Clean Air Cool Planet Online Campus Climate Action Toolkit
Clean Air-Cool Planet has released the newest version of its online Campus Climate Action Toolkit (CCAT). It is intended to model what an actual published Campus Climate Action Plan might look like and provide direction for creating a new plan. It consists of guidance for every aspect of "campus climate action" along with hyperlinks to technical resources and examples/case studies that will help people understand, plan, and execute or implement the CCAP's various elements.
3 Institutions Establish LED Research Center
The National Science Foundation has announced plans to establish a new Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) to supplant the common light bulb with next-generation lighting devices that are smarter, greener, and ready for innovation. The NSF-funded Smart Lighting Center, which is supported by University of New Mexico and Boston University (MA), will investigate and develop light-emitting diode (LED) technologies. Twenty faculty researchers from Rensselaer, along with 10 researchers from BU and UNM, will staff the new center.
Purdue U Students to Build Green Habitat for Humanity Home
Students in Purdue University's (IN) Engineering Projects in Community Service program has announced plans to partner with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity to build a home in a nearby town that uses standards for environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings. The project is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund. As part of the project, students and Habitat personnel will identify and analyze green building strategies, build the home, and design training for other Habitat affiliates to use in building similar green homes. The design will use best practices for building a green home that can be followed by a volunteer work force.
DOE Awards $4.4M to U.S. Universities for Biofuels Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded 6 U.S. Universities a total of $4.4 million to support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The following schools received awards: the University of Toledo (OH), Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), Montana State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Maine, and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.
SUNY Cobleskill Breaks Ground for Green Technology Center
The State University of New York Cobleskill has broken ground on its new Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST). The new structure will be a center for teaching, learning, and research in green technology. SUNY Cobleskill’s CEST will house research in the conversion of agricultural and municipal waste to clean energy through gasification. The college has been allocated nearly $4 million from the US Departments of Defense and Energy for the research.
Johns Hopkins U Secures Funding for Campus Sustainability Initiatives
The Johns Hopkins University (MD) associate financial deans have authorized funding for the campus' Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program (SHIP). SHIP will offer funding for students and employees who have ideas for practical green projects on campus. Projects may receive funding as long as they reduce environmental impacts, do not interfere with ongoing projects, and do not require any ongoing maintenance. The funding will be allocated by the SHIP executive board, which consists of five students, and an evaluations committee.
Climate Crews Challenge
The People Speak.org invites proposals for its Climate Crews 2008/2009 competition. Students are invited to submit a proposal on how their school could improve its Sustainable Endowments Coalition College Sustainability Report Card grade. Submissions will be accepted from non-Report Card schools as well. The top 10 Climate Crew submissions will win $500 to help pay for the submitted campus project; an invitation to a Washington, DC training to meet leading climate, energy, and sustainability experts; and an on-campus sustainability and endowment seminar from SEI. Proposals are due November 24, 2008.
List of Sustainability Research Inventories
AASHE has released a list of Sustainability Research inventories. The list highlights institutions that have identified their sustainability research activities. The resource is available to AASHE members only.
New York Times Features Campus Bike Programs
The New York Times has published an article entitled, "With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus." The article mentions the University of New England's (ME) and Ripon College's (WI) bike give-away programs, Mercer University's (GA) and Emory University's (GA) bike rental programs, and Saint Xavier University's (IL) computer-driven bike sharing program. The goal of campus bike programs, according to the article, is to reduce the number of parking spaces needed on campus and to promote a hea
U Florida Dedicates Pilot Ethanol Plant
The University of Florida has dedicated a pilot ethanol plant on its campus. The plant will research using genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert plant waste into ethanol. Funded as part of a $4.5 million state grant, the plant will also be used to train graduate students.
Carnegie Mellon U Announces Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency
Carnegie Mellon University (PA) and APC by Schneider Electric have announced the establishment of the APC Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency Research. The APC Research Fellowships, which are intended to increase the number of students engaged in data center efficiency research, support Ph.D. students at Carnegie Mellon with research foci in the area of data center efficiency.
Colorado State U Names Managing Director of Climate Initiatives
Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley has appointed Aaron Levi, formerly his chief of staff, as managing director of Climate Initiatives and Carbon Assets to manage the University's plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 and to oversee other university-wide environmental efforts. As operations manager, he'll work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to develop a long-term strategy and track the University's sustainability and energy management plans. He also will ensure the University completes its prior sustainability commitments, including the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the AASHE STARS pilot project.
