Reducing our Environmental Footprint
Lakehead University is identifying sustainable practices and other ways to lessen its environmental footprint in Orillia and Thunder Bay.
Energy Wise: Work continues on Phase II of a $23.3-million campus renewal program in Thunder Bay, which has reduced Lakehead’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 4,600 tonnes per year and reduced its use of energy per square metre by over 40% since 2004. Last October, Lakehead was presented with a cheque for $71,783 from Union Gas in recognition of its energy conservation program, and was featured in the company's fall 2007 Energywise publication, promoting better energy management among public institutions.
LEED Building: Lakehead’s new campus building in Orillia will be seeking LEED certification at the Platinum level. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ranking system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council and is rapidly becoming the industry standard to measure the degree of sustainability.
Student Bus Pass: Students in Thunder Bay may now pick up a U-Pass from Transit Thunder Bay, entitling them to unlimited bus travel from September through April. The cost is $70 and is included in the student activity fee. Since the U-Passes were first issued last fall, transit ridership by Lakehead students has increased by 46% over last year.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycling programs are in place in Thunder Bay for cardboard, paper, glass, metal, batteries, fluorescent lamps, oil, grease, print cartridges, cell phones, ink-jet cartridges, and e-waste. Styrofoam products in the cafeteria have been replaced with china and biodegradable containers.
Buy Local: Whenever possible, Lakehead’s food service provider purchases food from local companies including Thunder Bay's George’s Market, De Bruins Greenhouse, Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, and B & B Farms.
Take a Bike: Students who ride their bike to Campus in Thunder Bay are now able to park in the Bike Shack, a secure, non-heated facility beside the William H. Buset Music and Visual Arts Building.
Tune In: Read Professor Reg Horne’s story “Orillia Students Do Something” in the online issue of Lakehead University Magazine to find out what his class is doing about the environment click here.
A Portfolio Approach
Professor Bill Parker is speaking up about the responsibilities Professional Foresters have for conserving the forest’s genetic base.
Kevin Crowe & Bill Parker
Parker is a forest geneticist who has spent much of his career modeling tree growth based on climate variables such as precipitation and temperature. By the use of common garden tests, he has been able to assist government and industry by developing a reduced number of effective breeding zones for jack pine and black spruce, thus saving millions of dollars destined to be spent on unneeded tree improvement programs.
Recently, Parker teamed up with Professor Kevin Crowe to apply a well-known economic theory of portfolio diversity to ensure that Ontario forests flourish in times of climate change.
The Theory of Portfolio Choice was developed by Harry Markowitz in the 1950s and earned him a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1990. It’s a theory that analyzes how wealth can be optimally invested in assets which differ in regard to their expected return and risk. In short, it is a way of minimizing risk.
Applying this economic theory to their own field, Crowe and Parker have selected a portfolio of tree seed “stocks” and charted their performance from 2010 to 2060 at a particular site, under five different climate scenarios. “The challenge was to minimize the co-variance of the tree seed stocks,” says Parker, “in essence, to choose seeds that performed well across a wide range of variables, particularly precipitation and temperature.
“We know from the climate change modeling being done around the world that predictions about the amount of precipitation and rise of temperature depend on many different factors, such as how quickly society moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The portfolio approach to tree seed selection will help us to manage our forests in the best way possible, given these uncertainties."
Eco-Literacy Adventure Camp
This summer Lakehead is again offering its Eco-Literacy Adventure Camp — a three-week summer camp for children entering Grades 4-7, combining literacy skill development with ecology, art projects, fitness, and games to provide a quality learning experience that is both fun and interesting. For more information contact the Department of Lifelong Learning at (807) 346-7872 or visit at http://education.lakeheadu.ca/lifelong/camp
Professor Laure Paquette
Political Science Professor Laure Paquette has been conducting research with an American military university to develop tools for understanding underdog strategies. Her work with Joint Special Operations University focuses on the mistakes that terrorists and other criminals make in their strategic thinking processes.
Paquette has lectured at military academies and staff colleges in Canada, China, South Korea, and Japan. She has published Bioterrorism and Health Services Administration, provided advice to the U.S. Air Force on its counterinsurgency doctrine, and is developing a guide to counterinsurgency training.
Professor Lori Chambers
A new book by Women’s Studies Professor Lori Chambers sheds light on the problem of child poverty in Canada. Misconceptions: Unmarried Motherhood and the Ontario Children of Unmarried Parents Act, 1921-1969, is the end result of a painstaking analysis of the case files of social workers in Ontario, and it reveals that in order to improve child welfare we must also work to improve the welfare of mothers. Chambers received the Alison Prentice Award from the Ontario Historical Society for her first book published in 1997, Married Women and Property Law in Victorian Ontario.