Texas Christian U to Hold Sustainability-Themed Semester
Texas Christian University has named sustainability as the theme for its fall 2008 semester. The “Think Purple, Live Green” semester will consist of presentations by well-known personalities in sustainability, special classes, symposia and workshops discussing how to make human economic systems last longer and have less impact on ecological systems. The goal of the fall 2008 theme is to encourage members of the TCU community to participate in sustainable activities and learn how to lower their carbon footprint.
U Florida to Offer Minor in Sustainability Studies
The University of Florida has announced that it will begin offering a minor in Sustainability Studies this fall. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the interdisciplinary minor will be a compilation of courses already offered across the university, with the exception of a newly created introductory course, Facets of Sustainability, and a new capstone course, Sustainability in Action. Students will choose from four tracks of study, which include diverse course offerings from several UF colleges and departments. The tracks are: Ethics, Culture and Human Behavior; Economics, Law and Policy; Production Systems and the Built Environment; and Ecology and Environmental Stewardship.
U Illinois Receives Energy Grants, Establishes Offices of Sustainability
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received 3 grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation totaling over $4 million. The energy foundation grants will provide $1.2 million for lighting upgrades; $2 million for a wind turbine project and $825,000 for a bioenergy research project. In addition, sustainability offices will be established on the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses to coordinate administration and student efforts to encourage energy conservation, promote environmentally friendly practices and integrate green thinking into the campuses’ curricula, research, and extracurricular activities.
U Michigan Students Win Better Living Business Plan Challenge
Four University of Michigan master's degree students and one student from New York University have won the "Better Living Business Plan Challenge," a competition that was created to provide business students from around the world an opportunity to invent sustainable products or business solutions. Eight student teams presented their business plans to a panel of executives from Wal-Mart, non-governmental organizations, and other companies in April. The UM team was awarded $20,000 for developing a biodiesel
U Regina to Test Greywater Reclamation Plant
The University of Regina (SK) has received funding for a project to reclaim greywater and protect vital aquatic ecosystems in Saskatchewan and beyond. Over the next three years, Dr. Stephanie Young of the University of Regina will design and test a self-contained, portable, greywater reclamation plant for small community applications. The design of the portable plant is intended to work with a community's existing water treatment facilities. The project will be lead by the University of Regina in collaboration with Communities of Tomorrow. The goal of the applied research and demonstration project is to commercialize the portable plant, increase efficiency of water reuse, and reduce fresh water demand and the corresponding wastewater load.
UW Oshkosh Holds Sustainability Across the Curriculum Workshop
The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh held a workshop aimed at teaching faculty to infuse sustainability into their curriculum. The Winnebago Sustainability Project workshop, which is based off of the model taught in AASHE's Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership Workshops, was attended by 10 UW Oshkosh faculty. It was created as a result of the UW Oshkosh Sustainability Plan goal to link the University's formal mission with informal teaching opportunities to develop understanding, attitudes, and habits that promote sustainability.
Virginia Tech Commits to Developing Campus Sustainability Plan
Virginia Tech has announced that the University will develop a campus sustainability plan by the end of the 2009 spring semester. The plan will be aimed at reducing global warming emissions in everyday campus operations. The recently formed Committee on Energy and Sustainability has been charged with developing the “Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment,” which will also be developed in close collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Services.
Wilkes U Establishes Organic Farm on Campus
Wilkes University (PA) recently held a Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) farming workshop for more than 25 people from across the world. The participants established and built a farm on the Wilkes campus by forming and shaping the beds, seeding and installing pathways, and planting natural insect repellants. SPIN farming is a commercial organic-based farming system for land areas under an acre in size. It takes the challenges posed by urbanization and turns them into the farmer’s advantage by capitalizing on limited space and resources.
Williams College Holds Green Commencement
Williams College (MA) held a green commencement that featured reusable dinnerware, local food, fair trade coffee and chocolate, and a ban on bottled and canned beverages. The College also purchased carbon offsets for the attendees' travels. After the ceremony, the college held "Give it Up," a collection drive for clothing, books, and other items as students moved out of their residences.
2 Tennessee Campuses Receive Env'l Stewardship Awards
Cleveland State Community College (TN) and Vanderbilt University (TN) were recently awarded 2008 Governors Environmental Stewardship Awards. CSCC won in the Excellence in Energy Leadership category for its existing construction technology program which was enhanced to include a focus on alternative and renewable energy sources and the techniques and technologies for energy efficient construction. Vanderbilt won the Excellence in Green Schools – Higher Education category for the Commons Project which consists of five newly constructed residence houses, five renovated residence houses, and the Commons Center on Vanderbilt's Peabody campus. The LEED certification of the new and renovated buildings, the attractive and energy-saving building features, the waste reduction and recycling programs, the use of alternative fuels, the selection of recycled and renewable materials, and educational demonstrations for each of these items helped Vanderbilt to win this year's award.
