Spotlight 2002 Abstracts
Environmental StudiesA MODEL ILLUSTRATING PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY PLANNING 2
Lynn S. Brooks, Graduate Program in Environmental Science, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
Many federal and state laws mandate public participation in planning, but do not specify how that is to be achieved. Planning has typically been the domain of professionals, elected officials and lay leadership in a community. There is, however, the potential to increase the involvement of local residents in the process in a way that is beneficial. It became apparent that there was a need to create a graphic model that explained the process and the role of all the participants. The model outlines the planning process and identifies the various questions that need to be addressed at each stage. This model would help the professional planner understand where, how, and why they might involve the public in the planning process and the benefits of doing so. Ideally, the model would help the planner think about ways to involve the public in the planning process. Additionally, it is hoped that the model presents the planning process in a way that the public can understand how they can contribute to the process. This model outlines the roles of the participants, both the professionals and lay people, and illustrates how at different stages in the process the roles could overlap. It is hoped that this model has the potential to be used by professional community planners to educate and inform local participants about the planning process and ultimately help to engage them in the process.
Rachel L. Casper and Sara E. Keith, Faculty of Environmental Studies, 107 Marshall Hall, SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
This project investigates the environmental, social and economic costs and benefits associated with installing a solar power system that would run the green houses on the fifth floor of Illick Hall. Energy demands in the US are constantly increasing, while the world’s supply of fossil fuels, the main source for most energy production, is decreasing. It is evident from this, that there is a need to investigate alternative methods for energy production generally. As a leading environmental science college, SUNY-ESF should be in the vanguard of those exploring and using alternative energy systems in demonstration projects. While other types of solar power systems were considered initially, only the photovoltaic system was found to be feasible because of its ability to absorb light energy and turn it into usable or storable electricity. This system is examined in depth using cost benefit analysis methods. This required determining the energy usage for the green houses to be replaced, including the lighting and fan system and the steam heating system from Syracuse University’s steam plant. The result of the strict cost-benefit analysis is disappointing, as the initial costs far outweigh the monetary benefits. Thus, while the social and environmental benefits, as non-monetary items, need to be further explored, the recommendations here focus on energy efficiency rather than alternative energies.
Latif Gurkan Kaya, Faculty of Environmental Studies, 107 Marshall Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
People have been active in making easy environmentally responsible changes within their society, culture, life-style, and education settings. There are many studies on various groups (Turkish, Greek, Russian, etc.) focusing on their environmentally responsible behaviors. To be responsible for this line of research, the goal of this study is to analyze and to compare environmental concerns with environmental attitudes and behaviors of the Turkish people in the United States. Data, which were collected via self-administrative questionnaires distributed to the Turkish students and their relatives in Syracuse, were gathered between March 2001 and April 2001. The voluntary respondents were chosen from different gender and age groups. The respondents illustrate different range of categories that reflect their environmental opinion to an extent.
This survey was conducted to determine the level of awareness on the environmental concerns among the Turkish people in Syracuse, NY.
It will describe the opinion on the environmental issues by a particular ethnic group (Turkish people).
In this study, the respondents included mostly students who were likely to be involved in the consumption, appropriation and maintenance of the natural resources of Turkey in the future. Based on the findings of the study, one may conclude that it may be necessary to generate a greater degree of environmental awareness through environmental education and orientation among specific demographic fractions of the Turkish population. Finally, this study may partly illuminate how the future generation governing Turkey will act among issues concerning environment.
Nancy A. Mayer, Environmental Studies Faculty, 107 Marshall Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
Hydropower is a comparatively inexpensive, emission-free, renewable energy source that may be increased quickly in periods of peak demand. However, hydropower projects can also adversely effect ecosystems, and fish and wildlife resources. In order to deal with these competing interests, Congress mandates the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Federal Power Act (FPA) to give equal consideration to hydropower generation and environmental performance when relicensing hydroelectric projects. In addition, the FPA gives resource agencies mandatory conditioning authority to impose license requirements upon projects within their jurisdiction thereby possibly undermining the Commission’s statutory obligation. This research explores the evolution of FERC’s decision making process through the 1990s as a result of mandatory (environmental) conditioning.
