Land Use Research Posters

A Methodology for Calculating the Fiber Footprint of a Large Organization : A Case Study of Penn State University

Nathaniel Elser, Judd Michael

The sustainability of an organization cannot exceed that of its supply chain. This realization has led many organizations to consider how procurement functions can impact sustainability of operations. Metrics to evaluate sustainability performance of procurement outcomes often focus on reducing overall material purchases and purchasing products having third-party certifications. Such metrics have limited utility for assessing environmental impact of purchasing decisions.

Agroforestry Systems May Play Vital Role in Mitigating Climate Change

Andrea De Stefano, Michael Jacobson

Agroforestry systems could offer a viable opportunity to deal with climate change issues, having the potential to sequester and store atmospheric CO2 over long periods. The purpose of the study was to provide an empirical foundation to support agroforestry systems as a strategy to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentration and mitigate climate change. A meta-analysis was carried out to investigate changes in soil organic carbon (SOC).

Assessment of Potential Human Health Consequences Associated with Processing and Handling of Switchgrass Biomass for Bio-Based Products

Pankaj Kuhar, William Groves, Ryan Trexler, Terrence Bell, Bhushan Jayarao, Douglas Schaufler, Dennis Murphy, Gretchen Kuldau

In an expanding, regenerative bio-based economy, the role of cheap, low impact lignocellulosic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) biomass is that of a steady energy source, as we make the transition from fossil fuels to wind and solar power. However epidemiological studies have linked worker exposure to high concentrations of bioaerosols when handling and processing biomass in a biofuel plant.

Brazilian Sugarcane Ethanol as an Expandable Green Alternative to Crude Oil Use

Deepak Jaiswal, Amanda P. De Souza, Søren Larsen, David S. LeBauer, Fernando E. Miguez, Gerd Sparovek, Germán Bollero, Marcos S. Buckeridge, Stephen P. Long

Cafeterias are Classrooms: Measuring Student Food Waste in the National School Lunch Program

Melissa Terry

The expanding footprint of food and agriculture represents one of the biggest threats to biodiversity on the planet. Even more problematic, it’s estimated that the US wastes 63 million tons of food every year. A large percentage of this food waste ends up in landfills where it emits harmful methane greenhouse gas emissions, while also wasting water, energy and wildlife habitat that was sacrificed to grow [wasted] food.

Changing Behaviors to Reduce U.S. Emissions: Seven Pathways to Achieve Climate Impact

Katherine Heller, Antonius Gagern, Michael Berger, Kevin Green, John Thomas

Human behavior is at the core of many of the world's greatest environmental threats and climate change is no exception. Project Drawdown’s seminal list of 80 global climate solutions contains 30 in which individual and household behavior changes play a significant role. The United States is one of the highest-emitting countries of greenhouse gases and studies show that individual behavior contributes significantly to these emissions.

Climate Change Across the Curriculum: Teaching 'Drawdown' Solutions in Higher-Education

David Proffitt, Ariane Mohr-Felsen

Climate change affects every aspect of our world, from human health and the ecosystems we live in to the ways we support ourselves both materially and emotionally. But the siloed world of higher education can make it difficult to present cross-cutting solutions to climate change in the classroom.

Climate Change Prevention, Mitigation, and Adaptation in Kenya

Gracie Pekarcik

Climate change is a phenomenon that has major implications across our entire plant. Within just the continent of Africa, The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “presented strong evidence that surface temperatures across Africa have increased by 0.5-2°C over the past 100 years, and from 1950 onward climate change has changed the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events” (Kenya NCCAP 2018-2022, 2018).

Conserving Forest and Farmlands Facing Climate Uncertainty With Market-Based Approaches and Conservation Finance

Christopher Wally Wright

This poster will cover the mechanics of executing market-based conservation strategies to conserve and protect working forests and farmlands in an era of climate uncertainty. It includes our lesson learned from our research in the Puget Sound.