3 Pitzer College Residence Halls Receive LEED Gold
Three new Pitzer College (CA) residence halls have received LEED Gold certification. The certification is, in part, a result of the active participation and planning completed by Pitzer students, faculty, alumni, and staff.
7 WA Campuses Receive State Grants for Solar Energy
The State of Washington Office of Financial Management has awarded seven Washington campuses state energy grants totaling $1 million to support the installation of solar panels. The grants were awarded to Central Washington University, Clark College, Pierce College, Skagit Valley College, South Puget Sound Community College, Tacoma Community College, and The Evergreen State College. Funding for the grants came from the 2007–09 operating budget.
Arizona State U to Offer Master's in Social Justice
Arizona State University has announced that, starting this fall, it will offer a Master's degree in Social Justice and Human Rights. The program will offer two tracks: research and non-governmental organization (NGO) management. Those pursuing the research track will be prepared for careers requiring research skills in governmental and non-governmental agencies. Graduates from this track will also be prepared for doctoral programs in the social sciences and law. The NGO management track combines coursework in social justice and human rights with practical training in non-profit management. Graduates will be prepared for leadership positions in the NGO sector.
Biocycle Magazine Covers Sustainability Initiatives at Allegheny
Biocycle Magazine has published an article on Allegheny College's (PA) sustainability initiatives. The article describes Allegheny's Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED), composting program, and commitment to climate-neutrality. According to the article, CEED projects have included watershed protection programs with area elementary and secondary schools; the Environmental Health initiative, which surveys the risks and assesses the damage of environmental factors on the health of the community; the Strategic Environmental Management Initiative, which works with area businesses to reduce costly waste streams and reinvent and promote the use of sustainable products and production processes; and the Sustainable Forestry Project that brings local forest landowners and forestry professionals together to improve woodlot management practices, and substantially increase the economic contribution of the wood products industry in the region. The article also describes the College's composting program, which composts 800 – 1000 pounds per day of kitchen prepared food waste from one dining hall, and its commitment to climate neutrality through the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Georgetown College Partners for Diversity
Georgetown College (KY) has partnered with the alumni from Bishop College (TX), a historically black institution that closed in 1988, to create the Bishop Scholars Program. The program allows for one student from each of the four largest African American Baptist denominations to attend Georgetown College on a full scholarship. A Bishop Scholar can also be recommended by a Bishop alumnus. The first five students that will take part in the program this fall were either recommended by Bishop-educated pastors or were legacies of Bishop alumni.
George Washington U Holds Green Commencement
George Washington University (DC) recently held a green commencement ceremony. Green features included attendance tickets printed on Green Seal certified recycled paper containing 30 percent post-consumer waste, recycling containers for paper and plastic, and GW staff members wearing organic cotton hats. Additionally, graduating seniors were encouraged to sign the "Green Graduation Pledge," in which graduates promise to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job the
Haywood Community College Receives Biofuels Grant
Haywood Community College (NC) was awarded a $135,000 Biofuels Center of North Carolina grant for its Haywood County Biofuels Production, Education, and Training Project. The project will provide alternative fuel supplies for campus and county diesel vehicles; integrate biodiesel training into the college's existing Industrial and Automotive Systems Technology curricula and Continuing Education programs; incorporate biodiesel into a proposed Sustainable Technology certificate program; train members of the regional workforce in biofuels technology; and increase public awareness of biofuels and biodiesel production. Individuals will learn how to install and operate their own reactors/refineries. Waste-oil from county sources such as Haywood County Schools and the college café will be processed into biodiesel.
Hofstra U & Boston College Partner for Community Engagement
The Hofstra University (NY) National Center for Suburban Studies (NCSS) will receive $25,000 from the State of New York to create a Sustainable Suburban Neighborhoods Initiative, a joint project of the NCSS and Boston College’s (MA) Urban Ecology Institute. The collaborative, which focuses on suburban ecological and environmental issues on Long Island, is intended to explore ways to build bridges between high-quality research and the needs of the broader community, with the ultimate goal of creating ecologically, socially, and economically healthy neighborhoods. The aim is to engage Hofstra faculty and students with people living in economically challenged communities.
