AASHE Posts ACUPCC Signatory Podcasts
AASHE has posted five podcasts recorded at the 2008 American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment Climate Leadership Summit. The podcasts feature conversations with President Thomashow of Unity College (ME), President Brennemen of Goshen College (IN), President Pfeiffer of Warren Wilson College (NC), President Johnson of the University of Minnesota, Morris, and Chancellor Spangler of Houston Community College (TX). Each Chancellor and Presidents discusses why s/he chose to sign the commitment, what it meant on their respective campuses, and more.
U New Mexico Receives EPA Energy Award
The University of New Mexico has won the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing its energy use by 20 percent. EPA recognized the University for its natural gas-fired CHP system at the Ford Utilities Center. Part of a major energy infrastructure upgrade project, the CHP system supplies the campus with roughly one-third of its total electricity demand and produces steam to help meet the space heating, space cooling, and domestic hot water production needs of more than 25,000 students, staff, and faculty. The CHP system runs with an operating efficiency of almost 65 percent and requires 20 percent less fuel than typical alternatives.
Rowan U Students Green Pharmaceutical Process
A team of Rowan University (NJ) chemical engineering students have begun working with Pfizer, Inc. to improve the environmental profile of the manufacturing process for the active ingredient in the arthritis pain medication Celebrex® (celecoxib). The project is one of several Rowan engineering clinic projects in which students are exploring green manufacturing strategies for pharmaceutical companies in the region. Started with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, the Rowan "green"
Brunswick CC Students Convert Algae Oil to Biodiesel
A group of Brunswick Community College (NC) students from the Aquaculture and Biotechnology programs have begun working on a project to extract oil from algae and convert it into biodiesel. BCC hopes that the new fuel will soon be used to power campus tractors.
Building Designed by U Kansas Students Awarded LEED Platinum
A new arts center designed by a group of University of Kansas graduate architecture students has received LEED Platinum certification. The building features wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, geothermal climate control, recycled building materials, and among other sustainability features. The building was designed and constructed by the students to honor the one year anniversary of the May 2007 tornado which devastated the town.
Warren Wilson College Residence Hall Receives LEED Gold
Warren Wilson College's (NC) Village South residence hall has received LEED Gold certification. Designed and built with input from students, the apartment-style dormitory features energy conservation, water conservation, and waste minimization measures. Warren Wilson expects the adjacent Village North dorm to achieve LEED Gold certification as well.
U Waterloo Breaks Ground on Green Building
The University of Waterloo (ON) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new $55 million Engineering V building. The six-storey building will feature glass walls, a designated green roof area, and native landscaping. Engineering V, the first of a two-phase building, will house a student design centre on its first two levels. The centre will showcase award-winning student engineering projects, such as the solar and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
Texas Tech Establishes Modified Work Schedule to Save Energy
Texas Tech has instituted a summertime modified work schedule aimed at reducing the amount of energy used on campus. Tech employees who do not work in offices that routinely interact with the public have the option of working from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a 30-minute break for lunch, according to a Tech announcement; all other employees will retain the normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday schedule. The modified schedule allows for the university cooling system to run fewer hours during the day, resulting in reduced energy use and cost. The schedule adjustment also reduces the amount of time employees spend in traffic during rush hour.
U New Mexico Purchases 4 Biodiesel Buses
The University of New Mexico has added four new biodiesel buses to its fleet. All of the campus's large shuttles are now run on biodiesel or compressed natural gas.
Rowan U Receives New Jersey Green Award
Rowan University (NJ) has received the 2008 Excellence in Education Award, given in recognition of the University's commitment, enthusiasm and community pride through cleanups, educational programs, or projects that encourage the proper handling of solid waste. The New Jersey Clean Communities Council, the organization that presented the award, recognized Rowan for its "Clean and Green Day" a regularly held event that engages students, faculty and staff in cleaning up the campus and planting shrubs and flo
Clarkson U Youth Program Focuses on Sustainable Energy
Clarkson University (NY) is offering the Young Scholars Program, a one week summer program in which, this year, talented high school students will work with faculty to identify opportunities to create a riverfront sustainable energy park as part of a new campus master plan. The students will develop proposals and models for a park that will enable the University to utilize renewable energy resources and limit its carbon emissions, while providing educational and research opportunities in renewable energy production. Additionally, the park they design must serve as a scenic recreation area. At the end of the week, the students will present their proposals and models to a panel of energy and architectural experts and Clarkson administrators.
