2018 Hope College Student Sustainability Research Projects

In Holland, we believe that in order to become a vibrant, world-class community we must look at all aspects of our community.  This includes the “Triple Bottom Line”  and the economic, social, and environmental impacts we all have. Our City of Holland Sustainability Committee has created a seven-pillar framework with “lenses” to help us evaluate and make more sustainable choices. We have used this framework model as a way to identify the 2018 Hope College Sustainability Research Projects.

The Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute (HHCSI) would like to formally recognize the following projects:  

PDF Document:  2018 Sustainability Research Projects

PDF Document:  2018 Program

This year’s research projects were designated with a “green ribbon” on their research poster at the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance. Original research by students on topics ranging from the use of drones to track the movement of sand dunes, to the relationship between educational attainment and opioid overdose rates, to the Civil War and racism, were highlighted during the Celebration at Hope College on Friday, April 13, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.

Framework Categories:








For more information about the Framework visit:


For more information about the Annual Celebration visit:


The students and their projects represented all of the college’s academic divisions — the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and applied sciences — and a total of 28 departments and programs.

This year’s event also commemorated the campus-wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments that Hope received from the Council on Undergraduate Research last fall. The award recognizes exceptional undergraduate research, scholarship and creative-activity programs. Only nine colleges and universities nationwide, three per year, have received the recognition since the award program began in 2015. Hope is the only institution in Michigan to have earned the award.

The research and performance celebration, first presented in 2001, is designed to spotlight the quality and importance of student-faculty collaborative research at Hope. Undergraduate research is a hallmark experience for many Hope students and has been a teaching model used at the college for more than seven decades. Mentored collaborative research happens year-round, with approximately 300 students conducting faculty-supervised independent research during the academic year and 200 doing research over the summer, making Hope’s summer research program among the largest in the nation at a liberal arts college. Since faculty are active in scholarship year-round, many more students engage in research during the academic year.

Research has a long and storied history at Hope College. More than 100 years ago, biologist Dr. Samuel O. Mast designed research laboratory space for the college’s Van Raalte Hall, which opened in 1903. The late Dr. Gerrit Van Zyl, who taught chemistry at the college from 1923 to 1964, is widely recognized for developing research-based learning at Hope in its modern sense.

Hope has received recognition in a variety of ways through the years for its success in teaching through collaborative faculty-student research, and for the high quality of the research itself. For the past 16 years, since the category debuted, the “Best Colleges” guide published by U.S. News and World Report has included Hope on its listing of institutions that are exceptional for their emphasis on undergraduate research and creative projects. Hope is one of only 42 institutions of all types, and one of only 12 national liberal arts colleges, on the list in the 2018 edition.

Living Sustainably: Fly Fishing Helps Promote Conservation

By Andrea Goodell, Herrick District Library

Fly fishing is a serene, contemplative pastime.
It’s about conversations with friends, visiting the local restaurant near your favorite stream, the rod or hand-tied flies passed down from your grandfather and just “decompressing in the water,” local author Jon Osborne said.
“Fly fishing is a balance to career, especially a stressful career like law enforcement,” said Osborne, who is an officer with the Holland Department of Public Safety. “If you think it’s all about fish, you’re going to be very disappointed.”
Osborne and local illustrator Joe Van Faasen will speak about their book “Classic Michigan Flies: 16 Legendary Patterns” at 6:30 p.m. April 24 at Herrick District Library in Holland. The presentation is part of the Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore series that raises awareness of sustainability themes. The evening will culminate in several giveaways such as a copy of the book, a set of eight 8-by- 10
prints from the book and a set of hand-tied flies suited for local bass and bluegill angling. The Great Lakes Fly Fishing Co. also has donated a beginner rod and reel to be raffled off to a youth angler.

Local author, police officer and fly fisherman Jon Osborne will speak about fly fishing at Herrick District Library as part of the series about Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore.

Osborne and Van Fassen will talk about several fly fishing options within 15 miles of the library that people can explore and fish for bluegill, pike, small mouth bass and other species.
Anglers can spend endless hours in the water, or they can cast a line over their lunch break. Those who immerse themselves in the river come to understand it, to love it and to desire to protect it. Fly fishermen and women are known for being conservation-minded. Many volunteer their time and money cleaning up the streams and rivers they love so much. Learning and loving the water is “something you never really get to the end of,” Osborne said.
No one wants to fish around trash. The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council will be at the event to promote spring volunteer opportunities such as its road and stream inventory and river clean up.
“Fly fishing is very much a sport tied to philosophy, ethics and conservation,” said HDL staffer and event organizer Laura Grant.
Osborne is in the process of writing a second book, “Flyfisher’s Guide to Michigan.” The book encompasses the history and lore surrounding 70 rivers of the Lower Peninsulia.
Michigan has more than its fair share of opportunities for anglers and others who enjoy the water.  With about 36,000 miles of streams, more than 11,000 inland lakes and 3,000 miles of shoreline, Michigan has access to more than 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, including the Great Lakes.
 Andrea Goodell is community relations associate at Herrick District Library.