This qualitative analysis uses FERC in a case study approach to demonstrate how an agency makes sole authoritative decisions while constrained by mandatory conditioning by other resource agencies. Data was gathered from numerous sources that included public primary documents, law reviews, and semi structured, informant directed interviews with the Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the hydropower industry. These varied sources provided multiple perspectives and rich data for rigorous analysis to produce insights to consider for improved agency decision making.
Mandatory conditioning impacts FERC’s decision making process in several ways. First, it adds complexity to the relicensing process, thus lengthening the time and increasing the cost of an application. Second, FERC’s decision making is one of shared authorities with resource agencies whose primary focus may not be on balanced comprehensive plans for relicensing. Third, in order to deal with the external demands of balancing, conditioning, and shared authority, FERC made incremental administrative or policy changes, verses sweeping policy reform, to facilitate a more efficient licensing process. Lastly, the impacts from mandatory conditioning have led the Commission to incorporate collaboration and adaptive management into the relicensing process.
Sukhyun Park and Valerie A. Luzadis (advisor), Ph.D. student of Graduate Program of Environmental Science, 402 Bray, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
The purpose of this project is to design a scientific method to apply ecological economic concepts via regional modeling of estuarine ecosystems. Since the middle of the twentieth century, neoclassical economists have adopted environmental concerns and nature's inherent value through their orthodox ways of analysis-so called cost-benefit analysis-based on monetary value of environment. There is a theoretical and methodological disagreement between neoclassical economists and ecological economists regarding the proper way of valuing the ecological value of natural resources and biodiversity. In this model, I attempted to adopt and to materialize the ecological economists' point of view by means of the energy and food chain sub-models.
Estuarine ecosystems are heavily influenced by human activities and are increasingly being degraded in many regions over the world. In Korea, the 'Sae-Man-keum' national reclamation project area with important properties of estuarine ecosystem recently became a hot zone among local and national government, local residents, public, environmental interest groups, a group of experts, and international organizations. To reduce conflicts in this area, the national government implemented economic analysis and environmental impact analysis during the early period of the project. Despite the efforts of public and environmentalists, the reclamation project will be continued. In my view, such a controversial economic analysis, which concludes the reclamation project could be a win-win game in both environmental conservation and economic development with a partial modification, should be corrected.
Bradden Rowse. Environmental Studies 107 Marshall Hall, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 132102788
The Wildlife Society is a not-for-profit conservation and education organization made up primarily of wildlife managers, biologists and research. They have variety of concerns including how national policy impacts wildlife management. A version of this presentation was given to wildlife professionals and students at The Wildlife Society’s annual conference in 2001. The presentation is intended to inform individuals of programs that are beneficial to wildlife and encourage individuals to take an active role in advocating for wildlife conservation components to the 2002 Farm Bill.
Wei Wu and Charles Hall. Faculty of Environmental Studies, 301 Illick Hall, SUNY college of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.
Estimating whole-tree water use helps to calculate catchment water balance and provide the forest hydrologist with a tool for managing water resource. We measured sap flow velocity of the dominant tree, tabonuco (Dacryodes excelsa Vahl) in the tabonuco forest, one of the four major forest types in Caribbean National Forest in Puerto Rico using thermal dissipation probe (TDP). From the data we collected in the August (wet season) of 2001 and January (dry season) of 2002, we didn't get a significant effect of the season (dry season and wet season) and diameter breast height (DBH) on the value of sap flow (unit: cm/s). Since sap flow velocity could be affected by a lot of environmental factors, such as vapor pressure deficit, temperature, sunlight, the error term of ANOVA analysis is high relative total sum of squares, and it would not be easy to get a significant effect. A linear regression is fitted on the data of sap flow and DBH, and we found DBH can explain 55% variation in the sap flow data. So DBH is a potential scalar with which the scaling process from water use in the tree to water use in the whole plot or even the whole forest can be facilitated.
Key words: sap flow, ANOVA, regression, TDP