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Lakeland University Japan News

LUJ Students Travel Outside the Classroom for Environmental Science

LUJ Students Travel Outside the Classroom for Environmental Science


LUJ Students Travel Outside the Classroom for Environmental Science

"The Earth is what we all have in common." - Wendell Berry, writer/farmer

Across this term, LUJ students enrolled in BIO 101 Environmental Science have been given two different yet equally valuable experiences. Inside the classroom, Dr. Douglas Murray, professor of biology, guides students through the landscape and terminology connected to the conservation of the world around them. 

Then, as part of their lab requirement, they are taken outside of class. Guided by Dr. Murray, who plans the trips, the students experience the landscape. 

This term, it all started with a trip over to nearby Ueno Park, established in 1873 during the Meiji Period, and a 45-minute walk from campus. 

Students traveled through the woodland and wetland zones of the park, identifying plants Dr. Murray had explained to them in class. 

After Ueno Park, Dr. Murray met up with the students at Shibaura Water Park, eventually heading over to the Shibaura Water Reclamation Center, located directly under the park.   After a PowerPoint lecture from a retired company official, the group was then given a guided tour through the plant, witnessing the six stages of sewage processing: pumping, sedimentation, active sludge creation and sedimentation, filtration, and chlorination. Safe to say, seeing how sewage is taken care of must have been an eye-opening experience. 

Perhaps even more eye-opening (and less smelly) than the Reclamation Center, was their third trip to the Shinagawa Incineration Plant. Students were again provided a preparatory lecture by a company official before heading on a tour, observing the control room, the main garbage facility, and the incinerator. Most jaw-dropping was the giant crane used to transport garbage into the incinerator, akin to those arcade claw machines you play, hoping to grab a toy...but on a massive scale. 

Dr. Murray has one more trip planned for this week. This time it'll be to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Miraikan. Stay tuned for more on that. 

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