If You Go
What: Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore: Fly Fishing
Who: Jon Osborne and Joe Van Faasen speak about their book “Classic Michigan Flies”
Where: Herrick District Library auditorium, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Environmental Awareness/Action: Environmental education and integrating environmental practices into our planning will change negative outcomes of the past and improve our future.

Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.

Repost: Science, Sustainability, and a Bahamian Town Dump


Ah, spring break in the Bahamas. Sun. Sand. Palm trees. Snorkeling in coral reefs. Exploring limestone formations. Visiting the town dump.

What? Wait. The town dump?

Yes, Deep Creek Town Dump to be precise.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Brian Bodenbender has had a penchant for teaching and researching coastal geology in the Bahamas, and the weather there has nothing to do with it. It’s all about the rocks, the sea and sustainability for Bodenbender, who has led more than 70 students to the Caribbean nation over the years.

On his most recent trip during Hope’s spring break in March, the geologyand environmental sciences professor took seven more geology and biology students to, and through, a Bahamian island for a course called “Geology, Biology, and Sustainability on Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Hope College Earth Week 2018



The Christian faith calls us to care for all of God’s creation and ensure preservation for generations to come.  Our goal is to bring students and stakeholders together so they can be prepared as Christian stewards and responsible global citizens. We engage the world constructively through our teaching, research and community service in order to shape Hope College into a model of sustainability and to be a force for good in the world.

Through our daily actions, we can make a big impact and create a better world for every individual, each of whom is created and loved by God.

March 2018 Sustainability News

March 2018 Sustainability News


March 31, 2018 – Resource from the MSU Extension.  How to plan your garden tip sheet.

March 30, 2018 – A break for spring: Week is full of activities for students

March 30, 2018 – Holland schools recognized for positive behavior

March 30, 2018 – Wind energy plays leading role in Michigan utility’s renewable plans

March 30, 2018 – Multiple environmental groups oppose Saugatuck Dunes development

March 29, 2018 – Local women fill business leadership roles

March 28, 2018 – Fossil Fuels Squeezed by Plunge in Cost of Renewables, BNEF Says

March 27, 2018 – Upton talks school safety, Great Lakes protection at Holland event

March 27, 2018 – MAX interim directors chosen during embezzlement investigation

March 26, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Watershed monitoring is community effort

March 26, 2018 – Work release program places inmates at Kent County recycling center

March 26, 2018 – US stocks rally; Dow surges 669, clawing back lost ground

March 24, 2018 – Michigan retailers experience slow start to 2018

March 23, 2018 – Couple offers recycling solution:  RecycleBoxBin provides unobtrusive bins, hopes to educate community on good recycling habits.

March 23, 2018 – Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge finalists to compete Tuesday in livestream event (recording is available)

March 23, 2018 – China imposes retaliatory tariffs on 128 American products, roiling US markets

March 23, 2018 – Volunteers search for affordable housing units in Ottawa County

March 22, 2018 – How to Shop for Used Clothes ” and Why You Should

March 21, 2018 – Holland Energy Park helps reduce city’s carbon footprint

March 21, 2018 – Neighborhood petition impacts process of Hope Ave. reconstruction

March 21, 2018 – Letter: Hope Ave. project needed better handling

March 21, 2018 – Mushrooms: Gentle on the Planet, Healthy on the Plate

March 20, 2018 – 7 plant-based tips for a healthy weight

March 20, 2018 – Earth Day 101: 6 impactful ways to teach your kids about food waste

March 19, 2018 – Living Sustainably: How to ‘green’ your yard’s warm weather routine

March 19, 2018 – 6 skills of happiness help teens live a more positive life

March 18, 2018 – Ottawa County: healthiest county in Michigan

March 16, 2018 – Holland police investigating embezzlement at MAX Transit

March 16, 2018 – Plastic Packaging Hospital Waste Recycling Initiative Kicks Off in the US

March 16, 2018 – Developer Hits Milestone for Large 100% Geothermal Community in Kentucky

