You are on page 1of 16

7~ ---


r , . R


Il. ( , .
. 1979.
0 .


{ "C
8 .



., \


2002 -
'>C , -AT Transfer Spring 2002'

" -;-

O'l1~ ~'1SS'1o'1'f
The Mission of CCAT is to demonstrate appropriate techn~logy in a resi- .
dential setting, to provide. hands-on experiential learning opportunities
. to Humboldt State University.and the surrounding community of ~rcata,

to collect and disseminate information ab9utappropriate-technology, to.

examine the ethical and social conseqpences oHechnology, and to dispel'
the myth that liying lightly-on the Eart!t is difficult or burdens.ome.CCAT
is dedicated to suslainability and self reliance and s~eks to help others live
, likewise.' '.

J CC~rTsrf~~~ .'

L-R (Starting in the front): Chris Cochran, Andrew.

Posner, April Armstrong, 'Mason Rippey, Ali Parnell,
Travis Boland. J~o~ 2: Dustin Jolly, Ian Mion, Anarew'
Freeman, Niall Gartlan. Row 3: Jesse-Pizzitola, Sarah
Adams, Shail Pee-Crouse, Lisa DiPietro, MorganKing. .
Row 4: Josh McFarland, Michael Padget, Jared Zys-
kowski, Hollie-Hall, Tyler B,randenburg. .

A Word from the Lawyer:

The AT Transfer is the newsletter for CCAT and is funded primarily by the Associated Students of Humboldt.
State University. The views and concerns of ThgAT Transfer are. not censored or reviewed by,the Associated
S(udents,. All correspondences may be addressed to: The AT Transfer, CCAT, HSU, Arcala, Calif. 95~21.. Please'
also send copies of correspondence to: Associated Students, HSU, Arcata, Calif. 95521. HSU is an AA/EO
institution. ,
'- C'

~ c--- The Spirit of (:CA T

~ ,
, ," I '

By Chris <;ochran and An,drew Freeman; ATTransfer Co-flditors

. '

In March we traveled with twenty-five others on a biodieseLpowered bus to the Environmental Law Conference in Eugene,
OR. As the bus passed under towering, ancient redwoods, weaved along the emerald green waters of the Smith River, and rolled.
through the mountain valleys of Southern On~gon;we joi~ed our brothers-and sisters in a feeling of awe for the beauty around
I experience reaffirmed why we're committed to working for;t healthy environment'and gave us an 'unending hope for the
future. '

I '

By taking a walk thrQugh the CCAT h(ms~ and grounds, one c~n't help to be confident thqt a future infrastructure based on-appro-
priate technologY-is possible. Twenty-three years of dedicated individuals and continuous community ~Upp(i)rthas provided CCAT
with self-sufficient energy and water systems, structures built with. sustainable ma.terials and gardens fu)l of healthy food and herbs.
We hope you benefit from all the articles in this edition of the AT Transfer. Also, we encourage our subscribers to access, the-AT
. Transftronlinea~ .' Letus knowby~mail(ccat(iVaxc.hurnboldtedu)
if youno longerneedthe'
AT Transfer in your mailbox so we can reach more.people with our limited hard copies. '

In a country where the price of one B-2 stealth bomqertould purchase over 40,000 CCATs, we realize that a healthy, sustainable"
future cal) only be achieved by embracing a vision of a different world.'Empower and 'educate yourself, educate others, listen to
elders, work hard, eat well, play, dance, sing,and most importantly, never give up hope and a vision can become reality.

In This' Issue....
, "

I 4. Moving,Forward While Looking Back 11. Autos Over Air

AndrewPosner Soler me Vanne
/!~C .

5. Interview with Dr. Rollin Richmo~d, HSU ' 1~. Community Gardening
President-Designate Michael Padget,
Chris Cochra.n
13. Looking
BackJo the Futllre
Ali Parnell
6. The Power of Commodity ChaIns
Morg~n King
14. Biodiesel/Workshop Updat~s
7. Genetic Modification: What You Don't Know
Might Hurt YOJl 15. Thanks,CCAT
Travis Boland Lisa DiPietro

8. CCAT Costa Rican Style

I Molly Jacobs'

9. Articulating Architecture'
Tyler Brandenburg

10. Forest Gardening: Growing In Three Dimensions

Jared Zyskowski


- 3
Moving Forward While Looking Back
,By Andrew Posner, CCAT Co-Director

As another semester flies by, I reflect on the changes happening atCCAT: I am continu-
ousTy impressed by the progress made by volunteers and empl()yees, who are some of the
most compassiomite-and committed people I have ever met Carrying on wi\h ideas that
wer.e set into motion last semester, wheelchair a~cessible pathways and a new composting.
privy are just s°!'1e of the projects currently in the works, -
With last semester's completion of a wheelchair access ramp adorning the north side of
CCA1"we needed pathways to be built that allowed access to the ramp and also to make the
-CCAT grounds more,accessible to those with disabilities, Thus, a pathway project was spawned and is currently underway, With six
students from Engineering 114 and 305, myself, volunteerS and the help of the CCAT maintenance staff the project has been flourish-
ing, One path has been finished and the other is about half done, The path design utilizes a (class 2) fill material made from
100% reused concrete, asphalt, and glass, along with the same decking'material found on our ramp, The decking, made from; 50%
recycled plastic encapsulating 50% waste-wood fibers, will b~ placed on top of the fill and attached to runner boards composed of
the saine materials for stability, A separate pathway is being built thi~ summer for hand dollies to aid in the transport of waste oil and
co~post to'the bambQo shed, '
Also, CCAT ne,eds to undergo, a structural and fire-safety retrofit to ,se'Curethe house's foundation, The house dates back to the 30's
/ 'It ...~ k~'-:~ and several of its structural supports are rotting, This provides an excellent
opportunity for CCAT to move the solar hot water system from its current
location downstairs into-a closet that will be built in the upstairs mudroom and
to rebuild bur composting privy,
The toilet used by the director~ was built over 20 years ago by engineering
students but must be removed for foundation work, In order to design a new
one, I h~ve arranged the visit of compost toiletextraordinaire David Del Porto,
On May 2nd,Del Porto, founding partQer of the Ecological Engineering
Group and the author of several publications including the "Compost Toilet
Handbook"; will give a lecture on ecological'design of wastewater treatment
systems, His talk will be followed by a workshop, Saturday, May 4'h,at CCAT
where we may actually rebuild the compo~ting privy, This is also the day the
Compost Festival and Mayday celebration occur at CCAT.
New pathways aaorntlle CCATgrounds, Another project completed this semester is an electrical pump that forces
marsh filtered greywater through drip irrigation lines in the herb garden, This project resulted from various students in engineering
cla~ses, Ian Mion, CCAT project eQgineer, has finished instal~ing electrical outlets at the bamboo shed that will be utilized by the
industrial worm bin operation, which is handling a large part of the schooi's food waste, and the future biodiesel site_, -
Finally, a new raspberry trellis .has replaced some of the existing fence for the organic gardens and the greenhouse now has a beauti-
ful reclaimed'brick pathway along with a new raised bed, We all work hard to make CCAT what'it is t()day and this work does,not go
unnoticed" With each new project, learning opportunities emeq~e; not only to those who build but to those who see the finish~d prodc
Each obstacle; is an opportunity, while every challenge provides strength, I have been fort~nate to have an opportunity that has' ,
imposed both obstacles and challenges upon me that I had not been faced with prior, For every bit of-energy I have put into CCAT, it
has been'returned with invaluable insights and lessons I could have never recei~ed in a classroom, As'Iyrepare to leave the co-director
position in May, I would like to send my deepest appreciation to all who have and continue to make this program possible,

