Unlike many areas of research and academic study, sustainability is action oriented. In addition to learning about sustainability theoretically, it is important to do sustainability. Through the Jarchow Lab and Sustainability Program, we are implementing sustainability in and around Vermillion in a number of ways. Meghann Jarchow is a co-founder and the president of Greening Vermillion, she is the faculty advisor for the Sustainability Club, she is a member of the President’s Committee on Sustainability, she is the co-founder and coordinator of Vermillion Earth Days, she is the vice president of the Spirit Mound Trust, and she does community-based learning in all of her courses. Through these roles, Dr. Jarchow and her students work to advance sustainability across campus and in Vermillion.
Efforts to implement sustainability on campus include improving the recycling program. USD does not have a university-sanctioned recycling program. Two Sustainability Capstone classes, the Sustainability Club, and the President’s Committee on Sustainability have all worked to improve recycling on campus. This issue is important to USD students as evidenced by the fact that there were four articles about recycling during the 2015-2016 academic year in the Volante.
In the community, Greening Vermillion with assistance from the Sustainability Capstone course have launched campaigns to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags through the Bring Your Bag campaign and to reduce nonpoint source pollution through the Adopt-a-Drain campaign. More information about both of these campaigns is available on the Greening Vermillion website.