March 15, 2018 – Big Efforts at Fort Hood Pay Off: Recycling Program Leads to Revenue

March 15, 2018 – Don’t Forget About Flint, Michigan

March 15, 2018 – Lighting Technology Can Reap Energy Savings of Up To 70%

March 15, 2018 – Bioplastics Can Pose Hidden Risks for Corporations

March 15, 2018 – Mindful eating: 5 ways millennials are driving healthier diets

March 15, 2018 – Dust storms + snowpack raise late-summer water concerns


March 14, 2018 – Restaurant Industry Faces Challenges with Plant-Based Packaging Shift

March 13, 2018 – Coastal states opposing offshore drilling plan

March 13, 2018 – These March Madness mascots are in danger from climate change

March 13, 2018 – Holland BPW proposes lower costs for electric utility

March 13, 2018 – The year-long Dance Marathon fundraiser culminated with a 24-hour dance-a-thon, raising $311,442.19 for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

March 12, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Skilled workers needed to sustain local manufacturing

March 12, 2018 – Hope College has again been selected in 2018 as one of “West Michigan’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For”!  This will be the 13th year that Hope College has been honored with this award.

March 12, 2018 – This technique could restore a big chunk of Amazon rainforest

March 12, 2018 – 50 gallons of sewer discharged at Grove Lift Station

March 11, 2018 – Owens, Wilderer named among ‘Most Influential’ women

March 9, 2018 – Too Much Technology: Children Growing up With Weak Hands, Fingers

March 9, 2018 – Community-Scale Solar to Account for 10% of US Power? Could Be…

March 8, 2018 – Hope College in top 25 colleges in Peace Corps volunteers

March 7, 2018 – Kohler Signs 100-MW Wind Power PPA with Enel Green Power North America


March 6, 2018 – Saving South Africa: The Real Issues Businesses Face When it Comes to Water Shortages

March 6, 2018 – GE Develops ‘World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine’

March 5, 2018 – Living Sustainably:  Herrick’s collection ‘grows’ with new seed library

March 5, 2018 – Climate Action Makes Business Sense – See These Recent Commitments

March 5, 2018 – Grand Rapids parent fighting lead poisoning wins environmental award

March 5, 2018 – Holland Christian adding nature-based kindergarten

March 4, 2018 – Construction could start on Grand River restoration next year

March 4, 2018 – Women change agents panel to be held at Herrick District Library

March 4, 2018 – West Michigan’s Blue Economy: A Special Report from MiBiz

March 4, 2018 – Amid transition to clean energy, utilities tackle water conservation

March 4, 2018 – How to keep your seafood wild

March 2, 2018 – PROTECTING DRINKING WATER IN THE GREAT LAKES:  Great Lakes states should ensure clean, safe drinking water for all residents. New report shows how Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin are implementing the Safe Drinking Water Act.

March 2, 2018 – Ottawa County to begin search for new assistant administrator

March 2, 2018 – County OKs $37,640 to improve historic barn at Eastmanville Farm

March 1, 2018 – Michigan Legislature OKs $175M infusion into roads, bridges

March 1, 2018 – They’re Here to Fix Climate Change! They’re College Republicans.

March 1, 2018 – The 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan – 2018 

Living Sustainably: Workshop targets positive community impacts by business

By Hanna Schulze, Local First
Helping businesses make positive social and environmental impacts on their community is the focus of a workshop called “Raising the Bar for Business” to be held in Holland on April 12.
Local First has partnered with the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance and Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute to host the workshop. Together they will share how to integrate both social and environmental justice values into business plans.

Those who attend will walk away with tangible methods to retain and attract talent, broaden their customer base and create lasting financial sustainability. Refreshments will be provided by Joe 2 Go.
The Holland workshop kicks off the six-part spring lineup of the 2018 Measure What Matters Workshop series, part of the “Good for Grand Rapids” campaign that celebrates West Michigan companies using their business as a force for good in the region.
“A key part of Good for Grand Rapids is providing educational resources to local businesses through our Measure What Matters Workshop series,” said Elissa Hillary, Local First president.
“Our workshops equip business owners with the tools and information they need to demonstrate a positive social and environmental impact on our community. Building upon last year’s success, we have a great series planned for 2018 and welcome any business owner or community member who has an interest.”
“Local First continues to provide impactful events like the Measure What Matters series, where business owners and decision-makers can gain knowledge, access resources and create an action plan that helps address critical issues like diversity in small businesses and renewable and efficient energy use,”
said Christine Lindeman, relationship and operations manager for Sytsma Wealth Strategies and a previous Measure What Matters attendee.
“It’s energizing to be around people who care so much about our community and the individuals who live here.”
The spring schedule for the Measure What Matters workshop series covers a variety of topics, from building healthier teams to best practices for environmental sustainability. Series participants will also learn more about the Good for Grand Rapids campaign and Local First’s Quick Impact Assessment.
In addition to the April 12 workshop, set for 9 to 11 a.m. at Herrick District Library in Holland, subsequent workshops will include “Affording Retention: Building Healthier Teams” and “Putting the ‘Eco’ in Economy,” both of which will be held in Grand Rapids. Go to http://localfirst.com/events# to find out more.
 Local First’s mission is to lead the development of an economy grounded in local ownership that meets the basic needs of people, builds local wealth and social capital, functions in harmony with our ecosystem, and encourages joyful community. For more information about Local First and its efforts to promote a sustainable local economy, visit localfirst.com.

