Inside Higher Ed Begins Getting to Green Blog
Inside Higher Ed recently started a new blog, entitled "Getting to Green," that will to discuss topics related to greening the higher education. The start of the blog coincided with Focus the Nation.
JMU Announces Joint Masters in Sustainable Resource Mgmt
James Madison University (VA) and the University of Malta recently announced the new Joint International Masters Program in Sustainable Environmental Resources Management. Graduates will receive two degrees: the M.Sc. In Sustainable Environmental Resources Management from UM (an EU degree) and the M.S. in Integrated Science and Technology from JMU. The curriculum will be taught entirely in Malta with each school teaching half of the courses. The program incorporates a suite of courses that cover the appropriate analytical tools, presents the policy and legal framework, and uses a collection of case study courses. The program will begin in September of 2008.
Macalester C Senior Gift to Fund Sustainability on Campus
The Macalester College (MN) Senior Class Gift Committee recently announced that the 2008 senior gift will fund sustainability initiatives on campus. The 10 seniors on the committee sent out a survey to their class to gauge what type of contribution the class would like to make and, based on the results, decided to fund campus sustainability projects. The class will attempt to raise $38,000 for the fund. Sustainability Coordinator Suzanne Hansen will ultimately decide how the money is used.
Northwestern U Increases Financial Aid
Northwestern University (IL) recently announced that it will replace loans with grants for its 450 neediest undergraduates. When choosing who will qualify for the grant, Northwestern will consider family income as well as other financial pressures such as extensive medical expenses and multiple sibling families. The University will also cap the amount of federal loans undergraduates can take out over four years to $20,000.
San Diego State Students Start Recycling Program
A student group at San Diego State University (CA) recently started a recycling program on campus. Success Enabled Pilots, a leadership and academic organization, volunteered to pick up sorted recycling from bins placed outside residence halls, Greek houses and residences within one mile of campus. Bins have also been placed at a nearby apartment complex to serve as a community collection location. Additionally, the group plans to hand out energy-efficient light bulbs to those who use the service.
Schools Reduce Waste with Trayless Policies
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on how colleges and universities are implementing no-tray policies in dining halls in order to reduce waste and save water. In experiments at Alfred University (NY), students found that a no-tray policy would reduce food and beverage waste by 30-50%. Customers with disabilities or those who need extra assistance are permitted to use trays.
Stevens IT Launches Green Engineering Minor
The Charles V. Schaefer Jr. School of Engineering and Science at the Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) recently launched a Green Engineering minor. The minor consists of six courses and provides a two-course core in sustainable engineering and sustainable energy.
UC Berkeley Hires Director of Sustainability
The University of California, Berkeley recently hired Lisa McNeilly as the campus's first Director of Sustainability. McNeilly is charged with creating and managing a campus Office of Sustainability and supporting the efforts of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the Cal Climate Action Partnership, the Berkeley Environmental Alumni Network, and the Berkeley Green Campus Program. The position will report to the Vice Chancellor for Administration.
U Central Florida Energy Competition Offers Scholarships
A University of Central Florida energy saving competition will offer free food, gift certificates, and scholarships to the winners of the second-annual Energy Conservation Competition. The competition is a month-long campaign that challenges each residence hall to reduce its energy consumption by the greatest percentage compared to the average of the previous three years. During the first year of the program, residence hall students reduced their energy use by 8% overall, which amounted to $12,000 in electric bills. A $6,000 Student Government Association scholarships will be divided by UCF officials for the winners. The competition lasts until the end of February 2008.
UC Irvine Contracts for 1.2MW Solar Array
The University of California, Irvine recently contracted with UPC Solar to install a 1.2 megawatt solar panel array on campus. Under the 20-year contract, UPC Solar will design, install, own and maintain 6,500 solar panels to be placed on 11 campus buildings. UCI will then purchase the power from UPC, especially during peak demand periods when the cost of electricity is high. Kiosks located strategically around the campus will monitor the system and provide ready information to passersby about how much energy is being generated.
