Oliver Tullio of Jaffrey to travel to Nova Scotia to study carbon-negative manufacturing


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 01-18-2023 11:49 AM

College junior Oliver Weibel Tullio of Jaffrey has been awarded a Fulbright research position to study carbon-neutral manufacturing techniques in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in his continuing effort to study climate change and its solutions.

Currently studying computer science and environmental studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., Tullio was one of about 1,000 students chosen from a pool of 20,000 applicants for a educational exchange between Canada and the United States.

Tullio will be studying under professor James Forren of Dalhousie University on carbon-neutral construction alternatives for 10 to 12 weeks. Dalhousie University is studying alternatives such as using biochar in concrete, instead of sand, as a way to expand integrating natural resources into the precast concrete sector.

Tullio, an Eagle Scout, said he comes by his love of nature honestly, having gotten into outdoor adventuring and weekend camping as a scout with Jaffrey’s Troop 33. It has become an ongoing love for him. As a student at Dublin School, he founded the Outing Club, and became involved incross-country skiing.

“That’s where I started that interest,” Tullio said of his environmental studies major.

Tullio said he has seen the impact of climate change locally, particularly as his sport is so reliant on cold weather and snowfall. Tullio, who has also job-shadowed the Army Corps of Engineers at the Hopkington-Everett Lake Dam in Contoocook, said he has also learned about increasing number and severity of floods in the state.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Cyberattack could cause delays with some Monadnock Community Hospital lab results
New Hampshire Ball Bearings explains work
Connecticut hiker rescued on Mount Monadnock
Complaint against Jaffrey Community Power dismissed
Viewpoint: Steve Chamberlin – Seven reasons to vote no on ConVal article
Jaffrey town office candidates field residents’ questions

In his studies abroad, Tullio has gotten to look at some significant climate-sensitive areas and how they’ve been affected by climate shifts. He recently returned from a semester in Iceland, where he and 12 other students from across the country studied climate change and how it’s affecting the Arctic.

Iceland is a leader in renewable energy in the world, with the entirety of the country’s electrical grid produced from renewable sources, mainly domestically produced. The government has made a pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2040.

Prior to that opportunity, Tullio spent a spring break in 2022 at the Grand Canyon with his college on a research trip learning about wilderness preservation and history. On that trip, Tullio said he focused on the economic and social impact of one of his passions, preserving natural spaces for cross-country skiing. Tullio has continued his sporting career from Dublin School in college, and is the co-president of the Carleton’s cross-country skiing team.

Tullio said studies show that cross-country skiers have fewer incidents of depression, even when compared to other forms of regular exercise, but participation in the sport is expected to decline in the coming 40 years, in part because of reduced snowfall and regular snow cover.

Each of those trips included once-in-a-lifetime sights, Tullio said. While visiting the Grand Canyon, he got to see the highly endangered California condor, which only has a population of about 537 as of December 2022, only 336 of which live in the wild.

In Iceland, he had the opportunity to walk on glaciers, a disappearing resource in the country. In the last 130 years, Iceland’s glaciers have shrunk by about 850 square miles, about 18 percent of their total mass.

Both trips, Tullio said, gave him new perspective on the issue of climate crises.

“It was very interesting, as I hadn’t spent time out West, and they are dealing with very different things than New Hampshire is,” he said. “They’re worried about water loss – that’s an interesting contrast to New Hampshire, where we have flooding issues.”

These very different landscapes not only have very different problems, Tullio said, but sometimes very different views on solutions. Iceland, for example, has ample hydro and geothermal resources that aren’t available in the dry areas of the western United States, just as the solution of solar in the flat and sunny United States isn’t a good solution for Iceland.

“I really appreciate getting to be able to get a global view on the issue,” Tullio said.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.