Interdisciplinary Environmental Review (9 papers in press)
INVESTIGATION ON IMPROVED SOLAR DRYERS FOR AGRICULTURE
by Vivek Khambalkar, Surendra Kalbande, Sneha Deshmukh
Abstract: Due to high cost of fossil fuels and uncertainty regarding future cost and availability, use of sun drying of various agriculture products, vegetables, fruits, fish, milk products, food products etc. is being practiced largely since ancient times for preservation of agriculture products. Despite many disadvantages of natural drying, almost 80 % of farmers are using open sun drying method for drying their crops. Open sun drying, in which the product is spread on ground in open, is the simplest and cheapest method of drying. But there are considerable losses associated with it. So, the advanced method of drying i.e. solar drying can also be used for drying the products and improve the quality. In this paper, a comprehensive review of solar drying of various products are presented.
Keywords: solar tunnel dryer; solar cabinet dryer; drying efficiency; open sun drying.
Wind Speed Forecasting Model for Northern-Western Region of India Using Decision Tree and Multi Layer Perceptron Neural Network Approach
by Parul , Hasmat Malik, Rajneesh Sharma
Abstract: Power production by wind energy with the increase in renewable energy sources, plays an important role in India due to its critical location. In this paper, using the input variables like Latitude, Longitude, Cooling design temperature, Relative humidity ,Air temperature, Atmospheric pressure, Daily solar radiation horizontal, Earth temperature amplitude, Earth temperature, Heating degree-days, Cooling degree-days, Elevation, Heating design temperature, Frost days at site, monthly wind power density and air density, wind speed is predicted by Multi layer perceptron in 17 cities of India. The varying number of hidden neurons helps in calculation of accurate forecasting. It is found that prediction accuracy is highest for six hidden neurons in training and testing phase which is 99.14 percent and 96.116 percent respectively.
Keywords: Multilayer perceptron; Decision Tree; REP Tree; Wind speed prediction; Artificial Neural Network.
Special Issue on: Non-Conventional Energy Technology
USE OF KOTA STONE CUTTING AND QUARRY WASTE AS SUB BASE MATERIAL.
by Pradeep Kumar Gautam, Pawan Patidar, Pawan Kalla, Ajay Singh Jethoo, Harshwardhan S.C.
Abstract: In the present study, an attempt is made to use Kota stone mining, cutting and quarry waste as a full replacement to conventional aggregate in Granular Sub Base Course (GSB). For the study, Kota stone mining waste was hand crushed into aggregates of the desired size and evaluated for physical and mechanical parameters as per Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways specifications (MoRT&H 2013). Kota stone quarry waste and slurry waste is used as fines and screening. Modified Proctor Test was conducted to find optimum moisture content (OMC), and Maximum Dry Density (MDD) for all the six grading and Soaked California Bearing Ratio (C.B.R.) was performed to analyze mechanical properties of the mix. From the result of this experimental research, it is observed that Kota stone mining and slurry waste satisfies parameters specified by MoRT&H 2013 and can be used as GSB material in the flexible pavement.
Keywords: Kota stone mining waste; sub-base material; cutting and quarry waste; sustainable development.
Analyzing the occupational health of workers in the brick kilns of Rajasthan
by Manoj Kumar Sain, M.L. Meena
Abstract: Brick is a widely used construction material in low-middle-income-countries like India. India is the second largest producer of clay bricks in the world with 1.40 lac brick kilns producing around 250 billion bricks per year. Clay brick kiln workers work in adverse working conditions having poor working postures with substantial loadings and traditionally designed hand tools, which results in occupational health problems. Owing to lack of proper training and personal protection equipment, the brick kilns have a potential of causing adverse effects on the workers. In India, mainly the traditional fixed chimney Bull's trench kilns having higher emissions are used as this type of kilns costs about 40% lesser than other types employing cleaner technologies.This paper presents an analysis on occupational health of brick kiln workers in Rajasthan. The results show that 79.23% workers were found suffering with musculoskeletal disorders in shoulders, wrists and lower back regions. Various other respiratory and skin diseases were also found in significant number of workers.
Keywords: Brick kiln; Emission; Ergonomics; Musculoskeletal disorders; Occupational health.
