 13: Climate Action, and 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. Austria’s Nationally Determined Contributions also closely relate to these chosen SDGs that are listed above.
3Owen Eastberg, Andrew Jussila, Noah Nosek, and Weinan Zhao (Colorado State University)Comoros Mongoose LemurWe will be speaking on the Mongoose Lemur of Comoros, which is a critically endangered species. The species is a great contributor to the ecosystems it inhabits, so it is an important species to preserve. The species is being threatened by numerous things, and it is receiving very little to no protection from local agencies.
4Gunnar Wagner, Katrina Gilman, Adam Barrett and Bryce Weinell (Colorado State University)
African Wild Dogs as an Ecological Indicator Species In Burkina FasoBurkina Faso is a small, landlocked country in arid West Africa, which is home to an isolated population of the endangered African Wild Dog. Throughout this report, we will explore the current ecological condition of Burkina Faso and work being done in the country to help mitigate ecosystem impacts and establish ecosystem resilience. These concepts will be explored within the context of African Wild Dogs, which we have selected as an ecological indicator species to represent the narrative of climate and adaptation in Burkina Faso.
5Amanda McLean, Brendan Gildea, Kaleigh Kennedy, Emilija Miskinyte (Colorado State University)The Lappet-faced Vulture as an Ecological Indicator of MaliWe explore the Lappet-faced vulture as an ecological indicator of climate change effects in Mali. We use the DPSIR framework to assess how this species can give insight on the effects of climate change and other issues.
DebriefAll speakersOverarching debrief of all talks (10 minutes)What were the themes and commonalities among the talks in your session? These ideas will be captured for presentation at COP27
Indiana University Poster Hall (padlet)
PresentersTitleAbstract
Darian Belcher, Casey Hallenbeck, Emma Milton, Anna Tarner (Indiana University)Investigating the Relationship Between Green Spaces and their Impacts on Marginalized CommunitiesGreenspaces are natural areas that are set apart for recreation/leisure within a community. The purpose of these spaces includes promoting healthy habits and increasing the wellbeing of all users. However, research has identified barriers that negatively impact usage of greenspaces within marginalized communities. According to Checker (2011), “marginalized and vulnerable people tend to be disproportionately exposed to environmental harm… and typically have less access to environmental benefits” (p. 3). Individuals, specifically People of Color (POC), feel unwelcome in public spaces, along with experiencing unfair land distribution and lack of resources. There must be reform in the way that greenspaces are viewed.
Brittany Sanders, Marina Cridge, Stephanie Perez, Lizbeth Roque (Indiana University)Redlining and a Legacy of Environmental RacismEnvironmental racism is the disproportionate disadvantages that people of a minority background face due to systemic practices regarding the environment. One of the largest contributors was redlining which laid the foundation for current environmental injustices such as reduced air quality within communities of color, specifically Black Americans. Considering structural racism as a factor in low community environmental health, developing guidelines that strive to correct past policies, as well as enforcing regulations, will go a long way towards ending environmental racism.
Will Cannon, Julia Ramirez
(Indiana University)
Urban Farming for Environmental JusticeUrban areas, especially those with large populations of marginalized groups, suffer from issues such as “grocery red-lining” and increased food inaccessibility. Both are forms of Environmental Injustice. Direct and Indirect consequences of Environmental Injustice include a decline in mental and physical health, sense of community, environmental education, and the many more long-term effects. According to a study by the Chicago Department of Public health, surveying locations in different cities found that in the Chicago lawn neighborhood of Chicago only 37% of food stores sell fresh produce (Block et al. 2005). By encouraging urban gardening, we can help people have greater access to fresh produce.
Bennett Schramko (Indiana University)Coral Reef RestorationUnfortunately, humans have impacted coral reefs in many different negative ways. The most obvious way we have destroyed coral reefs is by polluting them. Whether it’s by trash debris by everyday people or sewage/oil from different treatment plant operation companies, we are slowly destroying the once beautiful coral reefs. According to research done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the world has lost 30 to 50 percent of its coral reefs already. With almost half of the coral reefs lost, tropical reef ecosystems could face extinction by the end of the century. Ways to restore the reefs include planting some nursery-grown corals and building coral resilience to threats such as pollution. These actions would help sustain these new reefs.
Bryson Oliver, Ben Peters, Brett Leonard
(Indiana University)
Microplastics in UsMicroplastics, characterized as particles smaller than 5 mm, have become increasingly common in waterways, food sources, as well as the end-consumers such as humans. These plastics can be increasingly harmful, especially the amount within humans. The dangers are not fully known yet to humans, but there should be concern. One area of concern should be the cerebral cells in humans (Schirinzi et al., 2017).
