In the small town of Kolasib, we stayed in Hotel Cloud 9. I had been told since I was a child that I was always off on Cloud 9 and now I was actually here. However, the electricity wasn’t for the first few hours, so showers were cold, but the dinner was hot.
Leaving Hiron Point, we headed east through the Sundarbans to Kotka. At Kotka the students had walks through the forest seeing deer, wild boar and monkeys, while a smaller group also sampled near a set of 300 year old salt making kilns for OSL dating. We managed to finish while the tide inundated the site. We ended our day with a visit to an island that has recently emerged from the slain which the succession from bare sand to mangrove is visible.
We visited Polder 32, an embanked island in the delta that was flooded for almost two years when the embankment failed in several places during Cyclone Aila. In addition to the problem of increased subsidence due to the embankment, the area struggles for fresh water. Then we sailed to Hiron Point, a forest station in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. We serviced equipment we have here while our armed guards watch for tigers.
After traveling by boat for two days, including crossing the Sundarban Mangrove Forest, we finally arrived in Khulna. We drove to the site of our compaction meter and separated into teams servicing the instruments, investigating agricultural practices, measuring arsenic in the well water and taking sediment samples for dating. We had finally started our work in rural Bangladesh.
With the roads in Bangladesh hazardous to drive because of the ongoing political unrest, our undergraduate sustainable development class managed to proceed with our class trip over Spring Break by doing all travel by boat.
On July 1, single-use styrofoam products will cease to be in circulation in New York City due to a new regulation. The ban, which will be implemented in all five boroughs, will require that no manufacturer or business sell, give or use any single-use styrofoam product including coffee cups, foam trays and packing materials like packing peanuts.
Apply now to the Summer 2015 Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates program. Undergraduate students of all majors can apply for the opportunity to conduct field work and study unique ecosystems abroad.
According to the World Water Management Institute, over one-third of the human population is affected by water scarcity. Advances in physical understanding, its applications, and the study of our environment and bio-mimicry help us develop more effective ways to fight freshwater scarcity around the world.
To protect a river, you must preserve its headwaters. Agricultural development is warming streams at the headwaters of the Xingu River, in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Rising temperatures have local impacts that could cascade into regional changes, highlighting the importance of responsible land use outside of protected areas.
Jeffery Potent writes about how corporations are thinking about their impact on ecosystems in terms of economic quantification in order to achieve more sustainable practices. His upcoming EICES certificate course will also explore how leading corporations are innovating to address environmental and social issues from a business perspective.