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Category Archives: FAMU

The Campus at Florida's Agricultural and Mechanical University represents the "mechanical" part of it's name but is lacking on the agricultural side. FAMU student, Aaron V. Johnson, laments the lack of vegetation and its benefits. He also shows that there are groups who would are willing to help bring back the trees.

Aaron V. Johnson:

As I walk my way to class, I can’t help but feel the agony of the harsh sun and smothering temperatures that the weather brings. Yes, I know it’s another typical summer day in Florida but what gives? If only there was more trees for shade.

On a very hot and humid September afternoon, a friend and I took our normal stroll towards our 3:30p.m. Physics class, we were both worn out for the day. The temperature was a steamy 95 degrees, and with a 105 degrees temperature once you include the sticky humidity.

As we climb up a couple set of stairs, I noticed that there were not many trees in the area. I looked around for the nearest one and found it to be several hundred feet away. The path coming from Palmettos Apartments through B.L. Perry and towards the Dyson Pharmacy Building is a long shade less walk with the sun stabbing you in the back every step of the way.

This problem confuses me, because though there is a lack of trees on FAMU’s campus there is plenty of vegetation in Florida State University and the rest of the city of Tallahassee. The landscapes between these places are visibly different. FSU is very environmentally developed with beautiful landscapes, with trimmings, and hedges to boost its appearance. The same can be said for many other areas around town.

It is now time for Florida A & M to receive that same treatment. The landscape really needs more trees. They will make a big difference between having a barren patch of desert to a more developed ecosystem bursting with wildlife helping to create the aurora of a natural and healthy environment.

The presence of more trees on campus will certainly help with many health and other issues for people. Trees provide all sorts of benefits for a college environment. They can cut a person’s air conditioning bill in half by saving energy and money. The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), who promotes the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida, can help fund projects for any residence, business, or schools that are willing to adopt native vegetation in all landscaped areas. There purpose is to promote native Florida vegetation.

Did you know that planting 30 Global ReLeaf trees can absorb the amount of carbon dioxide that is generated in the production of energy for the average American lifestyle each year? This eliminates thousands of toxic air pollutants so that people like Victoria can breathe better and enjoy the outdoors.

American Forrest Agencies say that trees can slow storm water runoff and reduce the need for storm sewers. The shade also helps cool buildings lowering electricity bills especially in urban environments.

As Tallahassee grows it’s becoming more industrialized, building facilities and other infrastructures in place of existing forests and wildlife. Please warn those in massive tree cutting developments of the risks that would be devastating to our natural environment. It is unfair to humans, wildlife, and our environment to make unnecessary changes to our natural land. We can make a difference by planting trees and vegetation of all sorts on our college campuses, homes, and work space.

AARON TREES.mp3 1.7 MB

Environmental groups and the Tallahassee utility are bumping heads over the safety of the water. Florida A&M's, Esi Yamoah, tells how local residents can respond to the reports: You may have heard the term "chromium 6" from the movie, Erin Brockovich; Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium 6, has again risen as an issue after a national watchdog study has show high levels of the substance in drinking water across the country.

According to the National Toxicology Program (NTP), chromium 6 is a naturally occurring element found basically everywhere – From rocks to volcanic dust. Chromium 6 can seep into underground steel pipes.

But what happens when chromium 6 is in your tap water? High levels of chromium 6, could cause intestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the maximum standard for chromium as well as chromium 6 is 100 parts per billion.

The Environmental Working Group a non- profit organization informs about the environment and public health. They have detected a high level of chromium 6 in over half of the United States. According to the tests Tallahassee ranks 6th.

Water Quality manager, Jamie Shakar, located in Tallahassee disputes about EWG’s studies. Shakar says that Tallahassee’s water is safe. According to Shakar, Tallahassee’s water averages to 1 parts per billion. Which are lower than the EPA’s requirements.

Being from Tallahassee what do you do? Well the first thing you can do is become more educated about your environment in your community. Second, if you want to go and buy a water filter or boil your water. It is important to always know what us in your drinking water.

ESI CHROMIUM 6.mp3 1.2 MB

These days our attention drifts more towards glowing screens but old fashioned ink and paper are still all around us. No place is our dependence on paper and the trees they come from more obvious than on college campuses. Ashli Doss, a journalism student at Florida A&M University, is on the paper chase to see how her school deals with paper waste.

Ashli Doss reports:

Printing papers is a way of life when you’re a college student, from term papers to lecture notes there will always be a need for printing on college campus. On the campus of Florida A&M University School officials are looking for an easier, cheaper way for students to print.

Student Government Association Vice president Breyon Love says, “There is a need for a printing conservation program at our university.” Costs associated with printing have escalated since SGA decided to provide unlimited printing for students on campus.

The funding of $25,000 started during the 2010 spring semester until money ran out. Funding lasted until students abused their printing privileges.

Last year alone, over 40 million pages were printed at the computing labs. That’s the equivalent to a whopping 150 trees. The increase in printing can be traced to a number of different sources including greater academic reliance on systems such as Blackboard.

