Welcome to “The Sustainability Challenge”

I am engineer which means I love to solve problems – to find solutions, particularly when it comes to the environment. I am an optimist – deep down I believe a solution exists to most any problem though we may not be willing to accept the tradeoffs associated with that solution. I am also teacher at heart. I love working with students. My goal is to help students become engaged learners and critical thinkers.

Spring 2015 Seminars Offer a Chance to Explore

Ever wanted to learn more about rivers? What about energy production and use? Do you want to explore sustainability at local organizations? Are you ready for a Sustainability Challenge? If so, check out one of the 1 credit hour seminars offered through Greenhouse during the spring (2015) semester. Expect lots of hands-on experience AND FUN!
These seminars are open to students both in and outside Greenhouse. If you have questions, just let us know.

A World of Rivers (A&S 100-011, Tuesday, 4:00 PM - 4:50 PM)
Alan Fryar, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Sustainability at the University of Kentucky – How You Can Get Involved


Shane Tedder, the University of Kentucky’s Sustainability Coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, recently spoke to a group of students in Greenhouse’s A&S 100 course, Pathways and Barriers to Environmental Sustainability. Shane talked about what UK is doing to become more sustainable and how each of us, and particularly students, can become more involved in the process of making UK more sustainable. I love the word process. Processes involve steps or actions undertaken to reach a desired goal or endpoint. And as Shane pointed out, sustainability is a process of continuous improvement – an effort to enhance the positives and reduce the negatives.

Listening to Shane’s talk, I noted five key concepts. Here are his take-home messages:

1.Regardless of your major, learning about sustainability is important.

Live and learn with students from many majors

Tackling environmental and sustainability issues requires input from many points of view, and therefore, majors, because these issues are inherently complex. No single discipline has a lock on the environment or sustainability. The diversity of the directors’ specialty area is a reflection of this truth. While I am a biosystems and agricultural engineer, Dr. Arthur is a forest ecologist, Dr. Bell an environmental sociologist, and Dr. Fryar a hydrogeologist. Each of us approaches the environment and sustainability with a different set of skills and experiences, all of which are equally important.  

Greenhouse: UK’s new environment and sustainability residential college

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Ever since I was a little girl, one of the things I have loved most is wading through streams. I love feeling the coolness of the water on my legs. I love watching the water as it flows around bends and over rocks. I love turning over those very same rocks to find out what lives underneath. I have been lucky enough to play and work in streams in Kentucky, the U.S., and the world.

With each stream I visit, I think of a quote by the fluvial geomorphologist Luna Leopold: “The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.” Some streams I have visited were healthy and functioning well, while others were not.  Because of my love of streams and the environment, I decided to spend my career working on ways to improve the health and functioning of streams.  Luckily for me, while working at the University of Kentucky, I have been able to combine my love of streams and the environment with my love of teaching.

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