Keeping Villanova Green
Albeit a few days early, Falvey Memorial Library hosted the annual Earth Day breakfast seminar “Sustainability @ Villanova” on April 18. The informative presentation, sponsored by Villanova’s Earth Day team, featured Timothy Dietzler, director of dining services, Robert Morro, director of facilities management, Robert Traver, Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Paul Rosier, Ph.D., assistant professor of history.
The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., University president, provided the opening remarks for the forum, as he explained, “We realize just how fragile the connection is between the earth and ourselves. I am very proud of the work Villanova does, but I think there’s more we can do. It is important for us as an educational institution to show students how to keep green.”
Dietzler highlighted Dining Services’ green initiatives, including recycling food waste and the new composting program. As
|Dr. Robert Traver explained the benefits of Villanova's green roof project and the research done by the civil and environmental engineering department.|
Dining Services has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to provide sustainable seafood on campus, Aquahealth and Ethos Water to provide donations to Africa, and Pura Vida Coffee to provide fair trade coffee while donating portions of profits to Catholic Relief Services. Dietzler hopes to meet the needs of both the students and the environment through the implementation of future programs.
Morro described the environmental plans and impacts of the new Nursing and
Dr. Traver described the benefits of the green roof on the Center for Engineering and Education and Research (CEER). The roof, located on the second story terrace, eliminates the first half inch of rainfall, reducing stormwater runoff which may erode channels or pollute sediment. The new Nursing building will feature a green roof, while Morro and Dr. Traver are investigating the addition of green roofs to existing buildings on campus.
Finally, Dr. Rosier discussed the new geography and environmental studies department and the Environmental Leadership Learning Community, now in its second year. Incoming freshmen may select to participate in the learning community as a theme for their academic work and social living arrangements.
First year students Liz Linder and Lauren Acosta testified to the strengths of the learning community in which they have been working. Their semester-long project seeks to encourage students to change their environmentally harmful habits and examine how nature plays an important role in our lives.
Acosta stated, “It’s amazing to see how students from all schools in the University can incorporate their different viewpoints into working with the same environmental issue.” Dr. Rosier echoed her sentiments, concluding “It’s a really exciting time. Watching students leading and changing the culture is really inspiring.”
Contributed by Lindsay Kos ’09; photograph by John Welsh