Jene Adams who’s responsible for printing services. Says” Our goal is to improve the efficiency of our computer centers by eliminating unnecessary waste and cutting down the cost of paper and printing supplies.”

In an effort to both conserve paper and control costs, a printing conservation program will be initiated at the student computer labs run by student government. A survey taken by students and faculty will give their input based upon printing and academic needs. The student government association will then partner with the office of information technology to review the feedback and help to develop the future policy. 
    
The new policy will eliminate courtesy printing and students and faculty will now pay for printing to reduce waste. Savings from the new program will keep the computing fee from needlessly increasing for students. Such savings are intended to stabilize the student computer fee rather than reduce it.  
Technology instructor Robert Senior says, “Thanks to the concerted efforts of our students and faculty to conserve paper we are making great strides to help FAMU cut down on the waste generated by unnecessary printing.“ 

FAMU is here for you! Saving trees and reducing fees reporting for Planet Harmony this is Ashli Doss.

ASHLI DOSS.mp3 1.7 MB

Earlier this month the Environmental Protection Agency released their final clean-up plans for the Cabbot-Koppers Superfund site. The 700 pages of recommendations took nearly 30 years to produce. Dominique Shaw, a masters candidate at Florida A&M's journalism program, has been researching the disproportionate toxic burden placed on poor people and people of color.  She tells us that Gainesville is a classic example of "environmental racism." (Photo from the Fine Print)

Dominique Shaw reports:

Many people are not informed about ER. No not the medical drama, but the ER known as "environmental racism," even though it’s in many of our backyards.

Environmental racism is when big industries place hazardous waste or toxic facilities in low income communities, often neighborhoods of color. These facilities pollute the community through the water, air, and soil. Often, these industrial projects get green lit before the community knows what it means to have them move in.

Gainesville, Florida has a neighborhood that exemplifies ER. Twelve schools sit within a two mile radius from a 140 acre hazardous waste site. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated it the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site in 1983.

Superfund is the federal government's program to clean up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. They seek to find the people responsible and make the polluters pay otherwise the government funds the clean-up.

In this case, Beazer East, Inc, is being held responsible. The site is made up of the Koppers' 90 acre wood-treatment operation, and Cabot Carbon- a former charcoal operation that has been redeveloped into a commercial space.

The land is choked with 32 different toxins such as dioxin, arsenic, and chromium that came from Cabot-Koppers. Recently, Dr. Steve Roberts from University of Florida's Center for Environmental & Human Toxicology, showed the severe cancer risks residents face because of the dioxin contamination from Cabot-Koppers. The data revealed that people are 3,610 times more vulnerable to cancer in the northern area of the Superfund site than what is allowed by the state.

The sad truth is that this neighborhood is not unique. Environmental Racism has been discussed for over a generation by researchers all over this country. Awareness about poverty, race and low property values can arm communities to fight back against environmental racism.

For more on this issue of environmental racism, check out our story on the first American case of ER to be heard by an international human rights commission, "The Battle for Human Rights in Cancer Alley

Dominique Shaw ER.mp3 1.5 MB

There’s been some changes at Florida A&M over the past few years. The school has seen more recycling bins, compact fluorescent light bulbs and student energy around sustainable activity. David Brown and Kari Knowles, two students in the journalism department, give credit to the FAMU Green Coalition.

To learn more about what the Green Coalition has been up to, including their plans to attend a sustainability summit in Washington D.C. check out their site: http://www.wix.com/famugc/home

For their most up-to-the-minute going-on’s with this energetic group, follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16907280178&v=wall

And stay tuned for more environmental stories from our audio workshop in Tallahassee.