U Colorado Boulder Students to Purchase Local Offsets
University of Colorado at Boulder students have switched from purchasing wind energy credits to purchasing all locally-generated offsets to mitigate a portion of campus carbon emissions. The offsets are being purchased through Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's "Colorado Carbon Fund" program. The $50,000 of student funding will support Colorado projects that fight climate change while increasing economic prosperity, assisting local communities and creating service learning opportunities for students.
UI Chicago Hires Interim Assoc. Chancellor for Sustainability
The University of Illinois at Chicago recently hired Cynthia Klein-Banai as the interim Associate Chancellor for Sustainability. Klein-Banai plans to consider student fees to support green projects, to set up a campus-wide committee that will work to initiate sustainability programs into many areas of campus life, and to complete a transportation survey on how people get to and around campus. She has also applied for a grant to expand UIC's recycling program.
U Maine Farmington Receives 2 LEED Building Certifications
Two recently constructed buildings at the University of Maine at Farmington were awarded LEED certification. The Education Center was awarded LEED Silver and was designed to serve as an ecological teaching tool for UMF students, K-12 students, practicing teachers and the region. Green components of the building include 42 geothermal wells, a high-performance thermal envelope, and window glazing to decrease heat loss in the winter and reduce cool air loss in the summer. Additional green features include the use of construction materials with recycled content, interior materials and furnishings that do not emit indoor pollutants and a sustainable landscape design. The Frances Allen Black Hall, a residence hall on campus, received LEED Certified status. The hall qualified for this distinction based on a number of green features including, developing the building site with the least amount of environmental impact, using over 10 percent recycled construction materials and nearly 35 percent locally available construction materials, and increasing thermal efficiency by approximately 25% by using continuous rigid insulation on the building's exterior.
U New Mexico Partners with Car Share Program
The University of New Mexico Department of Parking and Transportation Services recently announced an agreement with Zipcar, a national car-sharing service, to provide vehicles to students, staff, faculty and members of the Albuquerque community who are members of Zipcar. Five vehicles will be located throughout campus and will be available at hourly and daily rates.
U Saskatchewan Completes GHG Inventory
The University of Saskatchewan recently completed its greenhouse gas inventory, which was initiated to establish a baseline total for campus GHG emissions. The survey found that the University's 2006 CO2 emissions amounted to 198,000 tons, which is up 4.5% since 1990. The report also found that, at 80% of the total, purchased electricity was the largest source of GHGs.
U Southern California Forms Sustainability Steering Committee
The University of Southern California recently created a 12 member Sustainability Steering Committee. The group is made up of students, faculty, administrators, and staff from all areas of the institution and is charged with maintaining current environmental initiatives and defining economic, social, and environmental opportunities for the campus.
UT Architecture College Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2010
The College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has committed to make its own building as well as all its studio projects more environmentally friendly. By a unanimous vote of the faculty, the college has adopted a plan to achieve a carbon-neutral design community and include the elimination or reduction of the need for fossil fuel as a central tenet in its design education. This plan is part of the 2010 Imperative, a challenge issued to colleges of design across the U.S. to incorporate environmental principles by 2010. Strategies involving waterless plumbing fixtures and occupancy sensors for lights already are being implemented. Future plans include the purchase of carbon offsets and potential LEED Existing Building certification.
U Vermont to Form Commission and Office of Sustainability
The University of Vermont recently announced that it will form a Commission on Sustainability and open an Office of Sustainability. The Commission will make strategic recommendations about policies and activities requiring significant operational changes or allocation of financial and other resources within the University. Its first charge will be to create a Climate Neutrality Working Group that will develop a plan within two years for reaching climate neutrality at UVM. The Office of Sustainability will support the Commission's development of an overall environmental sustainability strategy, track performance indicators and best practices, oversee the selection and implementation of the best ideas for reducing environmental impacts, and educate and involved the campus and Vermont community.
1100 Campuses Focus the Nation on Global Warming Solutions
On Jan. 31, 2008, more than 1100 colleges and universities across the US participated in Focus the Nation, a major educational initiative on global warming solutions. The event, which also had the participation of several hundred high schools, faith organizations and civic groups, is believed to be the largest teach-in in U.S. history. Many institutions help open forums on climate change with participation from faculty, elected officials, and other guests. Faculty members from a wide range of disciplines also incorporated climate change into their lectures. The final component of Focus the Nation is the 'Choose Your Future' vote, in which all students, faculty and community participants are encouraged to vote on what they think are the top five climate change solutions from a list of 15 that is available on the event's website. Voting ends in mid February.
