Student Paper on Urban Atmospheric Carbon Removal Paves Way for Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Several Environmental Management and Sustainability (MSEM) students conducted research this year on the impact that the loss of natural space has on carbon emissions and nearby urban environments. Academic institutions in these urban areas, like St. Edward’s University, were of particular focus in the study. Suzzanne Gamboa, Erica Joelson, and Christina Mcglew studied five locations throughout Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, a natural area owned jointly by St. Edward’s University and Travis County and estimated the amount of carbon stored at Wild Basin.  The students also worked with Michael Wasserman, PhD, from the Environmental Science and Policy program and Amy Belaire, PhD, from Wild Basin.

As mentioned in the paper, “Urban trees have the capability of storing large amounts of carbon, as well as regulating air temperatures, air pollution and energy usage from buildings (Nowak, 1993).” These regulations are important not only in understanding the benefit of preserving a natural area in an urban setting but also for preparing greenhouse gas inventories for universities. Each year, a greenhouse gas inventory is performed on campus in order to track the total annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at St. Edward’s University providing Hilltoppers with a better understanding of the sources and trends in the university’s emissions in an effort to improve current sustainability practices at the university.

Click here to view and/or download a PDF version of the paper.