-~ - - ---

Times are a .changi:""':,Dr. Rollin Richmond, HSU's' 6th Pres.
By Chris Cochran, AT Transfer Co-Editor

After 28-years as president~f Humboldt State University, Dy. Alistair McCrone

'announced in the Fall that he would retire at the end of the 2001-2002 school year. After a'
lengthy interview process involving 4 canidates it was recently ann~unced that Dr. Rollin Rich~
mond, who currently se,rves as the Provost at Iowa Statr:;Uniwirsity in Ames, lA, would succed
McCrone becoming the sixth president of HSu. Richmond takes over June 1. I recently had the
chance to conduct an interview -(via e.-mail) with the president-designpte.

Q: How prominent of a role do you think appropriate technology should I?l~yin

the campus environment? I
"HSU strives to be a leader in the realm of environmental science and technology education. It I
states that one of its central themes is social and environmental responsibility. Given t4is background andj
my strong agreement with these values, we should work to make the use of appropriate technology an
important goal throughout the University. This will require efforts from the entire community, students,
staff, faculty, administrators and others.'It will take time to achieve this goal but it would establish HSU'
- as'pre-eminent in ~narea that is as critical for Northern California as it is for our planet." ,

Q:. What type of appropriate technology projects do you envision in the future
for the HSUcampus? '. .

"I don't know the answer to this question yet, and 1 would hope that CCAT would provide
leadership in this flIea. Since, access to electricity is' an importan~issu-e in California, we should work
. with (CCAT)to explore the use of solar power generation. 1 also like some of the ideas on your web site
forwastetreatmentanduse of biodiesel.Myyearsin IQwahavetaughtme '

about the potential of plants to supply many of the chemicalsandother products that we use every day.
We should think about this possibility too."

. Q: Given your experiel).ceas an evolutionary biologist, how 40 you perceive the
negative environmental impacts resulting from three centuries of heavy 'in~lIstrialization
in relation to the future
wellbeing Ofthe human race? '

,"This is a very complicated question to which there is no simple answer. Evolution is a process
that responds to environmental change including change in other species. Humans and ma~y organ-
isms are affecled by changes in the enviro,nment regardless of the source of that change; The issue that
worries me mo~t about anthropogenic change is the 'rate of ~hange. John Maddox, the former ediror of
the journal, Nature, once made the state~ent that technology would be able to accommodate the conse-
quences of most human change of the en"ironment when it became economically feasible to do so. This
.maybe true, but 1 worry that solile environmental change may occur too fast for us to be able to respond
with technology, Also the speed of change makes it difficult for most species to respond because ,they an
adapted to respond by evolution to relatively minor'changeover a longer time period. The conclusion
should be, in my view, that we should be-Vf\rycareful about the nature, and ~ate-of chang~ that-our spe-

cies is imposing on the world."

Q: Would .a worldwi~e change to appropriate technologies influence human evolu

. tion in a positive way?, ' '.

, ,"I believe that our increasing reliance Oil,information technology and the algorithms that control!
that technology has extremely important implications for human evolution. My view is that that change
will be positive both for our species' and our planet a)1duniverse. Many would disagree with me. An¥one

who is interested in this topic should reaq booJ(s by Ray Kurzweiland Hans Moravec."

'Q: How do you incorporate sustainable living solutions into your own life?
Il "My family and I recycle religiously: We try to invest our personal resources in
ventures that take accountof the,appropriate use oftechnology. We l}1akesome efforts to use
energy resDonsiblv.What else do vou recommend for us?" ,

Spring 2002 .
The Power of Commodity Chains'
By Morgan King, CCATTour Guide Coordina,tor,

Many in the West today share the conviCtion that more is better, that a high rate of consumption coupled witb the
development of new innovative technologies and the economic growth they foster can only improve our general standard,of living. Q
Cheap processed food, gargantuan SUV's, and'IOO-screen multiplex movie theaters are all symbols of an ideology which presupposes
that availability to more consumer goods is a genuine sign of human progress. .
, What this.ideology of progress fails to address, however, is the very real impact ~hatheightened consumption, powerful tech-
-nologies -and the drive for economic growth has on human societies and theenviropfnent on both local and global scales.'A broader,
deeper awareness of the environmental and social consequences of our behavior as consumers can be integral towards a more enlight"
ened view of human progress that values social and environmental well-being over economic growth. One way to reach. this vision is,
through the development of commodity chains. , '

