Make The Connection

August 31, 2020 | By Cole Hatcher

Chase Patton ’22 created a garden to help compare different at-home composting methods as part of her Summer Science Research Program experience. (Photo courtesy of Chase Patton)

‘A More Sustainable Life’

Ohio Wesleyan Student Researches At-Home Composting Methods

Name: Chase Patton ’22
Hometown: Delaware, Ohio
Major: Zoology and Environmental Studies
Minor: Geography
OWU Connection Experience: Ohio Wesleyan’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)

Patton spent 10 weeks “Measuring Household Urban and Suburban Sustainability Initiatives” under the mentorship of Ashley Allen, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of geography.

OWU faculty member Ashley Allen (left) and Chase Patton show off the garden Patton created for her summer science research project into composting. (Photo courtesy of Chase Patton)

Examining Composting Methods

“The intention of my research was to test various at home-composting methods to determine which method was the most efficient, user-friendly to the average citizen, and passed the ‘smell test.’

“By doing this research, I hoped to gain knowledge about the various composting methods to share my findings with others and allow them to also be able to practice at-home sustainability.

“Even though one single person or household cannot singlehandedly ‘fix’ the earth’s food-waste problems, the more people or households that do participate in at-home sustainability, such as composting, we can then start to see change.”

Lessons Learned

“Being an Environmental Studies major, in my classes I have learned what I as an individual can do to live a more sustainable life. I have also learned to basics about different at-home sustainability practices that can be effective in living a more eco-conscious life.

“By doing this research, I was able to see the practices we learned about in action. I was able to test out different ways of composting that I had learned ‘worked’ from class and apply them to a real-world setting to determine which methods were the ‘best’ in their own ways.

“By doing this research, I was able to see that I do enjoy working with sustainability efforts and am also passionate about it. I can now inform people of my findings and help them determine the right type of composting for them.

“This is the kind of environmental outreach that I strive to be able to do one day on a larger scale.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose OWU because I really wanted a small college where I was not just a number but a name and face. Here at OWU, I got exactly what I wished for and more.

“I came in with the intentions of just being a Zoology major, and now going into my third year I have declared Zoology and Environmental Studies as my majors. I did this because the faculty made this decision seem sound and not as intimidating as it looks.

“I am glad I chose OWU so I have the opportunity to create these bonds with my professors and faculty members that I would not otherwise get at a larger institution.”

My Plans After Graduation

“I plan on going into one of two jobs: zoo education or environmental outreach. In both of these jobs, my main objective is to inform the public. What we can do as average citizens to help animals that may be endangered or close to it, or the environment and the planet on which we live?

“I believe that the average person should be informed about the world around them that they would not normally think about on a day-to-day basis.”