- Leaving a Smaller Footprint - Students work to offset carbon emissions generated by class field trip
Leaving a Smaller Footprint - Students work to offset carbon emissions generated by class field trip
May 27, 2011
Three vans travelling 3,000 miles can leave an awfully big carbon footprint—a 6.2-metric-ton footprint, to be exact.
That massive footprint was the one potential downside to the 10-day field trip that was the capstone of UI professor Art Bettis’ spring semester geoscience course, Geology Field Trip: Selected National Parks. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences course, which met once a week during the spring semester, focused on the geologic, biologic, and cultural resources of the National Park System, as well as management and environmental issues. It concluded with a 10-day trip to Florisant Fossil Beds and Great Sand Dunes National Parks in Colorado and Tent Rocks National Monuments and Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico.
So, at the beginning of the semester, Bettis issued a challenge to the 15 students in his class: find a way to offset that carbon in order to neutralize the environmental impact of the trip. He didn’t require the students to participate in the challenge, but every one of them wanted to get involved.
To read the complete article by Anne Kapler in Spectator, a monthly newsletter for alumni, http://spectator.uiowa.edu/2011/may/smallerfootprint.html