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Inside this issue... Letter for Graduating Students WaterShed

Congratulations Graduates!

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page 1 & 2

China Open Forum

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Maud Boulay

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Rebecca Creighton

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Marquee Lecture

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Written by Kirsten Petersen and Harper Wayne Edited and Endorsed by AGNR Academic Programs

December 21: Campus-wide Commencement, 7 p.m. December 22: AGNR Commencement, 1 p.m.

WaterShed Wins Big at Solar Decathlon

WaterShed, as displayed on the National Mall earlier this fall. Photo by Edwin Remsberg

WaterShed, a solar-powered home designed with the help of ENST students and faculty, earned top honors at this year’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. The house integrated a variety of environmental resources, including water, solar energy, and green walls to create a sustainable and livable home. The university’s entry was one of twenty homes displayed from September 23 through October 2 on the National Mall and was visited by over 2000 people daily. WaterShed earned first place overall and excelled in the areas of continued on page 2

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Terp Tales, Winter 2011

ENST students contribute to wetland design, green walls continued from page 1 architecture, energy efficiency, and communication. More than 200 students were involved in the design, construction, and promotion of WaterShed. Several Environmental Science and Technology undergraduates served as student leaders for the project.

student, worked on the project from Associate Professor of ENST Dave the beginning, assisting with the initial Tilley served as the faculty mentor for design and concept of the home. As the living systems component. He asthe living systems team leader, Tjaden sisted with the concept design and docudirected the application of green walls, mentation of the house and supervised the green roof, constructed wetlands and its construction. the rainwater cistern. Dr. Tilley believes that the opporTjaden believes that his team’s intunity to interact with architecture and corporation of water and green technol- engineering students was one of the ogy improved its greatest benefits of developing Waterchances of victory. Shed. “We definitely “Even if we had not won, the stulooked at a lot more dents would have gained a huge appreliberal ways of dociation for what it takes to put a project ing things in a house like this together,” he said. that other people Enerson agrees, adding that the wouldn’t do,” he collaboration was an invaluable experisaid, adding, “It’s ence. something that you “Working with peers, professors, could actually go out and professionals outside of your and contract with expertise allows you to understand how someone.” different components interrelate,” she Junior Veronika said. Enerson shares the science of WaterShed Photo by Edwin Remsberg Zhiteneva, a student Tjaden said that the College of leader in living systems, construction Isabel Enerson, a junior ENST Agriculture and Natural Resources was and communications, major, was a student leader in the comchanged her major munications and living systems areas, from ENSP to ENST focusing on wetland design, nutrient because she wants cycling, gardening, and outreach. to work with water When the results for the affordability management in decategory were announced, Enerson knew that her team had won the compe- veloping countries. “I wanted to tition. experience things “I just remember literally vibrathands-on and create ing with excitement,” she said, adding, systems that work,” “I don’t think I stopped smiling for she said, adding, hours.” “[Solar Decathlon] Although volunteers committed was an excellent thousands of hours to completing the Tjaden shows off the interior design Photo by Edwin Remsberg demonstration of how project and endured two years of redesigns and critiques, Enerson believes the I want to pursue my own career and life instrumental in WaterShed’s success. after college.” lasting impact of WaterShed was worth “The environmental influence that Zhiteneva spent the summer conthe sacrifice. our college offers helped the message structing the home and growing plants “I would have been happy if one get across and helped us win in the in the greenhouse. For her, the most person was inspired by WaterShed to end,” he said. rewarding aspect of the project was make a change in [his or her] life,” The University of Maryland will Enerson said. “Instead we got hundreds when visitors praised the wetlands of present a new home for competition the home and when they recognized of people asking us how they could during the 2015 Solar Decathlon. To “that people and plants are integral to implement ‘x’ in their home.” learn more about the WaterShed team or the holistic home design.” Scott Tjaden, a senior ENST the competition, click here.