Solutions for Our Future Features Campus Sustainability
Solutions for Our Future, a national project created to increase awareness of the many ways in which American colleges and universities serve the public, has published "Unifying Influence," an article by Bud Peterson, Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, in which he discusses how universities can join together to address climate change and other social, economic, political, and environmental challenges of our society. He also lists the various sustainability programs CU has established to h
Lafayette College Dining Services Goes Green
Lafayette College (PA) Dining Services has switched to using biodegradable products; purchasing organic, locally-grown food, and employing a more efficient waste management system. Green friendly dining products available in all dining locations on campus include clear, biodegradable cold beverage cups and take-away containers made from corn starch; plates, cups, and other types of containers made from wheat starch; and napkins generated from recycled paper. Dining Services has also begun using biodegradable hot beverage cups and is currently exploring sources for biodegradable utensils as well. Reusable hot beverage mugs and cold beverage bottles are available for purchase on campus and discounts are offered for using such renewable beverage containers. Also available in all dining locations is organic and fair-trade coffee.
U Texas Arlington Approves University Sustainability Plan
The University of Texas at Arlington president has approved the University's first Sustainability Agenda, a package of 89 actions that will involve students, faculty, and staff across the campus in protecting the environment. Created by the President's Sustainability Committee, the Agenda aims to improve the University’s environmental performance, extend the environmental curriculum, and deepen campus engagement in North Texas environmental affairs. Approved actions include: hiring a Sustainability Coordinator to facilitate the work of the President's Sustainability Committee and sustainability efforts across campus; exploring ways to green the University's curriculum and research; extending implementation of energy conservation measures; hiring student interns to undertake a thorough ecological landscape assessment; and encouraging formation of an active student environmental organization.
U New Hampshire Receives Organic Dairy Grant
The University of New Hampshire has received a $380,000 grant to study UNH's organic dairy research farm as a sustainable closed agroecosystem, exploring viable strategies for becoming energy independent. The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program aims to explore whether closing energy and nutrient cycles could help small family dairy farms in the Northeast survive economic vulnerabilities.
Triton College to Install Environmentally Friendly Roof
Triton College (IL) plans to install a one-inch layer of marble chips topping off the tar and insulation on the College Center's roof to reflect sunlight and keep the roof cool. This cooling effect will reduce cost and energy use from the building's air-conditioning and refrigeration units. Additionally, 85 percent of the original insulation will be used for the new roof. The roof has qualified for an Energy Star label.
Michigan State U Breaks Ground on Recycling Center
Michigan State University held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Recycling Center. The new facility will accommodate three times the amount of materials of the current recycling facility. A new comprehensive recycling program, coupled with the facility, will allow the university to expand recycling collection in 549 buildings on campus. The MSU Office of Recycling reports that 14 percent of the white and mixed office paper, newspaper, cardboard and plastics are diverted from trash landfills in Lansing through the current recycling program. The capture rate of these five key materials is projected to double by 2010.
Colorado State U Awards Renewable Energy Grants
The Colorado State University Clean Energy Supercluster has distributed its first set of seed grants to fund research in renewable energy sources and the policies and implications of these sources. 18 grants averaging about $20,000 each were awarded to more than 100 researches across the CSU campus. Grant winning project topics include: Developing and Sponsoring a Workshop/Conference on Cultivating Clean Renewable Energy from Understanding and Using Synthetic Biology; Development of Oilseed Crops for Biofuel Production in Colorado; The Impact of Improved Cook Stoves on Pollution Levels, Health Status, and Global Warming Potential in Nicaragua; and more.
UC Santa Barbara Recreation Center Receives LEED-EB Silver
University of California, Santa Barbara's Recreation Center has received LEED for Existing Buildings Silver certification. To achieve the certification, recycling was increased by 70%, trash was reduced by 55%, and electrical usage, natural gas and water consumption were reduced substantially, all without reducing the operational capabilities of the Recreation Center or affecting its mission of providing recreational opportunities to UCSB's faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, the Recreation Center will be installing a 133 kWh photovoltaic array on its Multi-Activity Center (MAC) roof this summer, and, in early 2009, UCBS plans to install solar thermal water heaters to provide pre-heated water for its 1.8 million gallon pool, which, in tandem with the newly installed thermally efficient pool covers, will reduce natural gas usage by 80% and save $160,000 each year. The pool is heated to a year-round 81 degrees and currently relies exclusively on natural gas.