Brown U Announces GHG Emissions Reduction Plan
Brown University (RI) has announced a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 42% below 2007 levels for all existing buildings by 2020. Brown also promised to reduce energy consumption up to 50% for all newly constructed and acquired facilities. The university plans to achieve these goals through initiatives such as switching the fuel that powers the central heating plan to cleaner natural gas when available, implementing new lighting technologies, improving the energy efficiencies of buildings, increasing co-generation of electricity, and using renewable energy sources where appropriate.
Casper College to Launch Renewable Energy Program
Casper College (WV) recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to launch a program in renewable energy. The majority of the funding will support the construction of a small wind generator testing and training site, which will serve as a laboratory for students in the program. The program will also include courses such as electrical power, electrical machines, and alternative energy.
DOE Announces 2009 Solar Decathlon Teams
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the schools selected to compete in the fourth Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Washington, DC in 2009. The teams, selected from universities in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, will each receive $100,000 from the DOE to design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully-solar-powered home. In addition to producing enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, from powering lights and electronics to cooking, washing clothes and dishes, each home must produce surplus energy sufficient to power an electric car. Applications for the competition were evaluated by a panel made up of engineers, scientists and other experts from DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Teams were required to meet specific criteria, demonstrating their ability to design and build an innovative, entirely solar-powered, 800-square-foot home from scratch, including the ability to raise additional funds and assemble a team necessary to carry the project through to completion.
El Camino CC Opens Green Humanities Building
El Camino Community College (CA) recently opened a new green humanities building. The 83,900-square-foot facility features natural day lighting, sun shades and other steps to reduce heat gain, recycled flooring materials, and a white roof.
Furman U Students Win Award for Campus Green Living Film
A film made by a group of Furman University (SC) students has been selected as a finalist in the Conservation in Action Multimedia Contest. Their film, "The Lifestyle Project," documented the transformation and experiences of Furman freshmen as they sought to reduce their impact on the environment by changing the way they lived their daily lives. The film followed the students as they followed a vegetarian diet, reduced their water and electricity usage, generated less trash, and quit driving their cars o
Georgia Tech to Install Green Tissue Dispensers
The Georgia Institute of Technology will install No-Touch Hands Free Paper Towel and Tissue Dispensers, which will use Green Seal certified paper towels and toilet tissue. The installation will begin in February.
Johns Hopkins U Task Force on Climate Change Begins Work
The Johns Hopkins University (MD) President's Task Force on Climate Change recently held its first meeting. The group, which includes administrators, faculty, community leaders, and students, was formed to help guide the development of the university's new climate change policy. It is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan and creating an interdisciplinary working group of experts who will focus on innovative and novel approaches related to climate change.
Northern Arizona U Building Achieves LEED Platinum
Northern Arizona University's Applied Research and Development Building has achieved LEED Platinum certification, earning 60 out of 69 points possible. The 59,821 square-foot building features a photovoltaic solar power system that provides a minimum of 20% of its electricity, automatic shade controls, venting windows, and an enthalpy wheel, which regulates the building's temperatures. About 30% of the building's supplies are from recycled materials, 57% are from local producers or manufacturers, and the wood used was sustainable harvested from a renewable forest-management system. Additionally, the building's conference unit has a green roof, and the parking lot is made of pervious concrete, which allows water to be captured in natural aquifers to be used for irrigation purposes.
Ohlone Opens Green Campus registered for LEED Platinum
Ohlone College (CA) recently opened a newly constructed green campus. The campus, which hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification, features solar energy co-generation that will supply up to 42% of the building's energy needs, geothermal ground coils, enthalpy wheels, storm water filtering, wetlands restoration, and indoor water-saving fixtures.
