• Thinking Sustainably through Green Engineering

    A new course of studies in “green engineering” offers students in the Caribbean the chance to explore how to design and use products, processes, and systems more sustainably.

    Participants of the Green Engineering Bootcamp in Jamaica.

    With support from the Organization of American States (OAS), teachers from around the region recently met in Jamaica for a three-day Green Engineering Boot Camp to look at effective ways to teach this interdisciplinary subject in the classroom and help students develop strong problem-solving skills. The Green Engineering Syllabus, which was introduced to students in the region in 2016, offers a mix of academic and practical content. The two-year course does not make someone an engineer, “but it gives you a good point of reference for any job you do,” explained Dr. Paulette Bynoe, Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Guyana, who headed the panel that developed the syllabus.

    Green engineering, she said, looks at the big picture to determine how materials and processes can be structured to minimize environmental impact, meet high performance standards, and be viable economically. This is an area of potential interest not only to an engineer but to someone who might draft environmental regulations for a waste management system, for example, or someone looking to develop more sustainable approaches to tourism or agriculture.

    “Environmental problems are everyone’s concern and everyone’s responsibility,” Bynoe said in a phone interview. “Regardless of what discipline you pursue, you are still an occupant of Planet Earth.”

    One goal of green engineering is to minimize the use of materials and energy from the very start of a design process. In looking at what will go into a product, for example, an engineer might ask: How can this material be used sustainably? Is it hazardous? If so, will energy be required to treat it? How can it be disposed of at the end of its life cycle? In designing a building, a key concern might be how the architecture can capitalize on natural ventilation and use less energy.

    The Green Engineering Syllabus is organized into two year-long units (“Introduction to Green Engineering” and “Application of Green Engineering Principles”), each of which comprises three modules. The material covers considerable ground, from the concept of sustainable development to the role of entropy in the manufacturing process. One section looks at lessons learned from nature about maximum efficiency in product design—a concept known as biomimicry. The syllabus also calls for students to visit industries or other facilities to examine sustainability issues in the field, and to build a detailed model to illustrate a design process.

    Read more at Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas.

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    GEOThinking Sustainably through Green Engineering
  • FEES Graduates head to NCUR 2018!

    Recent FEES Environmental Studies graduates, Mr. Romario Hastings and Ms. Nkasse Evans, have been selected to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2018 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma this April.

    Mr. Hastings will be presenting his undergraduate research project conducted at the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, titled:

    An investigation of the ethno-meteorological knowledge of the Kapon Akawaio people of Kako and Phillipai, Upper Mazaruni.

    Ms. Evans will also present her undergraduate research project, titled:

    A comparative study of the use of Vetiver Grass and Spartina Grass in facilitating natural regeneration of Avicennia germinans.

    Mr. Hastings and Ms. Evans graduated from the FEES in November 2017 having successfully completed the B.Sc. Environmental Studies programme. The Faculty wishes both students the very best in this exciting endeavour!

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    GEOFEES Graduates head to NCUR 2018!
  • Focus on the FEES

     

    Posted by University of Guyana on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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    GEOFocus on the FEES
  • Turkeyen Tain Talks 10: Experts Discuss Combating Climate Change Effects

    On November 30, 2017, a distinguished and knowledgeable panel of experts participated in the tenth installment of the Turkeyen and Tain Talks at the Pegasus Hotel, under the topic Climate Change – The Guyana Imperative for Prospering in a Climate-Altered World.

    The panelists included Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UG, Dr. Paulette Bynoe; Presidential Advisor and retired Rear Admiral of the Guyana Defence Force, Gary Best; Climate Change specialist Martina Duncan; Engineer Amir Dillawar, and Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat Energy Expert Dr. Devon Gardner.

    Referring to climate change as a clear and present danger, UG Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith spoke of the need for planning in case coastal defences were to be breached. Griffith noted that if this occurs, the inflow of water could undermine current infrastructure. He noted that not even the mangrove forests can withstand the full force of the ocean.
    Griffith also spoke of the need to examine the possibility that oil revenues from production after 2020 could be used towards adjusting citizens to the effects of climate change.Referring to his notes, he posited that this can include developing the hinterland and resettling away from the coast.

    Meanwhile, Dr Bynoe pointed out that with the increase in harmful gases, an imbalance has been created in the greenhouse effect. According to the specialist, any efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change must take into account safeguarding the agriculture sector.
    “We’ve had changes in many extreme weather and climate events, and many of you can testify that you have experienced a number of warmer nights. And it’s very likely that all nine regions will experience heavy precipitation (rainfall) events. How are humans responsible? We have changed the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect, you and I would not be alive here. But the concentration of greenhouse gases would have led to the enhanced greenhouse effect. There are three culprits: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.”

    Article adapted from: https://guyanatimesgy.com/experts-urge-govt-to-take-proactive-steps-in-combating-effects/

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    GEOTurkeyen Tain Talks 10: Experts Discuss Combating Climate Change Effects

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