Lesley, Dartmouth, Simmons, & Ohio State Students Donate Items
Lesley University (MA) students recently donated 15 boxes of gently used clothing and shoes and 4 boxes of craft supplies, school supplies, dishware, desk lamps, un-opened toiletries, pantry items and more to two local aid organizations. The initiative, "Dump and Go," took place during spring move out. Similarly, Dartmouth College (NH) students recently began the "Sustainable Move-Out" program, an initiative where the College collects unwanted items from students moving out of the residence halls and Gree
NAU Purchases Electric Forklift, Switches to Greener Products
Northern Arizona University recently purchased an electric forklift to replace its propane-fueled forklift. The new purchase is part of NAU's effort to promote accountable and innovative sustainable practices in its day-to-day operations. The University is also transitioning to 100 percent recycled, Green Seal Certified paper products, recycled trash can liners, compact fluorescent lights bulbs, and Green Seal Certified cleaning products whenever possible. Additionally, NAU is planning to purchase a hybrid, diesel, or electric box delivery truck to replace its gasoline vehicle in the future.
NY Times Covers Sustainability at Oberlin College
The New York Times recently published a story on one of Oberlin College's (OH) campus sustainability initiatives. The article discusses the creation of the Student Experiment in Ecological Design, Oberlin's sustainability house, and the experience students had as they moved in and adjusted to living in a more sustainable manner.
Portland State U Offers Course on Reducing Campus Carbon Emissions
Portland State University (OR) recently offered a new senior capstone course entitled, "Towards Carbon Neutrality at Portland State University." The course, which is open to all majors, was designed to teach students about climate change, to let them be directly involved in the process towards carbon neutrality, and to get students involved with campus decision making around sustainability practices. The students were tasked with gathering information for a campus emissions report, which will be presented
Presidio School of Mgmt Appoints 4 Faculty in Sustainable Mgmt
The Presidio School of Management (CA) has appointed Hunter Lovins, Gil Friend, Jay Ogilvy, and Sissel Waage as faculty in the new Executive Program teaching team. They will work with senior-level professionals on the practical applications of sustainable business frameworks, tools and metrics, and their courses will teach participants how to apply sustainability principles to achieve greater profitability and integrated bottom line results.
Rider University Clears Trees with Plow Horses
Rider University (NJ) recently hired a company to clear four acres of felled trees using plow horses instead of bulldozers in an effort to keep a residence hall construction project more environmentally friendly. CitiLog, the company hired to clear the trees, plans to reuse the wood once the project is complete.
San Francisco State U Completes GHG Inventory
San Francisco State University (CA) has completed its first greenhouse gas inventory, which reports 1990 – 2006 emissions. The inventory calculates emissions from purchased electricity, natural gas, air travel, university fleet, commuter transportation, and solid waste. It also calculates sequestration from composting. The report found that, in 2006, the campus emitted 61,184 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, a 47 percent increase from 1990. The campus plans to spend this summer and next year developing a Sustainability Action Plan.
Sullivan County CC to Offer Green Building Associate's Degree
Sullivan County Community College (NY) has announced plans to offer a new Associate's degree in green building maintenance and management. The new associate of applied sciences degree will be a four-semester, on-campus program designed to prepare green collar workers for careers in managing and maintaining high-performance commercial buildings.
U British Columbia Launches Energy Monitoring Project
The University of British Columbia has launched an initiative to track energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions in five campus buildings. The project will track electricity, steam, and water consumption in the buildings using software and power meters, and the results can be seen in real-time at website hosted by Small Energy Group, UBC's partner in the project. In a related project, a UBC Ph.D. candidate will investigate how occupants in two of the five buildings can use this real-time energy data to reduce energy consumption and increase comfort.
U New Mexico Receives Recycling Award
The University of New Mexico recently won an award from the New Mexico Recycling Coalition for the Best Community-Based Recycling Program. The recycling program was nominated for holding education environmental fairs to increase awareness of pollution prevention activities, for holding e-waste events and for offering tours to elementary and middle school students to educate them about recycling. The award nomination cites the program for great customer service, pointing out the stripping of old refrigerators into recyclable component parts, and spreading the word about a new market for recycled Styrofoam. Additionally, the UNM Recycling Program won 10 bins in a competition co-sponsored by the National Recycling Coalition and Coca Cola.
