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Story Ideas for Media 4-20-10


Earth Week: Environmental Improvement efforts at Ohio State. This year’s 40th anniversary of Earth Day marks not only an increasing nationwide focus on environmental concerns but also Ohio State’s advancements in finding solutions for these challenges. For reporters, here is a sample of current and ongoing research and activities with Earth Week ties in Ohio State’s College of Engineering.

*Ohio State hosts national conference on sustainable transportation - What will transportation look like in 2099? The Ohio State University is hosting Moving Ahead 2010: Sustainable Transportation Solutions for the 21st Century May 2-4 at the Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St. The conference offers sessions on biofuels, electric transportation, the future of oil, mass transit, air and train transportation, advances in air transportation, how policy and economic development implications, and how innovations will affect jobs, the environment and national security.
Speakers include Carol Browner, assistant to President Obama for energy and climate change and former director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Robert Hirsch, Senior Energy Advisor for Management Information Services, Inc., and David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. The conference also will feature speakers from business and industry including Ford, Honda, Duke Energy, AEP, Battelle, Airbus, Boeing and CSX.
Gregory Washington, interim dean in Ohio State’s College of Engineering is available for comment on these issues in advance of the conference. CONTACT: Joan Slattery Wall, College of Engineering Communications, (614) 292-4064, wall.107@osu.edu SEE: www.movingahead2010.com

*A student-created course takes on environmental challenges – When Kate Fisher couldn’t find an Ohio State class that could teach her what she wanted to know about sustainability and environmental concerns, she decided to create one. Fisher, who is studying integrated systems engineering, is offering her seminar this quarter for those interested in learning how engineers affect the environment with the products and services they provide. CONTACT: Joan Slattery Wall, College of Engineering Communications, (614) 292-4064, wall.107@osu.edu

*Preparing Ohio for new federal climate change regulations – The Ohio State University and Ohio University have received a $500,000 federal grant to collaborate on developing a climate change plan for Ohio businesses and communities. The project will identify policy options and perform an impact analysis to help the State of Ohio prepare for federal climate change policies. Both institutions have outlined a 12-month work plan for a statewide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and development of a Web-based system for climate policy evaluation. SEE: http://engineering.osu.edu/news/?p=1084 CONTACT: Ohio State Center for Resilience, Joseph Fiksel, Executive Director, (614) 688-8155, fiksel.2@osu.edu

*Reducing air pollution around animal feeding operations – An Ohio State engineering researcher is studying how dust from large operation industrial chicken farms can be reduced. Gil Bohrer, professor of ecological engineering is using a nearly $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a project that measures and simulates the dispersion of dust from a large industrial chicken coop. It will understand and predict how a vegetation barrier (a belt of trees) around the coop can modify the concentration and dispersion distance of the dust. CONTACT: Joan Slattery Wall, College of Engineering Communications, (614) 292-4064, wall.107@osu.edu

*Examining pollution in water systems – John Lenhart, professor of civil and environmental engineering and geodetic science, received a $400,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant for research to improve computer models used to predict the movement of heavy metals in soils as well as assess the potential of whether nanoparticle migration in soils could pose a risk to human health or the environment. CONTACT: Joan Slattery Wall, College of Engineering Communications, (614) 292-4064, wall.107@osu.edu

*Finding new uses for industrial and business by-products and waste – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has awarded a $50,000 grant to Ohio State to support the newly- established Ohio By-Product Synergy (BPS) Network. Companies in the network will be collaborating to find new uses for under-valued waste or by-product streams, helping to generate revenues or savings while reducing environmental burdens. The purpose of this grant is to enable the Ohio BPS project team to apply Ohio State’s Eco-Flow™ tool, developed at the College of Engineering’s Center for Resilience, in order to assess the economic and environmental benefits of BPS to the broader community. CONTACT: Ohio State Center for Resilience, Joseph Fiksel, Executive Director, (614) 688-8155, fiksel.2@osu.edu


Ohio State helping Columbus families create blueprints for going to college – April 22. The Ohio State University is helping 80 families design their paths to college as Blueprint: College 2010 gets underway. The program will serve families, both parents and their students, in eight underserved Columbus City Schools in the Linden community.
The 2010 Blueprint: College begins with a welcome dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday (4/22) at South Mifflin STEM elementary school, 2365 Middlehurst Rd. Media are invited to cover this compelling story by attending the kickoff or upcoming weekly workshops.
Since the program began in 2008, more than 140 Columbus families have graduated. Many families who previously enrolled in Blueprint: College are now attending a new series of workshops, Blueprint: College 2.0, to reinforce the lessons learned. CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.

Scarlet, Gray & Pink: A Walk for Stefanie Spielman – April 24. Prior to the Men’s Lacrosse and Spring Football games at Ohio Stadium on Saturday (4/24), fans are invited to join Ohio State students for a one-mile walk on campus to celebrate the life of Stefanie Spielman and continue to fight breast cancer. Registration and check-in for the walk begins at 8 a.m. on the South Oval. The opening program with special guests and the Walk for Stefanie will follow at 9 a.m. After the walk, which will circle the central campus area, a resource fair, refreshments, and entertainment will be available on the West Plaza of the Ohio Union.
Ohio State alumna Stefanie Spielman and her husband, former OSU football player Chris Spielman, have helped raise more than $6.5 million to support breast cancer patients and research and participated in countless events raising awareness of breast cancer to all audiences, including Ohio State students.
In November 2009, Stefanie passed away after a decade-long battle with breast cancer, leaving us with some final thoughts: Continue to Fight.
All proceeds will go toward the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
The lacrosse and football games will also have a “Scarlet, Gray & Pink” theme to benefit the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. CONTACT: Katie Krajny, krajny.1@osu.edu or (614) 688-4419. Register for the walk at http://pink.osu.edu

African American Heritage Festival begins Saturday – April 24. Community service projects, celebrations through music and poetry, and a town hall forum highlight the 32nd Annual African American Heritage Festival which begins Saturday (4/24) on the Ohio State campus. The theme for this year’s weeklong celebration is “Mwendo: Journey: Embracing Our Past, Embracing Our Future.” The festival, sponsored by the Multicultural Center in the Office of Student Life, will run through May 1. Most events are free and open to the public. CONTACT: Kellie Uhrig (614) 292-5944 or kuhrig@studentlife.osu.edu. SEE: www.heritagefestival.osu.edu

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276 or cook.17@osu.edu; Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748 or hoffman.511@osu.edu; Jim Lynch,(614) 247-4110 or lynch.270@osu.edu; or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385 or murray-goedde.1@osu.edu