GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 145-8
Presentation Time: 10:10 AM


SVITANA, Kevin, Department of Biology and Earth Sciences, Otterbein University, One S Grove St, Westerville, OH 43081

Brownfield redevelopment issues are the focus of a Senior Year Experience class at Otterbein University. SYE classes are a general education requirement at the University, the goal of SYE is to engage students in topical classes that combine skills developed during their academic career (critical thinking, methodical inquiry, problem-solving, etc.) with a “real-life” experience they may encounter post-graduation. One class, SYE 4016, uses Otterbein’s own Brownfield property – the Equine Center to meet that goal.

The class is open to all majors, providing a sense of how a diverse group of citizens perceive and react to problems. The class is comprised of four modules. The first explores the history and problems caused by indiscriminate disposal of hazardous wastes. The next module explores risk and toxicity associated with various hazardous waste constituents. The third module is a role-play, dividing the class into teams to complete a VAP Phase I Assessment for the Otterbein equine facility. The teams report back to the University CFO (the professor) identifying the potential risks that may be present at the facility, and defending their position as to whether the University should exercise a hypothetical option to purchase the facility. The last module looks forward to another environmental issue that may affect the students in the future – legacy dry-cleaning operations. Students use records from the public library to determine the timeframe and location of dry-cleaning operations in their community. Students explore the potential impacts from waste handling practices. Students are challenged on how to develop meaningful approaches and policies to controlling the risk assuming that minimal resources are available to support the effort.