RecycleMania Begins with Record Number of Participants
RecycleMania began January 27, 2008 with a record 400 colleges and universities participating. The competition has more than doubled each year from its initiation in 2001 by two Ohio colleges. The 400 schools represent 46 states and the District of Columbia and include institutions ranging from small two-year community colleges to Ivy League universities. Over a 10-week period from January 27 to April 5, 2008, participating schools will compete in various categories measuring the success of their recycling and waste prevention efforts. Each week, the standings will be posted on the RecycleMania website.
Rice U to Begin EcoRep Program
An internal grant program at Rice University (TX) has provided funds to enable the development of an "EcoRep" program this semester. The grant will pay one student from each residential college to serve as an EcoRep. Each EcoRep will have six main duties: facilitating recycling, reducing waste in the serveries, conserving energy, promoting environmental issues, maintaining contacts with relevant University staff, and administering the Green Dorm Initiative, a program which certifies dorm rooms meeting cer
UCLA Law School to Establish Center on Climate Change
The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law recently secured an endowment fund to establish the Emmett Center, a center dedicated to the study, research, and teaching of knowledge related to climate change and the environment. The Emmett Center plans to engage UCLA experts who are working on matters related to climate change and intends to play a key role in addressing environmental issues.
U Michigan Annual Environmental Report
The University of Michigan recently released its Annual Environmental Report, which lists the University's energy use, water use, emissions, waste production, mass transit systems, and total carbon footprint. The report finds that the institution's carbon output decreased by 40,000 pounds since 2004.
Unity College to Offer 2 New Sustainability Majors
Beginning in the fall of 2008, Unity College (ME) will offer a Bachelor's of Science in Sustainable Design and Technology and a Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability. Students in the Sustainable Design and Technology program will learn to evaluate and implement emerging technologies and to design, quantify, and account for programs of energy efficiency and climate emission reductions for government, for private businesses, or for households. The emphasis will be on practical skills based on solid general theory. The Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability program will prepare students for future study and careers in the growing fields of sustainable agriculture and food systems. The approach will be interdisciplinary and experiential, drawing on several disciplines that intersect in the field of agriculture and food systems study, including biology, ecology, economics, critical social sciences, and history, as well as applied sciences such as horticulture, livestock management, and marketing. The program will have a significant field and experiential component.
U Texas at Austin Launches Campus Sustainability Newsletter
The University of Texas at Austin recently launched 'Synergies,' a monthly newsletter devoted to sustainability-based campus events, activities and achievements. The goal of the newsletter is to publicize sustainability initiatives on campus, create a broader understanding of sustainability at UT, and help connect individuals who wish to get involved with campus projects. 'Synergies' is designed for UT faculty, staff, and students and is distributed primarily online.
U Washington to Offer Professorships in Sustainability
The University of Washington plans to offer professorships in sustainability. Pending the approval of the Board of Regents, the first two professorships will be held by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake of an environmentally conscious architecture firm. Kieran and Timberlake will teach six related courses exploring designs and methods for reducing environmental impacts of construction. Funding for the professorships comes from Mithun and The Russell Family Foundation.
Bowdoin Converts Student Loans to Grants
Bowdoin College (ME) has announced that, starting in the 2008-09 academic year, it will replace loans with grants for all new and current students receiving financial aid. Bowdoin President Barry Mills assured that the program would not cause the college to abandon its commitment to educate lower-income students. The initiative is part of The Bowdoin Campaign, a five-year effort that seeks to raise $250 million for the college.
Colby Replaces Student Loans with Grants
Colby College (ME) recently announced that, beginning in the fall of 2008, the school will replace all student loans with grants. The loan elimination program will apply to new and currently enrolled students and will take about $1.5 million per year to implement.
Dartmouth Announces New Financial Aid Program
Dartmouth College (NH) recently announced a new financial aid initiative that will begin in the fall of 2008. The program includes: free tuition for students who come from families with annual incomes below $75,000, replacing loans with scholarships, need-blind admission for international students, and scholarships of $2,950 to allow financial aid recipients to take advantage of research or internship opportunities in their junior year. The new initiative will cost an additional $10 million per year, which will be paid for through the reallocation of resources and the use of funds generated by an increase in the distribution from endowment.
