Sustainability Conference, 2009

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring man-made hazards in our communities: a toxic tour of Kansas
    (2010-08-09T17:57:38Z) Ashlock, Marcus; Gordon, Joye; Lavergne, Christopher; ashlock
    Although we live in a world of frequent, nature-related disasters such as tornados in the Midwest, hurricanes along the eastern coast and earthquakes among the major fault lines in the west, many disasters experienced by the public are man-made. Whether city planners allow residential building permits for flood planes or chemical plants to be erected to boost a local economy, many citizens may feel the adverse effect of this progress when disaster strikes. The U.S. constitution mandates an equality among the population, but sociologists such as Tierney (1999) state “risks are imposed unequally in society, and frequently those most exposed are least able to cope with risk” (p. 231). This presentation showcases a 2008 Tilford Multicultural Grant funded project, an interdisciplinary collaboration of a combined experiential learning module in three (3) courses within two university departments. The Department of Communications in the College of Agriculture and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism & Mass Communication in the College of Arts & Sciences partnered together to provide a field trip/direct experience opportunity for students, enrolling in AGCOM 420 – Crisis Communications, AGCOM/MC 712 – Environmental Communication and MC 740 – Risk Communication, to see the effects of man-made hazards and disaster on marginalized Kansan populations. The overall course objective is to expose students to the concepts and best practices of risk, crisis, and environmental communications. Through the proposed experiential module, the students were lead on two separate field trips in the spring semester of 2008 to experience the effects of 100 year-old mining techniques in the rural town of Galena, KS, and to tour the Jefferies Energy plant, a coal-fired energy production facility.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainable consumption knowledge and practices of Kansans: An exploration of accuracy and depth of understanding
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-25T16:16:19Z) LeHew, Melody; lehew
    The proposed presentation will report the preliminary results from Phase 1 of an extended research project focused on examining ecologically sustainable consumption practices. A qualitative methodology was used in this phase to develop a better understanding of self-identified sustainable consumers and the life experiences and motivations driving their sustainability practices. The key objectives were to assess participants understanding of sustainability, to explore their current sustainability behavior and whether apparel-related sustainable consumption was included in their portfolio of practices The well-being of individuals, families and organizations is dependent upon responsible consumption of world resources. The human ecology approach focuses on holistic understanding of the interconnectedness of our economy and world, which is compatible with a sustainability perspective. Sustainability can be defined as making decisions regarding satisfaction of needs of today without endangering/limiting the satisfaction of our future generation’s needs. It is a long-term view that encourages responsible and ethical use of the world’s resources. The United States, while the greatest consumer of resources, has not been as proactive regarding conservation as other developed countries. Although we have been slow to adopt sustainability in an overt or government sponsored sense, Cohen, Comrov, and Hoffner (2005) suggest that there is a new and growing politics of consumption occurring among the U.S. citizenship. A collection of separate movements can be identified by three categories: (1) social and political protest campaigns, (2) lifestyle reinventions, and (3) public policy initiatives (Cohen, Comrov, & Hoffner, 2005, p. 2). For this study, recruitment flyers and newspaper advertisements were used to find individuals self-identifying themselves as a participant in one of the lifestyle reinvention movements (i.e. Voluntary Simplicity, Slow Food, Ethical Consumption). Focus group interviews were used to discuss personal characteristics (life experience, values, etc.) that influenced these consumers. The interview method was selected to extract a deeper level of understanding than may result from utilizing only a standardized questionnaire. Preliminary data analysis suggests participants predominantly define sustainability as the responsible use of resources and protection of the environment. There were varying degrees of commitment to sustainable consumer behavior, as well as a variety of factors motivating these Kansans to become more sustainable. Some motivational factors discussed included: a connection to nature, being raised on a farm, religious values, and influence of one’s family. Participants also discussed barriers to becoming more sustainable, with lack of local services, the inconvenience or lack of incentives, and the lack of education and role models as some of the key impediments identified. Another interesting facet revealed was that respondents could easily make the connection between sustainability and food consumption practices as well as recycling of materials after use, but were less clear about the link between sustainability and apparel consumption behavior. Cohen, M. J., Comrov, A., & Hoffner, B. (2005). The new politics of consumption: Promoting sustainability in the American marketplace. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy [], 1(1), 1-19.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Bringing awareness on sustainable green manufacturing to students
