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PSE Helps in Setting up Recycling Lab with American University in Washington, D.C

Paper Science and Engineering is not only great for our students here at NCSU,  but is now working with other universities to bring more knowledge about paper engineering to other college students.

American University in Washington, D.C. just received help from our paper program with setting up a new recycling lab for their Introduction to Environmental Science lab course.  The lab course is a general introductory course that covers various research topics relevant to environmental science.  Some of the topics covered in the lab course include water pollution, the relationship between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and ocean acidification, the economics of renewable energy, and green roofs.  The science of paper recycling is a great addition to this diverse portfolio of topics that introduce students to the field of environmental science.

Dr. Christina Pondell of American University is a professorial lecturer in the Environmental Science Department, and is also the lab director for the Environmental Science lab courses.  Dr. Pondell has her background in marine science and organic geochemistry.  She focuses her research on chemical biomarkers that indicate the impact humans and climate have on the transport of different materials from forests to rivers and eventually to the oceans.

Teamwork to establish new Recycling Lab

Dr. Pondell worked with Dr. Venditti to establish this new recycling lab.  Dr. Pondell discovered Dr. Venditti through his website and was interested in the lab activities and lectures he had created.  After emailing back and forth last summer to learn more about recycling related activities and how to get the materials for a recycling lab, Dr. Pondell thought Dr. Venditti would be a great resource for helping establish the recycling lab activity at American University.  On deciding to work with Dr. Venditti for this effort, Dr. Pondell said, “There are many of these sites available, but I was really impressed with Dr. Venditti’s enthusiasm and his willingness to help get a new lab started at a different institution.”

To help Dr. Pondell establish the recycling lab, Dr. Venditti created several activities to help students understand the paper recycling process.  The recycling lab is now a laboratory module in the Introduction to Environmental Science lab course.  Dr. Pondell said that since it has been established, the recycling lab has been her students’ favorite lab module out of the 14 different lab investigations in the course.

By guest blogger – Taylor Krakuszeski