The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University after the Environmental Science program was implemented in 1991-92. The lecture series was designed to support the Environmental Science program by allowing students, faculty and members of North Central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in environmental science and policy. Over the years, the lecture series has generated significant campus and community involvement and support. Recent lectures are archived for viewing on this webpage.
Working with the community
The Environmental Science Program supports and co-sponsors a variety of outreach programs targeted K-12 students and teachers and the regional community. Many of these efforts use the Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center or another of the five Ashland University Environmental Preserves to support hands-on experience in natural ecosystems.
Community Programming Includes:
- Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center (BFWESC)
- Mohican District Science Day
- Environmental Lecture Series
- High School Lecture & Luncheon (9-12th)
- Kettering Scholars (8th)
- Naturalist on Duty
- Nature walks with community groups
The BFWESC was established in 2005 after a major grant from the Clean Ohio Fund allowed for substantial expansion of conserved habitats included in the Black Fork Wetlands Preserve. Funds also supported boardwalk and parking lot construction that allows for public access to this 300-acre preserve. Since 2005, the BFWESC has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous school groups from Ashland, Richland, and surrounding counties, as well as teacher development workshops promoted by the Environmental Education Council of Ohio.
Established in 1991, the Lecture Series is designed to provide students, faculty and residents of North Central Ohio with the opportunity to interact with prominent environmental scientists from around the country. This series is free and open to the public, and has been supported by grants from GTE Foundation, the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation, the Lubrizol Foundation, and support from Ashland University. The lecture series is publicized in local newspapers, and current lectures are archived for viewing on our website.
Each year, 100 high school students from area high schools are invited for a talk by a prominent environmental scientist, followed by a luncheon and question period to provide them with the opportunity to interact with the speaker. The only cost to the high schools has been to provide transportation to the Ashland University campus. This program was initiated in 1999 with a grant from the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation, and has continued each year since thanks to a variety of sponsors.
This program was established in 1999 for honors eighth grade students from Ashland Middle School. Fifteen to eighteen participants experience a lab with a different faculty member each month during the academic year. Field-oriented labs have included analysis of pigments involved color changes in leaves in Fall, spring wildflowers at Fowler Woods, and aquatic ecology of the Black Fork Wetland Preserve followed by microscopic examination of the samples in lab. Kettering Scholar alumni (12th grade) return during high school for advanced lab activities.
Starting in 2016, the Naturalist on Duty program has been offering short programs and informal learning options in an open-house format. These events are offered monthly on a Saturday during summer and fall. AU environmental science faculty collaborate with Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists to host visitors.
EVS faculty members have hosted nature walks with members of regional community groups for many years. A recent example was the day trip planned with the Mohican Native Plant Society to explore plant diversity at the Dayspring Preserve in Coshocton Co.
We've been offering the free Environmental Lectures Series since 1991, and we'd be happy to have you join us. All lectures will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall of the Schar College of Education.
This center hosts 300 acres, spanning several habitats for you to conduct research and view species like: beaver, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, soras, and sandhill cranes.
We manage five environmental preserves that support undergraduate and faculty research and habitat conservation. The Preserve Manager Is Dr. Richard Stoffer. Students may become involved in studies of the biological and physical attributes and processes that characterize these preserves. Each preserve contains unique habitat and wildlife and thus offers a variety of study opportunities.
Other Parks and Preserves in the Area
The AU Rock and Ohio Flora Garden is located next to the SW entrance to the Kettering Science Center Building. It includes examples of many rock types, as well as examples of native Ohio plants that work well as garden and landscaping plants. The garden was made possible in 2007 by a donation from Dr. Elizabeth Richmond in memory of Samuel I. Richmond, whose efforts helped secure funding for the original Kettering Science Center building.
Learn more about the plant species in our garden:
- Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)
- Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
- Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
- White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
- Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
- Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
- Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
- Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa)
- Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)
- Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
- Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)
- Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
- Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum)
- American hophornbean (Ostrya virginiana)
- White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)
- Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus)
- Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia sp.)
- Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- and more... (to be cont.)
Learn more about the rocks in our garden:
- Porphyritic Granite
- Mylonitic gneiss
- Garnet sillimanite gneiss
- Blastomylonitic Gneiss with Glacial Striations
- Garnet Gneiss
- Biotite-hornblende Gneiss
- Granitic Gneiss with Quartz-Feldspar Vein (Pegmatite)
- Oolitic Indiana limestone
- Mudstone with mud cracks
- Massillon Sandstone
- Garnet wollastonite skarn
- Anorthosite (Adirondacks)
- Diopside Rock
These resources are popular library databases that our science students choose to utilize semester after semester. NOTE: a student ID and password is required.
It's a part of college - completing an internship in the field. Start here by accessing some popular internship resources for science majors.
In addition to AU's financial aid program and Choose Ohio First scholarship program for science majors, there are other organizations interested in supporting the education and training of environmental science students in particular.
- The Ohio Environmental Science & Environmental Engineering Scholarship Program (Deadline April 15)
- Buckeye Trail Association Scholarship (Deadline April 1)
What was the most valuable aspect of working on your research project? The two most valuable aspects of this research project were the technical skills and the confidence that I gained from completing the project. I learned so much over the course of this project about how to conduct research in the lab, develop timelines, set deadlines, record data for later use, and how to combine everything into a paper that was eventually published. I also learned many technical skills specific to laboratory methods, instrumentation, data analysis, quality control, and even cleaning that will be used throughout my entire career as a scientist. Upon completing the project, I gained much more confidence in myself and...Read more