Coupling Carbon Sequestration with Nitrogen and Phosphorus to Synergize Water Quality Trading in the Muskingum Watershed of Ohio

Richard H. Moore

Our project aims to synergize an existing successful phosphorus(P) and nitrogen (N) trading program by adding carbon sequestration measures. By bundling C conservation measures with N and P, the program will lower its overall cost and expand. The C conservation measures will focus on no-till farming and cover crops.

Croton Tree – Is It the Answer to Africa’s Growing Demand for Cheap, Low-Carbon Energy?

Michael Jacobson, Yau-Huo Shr, Floris Dalemans, Christine Magaju, Rodrigo Ciannella

Trees that produce oilseeds have the potential to improve rural livelihoods through the production of vegetable oil for energy and other purposes, as well as valuable co-products, such as animal feed and organic fertilizers. In Kenya, Croton megalocarpus (Croton) is a prolific and widely distributed tree with such potential being currently underutilized.

Developing Genome-Scale Metabolic Models for Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Patrick F. Suthers, Thomas H. Pendergast IV, Malay C. Saha, Mitra Mazarei, Katrien M. Devos, Costas D. Maranas, Gerald A. Tuskan

The present work describes genome-scale reconstructions for Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), a perennial plant with increasing importance for biomass production with bioenergy applications. The metabolic model for Panicum virgatum accounts for 3,564 genes and 3,392 reactions. Although there are differences between switchgrass and maize, both are members of the Panicoideae subfamily and employ C4 carbon fixation.

Drawdown Learn Conference: Empowering Schools & Communities to Address Climate Change

Laura Weiland

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) opened in 2009 with the construction of our EcoMachine, a natural wastewater reclamation facility designed in partnership with acclaimed biologist, John Todd. As the world’s first LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certified project, the center receives thousands of visitors and many school groups each year. In 2018 we worked with Project Drawdown to produce the first Drawdown Learn Conference.

Enhancing the Impact of Gen Ed-level Environmental Science at Penn State Using Drawdown Solutions

Eduardo Granata-Rodriguez

With the goal of improving understanding of carbon cycling to a non-STEM, collegiate-level audience, we have developed an interactive video series to explain the impact of Drawdown solutions in local to regional-scale communities. Initial development is aimed at students of EARTH 100, a Gen-Ed level environmental science course at Penn State University.

Feeding Cities: Reconfiguring Urban Environments and Food Systems for Future Resilience

Chris Jones

As we move towards a global population of 9 billion + with our urban areas hosting most of the planets people, the need to be creative in providing quality food in a responsible way is ever greater.

Flood and Soil Property Impacts on Crop Yields: Where Perennial Buffers May Make Sense Financially within Pennsylvania Watersheds

Jack Lattimore

Flooding can lower annual cash crop yields and threaten the economic prosperity of farmers. As flooding events become more intense, frequent, and long-lasting due to the effects of climate change, more consideration is needed for which crops to place in high-risk areas. Previous studies have examined the broad impacts of weather events such as flooding or drought on crop yield and farmers’ revenue using long-term averages.

Forest Carbon Uptake Over 22 Years in a Northeastern U.S. Temperate Forest

Gabriel Batista, Emma Lancaster

Temperate forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle by sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide and storing above-ground and below-ground carbon. Quantifying these carbon (C) pools and fluxes is critical in understanding temperate forests’ relevance in reversing global warming. As forests age, tree growth is one of the primary ways in which carbon accumulates. Therefore, by measuring tree growth, an increase in forest carbon stock over time can be evaluated.

Indiana Drawdown

Daniel Poynter

Indiana Drawdown is inspired by Georgia Drawdown and others. It's grassroots and modeled after the opensource software movement. It values radical transparency and participation. Our main goal is to reduce Indiana's emissions 45% by 2030, as the IPCC says we must.

We've identified 200 entities already implementing Drawdown solutions in Indiana. Most don't know about Drawdown or how impactful their work is regarding climate change.