James Madison U Opens Inst for the Stewardship of the Natural World
James Madison University (VA) has announced the formation of the Institute for the Stewardship of the Natural World. The role of the institute will be to coordinate and facilitate JMU's pursuit of sustainability, environmental stewardship, and a broader sense of citizenship which includes fostering, informing, and documenting sustainability-related education, outreach, and scholarship. The ISNW will be led by Executive Director Christie-Joy Brodrick Hartman, who previously served as associate professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology and co-director of the university's Alternative Fuels Program.
Vanderbilt U to Expand Financial Aid
Vanderbilt University (TN) has announced plans to replace all need-based student loans with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance starting in the fall of 2009. Funded through a combination of strategic budget allocations and Vanderbilt’s Shape the Future fund-raising campaign, the initiative – designed to increase access to a Vanderbilt education across all income levels – has already reduced the average overall indebtedness of graduating seniors by 17 percent. This program will apply to all undergraduates with demonstrated need who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. In addition, all seniors set to graduate in May 2009 will have their need-based loans for the spring 2009 semester replaced with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance.
Ohio U Approves Sustainability Implementation Plan
The Ohio University Board of Trustees have approved a plan to implement House Bill 251, a state-level law that requires all state-funded colleges and universities to develop a 15-year plan for implementing energy-efficiency and conservation projects, with the goal of reducing building energy consumption at least 20 percent by 2014, using 2004 as the benchmark year. In addition to a 20 percent energy reduction, OU's implementation plan seeks the same level of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve these ends, at least 20 percent of capital budget allocations must be put toward infrastructure efficiency projects, according to the plan. The implementation plan will also help the University meet the requirements of Vision OHIO's call for an institutional commitment to sustainability and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
3 BC Campuses Pilot Beyond Climate Neutral Initiative
The University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and Thomson Rivers University have begun piloting the "goBEYOND" Initiative before it expands to other B.C. institutions in 2009. Funded by the B.C. government and B.C. Hydro, the program will engage students through lectures, workshops, presentations, and challenges to take climate action -- as individuals, on campus, and in their community. The program plans to launch a website that will offer students training and tools to reduce their emi
U Minnesota Morris Dedicates Biomass Gasification Facility
The University of Minnesota Morris has dedicated its new biomass gasification facility. The new facility will use approximately 9,000 tons of biomass per year, which will include local corn residue, wood chips, and possibly grasses to offset roughly 80 percent of UMM’s fossil fuel usage. The University plans to purchase energy sources from area farmers and producers. The new facility is part of the University's plan to be energy self-sufficient by 2010. The project also received one of 12 energy grants from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy for $1.89 million to conduct research on carbon sequestration. Additionally, during the dedication ceremony, the American Council on Renewable Energy presented the University with a Campus Excellence Award. UMM received the award for “Outstanding Use of Renewable Energy.
U System of Georgia Challenges Institutions to Reduce Energy
The University System of Georgia has challenged its 35 institutions to take immediate measures to reduce utility consumption in an effort to reduce costs. As a result, East Georgia College has adopted a goal of reducing energy consumption by 6% during Fiscal Year 09 and of continuing to reduce water consumption in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order issued in October of 2007. To help meet this goal, East Georgia College has moved to a condensed work week. East Georgia College's new hours of operations are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
Montana State U Students Approve Recycling Fee
Students at Montana State University have voted to approve a $3.50 per semester fee to support a new campus recycling program. The measure passed by a vote of 1,471 to 865. If the fee is approved by the state Board of Regents it will go into effect for the spring 2009 semester. The fee would raise $70,000 a year to hire a full-time employee who would be in charge of the recycling effort and its future expansion.
Oregon State U Launches Sustainability Blog
The Oregon State University Sustainability Office has launched Ecologue , a blog about sustainability at OSU. The new blog aims to provide a space for casual discussion, creative outlet, and constructive criticism on sustainability at OSU. The new blog will allow for ad-hoc posts and regular contributors.
Quinnipiac U York Hill Announces $4 M Sustainability Plan
Quinnipiac University (CT) has unveiled a $4 million sustainability plan for its new York Hill campus. The 250-acre campus will feature a wind garden composed of 42 vertical-axis wind turbines that will generate about 84,000 kilowatt hours per year and photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of a campus residence hall that will generate about 250,000 kilowatt hours per year. QU President John L. Lahey also announced that a new student affairs position, an environmental coordinator, will be appointed to educate students, faculty, and staff about environmental issues and encourage projects that help protect and preserve the environment. Other green initiatives to take place on the new campus include the installation of a green roof, a recycling center, native landscaping, a gas-fired microturbine to generate a portion of the electricity required for the site, and a bio-detention pond that collects and cleanses storm water runoff to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality.
Morningside College Signs Talloires Declaration
Morningside College (IA) has signed the Talloires Declaration. The Talloires Declaration is a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities. Over 350 university presidents and chancellors in more than 40 countries have signed the Declaration.
