Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.94
Liaison Elaine Goetz
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Ohio University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Susan Calhoun
Landscape Coordinator
Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:

The Ridges Land Laboratory is dedicated land, managed by the Ridges Land Laboratory Advisory Committee. 200 acres have been dedicated as a Land Laboratory for a quarter century, creating an environment to conduct research on wildlife habitat, grassland, biomass production and more. 180 additional acres at the Ridges are designated as Conservation Land with specific protections.

The Schoonover Green Roof has been designated as an area for biodiversity research. Access is limited to researchers.

A 10-acre wetland at Hebbardsville Farm is an area of conservation importance.


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:

There are no federal Critically Endangered, Endangered or Threatened species on Ohio University lands.

There are a few State-listed ‘Species of Concern’ present on Ohio University lands.


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

The Ridges Land Lab and Conservation Land have been designated as areas of biodiversity importance, as well as the 10-acre wetland at Hebbardsville Farm.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Field health inspection of all Ash trees and second round of Ash tree injections were performed in spring 2019 to prevent Emerald Ash Borer damage (approximately 95 important landscape trees protected).

Field scouting for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid occurred Winter 2020 with continued efforts to plant Hemlocks in ideal settings after multiple large Hemlocks were lost in storm events.

The Grounds Department partnered with Biological Sciences Department to provide Bluebird nests during spring Bluebird box cleaning for Blow-Fly research in 2019 and a Biological Sciences student intern in summer for Bluebird nest checks and data collection.

Site reviews are routinely employed to identify and eliminate invasive plant species across campus. Invasive Plant Control strategies are implemented to protect native species.

Additional naturalized areas to be planted in native pollinator and prairie plants are currently being identified.

BioBlitzes have been implemented a few times on campus. These are geared towards documenting biodiversity in general in a ‘snapshot’ approach.

The Ridges Land lab has been used by Biological Sciences classes and local birding groups for field trips to observe birds, behavior and to conduct bird census for many years. Field Ecology classes run two projects: 1) measuring bird predation on salamanders and 2) effects of climate change on amphibians.

A 10-acre wetland replacement project was assessed and constructed at OU Hebbardsville property. A new wetland was established with streambed altering, invasive species removal, woody shrub plantings and riparian corridor establishment.


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

A variety of scopes and timelines are described above. In general, our grounds department, Biological Sciences and Environmental and Plant Biology departments do assessments on the Athens Campus at least annually, usually more frequently. The Land Lab is assessed and monitored regularly, as are landscaped areas of campus.


A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:

Ridges Land Lab is a designated area that is identified by signage. and protected by locked gates at road entry points.

Naturalized plantings and pollinator plots on campus are identified by signage and maintained by trained Grounds employees, with specialized plantings to support monarch butterflies.

A Blue Bird Habitat Trail has been established and maintained on campus for over a decade.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
100

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Viorel Popesu provided Endangered and Vulnerable Species and Areas of Biodiversity Importance. Legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance provided by Shawna Bolin, Associate Vice President, University Planning, on 6/8/2020. Methodologies data provided by Susan Calhoun on 5/7/2020. Additional methodologies data provided by Shawna Bolin, Associate Vice President, University Planning, on 6/8/2020. The estimated % of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas provided by Miranda Kridler, Joe Shields and members of the Land Lab committee. 100% of the Land Lab (200 acres).

Entered by Sydney Hutchinson on various dates.
Land lab as home to research: https://www.ohio.edu/compass/stories/14-15/7/Ridges_Land_Lab_2014.cfm

Data about Ridges Conservation Land provided by Shawna Bolin, Associate Vice President of University Planning, University Planning. https://www.ohio.edu/compass/stories/17-18/12/Ridges-Advisory-Recap-Dec-15.cfm

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.