U Oregon Program Causes Participants to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
The University of Oregon Climate Leadership Initiative recently completed a review of the Climate Master program's first year. The review found that participants in the program reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by two tons per person over the course of the first year. As a result of the information studied during the program, students began to take their carbon footprint into consideration when making daily decisions. Participants also reported that they gained a "sense of community" and a greater s
U Washington to Form College of the Environment
The University of Washington has announced plans to merge six existing academic disciplines that focus on oceans, the atmosphere, and forests to form the College of the Environment. The new college would join Forestry, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Marine Affairs, and Oceanography, and it would add a new program, Environment, Society, and Culture.
U Wisconsin-Superior Students Convert Garbage into Art
The University of Wisconsin-Superior Campus Sustainability group has developed "The Art of Garbage," a program in which UWS art students take regularly discarded materials and turn them into art. The "Art of Garbage" exhibition is expected to open in September 2008. The initiative is part of UWS's participation in the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
UW Oshkosh Approves Sustainability as Essential Learning Outcome
The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh Faculty Senate has unanimously approved "the knowledge of sustainability and its applications" as part of the new set of Essential Learning Outcomes for all students in the University. The learning outcomes were developed by the University’s Liberal Education Reform Team (LERT) and Resource Group, comprised of faculty, staff and students.
3 California Colleges Receive Energy Conservation Rebates
Contra Costa College (CA), Diablo Valley College (CA), and Los Medanos College (CA) recently received a rebate from Pacific Gas & Electric for reducing the amount of non-renewable energy used on campus. CCC will receive $1 million for energy conservation, and DVC and LMC will receive $2.8 million and $2 million respectively for solar panels installed on campus.
Appalachian State U Library Recognized for Green Design
The Appalachian State University (NC) Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons was recently recognized for its green architectural design in the April 2008 issue of American Libraries and in the December 2007 issue of Library Journal. Green features of the building include an emphasis on natural lighting, mechanical equipment for energy savings, cork flooring, an energy-efficient elevator system, electronic sensor faucets and toilets, computer-controlled shades and recycled/recyclable carpeting. The Belk Library opened in 2005.
Appalachian State U Partners with Community to Restore Creek
Appalachian State University (NC) recently partnered with the city community to restore a 150 foot section of Boone Creek, a creek that runs through campus and parts of the downtown. The restoration group plans to filter storm water runoff, stabilize the banks, and incorporate native plants and shrubs that will shade the creek and provide better habitat for wildlife. The project is the result of an idea from a 2004 project management class taught by an Assistant Professor in ASU's Department of Geography and Planning.
Arizona State U Art Exhibitions Feature Sustainability
The Arizona State University Institute for Humanities Research recently held an art exhibit entitled, "Sustainability and the Visual Arts." The exhibition, which was on display last semester, explored the relationship between human beings and nature and proposed solutions within existing cultural structures. The exhibition featured work from students and community members, and showcased two-dimensional and small-scale sculptures from eight artists. The artists were asked to explore new meanings and inter
Bemidji State U Students Approve Green Fee
The Bemidji State University (MN) Student Senate recently passed a $5 per student per semester green fee to fund student projects and support 50 percent of the sustainability coordinator salary. Beginning in 2010, the green fee will subsidize 100 percent of the sustainability coordinator's salary. A survey of 318 students conducted before the vote found that more than 65 percent of students were willing to pay a green fee of $5 or more per semester.
Butler U Breaks Ground on Green Pharmacy Building Expansion
Butler University (IN) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new addition to the pharmacy and health sciences building. Butler hopes to achieve LEED Silver certification for the expansion, which will feature waterless urinals, bicycle storage, and natural classroom lighting. The University also plans to recycle the construction waste material and install recycled carpet and flooring throughout the addition.
Carleton College Purchases 2 Hybrids
Carleton College (MN) recently purchased two new hybrid cars, replacing two older non-hybrids in the campus fleet. The decision to purchase the hybrid vehicles came after an extensive study of the College’s fleet fuel consumption and expenses. The study found that upgrading cars that were already due for replacement to hybrids would be an efficient and cost effective decision.
CSU, Chico Receives Forest Stewardship Council Certification
California State University, Chico's University Printing Services was recently awarded Forest Stewardship Council chain-of-custody certification by Scientific Certification Systems, an independent third-party certifier of environmental, sustainability, food quality, and food purity claims. The chain-of-custody certification means that products by CSU, Chico’s Printing Services bearing the FSC trademark meet strict tracking requirements ensuring that they come from responsibly-managed forests. The University’s paper purchases for FSC-trademarked products will be audited annually to make sure that they come from a well-managed forest.
