On Tuesday and Wednesday five of our bravest LMU Science Students, along with their Professor Lambert Doezema, took care of trees at the Annaberger farm in the deceivingly sunny 23°F (-5°C) cold. The annual project is a cooperation with the Bio-Station Rhein/Erft, who planted the 110 fruit trees in the area eleven years ago. The apple, pear, and plum trees have since then added to the pre-existing fauna of the farm, to transform it into an aesthetically pleasing and ecologically valuable alley. Because the bordering fields are grazed by horses, and their fencing is nearing the trees, it was necessary to protect the trunks from feeding animals. For the fifth time now the Sparkasse Köln/Bonn have financially supported the Bio-Station with a realization of one of their sustainable-countryside-projects – this time by paying for the new fences. During the two days, the students raked together decaying plant-matter from around the trees, before then digging up the old wooden-posts. In their place came step by step the new chestnut picket-fence. In conclusion, the combination of physical work, sunshine, and actively supporting the environment made the cold feel less biting.
The students’ hard work even made it into the newspaper (translation below):
Caring for fruit-trees with American help
Five American students help the employees of the Bio-station on the fields of the Annaberger farm. (Article by Leif Kubik; Translated by Bryce Carr)
Friesdorf: “This is the coldest day that I have ever experienced in my entire life”, exclaimed Victoria Onyike through the jittering cold and with a courageous smile on her lips. The thermometer read minus five degrees Celsius on the Annaberger fields, despite the gleaming sunshine on Wednesday morning; something which sounds halfway normal to a central-European, made for an annoying challenge for the Bio-Chem students of southern California. Onyike and four of her fellow students are taking a semester long course called “Scientific Tools for Sustainability” at the Academy for International Education (AIB).
The Biology station Bonn/Rhein-Erft planted 110 fruit trees around the Annaberger farm eleven years ago. The apple, pear, and plum trees have since then added to the pre-existing fauna of the farm, to transform it into an aesthetically pleasing and ecologically valuable alley. “With the help of the American exchange students, we have placed a form of shield around 30 trees to protect them from grazing, and to protect the tree population for the long-term”, explained the head of the station Christian Chmela. Because the bordering fields will be grazed by horses, and their fencing is nearing the trees, it was necessary for the workers to protect the trunks from feeding animals. Whether it be the work itself or the financing of the project, Chmela and his team can always rely on their well-functioning network. In the near future, the fencing will be replaced with a more aesthetically appealing wooden picket-fence, which will be payed for by a donation from the Sparkasse KölnBonn. This is now the fifth time that the bank has supported the Bio-Station with a realization of one of their sustainable-countryside-projects. “This year we are donating a total of 2710€ for the new fencing plan”, explains the marketing director of the bank Beatrix Richartz.
With the many different types of work at the Bio-Station, the team will always able to fall back on the man-power of the AIB: “The five students and Professor Lambert Doezema from the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles are here in Bonn for half of the year”, explained the program director of the academy, Nick Manderscheid.
A few minutes after starting to work, neither Onyike nor her four fellow students were cold: the students then raked together decaying plant-matter from around the trees, before then digging up the old wooden-posts. In their place came step by step the new chestnut picket-fence.
From last Thursday, Weiberfastnacht, until Tuesday, Veilchendienstag, Bonn and the Rhineland went wild. Karneval, or the “Fifth Season” replaced everyday life, showing stereotypically grumpy Germans singing and dancing on the street in silly costumes. Traditionally, parades with lavishly and colorfully decorated wagons as well as brass bands and dancers take place in every quarter of the cities and towns. Participants throw candy when people yell “Kamelle!” celebrating the time before Lent.
Our students from California, Penn State, and Texas kicked off the season on Weiberfastnacht at AIB and watched the parade in Bonn-Beuel, filling their Kamelle-bags to the top while enjoying the cold but very sunny weather.
On Sunday some of AIB’s students even joined one of the most popular parades of the region, supporting and celebrating with patients of the Therapy Center Bonn-Beuel.
Celebrations peaked on Rosemonday, some of our students went to Cologne for the big parade while others stayed in Bonn to witness the local parade through the city center and the beautiful Altstadt. They even attracted Bonn's biggest newspaper, the General Anzeiger, who covered our student's day in the middle of Karneval with a special article:
With today being Ash Wednesday, Karneval is over, and a very different time of year starts.
However: Nach dem Karneval ist vor dem Karneval! (=After Karneval season is before the next Karneval season!)
So please reminisce and enjoy a few impressions of AIB's Karneval 2018 below:
Last week our Texas A&M Visualization program went on a bonding trip to the beautiful cities of Bad Kreuznach, Bad Münster, and Mainz.
The excursion started with a tour at the Museum for Puppetry Art in Bad Kreuznach. We learned about the history of puppetry and how it has been used throughout the centuries to entertain and educate audiences.
In the evening we joined the rest of our class for a lecture by Professor Dahlhausen. The lecture prompted a discussion about how perceptions vary between different people, and how we all have different creative processes. Professor Dahlhausen gave us the challenge of taking small mirrors outside and incorporating them into our own creative photographs.
After the lecture and activity, we ended the day by going to Kurpfälzer Amtshof - a restaurant inside of an 800 year old building. We spent the rest of the night in Ebernburg Castle overlooking the town of Bad Münster.
On our second day, we traveled to Mainz to take a tour of the Gutenburg Museum. We were able to see how the Gutenburg press was used for printing, and the various processes that went into creating Gutenburg bibles. After our tour, the group participated in a small workshop to learn how to create our own prints and use an old press.
Suzanne Ctvrtlik - Texas A&M VIZ 2018
Yesterday a winter storm with peaks up to 130 km/h (80 mph) caused numerous calls for Emergency Management in Bonn. During midday, while classes at the AIB were in full swing, many trees collapsed, roof tiles became lose and billboards threatened to fall down and therefore became a real safety threat to the public. In the whole State of Nord Rhine-Westphalia trains stopped operating for the remaining day. Luckily in Bonn no one was seriously injured
Like in the United States, volunteers are the backbone of Emergency Management such as volunteer Fire Departments, volunteers in Emergency Medical Services or volunteers of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). Especially in circumstances like these it is crucial for public authorities to be able to count on their volunteers (ca. 500 volunteer Fire Fighters in Bonn) to respond to calls and to provide manpower. 180 volunteer Fire Fighters of Bonn dealt with the aftermath of “Friederike” this past Thursday. This is only possible with the support and understanding of employers who make it possible for them to respond to calls.
We at AIB are happy to call one of those volunteer Fire Fighters our colleague! Jens Decker is a Program Coordinator for the Texas A&M Visualization Program and the Texas A&M International Emergency Public health Preparedness Program and was called in for duty for the duration of 6,5 hours.
Together with his comrades he worked on getting the infrastructure back on track and to eliminate safety threats so that the public’s everyday life could continue with only minimal restrictions. A big thanks to Jens and all the volunteers!
The public exhibit by the Texas A&M and PSU Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning students was recently featured in a local newspaper!
The 'Bonner Stadtanzeiger' wrote a short article about the students' exhibit where they showcased their ideas on how to redesign and reimagine the 3.94km long corridor along the train lines. A representative from the Bonn's City Planning Office thought the projects were a great pool of ideas on what is possible in this area!
The students ideas ranged from developing a new innercity quarter to installing fast bike lanes to facilitiate easier commute between Bonn and Cologne.
This exhibit was a great way for the students to showcase their ideas and present them to a broad audience.
The article appreared in the Bonner Stadtanzeiger on Wednesday, 20th December 2017 and is only available in German.