The College of Aging Sciences helps compensate for carbon footprint while traveling | Penn State University

University Park, PA. – A new program at Pen State College of Agricultural Sciences is helping students reduce their carbon footprint while studying abroad.

A sustainable and accessible foreign study initiative was launched last year to encourage students to pursue sustainable experiences in research abroad in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The program also offers alternative international programs such as virtual courses or internships that are internationally focused or internationally hosted. The initiative also aims to make international education more accessible to students, including funding for study abroad or providing virtual options at low cost.

“We are working on practical options for students and teachers who are participating in or leading a course or program with an international trip to think about their carbon footprint and how to reduce their environmental impact while traveling,” said Ketja Lingenfeldter. , Assistant Director of Student International Participation.

According to Lingenfelter, most foreign students have to travel by air, which is a major source of greenhouse gases. Students can positively compensate by exploring and reducing carbon emissions from domestic and international pollution, both at home and abroad.

Among those who received the initiative were “Environmental Management 499 ፡ Costa Rica Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources. Biodiversity building, renewable energy generation, climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture are among the services projects in Costa Rica.

Although their 2022 spring trip has been extended due to Covid-19, the students hope to make their trip in the spring of 2023. In anticipation of their journey, they have been working on sustainable projects in the State College community, said Tammy Shannon, an ERM consultant and course instructor.

“Most students enrolled in ERM foreign courses are interested in conservation, sustainability, and natural resources,” she said. “Balancing the benefits of a trip abroad – international qualifications, collaborations with international organizations and first-hand experience in another culture – is more complicated than at first glance with the carbon emissions required to travel abroad.

Although some carbon offsets were not part of the program in the past, Shannon said, students understood this balance better and were more willing to participate in service projects with State College Boro, Clearwater Conservation and the Center for Regional Governments. Its work includes caring for rainforests and catchments, planting trees, and volunteering for the Solar Force.

Iana Multry, a senior environmental expert and sustainable leader, is one of the students who helped eliminate invasive species, clear debris from Czech dams, and plant growth at Easterley Parkway.

“The most rewarding aspect was that I realized that my actions were having a positive impact on the environment by controlling the flow and protecting their waterways from harmful pollution and benefiting the local community.” She said. “Knowing what my actions are and how they affect the world, although I can do my part in tackling climate change, is an individual step.”

Although she did not travel to Costa Rica in the spring, Multry plans to travel abroad after graduation from Detroit, Michigan. “I look forward to traveling to Nigeria, Costa Rica and other countries to help low-income communities fight environmental justice and provide sustainable waste management,” Multry said. Waste and solution to environmental injustice.

Dana Sánchez, a Junior in Environmental Management, was inspired to participate in water projects and water resources and marine sciences for his projects, particularly in improving water quality.

“I have learned a lot about how agricultural and nutrient fluids affect our streams and water quality,” said Sánchez, who plans to study water management at a graduate school. “I am particularly interested in conserving water resources, especially in developing countries, so engaging in such projects increases knowledge.”

In addition to community service projects for the ERM division, he has worked on other sustainable projects, including Sanchez, Reading, Solar Power and Nutrition Management in Penn State. She said the college and university value their efforts to reduce emissions and make the future better for all.

“It makes me proud to be part of Penn State and to excel in environmental science,” Sánchez said. “It’s important for me to try to be environmentally friendly and reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible. I’m grateful that Penn State gives us the opportunity to do that.

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