In essence, a commodity chain maps the origil1sof raw materials, the'process of assembly or manufacture, the packaging,
distribution and eventual sale of a consumer good. It effectively illustrates the inputs that go into a product (e.g. the environmental and
~~\ , . "'- =--+--.
=~ ~. F
': , "13~""r '" ~social costs attached to its production) as well its outputs
Eo""""", "'" -
(e.g. the
-y=; \.- ~a.s;.+
. """"'
;; @
waste pollution generated from the product's manufacture.) For an
-= """'-"'.
""., ,.=,
, ~ = \, ;."'-. ,.,..."'.~ ~_k. individual, perhaps the most important value of developing a com-
. modity chain is shock.
Anyone can do a commodity chain on a consumer good in
\i",~, \ "- his or her life. Whether you look at toothpaste, beer Or a wetsuit, the
l..-o- ~,~-\:;a.d
. ~~ r\ k Internet is an essential resource in tracking where thing~ come from
... >a.+e'-- and where they go. Also, contacting the companies themselves that"
, ",~ <-..~-\'o\;"""'-- produce your consumer good can be extremely informative. .
(c-f'<>$~l F~\f" u>~te.-)
~.::I<\;~ . I developed a commodity chain focused on Sacred
.. "",,,1 / ~J.~ f".".,e.r- Ground's organic Costa Rican French Roast. Sacred Grounds is very
'."""",,;i"'- uUL-\ :\\~
~~~ '{"I--I::: willing to divulge information on the source and production of their'
products: It is their marketing strategy to be purveyors of eco- and
I "';""$\-."~\~=,,.a.='-~l . /z.. labor-friendly coffees from around the world, and thus "affyct social
>'" ~ ... -~~ .'\' / J...,t"
I" change through active participation in the economics of [coffee]"
(' ~
~"k ~ ". / ~rT- \ /" -I ' According to Sacred Grounds President Beth Dominick,
,~:', ~ ..o.-\~~1,,",",.vo1 A\a",k4 all production and processing for this coffee js done at Hacienda
~\ ol / -p";..-t \ . '.'. ' . La Amistadin CostaRica.Thisis a familyownedandoperated -
~ ='


" ~,-.4---e.=~""-'"
,h"""> r~c:,\;:b\

. ~~.
t=e.b\""""" [
-p.,"'.r ,

t-t.J;.~organic farm that utilizes seasonal labor. On-site s~lar panels and

a. micro-hydro facility provide electricity,
for the
processing plant.
All pl}lpand coffee waste'is composted and utilized on the
farm for
fertilizer. Irrigation for the plants and for processing comes from , ,

- ~re- J
~ . the sireams running through thdarm
lA~=~1m "
1 .:c ,' (,c~n:'
-- L. "'...
Q ~\~:;Lg w,~,:.a~alonecoffeee.~om). Coff~ bea~s are shIpped to a roastIng .
, facIlIty
In Eureka, CalIf. and after roastIng, to the Sacred Gro.unds
. Jcoffee house in Arcata.
My consumption of this product has a number of impacts locally and globally. On a positive note, I support fair trade ideals
and sustainable farming practices in another country. On a local1evel, I support a business that promotes awareness on issues of
f~ir-trade, ethical treatment of workers and the environment, and sustaimibility within our community. Sacred Grounds is also a non~
formula business and thus keeps a large portion of its economy in local circulation. By drinking this coffee, I support a relatively low-
impact commodity chain in which production and distribution require few outside and/or non-renewable inputs, and waste is generally
cyc1ep ba6k in the system., , ,
, I am, however, supporting the extraction and burning oflargeamounts of petroleum to transport the coffee from La Amistad' ,

to Arcata. Oil extraction is devastating to indigenous cultures and ecosystems, and emissions from burning fuel are causing tremendous
change. I also support free-market capitalism' and global trade, which is ultimately appropriating agricultural land in Costa Ric~ for
production of an export from its use to grow local crops for locill people." -
Commodity chains are n:~latively easy to develop-l urge everyone to give it a shot! Just pick a commodity in your life and'
become a detective. Snoop around a bit and-find out where things are made and how. Armed with the knowledge you receive from
developing your commodity chain, you become that much more empowered in making decisions that take eu"vironmental and social
costs into account. , "

The common ideology of human progress should not be only about economic growth and greater access. to consumer goods.
Commodity chains can help us understand the impact of this ideology and make informed choices that place the greatest importance
~ on local and global environmental and social well-being. '
6 - -- - - - - ~ - - - - - - - -Appropnate
Technology -
GeneticModificat~on: What You Don't Know Might HurtYou'
By Travis Boland; CCAT Maintenance " '

:,'l ,Before the Flavr-Savr tomato was widely introduced in 1994by the Biotechnology Company Calgene the n,otion of a1ter~ngthe
t, structureof life,at the m~lecular le:~l w.asthe .stuffof science fiction. Now less than ~ decade latel;our major s~permarkeCsaisles con-
f tam products with genetIcally modified ingredients. Nearly 70-per~ent of aU conventIonal food products on major supermark~t shelves
,L have genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. That is seven stocked aisles out of every ten. In fact, in200 I ,'24-percent ,of all corn,
63-percent of all soybeans, and 64-percent of all cotton produced in America were modified within their genetic structure. At least 50,
," modified crops have been approved by the USDA-including: potatoes, tomatoes, melons, and beets; work on animal~contil1ues.
The next actively pursued bio-engineered "crop" are Poplar pine trees modifiedto not contain lignin and to produce their own pes- ,
ticides while also being resistant to commercial pesticides. The absence of lignin' (the dark rings present on stumps) allows for'easier
rendering into pulp for paper production. This is claimed by thos'e pushingforits approval to ~elp "save" the forest by reducing the
~, need for standard trees. Sounds good, in general, but tHere is a very real the biosphere presimtecfby, these modified,organ-
, isms. '
, ' ,
Pollen has been shown to travel aboutA83 kilometers from simple wind currents. The Biotech industry feels that a buffer of only-50
meters should be sufficient to protectsurroundil1g forests. The potential for genetically modi~e? pollen to drift to native trees isa real
concern. "

This transfer across containment buffers has been provef1 to occur in GMO-corn.Native trees could as a result of such contamina-
, tion lose millennia of evolution in their genetic structure. The risk of a noted weakening .

effect due to la~k of lignin could devastate forests in wind prone areas. GMO-trees that
produce pesticides through their bark could potentially create a drop in the amount of sur-
rounding ins~cts, which could ultimately remove the base ofthe food chain from their'
native forests. The end result could be a "silent spring" in the forest in that the environ-
ment is sterile
, and devoid of insect,<bird, or animal life. The only life would be rows of
. '

"frankentrees". .. . ' '

