The semester is almost over and I am getting excited for our class to present our project next Friday to Don Gorney and the others who will be there to learn about what we’ve done this semester. I am not a speaker, but I have been working on some design ideas and of course, the Outreach section of the report. Our advisor in this project, Marjorie, is helping to compile the work of all the groups. I think our report will turn out to be very beneficial to LOI. I’ve learned more this year about ecology, conservation, and being green in an urban setting than I ever have before from my involvement in the practicum, the herbarium work over the summer, and taking Ecology — all here at Butler. I understand these subjects so much better now, and I appreciate the help that Marjorie and the rest of the faculty at Butler have given me. I also think our class has developed a greater appreciation for the business side of things, rather than just the research that Biology students are usually focused on. We’re thinking about more than just our own educational advancement by being more concerned with how others view these issues and what we can do to educate.
Interestingly enough, I was checking my gmail the other day and there was a link for LEED Exam Prep Training on the top of the page. I decided to click the link and it brought me to a page about LEED Exam Preparation courses. I wasn’t aware there was an actual LEED Credential that people could acquire for their resumes, but as the site states, “The LEED AP designation is a highly sought-after credential by professionals in environmental sustainability roles, as well as law, real estate and other areas”. I always thought it was a rating system for buildings, but it turns out professionals can get LEED accreditation as well. I was certain architects and others in the construction profession had to have heard of this, so I wondered how many are actually certified. I went to the GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) directory and found that there are 142,266 names of LEED Professionals. How cool is it that anyone can get this credential just by taking a test? If I were an architect or involved in building design, I would definitely be interested in this!
With a new season coming upon us, it is easy to forget about migration in this time. In the winter seasons, the birds migrate south for more resources that are abundant. However, the winter season could be a great opportunity for LOI to promote its program. Although volunteer work is not needed to find dead birds through out the community, they are needed in helping promote LOI. During this time it would be necessary to go to building managers and talk to them about LOI. A good statistic to show the building owner would be the amount of energy saved throughout migration periods as compared to non-migrating times. Although energy does not concern many building managers, the money which would be saved would greatly affect their decision. A quantitative study would be useful from November to March to show the costs of Lighting as compared to migrating times, where the building turns off their lights from midnight till dawn, thus indicating the amount of money saved by joining the program. Most research for LOI involves the migrating months, however, these winter months could be used to advance LOI. LOI can be promoted throughout the whole year rather than just advertised largely during the migrating months. This would help greatly increase the amount of supporters for LOI. Migration only happens approximately 5 months out of the year, but using the other 7 months setting up volunteer opportunities would be greatly appreciated by the community.
One of my interview subjects was Mr. Mark Zelonis, a representative of the IMA, which is a current participant in LOI. He was able to offer me some great insight on the program and how it affects the IMA and their stakeholders. I think the interviews being conducted by the building management group will prove very useful in LOI’s outreach to potential participants in the future. Both the IMA and the downtown library are recognizable buildings that have a lot of patrons every year. If potential participants hear positive feedback from these institutions, they will see the true benefits of jumping onboard. It is very important to remember that one cannot have too much incentive to join this program. Some targets may take more convincing than others, and any LOI representative must be as ready as possible to urge targets to become participants. With this input, and the other groups’ efforts, the future of LOI is looking very bright!