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Targum spotlight: SEED implements on-campus sustainability projects

The Student for Environmental and Energy Development (SEED) organization has implemented hydroponics on campus. – Photo by

Students for Environmental and Energy Development (SEED) is an on-campus student organization that meets weekly to discuss the environment and implement sustainability solutions around campus.

Alex Roan, SEED's development director and a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior, said the organization was founded in 2016 as a space for students with environment-related interests to create and collaborate on various sustainability projects.

He said that SEED develops these projects to enhance University infrastructure and connects students with experienced industry professionals.

Past SEED projects have included an initiative to expand the biodiversity of native plant species on Busch campus and a partnership with First Transit, a transportation company, to install solar panels on University buses.

Other sustainability proposals that SEED has implemented on campus include building new signs to promote recycling and employing hydroponics to grow plants in an environmentally advantageous manner, Roan said.

"It is very important and beneficial to have a community that is like-minded so that we can collaborate and be more productive toward a more sustainable future," he said.

Roan said that cooperation between people of different skill sets and backgrounds is essential to addressing environmental challenges. SEED invites all majors to join its meetings and participate in projects, he said.

For example, SEED's latest biodiversity project with native plants involved the use of subject areas like landscape architecture, ecology and biology.

Additionally, Roan said the organization organizes professional development events like career panels and trips to environmental sites like wildlife reservations and wastewater treatment facilities.

Members of the organization recently traveled to the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford, New Jersey, according to a SEED social media post.

Roan said that one of his favorite experiences through SEED was visiting a wastewater treatment facility in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and learning about the plant’s operations.

Alongside SEED's focus on environmental sustainability and experiential learning projects, the club’s Instagram page displays a variety of community-oriented activities and social events for its members.

Overall, Roan said the organization provides students actively interested in environmental issues with an opportunity to work on their original ideas and strive to see them achieved on campus.

"We hope that students in SEED feel that they can make a difference by continuing to think of creative designs to reduce the impact we have as humans on our environment and that they continue to be inspired by others to work toward a better future," he said.

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