1.) The first talk that I went to was presented by Seraphim
Daniel Falterman. His senior project
dealt with energy, agriculture, and environment for a Monostatic community in
Wayne, West Virginia. He analyzed the
electrical delivery system and develop a plan to reduce the overall electrical
costs of the community. I really thought
it was interesting how there is only 3 points of electrical use throughout the
compound. I also thought it was really
cool how he used infrared imaging to show areas where old insulation needs to
2.) The second talk
that I went to was about installation of Photovoltaic Lighting System and
Energy Monitors at Punta Leona Hotel and Club.
It was presented by Anders Hasselquisst who concentrated in Applied Biotech,
Energy, and Environment. The Punta Leona
Hotel and Club looks for ways to become more earth friendly and educates the
local area about sustainability. JMU
currently has a partnership with the resort which consist of about 300 acres. He also talked about the installation of a
120V photovoltaic system and a TED breaker system. Anders said that the coolest thing was the IT
people down in Costa Rica connected his home computer to the system down in
Costa Rica which made it easy and convenient for him to record data.
3.) The next presentation I went to was called, “Assessment
of Biomass Thermal Water Heating System at New Community Project in
Harrisonburg, VA. Before this
presentation I have really never thought about Biomass and how it could be used
to heat up water. Basically they had a
compost pile consisting of wood chips and manure and then laid piping down so
that the compost would heat up the water.
I really thought that it need better plan of action because it seem like
they neglected it over the year.
Overall, I enjoyed the concept of biomass and everything it has to
The next presentation
I went to was called, “The National Farm to School Network and James Madison
University: The Potential for a
Large-Scale Local Food Purchasing Initiative”.
The speaker as Allyson Ponn who concentrated in Environment and Food and
Agriculture Systems. Overall I enjoyed
her presentation I thought it was really relevant to the JMU campus. However I thought it was really basic for a
senior project. I don’t really remember
seeing any personal data it was more data that she received from outside
The next presentation that I went to was called “East Campus
Meadow Soil Health Survey” which was presented by Susan Anderson. I really enjoyed this project because I see
the meadow outside of ISAT every day. I
really thought she really addressed the issues surrounding the meadow. According to her results, the meadow’s Ph.
levels are very variable and need to be address in future projects. During the
talk, I learned that it is quite hard to run nitrate tests in general because
of the constantly changing conditions.
I really thought this presentation was the coolest of the
day because I really never heard or seen an Aquaponics system. The speakers were really informed on the
topic and seem like they were very passionate about their project. I also thought it was cool how they gave a
brief biography of the new community project which is partnered with JMU. The best part of the presentation was the
pictures of the construction process and the step by step explaining of the
The next presentation I went to was titled “Use of Bio Char
as a Soil Amendment.” It was presented
by Josh Kugler and Kevin Mulcahy.
Overall, I thought it was an interesting topic but it was not well
thought out. They gave a really good
background on Bio Char and how it could be used in soil processes. However, they really didn’t even conclude
anything from their project and they didn’t even give any reason why the
project failed, except Dr. Teel’s cats.
The last presentation was titled “Variation in the Design of
a Top-Lit UpDraft Stove for Biochar”. It
was presented by Brandon White who concentrated in Engineering and
Manufacturing. Overall I thought his
content was very good. I learned how his
different designs used Biochar and what happens during the process of cooking
the meal. I also thought it was cool how
he brought some of the stoves to the presentation to give a visual aid.
Overall, I am really looking forward to giving my senior project. I really want to focus more on a global scale instead of small scale like a lot of the presentations. I just thought some of the presentations were really no well thought out and more effort was needed. I also learned what not to do during a presentation.