Friday, July 27, 2012

Making campus green: University of Massachusetts Amherst

In January 2012, a group of Amherst students, faculty and alumni began work on a campus permaculture garden. Though the garden only measures a quarter-acre, the space will be filled with planted fruits and vegetables, which will annually yield an estimated 1,000 pounds of food to be used in a nearby dining hall. Flowers and perennials will be grown in the garden as well. Amherst volunteers moved roughly 250,000 pounds of compost and soil from the space, which allowed it to be sheet-mulched. The permaculture garden, which should be operational this summer, was the brainchild of Ryan Harb, who earned a master’s degree in green building from Amherst and was recently appointed as the school’s first Director of Sustainability.

Check out the UMass Permaculture Documentary Series:

This post was created by Madison Jones

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Finding Projectile Points

Finding Projectile Points

Collecting artifacts is an enjoyable hobby; follow these common-sense guideline provided by the Office of the State Archeologist at the University of Iowa. Always get landowner permission before collecting. It is illegal to collect on public lands without a permit. Surface collect; do not try to excavate a site. Identify, catalog, and label your find and record site locations with the OSA. The OSA can help you document, process, manage, and care for your collection. Do not collect human remains. All prehistoric and modern cemeteries and burial sites in Iowa are protected by state and federal law. Report any human remains or burial sites you encounter to the OSA. Avoid buying and selling artifacts. This activity encourages looting and the loss of our nonrenewable cultural heritage. Many items on the market today are recently made copies.

Keep your collection intact; do not let it get dispersed. Be proactive with your collection. Read about Iowa archaeology, allow professionals to study your collection, give programs to school groups, participate in public field schools, and join the Iowa Archeology Society.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Plant of the Week

Maximilian sunflower
Helianthus maximiliani Schrad.
other common names: none known
Helianthus: from the Greek helios for “sun” and anthos for “flower” (hence sunflower) because the flowering heads of this genus tend to turn with the sun each day
Maximiliani: named after Prinz Maximilian van Wied-Neu (1782–1867), who made extensive scientific explorations in both North and South America and discovered this plant
Daisy family: Asteraceae (Compositae)

Photograph by Thomas Rosburg, Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie: The Upper Midwest, Second Edition