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Thursday, April 21st
6:00 PM

Poster - Analyzing the “Eco” in Ecotourism: Costs and Benefits of South American Case Studies

Sydney Cash, Indiana University
Delia Novak, Indiana University
Sarah Pritchett, Indiana University
Rocco Tedesco, Indiana University

6:00 PM

While frequently touted as an effective mechanism for environmental conservation and community development, the burgeoning ecotourism industry and its impacts on ecological health and sociocultural preservation require further scrutiny. The most successful examples of ecotourism offer “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people” (Stem et al., 2003, p. 323). Over time, however, ecotourism projects can also provoke negative impacts like increased habitat disturbance, solid waste generation, and the erosion of cultural autonomy. We seek to explore this multifaceted industry by analyzing different South American case studies of ecotourism projects and how they intersect with indigenous communities, ecological restoration, and economic growth.

Poster - Coral Reef Restoration

Bennett Schramko, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Unfortunately, humans have impacted coral reefs in many different negative ways. The most obvious way we have destroyed coral reefs is by polluting them. Whether it’s by trash debris by everyday people or sewage/oil from different treatment plant operation companies, we are slowly destroying the once beautiful coral reefs. According to research done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the world has lost 30 to 50 percent of its coral reefs already. With almost half of the coral reefs lost, tropical reef ecosystems could face extinction by the end of the century. Ways to restore the reefs include planting some nursery-grown corals and building coral resilience to threats such as pollution. These actions would help sustain these new reefs.

Poster - Ecobricking, A Way to Recycle At Home

Eva Ladd, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Plastic is one of the world’s most common trash and recyclable waste. Improper disposal can lead to great environmental harm. The question then becomes how do we deal with disposal? “Once in the environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that attract toxic chemicals, are ingested by wildlife on land and in the ocean, and contaminated our food way,” (Maqueda, 2010). One solution is ecobricking—where plastic bottles are filled with non-biodegradable plastic in order to promote plastic sequestration and stop their toxins being released into the environment. Ecobricks can be used to create garden walls, benches, etc.

Poster - How Urban Gardening Can Contribute to Sustainable Cities and Communities

Sam Shafer, Indiana University
Thomas Vlasic, Indiana University
Darby Williams, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Urban gardening helps to create inclusive and sustainable cities through decreasing air pollution, reducing waste, and supporting the natural habitat suppressed by the city. Urban gardening contributes to sustainable communities by providing cheap/easy access to healthy food, self-sufficiency, and a strengthened sense of community.

Poster - Investigating the Relationship Between Green Spaces and their Impacts on Marginalized Communities

Darian Belcher, Indiana University
Casey Hallenbeck, Indiana University
Emma Milton, Indiana University
Anna Tarner, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Greenspaces are natural areas that are set apart for recreation/leisure within a community. The purpose of these spaces includes promoting healthy habits and increasing the wellbeing of all users. However, research has identified barriers that negatively impact usage of greenspaces within marginalized communities. According to Checker (2011), “marginalized and vulnerable people tend to be disproportionately exposed to environmental harm… and typically have less access to environmental benefits” (p. 3). Individuals, specifically People of Color (POC), feel unwelcome in public spaces, along with experiencing unfair land distribution and lack of resources. There must be reform in the way that greenspaces are viewed.

Poster - Microplastics in Us

Bryson Oliver, Indiana University
Ben Peters, Indiana University
Brett Leonard, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Microplastics, characterized as particles smaller than 5 mm, have become increasingly common in waterways, food sources, as well as the end-consumers such as humans. These plastics can be increasingly harmful, especially the amount within humans. The dangers are not fully known yet to humans, but there should be concern. One area of concern should be the cerebral cells in humans (Schirinzi et al., 2017).

Poster - Noise Pollution: The Forgotten Environmental Hazard

Michael Dowd, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Environmental noise pollution is a pervasive problem in America today. Americans have little in their arsenal against noise pollution and the threat it poses to human health. Yet, historically it has been treated as a distant last in comparison to other types of environmental pollutants. Both acute and chronic exposure to environmental noise pollution negatively impact human health and can lead to adverse long-term effects (Hammer et al., 2014, p. 116). Solutions to improve human health, such as direct regulation and altering the built environment to lower human exposure to environmental noise, need to be driven by policy.

