Students promoted environmental awareness Wednesday April 20 in the McGlothlin Campus with presentations in honor of Earth Week.
The Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences presented the event and showcased about 30 projects by department students and students in Dr. Jim Cooke’s Environmental and Technological Sciences class. The event also included live demonstrations on plastic bottle greenhouses, rain barrels, drip irrigation and chicken tractors.
For Cooke’s class, the projects served as a way to educate others about issues in the world around them. The groups chose topics related to the environment or technology, which Cooke said is why there was a variety of subjects covered. Issues covered by the student’s projects included animal rights, deforestation, technology addiction and world hunger.
“This is a group, semester-long project,” Cooke said. “The goals of the projects were awareness, education and action. I encouraged them to get out into the community and do things like interview city council members, interview the director of Abilene’s water department and tour the landfill.”
Raising awareness of Earth Week, Cooke said, is a vital part of how humanity can better respect the world God gave to them.
“During Earth Week there’s heightened awareness of global issues,” Cooke said. “From a Christian standpoint, we talk about stewardship in regards to what we have control over. God has given us all these natural resources and it’s our responsibility to use them and use them responsibly.”
Kimery Hankins, junior animal science major from Abilene, displayed a booth about aquaponics systems, which are systems where waste created by fish feeds nutrients to underwater plants which purifies the water. For Hankins, the event was more than just a cool way to promote Earth awareness on campus. The projects were a way for students to find out more about the Earth which provides them with the basic necessities of life.
“In a world where we have a limited number of resources it’s important to realize that water and food and agriculture matters,” Hankins said.
While the inside of the campus center was bustling with students eager to teach about conservation and world issues, Shelby Cornell, freshman animal science major from San Antonio, displayed a chicken tractor just outside the doors of the campus center. A chicken tractor is a low-energy mobile chicken coop that is often on wheels and has a mesh bottom that allow chickens to be free-range and the soil underneath them to be fertilized. Similar to Hankins and Cooke, Cornell agreed that all humans should play their role in caring for the Earth.
“I think we all need to do our part to take care of the Earth,” Cornell said. “Little things like raising your own chickens and eggs and recycling cuts down on carbon footprints. We are making a really big impact on the Earth and should do more positive things than negative.”