University of Denver students engage in environmental sustainability

My audio slideshow attempted to capture some of the best things University of Denver students, in congruence with the Sustainability Council, are doing to help promote environmental sustainability around campus. I chose to interview three people, Tay Dunklee, the co-chair of the Transportation Committee, Megan Kelly, the chair of Mindful Consumption Committee and Ira Simon, the director of DU’s food service company Sodexo. These people provided professional and interesting accounts of ways in which DU has worked to improve sustainability around campus.

The main topics I chose to focus on during the slideshow were transportation, reduction in the use of bottled water, waste and recycling and the efforts of Sodexo to increase the use of composted waste and recycling in dorms such as Nagel Hall. For my transportation section, I really wanted to capture the importance of using bicycles rather than cars to get around campus, as well as highlight some of the BCycle stations. The BCycle stations make it even easier for DU students to get around campus without the use of cars because they provide bike-sharing opportunities at little to no cost. In addition, I included photos of students using the RTD light rail and cycling around campus. Some of my photos also depict the basic challenges students face, such as pollution and waste. Since one of the biggest contributors to waste is bottled water, I spent time photographing and depicting bottled water and the bottle-filling stations to show an alternative to purchasing and throwing away harmful pollutants such as the plastic involved in bottling water. I also included some photos of nature, such as leaves and bushes, to show the beautiful environment DU students seek to preserve. Finally, I spent the last half of the slideshow depicting photos of waste and the efforts around campus to recycle. I especially tried to show the contrast between dumpster trash, recycling and compost by showing photos of them in succession. Then, I proceeded to show the efforts Sodexo has made towards composting as a way to solve the problem of food waste by establishing Nagel Hall with a long shot, and then by showing the company’s efforts to sustainably reduce waste by offering students other options when throwing away food or purchasing beverages.

Determining the order my photos should go was something I played around with quite a lot. Initially, I had the last part of the slideshow at the beginning, but I chose to change that because I felt like Tay Dunklee’s comments on cycling and the important role it plays in reducing car waste was the most impactful. Then, I chose to show Megan Kelly’s discussion on bottled water because I feel like that’s something DU has done a great job implementing around campus. I then used Megan Kelly’s comments about waste and recycling, followed by compost as a transition to Ira Simon’s discussion about what Nagel Hall has done to lead the way in transitioning dorm cafeterias into more sustainable atmospheres. Although I do like Ira Simon’s comments, I chose to put them last because the audio was not as good since I recorded it during a meeting, rather than one-on-one. I felt like it was best to end with the weakest element of my slideshow, as is traditional in newswriting.

Overall, this process was extremely eye opening. I did not realize how time-consuming and difficult it would be to match photographs with interviews. It was certainly a change of pace from the traditional newswriting that I’m use to doing. I found myself constantly having to make lists of new photographs to take to match the interviewee’s comments, and definitely spent some time running around trying to get the slideshow the way I wanted it. In the future, I would definitely put all my audio into Final Cut Pro first, get it the way I want it, and then make a list of photos that would match it so I didn’t have to keep going back and forth. I certainly enjoyed this process and am glad I was able to learn it as a skill going forward.

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One Response to University of Denver students engage in environmental sustainability

  • Katy Owens
    Katy Owens says:

    This turned out very well, Caitlin! The images match up with the words perfectly, great job! I’m glad you got a few different perspectives for the audio interview, and going into the meetings and getting images of people and not just the stations on campus was a great touch. I really liked the shot of students riding away on their bikes towards the beginning, it fit perfectly with what the source was saying and was a visually interesting photo. I enjoyed watching this!

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