It's a big week for students here at the U as final exams begin and social lives are put on hold. Aside from a few finals early next week, I've been spending most of my time on a term paper and group research project in my Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) course. MY group mates and I are working hard assessing, modeling, and comparing the life cycles and carbon/greenhouse gas emissions of two different commercial roofing materials/treatments: a PVC-laminated poly membrane called Dura-Last made from recycled post-industrial waste, and modular LiveRoof "living" green roof system. Some of our inventory modeling work is shown below - as you can see, things are starting to get complicated. Although it can be frustrating at times, the application of course material to a group project l is where we really start to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for LCA and its allied sciences. Hopefully, I'll be able to apply it in the real world one day.
Outside of the school craziness, the weather must've been feeling wild and threw us all a deceivingly beautiful "welcome to MinneSnowta" snowstorm. Although the outdoor conditions throughout remained mostly calm and picturesque (large fluffy snowflakes gently falling and now wind), the precipitation went steady and strong for longer than most people realized. After what seemed like days of constant snowfall, the temperatures dipped into the low teens - turning roads into ice skating rinks overnight. Traffic was absolute mayhem for a good part of Monday morning (not exaggerating) before city workers were able to melt the ice on main roads. The whole thing was a pretty dramatic seasonal transition for all of us, but the first big snowfall is always a fun time for us Minnesotans, assuming your car didn't get towed during a Snow Emergency.
On a final note, I am pleased to announce that I was recently offered an internship at HOME Line, a Minneapolis based nonprofit tenant advocacy organization - offering free legal advice to renters across Minnesota. Much of my position there will be focused on their tenant hotline helping renters with tenant problems and legal issues. I'm super excited about the opportunity and feel that it will be a great way to broaden my housing policy knowledge and use it to empower others. Although it is an unpaid internship, I will be receiving required course internship credits for my time there and working at my regular campus job on the side. I start this coming January, stay posted for future updates!
Jesse LaMaack - Housing Studies, B.S.