Showing posts from July 9, 2015

Center for the Environment at Catawba College

The Center for the Environment at Catawba College is a beautiful and restful place to learn about environmental issues.

It is also a green-friendly structure that was designed to leave a small footprint on campus and has worn awards for being an excellent example of environmentally-conscious construction.

The Center was built into the woods on the edge of the wildlife preserve with green products like bamboo (which is quickly renewable). The structure features many earth friendly features like movement activated lights that turn on and off automatically.

The Center for the Environment which is coordinated by Dr. John Wear often bustles with activity with a variety of classrooms, meeting rooms, a conference room, and a beautiful room for contemplation with a stone fireplace, but it is always an oasis where students, summer campers, and visitors can study, learn, grow, and get in touch with nature.

The National Environmental Summit for high school students is a wide open and fun week a…

Rocky Mountain Institute Comes to the Summit

By Annabelle Nagy

One of the featured speakers at the Summit happened to be a large company that deals with saving energy for the environment. They are the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), located in Colorado.

Recently RMI has been working with China to help them reduce the energy they use. The job with China started after the book Reinventing Firecame out.

When they came to the National Environment Summit for high school students, they spoke about how they want to reduce energy in the future.  They wish to help create and see more walking and public transportation and also more community efforts to help reduce the amount of energy used (and wasted).

RMI introduced to us the ways to help "saving energy" can be introduced. The ways are: lifestyle (how you live your life), education (educating the people on how to save energy), grassroots (local movements to conserve energy), political (getting politicians involved and the politicians promoting saving energy), and economic (…

Bats in the Dorms

By Annabelle Nagy

While playing Uno in one of the dorms in Purcell, one camper noticed a bat flying around. The girls in the room scrambled out of the door, shutting the door to stay away from all bats. Camp counselors came up to check on the screaming girls. Payden Mitchell, a student at Catawba College, ironically caught the bat in his Batman beanie while wearing Batman pajamas.

The next night the same girls heard chirping again. Again they ran out of the room while screaming and getting counselors to remove the bats. The camp counselors, Catawba public safety, and animal control were all called to get the bats out of the dorms. The girls ended up sleeping in the dorm across the hall.

The bats had to be carefully removed, because the bats are an endangered species. Bats eat mosquitoes, which is important because mosquitoes are very popular in Salisbury, North Carolina. Keeping the bats alive and healthy is vital to the systems in the natural environment. 

But don't worry! The …

Redesigning Our Future - Geocaching in the Preserve 2015

By Kayla Blackburn

During the 5th annual National Environmental Summit for High School Students at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, student campers began their Wednesday morning with an exploration of the college's 189-acre ecological preserve.

Armed with GPS navigation systems and several bottles of bug spray, the 46 campers went geocaching to learn about biomimicry, or the innovation used by humans when they model nature's behavior.

For example, students learned that phytochemicals found in the inner bark of black willow trees can often be used in medical advances. Salicyclic acid is involved in both aspirin and acne medications, with its use beginning among Native Americans hundreds of years ago.

Some types of salamanders excrete a fluid that provides defense against leeches, and they also have the ability to regenerate lost limbs. Scientists could eventually use these mechanisms found in nature to create similar systems in humans, providing assistance to amputees…

Redesigning Our Future - How Do You Show Your Love for Nature?

By Kayla Blackburn

As the 2015 Redesigning Our Future: National Environmental Summit commenced on July 7th, campers had the opportunity to listen to this year's phenomenal keynote speaker, Heather White. Heather is a nationally recognized expert on environmental law, and she currently holds a position as the Executive Director of the EWG (Environmental Working Group). She has been involved with Congress, as well as in many magazines like The New York Times.

"I 'Heart' Nature" During her speech on how she reached her level of success and achievement, Heather reasoned her interest in the environmental field with her love of science, and, namely, nature. Having spent her whole life admiring magnificent landscapes in the many places she has called home, Heather White showed her love for nature in many excursions, including the climbing of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Heather went on to refer to the campers as "America's greatest natural resource."…