Emerson Building Receives LEED Certification
Emerson College's (MA) new 14-story residence hall and campus center has received LEED certification. The building promotes density, is located on a redeveloped urban site, uses reduced-flow fixtures, provides maximum daylight to all of the living spaces, and was built with significant amounts of recycled and regionally-manufactured materials.
Michigan State U to Build On-Campus Recycling Facility
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized building a new recycling facility on campus. The facility will triple the amount of materials currently being recycled by allowing the university to expand recycling collection in all buildings. The recycling facility will cost approximately $13.3 million and will pay for itself in 12 years. The Board also heard 26 recommendations to reduce MSU's ecological footprint presented by the Environmental Stewardship Systems Team, which is made up of faculty, staff, and students. The team recommended that MSU improve the way the campus monitors and tracks material waste, schedule classes more efficiently to reduce heating and energy costs in buildings, develop a "green" certification program for units and departments, and reduce energy use in all campus buildings by 9 percent through reducing heating, ventilation, and cooling system running time.
NC State Begins 'Year of Energy' with Solar Array Dedication
North Carolina State University initiated its 'Year of Energy' with the dedication of a new 75.6 kW photovoltaic array that will serve as an educational project for students. The 'Year of Energy' is a program in which the University plans to focus on energy-related issues throughout 2008. The array, which is owned by Carolina Solar Energy, is believed to be the largest privately financed solar photovoltaic array in North Carolina. The power it generates is sold to Progress Energy. The dedication ceremony was followed with NCSU's inaugural Energy Fair, which served to show attendees how NCSU and its partners foresee solutions to energy issues.
Northampton CC to Use 100% Recycled Paper
Northampton Community College (PA) will switch to using 100% recycled paper. Although the per-carton cost will increase, the college plans to purchase the recycled paper in bulk to offset the costs. In addition to this effort, NCC has also set all campus printers to print double-sided and capped the amount of pages one computer can print within a given time frame.
SUNY-ESF Hires Director of Renewable Energy Systems
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry hired Michael Kelleher as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this new position, Kelleher will focus on finding and adopting technologies to help the College save energy and produce energy from sustainable and renewable sources. Kelleher also serves as co-director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy and is a member of the ESF Campus Climate Change Committee.
U Alabama Implements Recycling Program
The University of Alabama is planning to implement a recycling program across campus. The program, which comes after a successful pilot phase, will first be implemented in the residences halls, academic buildings, and administrative buildings. Once the program has enough support, the number of bins will be increased and the athletic buildings will receive bins as well.
U Penn Eliminates Student Loans
The University of Pennsylvania announced a new initiative that will replace student loans with grants for undergraduates, making it possible for students from a broad range of economic backgrounds to graduate debt-free. The new program will be phased in beginning September 2008, and will include all eligible undergraduates, not just entering freshmen. Students with family incomes under $100,000 will receive loan-free aid packages, while families above that level will receive a 10 percent reduction in need-based loans. By fall 2009, all undergraduate students eligible for financial aid will receive loan-free aid packages, regardless of family income level.
U Penn Launches Car Share Program
The University of Pennsylvania is launching a car sharing program which will include 40 vehicles and a Penn Sustainability Fund for special environmental projects. Officials say that this is the largest university car sharing program in the North America. The program, supported by PhillyCarShare, will be available to the University's faculty, staff, and students, age 18 and above.
U Western Ontario Switches to Biodegradable Food Packaging
As a result of efforts by the University Students' Council, the University of Western Ontario is transitioning from Styrofoam to 100% biodegradable food containers, plates, and garbage bags. The products, which come at no extra cost to students, are made mostly from sugar cane and corn starch and will biodegrade in 60 to 90 days.
Washington U in St. Louis Offers Hybrid-Only Car Share Program
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) recently introduced WeCar, a car sharing program that will exclusively utilize hybrid vehicles. Under the program, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will make 6 hybrid vehicles available to rent on an hourly basis by faculty, staff, and students over age 18.
Western Kentucky U Initiates Bike Share Program
Western Kentucky University has initiated Big Red's Bikes, a bike sharing program that was started by an on-campus student organization called GreenToppers. The program features bicycles that were refurbished through the donation of old bikes, chains, tires, tubes, and locks.