Oct. 8, 2015 — Allegheny College is among 85 colleges showcased in the National Wildlife Federation’s new guide “The Campus Wild: How College and University Green Landscapes Provide Havens for Wildlife and ‘Lands-on’ Experiences for Students.”
The guide highlights how colleges and universities are playing a dynamic role in protecting wildlife and restoring habitats in campus green spaces. It also explores how campus green spaces can benefit students, faculty and staff with leadership opportunities, hands-on learning, energy savings, water conservation and much more.
The guide showcases Allegheny College’s Bousson Environmental Research Reserve, 283 acres of woodlands, ponds, streams and wetlands – home to many wildlife species – that Allegheny students and faculty use as an outdoor research lab. Professors have engaged students at Bousson in investigations on the carbon sequestration of trees, soil types and organic matter, aquatic habitats and local hydrology.
As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Allegheny conducts periodic greenhouse gas inventories, which include the carbon storage capacity of the Bousson Reserve. Research by Allegheny’s environmental science students showed that an estimated 627 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent is stored annually by the trees at Bousson, equaling about 170 tons of carbon or 4 percent of annual campus emissions.
“Students and faculty members at Allegheny pride themselves on working together on real world problems,” said Eric Pallant, Christine Scott Nelson Professor of Environmental Science and chair of the ES department at Allegheny College. “Through their research at Bousson, students learn that forests can help to reduce carbon pollution but that reducing carbon emissions is also critical.”
More information on “The Campus Wild” can be found at CampusEcology.org.
Photo: Professor Rich Bowden leads a research team at Bousson Environmental Research Reserve.