OHIO state university (OSU), founded in 1870, is one of the United States' premier academic institutions for the study of global warming and climate change. Researchers and students strive to slow the climate change process, seeking alternative forms of energy, and affecting policy decisions in Ohio and beyond. The university has many well-known climate scientists, including Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Dr. Lonnie Thompson. OSU is also home to the Byrd Polar Research Center, a collaborative effort of polar and alpine scientists to understand global warming and climate change. In recent years, Ohio University has moved toward building new structures that meet the energy-saving guidelines of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Ohio State University focuses a significant amount of resources on comprehending climate change mechanisms and searching for feasible solutions.
Ohio State University features many majors, graduate degrees, programs, and co-curricular activities to educate students about the problems associated with global warming, the processes that cause climate change, and ways to mitigate the effects. Majors in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Geography, the College of Math and Physical Sciences, and the College of Engineering have climate change components. OSU hosts an interdisciplinary Environmental Science Graduate Program that combines the physical, biological, and social sciences to address environmental research needs. This is one of the only programs in the nation of its kind. The Honors and Scholars Program expanded to include the Environment and Natural Resources Scholars program, which caters to high-ability undergraduate students with an interest in the environment, regardless of major. OSU is moving toward an academic curriculum that places global climate change and environmental issues at the forefront of teaching and research.
Two professors who work to better understand climate change are Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Dr. Lonnie Thompson. Ellen Mosley-Thompson is a professor in the Department of Geography and with the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program. Her research focuses on paleoclimatic reconstruction of chemical and physical properties in preserved ice cores. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has received multiple Distinguished University Awards, and, in 2003, she was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame. Dr. Lonnie Thompson, professor in the School of Earth Sciences, is a member of the Ice Core Paleoclimatol-ogy Group. He is a Distinguished University Professor; in 2005, Thompson received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, which is considered by many in the field to be the equivalent of the Nobel Prize. His work is highlighted in Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and he is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Both Dr. Mosley-Thompson and Dr. Thompson work with the Byrd Polar Research Center at OSU.
The Byrd Polar Research Center is an international leader in global climate change, polar, and alpine research. The center is named for renowned polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Scientists, faculty, and students interact to further understand what the Earth's climate was like millions of years ago and how it is changing. Researchers collect an enormous amount of data, including ice-core samples, fossils, and evidence of change in geochemical and hydro-logical cycles. The center also uses satellite-generated images and computer models to construct detailed information about cloud formation, glacier size and movement, and storm system development.
Ohio State University has initiated the development of two green buildings on campus. The first building is the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. It opened in early 2008. This building includes carbon-reducing features, such as geothermal heating, the use of recycled rainwater, and environmentally-sound building materials. The student union, known as the Ohio Union, is under construction. The new Ohio Union will feature a location that discourages driving and encourages public transportation and walking, energy-saving lighting, and the reuse of existing union building materials. This building will open in 2010.
SEE ALSO: Green Design; Ohio; Paleoclimates.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (Rodale Books, 2006); Ohio State University, www.osu.edu (cited November 2007).
Ellen J. Crivella Vermont Law School
Was this article helpful?