David and Kari Naturally Speaking.mp3 4.2 MB

By Alaura Carter
Although the audience for the Repower America presentation was small, roughly 22 people, the message of climate change was bigger. The slideshow titled, “Clarifying the Science,” was presented by Repower America Nov. 17, in the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.
Invited by student leaders from neighboring universities, Florida A&M and Florida State, Repower America was launched in 2008 by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Parent non-profit organization Alliance for Climate Protection launched the Repower America campaign to focus on energy efficiency; clean, renewable and diversified energy sources, according to its website, repoweramerica.org. Repower America focuses on both grassroots and lobbying efforts for climate change. They also organize presentations by The Climate Project, a grassroots organization that falls under the Alliance for Climate Protection.
“It is the actual presentation made by Al Gore…just condensed,” said Adrian Brunori, the Repower America presenter.
The presentation has been presented more than 70,000 times worldwide and has reached an audience of more than 7.3 million people. 
Event coordinator Vincent Evans, a FAMU senior political science/pre-law student from Jacksonville, Fla., said the presentation is a step toward FAMU’s commitment to educate students about environmental issues.
“Tonight’s climate project presentation will give students a front row seat to the global climate change we are facing. I can’t think of a better time to bring Repower America here to the campus of Florida A&M University,” Evans said.
Brunori captivated the audience with an in-depth slide show of the causes and effects of climate change.“Clarifying the Science,” revealed graphic pictures of natural disasters throughout the world, along with charts illustrating projections surrounding the issue of climate change.
Population growth, technology and our way of thinking are the three main causes of climate change, according to the presentation. Issues of water scarcity, deforestation and carbon dioxide levels are projected to be the effects. Refraining from the use of the phrase “global warming,” Brunori said debate still exists among scientists around the issue of climate change. However, the focus should be shifted from whether the earth is dying or not, to solutions such as clean energy and sustainability.
One student said the power point was a grip of reality ready to be released.
“The part that resonates in my mind is the graph that shows what the projected carbon dioxide levels will be during our life time," said Nari Tomlinson, a senior public relations student from Miramar, Fla. “The presentation really changed my outlook on life in the sense that now I realize that even though I am one person, I have an impact on climate crisis.”
When asked why some businesses refrain from using new sources of energy such as solar power, Brunori said that some businesses are just stuck in their ways and don’t realize the reduction of costs with newer sustainable technologies.  
“It’s not that technology is bad…we just need to find sustainable ways,” Brunori said. “It needs to become the normal thing, not the weird thing.”
Brunori said Repower America would like to work with FAMU/FSU again and host community forums.
For more information about Repower America, go to repoweramerica.org.
 
 
Picture provided by The Famuan, Florida A&M University school newspaper
Location: FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

Members from the FAMU Student Government Association invited representatives from The Climate Project to present, “Clarify the Science,” Nov. 16 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Lecture Hall.
 The Climate Project United States is the American branch of Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore 's climate change leadership program founded in June 2006, according to climateproject.org. The program falls under the Alliance for Climate Protection with a mission to inform the public of climate change and present solutions.
 “Tonight’s climate project presentation will give students a front row seat to the global climate change we are facing,” said FAMU student and event coordinator Vincent Evans, a senior political science student from Jacksonville, Fla.
 Trained by former U.S Vice President Al Gore, Mike Wallander, a TCP presenter, will show the world-renowned slideshow to FAMU students.
 The organization has delivered more than 70,000 presentations worldwide and has reached an audience of more than 7.3 million people.
 Check back for updates/follow-up on the FAMU group.
 For more information, go to www.theclimateprojectus.org
 FAMUPH@gmail.com
 

Members from the FAMU Student Government Association invited representatives from The Climate Project to present, “Clarify the Science,” Nov. 16, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Lecture Hall.
 The Climate Project United States is the American branch of Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore 's climate change leadership program founded in June 2006, according to climateproject.org. The program falls under the Alliance for Climate Protection with a mission to inform the public of climate change and present solutions.
 “Tonight’s climate project presentation will give students a front row seat to the global climate change we are facing,” said FAMU student and Repower America Campus Coordinator Vincent Evans, 22, a senior political science/pre-law student from Jacksonville, Fla.
 Trained by former U.S Vice President Al Gore, Mike Wallander, a TCP presenter, will show the world-renowned slideshow to FAMU students.
 The organization has delivered more than 70,000 presentations worldwide and has reached an audience of more than 7.3 million people.
 Check back for updates/follow-up on the FAMU group.
 FAMUPH@gmail.com
 

Those aren't rocks you see in the picture above! It's the BP Oil Spill aftermath! Dead fish, eel and crabs blanket the Gulf of Mexico. According to NDJ World News, environmental expert Ed Overton said deaths were caused by a lack of oxygen in the water as oil covered the surface.

With news like this, it’s no surprise that companies are considering to partner with organizations and universities such as Florida A&M to help with the Gulf restoration.

FAMU has received $497,663 for the project, "An Environmental Education Program for Expanding Conservation and Stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico." Drs. Katherine Milla and Sunil Pancholy from FAMU's Center for Water and Air Quality are leading the project.

Those who participate will help reach underrepresented communities by developing promotional items produced by Florida A&M to increase awareness about Gulf issues.

“A major goal of the project is to increase citizen awareness of the value of natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal regions, and to promote conservation and restoration of the waters of the Gulf,” Milla said.

Read more at TheFamuanonline.com:
http://www.thefamuanonline.com/news/environmental-education-program-for-expanding-conservation-and-stewardship-of-the-gulf-of-mexico-1.2380368 

Press release:
http://www.famu.edu/cesta/main/index.cfm/news-headlines/famu-receives-497663-to-promote-gulf-conservation-and-restoration/

For more information about the project, contact:
Dr. Troy Pierce at pierce.troy@epa.gov; (228) 688-3658; or, visit http://www.epa.gov/gmpo.

Dr. Katherine MillaDr. Sunil Pancholy
Dr. Katherine Milla   Dr. Sunil Pancholy

Are you going to help?

Picture Credits: NDJ World News and FAMU.edu

Here is a Florida A&M University and Florida State University PSA!

Joining forces to produce a greener Tallahassee by starting with each campus!