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Story Ideas for Media 4-21-08


Ohio State to celebrate Earth Day with International recognition for Wetland.
Ohio State's Wilma H. Schiermier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park (ORWRP), has won designation as the 24th Wetland of International Importance in the USA. The designation will place the site on the internationally renown Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, the first Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in Ohio and one of the first in the midwest.
Bill Mitsch, director of the ORWRP, will be available to discuss the importance of the recognition at 10 a.m. tomorrow (4/22) – Earth Day – at the wetland, located at 352 W. Dodridge St.
To be added to the Ramsar List, the designation is made initially by the U.S. government and then confirmed by the Ramsar Secretariat, headquartered in Switzerland.
In his letter nominating the ORWRP, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service director H. Dale Hall noted, "Ohio has seen more than 90% of its historic wetland base drained. The site contains riverine marshes that were once typical but are now rare. The site is also important for its significant wetland ecotourism and outreach within an urban community where few wetlands remain, as well as the high-quality university teaching and research related to wetland ecology and management conducted at the site." CONTACT: Bill Mitsch, (614) 292-9774. SEE: http://www.osu.edu/news/newsitem1973


Global food crisis
– In the months ahead, the importance of a global food crisis will grow as Americans see soaring prices for staples such as wheat, corn and rice. Increased costs are hitting poor people especially hard and causing food riots in Haiti, Egypt and other nations.
Several factors are credited for the increase, including the diversion of millions of acres of crops to biofuels, climate change and soaring gasoline prices.
As you plan coverage of this story, Ohio State experts are available to discuss aspects of the crisis including: tips for coping with higher food costs; International trade and development policy; farm policy; international issues; ethanol production; grain economics; Carbon sequestration and no-till production; soil science; and food production in Africa. CONTACT: Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.


Cats everywhere: OSU survey finds community-based approach best bet to control free-roaming cats.
A survey gauging Ohioans' attitudes about free-roaming cats suggests that no single statewide measure would be sufficient in managing cat overpopulation because public opinion about outdoor cats varies widely across the state.
The survey was authored by Linda Lord, assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State.
It is estimated that in the U.S., more than 38 million households own an estimated 88 million cats – or about one cat for every 3 ½ Americans.
Lord found that perceptions about the need to regulate cat overpopulation in Ohio tend to differ among rural and urban dwellers and among cat owners and people who do not own pets.
Compounding the problem is that a quarter of Ohio households are feeding free-roaming cats, but most of those residents aren't ensuring that the outdoor cats they feed are spayed or neutered.
Lord says, "Because of the variety of attitudes we see between demographic areas, I don't know that a one-solution-fits-all statewide policy is going to work. Communities are going to have to look at their own approach." But coordinated action of some kind – on the part of policymakers, shelter organizations and cat owners alike – is needed to try to control cat overpopulation, Lord said. CONTACT: Linda Lord, (614) 247-6635. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/roamcat.htm


Students invited to enjoy the "Best Day of Your Life" – April 22.
A 25-foot inflatable rubber duck on the Oval will help uplift Ohio State students after a long winter as part of the "Best Day of Your Life" project. In an effort to raise awareness for Suicide Prevention month, Ohio Staters, Inc., a student organization focused on service projects, has created the project "Best Day of Your Life," and urges students to make Tuesday (4/22) that day.
Activies, which take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., also include a 'Swag Mobile' that passes out prizes and gift certificates (including two tickets to an Ohio State football home game), multiple DJ stations across campus energizing students with upbeat music; a 'street team' to engage students as they are walking to class, eating in the dining commons, and riding campus buses; and special appearances by OSU celebrities. The goal of the campaign is to help students remember the 'little things in life' and to encourage all students, staff and faculty of the university to make every day the best day of their lives. CONTACT: Mark Torrez, (419) 351-2448.

Ohio State celebrates Earth Day with Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair in Wooster – April 22. Energy efficiency and environmental stewardship are on display at the Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair, from 1-7 p.m. on Earth Day (4/22) at the university's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. Dozens of activities and events are planned, including displays highlighting OSU research on renewable fuels and biofuels; energy efficient homes and automobiles; programs to conserve water and keep waterways clean; green and organic gardening and landscaping; and educational offerings including lectures and information about eco-aimed majors. The event is free; find a complete list of activities at http://www.wcsen.org/WCSGGF/ CONTACT: Allen Zimmerman, Agricultural Technical Institute, (330) 287-1263.

Traffic alert: 5K race on Sunday – April 27. The Fifth Annual Fisher 5K, a run that benefits Columbus Boys and Girls Club, will be held at 9 a.m. on Sunday (4/27) around campus. The run is hosted by FisherServes, a graduate student organization committed to promoting awareness of civic and social responsibilities, and co-sponsored by the Fisher College of Business.
The course begins in front of the Fisher College of Business on Woody Hayes Drive. Runners wind through the entire Ohio State campus around many university landmarks including the stadium through the Oval, pass Mirror Lake and along Woodruff Avenue, Tuttle Park Place and several campus streets.
Participants can sign up on the day of the race for $30; registration will be held from 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on the Fisher campus at 2100 Neil Avenue. More information is available at http://groups.cob.ohio-state.edu/fserv/fisher5k.htm. Media may contact
Patricia Allen
at (614) 292-8937.

Literacy Studies to host open house – April 25. Initiatives to communicate clearly, knowledgeably and critically as a result of increasing social, cultural and technical trends is the focus of an open house from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday (4/25) at the George Wells Knight House, 104 E. 15th Ave. Literacy Studies at Ohio State, composed of faculty and students representing more than 40 disciplines, serves as an interdisciplinary approach to improve clarity through communications and strengthen teaching and learning. Joseph Alutto, Ohio State provost, and Harvey J. Graff, Ohio eminent scholar in Literacy Studies, are among the featured speakers. CONTACT: Susan Hanson, Literacy Studies, (614) 247-6539. SEE: www.literacystudies.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; Shelly Hoffman; (614) 247-4748; Jim Lynch; (614) 247-4110; or Amy Murray; (614) 292-8385.