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-10T21:39:28Z) Dandu, Raju; rdandu
    Sustainable green manufacturing is an emerging area that combines technical issues of design and manufacturing, energy conservation, pollution prevention, health and safety of communities and consumers. This presentation talks about bringing awareness and understanding of sustainable green manufacturing concepts through an assignment in MET 481 Automated Manufacturing Systems II course. Students are required to do literature research on sustainable green manufacturing, write a paper, and make a 5 minute presentation to the class on the selected topic. The selected topic is related to a specific industry such as automotive, aviation, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, petroleum refining, plastics, and energy. Students include information on issues related to drivers, barriers, laws, regulations, implementation problems, and their individual opinion on sustainable green manufacturing in the written paper.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Embracing a new future toward sustainability in Greensburg, KS
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-10T21:29:17Z) Cassias, Casey
  • ItemOpen Access
    The 50-Year farm bill-a long-term plan for sustainable land use across America
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-04T21:01:56Z) Jackson, Wes
  • ItemOpen Access
    Interdisciplinarity as a sustainable pedagogical tool
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-04T20:55:25Z) Gabbard, Todd; rtodd
  • ItemOpen Access
    UFM's solar energy project
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-02T22:39:11Z) Snead, Bruce; Teener, Linda; Dorsett, Bill; bsnead; lteener
    This presentation will overview UFM's Solar Energy Project, discuss the practical logistics of using passive and active solar energy production and will look at ways to share this information across Kansas and the region. UFM Community Learning Center's Solar Addition began as a demonstration of alternative energy and energy conservation in 1980 with the construction of the passive solar Green House. The initial project was funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the City of Manhattan. It has served as a regional model of innovative uses of passive solar energy for many years. Recently, the facility has been renovated, updating examples of energy efficiency and adding a photovoltaic array to the existing passive solar features. The UFM Solar Project now provides a demonstration of both active and passive solar energy. The photovoltaic project, attached to Westar energy's electrical grid, went live in late July, 2008. Data collected from this project will show the production and cost savings of using solar energy to produce electricity. The UFM Solar Addition Project has two primary goals. The first goal is to create a regional demonstration project of alternative energy technologies. The project provides a demonstration of practical, usable active and passive solar technology available for home and small-scale commercial use. Technologies include passive solar energy collection, using a greenhouse wall with movable insulation, a demonstration of active photovoltaic technology collecting and using the sun's energy for electricity, energy conservation through windows, doors and strategic sun shading. The second goal is to provide unique educational programming to K-State, the Manhattan community and to the region utilizing the updated UFM Solar Addition facility. Classes, tours, demonstrations, and production greenhouse activities are available. Information on the advantages and challenges of alternative energy will be discussed. An outgrowth of the active photovoltaic technology has been the opportunity to advance the agenda of grid-connected solar technology use and energy policy in Kansas. The presenters can provide insight and suggestions on how to work with energy companies to move the region closer to small consumer use of grid-connected solar arrays.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Preliminary carbon footprint for Kansas State University
    (Kansas State University, 2009-03-02T22:34:25Z) Boguski, Terrie; tboguski
    As concern about climate change increases, greenhouse gas inventories are being increasingly used as a measure of sustainable practices and a baseline for improvement by organizations and individuals. Carbon footprints are a common measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases) emitted. K-State energy usage, waste generation, water usage, and transportation data for fiscal year 2007 was used to calculate a preliminary carbon footprint for the University’s main campus; which was estimated at approximately 94,000 metric tons CO2 equivalents. Energy requirements for K-State accounted for about 92% of the total greenhouse gas emissions reported.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Kansas River inventory