It would be wise for socie,ty to be concerned about any new introduction of modified
organisms. GMO food 'Yas in a sense brought into our lives secretly, with no labeling,
and very little objective t~sting. On a large scale, an informal watch and wait approach
r has been'taken to see what the "real" results of this new technology will be. Those who
,'-' buy their food at major grocery stores are the subjects, willing or not, of a nationwide "

experiment in human health. In 1989, a dietar)l supplement consisting mostly of a GMO

ingredient (Trytophan) killed 37 peoplt?, disabled] ,700 m?re, and causedyet another
5,000 to becom~ violently ill before it was recaHed. The product was originally'tested and
found to be safe. But it wasJater determined that the modified ingredient was indeed toxic
to humans. In Sept. 2000 a GMO-corn called "Starlink" appr.oved by the USDA specifi-
cally' for animal feed was fo.Lindin Kraft pfOduced Taco Bell she'lls. No deaths resulted but
reports of allergiC reactions in otherwise healthy people surfaced. Worldwide scientists
have and continue to tie GMO food to increased rates of c~rtain cancers. '

Now with very little testing and no clear answers to the question of.the risks .involved,
International PapeI: Corp. and Monsanto of the Bio- Tech industry have created a $50 mil-
lion-dollar collaboration proposing the mass production of GMO-trees for the sole purpost; of paper production. This is a very inap-
propriate application of an unproven technology when much more benign plants such as hemp, jute, kenaf, or bamboo could produce
much more paper. In the case of hemp, it would also produce an annual harv.estcyc1e. Recyc1ed paper is also a trusted alternative, and
is alreaay reducing the waste in landfi}ls by using between 40-to-60 percent.of usable paper p'roducts. '
All of this leaves me very concerned because I feel that this is "too much, too soon". Biotechnology might have a major role to play
in'ourfuture society's produc;tion of:resources and medicines and could ultimately prove to be incredibly useful. However, toaay it
is still unproven with a dubious safety history in regards to food and wood production. But, ,if we can't be sure of the technology we
might be wise to-remain cautious in our exploration of this new science. Should something go horribly wrong a great price would be
extracted upon the environment, which we all depend upon so heavily. . .

Spring 2002 7
CCATCosta Rican Style
By Molly Jacobs -

Last fall, a group'of 10 HSU students traveled to Costa Rica and ,contributedto t~e evolution of Finca Ipe,an emerging self-suf- ' 'Q
ficientcommunity. , ,
, Finca Ipe IS a 12-hectare permaculture growing, global community interested in self-reliance, As one of the students fortunate to
have participated-in this unique journey, r
would like to discuss our role in the' implementation of a sand water filtration system on
the premises.
Finca Ipe is currently dependent on, the municipal water supply, which is not only heavily treated with large 'amounts or chemicals,
but costs money and is unreliable at times. In hopes of becoming more, self-sufficient' and utilizing their own resources; the farm was
interested in experimenting with ways to treat the water flowing from the spring on the property, which is contaminated with sma:!l
amounts of bacteria. A slow sand filtration system seemed like the best option under the specific circumstances, as it pro'Vides an
inexpensive, simple and low-impact way to purify the water and allow the farm to be more independent.
The basic design of the s~nd filtration system calls for an enclosed box to act as the body of the filter, which is filled with four
equal layers (each about 18 inches thick) of v!lfyjng ,grades of sand particles, The bottom of the filter is made up of smqll pebbles,
topped by the second layer of finer gravel. The third-level c6nsists of coarse sand particles '. and the final top layer is made , up of fine
sand. Sand filtration systems are primarily small ecosystems in which a live community of organisms absorb contaminants and feed
on the unwanted bacteria present in the water, The system rs designed so that the contaminated water is channeled into the box from
the bottom, and is cleansed as it slowly rises up through the increasingly concentrated levels of sand. It is based on the t~eory that the
purified water will levitate to the top while the heavier particle laden water remains at the bottom.
Our first priority in initiating the project was to gather the necessary materials. Thanks to a construction project that was taking
place on the farm we were abl~ to obtain the fup spectrum of sand particles we 'needed-. A 55-

.,gallon drum on the farm made a perfect body for the filter. We drilled two holes in the drum-
one on the top left side to form water input and another on the bottom right side to act as the
water output. Manual on-off valves were attached to both openings in order to control the flow

\ '-
of water in and out of the system. Next we did the best we could to wash out and sterilize the
barrel. Once it was clean, we moved the drum up to the site we had chosen for the filter, on a
level area nearest to where the spring flowed out of the hillside.
Our next mission was to truck wheelbarrows full of the sand up to the site to begin filling
the drum, After rigorously washing each load of sand and allowing it to roast in the sun? we
transported cartfulls to the site and deposited it into the drum. Transporting the materials took
us almost two workdays and was a very time consuming process, as we had to rely on our own
manual labor. to get the job done. When all.the layers of sand were in place, we covered the
drum with ,a homemade top to protect the filt~r fmm rain. Afterward, a hose was established between the spring and the filt~r, which
channeled water in the oottom inlet valve of the barrel.' ,

'Finca Ipe is well on its way to self-sufficiency. If you would like to learn more about them or the philosophy behind thdr efforts, or
if you are interested in visiting the farm, you can access all of this information via its website:

~, SANPo F\ t..:::t'~AT, oN <==:'"

5'1 '5;TE'N\ : .

. o\fl\..e. .,...

',l':;.";'F'/IIIE' ""
Ca-i.""f'-N\\NATE.O ,,'.' _s~c
- . ..
s.V~"\N<:rWlt-T€-fl- c: OA ~$er
':," SANt>'
,"" "
4' ' .o' ~_AM. A.~'i.;
, , :-1~~~f-

Lb ~ e.b~es:
, -
. S>S OAt..,L.ON

-- -- ---
Appropriate TeChnology Transfer -
- .
'Ar+icu~a+ing Arch,itecture
By Tyle: Brandenburg

Architecture is an opulent product of culture serving as art, science, and shelter.
Applying sustainable c,ommentary to architecture produces a range of perspectives.
Th~ journey to articulate the significance of environment, nature-and§ustainability in
societyJurther propels the objectives of academic and professional architects.
InSusannahflagan'sb.ook,Taking:jhape:ANewContractBetweenArchitecture "

