Graduate students win award for pilot project at social media expo

Graduate students win award for pilot project at social media expo

Graduate students win award for pilot project at social media expo
March 25
01:58 2014

Steven James // Staff Writer

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] group of UNT graduate students won an award for Best Social Media Expo Project at the Social Media Portion of the 2014 iConference in Berlin on March 5 by presenting a paper about Compost Denton, a proposed community waste project.

The iConference is an interdisciplinary event hosted by the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In order to attend, the team had to submit a letter of interest and a 3-5 minute video describing the team’s focus on using technology to improve the compost waste condition in Denton.

Compost Denton uses social media to get Denton residents and businesses to contribute compost wastes of their own through the official Compost Denton website.

As part of the proposed project, Compost Denton will give local residents and businesses their own waste bins. People will then take the compost to a landfill in Denton, where it will naturally decompose into the soil.

The iConference’s theme was ‘leveraging social media to foster smarter societies.’ The title of the paper was “Community Systems, Sensor Monitoring, and the Internet of Things: A Case Study about Feed Denton Community Compost,” and the team presented it with this slideshow.

The idea for Compost Denton came from the paper’s co-author’s Andrew Miller, learning technologies master’s student, and Laura Pasquini, applied technology and performance improvement doctorate student.

They said they were discussing some of the sustainable initiatives and projects in Denton, including Feed Denton and Compost Exchange, a pilot project that Miller was working on.

“Andrew and I were on a team at the Social Media Expo 2013 who researched and developed FeedDenton.org to collect, organize and share the knowledge of the local food system community in Denton,” Pasquini said.

Miller said the Feed Denton Community Compost Project, the precursor to Compost Denton, lasted from September to December of 2013. He and his colleagues collected around four tons of landfill, which they moved to Shiloh Field Community Garden in Denton.

“I like the idea of taking entrepreneurial work that I’m doing right now and applying it to different things” Miller said. “There are different ways to look at it, and I try to get as much out of that as possible.”

He also said that Compost Denton is currently still in development, but people can start signing up to participate.

“We are hoping to make it a friendly competition between the Denton residents to see who can have the most waste,” Miller said. “We are also currently looking for volunteers this summer to help out.”

Decision sciences master’s student Fiachra Moynihang, one of the paper’s other co-author, said Denton residents and businesses can keep track of the compost they collect online.

“There is a specific Web site and software in which people can keep track of the amount of their piles and the amount of other peoples’ piles,” Moynihan said.

He also said getting rid of compost in peoples’ homes will help make Denton a cleaner place to live, which could improve the lives of the people living in Denton.

“We are trying to get people to save energy,” Moynihan said. “The more we recycle now, the better future generations will be able to take care of the environment and be greener.”

Feature photo: Brandenburg Gate. Photo courtesy of Laura Pasquini

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