AGNR Academic Programs

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China Task Force Open Forum Dr. Cheng-i Wei, the dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the co-chair of the China Task Force, discussed the variety of actions the university can take to foster relationships with China during an open forum, which was held in the Stamp Student Union November 18, 2011. The forum was held to solicit questions and perspectives from the university community on the work of the task force, which was commissioned by University President Wallace Loh to identify ways the university can strengthen and develop partnerships with Chinese institutions and industries. Dean Wei, who leads a work group focused on collaborating with institutions in China, recommended that the university organize a Maryland Day or Week in China to attract Chinese students to the University of Maryland, College Park. Special academic programs, such as Chinese i-Series courses and living learning programs, could be established on campus as well. “Then our students have the chance to learn [about] China,” Dean Wei said. “The Chinese people, they also want [Americans] to know

more about their country. That’s the way we do business.” He added that projects through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources like the 2+2 program, which allow Chinese students to study at the University of Maryland for two years, will help solidify relationships with academic leaders in China, especially when they can identify candidates for the program. “That’s what this program is going to do,” he said, adding, “You have a partner that can do more to help us. Then we can bring in higher quality students.” Dean Wei was joined by Darryll Pines, the task force co-chair and the dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering; and Robert Daly, the director of the Maryland China Initiative. The forum was moderated by Jonathan Wilkenfeld, the interim associate provost and associate vice president for international programs. During the second half of the forum, attendees were invited to ask questions and comment on the objectives of the task force.

Ying Pan, an international graduate student studying finance, asked the panel to encourage relationships between Chinese and American students. “We have one class [at Maryland] where we have more than 50 Chinese students and no American students,” she said during the forum, adding, “We don’t have a chance to communicate with the local American students.” Dr. Wilkenfeld acknowledged this concern and noted that American students experience the same problem when they study abroad and take classes with other English speakers. “You do have an opportunity to go out to the city in the evening but during the class it’s a less culturally diverse experience,” he said. “We have to work on that at our end as well.” Task force members will present their recommendations for action to President Loh by the end of the semester, Dr. Wilkenfeld said. To watch the full video of the open forum, please click here.

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Terp Tales, Winter 2011

Mademoiselle Maryland

Maud Boulay, French exchange student, spends Fall 2011 semester at UMD Environmental Science and Technology student Maud Boulay is learning to walk and talk like a Terp this semester as an international student from the École Supérieur d’Agriculture in Angers, France. Boulay earned her bachelor’s degree at the ESA and is currently

to it, but I like it.” After a few days of class, Boulay began to identify distinctions between her education at the ESA and the University of Maryland, College Park. Each class at the ESA lasted more than two hours, Boulay said, while most of her classes at Maryland are 50-75 minutes long. “It’s really strange,” she said. “I mean you just have the time to see them and listen to them and then it’s over.” Classroom instruction is different too— students at the ESA rarely use Boulay shows Testudo some love. Photo courtesy of Maud Boulay textbooks, Bouworking on her master’s degree as a lay said, and the professor lectures fifth-year student. She is enrolled in about everything they need to know. a variety of courses at the College of “I feel like I’m spending most Agriculture and Natural Resources, of my time studying in my room or such as wildlife management and at the library,” she said, adding, “I biostatistics. feel like I have to read to understand, “The way the university works is while in France the teacher is just so different,” Boulay said. “I think I telling you stuff…it’s different.” need a little bit more time to get used When it comes to dining, Boulay

Ready for Finals?

is still adjusting to cafeteria cuisine. She has tried cultural food off-campus, such as sushi, but she does have a favorite dining hall meal—dessert. “Your ice cream is really good and the cookies also,” she said. “I really like them.” When she’s not in class, Boulay spends some of her free time playing ultimate Frisbee. It’s been a great way for her to meet new people, and she said that the team also organizes events outside of ultimate Frisbee. Transitioning from one country to another is difficult, but the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources welcomed Boulay with open arms and helped her adjust to the university. Social interactions between students and faculty in America are very different than in France, she explained. “The administrative teachers are very friendly to you,” she said. “They always say hi and they remember my name…In France I think you would not have this. I think there is a barrier or something in France.” Boulay will return to France at the end of the semester to continue her studies at the ESA. To read about a Maryland student who studied at the ESA this past summer, click here.

