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Universities as Citizens Institutional Development Grant

APPENDIX A: Calvin Environmental Assessment Program (CEAP) Courses

Academic Services

Jim MacKenzie, Student Academic Services
ASC 004 and C.E.A.P.

This course provides a review of high school mathematics while developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. One area of competence needed by these students is in beginning statistics, especially for those students whose next mathematics course at Calvin is MATH 143 Probability and Statistics. The Calvin Environmental Assessment Program (C.E.A.P.) offers a means of connecting statistics with a real life situation. Students will participate in C.E.A.P. by first taking the Environmental Attitude and Behavior Questionnaire to compile data on class attitudes toward the environment. Students will also make measurements of personal recycling and water use behaviors. Using the survey results and behavior pattern data, students will explore how to statistically describe and present this information. Conclusions will be drawn comparing the class attitudes with College outcomes and in extrapolating from class behaviors to general student body conduct. Fall, Spring (35 per semester)


Dave Warners, Department of Biology
Floristic Quality Assessment of Main Campus Natural Areas

In Biology 346 (Plant Taxonomy) we will be doing a floristic quality assessment of the natural areas on Calvin’s main campus (east of the East Beltline). Groups of 2-3 students will each be assigned one of eight areas on campus. Throughout the fall semester these groups will compile a species list and vegetation map for these areas. The data will be processed according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Floristic Quality Assessment guidelines, and a numberic value for each site, reflecting the overall quality of its vegetation, will be calculated. This study will provide information that could be useful in consideration of future development plans of the campus. It will also identify areas that are in need of restoration and management activities. An additional benefit will be that undesirable invasive species will be identified for possible removal. Furthermore, the information collected in this study will provide a baseline data set for future reflection and comparison. Fall (25 students)

Randy Van Dragt, Department of Biology
Biology 345

The Biology 345 class will conduct an environmental assessment of the two athletic field ponds at the northwest corner of the college campus. In past years we have described various features of ecology of these ponds and their watershed. This year we will study the plankton community of the ponds and the water chemistry of the ponds and their major surface water inputs. In addition, we will compare the athletic field ponds, which have received significant human impact for many decades, to a similar, but more isolated, pond in the Ecosystem Preserve. Results of the study will be used to develop a tentative management plan for the ponds. Fall (22 students)


Mark Muyskens, Department of Chemistry
Honors General Chemistry

Honors General Chemct a 4-week study of the Calvin College surface water supply. The project will involve collecting samples and analyzing them for chemical components related to water quality. The sites sampled will cover most of the surface water sites on campus including the seminary pond, the athletic field ponds, and the Ecosystem Preserve. The project will also involve techniques for communicating the results in several different formats. Fall (20 students)

Kumar Sinniah, Department of Chemistry
Chemistry 201

Chem 201 students will investigate the water quality on ponds at Calvin College and the air quality on Calvin College's campus. Students working on the water quality project will analyze for anions, cations, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, water hardness, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, algal concentration, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the four ponds located on the campus's premises. These parameters will be monitored over the next several years by students taking chemistry 201.

Students investigating air quality will try to answer the following basic questions. What chemical components are present in the air? How does indoor air quality relate to outdoor air quality. These students will monitor the air primarily to investigate for volatile organic compounds. Fall (14 students)

Kumar Sinniah, Department of Chemistry
Chemistry 395

The student who is working on the Chemistry 395 independent research project will investigate the air quality in the art-studio and the nearby environment. The goal of this work is to identify chemical links between indoor and outdoor air. Fall (1 student)


Robert Hoeksema, Department of Engineering
Project to improve the environmental condition of the northwest ponds.

Two ponds exist at the northwest corner of the Calvin College campus - President's Pond and Ravenswood Pond. These ponds accept stormwater flows from the storm drains in both East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids. They also accept storm water from drains on campus. The ponds contain high concentrations of nutrients and low levels of dissolved oxygen making them eutrophic. These ponds occasionally experience algae blooms, which upset the ecological balance of the ponds and detract from their aesthetic quality. This then creates problems with our East Grand Rapids neighbors. The goals of this project are to: 1) Improve the quality of the northwest ponds; 2) Improve the quality of the water draining from the ponds; 3) Improve the overall aesthetic nature of the northwest corner of campus; 4) Educate, inform, and include our neighbors in the solution of these problems.

One Engineering Senior Design team (Engr 339/340) will be asked to take this as their year-long design project. By the end of the school year they should complete a set of plans and specifications for the project. The results should also include some physical or numerical modeling to show that their solution will work. They should also provide a funding plan for the project. Fall, Spring (4 students)


Elizabeth VanderLei, Department of English
English 101

In English 101R, we will investigate the ways that the humanities disciplines can coordinate with and can assist technical evaluations of environmental quality at Calvin College. Thus, in the first assignment we will develop personal responses to our "place" at Calvin by focusing on the nature preserve. In the second assignment we will contextualize the numeric data of the Environmental Attitudes Survey with qualitative data. In the group project assignment we will develop the concept of Christian stewardship as it relates to CEAP, and in the last assignment we will develop guidelines for creating a rhetorically effective CEAP poster. Fall, Spring (22 each semester)

Elizabeth VanderLei, Department of English
Technical Writing

Interim (14 students); Support projects for other CEAP courses.

