News

Sewanee study cited in 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

A Sewanee senior capstone study completed in 2012 was recently cited in a ruling by the 4th United States Circuit Court of Appeals. The study, conducted by Nathan Bowman (C'12), a Natural Resources and the Environment major, examined fugitive road dust in an area that was being examined for a new shooting range on the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. In his study, Bowman modeled the effects of road dust and proposed several solutions to the problem to aid local residents. The court case was filed to challenge the diligence that the US Forest Service displayed in assessing concerns raised by the public, including those related to the potential health hazards from road dust. Bowman's study was supervised by Steverson Moffat (C'88), who is now the lead NEPA Planner for the Nantahala National Forest. Moffat reached out to Sewanee's Earth and Environmental Systems Department because he felt the forest needed to examine the issue with academic rigor and provide a neutral and unbiased review of the dust issue.  This work, as well as other recent Sewanee research projects, is an excellent example of how our students are engaged in real world issues and problem solving in the environmental arena in the southeastern US and beyond.