and Nature, three "rules of engagement" are established to explain the union between
architecture and nature. These criteria are symbiosis, differentiation and visibility.
Hagan notes that these are _notseparate criteria but can be seen as points in a range of
various modes of deliberate engagement between architecture and nature. By applying
this criteria to architectural designs we illuminate the designer's objectives.
Symbiosis considers how a building cooperates with the local environment. Mike
Reynolds' Earthships ate lucid representations of symbiosis and biotecture, a term
signifying the joining of biological systems and architecture. The EarthshIp pictured
-above has the spiral pattern of the nautilus shell, a reoccurring pattern in nature. Earth-
ships produce a large portion of its occupant's energy, utilize renewable materials, such
as rammed earth tires and adobe earthen plaster for walls, and employ natural systems
to treat waste products. The south facing solariums produce food year round and many
northeruwaUsare slopedto aid in passivecoolingandheating. - -
Urban areas don't have the same environmental'conditions, resources and build-
ing codes as the Earthships in the New Mexico desert. Architects have the challenge
[ to design buildings that-are appropriate for high~density occupancy in an age where
both economic and ethical values have been assign'ed'to materials and the long-term
efficiency of building operations. Ken Yeang has developed buildings with potential to .
satisfy these needs. His fmildipgsrepresent th~second criterion of differentiation. Nunotanz Tower
Differentiation con~ideis how a building can provide a,comfortable environment in an undesirable dima~e. The HitechniagaTower
in Malaysia exemplifies the scenario with inside temperatures differentiated from outside temperatures for the entire lifesp,m of the
build5ng.There are several techniques that reduce energy-intensive. air conditioning through passIve ventilation and cooling. these
techglques include sun-path shading,.air zones, wind-scoops, atriums, skycourts, and vertical landscaping. Yeang uses the term "bio-
climatic high-rises" to represent the culmination of these techniques in practice.
It is importantto note the existence of both climatic and cult,uraldifferentiation. Yeang extinguishes cultural differentiation by ,

?iving'priority to cli~jlte and energy efficiency as opposed to maintaining aspects of Malaysian cult~re' i~ his Western-style build-
mgs. . '-
The third criterion of visibility notes that architeCture can double as an art form by being both an expression of time and culture.
Buildings created during the industrial revolution represent coal-fired P?wer plants and an abundance of resources with little repre-
sentation,ofthe carbon cycle and environmental systems., - , -'

Peter Eisenman's Nunotani building in Japan r-epresents a sense of environmental consciousness, not by stringent building materIal
choices or energy efficient design, but through vivid representations of striated, shifted
elevations synibolizingplatetectonic movements associated with the location on the
Pacific ring of fire. In this scenario, the..visibility criterion mandates that those viewing
the building take note of the environmental conditions that have shaped and dominate'
the landscape. -
It is eviden{that the three rules of engagement are arbitrary, for the custom
nautilus building could represent visibility and the Hitechniaga TQwer has some ele-
ments of symbiosis. However, subjective rules of engagem~nt are vital tools for all
professions seeking direction "and definition in the realm of environmentalliteJacy and
performance. Thus, sust~inable design criteria'is the pivotal point by which tpeory
becomes practice and environm,entalliteracy,and performance are given o?jectives.

For More information:

Spring 2002
Forest Gardening: Growing in Three ,Dimensions
By Jared Zyskowski. CCAT Co-Director

In the woods you find life crowded togeth~r, bursting ~mdteemin~ Look up and you see big trees overshadowing smaller trees,
which in turn grow above the woody shrubs. Look do\vn and you see herbs spreading across the forest floor, fighting for 'every inch of
real estate. In openings made by fallen trees, you find an assortment of plan~s. Some of them crowd together in ,the sun" while others
hide iri the partial shade of the edges. The forest certainly doesn'( bear much resemblance to your garden, with its nice, even rows of
< , carrots ang lettuce, and with each plant given plenty of space to grow by itself. '
Forest gardening, however, i~ an agricultural system that a'llows you to grow m<;>refoodfor less \york. 'These gardens' work on the
principle of diversity. By mimicking natural systems, forest gardens can be more sustainable than other forms of gardening or farm-
ing. Not all plants are meant to be grown directly in the sun, spaced far away
.from everything else. Plants-have niches, places where they fit into a com-
I , plex ecosystem. By filling all of the available niches with productive crops,
we can generate more food and more food variety in a small space. An
., advantage forest gardens have over row gardens is that they grow outward
and upward. By using the third dimension, forest garderys can produce much'
more than "flat" gardens. Many different niches are lo~ed at in a forest
farming system. "
These include: ,
--The 'canopy' formed by the tops of the higher trees
-The planes of low-growing trees such as dwarf fru,its
-The 'shrub layer' comprising bush fruits
-The herbaceous layer of herbs and vegetables
-The ground layer of,plams that spread horizontally rather than vertically
-The vertical layer occupied by climbing berries and vines
~ !,he 'rhizosphere', or shade-tolerant root-plants

A forest garden is designed t() be ~elf~susiaining. The trees, with their deep
taproots help bring water up to the surface. Legume-bearing trees provide Q
'fertilizer by dropping nitrogen-rich leaves on the soil. By filling up garden
space so completely, weeds will be hard pressed to invade. Pests and disease
can also be minimized because the diversity of plants wilrkeep them in
chec~.' ,
Forest gardening grows out of traditional practices that ha~e been used in
tropical and subctropical countries for thousands of years. Originally, it was
, thought that such complex gardens required the large amount of sun present.
in equatorial regions: If you live in a temperate region as I do, don't be discouraged. Recently, there haye been a number of experi-
- ments and studies that show forest gardening is something that can work for those of us living closer to the poles.
, 'If you are interested in forest gardening in temperate regions,Forest Gardening, by Robert Hart is the book of choice. It details the
best crop mixtures that will create a liyely, healthy, be~utiful garden. Good luck, and enjoy letting your garden go wild.


