What do education, leadership, and character have to do with campus compost piles at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station?
Those three themes are all part of “Integrated Liberal Studies 400,” the senior capstone course for students in the certificate program.
As part of the class, the students followed the path of compostable plates now used at Memorial Union.
That path led them from the union out to the research station compost piles in early April for a visit.
For the education theme, the students considered a few key questions: Were the plates really compostable? Did it make sense to compost them? (And how gross was the compost pile?)
The leadership part was aptly demonstrated by James Harrod from the UW Facilities, Plannning & Management.
Harrod arranged for the class trip to the compost pile. He also explained how a vision for more sustainable food processes at UW-Madison could become a reality (See: “Composting Project takes a bite out of campus food waste”).
But, what about character — the third theme for the capstone course?
ILS chair and capstone instructor, Cathy Middlecamp says, putting your hands in the compost piles and your feet in the mud is definitely one way to build it!