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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - University of California-Davis, Davis, California, USA

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University of California-Davis, Davis, California, USA
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sarabiowall



Registered: December 2012
City/Town/Province: Temple City
Posts: 1
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As an undergraduate freshman, one of my major obstacles is choosing a major that I would enjoy learning for my next four year. Fortunately, I stumbled upon Biological Systems Engineering; a major related to alternate greenhouse gases and agriculture. I applied and was accepted to this major at the University of California-Davis. I wanted to see if I was truly interested in this major so I decided to partake in a project guided by the University of California-Davisís professors. A suggested project was to create a biowall and test whether it could support life. A biowall is essentially a vertical garden on which gardeners can plant fresh fruits and vegetables or plant vines that climb the wall. Biowalls are also used to filter air especially in office buildings and it also creates a more an aesthetic environment to work in. Biowalls are usually built in urban communities because they are the perfect compromise for the lack of space.
With a project in mind, I started researching using the internet and library as primary resources. I also asked UC Davis professors for advice on how to create, structure, and grow the biowall. I decided upon a loose media biowall structure where I would be able to grow fresh fruits and vegetables using soil. I secured a place at a greenhouse at University of California-Davis which would become the home to my biowall.
With my final design finished, I started collecting materials. My biowall would be made out of wood with a box shape foundation and a vertical box sitting inside the foundation. It would have four wheels underneath for easy transportation. The wall itself would be lined with horizontal sections of mesh that would give extra support to each row of four-inch wide soil. On top of the soil and mesh would be a vertical layer of mesh and wood nailed to form a cross-hatch like structure that would hold the mesh and soil in place. The foundation box would be lined with tarp to keep the wood dry from the water that would be dripped down from the biowall. With University of California-Davis plant professors, we decided that peas, spinach, and basil were good plants to grow because of its extensive root system that would help hold the soil in place.
Within a week of planting the seeds, I started to see sprouts. I was extremely pleased to see results after long hours of building and planting. Since this biowall was able to prosper, I know that other urban communities are able to incorporate this design into their gardens as well. City dwellers are now able to grow fresh, organic fruits and vegetable in their very own backyard or even rooftop.
Accomplishing this project has helped me realized that I would enjoy a career focused on agriculture and environment. I also concluded that I could utilize my newly founded passion and creativity for the betterment of society, and even the world. Looking at statistics, 1.1 billion people in developing countries do not have access to clean water. 2.6 billion people lack proper sanitation. 1 billion people are malnourished. 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. That is 18 children dying every minute or a child every three seconds. Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The list of poverty statistics is endless. However, it is our duty to help improve these statistics.
With my education at University of California Davis and my passion, I hope to one day help improve these statistics. It may seem like an impossible task, but every little thing can impact the future. Just like how building this simple biowall has impacted my entire future.
Date: December 30, 2012 ∑ Views: 2230 ∑ File size: 18.3kb, 3207.4kb: 2448 x 3264 ∑
Hours Volunteered: 35
Volunteers: 4
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 18 & 20
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