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-27T21:33:38Z) Calwell, Laura; Annett, Cynthia; Stephenson, R.J; cannett
    Friends of the Kaw (FOK) is the only grassroots, environmental organization whose sole purpose is to protect and preserve the Kansas River. In 2001 Friends of the Kaw joined the international Waterkeeper Alliance, and as a condition of our Alliance membership, FOK maintains a full-time, professional Riverkeeper. A non-governmental public advocate, the Riverkeeper's job includes the roles of leader, educator, investigator, media spokesman, and scientist. Laura Calwell is the current Kansas Riverkeeper and principle investigator for this project. Unlike the Arkansas, Missouri, and other rivers of the Great Plains, the Kaw headwaters arise in the prairie, not the mountains, making it the longest prairie river in the world. The Kaw drains 53,000 square miles of a commercial agricultural region—36,000 square miles in Kansas (almost the entire northern half of the state), 11,000 square miles in Nebraska, and 6,000 square miles in Colorado. As a result, pesticide residues are found in streams and fish throughout the entire basin. Mercury, dieldrin, chlordane, PCBs, and other carcinogenic substances also contaminate fish and river waters. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued an advisory limiting fish consumption (and barring any consumption for children and pregnant women). However, the river serves as fishing grounds for many low-income populations, including large numbers of Vietnamese, African-Americans, American Indians, and other minority groups. The Kaw needs help. During the past ten years, it has been listed as one of American Rivers' Most Endangered Rivers three times. The river suffers from non-compliant wastewater treatment systems located on its banks as well as illegal waste dumping, fills, and industrial discharges. Also, invasive species such as Asian carp and zebra mussels have been unintentionally introduced into the Kansas River basin with unknown consequences at this time. There are ten (10) permitted in-stream dredge sites in the Kansas River. In-stream sand dredging is an activity that causes great damages to riverbanks and bed morphology, and possibly destroys native fish and invertebrate habitat. The Army Corps of Engineers has recently retired three (3) permits (not reflected in the 10 active permits) due to unacceptable riverbed degradation in the Kaw. Friends of the Kaw was primarily responsible for the creation of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to study bed and channel degradation on the Kaw authorized by the Kansas Water Authority in 2005. The Kansas Riverkeeper was appointed to this committee as a stakeholder along with representatives from state and federal agencies that have jurisdiction over the river. The need for comprehensive baseline information was identified by the TAC to make reliable and appropriate decisions. The state has committed funds to begin cross section surveys and aerial photo documentation of the entire river. To supplement this research FOK initiated our own research project to investigate sources of contaminants and river degradation, the Kaw River Inventory. The Inventory will provide information on the condition of the riparian vegetation along the banks of the Kaw and for all discharge pipes, physical structures, bank stabilization efforts, and areas in need of restoration with digital photos linked to GPS coordinates. Our goal is to compile the first publicly accessible, comprehensive inventory for the Kaw River in a web-based format. This assessment will address specific needs, define goals, and create and implement action plans for protection or restoration of the Kaw River watershed. The Kansas River Atlas is one of the most important services provided by the Friends of the Kaw to the general public in the Kansas River watershed ( ). The Inventory expands our activities from summarizing existing information, as is currently presented on the River Atlas, to collecting new data and formatting it for public use. In 2007, working with a group of volunteers, including several scientists, we collected data on 5 multi-day kayak excursions covering the entire 171 miles of the Kaw. The water level was high during most of the spring and summer of 2007. The raw data from the 2007 field season consists of over 500 photographs linked to GPS coordinates and accompanying written descriptions. During the summer of 2008, Laura Calwell, the Kansas Riverkeeper, Dr. Cynthia Annett, FOK’s scientific advisor, and R.J. Stevenson, an FOK board member and database advisor, kayaked the entire length of the Kaw during an eleven-day period, refining the data and assembling a set of GPS referenced photographs during a low water period. An overview of the methodology used for the Inventory can be found at
  • ItemOpen Access
    Looking backward in order to move forward: The Chicago courtyard apartment building
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:30:59Z) Gnat, Richard; rgnat