I.-CIt,JOFY (LAQif£ f'~vrr J WI/1' 'f{Ef.S)

1.. Ulw TII.'E 1.A~ (O\lA~ Ftvr( "f.cIE'.,n
3. SH1!,L'6l.~ Ye-R( '1I~-..'1.) ., 8t'M.l'~)
4-. HcR.&Ac.~ov~('OJ'\fJt6)l~) (3f('rjJ }t(~)
b.50iL. ,sW1\(E (~'rfNf)
'CVf.~IE(r, ~rMWIleAi.)I,m)
7. ',II' (Tj OIL L;'tYf1~
l tUl'\~S J \f"'Jf~)

10 i\'pp'ropnate Techn'ofogy

. Autos'overAir
By Solenne Vanne

:L On March 13ththe U.S. Senate voted 62-to-38 to reject a proposed amendment to a Senate energy bill that woulp hav,e required
a 36-mil~ per gallon (mpg) average fuel efficiency for cars and light truc'ks by 2015. The Sierra Club, along with many other
- . environmental gmups, lobbied heavily to pass this amendment. They argue that reducing fuel emissions combats air pollution,
decreases our fuel dependency, and, ultimately makes controversial projects like drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
unnecessary. . ,
The U:S. Public Interest Research Group also invested a gI:eat deal of energy trying to.increase fuel efficiency. Becky Stanfield,
U.S. PIRG Clean Air Advocate declare's, "Automobile air' pollution is responsible for one third of the smogthat'sends thousands of
people to emergency rooms every year." She also reports that passing the amendment would significantly reduce air pollution from
cars and light trucks, making the average car emit 89% less smog-forming pollutants.
Opponents gripe that SUVs would have to comply to the same standards as light cars. Currently SUVs account for one quarter of
the nation's auto market and' are responsible for most of the automobile pollution today, polluting 3.5 times more than an averagy
c~ . ,~' -
The problem is that SUVs fell into a loophole by being considered a light truck. Whenour fuel efficiency laws were last changed
over IS years ago, caTs had to meet standards of 27.5 miles per gallon whilelight trucks had to meet 20.7 miles per gallon. Cone
sumer vehicles like SUV s were not around when t~ese standards were passed falling into a light truck' loophole they are
allowed to pollute more. With the ever-growing popularity of the SUV, our air guality is worse than ever. .
Senators usedSUV s as arguments for' not passing the amendment. They did not want to give up their "right" to drive, large,
fuel ineffLcient vehicles. ,In respon~e to these arguments, John Kerry, who wrote the'bill with,]ohn .
I McCain, argues, "The technology is available today to meet the higher standard." He cited a 2001
report put out, by the National Academy of Sciences which found thatautomakers could increase
f'. fuel efficiency, using existing technology, without compromising vehicle'safety or consumer
:: choice. '

.,. 'Another huge reason wh{the amendment failt:d to pass was the ma~sive'amount 'of spending the
/ automobile companies put into lobbying agai!lst it..The campaign finance reform group, .Public
Campaign reports thatthe 62 senators who voted with the industry received an average $18.000 ,

~l from auto companies. The other 38 received only an average of $5,900. Campaign funding plays
a crucial role when it comes to deciding factors for unsure senators. Carl P. Pope, executive direc-
t tor of the Sierra Club, said, "The Senate is handing our nation's energy security over to the auto
industry." , .
Whilethe Senateoptedto chooseautomobileinterestsoverairqualitytheydid approveanotheramendmeqt.Themeasure,writ- .
ten by Michigan Democrat Carl ,Levin, calls for the Department of Transportation to research and develop new fuel ecbnomy regu-
lations over the next two years. Howe,:er, it,does not specify what the new rules are. '

This leaves consumers to find fuel-~fficient vehicles for themselves. The good news is that altemiltives are out 'there, or soon wilL
be..There are already a few electric hybrid cars on the mar~et and many low emission vehicles. This year Ford will also unveil
a new zero-emissions version of the Ford Focus. The Fo.cusFCV uses a combination of electricity and hydrog~n and its only
byproducts are heat and water. Hopefully in the future'environmentalists and auto industries can compromise and make a hydro-
gen powered SUv.
. Until then it's up tothe buyers to decide how to compromise between their automobile rights and air quality.
, ,

SUY Fact Sheet

. SUVs are allowed to waste 33% more ga~olinethan passenger


.SUVs account for l-in-4 vehicles sold in the U.S,


.In 2000, Ford Motor Company announced plans to'improve

SUV fleet fuel economy by 25% by 2005

- - - - - - - - -- - - -.- - - .. -- --- -
Spring2q02 II

Community Gardening
By Michael Padget~ CCAT c;ardener

It is easy to tell when spring has arrived at CCAT.Tulips begin to ~how tl:Ieiruniquely satlJrated hues ~
. of color, artiChokes emerge fropl dense 'g~een foliage, and the students begin to go '<:;razywith too much

work to finish in a short amountoftime. You may be

able to relate to this strange phenomenon, which occurs
often as a result of a genuine desire to help others by .'

, doinga little of everything.

~ little of everything iswhat lias been going on in,
CCAT's organic vegetable gardens this semester. As
one of the gardeners for almost three years ~ow, I have
begun to notice a reoccurring pattern each year. Proj~
ects are started with positiv,e intention and optimistic
vision, yet many are not completed due to atiny glitch-
school. CCAT is made possible by students actively
'particip~ting in a free-flowi1'l.gexchange of information'
representing a variety of backgroun:ds and experiences
that each brings to theiable.. Theone-unit community
gardening class (ENVS 480) is an excellent example
of this education in action. }nevitably, semester after' .
semester, student volunteers and employees accomplish
, a great deal as their projects come to fruition. This
spring in the garden we have: learned about permacul- i
ture design, planted over '50.raspberries, nearly finished
a trellis for the berries, planted a scattering ofvegeta-
t#s,improved bamboo trellises, transplanted peren~i- 'QJ
als (e.g. blueberries), cleaned out the greenhouse, built
new raised beds, and much more!
It is have a place on campus where stu-
dents and professors can utilize a site as a resource
for interdisciplinary learning, I know many students
(myself included) who value the workshops, activi-
ties, and classes offered at CCAT. After all, appropriate
.-technology is a learning process. And, the key to this learning process' is to understand the interconnec1:-
edness between all things. "'.

.. -- ~.. ~=~ ~~ ~~ --- -~~- .;. - --.


Thinking Backto the Future

By AU Parnell; Office Manager

~ My main focus at HSU has been to learn about sustainable living and appropriate technologie's, The existence ofCCAT and the,
Appropriate Techn~logy minor.atHSU has shown me that thi!'is the place to develop my growing inter~st in a sustainable, intel-
ligent Way of living. . . .

