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The Green Campus Podcast

15 Oct 2021

The Green Campus Podcast

We’ve started a podcast! We wanted to give you an insight into our Green Campus and those working tirelessly to make UCC, and the planet, a better place. We have interviewed a broad range of people and will be releasing a new episode every 3 weeks for your listening pleasure.

Episode 1

You can listen to our 1st episode of ‘The Green Campus Podcast’ with UCC President John O’Halloran on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links. 

John talks about his early career in Zoology from being a student to working on the effects of acid rain on river birds and his time in BEE’s. He talks about the history of the green campus, about the green campus motto Student Led, Research Informed and Practice Focused and what that means especially in relation to student values.

He goes through his proudest achievements and what he wants to achieve in his presidency in relation to biodiversity. He finishes by talking about the connected curriculum, how education and research is vital in delivering climate action in Ireland and globally and about the challenges facing the university in the coming years.

Spotify: Link Spotify Podcast

Apple Podcasts: Link Apple Podcast

Episode 2

You can listen to our 2nd episode of ‘The Green Campus Podcast’ with UCC Director of Buildings & Estates Mark Poland on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links.

Mark talks about his role in the overall management of the physical infrastructure of the university through strategic planning, capital projects and maintenance.  He talks about the setting up of the green forum and how it brings members from a vast array of disciplines together and our achievements to date in relation to green metrics.

He moves on to how we are going to meet our energy targets, the move towards renewables and the technology that will be incorporated to get us away from fossil fuels. He finishes by going through space utilization, the national development plan and how we can make our existing stock of buildings more energy efficient. 

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 3

You can listen to our 3rd episode of ‘The Green Campus Podcast’ with UCC Head Gardener Jack Murphy on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links.

Jack talks about his early career and how he developed a love of horticulture. He talks about the various habitats in UCC, from our tree collection that recently received arboretum status, to our gardens and flower collection. He moves on to the sustainable practices used in the grounds section and how we have eradicated the use of pesticides and herbicides.

He talks about the different types of wildflowers and pollinators on campus and how we are moving to electric tools and mowers on campus. He finishes by going through the makeup of our tree collection, how composting is reused on campus and tips for the beginner gardener.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 4

You can listen to our 4th episode of ‘The Green Campus Podcast’ with UCC student Timothy McGrath on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links.

Timothy talks about how he first got interested in sustainability and the environment. He talks about his role in Enactas, using the power of entrepreneurial action. He moves on to talk about how precious plastics globally and in UCC are helping to reduce plastic waste, through recycling, biodegradable materials and zero waste lifestyles. He talks about how there is now a UCC precious plastics workshop to start making products from rulers to coasters.

Following on from this Timothy talks about setting up ReFRAME where they will be reusing plastic to make skateboards, longboards and moving up to bicycles. He finishes by talking about making UCC a recycling hub and how education and community involvement is key to dealing with the problem of plastic waste.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: here

Episode 5

The 5th installment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to UCC Director of IT Services Gerard Cully. It is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links. 

Gerard talks his early background and his role as Director of IT services. He outlines the carbon footprint of UCC’s IT infrastructure in relation to cloud services, data storage and the energy savings achieved. He talks about the circular economy and how IT recycles its hardware infrastructure both in donating to local charities and recycling the hardware with local organisations. He moves on to talk about what is being done to make IT services more energy efficient and how the Covid pandemic has impacted remote working in UCC. He then talks about how server virtualization is being used to lessen the impact of physical servers on campus by reducing the number of servers by up to 95%.

He moves on to how sustainability factors into IT today and how strategic planning and sustainability are being incorporated into procurement practices and purchasing policy. He talks about how we use the Irish environment to cool our data centers. He finishes by talking about how we can use the data IT produces to design a better campus experience.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 6

The 6th installment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to UCC Lecturer in Applied Psychology Dr. Annalisa Setti. It is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links. 

Annalisa talks about the benefits of nature for your attention, your stress levels and how it increases vitality. She moves on to how the Covid pandemic has affected people’s relationship with nature. She talks about collaboration with the University of Bologna to capture people’s relationships with nature and to capture ideas on new green spaces and how we can improve existing ones.

She talks about the planning of green spaces and her involvement in Go Green Roots, an EU funded, and Irish based project looking at making green areas more accessible in European cities. She finishes by talking about “Success It’s in Our Nature”, an initiative between Annalisa, Graduate Attributes and Green Campus. It showcases all the ways students and staff can engage with nature on our campus to relieve stress at exam time, to enhance mental and physical health and wellbeing, enhance their academic and personal success and build their graduate attributes and values.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 7

Fáilte ar ais go dtí an Campus Glas podchraoladh! The 7th installment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to climate activist, language student, and Gaeilgeoir, Síofra Nic Risteaird. It is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links. 

Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge anseo, agus in onóir na hócáide, bímid ag caint faoin nasc idir ár dteanga agus an timpeallacht. In honour of Seachtain na Gaeilge, we’re discussing the connection between our language and the environment. Síofra has been a part of the environmental movement in UCC since 2017. She talks about how she first got involved with climate activism and her experiences with UCC Environmental Society and UCC Green Campus. She moves on to tell about her relationship with the Irish language and how her studies have helped her understand the significance of linguistics to our history, culture, and natural environment.

During this episode, Síofra tells us about environmental communication and the role that Irish could play in communicating the importance of climate action. Finally, Síofra tells us about some of the resources that are available to people who want to start learning Irish or who want to find ways to practice their cúpla focail.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 8

The 8th installment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to Dr. Hannah Daly, lecturer and researcher in energy, economy, environment and engineering systems in UCC. It is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links. 