    This paper examines the planning flexibility and the passive ventilation and lighting potential of the Chicago courtyard apartment building type through a systematic type / variant analysis of built examples. In an era of increasingly expensive energy the advantages of the passive ventilation and lighting strategies inherent in these pre-air conditioned designs becomes apparent. The basic courtyard building type is defined and documented through drawings and with historic and contemporary images. The base courtyard building type is compared and contrasted with the variants. In addition, the urban condition of the basic building type and variants is documented in figure ground and Nolli type maps. These maps are used to illustrate the variety of urban conditions in which Chicago courtyard apartment buildings are successfully integrated. Data have been collected from archives, the City of Chicago Planning Department, periodicals and from field investigations. This research will illustrate how the historic courtyard type responds successfully to a variety of urban conditions while providing ample natural ventilation and lighting making it a model type for contemporary multi-unit housing design.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Integrating community capitals into water quality and natural resource preservation and protection
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:28:56Z) Davis, Sherry; sbd
    The Healthy Ecosystems-Healthy Communities (HEHC) project works with communities to assess and protect their local natural resources using a public engagement process. It moves water quality to the forefront of community decision-making by linking investment in water quality BMPs and activities to additional community capital benefits. Cornelia and Jan Flora (2008) with the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, at Iowa State University, found that successful, sustainable communities paid attention to seven types of community assets or "capitals": natural, cultural, human, social, political, financial and built. They also discovered that community investment in one capital could be used to build assets in other capitals, creating a more sustainable approach to community improvement. The HEHC program utilizes the concept of multiple capitals "investment and benefit" to encourage adoption of sustainable water quality programs, BMPs, and educational activities in small communities. A third-party facilitator works with community volunteers to expand their local stakeholder group, initiate public engagement, and promote citizen exploration, discovery and ownership of knowledge about the status and condition of their local resources. Armed with this knowledge, and using a public forum process, citizen groups generate water quality projects ideas and activities that are appropriate for their community. These ideas are then further explored to evaluate each project for ways to create additional benefits to their community’s other assets. The multiple capitals methodology is successful because it expands opportunities for stakeholder involvement. The Healthy Ecosystems-Healthy Community program also integrates water quality into existing community values and visions which promotes a sustainable, community-driven program for water and natural resource protection.
  • ItemOpen Access
    KSU W.I.N.D.: Kansas State University WFS information networking & display
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:26:58Z) Kubler, Sarah Marie; Cowley, Shawn; Youssef, Mina; skubler; cowley; mkamel
    The presentation will explain a current research project that is being performed by students in the ECE department at KSU. The research project is to create a database and a website. The information being stored and displayed is the data from wind turbines that are being put up for the Wind for Schools program. The project faces a technical challenge in developing a reliable multi-network system. A computer at KSU will be used to access the computer at the different sites to collect the individual turbine data. The data will be used in developing a virtual distributed-source renewable energy power system, to study efficient ways to incorporate small wind and solar energy generators into the electric grid without the loss of reliability. The information will also be able to be used in classrooms across Kansas to teach students about Wind Energy. The website will allow students to compare the power generation at different locations and to download raw data files for use in research. This will allow children in Kansas to learn about wind energy at a young age. The researchers are currently collaborating with other universities to make this a national webpage with data from all the states that participate in Wind for Schools. With the help of other universities the researchers will be able to create one website that schools across the country can use when teaching about wind energy. This work is supported in part by grants from DOE/NREL Wind Powering America and the KSU Center for Sustainable Energy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Kansas State SEE green campaign: Live green, bleed purple
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:24:42Z) Spexarth, Rebecca; Besler, Erica; spexarth; elbesler
    SEE Green is a year long student-driven campaign to developed by the Student Director of Sustainability in conjunction with the Student Sustainability Coalition. The K-State Director of Sustainability serves as the faculty advisor of the SSC and oversees the progress of the SEE Green Campaign. The purpose of the SEE Green Campaign is to educate and empower K-State students to improve sustainability at K-State and in their community. There are three topics that the SEE Green is focusing on: transportation, recycling, and energy usage.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:22:36Z) Martin, Sabine E.; smartin1
