Research: Environmental
Collingwood garden.pnguab rooftop gardeninf.jpg

Above (left) is a photo of UT students visiting the local Collingwood Garden, promoting local, sustainably grown food. Additionally, (right) the rooftop greenhouses at UAB are shown as well.

There are three pillars to sustainable living, environmental, social, and economical. When all three are achieved, sustainability is also achieved. Delving more into environmental, this focuses on the human and inhuman impacts as well as natural cycles that are exerted on the natural surrounding environment.
Researchers:
  • Kayla Piezer (Cohort 1)
  • Kelley Davis (Cohort 1)
  • Mickey Navidomskis (Cohort 1)
  • Emily Briese (Cohort 2)
  • Dani Zebelean (Cohort 2)

Works
Kayla Piezer applied an Ecological Network Analysis for a rooftop garden in UAB. This analysis compared a synthetic system (the urban garden) to a natural system (the natural, cycling ecosystem). It then identifies weaknesses in the system, including the symbiotic relationships, the controls and dependencies, and many more.

Kelley Davis looked at the exchanges of water between different locations of water basins and began mapping them out.

Mickey Navidomskis looked at the water footprint of a proposed agro-community in Weber, Utah and worked with the founders to come up viable irrigation methods. Through working with the community Mickey developed a spreadsheet tool that integrated crop coefficients and evapotranspiration data to estimate the area of land that can be supported by rainwater harvesting.

Emily Briese is applying an Ecological Network Analysis for the international exchanges of virtual water, optimizing the relationships. Later, a sensitivity analysis will be done as well as a relative comparison of the local production of food and water consumption after the initial analysis is done. This will help support the argument of how feasible urban agriculture is within context of water consumption.

Dani Zebelean is building an online application, called Agua Libre, that incorporates previous research completed by Mickey. The application of Agua Libre will be used to study the connection of climate variables and lettuce yield. Successful development of this application will enable people to plan their urban landscapes and gardens in sustainable ways.