Evergreen State College Purchases Electric Vehicle
Evergreen State College (WA) recently purchased a street-legal electric vehicle and has plans to purchase four more by the end of June. The additional electric cars will be financed in part with a grant from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency.
Florida Gulf Coast U to be 100% Solar
Legislatures in Florida have allocated $8.5 million to fund the installation of a solar farm on 16 acres of the Florida Gulf Coast University campus. The project, which awaits approval by the Governor, has an expected completion date of summer 2009. If successful, the solar farm, including the panels purchased with private donations, would generate 2 megawatts per day, enough to provide 100 percent of FGCU's energy needs. Governor Charlie Crist is expected to approve the plan.
Gateway CC to Offer Sustainable Building Advisor Certificate
Gateway Community College (CT) recently announced that, starting this fall, the College's Center for a Sustainable Future will offer a Sustainable Building Advisor Certification Program as part of its Division of Corporate and Continuing Education program. The program, which will be offered in a one weekend per month format, is approved through the U.S. Green Building Council and is designed for practicing engineers, architects, contractors, building managers and other building industry professionals.
George Washington U to Install Green Roof
George Washington University (DC) recently announced plans to install a green roof atop the Elliot School of International Affairs City View Room Terrace this summer. The 2,000 square foot green roof pilot project is the result of an initiative by GWU's Net Impact chapter, and will feature storm water run-off reduction and potential energy savings and will offer research opportunities to students.
Higher Ed Paper Reduction Website Goes Live
ConnectEdu, a curriculum, college, and career planning information technology company, recently launched StudentsPlantTheSeed.com, a website aimed at reducing the amount of paper used during the college application process. The website provides paper-reducing methods for college admissions and a petition for high school administrators and higher education institutions to participate in the initiative.
Kansas State U Hires Director of Sustainability
Kansas State University recently appointed Ben Champion as the first ever Director of Sustainability to develop a university-wide approach for addressing sustainability at K-State. Champion will provide leadership and oversight to existing initiatives such as campus recycling and construction of green buildings on campus, and he will also identify opportunities for new initiatives, help develop curriculum, facilitate interdisciplinary research, work with students, and engage the broader community in areas where K-State can be a leader in terms of sustainability.
Kendall College Launches Sustainability Education Initiative
Kendall College's (IL) School of Culinary Arts recently announced an ecological sustainability education initiative that is specifically tailored for the foodservice industry. The nationwide initiative was launched with the release of a brief instructional video. The production explains the basics of environmental sustainability and how foodservice industry professionals can take a few simple steps to benefit both their businesses and the environment. Many of the video‘s tips can be implemented at little or no cost and result in net operational savings. Kendall is exploring the development of a number of other resources such as training materials for foodservice personnel, instructional materials for use by educators, presentations at foodservice industry conferences, and additional videos. The initiative is in partnership with the Green Restaurant Association.
Middlebury College Offers Green Study Abroad Incentives
Middlebury College (VT) recently awarded its first-ever sustainable study abroad grants to assist students with research and projects related to sustainability while abroad. Other resources available to help students have a greener study abroad experience include: A “Going Green” guide for directors of the Middlebury Schools Abroad with guidance for greening the office and facilities, environmental programming, and other sustainability activities; the “Green Passport” program which helps students keep track of their actions while abroad within suggested guidelines for responsible travel; a carbon offset program to help students reduce the impact of their energy use while abroad; and a list of sustainable travel resources including a sustainable travel checklist that considers things like the travel provider’s environmental policy and whether the provider supports environmental issues in the place being visited.
Northland College Students Install Solar Panels on Campus
The Northland College (WI) Photovoltaic Installation class recently installed a solar electric system at the home of the Northland College President. The students installed twelve 175 watt solar panels mounted on a pole. The array of panels is attached to a sun-watt tracking system, a mechanism that automatically rotates the panels from east to west as well as tilts them up and down to follow the sun through the course of the day. Together, the panels will produce about 3,300 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The President is funding the project with her personal finances with help from renewable energy grants provided by the State of Wisconsin.
Oberlin College Offsets its Commencement Carbon Footprint
Oberlin College (OH) recently purchased carbon offsets for its 2008 Commencement/Reunion weekend. The purchase aimed to offset the carbon emissions created from travel, lodging, meals, energy consumption, waste disposal, production, and other incidental factors for more than 5,000 alumni, family members, and friends that attended commencement weekend events. The weekend also featured local food, bioware plates and flatware, and a 100 percent post-consumer paper Commencement/Reunion program.