Environmental Studies/Environmental Science

Janel Curry-Roper, Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies 395

As part of the capstone class for Environmental Studies and Environmental Science students, a class project will be introduced that requires the students to develop an environmental ethic for the campus. Spring (20 students)


Henk Aay, Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies
GEOG 110 - World Regional Geography: Where Am I Going and Why? Understanding Campus Spatial Behavior

CEAP is interested in knowing how much and what parts of the campus environment are known and used by students. The aim of the Geog 110 assignment is to help students understand and work with concepts such as geographical knowing, mapping, spatial behavior, spatial routines, activity spaces, space-time manifold, personal geographies. For one week each student will map their on campus spatial behavior and also include the locations of their arrivals on and exits from campus, and note their destinations when they leave campus (locations/addresses of work, shopping, amusement, socializing, eating out, church, etc.) Maps will include pathways and destinations for each day. Campus maps will be provided for the assignment. Students will be asked to prepare a final map(s) which clearly presents all of the information collected on the daily sketch maps. In groups the students will analyze and interpret the results looking for and suggesting explanations for common pathways, nodes and activity patterns. The data will be more carefully analyzed by students in one of Jim Bradley's statistics classes. Fall, Spring (50 students each semester)

Janel Curry-Roper/Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies
Geography 230 - The Geography of the Global Economy

Project 1: A foodshed, similar to a watershed, traces the flow of food from its origin to its final destination. In order to better understand the Calvin College foodshed, students collected data from the Calvin Food Service that provided a traceable inventory. Type, quantity, and origin (as best as could be determined) were determined, indexed, and charted with the intent of eventually being mapped. This study helps us to gain a better understanding of Calvin’s position in both the global and local economy and provides information that could become the basis for environmentally responsible decision-making in regards to feeding students and staff.

Project 2: Calvin’s neighbors complain on a regular basis that: 1) Students don't contribute to the neighborhood. 2) Students, as renters, reduce property values. 3) Students are noisy, don't maintain property, and drive old cars (which are always parked in the street). Over the next several years, a class, possibly Geography 251, Urban and Regional Planning, will develop and carry out a study which address these concerns. The study will include a literature review and empirical study of the impact of campuses like Calvin on surrounding neighborhood, including the benefits of open space and access to other services. It should celebrate the diversity, excitement, and service potential of Calvin. A document such as this would be valuable to Calvin as we reach out to the community with service projects, future zoning issues, and public relations, in general. Fall ’99 (10 students)

Janel Curry-Roper/Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies
Geography 100/Geology 100

Geography 100/Geology 100 students will be gathering daily meteorological data, based on Calvin’s campus, during the month of October. This data will be used to enhance the water quality data collected by the Chemistry Department CEAP projects which are also collected during October. October 1998 will be compared to an "average" October. Fall ’98 (15 students)


Jim Clark, Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies
Cartography and GIS

Geographic Information Systems projects that support the compilation of CEAP data. Spring ’99 (25 students)

Jim Clark, Department of Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies
Advanced GIS

The Advanced GIS (Geog/Geol W50) class was given the assignment to make a GIS of the Calvin Campus using ArcView software. The purpose was to make a spatial database of Calvin so that physical plant modifications, architectural changes, and environmental databases could be stored with a spatial signature. Six students were in the interim course. The data used to construct the GIS was an air photo of the campus and ecosystem preserve; an autocad file of the buildings, roads, hydrology, parking and recreational fields; and a topographic map of the campus with two foot contour lines. Each of these differed in scale, size, and projection. The maps had to be scanned and imported into the computer. These raster images were then transformed to match the autocad file in scale and projection. Then the raster contour map was traced giving vector contours at known elevation. All six students started the project but two of them, Steve Faber and Nate Petersen chose the project as a special project and carried it far, though not to completion. Remaining is the completion of the contours in the ecosystem preserve and use of all contours to produce a digital elevation model of the entire campus. Interim ’98 (7 students)

Andy Blystra, Department of Engineering
Environmental Geology

Environmental Geology course will evaluate the erosion that has occurred in the Nature Preserve since the previous year, install piezometers and conduct electrical resistivity surveys in the area of the North Pond, and classify soils and develop soil profiles in the are of North Pond using the USDA criteria. These activities will be done in conjunction with the activities of Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering CEAP projects. Spring ’99.


Jim Bradley, Department of Mathamatics
Math 243

The students in Mathematics 243, a calculus based statistics class, will analyze data collected by students in Geography 110, World Regional Geography. The data deal with campus spatial behavior. Possible questions that might be addressed include: How do students' campus usages differ by various demographic factors such as gender, class, and major? How efficient are students in their trip planning? Are there sections of campus that are under or over utilized? What are the implications of such usage for future campus design? Fall, Spring (22 students each semester)


David Van Baak, Department of Physics and Astronomy
PHYS 182

The Physics 182 class will begin modelling energy use and costs using an energy meter. This meter, which fits between an appliance and the electrical wall plug, will be used to monitor home and campus cost/impact by duty cycle, number of devices, etc. Spring ’98

Political Science

Jim Penning, Department of Political Science
Political Science 202 - Crossing the East Beltline

Calvin is planning to build two new buildings across the East Beltline, thereby increasing the frequency of student crossings. This CEAP project, to be conducted by students enrolled in Political Science 202, American State and Local Politics, will analyze various options for providing safe and convenient crossing. Students will examine the historical background, assess the role of government agencies, study pedestrian patterns, development assessment criteria and evaluate possible solutions.


Beryl Hugen, Department of Sociology and Social Work
Sociology 320 - Methods of Social Research

The Spring '98 class completed a research project assessing the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of the Calvin community regarding the environment. The project involved a professional literature search, development of a self-administered questionnaire, distributing the questionnaire to students, faculty and staff, and an analysis of the findings. Spring ’98.