Wetland Expert Gives Keynote Address at the 3rd Annual Wetland Symposium

On Wednesday, April 23, RU hosted the 3rd Annual Wetland Symposium.  Dr. Curtis Richardson of Duke University, a wetlands ecologist who consulted on the restoration of the wetlands in Iraq, gave the keynote address.  Dr. Richardson’s presentation included pictures from his visits to Iraq, and the results of efforts to restore this valuable wetlands that had been destroyed by Saddam Hussein.  He also spoke about the economic and cultural impacts of the wetlands’ destruction on the human communities that live within them. 

His address was followed by oral and poster presentations by RU students on their research on the RU wetland.  The event was sponsored by the Environmental Center and the College of Science and Technology.

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RU Participates in Focus the Nation

Radford University was one of over 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities to participate in Focus the Nation, a nation-wide “teach-in” event dedicated to generating discussion on solutions to global climate change.  The RU event was sponsored by the student environmental club, The Green Team, the RU Environmental Center, and the Club Programing Committee.

The events included:

  • “Windmill” vs. “smokestack” fights
  • Webcast of “The 2% Solution” (to watch this webcast now, see link to the site on this page)
  • Screenings of the movie, “Kilowatt Ours”
  • Global climate change “teach-in”, where faculty incorporated the topic into classes at their discretion
  • Free light bulb swap
  • Display of green building materials, display case, McGuffey Hall.
  • Nation-wide “vote-in”

The nation-wide webcast, “The 2% Solution”, features  Stanford University climate scientist, Stephen Schneider, and others, and can be viewed from home computers.

Jeff Barrie’s movie, “Kilowatt Ours” is a film about the effects of our addiction to coal-generated electricity, and alternative solutions such as conservation and renewable energy sources. 

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Mountain Top Removal Lecture at RU

Dave Cooper, an activist from Lexington, Kentucky, brought his Mountaintop Removal Roadshow to campus on Tuesday, November 13.  The combined slide show and lecture took place at 7:00 pm in the Hurlburt Auditorium.  Mountain top removal is a controversial technique of extracting coal by blasting away the tops of mountains to expose the coal seams.  This event was sponsored by the RU Honors Academy and the American Literatures honors class.

For more information about the mountain top removal and the Roadshow: http://www.mountainroadshow.com/

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RU Chemistry and Biology Majors Address High School Students about Environmental Research

Four RU students presented a breakout session for students from Roanoke area high schools at the Clean Valley Council’s Earth Summit on Nov. 1, 2007.  High school junior and seniors from around the Roanoke valley attended the event.  RU students Sara Charlton, Brooke Francis, Georgeanne Lavery and Sabrina Hash talked about their environmental research at RU.  Lavery participated in a research project this past summer with Biology professors Karen Francl and Christine Small to monitor plant and animal species at RU’s natural research site, Selu Conservancy.  Charlton and Francis have worked on monitoring for pollutants at the RU stormwater wetland with Chemistry professor Joseph Wirgau, while Hash has been a researcher on a biofuels project with Chemistry professor Francis Webster.

For more information about the Clean Valley Council: http://www.cleanvalley.org/

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Award-winning High School Students Present at Wetland Symposium

St. Paul's student presentation  Team Estonoa

Three students from St. Paul’s High School, St. Paul, VA. presented the results of their award-winning wetland project at the 2nd Annual RU Wetland Symposium, on April 26, 2007.  Candice Castle, Virginia Burton, and Haley Kiser are part of Team Estonoa, a group of students who, working together with members of their community, have restored a wetland next-door to their school.  The project has been awarded over $137,000 in grant funds, and includes a nature center, picnic area, and a new learning center building. 

Ms. Adriana Sutton-Grier 

Keynote speaker Adriana Sutton-Grier

The symposium included oral and poster presentations by Radford University students and faculty, as well as a keynote presentation by Adriana Sutton-Grier, a wetland scientist from Duke University, entitled “The importance of soil processes for effective wetland restortation”.  Andrew Baldwin from the University of Maryland gave a talk on mangrove wetlands of Australia.


Dr. Baldwin chats with a future wetland scientist during the poster session 

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RU Stormwater Wetland Project


In 2005, RU constructed a stormwater wetland adjacent to the New River to manage runnoff from nearby parking lots. The purpose of the wetland is to slow the flow of the runoff so that polllutants from the parking lots can be broken down by the plants and microbes living in the wetland.

Radford University has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to incorporate the study of the wetland into courses in four different disciplines.  Students from Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and Geology are collecting data about the physical, chemical, and biological components of the wetland.  With the data and analysis that the students are providing, the university will be informed about how well the wetland is functioning.  The students will also be able to follow the changes in the chemical, physical, and biological structure of this man-made wetland as it develops over time. For more information about the project see:

RU Stormwater Wetland Website

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IPCC former director warns of serious climate change dangers


Krista Green, George Santopietro, Judy Guinan, Kate Gaston, Robert Watson

Robert Watson, World bank Chief Scientist and former chair of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, delivered his speech, “Science and Politics and Climate Change” to a standing-room only audience at the Hurlburt auditorium on March 6, 2007. He was introduced by RU President Penelope Kyle. Later that evening, after a screening of the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”, Watson joined RU professors, Donald Langrehr and George Santopietro in a forum on climate change. The events were sponsored by the RU Green Team, Tri-Beta Honor Society, RU Environmental Center, and the Club Programming Committee.

The PowerPoint slides from Dr. Watson’s lecture are available for browser view or as a direct download:

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