U Helsinki Establishes Institute of Sustainability Science
(Finland) The newly formed Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science seeks to solve global sustainability issues by focusing primarily on the study of cities, the global south and Arctic areas, systems of sustainable consumption and production, and the theory and methods of sustainability science. Ten new professorships are being established in conjunction with the new institute, connecting nearly 200 researchers from six different faculties.
Green Office Implementation Online Course
The online course from rootAbility and Leuphana University Lüneburg aims to help students and staff establish a student-led sustainability team that works alongside them on student engagement and communication. The program is based on the Green Office Model, which won the 2015 UNESCO Prize on Education for Sustainable Development.
Northern Arizona U Initiates Collaboration to Benefit Pollinators
The Office of Sustainability manages the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative, an initiative that promotes the creation, protection and registration of pollinator habitat across Northern Arizona. Two pollinator gardens have been installed–one on campus and one in the community. The program recently secured a grant that will pay wages to the part-time director and for the creation of a regional pollinator plan.
Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments
Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments is a book that seeks to confront the contexts that make environmental pedagogies difficult, the challenges to the well-being of the teacher-scholar, and the corrosive academic structures that compartmentalize knowledge and people. The collection simultaneously offers models for working through and within these challenges to advance understandings and ways of being on local, global and personal levels.
Call for Abstracts: Symposium on Sustainability in University Campuses
The second Symposium on Sustainability in University Campuses, themed transforming campuses towards sustainable development, is accepting abstract proposals for its December 2018 conference in Italy. The aim of the conference is to demonstrate the role of campuses as platforms for transformative social learning and research, and explore the means by which university campuses can be made more sustainable. Abstracts are due March 25.
Survey on Sustainability Initiatives of Higher Education Institutions
This survey is collecting data related to introducing and maintaining the sustainable development strategies and activities at different universities. It will catalog and examine the different challenges and opportunities for integrating sustainability into the institution, whether throughout the whole organization or in a partial manner.
AASHE Publishes 2017 Annual Report
AASHE’s recently released annual report details accomplishments and progress throughout 2017, spotlighting STARS, educational and professional development opportunities, the AASHE Sustainability Awards, the 2017 conference and expo, resources, a membership profile and information about two news initiatives launched last year – a mentorship program and the AASHE Affiliates program.
North Carolina State U Launches Composting Program in Campus Apartments
Residents of a campus apartment complex now have access to kitchen composting courtesy of a compost collection program started by a student. So far, about 60 apartments are participating in the program, which requires residents to empty their containers in an outdoor composting dumpster. The material is then transported to a nearby composting facility for processing.
California State U Northridge Rolls Out Bike Rental Program
In mid-January, LimeBike delivered 400 bicycles to the campus that are now part of a rental program to provide an alternative mode of transportation to the campus community. There is no membership fee required, however the rental fee is 50 cents per half hour with no time limit. Solar-powered GPS units will allow the university to determine where bike lanes are most needed.
U Maryland Secures $18.3M for Energy Conservation Projects
The Maryland Clean Energy Center has allocated $18.3 million to the university for the development of an energy-efficiency project across eight buildings. The project includes LED lighting upgrades, water conservation measures and lab ventilation controls upgrades. The project will reduce campus-wide energy consumption by approximately six percent.
Northern Arizona U Pilots Reusable Containers
In an effort to reduce waste and recycling, the university implemented a program in January 2018 to gauge student interest in using reusable containers. Students pay a one-time fee of $5 for a container that can be used at several dining facilities. The NAU Green Fund spearheaded the campaign to get the container system on campus.
Duke U Partners With Delta Airlines on Carbon Offset Initiative
The university and Delta Airlines covered the cost of 1,000 trees that will be planted in Duke's hometown of Durham, North Carolina. The purchase, facilitated by Urban Offsets, simultaneously offsets carbon from all university business travel on Delta in 2017. The 1,000 trees are equal to 5,000 carbon credits and will be planted during the 2017-18 planting season in neighborhoods found to have insufficient tree cover, according to a 2016 survey by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
U Rhode Island Building Earns LEED Gold
The university’s newly certified Chemical and Forensic Sciences Center contains exhaust hoods and snorkels with sensors that activate them when teaching and learning laboratories are in use and power them down when they are idle, occupancy sensors for interior lighting, LED technology for exterior lights, and a rain garden.