Integrated Migrant-Pasture Systems in Montane Agropastoralist Communities: Untangling Interactions of Environmental Change, Livestock, Remittances, and Left-Behind Children

Guangqing Chi, Erica Smithwick, Jennifer Glick, Katherine Zipp, Armen Kemanian, Scott Yabiku, Kathleen Hill, Ashton Verdery, Ludmil Zikatanov, Mark Feinberg

Environmentally-driven migrants are estimated to increase to 200 million globally by 2050. As environmental changes disrupt livelihoods, families use labor migration as a human resilience strategy. Migrant remittances can affect family income and relations, children’s well-being, and pasture dynamics and soil quality, but we lack information on how this flow of people and resources affects the dynamics of integrated socio-environmental systems (SESs) in origin communities.

Localizing Drawdown: Collaboratively Building Regenerate Lancaster

Eric Martin Usner, Eric Sauder, Michael Jennings, Tony Israel, Ana Furnari, Ian Godinez, Kris Williamson, Benjamin Jennings

Regenerate Lancaster is a collective of co-working individuals launching a Drawdown plan for Lancaster County, PA. Grounded in sustainability as a regenerative project for communities, economies, and ecologies (cf. Lovins, Wallis, Wijkman & Fullerton 2018; Raworth 2018; Rodale Institute; UN SDGs), we are identifying the twenty-five most relevant solutions for our place, connecting organizations to act on these solutions, and nurturing the initiatives we seed within our community.

Mirrors for Earth’s Energy Rebalancing (MEER:ReflEction): Resource-Driven Engineering Leveraging Earth’s Chemistries to Immediately Offer Remediation

Ye Tao

Anthropogenic aerosols and greenhouse gases (GHG) enter the atmosphere as peoples exercise their unalienable rights in pursuit of well-being and prosperity.  Once airborne, the aerosols cool the Earth almost as much as co-emitted GHG warm it.  This balancing act has masked an additional 1C of warming, should the aerosols disappear when phasing out the fossil fuels without compensatory solar radiation management.  In this scenario, existing knowledge about ecosystem responses project a probabl

Perennial Grasses in Integrated Landscape Designs: Carbon Drawdown, Profit Potential, and Ecosystem Service Opportunities

Veronika Vazhnik, Stephanie Herbstritt, L. Michael Griffel, Tom L. Richard, Jason Hansen

Perennial grasses are an alternative to conventional annual crops, especially on land that is eroded, prone to flooding and low-yielding. Besides providing water quality benefits through the extensive root system, creating habitat for wildlife, and serving as an additional income stream to the farmers, perennial grasses sequester carbon and prevent erosion and thus reduce the carbon footprint of a farm.

POLARIS: The Pursuing Opportunities for Long-term Arctic Resilience for Infrastructure and Society

Guangqing Chi, Davin Holen, E. Lance Howe, Chris Maio, Ann Tickamyer, Kathleen Halvorsen, Erika Smithwick, Andy Baltensperger, Matthew Berman, James Ford, Kathleen Hill, Anne Jensen, Leif Jensen, Nic Kinsman, Philip Loring, Joshua Moses, Bronwen Powell, Todd Radenbaugh, Alyssa Rodrigues, Douglas Wrenn, Junjun Yin, Qiujie Zheng

Alaskan coastal Indigenous communities face severe, urgent, and complex social and infrastructural challenges resulting from environmental changes. However, the magnitude and significance of impacts are unclear; as is how local communities will respond to resulting disruptions and disasters.

Pollution Reduction Effectiveness of Land Use Change as a Climate Change Adaptation Effort in the Conewago Creek Watershed

Kpoti Gunn, Tameira Veith, Anthony Buda

Agriculture intensification in Northeast US to meet food demands of the growing population must be sustainable, balanced against the pressure to continually improve water quality for use by that same population. Climate models predict increases in temperature and precipitation in the Northeast throughout the 21st century, further complicating temporal planning toward agricultural sustainability.