    As per EPA definition, brownfield sites are "real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant." It is estimated that there are up to 1 million of sites in the U.S. that fit this definition. Bringing brownfield sites back into beneficial use and at the same time reducing the utilization of greenfields for new construction, is the goal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) brownfields program. Since 1997, the Center for Hazardous Substance Research at Kansas State University is receiving grant funding from the EPA through the TAB (Technical Assistance to Brownfields communities) program to assist communities with revitalization issues associated with their respective brownfields sites. This presentation will focus on the impacts of brownfields on communities, the importance of sustainable revitalization of these sites, and how the TAB program at KSU assists communities in doing so.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Kansas State at Salina
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:21:41Z) Knudsen, Brett; Stewart, Bill; brettk
    This presentation discusses some aspects of sustainability research at K-State at Salina. This lecture argues that horizontal axis wind turbines appropriate for use in the Salina campus. It expounds the reasons for using vertical axis wind turbines and solar panels as a workable option. The talk describes the best locations for sustainable energy devices on campus.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "Re-building Greensburg"
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:21:04Z) Klein, Melanie; melaniek
    Citizens of Greensburg, Kansas say opportunity [1] emerged from tragedy when a May 2007 tornado leveled ninety-five percent of their rural community. The "opportunity" was to have a community-driven document that reflects rebuilding priorities expressed by the citizens, a Long Term Community Recovery Plan, LTCRP. The LTCRP priorities are laden with the term "sustainability," and encourage "a concentration of LEED® Platinum buildings" (FEMA, 2007, p. 17). However, neither the LEED® rating system credits required to reach Platinum Certification nor associated costs are explained in the LTCRP. This presentation of a research-guided design project reviews the process and product of a multi-disciplinary academic studio that provided design conceptualizations based upon Greensburg's LTCRP. All student designers addressed issues of ecological ethics as they pursued conceptualizations based on ecologically sustainable building practices. The studio produced visually-rich design conceptualizations intended to help a non-practitioner begin to understand the jargon of LEED®. This work was shared with Greensburg citizens through a grant from the KSU Center for Engagement and Community Development. First, the presentation introduces the context to which the student work responds: citizen input and the setting of post-tornado Greensburg. Second, the research and design processes which caused students to consider ecological ethics are reviewed. There were several instances where students felt ethically inclined to pursue standards beyond the LEED® rating system. Third, the presentation reviews the products of the academic studio. Because the citizens mandated LEED® Platinum ratings, the products of the academic studio are visually-rich design conceptualizations intended to help a non-practitioner begin to understand the jargon of LEED®. These studio products were intended to serve as catalysts for conversation as Greensburg pursues the next stages of physical planning and design. Finally, the presentation concludes with reflections on the design products, lessons learned and additional conversations that might have been addressed. [1] The vision statement "Blessed with a unique opportunity to create a strong community devoted to family, fostering businesses, working together for future growth" reflects the overall perspective of the community as developed at a Vision Retreat held August 1, 2007 (Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], 2007, pg.1)
  • ItemOpen Access
    Design-build demonstration project: Encouraging improvements in campus and community planning, design, and operations, KSU raingarden
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:18:50Z) Skabelund, Lee R.; lskab
    Throughout urbanizing parts of Kansas, stormwater is typically sent quickly away from developed areas and straight-piped into drainage ways, streams, rivers, and/or detention and retention ponds. As a result of these and other land-use practices, many riparian ecosystems in the Upper Kansas River Watershed are severely degraded. Additionally, large amounts of groundwater are pumped to the surface and sprayed on lawns, gardens, and other landscapes. Very little water returns to replenish underground water reserves. This collaborative design-build project engaged students, faculty, staff, and professionals in the task of considering ecologically sound ways to treat storm water that falls on the Kansas State University (KSU) campus. In the process, two specific goals were achieved: 1) Designed and created a rain-garden along Campus Creek to reduce storm water run-off and improve water quality. 