Moraine Valley CC Achieves Arboretum Accreditation
The community college was recently acknowledged with Arboretum Accreditation-Level I status through the ArbNet program. The accreditation acknowledges the school's effort to have a healthy and robust tree canopy, while providing educational opportunities about the trees. Thus far, 1,322 trees in 77 distinct species have been mapped while efforts are still underway to identify and map more area.
Aggregating Higher Education Demand for Renewables: A Primer
This primer highlights the benefits to higher education institutions of aggregating energy demand with other institutions to achieve economies of scale when sourcing renewable energy. It describes best practices for pursuing group renewable energy aggregations structured as power purchase agreements (PPAs) and examines several completed group purchases as well as some in progress.
2018 AASHE Conference & Expo Call for Proposals Closes Feb. 16
The last day to submit a proposal and/or sign up to be a reviewer for the 2018 AASHE Conference & Expo is Feb. 16. Hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 2-5, the conference theme is “Global Goals: Rising to the Challenge” and will focus on the critical role of higher education in achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which are ambitious global targets to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. All accepted presenters receive a discount applicable to full conference registration.
AASHE Member Discount Expires Soon: 10% Off Sustainability & Behavior Change Certificate
AASHE members can receive a 10 percent discount on tuition for all courses associated with the Sustainability and Behavior Change Certificate through the University of California San Diego Extension. The new certificate in Sustainability and Behavior Change provides an online setting for an advanced educational training in conservation psychology, behavior change strategies and community engagement tools. The discount expires Feb. 28.
Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment Program
Designed for underrepresented undergraduate students who want to be environmental scientists, the Brooklyn Urban Ecology and Environment Program is a National Science Foundation sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates program aimed at developing practical experience in research integrity, scientific communication and quantitative literacy.
Bemidji State U Unveils Center for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The new Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a student-driven initiative that promotes and reinforces fundamental values of civic engagement and leadership, and international and multicultural understanding in a space safe for all students, faculty and staff. Dr. Brian V. Xiong has been hired as the center’s coordinator.
Report and Action Plan for Affordable Textbooks
Open 101: An Action Plan for Affordable Textbooks is a report that investigates high textbook prices for common courses at U.S. higher education institutions. It contains recommendations that could save students a lot of money on the materials they buy for general education classes.
University Deans Refuse Funding From Tobacco-Tied Anti-Smoking Group
Seventeen American and Canadian public health schools have signed a pledge saying they won't work with or accept money from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, an anti-smoking group funded by Philip Morris International. Philip Morris International plans to contribute close to $1 billion to fund the organization, whose mission is to reduce illness and death from smoking. The statement claims both the tobacco industry and Philip Morris International have a long history of funding research in ways meant to purposely confuse the public and advance their own interests.
University Sustainable Development Best Practice Report
At the World Economic Forum in January 2018, the International Sustainable Campus Network in collaboration with the Global University Leaders Forum released Sustainable Development: Educating with Purpose, a report that includes 42 campus sustainability case studies provided by universities across the globe focused on sustainable development. The report is separated by the following chapters: Living Lab Approach, Equality and Wellbeing for All, Sustainability on Campus, Education as a Catalyst.
Queen’s U Belfast Opens Research Center for Renewable Energy
(U.K.) Working with a number of partners across Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland, the $12 million (9.7 million euros) research center for renewable energy projects will recruit 34 doctorate students across the marine and bio-energy disciplines to research the use of tidal and wave power generation.
Bucknell U Names New Director of Sustainability Center
The Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment's new director is Peter Mark Jansson, a Bucknell professor of electrical and computer engineering. Being active in many of the university's sustainability initiatives, Jansson is a co-founder of the Institute for Leadership in Sustainable Technology, an interdisciplinary experiential-learning summer program in which student teams act as sustainability consultants in residential and commercial settings. He is also an adviser to the Renewable Energy Scholars. His research and teaching interests include solar energy engineering, smart electric grids, sustainable transportation, and problems related to energy and the environment.
U Wisconsin–Madison Increases Pay for Staff & Faculty by 4%
The university has announced that the 2017–2019 pay plan will be distributed to faculty and staff in phases, with the first two percent increase taking effect in July 2018 and the second two percent in January of 2019. Other recent compensation changes designed to benefit some of the university's lowest-paid workers included an increase in the living wage standard to $13.01 per hour beginning Dec. 24, 2017, and an increase in the differential pay for employees working night and weekend shifts.
Tsinghua U Earns LEED Gold on Schwarzman College
(China) The 200,000-square-foot building is connected to a RESET Certified air quality monitoring system, which uses a cloud-based tool to provide metrics regarding the performance of indoor air filtration. The system makes air quality data available to all building occupants.