However, now is tj1e time to take it a .step further with the creation of an Environmental Technology major that offers a more offi-
cial, sustainable design and technology program cel!tered around experientiallearnjng at CCAT. . -'
My involvem~ntat CCAT began by working on an Engineering 114project - building sustainable pathways. Creating the brick
pathway in the CCAT greenhouse, using mo~tly piecemeal bricks dug up -in the straw bale excavation, was an e;<tremely satisfying
and enjoyable process.
, Laying bricks into sand provided a sandbox flashback'and rekindled a childlike joy for simple harids.oQ.cre-"
, ation. . . . .
'Working on a student project was agood introduction to CCAT, and soon I was excited to become part of the staff. ~got the job as
office manager and soon was; sorting through old documevts and prop'osals. I discovered visions and mission statements frdm over
twenty years' ago discussing the idea of creating a sustainable learning center on campus. I foul1d
fascinating surveys, questionnaires from 1979, and a list of a dozen projects that people wanted
to see happen.atCCAT in the future. Eyeing the list I made a mental check next to many bfthe
items listed: building/installing a greenhouse, compost system, rainwater catchment, solar hot water
heater, solar panels for electricity, etc. -There were only a couple of items not-comPleted,. almost a
90% success rate - pretty good for a real life experimeQ.t.
Times change, but new ideas always emerge from the good actions and thoughtful planning of
the past. So, what will take shape at CCAT over the next 23 years? How can we playa more active
role in continuing the implementation, of appropriate. technology and furthering the education of the
communjtyon su"tainable design? , ' ,
Perhaps tl1~creation of an Em;ironmental Technology major should be revisited. I know that.
myself, and many others I'have spoken with on this subject would love to take part in such a pro-
l gram. It is profoundly more effective to learn in a hands-on environment, and CCAT offers the ideal
classroom. Courses could be offered on the in~tallatioll and maintenance of solar panels, solar. water
r II',,",
,~. heating, greywater sy~tems, compo sting toilets and biodiesel processing. Adding classes such as .
Bio-Mimicry and Systems Analysis would round out this interconnected" multi-disciplinary ~tudy of
sustainable systems. Students could collaborate and study how to reduce 'HSU's ecological footprint
and implement new technologies. This is the job rrtarketof a soon-to-be resource-~carce world. If
the program was popular enough, as I have IlOdoubt it would be, tCAT could expand into the park- .- --_..-
'inglo~-just_behind it..BehavioralScience is an important field of study, but Sustainable Design and Ali working on pathway project.
Technology, driven by necessity, is the future of education. While this may not be readily apparent in the currents of the mainstream,
it is the role of higher educati~n to anticipate change, set the curve and help shape our future., the demand is already
there-it, is the supply we are sorely
. missing. Currently ,there are very few college-level programs in sustainable de,sign in the United
States - Georgia Tech and Appalachian State University inNorth Carolina are the only two that I know of. This presents an enor-
mous opportunity, ~nd IiSU is in an ideal'positi0n to tak~ advantage of it byestablis4ing another credible program. It has the facili-
ties, a dedicated faculty, and the high level of student interest necessary to make this happen.,
I would like to gather more information on what people are thinking. In what areas does CCAT do a good job? How<ian we be
more effective (for you, students, the community, etc.)? How can we make CCAT more approachable? Would you be interested in
I an EnvironmentafTechnology major, with both undergriiduate and graduate programs? Think about some of these issues and get
I back to me. I am considering I;'tarting up a student petition requesting this, inCluding one asking students to approve a $5 increase
~ f. per semester to their student fees that would go specifically toward the purchase of renewable technologies for creating a self-sus- .
taining campus. . . .,

~ E-mail is but you can also call CCAT, (707) 826-3551
t We know where we are going.
But wl)ich path are we going. to choose t6 get there?

l~l .~

. '1.1ydates... ,
Biodiesel Boom! -
Greetings from the biodies.eJ.crew! Although.biodiesel production at CCAT has rem~ined on hold this semester, the project continues
to make progress. With the new state mandate requiring all ..CSU campuses to provide their own. power by 20 l2,./muchinterest has .-

been expressed in the construction of a new <.;ampusrefinery. Andy Cooper, former CCAT biodiesel producer, has been bu~ meetil1g ';J.
withHSU administrators and faculty to work out plans for the most appropriate and efficient refinery p.ossible. The future of Hpmbs>ldt
State biodiesellooks very bright. '

Andy and I continue to maintain an 9ff campus biodiesel sight capable .of largescale production andresearch. We have success-
fully m~de fuel from a variety of waste vegetable oils collected from the'BayArea all the way to southern Oregon. Also, we have
set up three CCAT~style home refineries, two in Santa ~ruz and one in Ashland, OR. We are aware of'at least three people that have
purchased diesel vehicks with the intention to fuel them with biodiesel. OIle individual was in~uenced to buy a diesel vehicle after'
attending one of our workshops, so we kqow we ar~ making a positive imPIes~ion on the Humboldt County community..
This semester, oUr biodiesel has been used for yarious applications. HSU's research vehicle T.he Coral Sea has been running a small
percentageof biodieselin its tanks,withexcellentresults.Also,theVeterans
.. I
for Peace bus chaufferred more than 30 H.umboldt State students to Eugene, OR
for the ELAW conference. We supplied the bus with 40 gallons ofbiodiesel, and
they ran a 50% biodiesel 50% diesel ratio. Of course, the trip was,successful, '
( and the B50 bl~nd reduced the bus's emissions by at least 30%! The biodiesel
project will also be supplying this year's Renewable Energy Arts' and Music ,Fes-
tival with fuel to run in the gt<nerator that will be powering the main stage.
Biodiesel continues to gain popularity and government favor. Named the,
- country's #1 alte;nqtive fuel last year, millions of dollars have been dedicated to
biodiesel produ(;tion and research. Biodiesel pumps are popping up all over the
country, anq it is even available commercially right here in Humboldt County. It
is a beautiful thing to see an entire country embrace an environmentally ~ound
alternatiVe' to petroleu~c -Mason Rippey, Biodiesel TechniCian'
4()\hl;k .0'ri~ wi~~,\ovf" flt\'?,
Sustainable Living~Weekend Workshop in June Making it Happen! ~ .
. Thi~'summer CCAT will offer a new opportunity to learn about living sensibly, intelligently and lightly on the Earth.
