The trees at Pittsburg State University are playing a big role in planning for the future, and are sporting something a little unusual.

“The goal is to have each tree on campus tagged,” says Christine Brodsky.

But Christine Brodsky says the tags aren’t for looks. They’re part of a study that began last fall, mapping out and measuring the trees of Pittsburg State, because these trees are serving double duty, beautifying the campus and taking carbon out of the air.

“And then looking at, across campus, where are some hot spots, so, where are the trees really taking all of this carbon, where should we plant more trees on campus to help balance out the carbon in the atmosphere versus what’s in the trees,” says Brodsky.

Brodsky says the carbon comes as a result of burning fossil fuels in places like our cars. And Jim Triplett says studying the trees is just one part of a much bigger program aimed at sustainability.

“It’s a commitment to take a look at our consumption of energy and resources,” says Jim Triplett.

Triplett says the program serves the entire community in a lot of ways. First, it provides an excellent teaching tool for students in several areas, like biology. But more than that, it helps educate the future about what we can do to help protect our environment.

“Because it’s the generation that’s going to inherit what we do that’s concerned about it, and the students coming on campus now are much more aware and much more concerned than they were 20, 30 years ago,” says Triplett.

The study began last fall, and is planned to continue for at least the next several years.