"As human beings, we have the ability to alter the earth and create a larger impact than any other organism. That is a vast responsibility that should not be taken lightly. The future is in our hands; the actions we take today will result in either fortune or disaster for future generations."
These words summarized the argument presented by Nena Evans, a junior environmental studies major from Bergman, Ark., in her Earth Day essay, "Earth as Our Provider." In her essay, Evans outlined the benefits of sustainable energy sources, and explained why now is the time for University of the Ozarks to invest in solar and geothermal energy. The essay earned Evans the top prize of $400 in the 2015 Earth Day Essay Contest.
Dr. Brian Hardman, associate professor of English and contest organizer, said that 23 essays were submitted for this year’s contest, which asked participants to select one of these topics:
- In what ways might climate change affect the University of the Ozarks?
- What are the pros and cons of wind-generated energy?
- What environmental impacts are there for shipping oil by train as opposed to using pipelines?
- What alternative energy sources (like solar and geothermal energy) should Ozarks consider to meet our future needs?
- What does the best current research on climate change say about our past, present, and future climate trends?
"The quality of those essays was as high as it’s ever been," Hardman said. "Thanks to all of the essay writers for sharing their time and talents to highlight some of our most challenging environmental issues."
Other winning essays were:
- "If the Wind Blows" - Dillon Murray (Second Place, $300)
- "Wind Energy: More Than Just a Passing Breeze" - Jessica Smith (Third Place, $200)
- "The Modern Tragedy of the Commons: Wind-Generated Energy as a Gateway to Sustainability" - Karina Ramirez (Fourth Place, $100)
Hardman expressed his thanks to the judges and sponsors of the contest, which has now been held at Ozarks for 10 consecutive years.
"Special thanks…to the judges: Sean Coleman, Doug Denne, Debbie Eldridge, and Amy Oatis," Hardman said, "[and] thanks once again to Wayne and Betty Workman for their continued support and encouragement, and for making the contest possible."
The Workmans have sponsored the contest each year since it began in 2006.
Topics: Student Events