Four Universities Join University Climate Change Coalition
Second Nature recently announced that Boston University, the University of Connecticut, the University of South Florida, and Washington University in St. Louis have joined the thirteen other research universities that comprise the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3). UC3 is a new network of research institutions from across North America formed in early February that committed to leveraging their institutional strengths to foster exchange of best practices and research agenda in pursuit of accelerating local climate solutions.
U Tennessee Knoxville Opens Outdoor Garden Classroom
The Grow Lab is a new campus garden that serves as an outdoor classroom and hub for community engagement while working to address local food insecurity. The garden’s harvest will be donated to a food pantry to provide free, nutritious food for students in need. This living laboratory includes 12 garden beds. Classes and clubs can reserve plots to conduct research and engage in community service.
Syracuse U to Open Center for Social Justice With $5M Gift
A Syracuse University alumni couple is providing a $5 million donation to support the creation of the Lender Center for Social Justice, which will include research support, symposia, and faculty and student fellowships. The center aims to support innovative and multidisciplinary research of contemporary social problems while providing proactive and concrete approaches and solutions.
Wege Prize 2019 Call for Team Applications
Wege Prize 2019 is looking for undergraduate and graduate students who want to work together to re-think and re-design the way economies work by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting impact. Teams will contend for $30,000 in total cash prizes. The Wege Prize is organized by Kendall College of Art and Design’s Wege Center for Sustainable Design with support from the Wege Foundation. The deadline for team applications and research plan is Nov. 18.
Envisioning Public Scholarship for Our Time: Models for Higher Education Researchers
This book proposes a new paradigm of public scholarship that supports a diverse democracy and promotes equity and social justice. It demonstrates how public scholarship in higher education can increase its impact on practice and policy and argues that public scholarship should be recognized as normative practice for all scholars and integrated into the curriculum of graduate courses.
Pennsylvania State U Establishes Dual-Title Doctoral Program in Climate Science
The new dual-title degree program is based on the idea that climate science is relevant across many different disciplines. Students electing this degree program will earn a doctorate with a dual-title in the participating program and in climate science. The program aims to provide a curriculum in climate dynamics and observations, numerical and statistical methods, the physical climate system, biogeochemistry, and human dimensions of climate change.
Call for Chapter Proposals: Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
The Emerald Group Publishing is compiling a volume in Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning that aims to explore the educational opportunities and challenges in integrating sustainability in higher education. Supporting Sustainable Development Goal 4, and any of the other goals being implemented in higher education, the tentative volume titles are "Integrating sustainable development into the curriculum", "Sustainable development leadership and strategies", and "University partnerships for sustainable development". One-page chapter proposals are due Oct. 3.
NUS Shares Results of Survey Regarding Students' Attitudes
The National Union of Students in the U.K. released new survey results revealing students' expectations for and experiences of teaching and learning for sustainable development. While this is the eighth year of the survey, it is the first year that the results include input from students outside of the U.K. The results say that 91 percent of students surveyed want their place of study to incorporate and promote sustainable development and 70 percent want sustainable development incorporated and promoted through all courses. Additionally, 61 percent said they would accept a lower salary than average to work in a company with a positive social and environmental record.
US Composting Council Annual Awards
The U.S. Composting Council 2018 annual awards are comprised of eight different award categories that honor either individual or organizational efforts to increase the composting market. U.S. Composting Council members can submit a nomination by Oct. 1.
U Maryland Receives $3M NSF Grant to Launch Graduate Program
The $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will be used to establish a new graduate training and research program, Global STEWARDS (STEM Training at the Nexus of Energy, Water Reuse and Food Systems). The program seeks to enable UMD to recruit and train more than 60 doctoral students in the life sciences, earth system sciences, engineering and computational sciences, natural resource management, and energy and environmental policy.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Launches Student-Written Environmental Publication
The first published issue of Q Magazine features articles from students enrolled in the undergraduate certificate in Environmental Writing, a joint venture of the university's Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, the School for Earth, Society, and Environment, and the English department. Students enrolled in the capstone course learn about the latest scientific research on the environment and how to communicate that research effectively to the public.
U Strathclyde Begins Equity & Diversity Program
(U.K.) STEM Equals is a new program for enhancing equality and diversity in science and engineering. Aided by a grant totaling $704,125 (538,568 British pounds), the program will introduce a nursery so that staff can attend key research meetings while on leave, and will establish public and private social media platforms for female and LGBT staff within the university.
Free AASHE 2018 Workshop: Financing & Legal Strategies for Renewable Energy Procurement by Colleges & Universities
This no cost pre-conference workshop outlines new opportunities for energy procurement by colleges and universities. It will include panels on The Ohio State University's innovative 50-year energy management partnership with ENGIE Services and on options for the purchase of renewable energy (including on-site and off-site generation). Elizabeth Kocs, director of Energy Institute at University of Illinois-Chicago, will give the keynote address. The workshop will take place on Monday, Oct. 1 from 2-5 p.m. at the Pittsburgh office of the law firm K&L Gates.
