2014-2015 Research Projects:
"Get Lit: a Study of Light Pollution on Concordia College’s Campus"
AJ Eckberg ’15, Aaron Thompson ‘15
Light pollution, as a result of the misuse and overuse of artificial lighting, is an often overlooked form of population in urban settings that negatively impacts ecosystems and human health. This study looked at the effects of light pollution on Concordia College’s campus and investigated the potential ways in which the college could reduce its impact. The current techniques and associated costs of lighting the campus were analyzed and compared with the costs and feasibility of switching to more efficient, lower impact methods of lighting through the use of motion sensor activated and LED lighting. This research also investigated the effects of excessive light population on the feeding nocturnal rodent and avian populations on the college’s campus. Future work aims to extend the observation of animal habits under different lighting conditions and also determine ways to promote more efficient lighting to the campus community.
"Educational Food Production on Concordia College’s Campus"
Adam Domitz ’17, Kevin Lattu ‘16
This research project examined the feasibility of a second high tunnel on Concordia College’s campus and its potential for food production in collaboration the campus organic garden and college Dining Services. The functionality of high tunnels, which are used to extend growing seasons, the potential environmental and economic benefits for the college, and other colleges’ methods of food production with high tunnels were all investigated. Throughout the project, researchers worked with high tunnel experts from the University of Minnesota Extension services, food professionals and local producers in the Fargo-Moorhead area, student high tunnel workers from regional colleges, and Concordia College staff and faculty in order to assess the payoff and challenges of using a high tunnel for on-campus food production. This research highlights the educational benefits for students involved with the planning, marketing, and production of food on campus, and the potential for expansion with Dining Services and the local community. Future work aims to test Concordia’s first high tunnel for its food production abilities, and the construction of a second high-tunnel is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.