This March, co-op faculty member Beth Bridgeman facilitated a visit to campus from Kim Nace, the executive director of the Rich Earth Insitute.
The Rich Earth Institute is an organization that is doing cutting-edge research to develop methods of urine compost with funding from various national organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the USDA, the EPA, as well as the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation.
Kim spoke to various groups on campus and in the community to share information about the work of the Rich Earth Institute, and led a design-build session on campus to create a urine diversion dry composting outhouse.
Beth Bridgeman, who organized Kim’s visit, shared the following about the various activities offered over the course of the visit: “The Rich Earth Institute presented to 131 students in seven different classrooms, worked with 24 students on the design-build prototype toilet, and did a community-wide presentation to the Yellow Springs public to which 23 people attended. In addition, a conversation was opened with the Ohio Department of Health for future research opportunities on this project to benefit the Yellow Springs and greater surrounding public. It opened up an important conversation on a critical issue of dealing with water shortages, river and lake contamination, coming phosphorus shortages, and wastewater treatment nutrient overloads. It placed Antioch College, and Yellow Springs, in the vanguard of innovative thinking in this area and secured our spot as leaders in this conversation. Other organizations, such as Community Solutions, are seeking our additional input on their own research efforts. Antioch College had a unique opportunity, due to the generosity of YSCF, of being a regional higher education leader in sustainability.”
Originally published in the “What’s Happening in Co-op This Week” newsletter on April 14th, 2017.
Beth Bridgeman joined the Cooperative Education faculty in 2013. Her work focuses on sustainability, place-based learning, mindfulness, reskilling, and "thrivalism" in the Anthropocene; exploring the many ways that individuals and communities are bringing new (and ancient) ideas to the challenge of how we will feed ourselves, save our water and soil, and farm sustainably in a changing climate.Her professional practice areas, informed by community engagement and student-centered experiential learning pedagogy includecological agriculture, reskilling and resiliency, commensality, seed-saving and stewardship, and field-based education. Beth has designed courses in co-constructed learning, agrarian systems, reskilling and resilience, plant medicine and herbalism, seed-saving, and harvest preservation, utilizing the Antioch Farm and campus as a learning laboratory.