College of William & Mary Forms Sustainability Steering Ctte
The College of William and Mary (VA) has formed a steering committee of campus members to develop, plan, and recommend strategies for implementing the College's new sustainability policy. The new Committee on Sustainability includes students, faculty, and staff members who have passion for improving the campus environment. The first task of the steering committee will be to set the agendas and priorities of its subcommittees. The committee will also administer funds generated from the College's new annual $30 green fee which was approved last spring.
U Colorado, Colorado Springs to Install Solar Thermal System
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has announced plans to install a 68-panel solar thermal system for pool heating on its new Recreation Center. The new solar thermal system will offset more than 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The system will be installed this fall. The Recreation Center is registered for LEED Silver certification.
Simon Fraser U Unveils Green Building
Simon Fraser University (BC) has opened Blusson Hall, a green building that will house the Faculty of Health Sciences. The $56.9-million, 12,000 square meter complex features a green roof, sustainably harvested wood products, limited use of off-gassing construction materials, storm-water collection for irrigation, radiant-floor heating, and abundant natural light. The structure has been built to exceed LEED Silver standards.
UW River Falls Survey Shows that Students Support Going off the Grid
A recent survey completed by students at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls showed that 95 percent of students support the University's plan to go off the grid by 2012 by lobbying the state for funds. Additionally, 65 percent of students were in favor of raising student tuition to cover the cost of the plan.
RIT to Launch Ph.D. in Sustainability
The Rochester Institute of Technology has received New York state approval for its doctoral degree in sustainability. The Ph.D. program will focus on sustainable production and will seek to advance research and education in alternative energy development, sustainable design, green product development, industrial ecology, and pollution prevention. The program will be offered through RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. RIT plans to admit students into the program immediately and is also recruiting additional faculty and research associates. The development of the program was made possible through an initial grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
U Arizona Makes Biosphere 2 More Sustainable
The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 has begun offering opportunities for UA faculty and students who work on sustainability research or who are involved in a sustainability-relevant course to do experiments or projects within the biosphere. Additionally, Biosphere two currently features an on-site recycling program and will soon contain a rainwater catchment system. In addition, landscape architecture students are developing designs for a new master site plan to better serve visitors and incorporate new sustainable systems in Biosphere 2 operations.
Interview with Princeton Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs
AASHE has posted an interview between Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, and University of Kentucky student Tate White. Oppenheimer is a scholar on global warming and has participated actively on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as one of the co-authors of the Fourth Assessment Report. In the interview, Oppenheimer discusses his thoughts on the role of higher education in addressing climate change.
Endangered Environmental Laws Student Writing Competition
The Environmental Law Institute invites law students to submit papers exploring current issues of constitutional environmental law. Any topic addressing recent developments or trends in U.S. environmental law that have a significant constitutional or "federalism" component will be accepted. Any relevant article, case comment, note, or essay may be submitted, including writing submitted for academic credit. A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded along with publication in the Environmental Law Reporter .
Cal Poly Starts Composting Program
The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo has started a composting program on campus. The new program combines uncooked leftovers from the Campus Dining hall and plant clippings from the campus farm to produce compost. The program, which started in the spring through a county grant, uses an estimated 10 percent of the food waste produced on campus.
New AASHE Member Discounts – LEED Training & Smart Strips
AASHE has announced two new discounts for members. LEEDLearn is offering a ~10 percent discount to AASHE members on their Platinum Package, an online study course to help clients pass the LEED 2.2 New Construction exam. The course is taught by Bharat Patel, faculty of the USGBC and past chair of the USGBC-LA chapter. Bits Limited is offering AASHE members the wholesale rate – a discount of 38 percent or more – for cases of their Smart Strips, which can be used to save energy on computers, TVs, & home entertainment systems.
RMI Announces 'Campus Climate-Change Initiatives' Winners
The Rocky Mountain Institute has invited 12 U.S. campuses to host a two-day site visit by RMI this fall and later to collaborate with each other, RMI and AASHE in a workshop to reduce the barriers to becoming a carbon neutral campus. Participating institutions, which had to apply to be invited, include Harford Community College (MD), Richland College (TX), Lakeshore Technical College (WI), the University of Minnesota, Morris, Furman University (SC), Unity College (ME), Luther College (IA), Colorado State University,the University of Vermont, the University of Missouri, Tufts University (MA), and Yale University (CT).