In conjmiction withHSU's Extended Education'department, we are in the midst of planning a Juneweekend workshop on
sustainable living: A lively groJlPof North Coast energy and permaculture-expertswill inspire, motivate, and educate a lucky.
groupof workshopattendees. . .
The workshop will help yo~ design rational, comforta6le, and lasting systems for your home. Topics we may discus~s
inclUde the following:.
. Ecological Design- Learn how we can minimize ~cologically destructive impacts of o~r homes ,andcommunities by inte-
gratingour designswithlivingprocessei). .
\. .

. Natural Building- Anyone can ,createbeautiful, durable, and inexpensive shelters using nature's bounty of materials such
as earth,stone,straw,andwood.
. . . . .
PassiveSolar Desig'1-Whenyou'designspacesandselectbuildingmaterial~thoughtfully,youcanharnessthenatural,

. environme!lt's energy to heat and cool yo\lr home. We'll acquaint ypu with several passive solar d~sign strategies.
Solar Hot Water-Installing solar p,!nels to heat 'water.for your home is a great fi~ststep in the reducing your dependence
on fo.ssilfuels. '..\

. Solar Electricity- We'll show you how a photovoltalc system could produc'eclean,reliable energy directly from,the

.. sun at your home. . .'

Energy Saving Tt;chniql!es- Learn how to integrate technologies such as cold boxes and thermal curtains into your home.
Permaculture- We'll-introctuceyou to the-strategies people use to create a low-maintenance backyard ecosystem that

.. '
offers food, flowers, ana inspiration for people while supporting wildlife as well.
Greywater- You can construct a marsh for treating an recycling the water for your sinks and showers.
Ponds- Many people and interested in having a water garden or pond for water storage, beauty, aqaculture; and wi14life
. support. Become familiar with some of the important principles behind pond construction and maintenance before you
begin. . '" "

At the.conclusion of this two and a half day event, we hope you will leave with practical knowledge and a deepened
commitment to sustainable living. Registration fees for the workshop are still to be determined. Questions? Call CCAT ,
826~3551. -.' .
Additionally, for those interested in how solar electricity can work for them, the Schatz Energy Research Center and
Extended Education will hold a workshop on solar photovoltaics on the weekend after CCAT',ssustainable living work-

..0...-- --- ~- -
Thanks CCAT
By,Li~a DiPietr-o, c;CAT Co-Director
As my term of ,service nears an end, I feel grateful to have had the privilege of co-directing CCAT. This has proven to
Jbe the most vivid ~nd dynamic year of my life, There is never, I repeat, NEVER a-dull moment at this house. rve learned
more at CCAT than I could from years of schooling., ' .'
I've learned how to hire and supervise employees and manage a $35,000 budget. I've learned the importance of
planning for, any possible contingency before moving forward on large-scale projects. I've le~rned about grace and beauty;
seeingthe egrets in the sky at sunset, finding miraculous ways to build shelters, and watching the 'native plant gardens
flourish this ~pring. ,

I have found an abundance of beauty in the actions of the people who support CCAT On a good day here, I see more
kln,d,healthy and happy people than I pr~viously thought possible. ' ,-' ,

Every other Tuesday evening we have employee;.meetings.. Sometimes they feel more lik~ family reunions than like
meetings. Not only do I see'about a dozen .of my favorite people all at once, but I also get to hear about all of the wonder-
ful things they're doing for CCAT. Sarah, our diligent outreach coordinator; passes around a sign up sheet for tabling.
Andrew F. and Chris patiently remind us that AT Transfer articles are due soon. Ian, Travis and Dustin astound me with'
all of the ways theyart1 fixing up or finishing CCAT projects. Josh tefls us how he's cleaning lip'the CCAT website. A~Iof .
the employees make me proud to be a part of this, organization.
On Wednesday 'mornings, Lin-Z our herbalist comes in the kitchen.
While she prepares for the herbalism class she flashes big grins and lets
out gloriously, boisterous laughter.
, With sparkling eyes, she tells me her' I
clas'swill be making native. plant first aid kits. It's a good way to start the
day, ,

Ali, office manager, will come in later and do her magic; working on
proposals, org<;tnizingancient files, cleaning the office that attracts clutter
like a magnet, and generally being impressively - intelligent and efficient. ,
In the,afternoon we have a workshop on soap making and Eve shows 15 I
peoplehow t()create th~ best smelling soap I've ever used. In the eve- I
ning)Jared, Andrew and I will eat a big meal with kale and chard from'
the garden, laugh about the good,and bad things that happened that day,
, anddancs:to "Kiss" by Prince. -
Then, there's those fabulous - and sometimes frantic - volunteer Fri- -
, days. Shail, the tireless groundskeeper, arrives early. This ~mazing
woman will weed in the rain and plunge her fingers into frosty soil to
keepthe grounds looking'the best they have in years.
Soon velunteers like Hika and Martina join Shail in the-herb garden,
making sl,1re'the sage, echi'nacea, and foxglove have enough room to
grow big, bright, and beautiful,. Morgan does a tour for I0 ~tudents ,

from a local elementary school. Bright,students lik~ Becky, Christie,

- and Emily get input from Andrew 0)1the professional interpretive sign After a year as co-directors, Andrew and Lisa deserve
they're designing for our greywater marsh. Attwo o'clock, ~ichael and a break,
ApriI'lead an eager group of organic gardening students in starting spring
crops like,lettuce, onioIls, and garlic. ,
Tyler, Mason, and Niall are practically bouncing off th~ walls with energy. They and others work on the grounds, build~
ing fences around patches of sorrel to protect them from trampling in the redwood grove and cleaning up the random piles
of debris that seem to n:mltiply like rabbits. ,

We'll have a potluck in the evening with delicious and healthy food for everyone. With a fire going in the stove and
Alexis playing the guitar, we sit in the warm living room, singing and enjoying each other's company. '

There is nothing else I would rather do with my life right noW than live at CCAT. It will be hard to leave, but
it's comforting to know that I could always come back and see more beautiful people having atull time while they're
working to make the world a better pla~e. Smiles, lau'ghter, and thoughtful, intelligent, and kind people have a permanent
place here.

-- -- - --.---..... - - - -- - -- -------
Spring 2002 15

, Campus Center For

Appropriate Technology, ' PAID

Arcata, CA 95521
(707) 826-3551 'Arcata,CA95521 I J
Fax (707) 826-3772 ><,
E-mail: c~at@axe,humboldtedn




~ ~ ~- --