Melissa Morrison: low-impact day

(Photo by B.A. Rupert)

For 24 hours last fall, Melissa Morrisongave up some of her favorite things — chewing gum, toasted Pop-Tarts, the Internet and texting — all in an attempt to minimize her impact on the environment.

The sophomore civil engineering major went without prepackaged foods, soda, elevators, television and computer games. She ate no meat, poultry, fish or seafood.

In other words, Morrison tried to do in 24 hours what author Colin Beavan attempted for a year.

Beavan is the author of No Impact Man, the book all 440 students enrolled in English 20 (Exposition and Argumentation) were assigned to read last year through Missouri S&T’s One Book Program. This year’s English 20 classes will also read the book. In it, the New York-based author chronicled his year-long “lifestyle experiment” to answer the question, “How truly necessary are many of the conveniences we take for granted but that, in their manufacture and use, hurt our habitat?”

Morrison’s course was taught by Fred Ekstam. He challenged his students to attempt to follow Beavan’s human guinea pig approach to low-impact living — but only for 24 hours — and then to write about the experience.

Morrison (pictured above at the Rolla Recycling Center) survived the day without many of the conveniences we take for granted. She also discovered that minimizing her environmental impact wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be.

“When I first heard about the assignment, I thought it would be fun, but I also thought it might be kind of hard,” she says. “It turned out to be easier than I’d expected.

“We use so many resources,” Morrison says. “It showed me how much we could live without.”

The One Book Program connects new S&T students by giving them a common reading experience during their first year. For information on supporting the program, contact Joan Nesbitt, vice chancellor for university advancement, at 573-341-7808 or nesbittj@mst.edu.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]