environment

The proposed building site for "The Cottages" on Whitehall Road and Blue Course Drive.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Both candidates for Ward 1 of the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors say they believe it’s important to balance economic development and environmental preservation. But they disagree on what to do about a new development planned in the township.

A student housing complex named “The Cottages” is being planned on Whitehall Road and Blue Course Drive. The Toll Brothers developers want to buy the land from Penn State. But they need the go-ahead from the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors to start building.

Ron Quinn and Peg Hambrick survey the future site of the duplex.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

On a green patch of land on University Drive, there are several stakes and flags marking the ground. The executive director of the State College Community Land Trust Ron Quinn, along with Green Build  committee chair Peg Hambrick, are surveying the empty lot owned by their organization.

The Green Build project is uncharted territory for the Land Trust. Usually, it purchases houses and sells them at a lower cost to buyers who would otherwise be priced out of the State College borough.

The proposed building site for "The Cottages" on Whitehall Road and Blue Course Drive.
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Dave Yoxtheimer, a hydro geologist at the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, walks through a seemingly unremarkable tract of land. It’s near Blue Course Drive and Whitehall Road, in State College’s Ferguson Township. Although it seems barren to the naked eye, the land serves an important purpose for the town’s water.

State College Teachers Join Water Quality Testing Effort

Jul 31, 2014
Teachers looking at computer
Kelly Tunney / WPSU

Many people are concerned with the environmental impacts of Marcellus Shale Drilling. A group of high school teachers from State College are learning how to keep an eye on the quality of local rivers and streams so they can teach the skill to their students.

Recently, a group of earth science teachers from State College Area High School splashed through Black Moshannon Creek. Some wore waders, others just rolled up their pants to wade through the clear, rushing water.

Putting sensors on pland
photo by Kelly Tunney

Many of us talk to our houseplants, or play music for them.  But what if the plants could play music for us?  Actually, they can, thanks to a gadget called the “MIDI Sprout.”

Sam Cusumano, an audio engineer and experimental sound artists from Philadelphia, is the creator of that device. He paid a recent visit to Schlow Library in State College, and stopped by WPSU’s studios to talk about the MIDI sprout, and show us how it works.  We brought a big leafy plant to the studio for the demonstration.