Page 11 - 'Southern Magazine - Summer 2012

summer 2012 / 9
A Year in the Life
Black & Gold & Green All Over
SC has long been on the forefront of environmental education, and this year the college added a few more
eco-friendly feathers to its cap:
The new Lakeview North and Lakeview South residence halls were the first such facilities on an Alabama campus
to be recognized with the highest environmental standards when they achieved Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
In partnership with Alagasco, BSC added two compressed natural gas trucks to its maintenance fleet. The
alternative fuel burns cleaner than gasoline and is safer in case of a spill. It also costs less: the college fuels up for
about $1.40 per gallon.
The Southern Environmental Center dedicated the new Catherine Sims EcoScape, named for a BSC alumna
whose will stipulated that her Homewood property be turned over to the city and used as a botanical garden.
BSC students helped turn five city blocks into a growing paradise.
Recent BSC alumnus Charles Yeager ’10—one of the first graduates of Urban Environmental Studies program—
took over as manager of the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, which BSC oversees. Before that, he worked assessing
oyster populations in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizons oil spill.
The Urban Environmental Studies program continues to grow. It graduated its first senior class and added a new
faculty member and coordinator this fall: Dr. Bill Holt, an urban and environmental sociologist with a Ph.D.
from Yale University and a J.D. from the Vermont School of Law. About half a dozen students from the program
have earned internships in Birmingham.
Students in visiting
Assistant Professor of
Biology Dr. Pete Van
Zandt’s Field Botany
class collect specimens on
a true field trip to Turkey
Creek Nature Preserve in
Pinson. Student groups
studied 10-by-10 meter
plots for plant species,
then had to catalogue
and photograph those
plants on their Web sites.
Down the road, scientists
may use their data to
create comprehensive
species lists for the
preserve and other
Birmingham wildlands.