BANGOR — Husson University has announced that three students, Kaile Kimball of Lamoine, Brooks Gay of Underhill, Vt. and Serian Williams of Cardiff, Wales, have been awarded a $1,500 Maine Campus Compact grant to study stormwater runoff. The students will be using the award to design a rain garden on Husson University’s Bangor campus.
“Building a rain garden helps decrease stormwater runoff while also increasing campus biodiversity by creating a natural habitat for butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife,” said Thomas Stone, an assistant professor of mathematics and physics at Husson’s College of Science and Humanities. “They also treat stormwater by capturing sediment, hydrocarbons, metals, and nutrients. This is an outstanding way for our students to make a positive impact on the environment and participate in a project that will enhance their degree studies.”
Kimball and Gay are working toward their bachelor of science degrees in environmental science at Husson. Williams is pursing degrees in biology and physical therapy.
Rain gardens are designed to absorb rainwater from impervious surfaces, such as roads and driveways, before the water flows off campus. This prevents the stormwater from picking up pollutants and depositing them downstream into nearby lakes and rivers. The students will be working on the project with faculty member and chair of the campus sustainability committee, Tom Stone. Wynne Guglielmo, Husson’s environmental, health, and safety compliance officer, will also advise the students.
The grant is part of a new initiative call the Maine Student Water Challenge, created through a partnership between the Maine Experimental Program Stimulating Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and the Maine Campus Compact. The Water Challenge allows 52 higher education students in Maine, organized into two- to four-person campus teams, to each receive $500 stipends toward projects that help solve water-related problems.
Teams that compete in the Maine Student Water Challenge participate in action-plan and Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) training. They then come together in January at the final Student Water Challenge-Palooza to network, share their action plans, and collaborate on implementation.