As part of their pollen-collecting duties, bees also pollinate at least 80 percent of the food crops we rely on for sustenance. Without bees, many of these crops would not produce fruit, which means no more food for humans. It is crucial for bees to not only survive, but also to thrive, as life depends on their efficient foraging activities, which also produce important medicinal foods like honey, bee pollen, propolis, and the ultimate superfood, royal jelly.
"The main role of the bee, of course, is to pollinate," says Dr. Reese. "Currently, there are at least 235,000 different flowering plants on earth, and bees are responsible for at least 80 percent of cross-pollinating those plants."
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/041194_honeybees_neonicotinoids_pesticides.html#ixzz2zjAYBTmN
Professor Diba Khan-Bureau
Date of Speaker: Wednesday April 9, 2014
Low Impact Development Techniques
Michael Dietz was the speaker for our ninth seminar class. To start this seminar off, we learned of his educational past and current employment. Mike is a water resources educator who has a leadership responsibility of running the CT NEMO program (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials). The CT NEMO program has a goal of protecting natural resources, and using research to educate others about better land use decisions. Currently, Mike is involved with the Center for Land use Education and Research (CLEAR), and the Connecticut Sea Grant college program located on the Avery Point campus in Groton, CT. Michael Dietz graduated from the University of Connecticut with both a Master’s and Ph. D. with a study focusing mainly on stormwater and LID (Low Impact Development techniques). After graduating, from 2005 to 2007, Mike worked on projects related to LID with the CT NEMO program. After that he left Connecticut to respond to a job of being an assistant professor and an extensions specialist in sustainable living at Utah State University. Mike continued to do what he does best, storm water and LID auditing. In addition to this, he educated and worked on conserving energy, water harvesting, and green building techniques. This Seminar was very informative, and brought to my attention little things in the world that I really had no idea would make a negative impact on the environment. The main focus of this seminar was impervious surfaces and impacts of development on our waterways from impervious surfaces such as certainparking lots, driveways, sidewalks, pavements and roads.
Standard land made developments causes a disruption in the water cycle. Developments such as Impervious surfaces can negatively change the way water is transported or stored, basically, the hydrology of water. Impervious man made surfaces such as asphalt, cement, concrete and rooftops can create a barrier stopping rainfall to sink down in the soil, decreasing groundwater infiltration while increasing surface runoff. This can lead to various negative changes of the hydrologic/ water cycle. These changes include increased flooding, the frequency of flooding and the severity of flooding, loss of natural runoff and storage capacity in vegetation, wetland and soil, etc. Increased surface runoff is a big issue because it is a causing factor of pollution in water!!! These pollutants runoff into waterways which causes nonpoint source pollution.“Polluted runoff is now widely recognized by environmental scientists and regulators as the single largest threat to water quality in the United States” (Arnold). This is because some pollutants are detrimental to health, they are toxic, and disease causing organisms, or in other words, pathogens. With increased pollutants flushing into our waterways, research has shown “aquatic biological systems begin to degrade at impervious levels of 12% to 15%, or at even lower levels for particularly sensitive streams”(Arnold). Impervious surfaces are the cause for impaired drainage, aquatic habitats, and heavy polluted water systems.
Michael Dietz brought up many good points on why it is important to be aware of how our water is being affected. Man made impervious surfaces such as asphalt, cement and roofing prevent rainfall from naturally sinking into the ground. Because of this, there is a change in the water cycle, which negatively affects the quality of water. Michael Dietz, and his team work hard to reduce the impact of impervious surfaces on UCONN’s water cycle. Building vegetated roofs on campus help out tremendously. These green, or vegetated roofs are replacing many of the regular roofs at UCONN now, because the outcomes of these roofs are astonishing. Already these roofs are retaining 54% of precipitation!! These vegetated roofs play a big role in creating a sustainable environment, these benefits include controlling stormwater runoff - which will improve water quality, conserves energy, prolongs the service life of roofing materials, etc. Also, vegetating roofs creates beautiful habitats for important insects, like honey bees.
Arnold, Chester . "IMPACTS OF DEVELOPMENT ON WATERWAYS." uconn.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. . <http://nemo.uconn.edu/tools/impervious_surfaces/pdfs/NEMO_fact_3.pdf>.