Posts Tagged ‘cal poly san luis obispo’

greenhouse

What could be a more appropriate use for salvaged wood than use in a recycled greenhouse? Once a thriving organism in its own right, timber rescued from wine barrels, barns, old doors and retaining walls can become a shelter for developing seedlings. A Place to Grow | Recycled Greenhouses recognizes the potential in scrapped wood and bestows upon the material a new life as an environmentally conscious greenhouse, shed, or outdoor studio space.

Operated by San Luis Obispo residents Dana and Sean O’Brien, the company prides itself in finding a solution to construction waste and creating beautiful bespoke structures. Dana boasts a finance degree from Cal Poly SLO, over 20 years as a government employee, and an active role in Habitat for Humanity. Sean graduated with a degree in computer science from Cal Poly, has been a software engineer for more than 25 years, and possesses a California contractor’s license. Together, the O’Briens created their business to pursue their passions for eco-friendly building.

A Place to Grow has been honored by the Martha Stewart American Made Contest, and has created greenhouses for Sage nursery in Los Osos and private residences up and down the Central Coast. For more information, contact A Place to Grow through their website, or email Dana at dana@recycledgreenhouses.com.

What could be a more appropriate use for salvaged wood than use in a recycled greenhouse? Once a thriving organism in its own right,timber rescued from wine barrels, barns, old doors and retaining walls can become a shelter for developing seedlings. Based right her on the Central Coast, A Place to Grow recognizes the potential in scrapped wood and bestows upon the material a new life as an environmentally conscious greenhouse, shed, or outdoor studio space.

Operated by San Luis Obispo residents Dana and Sean O’Brien, the company prides itself on finding a solution to construction waste and creating beautiful bespoke structures. Dana boasts a finance degree from Cal Poly SLO, over 20 years as a government employee, and an active role in Habitat for Humanity. Sean graduated with a degree in computer science from Cal Poly, has been a software engineer for more than 25 years, and possesses a California contractor’s license. Together, the O’Briens created their business to pursue their passions for eco-friendly building.

A Place to Grow has been honored by the Martha Stewart American Made Contest, and has created greenhouses for Sage nursery in Los Osos and private residences up and down the Central Coast. For more information, contact A Place to Grow through their website, or email Dana at dana@recycledgreenhouses.com.

Forget the need for the Keystone XL pipeline or Diablo Canyon’s nuclear reactors. San Luis Obispo’s very own Cal Poly is paving the way for a green energy future thanks to some hearty  microorganisms and the contents of a toilet bowl. A research team dubbed the Algae Technology Group (ATG) has recently been awarded a $1.3 million grant by the Department of Energy to develop biofuels made from municipal wastewater and algae. The tiny plants not only help to clean water efficiently and inexpensively, but also produce energy and sequester carbon. Local governments will soon have a new method to purify water and can even sell to algae feedstock to refineries for a little extra revenue.

The ATG began back in 2006 and has since been working with faculty and students to research water reclamation and energy production. Their current project will use nine large “raceway” style ponds that cover about half an acre at the San Luis Obispo Water Reclamation Facility on Prado Road. Algae will grow in the ponds, using little inputs other than wastewater and sunlight. Some electricity is needed to circulate the water and run related equipment, but engineers believe that much of that energy could come from renewable sources in the future.

While still an emerging technology, the ATG estimates that with only ten percent of the market share in California, algae biofuel could reduce ratpayers bills by an accumulated $240 million a year. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts that the nation could produce 21 billion gallons of algae biofuel annually. So, between dirty and expensive fossil fuels or cheap energy made from microscopic plants, which alternative would you choose?

Join San Luis Obispo public radio station KCBX in presenting Democracy Now host Amy Goodman, October 20 at the Spanos Theater on the Cal Poly Campus, beginning at 1:30pm.  Goodman will be speaking as a part of The Silenced Majority tour, a 100-city journey to promote the book of the same name.  The tour  began at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and will continue until Election Day.  Traveling through electoral swing states, the tour will examine how and why citizens are organizing across the US, discuss voter ID laws, and address the impacts of Citizens United and massive campaign contributions. Goodman, along with Denis Moynihan, will be speaking about the sequel to their 2006 New York Times bestseller, Breaking the Sound Barrier, as part of a fundraiser for KCBX.

Goodman is the veteran host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, the independent war and peace report that airs on weekdays on public radio stations across the world.  She is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, popularly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.”  Among her many accolades, Goodman is the a co-recipient of the Izzy Award presented by the Park Center for Independent Media, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting, the American Women in Radio and Television’s Gracie Gracie Award, the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.

Tickets can be purchased for $25 per person through the KCBX website.

 

Nestled into the Santa Lucia Mountains of the Los Padres National Forest sits the Hi Mountain Condor Lookout, a fully restored fire tower, research facility, and tracking station.  Sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Morro Coast Audubon Society, US Forest ServiceCal Poly San Luis Obispo, and the Ventana Wildlife Society, Hi Mountain is right in the middle of prime habitat for the endangered California condor and the peregrine falcon.  In addition to observing these magnificent birds, the organization offers internships for biology students and public outreach programs throughout the year.

It is no mystery why people flock to Hi Mountain.  Aside from the stunning views atop their 3198 foot perch, the Lookout offers the opportunity to glimpse the majestic California condor, a bird with an impressive 9.8 foot wingspan and weight of nearly 30 pounds.  With jet black feathers contrasted with white patches on the underside of its wings, and reddish-orange bald heads, these scavengers are certainly a noteworthy sight in the skies over Big Sur.  While these birds can live up to 60 years, their mere existence has been in peril over the last century.  Due to poaching, habitat destruction, and lead poisoning, their numbers dwindled to only 22 in 1987.  Facing extinction, the US Government captured the remaining wild individuals in order to create a critical captive breeding program led by the San Diego and Los Angeles Zoos.  As of last year, there were 310 condors known to be living, with 210 of them having been reintroduced to their native ecosystems.

Join the Hi Mountain Lookout crew this Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19th, and Sunday, May 20th for a weekend remembering a remarkable man.  The Mike Tyner Memorial Event begins at 5:30 on Friday evening for a potluck and owl observation.  Continuing into Saturday, the gathering will feature opportunities to share memories of Mike, conduct repairs on the station, hiking tours, birding, and potluck. A condor biologist, naturalist, and Hi Mountain intern, Mike will be sorely missed by his friends and family.  To make a tax deductible donation to his Memorial Internship Fund, send contributions by mail to the Morro Coast Audubon Society, PO Box 1507, Morro Bay, CA 93443 or online.

For questions and details, contact Steve Schubert at (805) 628 6138, Francis Villablanca at (805) 748-1014, Marcelle at (806) 927-1017, or Joel Weiss at (805) 801-6236.

Have any condor sightings?  There has been a recent report of one over Diablo Canyon Power Plant, a spectacle that has not been glimpsed for over 40 years!

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