If you happen to be jogging through the wetlands on any given afternoon, you might see some strange-looking activities occurring in the far northeast corner of campus. In a small, open-sided structure, a dedicated group of students are attempting to revolutionize the way we fill up our gas tanks.
It might sound funny, but it is possible to power a diesel engine with no petroleum products whatsoever. This is the direction that the Urban Sustainability Group (Ursus) would like to see society moving in.
Ursus is a student-initiated club that started in the summer of 2002. Sean Smukler, a graduate student in the Sustainable Resource Sciences Program, is one of the group's key members and recalls its founding:
"It started out with a group of students who were really interested in developing an organic garden on campus, and after months and months of campus negotiations, it became pretty apparent that the program was going nowhere," he said.