Marymount Manhattan College


Student Names: Victor Chiburis, Kaleena Buchholz, Kelsey Yucius

Studio: General Studies, Environmental Science

Professor(s): Terry Morley

Site: Bowling Green

Project Name: Climate & Bowling Green

Project Description:

The Urban Heat Island Effect is a phenomenon that affects many large urban areas. This occurs when large areas absorb incoming solar radiation (low albedo surfaces) and slowly release the heat overnight, thus increasing nighttime temperatures. Urban areas tend to have large surface areas with low albedo, and thus are areas with high heat absorbing capacity. Vegetation and high reflective surfaces help mitigate the heat island effect by reducing the amount of incoming solar radiation. Students researched current studies that quantified this effect as well as investigating how green rooftops and vegetation assist in reducing stormwater flow and surface temperatures. A second poster visually represented the expanding lower Manhattan coastline to show the increase since the 1650’s. The group then researched current estimates of storm surge and found a powerful image from LSU that models areas of potential inundation in lower Manhattan under a Category 2 hurricane.

Download Marymount Student Projects Spring 2012


Terry Morley, Professor of Environmental Studies –

Matthew Slaats, Professor of Communication Arts –

BROADWAY Site: Bowling Green

Committed and Time Frame:

Two courses, one in Environmental Studies and one in Communication Arts, will bring 40 students to study the Bowling Green site from dual perspectives.


Comm 309 -  The Mediated Landscape  (Monday 2:30 – 5:20pm – Jan 30 – May 14)

General Science 183 -  Environmental Science (Tuesday – Thursday 2:30 – 3:50)

Information about Courses:The Mediated Landscape

From mobile applications to head mounted displays, the ability of layering virtual information over the physicality of our experience is becoming ever more tangible. No longer are the spaces we live in defined only by the immediacy of the present, but they begin to take on new complexities as the past and future converge on the now. It is the dichotomy of the virtual and the physical, a mediation of experience that this class will look to explore.

Students will begin by analyzing the form and function of the urban landscape through a variety of texts, building a primary understanding of how spaces are produced through the perspectives of geography, politics, psychology, and media.  We will then being to investigate specific technologies being used to enhance our relationship to place.  Delving into such innovations as augmented reality, QR codes, RFID, and Google Earth, we will compare and interpret how new media is affording new experiences.  Incorporated into this will be meetings with individuals developing these new modes of being and site visits experience the projects first hand.


Environmental Science

Course Description: This course focuses on the principles of environmental science and is designed to give an overview of major themes, questions, and issues relating to the interplay between humans and the environment. We  study the major biomes, ecosystems, and energy transfers within the environment and then spend the remaining course time exploring environmental problems from human use of these systems.

MaryMiss Group Research Project

Students will form several groups to research and perform a historical land use / environmental site assessment that focuses on the temporal and spatial patterns of the greater urban environment and how Bowling Green  contributes/interacts with these patterns.  Given the location of this site near the port, there are several options students can bring into an assessment.

A)   Climate change impacts. Students will research historical elevation change(s) to the Site as well as the outbuilding of lower Manhattan. We will contrast this with how current and future predicted climate change would alter the shoreline and assess how the predicted maximum storm surge will impact the site under different climate scenarios.

B)    Water Linkages. This theme will investigate freshwater/saltwater interactions. Students will map the likely groundwater elevations through investigation of saltwater inflow and freshwater outflow. Educational opportunities here will involve addressing water use and groundwater pumping, saltwater intrusion, and historical coastal groundwater demands; issues common with coastal communities.

C)    A Natural History of Bowling Green. How has the Bowling Green landscape changed over time? Students will research the history of the green space incorporating themes such as native and introduced species and urban biodiversity. Students will investigate the flora and fauna present at the site (or historically) and present the public with interesting natural histories of those resident and/or migratory individuals that use(d) the Site.

D)   The Landscape. Students will address how the Bowling Green landscape has changed over time (i.e. The Mannahatta Project), and projected future changes. Students will use historical information to present sequential snapshots throughout the Site’s history and indicate the ‘naturalness’ of the site. Students will place Bowling Green within a spatial network of green areas in the city, and calculate the relative difficulty native species would have moving to other green spaces. Educational opportunities will highlight the constraints to species moving within a fragmented landscape.

E)   Building History / Hazards Investigation. Historical investigation of the site by researching the types of buildings and businesses (i.e., manufacturing, industrial) that have occurred in the area since the 1600s. Students will research and access historical photos to incorporate data from the building histories, but focus only on those histories that may have environmental impacts (soil, air or water pollution).

Each student group will chose one of these themes for a semester-long research project culminating in a written and oral presentation of findings.