Austin Crouch, Sarah VanHoosier, Lauren Chasteen
(Indiana University)
Reducing Pollution in Indiana: Strategies for SuccessIndiana has experienced, and is still experiencing, many different forms of pollution; this issue is not only negatively affecting the environment, but also the health of Indiana residents. The Chicago Tribune states, “Indiana leads the nation in toxic pollution emitted per square mile, according to an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report” (Colias-Pete, 2021). This is a widespread issue affecting the state and its residents in many ways. One way to address this would be to work with affected communities and educating them on the dangers of pollution as well as the best ways to mitigate the issues. Additionally, working with companies to find innovative options can help to reduce their pollutant output while working towards fixing the damage they have already done.
Gibson Burdett, Joey Copeland, Anna Noel
(Indiana University)
Sustainability and Mental Health Benefits of Urban Greening/InfrastructureCities are centers of environmental pollution and experience higher percentages of mental health issues. Concrete and metal make up the majority of cities, contributing to problems such as runoff, increased carbon emissions, and depression. Some of the most effective methods of reducing carbon emissions and storm water control come from natural ecosystems. There has also been a direct link between mental health benefits and green spaces (Coutts, 2015). Green infrastructure such as bioswales and green roofs can address natural methods of flood and carbon control, while also providing a green getaway from the city to improve mental health.
Sydney Cash, Delia Novak, Sarah Pritchett, Rocco Tedesco (Indiana University)Analyzing the “Eco” in Ecotourism: Costs and Benefits of South American Case Studies While frequently touted as an effective mechanism for environmental conservation and community development, the burgeoning ecotourism industry and its impacts on ecological health and sociocultural preservation require further scrutiny. The most successful examples of ecotourism offer “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people” (Stem et al., 2003, p. 323). Over time, however, ecotourism projects can also provoke negative impacts like increased habitat disturbance, solid waste generation, and the erosion of cultural autonomy. We seek to explore this multifaceted industry by analyzing different South American case studies of ecotourism projects and how they intersect with indigenous communities, ecological restoration, and economic growth.
Ali Brewer, Abby Ericson, Amanda Isaacson, Lilly Rust (Indiana University)Sustainability Impacts of the Fast Fashion IndustryDue to overconsumption, increased demand, and micro-seasons in the fashion industry, clothes are being rapidly produced— harming both human and environmental health. These negative impacts are seen at every stage of the fast fashion cycle, from textile production to the end-user or landfill. As the industry continues to turnover fashion trends with more and more frequency, these consequences continue to intensify. Fashion brands are now producing almost twice the amount of clothing today compared with before the year 2000 (Niinimäki, et al., 2020). However, as awareness improves, companies and consumers are seeking out ways to mitigate their environmental impacts.
Eva Ladd (Indiana University)Ecobricking, A Way to Recycle At HomePlastic is one of the world’s most common trash and recyclable waste. Improper disposal can lead to great environmental harm. The question then becomes how do we deal with disposal? “Once in the environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that attract toxic chemicals, are ingested by wildlife on land and in the ocean, and contaminated our food way,” (Maqueda, 2010). One solution is ecobricking—where plastic bottles are filled with non-biodegradable plastic in order to promote plastic sequestration and stop their toxins being released into the environment. Ecobricks can be used to create garden walls, benches, etc.
Sam Shafer, Thomas Vlasic, Darby Williams (Indiana University)How Urban Gardening Can Contribute to Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesUrban gardening helps to create inclusive and sustainable cities through decreasing air pollution, reducing waste, and supporting the natural habitat suppressed by the city. Urban gardening contributes to sustainable communities by providing cheap/easy access to healthy food, self-sufficiency, and a strengthened sense of community.
Michael Dowd (Indiana University)Noise Pollution: The Forgotten Environmental HazardEnvironmental noise pollution is a pervasive problem in America today. Americans have little in their arsenal against noise pollution and the threat it poses to human health. Yet, historically it has been treated as a distant last in comparison to other types of environmental pollutants. Both acute and chronic exposure to environmental noise pollution negatively impact human health and can lead to adverse long-term effects (Hammer et al., 2014, p. 116). Solutions to improve human health, such as direct regulation and altering the built environment to lower human exposure to environmental noise, need to be driven by policy.
India Street, Kamebry Wagner, Emma Milton, Maggie Gardner, Molly Creech (Indiana University)The Effects of Noise Pollution on Human and Environmental HealthNoise pollution is harmful to both human health and nature. Environmental noise pollution is a form of air pollution and is a threat to health and well-being (Jariwala et al., 2017). Methods of combatting noise pollution are many. Methods studied here include: depressing freeways and arterial roads below the level of adjoining residential areas; using roadside noise barriers; creating maximum separation between roads and new buildings; siting high-rise buildings at the front of a development, providing acoustic shielding for any low-rise buildings; and using natural topographic features to the best acoustic advantage.