If You Go
What: “Raising the Bar for Business” workshop on positive social and environmental impact
When: 9-11 a.m., Thursday, April 12
Where: Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., Holland
How: Free for Local First members and non-members. Register at www.localfirst.com/events/raising-the-bar-for- business

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Economic Development: Businesses and the local consumers are driving engines that generate capital for growth and development. We want to be a location of choice for new business and industry.

Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.


Living Sustainably: Watershed Monitoring is a Community Effort

By Dan Callam, Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway
Macatawa Watershed ProjectAs Lake Macatawa and its watershed continue their slow, steady journey towards clearer water, Project Clarity partners continue keeping tabs on the progress.
Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute leads these efforts, with additional efforts led by Hope College’s Day1 Watershed program, the Outdoor Discovery Center, and the Macatawa Area Coordinating Council. These efforts provide data that gives feedback on projects and can alert the team to new issues.
Staff and students from Dr. Al Steinman’s lab at the Annis Institute are in the watershed at least once a month, collecting samples and measuring flow rates in several local streams. Several of these sites are located near large wetland complexes that have been restored through Project Clarity.

Institute staff are also out on Lake Macatawa four times a year, collecting samples and taking readings in each of the lake’s bays. Fish sampling also occurs early each fall, when the team uses nets and electroshocking to record the types, counts, and sizes of fish around the lake before returning them to the water.
Hope College’s Day1 Watershed program has built on years of work that Hope has done in the watershed. Engaging freshmen with faculty and older peer mentors, students are helping collect weekly water samples and examining water chemistry, microbial communities, and groundwater flow at more than a dozen sites around the watershed.
In addition to the work by local schools, project partners continue to engage with local citizen scientists. This included a new initiative this past year to get weekly updates on lake conditions from waterfront neighbors and boaters.
These citizen scientists recorded the color and clarity of lake waters at docks, road ends, and sites around the lake. Using Secchi discs – a weighted black and white disc about the size of a dinner plate – they measured the depth of the water at which the disc disappeared from view. They also recorded water color, whether it was a shade of brown, green, blue, or somewhere in between. This data supplements the sampling of the Annis Institute and provides a clearer idea of how quickly conditions in the lake change from season to season.
Upstream from the lake, volunteers help examine seven tributaries for other signs of water quality.  Benthic macroinvertebrates – bugs that can be found in streams and lakes – are an important indicator of water quality. As water quality increases, the numbers and types of bugs that are found also increase. These collections have involved everyone from students to seniors. Who doesn’t want to wade in streams in the name of science on a warm summer day?
As more than a hundred projects designed to improve water quality have been completed across the watershed since Project Clarity began, these ongoing monitoring efforts help provide a clearer idea on how the watershed is changing.
Outdoor Discovery Center Dan Callam is Greenway manager for the Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway.

What: Macatawa River Cleanup
Who: Community volunteers and the Macatawa Watershed Project
When:1 to 4 p.m. April 29
Where: Dunton Park, 290 Howard Ave., Holland. Meet near the boat launch
How: Register at outdoordiscovery.org under “Get Involved.” Work will be on foot and in kayaks; boats,
paddles and life vests provided. Anyone under 16 must be with an adult.

What: Annual Project Clarity Update
Who: Project Clarity supporters and community members
When: 7:30 a.m. May 24
Where: Boatwerks, 216 Van Raalte Ave., Holland
How: $20 admission includes breakfast. Pre-registration required at 393-9453 or at outdoordiscovery.org

This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Environmental Awareness/Action: Environmental education and integrating environmental practices into our planning will change negative outcomes of the past and improve our future.

Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.