CGI Announces Winners of Outstanding Commitment Awards
Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and the Wal-Mart Foundation have announced the winners of forty-four student grants and two university grants through the CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards. Winners will receive funding for their CGI U Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable plans to address a global challenge of the winners’ choosing. The Awards are designed to support innovative, high-impact work that creates lasting and positive social change, most notably within CGI U’s focus areas – energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation. One university award was given to Dillard University (LA) and Brown University (RI) to ensure that Dillard is rebuilt in an environmentally sustainable manner, encouraging faculty, students, and staff from Brown and Dillard to collaborate in advancing energy efficiency, curriculum and research development, and community projects, incorporating recycling and transportation improvements into Dillard’s new community. The second university award was given to the College of Menominee Nation in support of its commitment to ensure that principles of sustainability are adopted at all tribal colleges in the United States.
Spring Arbor U Receives Biodiesel Grant
Spring Arbor University (MI) has received a $400 Innovative Activities Grant from the American Chemical Society to fund a student project that will seek to produce gallons of biodiesel for use on campus. The team of students hopes to create enough biodiesel to power the maintenance department's utility vehicles and lawnmowers that currently run on diesel. The University plans to match the grant.
Cornell U Dining Hall Goes Trayless
Cornell University (NY) has begun a new initiative to eliminate the use of trays in its dining halls. Cornell officials removed the trays from Risley Dining Hall, the first dining facility to participate in the new initiative, after a successful pilot program in the beginning of the semester.
UT Arlington Expands Free Tuition Program
The University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Promise financial aid program has expanded its offerings to include free tuition for students whose household income is $65,000 or less and are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. The expanded program will begin in January of 2009 for the spring semester. The current threshold is $40,000, which was increased from $25,000 earlier this year. New freshmen students are eligible for the Maverick Promise for up to 5 years and new transfer students are eligible for up to 3 years.
Hydrogen Student Design Contest
The Hydrogen Education Foundation invites submissions for its Hydrogen Student Design Contest. The contest challenges teams of university-level students from the U.S. and abroad to develop and design hydrogen applications for real-world use. This year's competition challenges teams to design a new green Student Center powered by hydrogen for the State University of New York, Farmingdale with an imaginary budget of $28 million. Entries are due on December 19, 2008.
The College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge
The Brita Products Company invites proposals for its College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge Grant Program. Undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing in an accredited secondary college or university in the U.S. are encouraged to prepare a proposal and budget for a program that is either action-based or will create tangible results in the interest of helping to protect the environment. The program should be initiated and make significant progress towards completion by April 2009. Up to five $10,000 grants will be awarded. The deadline to apply is November 14, 2008.
EPA Research Fellowships for Undergrad Environmental Study
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of its Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) program, is offering GRO undergraduate fellowships for bachelor level students in environmental fields of study. Subject to availability of funding, the Agency plans to award approximately 20 new fellowships by July 31, 2009. Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer between their junior and senior years. The fellowship provides up to $19,250 per year of academic support and up to $8,000 of internship support for a three-month summer period. Applicants attending fully accredited four year U.S. institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. The deadline for receipt of pre-applications is December 11, 2008.
Paper on Reasons for Green College Admissions Processes
ConnectEDU has released a "green" paper entitled, "Why 2008 is the Year of Green Admissions." The paper is a report of research conducted to evaluate student perspectives around going green as they approach college admission. The paper reports on how green accomplishments affect college choice and how campuses can be socially responsible during the admission process. The Connect! Green Survey, a survey which polled the high school class of 2009 for the report, found that, although colleges are engaged in
2008 Guide to Social & Env'l Issues in Grad Business Programs
Net Impact has released its 2008 issue of Business as UNusual . The publication is a report of a survey sent to MBA students to evaluate their own institutions in the areas of social and environmental issues. The report includes school profiles, which contain information on curriculum, student activities, career services and alumni, administrative support, and reasons to attend, and provides ratings and aggregate responses from the survey.
Trinity College Launches BYOB Initiative
Trinity College (CT) has launched its Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) initiative. The program, which is funded by a donation from the Student Government Association, purchases brightly colored aluminum bottles for students to use in dining halls on campus. The purpose of the program, which was started by a student on campus, aims to challenge students to think about the waste created by using plastic water bottles.
Ryerson U Kiosks Promote Environmental Goals
Ryerson University (ON) has installed three new touch screen kiosks on campus that promote Ryerson's environmental goals. Students can click on the large blue information kiosks to find out more about RU's environmental initiatives and what they can do to help Ryerson achieve its green goals. More kiosks are scheduled to be built in the coming months.
Sustainable Endowments Institute Announces Innovator Awards
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has announced the winners of its Sustainability Innovator Awards. These awards serve to recognize sustainability innovators among colleges and universities with smaller endowments that also merit recognition. This year's winners include Green Mountain College (VT), Northland College (WI), and the University of Prince Edward Island.