Special Issue on: Just Sustainability 2016 Environmental Justice and Sustainability
Environmental Justice Frameworks in Student Affairs Assessment Practice
by Andrew Wells
Abstract: Assessment and evaluation of programs are core components of ethical professional practice for student affairs administrators in higher education. This paper reviews three environmental frameworks and applies the Just Sustainability Paradigm in the development of an assessment questionnaire. rn
Keywords: Environmental Justice; Student Affairs; Assessment; Rasch Modelrn.
Place-based education: a look at its potential benefits to our students and our places through case study research and the literature
by Doreen Keller
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how River Valley School District* students experienced the River Valley Outdoor Learning Center*. Particular attention was paid to four students connection with and curiosity about the program curriculum. Their relationship with the place that was the RVOLC, their connection with the outdoors, and their awareness of sustainability practices were also important foci. Students perception of their own contentment when learning outdoors was also explored. Data came from interviews with the four student participants, the students parents and learning center educators and documents and observations of the fifth grade participants while at a three-day culminating educative experience offered by the center. Findings suggested that the River Valley Outdoor Learning Center program that practiced a combination of place-based and environmental education pedagogies had lasting impacts on the studys four student participantsit helped these four students to be more connected to nature, more advocating of their place and the sustainability of that place. *pseudonyms
Keywords: place-based education; experiential education; environmental education; case study research; teacher education; education reform; project-based learning; pedagogy.
Extinction and Democracy: Wildness, Wilderness, and Global Conservation
by Jason Frederick Lambacher
Abstract: As the extinction crisis deepens, global conservation efforts have been troubled by important social and intellectual critiques. To work through these problems, genuine cross-cultural dialogue is needed to reflect diverse ways of relating to nature that generate democratic and politically legitimate conservation regimes. The concept of wildness as distinguished from wilderness, and strict approaches to protected areas (PA) generally holds special potential to support such dialogue. This is because wildness can speak effectively to the hybrid character of new ecological politics that link claims of ecological and social justice as questions of democracy. Wildness should therefore be amplified as a keystone concept for 21st century conservation. Without wildness, connections between humankind and other-kind threaten to unravel further, with grave consequences for future ecologies and human communities.
Keywords: wildness; wilderness; extinction; biodiversity loss; ecological democracy; critical political ecology; cross-cultural dialogue; global conservation; political legitimacy; justice.
Is Weeding Defensible? Moral Consideration for Crabgrass
by John Hainze
Abstract: How we relate to other species undergirds our approach to sustainability. This paper traces the development of human regard for other organisms, considering philosophical and religious perspectives in light of recent developments in biology. Aspects of the biology of pest organisms like silverfish, dandelions, fruit flies, and crabgrass are reviewed as supporting moral considerability. It is determined that the findings of science, philosophy, and religion lead us to abandon a Cartesian conception of nonhumans as machinelike other, and towards an attitude of moral consideration for other organisms. This position requires that we adjudicate conflicts between members of different species, affirming the need to survive over lesser needs such as efficiency or aesthetics. A respectful attitude towards common living things like crabgrass can only enhance our relationship to nature in general.
Keywords: moral concern; value of organisms; environmental philosophy; environmental ethics; axiology; science; religion; Buddhism; Hinduism; Confucism; Islam; Judaism; Christianity; regard for nature.
Sustainability Education: How Evolving STEM Benefits Underserved Populations
by Liliana Caughman
Abstract: This research explores ways in which sustainability education efforts can create an advantageous learning environment for women and underrepresented minority students in STEM. By drawing on key literature that discusses how to increase socioeconomic, ethnic, gender, and racial diversity in STEM fields, this work examines strategies to promote the retention of diverse learners by means of implementing a Sustainability Education (SE) model. Findings emphasize the importance of community-based learning, practical and applicable knowledge, and interdisciplinary studies in creating a positive learning environment for underrepresented students. This paper also highlights upcoming case studies focusing on two populations typically excluded from science and sustainability: 1) a Science and Sustainability Lecture Series for incarcerated students; and 2) an integrated STEM curriculum at a Tribal College. These programs and their curricula showcase aspects of environmental, social and cultural sustainability in higher education, targeted at diverse learners.
Keywords: STEM education; Sustainability education; environmental education; underrepresented minority students; higher education; prison education; native american education; tribal colleges and universities.