Powerful Thoughts: The Power of Universities as Thought Leaders in Scaling Renewable Energy

Meghan Chapple, Robert Orttung, Saniya LeBlanc, Andrew Dickson

As the second largest contributor to GHG emissions, the U.S. has a responsibility to curb its energy usage. American college and university campuses are as big as small cities, yet they act like large retail electricity consumers that wield control over their energy sources. Campus administrators can now choose renewable energy that is cost-effective. Already more than 150 colleges and universities in the U.S.

Quantifying the Impact of Albedo-Warming from Afforestation: A Historical Case Study

James Sanders

Recent IPCC analysis has demonstrated the necessity of large-scale carbon sequestration as a supplement to emissions reductions if global warming is to remain below 1.5 degrees Celsius. While afforestation is a cost-effective carbon sequestration strategy, the change in surface cover also reduces the Earth’s overall albedo (reflectivity).

Quantifying the Impact of Albedo-Warming from Afforestation: Looking to the Future

Maxwell Goodman

The IPCC’s 2018 special report emphasizes the necessity of large-scale biological carbon sequestration, in addition to rapid emissions reductions, to restrain global warming to 1.5 ֯ Celsius. While afforestation is a popular, scalable, and cost-effective biosequestration strategy, it also reduces the earth’s overall shortwave albedo (reflectivity).

Species Mixtures May Enhance Disease and Water Use Benefits Under Climate Change

Mark Boudreau, Breath Hand, Barbara Shew, Laura Duffie Andrako

Throughout agricultural history, intercropping has been the dominant system of cultivation. Although industrialization has emphasized monoculture, there is strong evidence that species mixtures often provide greater productivity and resilience, representing both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Indeed, Project Drawdown includes three forms of agricultural diversification in its carbon-reduction rankings.

Swiss Exponential Climate Action Roadmap to 2050

John Moorhead, Alexandra Gavilano

In 2017, Switzerland ratified the Paris agreement and committed to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030 (from 1990 levels), including carbon offsets abroad. Switzerland also announced an indicative objective to reduce its emissions by 70%-85% until 2050 (from 1990 emissions), including offsets abroad. Studies that describe the existing solutions, their combined potential and the possible pathways to achieve such objectives are uncommon.

The Economics of Decentralized Emission Control Strategies

Wei Peng, Gokul Iyer, David Victor

Over the last decade, culminating in the Paris Agreement, international climate diplomacy has shifted from strategies that emphasize centralized global cooperation toward decentralized modes of action where states, provinces, cities, firms and other subnational actors lead the way. However, the economic costs of this decentralized approach to policy remain unknown and most economic analysis has emphasized the superiority of uniform global approaches to climate policy.

The New Carbon Economy

Kathleen Draper, Albert Bates

In the IPCC’s Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C (2018), biochar was listed as one of several promising negative emissions technologies (NET).

The Pathways Project: Local Planning and Federal Support for Low Carbon Infrastructure in the United States

Elena Crete

2020 is shaping up to be a watershed moment for climate policy in the United States. The Green New Deal proposal has reopened the national conversation about infrastructure and climate change, and galvanized support in some important constituencies. It also raises a key dynamic for climate action, namely the interaction of local action and federal policy.

Trade-off Analysis on the Expansion of Frontier Agriculture in the Subarctic

Lisa Ashton

By transforming the environmental conditions in the subarctic, climate change is creating an expansion opportunity for frontier agricultural production. In particular, interest is mounting in northern Ontario where there is a combination of warming temperatures that crops can thrive in, relatively inexpensive land prices, and government support for sector growth.

Women Smallholders

Nebraska Hernandez, Autumn Moore, Isabela Schultz, Kirsten Taylor

Drawdown’s Women Smallholder solution proposes that empowering smallholder women farmers through improved credit access will allow them to implement nutrient management and drip irrigation, forms of sustainable agriculture that contribute to the drawdown of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Inherent in Drawdown’s model are optimistic assumptions about cultural and societal systems in which women smallholders exist.