Poster - Redlining and a Legacy of Environmental Racism

Brittany Sanders, Indiana University
Marina Cridge, Indiana University
Stephanie Perez, Indiana University
Lizbeth Roque, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Environmental racism is the disproportionate disadvantages that people of a minority background face due to systemic practices regarding the environment. One of the largest contributors was redlining which laid the foundation for current environmental injustices such as reduced air quality within communities of color, specifically Black Americans. Considering structural racism as a factor in low community environmental health, developing guidelines that strive to correct past policies, as well as enforcing regulations, will go a long way towards ending environmental racism.

Poster - Reducing Pollution in Indiana: Strategies for Success

Austin Crouch, Indiana University
Sarah VanHoosier, Indiana University
Lauren Chasteen, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Indiana has experienced, and is still experiencing, many different forms of pollution; this issue is not only negatively affecting the environment, but also the health of Indiana residents. The Chicago Tribune states, “Indiana leads the nation in toxic pollution emitted per square mile, according to an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report” (Colias-Pete, 2021). This is a widespread issue affecting the state and its residents in many ways. One way to address this would be to work with affected communities and educating them on the dangers of pollution as well as the best ways to mitigate the issues. Additionally, working with companies to find innovative options can help to reduce their pollutant output while working towards fixing the damage they have already done.

Poster - Sustainability and Mental Health Benefits of Urban Greening/Infrastructure

Gibson Burdett, Indiana University
Joey Copeland, Indiana University
Anna Noel, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Cities are centers of environmental pollution and experience higher percentages of mental health issues. Concrete and metal make up the majority of cities, contributing to problems such as runoff, increased carbon emissions, and depression. Some of the most effective methods of reducing carbon emissions and storm water control come from natural ecosystems. There has also been a direct link between mental health benefits and green spaces (Coutts, 2015). Green infrastructure such as bioswales and green roofs can address natural methods of flood and carbon control, while also providing a green getaway from the city to improve mental health.

Poster - Sustainability Impacts of the Fast Fashion Industry

Ali Brewer, Indiana University
Abby Ericson, Indiana University
Amanda Isaacson, Indiana University
Lilly Rust, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Due to overconsumption, increased demand, and micro-seasons in the fashion industry, clothes are being rapidly produced— harming both human and environmental health. These negative impacts are seen at every stage of the fast fashion cycle, from textile production to the end-user or landfill. As the industry continues to turnover fashion trends with more and more frequency, these consequences continue to intensify. Fashion brands are now producing almost twice the amount of clothing today compared with before the year 2000 (Niinimäki, et al., 2020). However, as awareness improves, companies and consumers are seeking out ways to mitigate their environmental impacts.

Poster - The Effects of Noise Pollution on Human and Environmental Health

India Street, Indiana University
Kamebry Wagner, Indiana University
Emma Milton, Indiana University
Maggie Gardner, Indiana University
Molly Creech, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Noise pollution is harmful to both human health and nature. Environmental noise pollution is a form of air pollution and is a threat to health and well-being (Jariwala et al., 2017). Methods of combatting noise pollution are many. Methods studied here include: depressing freeways and arterial roads below the level of adjoining residential areas; using roadside noise barriers; creating maximum separation between roads and new buildings; siting high-rise buildings at the front of a development, providing acoustic shielding for any low-rise buildings; and using natural topographic features to the best acoustic advantage.

Poster - Urban Farming for Environmental Justice

Will Cannon, Indiana University
Julia Ramirez, Indiana University

6:00 PM

Urban areas, especially those with large populations of marginalized groups, suffer from issues such as “grocery red-lining” and increased food inaccessibility. Both are forms of Environmental Injustice. Direct and Indirect consequences of Environmental Injustice include a decline in mental and physical health, sense of community, environmental education, and the many more long-term effects. According to a study by the Chicago Department of Public health, surveying locations in different cities found that in the Chicago lawn neighborhood of Chicago only 37% of food stores sell fresh produce (Block et al. 2005). By encouraging urban gardening, we can help people have greater access to fresh produce.