2) Demonstrated ways to creatively address urban storm water runoff to KSU administrators, staff, faculty, students, and visitors. This project involved stakeholders at KSU and other communities, raising their awareness of best practices, testing design ideas on the ground, and engaging those who influence stormwater management. Primary educational goals were to: 1) help students deepen their knowledge of both natural and human systems, 2) necessitate collaborative, interdisciplinary teamwork, and 3) require critical thinking about how conceptual design ideas are translated into construction drawings and functioning systems with a limited budget of time and money. The KSU-International Student Center Rain-Garden helps people recognize the value of water and its role in sustaining developed landscapes and natural ecosystems by considering ways to harness rainwater for irrigation and ecological renewal. This demonstration project has led to a number of other planning/design projects that have the potential to improve the KSU campus as well as infrastructure and operations within other Kansas communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Community involvement tools for advancing sustainability
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-25T16:14:01Z) Griswold, Wendy; Steichen, Marie; griswold; steichen
    There are many community involvement and educational tools that can be utilized to support and facilitate the individual, group and institutional transformations required for the development of sustainable communities. The tools to be presented in this workshop include Empowerment Evaluation, transformative learning, service learning, public issue facilitation, and appreciative inquiry. These tools provide mechanisms to build capacity, facilitate critical thinking and action, engage participants, and help stakeholders reach consensus and make decisions. The power of these tools lie in their participatory approaches and the different kinds of conversations each of these processes engenders. Focusing on authentic engagement through public dialogue, transformation through education and reflection, community betterment through Service-Learning, and research and evaluation through collaborative processes, these tools have the ability to move individuals and communities to a higher level of functioning for the community good. This presentation will introduce these tools and provide guidance on how they could be used in a variety of settings to advance sustainability.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Wind for Schools Project in Kansas
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-19T17:04:08Z) Miller, Ruth Douglas; Hopkins, Mark; Brown, Amanda; rdmiller
    The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) began the Wind for Schools (WfS) Project as part of the Wind Powering America (WPA) Program. WfS was started to promote wind energy education among rural school teachers and students, educate college students in wind energy applications, and introduce small-scale wind energy to rural communities. Kansas State University (KSU) and Dr. Ruth Douglas Miller were chosen by NREL to set up a Wind Applications Center (WAC) to lead project development in the state of Kansas. To accomplish the goals of the project, five small wind turbines were erected at rural Kansas schools and one small turbine on KSU property in the first year. An additional five turbines will be erected at rural Kansas Schools in each of the two years following the first year for a total of 15 turbines at rural Kansas schools and one turbine at KSU upon completion of the three year project. To be selected for the project, schools must submit a proposal and satisfy several criteria set forth by NREL. The purpose of this presentation will be to showcase the successes of the WfS project, discuss improvements that can be made, and discuss the future of the WAC at KSU.
  • ItemOpen Access
    CESAS: Networking to advance sustainability through research, education and engagement
    (Kansas State University, 2009-02-19T16:59:45Z) Griswold, Wendy; Saulters, Oral; Erickson, Larry E.; griswold; osaulter; lerick
    The Consortium for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (CESAS) is a network of diverse partner organizations choosing to work collaboratively to advance sustainability, expand knowledge base-capacity and explore new frameworks of progress (sustainable development). This Consortium brings together cooperative groups focused on sustainability that integrate and connect multidisciplinary research and education efforts in the areas of science, engineering, economics, and social science. CESAS partners include educational institutions, non-profit groups, industry/business, and government. This poster presentation highlights initiatives, approaches and past CESAS activities, including dialogs and seminars focused on engaging stakeholders in discussion and learning about sustainability and environmental stewardship issues related key topics such as natural resource management, climate change, wind, other renewable energies, and food. The consortium also coordinates a speakers’ bureau, which provides communities and other groups with access to expertise and information related to sustainable practice, initiatives, and issues. Overall, the CESAS model serves to transcend traditional (institutional) boundaries while providing a proactive forum for idea exchange, technical outreach, and creative problem-solving.