Welcome Back to Missoula
At first, I want to say "Welcome back to Missoula!" because we spent almost two night in Kalispell and one night in Tipi Village. When I skimmed through our program book for July 18, I found that it is a quite busy day for us. As usual, we had our great breakfast at the Food Zoo. Since the Food Zoo is very close to our dorm, we often go there on foot. On the way, I noticed that today was totally different from other days. It was so cold and partly cloudy outside because of the smog (air pollutants). It turned the sky nearly opaque. Some of my friends said that these smog come from the forest fire happened in Canada two days ago. But, I am not sure. Actually, it was my first time of seeing smog in Missoula. From what we saw today, I realized that air pollution has no boundaries and that is why it is an important global issue to address.
Wastewater Treatment Facility in Missoula
We met with Mr.Connel who served as a plant operator and industrial pretreatment coordinator. Firstly, He took us to the Headwork building and discussed about the water quality issues as related to the facilities. He said that there are two main stages of treatment called primary and secondary and then followed by two additional treatments. In the primary plant, we knew that it can remove almost half of the pollutants. I think the most interesting one in this plant was the ultraviolet disinfection site. Cornell explained that they used to use Chlorine to disinfect the water. But, it is dangerous to handle and so they don’t want to deal with it anymore. A new method called ultraviolet disinfection is so nice from his perspective. The water passed through the column and radiated with the ultraviolet light to disinfect the water. But, in our country, we mainly use chlorine for disinfection. One thing came to my mind was that how nice it would be if we can widely apply such kind of strategies in Myanmar. Moreover, He told that one of the by-product produced from biomass production is methane gas. This gas can mainly be used to heat their plant. They also sell their biomass to the EKO Compost, a place that produce organic fertilizers or something like that.
A Visit to the Poplar Plantation Field
After taking a tour to the Wastewater plant, we headed to the hybrid poplar plantation field. Mr.Platt, the project manager of the hybrid energy group, started a discussion. He said that poplar plantation were being considered to utilize wastewater and to operate a sustainable wood business. More than 72,000 poplar trees were planted recently. From my view point, I think it is like killing two birds with one stone. It can not only improve the health of Clark Fork River and also produce economic benefits. After our discussion, we went down to the project site and helped their work by pulling some alien species carried by birds or some insects and weeds that are sprouting up around poplar trees. We really had a great time in there.
Today, we went to the Good Food Store to grab something for our lunch. It was a very nice place because we can buy a lot of organic food. We came back to the UM at about 1:00 p .m to have our lunch. We had to eat very quickly because the next workshop will start at 1:30 p.m. Oh, What a busy day!
Role of Media
Professor Banville discussed under the topic of "The role of Media and Public Opinion". He talked about the history of the press and the role of media in the US. To be honest, I don’t have too much ideas relating with media. But, Professor Banville had a sense of humor. So, we never get feel bored during the lecture. The class was so interactive. After the lecture, we took our group photo together with the speaker.
Special Dinner at the FLAT House
Tonight, we got a chance to have dinner at the FLAT house together with UM environmental studies student. Every single thing in the house and FLAT garden were pretty amazing for all of us. I dare say that it is really eco-friendly place. Oh, I forgot to say something. The dinner was terrific!!!!!!
Have a nice day!