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.
U Virginia Building Achieves LEED Silver for Rotunda Renovation
The renovation of the university's Rotunda building, which took from 2012 to 2016, included upgraded, energy-efficient HVAC and plumbing systems, and conversion of all lights to LEDs. The paints, adhesives and sealants all included low volatile organic compounds and 95 percent of the materials that were removed from the historic building were recycled.
National Wildlife Federation EcoLeaders Survey for Students
Students are encouraged to take a research survey designed to help the National Wildlife Federation grow its EcoLeaders online community and provide professional development and career services to students and young professionals interested in sustainability work. The deadline to take the survey is Feb. 16.
Call for Applications: SustainUS Board of Directors
SustainUS is a youth-led organization advancing justice and sustainability by empowering young people to engage in advocacy at the domestic and international levels. Those who want to take a role in supporting the organization can apply to serve on its board of directors.
SUNY Announces Partnership to Support Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency Advancements
In her State of the University address earlier this year, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson called for purchasing 100 percent of SUNY’s electricity from zero-carbon sources and deep energy retrofits at SUNY campuses, which represent 40 percent of state-owned buildings. To support this effort, she announced a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to support eligible SUNY campuses to develop energy master plans and provide access to on-site energy managers who can identify areas for improvement and engage in strategic planning and feasibility studies.
North Carolina State U Installs Scoreboards Powered By The Sun
In November, University Recreation installed two solar-powered scoreboards in the Method Road Field Complex, where Wolfpack club and intramural sports teams host approximately 250 games and 500 practices each year. The solar kit’s batteries store energy so that the scoreboards can be used on cloudy days, as well as evenings. A grant from the university's Sustainability Fund helped fund the scoreboards, which will save an estimated $400 annually in avoided electricity costs.
Call For Scripts: Social Issues Theater
Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is now accepting submissions for its spring 2018 National Call for Scripts, which aims to address complex, timely and often difficult social issues that connect deeply to university communities and beyond, through performances followed by post-performance audience dialogues. The theme will focus explicitly on social justice as environmental justice. Selected scripts are given an award payment. Scripts must be submitted by no later than Feb. 28.
Parkland College Approves 2MW Solar Energy Farm
The board of the community college approved a contract in mid-January to build a 2 megawatt solar energy field on campus. Under terms of the agreement, Parkland expects to save $25,000 to $30,000 annually on its electricity costs and would pay none of the upfront or operating costs of the system. The solar field would provide between 10 and 15 percent of Parkland's energy use.
EAUC Releases Sustainability in Education Report
(U.K.) The Sustainability in Education report, recently released by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and others, is based on research from a sample of 500 staff members from universities, colleges and students’ unions in the U.K. Some of the key findings include one in three respondents reported sustainability as a strategic priority for the institution they work at, up seven percent from 2016, yet one percent of respondents felt their institution was doing all it could to progress environmental and social responsibility.
U Iowa Adopts 'Climate for Change' Theme for Spring Semester
The Climate for Change theme aims to get students to think about the environmental problems they may face in the future. Throughout the semester, the university will offer events on destruction of natural resources, climate change, and food and water insecurity.
Brandeis U Receives $8.4M Gift for Social Justice Initiatives
A former rehabilitation doctor who visited Brandeis just once, but felt a strong connection to its social justice values, left the university an $8.4 million gift, which will provide financial aid for four to five students in the Sustainable International Development program and support research and program development in the Center for Global Development and Sustainability.
Raritan Valley CC Announces Carbon Neutrality
The community college has offset its Scope 1 emissions by acquiring carbon offsets, mostly from wind energy and some from landfill gas. Since 2014, the college has offset all Scope 2 emissions by purchasing renewable energy certificates.
Keele U Partners on Large-Scale Smart Energy Project
(U.K.) The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator will be a single, integrated electricity, gas and heat system that includes the digitalization of 24 substations and the installation over 1,500 smart meters, 500 home controllers and a five megawatt renewable integration package. Developed in partnership with Siemens, the project will provide analysis of energy consumption to enable demand management and allow businesses to access the university's infrastructure in order to develop and test renewable and smart energy technologies.
U New South Wales to Go 100% Solar
(Australia) A 15-year power purchase agreement will enable the university to achieve its goal of carbon neutral energy use by 2020.. Starting in 2019, the university will purchase up to 140,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough solar energy to meet 100 percent of its electricity use.
Florida State U to Procure Solar Energy
The university recently entered into a partnership with the City of Tallahassee to procure approximately 20 million kilowatt-hours of solar energy per year, which is about 10 percent of the energy consumption of FSU’s main campus.
U Colorado Boulder Installs Vertical, Aeroponic Greenhouse
The new greenhouse is equipped with 140 towers, each of which contains 44 plants that are watered through a tube in the middle. The harvested greens go from the towers to a washing station a few feet away then to the salad bar at Village Center dining hall.
U California Los Angeles Reduces Travel Emissions With Fee
A new university program reduces the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from university business-related air travel by assessing a carbon mitigation fee for these flights. A $9 fee will be applied to each domestic round-trip flight and a $25 fee to each international round-trip flight. Air travel mitigation fees will be placed into a fund, which will then be made available annually to the campus to finance university projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The pilot program will run from January 2018 through December 2020.
Call for Proposals: 2018 AASHE Conference & Expo
Submissions are being accepted for the 2018 AASHE Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 2-5, 2018. With the theme “Global Goals: Rising to the Challenge”, the conference provides a platform to examine the critical role of higher education in achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. All accepted presenters receive a discount applicable to full conference registration. The submission period closes Feb. 16.
Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship & Change-Making Learning Outcomes Survey
Ashoka U is curating a publication tentatively called Trends in Changemaking Learning Outcomes, which is designed to support educators as they develop change-making offerings at their institutions. The product will share trends in the learning outcomes driving social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and change-making education and highlight examples. Ashoka U encourages people to participate in a survey to capture curricular and co-curricular learning outcomes designed for single courses, course sequences, venture incubators, fellowships, change-maker leadership programming, or other change-maker offerings. The deadline for submission is Feb.12th.
New Issue: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
The new issue includes several articles covering assessment and reporting of sustainability in higher education. Other articles cover participation of students as authors of sustainability reports, analysis of innovations in campus sustainability, and an investigation into bolstering sustainability in food on a campus.
Pennsylvania State U University Park Building Earns LEED Silver
Improvements to the university's Steidle Building included installation of two new HVAC systems with heating and cooling based on occupancy, LED lighting with occupancy sensors and ability to self-adjust based on natural light, dual-pane windows with added insulation between interior and exterior walls, new roof and insulation, and low-flow energy-efficient fume hoods. Lobby furniture was made from recycled materials and materials were sourced from within 500 miles of campus.
Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Open to undergraduate or graduate students studying organic and/or regenerative agriculture, Annie's is accepting applications for its scholarship program, which will grant $20,000 in funding to 20 students. Applications are being accepted until March 15.