Here are some important dates:

December 5-12 December 14 December 15-21 Final Exams Last Week of Deadline for CourseEvalUMs (Good Luck!) Classes This final exam announcement is sponsored by the AGNR Academic Programs Department


AGNR Academic Programs


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Fortune Favors the Freshman



Who says you grow out of 4-H when you turn 18? Freshman Animal Science major Rebecca Creighton sure doesn’t. Still the president of the Farmer’s Fortune 4-H Club in Charles County, she goes home regularly to hold meetings. But when February rolls around, Creighton will pass the baton to the next president and conclude her five years of 4-H membership. Despite her inevitable transition out of 4-H, Creighton is adamant about remaining active in the organization, which encourages youth development through agricultural education and leadership building. “I want to keep working with 4-H, even if it’s just volunteering or collegiate 4-H,” she said. Since the semester began, Creighton has volunteered regularly at the Maryland 4-H Center, located right off of Metzerott Road. The center is the main 4-H office in Maryland and offers statewide leadership and volunteer events for 4-H members. For six Saturdays, Creighton volunteered at the Maryland 4-H Center as a coordinator for the “Adventures in Science” events, which bring school children to campus to visit the Campus Farm and other agricultural facilities at the University

of Maryland, College Park. “I like that there’s a 4-H program here because it’s a big part of my life,” she said. She joined 4-H when she was 13 to learn how to take care of her pet rabbit. By the time she graduated high school, she had all types of farm animals—lambs, goats, pigs, even a steer— roaming her one acre “mini-farm.” “I knew for a long time that I wanted to work with animals,” she said, adding that Animal Science “seems like a perfect major for me.” Since moving to College Park,Creighton’s mini-farm has shrunk—she no longer has livestock, but she says her family is taking care of a few chickens while she’s at school.

Creighton with two kids. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Creighton

She plans to raise hogs and show them at the fair next summer, culminating her years of 4-H with a classic agricultural event. Creighton’s 4-H experience was featured in a “Southern Maryland” article earlier this year. To read Creighton’s profile, click here.

Start here: Speak Up Spread the Word Complete course evaluations before Transform Courses December 14. Shape your University

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Terp Tales, Winter 2011

Restoring the Chesapeake it worth it? Dr. Douglas Lipton, associate professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, challenged his audience to consider whether the Chesapeake Bay is worth restoring during this semester’s first Marquee Lecture in Science and Technology, held September 28, 2011. More than 400 students attended the lecture, titled “Restoring the Chesapeake: Is it Worth It?” Dr. Lipton’s presentation dissected the nitty-gritty details of Bay pollution and its local value to emphasize the environmental and economic importance of the Bay. “A lot of what happens in the Bay over a long period of time gets magnified and condensed in a very small period,” Dr. Lipton said during the lecture. “A lot of times we can’t see what’s wrong with the Bay.” Dr. Lipton argued that ordinary people who are motivated to restore the Bay need to accept financial trade-offs to make a difference. “As we move to a greater and greater amount of clean-up, we’re going to have to make larger and

larger sacrifices…it’s going to get more expensive,” he said during the lecture. Despite the investment required to improve the Bay, students are convinced that restoration is a worthwhile effort. “It’s such a big part of this area. Everyone has heard about the Chesapeake Bay,” said freshman Moyo Koya, a physiology and neurobiology major. “Since it’s [in] our backyard, we should make sure it’s as pristine as possible.” Freshman Liz Ebeling, an undecided major, believes that taking care of the Bay is integral to being a Marylander. “It’s so beneficial to the people of this area. It’s such a part of Maryland history,” said Ebeling. “I mean, we have license plates that say ‘Save the Bay.’” Dr. Lipton employed multimedia tools, such as videos, interactive maps, and satellite imagery to keep the audience engaged. Students were invited to ask questions during the presentation through Twitter, introducing a social network element to the

lecture. Students participated in the presentation by responding to clicker questions about their knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay, such as their proximity to the watershed and the overall monetary value of the Bay. This lecture was hosted by the Marquee Courses in Science and Technology, a signature program that introduces students to scientific solutions for various world issues. A collaboration between AGNR, the A. James Clark School of Engineering, and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, the Marquee Courses are targeted toward non-science majors and help fulfill lower level CORE Science requirements. “It was a great benefit to [AGNR] to be included…so students get introduced to the College,” Dr. Lipton said. Dr. Lipton teaches the Marquee course, “AREC 200: The Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem: Intersection of Science, Economics and Policy.” Seats are still available for Spring 2012. Click here to enroll.


15 credit, all-campus minor sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the School of Public Policy.

Get Started Today! Enroll in AGNR 300: Introduction to Sustainability Spring 2012: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. 1202 Engineering Classroom Bldg. Taught by Dr. Bruce James Questions? Email Dr. Bruce James at or Dr. Robert Sprinkle at

Terp Tales, Semester Celebration Winter 2011  
Terp Tales, Semester Celebration Winter 2011  

The Winter 2011 edition of Terp Tales, the AGNR community newsletter of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University o...