U Strathclyde Begins Employee Well-Being & Sustainability Program
(U.K.) Following a successful five-month pilot period, the employee well-being and sustainability program will be offered to all employees in October 2018. Employees can earn points for tracking activity in areas such as fitness, commuting and waste. Employees who receive the most points are able to win individual voucher prizes, while teams with the most points can award a charity donation.
Washington Post Covers Rise of Campus Gardens
Citing a 2015 university food gardens study co-authored by a Southern Illinois University professor of geography and director of environmental studies, the article highlights a burgeoning trend over the past decade in which college students across the country volunteer their time to get back to the land or to forge a connection to the land for the first time.
U Montana Secures $1.5M Grant to Purchase Three Electric Buses
The university can now order three new zero-emission battery electric buses thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The Associated Students of UM’s UDASH transit system was awarded the competitive grant through the FTA’s Low and No Emission Bus Program. ASUM expects to order buses this fall and receive them sometime in 2020. The new electric buses will allow Associated Students of UM to replace several diesel buses.
U Wisconsin Green Bay Offers Bike-Sharing
In partnership with Lime, the campus community now has access to shareable bikes. Riders pay $1 for 30 minutes of riding, with discounts available for students. When the ride is finished, the rider can park the bike anywhere public, as long as it is not in way of traffic or pedestrians, and lock it to end the ride.
Bucknell U Prepares Five Acre Campus Garden
Preliminary construction and site preparation began this summer on a 5-acre campus garden that will provide a platform for academic collaborations, sustainable food production, student life and wellness, and community engagement.
Western Carolina U Hosts Air Quality Monitors
Clean Air Carolina, a North Carolina advocacy group, recently provided air quality monitors at two university locations for both research and providing real-time data to the public about weather fluctuations and particle pollution in the region. Students will be involved in data collection and measuring environmental hazards, with applications for course work, research projects and regional ecological assessment.
Break Free From Plastic Campus Pledge
Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) has released a pledge to guide campuses through the long-term elimination of single-use disposable plastics. The Break Free From Plastic campus pledge and toolkit address accessibility and inclusivity concerns and generate a framework for college campuses to develop long-term systemic solutions to issues around waste.
Times Higher Education to Develop International SDGs Ranking
A new global university ranking that aims to measure institutions’ success in meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals is under development by Times Higher Education (THE). The first edition of the ranking will include metrics based on 11 SDGs and the long-term goal is to measure performance against all 17 goals. The ranking will be open to all accredited universities that teach undergraduates, and the first edition will be launched at THE’s Innovation and Impact Summit in South Korea in April 2019. Data collection will begin this autumn.
Sustainability Case Studies: Best Practices in Campus Life
This is a collection of short case studies highlighting a range of best practices that enhance environmental stewardship, improve cost and energy efficiencies, and provide for greater collaborations among students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities. Compiled by APPA, this book includes 123 best practices from 92 separate colleges, universities or schools.
U California Expands Systemwide Sustainability Goals
As part of its Carbon Neutrality Initiative, the university now aims to provide 100 percent of its electricity across its campuses and medical centers from clean sources by 2025. Additional goals include reducing energy-use intensity by 2 percent year over year and discontinuing on-site fossil fuel combustion for water and space heating in new buildings and major renovations after June 2019. Enhanced purchasing requirements supporting sustainable sourcing were adopted and each campus will reduce municipal solid waste 25 percent by 2025, and by 50 percent by 2030.
Free Online Green Office Course
Through a series of four 60-90 minute phone calls, the Green Office Course aims to help participants start or improve a green office program at a college or university. The learning goals of the course include pitching the green office model to students and staff, making the case for institutional sustainability, and designing an initial design for a green office. The English version of the course begins on Oct. 24. The deadline to apply is Oct. 16.
Campaign Calls on Food Contractors to Invest in Real Food
The Community Coalition for Real Meals recently launched a nationwide campaign urging the higher education divisions of Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo to commit to serve 25 percent "Real Food" as defined by Real Food Challenge, reduce carbon emissions and industrial animal products, invest in racial justice and equity, and increase transparency and accountability. The coalition will publish report cards on the progress of each company. The coalition is a grassroots alliance of farmers, ranchers, fishers, food workers, students and environmental advocates.
Chronicle of Higher Ed Showcases Sustainable Campus Index
In early September, The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted AASHE's 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, an impact report that spotlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability and overall by institution type. The Chronicle piece features the top 10 schools by overall score for doctoral, master's, baccalaureate and associate institutions, along with seven of 10 subcategories, which are sortable by score.
Teams From Two Universities Win Affordable Housing Design Competition
Teams from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte won first and third, while a team from California College of the Arts won second place in the 2018 Steel Design Student Competition, put on by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The Affordable Housing category is socially oriented to challenge students to design affordable multi-family housing in an urban context.