Hannah begins by telling us about her time studying in UCC and her experience as the Agency Lead on Energy Access and SDG7 collaboration in the International Energy Agency in Paris. She moves on to give us an overview of sustainable energy modeling systems and what these models work to achieve.

She talks about the intensification of the agriculture industry in Ireland and the practical and societal difficulties associated with creating a sustainable agriculture model. She moves on to discuss the potential for district heating in Ireland and how that can play a role in a collective solution to decarbonising our heating systems. Hannah discusses LNG in Ireland and how we should be striving to transition away from natural gas as quickly as possible to sustainable energy and removing barriers to offshore wind and solar panels. She finishes by talking about the need to improve our public infrastructure to help create cleaner cities and improve sustainable transport methods.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 9

The 9th installment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to facilitator, coach, and celebrant Melanie O’Driscoll. It is available to listen to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts at the below links. 

Melanie begins by telling us about her journey from studying zoology to acting as a facilitator with The Green Step, and training as an interfaith minister. She moves on to talk about what eco-grief and climate anxiety means and how it can impact a person's well-being and tells us the importance of strong community links when tackling climate issues.

She goes through what her ‘Self Care is Climate Care’ workshops entail, which are run monthly through UCC Green Campus. She talks about how she works to create shared experiences in this space to help people express their emotions and increase their climate resilience.

If you are interested in attending the next Self Care is Climate Care workshop click here

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 10

The 10th installment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to UCC Commuter Plan Manager Stephan Koch.

Stephan talks about his role as UCC’s Commuter Plan Manager and his background as a transport planning engineer. He moves on to talk about being part of the transport mobility forum where he liaises with various transport authorities to promote sustainable transport. He talks about our existing commuter plan that runs to 2023 and the statistics on the travel habits of our student and staff.

He moves on to our carbon footprint in relation to staff and student travel and how Covid impacted this and the opportunities that arose from the pandemic. He explains the various schemes in UCC from car-pooling to park and ride, electric bikes, and the bike to work scheme. He talks about the benefits of cycling and the need for education and infrastructure to support cycling. He finishes by talking about facilities available to cyclists on campus and the various cycle routes available around Cork City.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 11

The 11th instalment of the UCC Green Campus podcast where we talk to Research Support Officer in Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Dr. John Barimo.

John talks about his early background living in Miami and the how the environmental degradation in the area started his interest in ecology. He outlines the history of the UN SDG goals and how these goals are a strategic plan towards sustainability. He talks about how research funding is looking for relationships between universities, communities and business partnerships.

He goes through UCC’s connected curriculum and how the SDG toolkit he designed is directly supporting the connected curriculum in the sustainability element. He outlines how the toolkit works and how it enables educators to incorporate the SDGs into their teaching. He finishes by talking about the different challenges educators face in respect of funding and his hopes for the toolkit in the future.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 12

The 12th instalment of the UCC Green Campus podcast we talk to beekeeper and assistant to the Academic Secretary & Assistant Registrar, Gretta McCarthy.

Gretta begins the episode by telling us about what first inspired her get involved with beekeeping and how beekeeper Pat Keane influenced her journey. She goes on to speak about the importance of bees as pollinators, their essential role in our food production and ecosystems, giving a harrowing example of how in parts of China, people have to hand-pollinate trees due to severe declines in pollinator populations. 

Next Gretta discusses what the everyday person can do to support pollinators such as rewilding and planting native species. She gives tips on how you could start beekeeping and the most common challenges people face when setting up hives. She finishes the episode by talking about the role that flora and fauna play in beekeeping and honey-production. 

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: Link here

Episode 13

The 13th instalment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to UCC lecturers Dr Angela Flynn (School of Nursing & Midwifery) and Dr Catherine Forde (School of Applied Social Studies).

The podcast begins with a discussion around the connection between sustainability and healthcare and how a person's environment (home, transport options, socioeconomic status) influences their health and well-being. Catherine talks about her work with colleagues which aims to bring environmental perspectives into their disciplinary practices, referencing a module on social work and the environment that is delivered as part of the Masters of Social Work for the past two years, developed by Mary Hurley and Dr Fiachra Ó Suilleabháin.

Following this, Angela discusses the issue of single use waste production in healthcare, particularly in recent years due to the Covid pandemic. Catherine moves on to talk about the response of students when integrating sustainability into her modules and programmes, and the importance of learning from students involved with environmental campaigns and groups. Next, the role of social workers as activists and agitators is explored alongside the rise in engagement with environmental education. Finally, Catherine and Angela finish the podcast by discussing how they’re working to equip educators with the necessary tools to integrate environmental education into their teachings.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: here

Episode 14

The 14th instalment of the UCC Green Campus podcast is now available where we talk to author and Head of the UCC Visitors Centre, JP Quinn.

JP begins by telling us about his own UCC journey, from starting as an undergraduate student to his role as Head of the Visitors Centre. JP tells us about his book ‘A Bee At UCC’, a children's book illustrated by Charlie Ruxton, which started as a Covid lockdown project and is now available in every library in Ireland. He talks about the importance of storytelling and how he tailored his books to engage with young readers and communicate the importance of bees and biodiversity. He also gives us a sneak peek into his second and upcoming book ‘A Tree At UCC’.

Following on from this, JP discusses the importance of having open conversations with children about environmental issues, and the role that inclusion and communication plays in sustainability. He tells us about the different sustainable products and gifts available at the Visitors Centre including our very own UCC Honey (produced by UCC bees) and upcycled clocks. JP wraps up the episode by talking about the student-led sustainability initiatives in UCC and how our university is leading the way in this area.

Spotify: Link here

Apple Podcasts: here

 

 

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