St. Olaf College Establishes Bike Share Program
St. Olaf College (MN) has established a bike-share program on campus. "Green Bike" features a fleet of 50 bicycles parked across campus for use by members of the campus community. The free program aims to reduce the number of times people use automobiles to get across campus or into the town.
U Arkansas Launches Sustainability Newsletter
The University of Arkansas has published its first issue of "Go! Green Outreach," a quarterly electronic publication dedicated to sustainability. The first issue includes an interview with the university Executive Assistant for Sustainability, an update on the University Sustainability Council, a profile of a staff member who is incorporating sustainability into his daily life, and more. The newsletter is open to contributions from faculty, staff, and students.
Colorado College Installs 25 kW Solar Array
Colorado College has installed a 25 kW solar array on campus. The new array, which is situated on the south-facing roof of a college-owned apartment building, produces enough energy to power the equivalent of one of the campus' language-theme residential houses. The College has created a webpage to view and track the amount of power produced by the panels.
University of Toledo Establishes Wetlands on Campus
The University of Toledo (OH) has established the Environmental Remediation and Restoration Experimental Park to support research on phytoremediation, the use of plants for the treatment of environmental contaminants. Researchers will use the site to test the effectiveness of constructed wetlands in removing pollution. The Park was made possible with nearly $4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Arizona State U Plans Major Solar Installation
Arizona State University recently announced plans to install solar panels on up to 330,000 square feet of rooftop space. Three companies have been hired by the University to install the panels, which could eventually produce more than 20 percent of ASU's energy needs. The university will purchase the electricity generated from the panels at a fixed rate that is slightly lower than what it is now paying for power from Arizona Public Service Co. In the first phase of the project, approximately 2 megawatts of solar panels will be installed on 135,000 square feet of rooftop space by the end of the year.
Yale Launches Environmental Online Magazine
Yale University (CT) has launched "Yale Environment 360," a new online magazine that aims to become one of the leading websites for commentary and reporting on the crucial environmental issues of the day. The magazine’s inaugural edition features articles by noted environmental advocate and author, Bill McKibben; New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert; climate scientist Richard C.J. Somerville; marine biologist and author Carl Safina; British journalist Fred Pearce; and many other writers and thinkers.
AASHE Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards
AASHE is now accepting applications for its 2008 Sustainability Leadership Awards, to be presented in November at AASHE 2008: Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond. Four Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards will be presented. The Campus Sustainability Achievement Award recognizes the institutions that have made the greatest overall commitment to sustainability as demonstrated in their governance, curriculum and research, operations, campus culture, and community outreach. Applications are due August 1, 2008.
Call for Papers: Climate Action Planning at US Campuses
The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) have announced a call for papers for a special issue of the Journal on climate action planning at campuses in the United States. Judy Walton, AASHE's Acting Executive Director, will guest edit this special issue. Submitted articles must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length. The closing date for submissions is August 29, 2008.
Invitation to Become an AASHE 2008 Supporting Institution
In an effort to encourage strong student participation at its 2008 conference, AASHE is inviting colleges and universities to become Supporting Institutions. Supporting Institutions offer to cover the cost of participation in the conference for at least one of their students, and provide $250 to support the conference. In exchange, they will be recognized in the conference website, printed program, signage and other publicity materials.
Northern Arizona U Establishes Office of Sustainability
Northern Arizona University has established an Office of Sustainability to serve as the main point of contact for sustainability issues on campus and in the region. The Office, with falls under the purview of the Office of the President, is also tasked with implementing sustainable energy, water, transportation, purchasing, and recycling efforts on campus and developing partnerships that can bring practical application of university research to campus, the state, and the nation.
Mississippi State Students Win Sustainable Vehicle Competition
Mississippi State University has won the 2008 General Motors and U.S. Department of Energy Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainability student engineering competition. The competition challenged 17 university teams from the U.S. and Canada to reengineer a Chevrolet Equinox that employs advanced powertrain technologies. The goal is to produce a vehicle that has improved fuel economy and lower emissions, all while maintaining driver comfort and vehicle performance. University teams have followed a real world vehicle development process and integrated their advanced technology solutions into their Equinox vehicles. The Mississippi State team designed a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by bio diesel (B20). It achieved a 38 percent increase in fuel economy over the production vehicle on a modified urban test cycle. The second place vehicle, engineered by students at the University of Wisconsin, is a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle with a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by B20. Ohio State University was awarded third place for its powersplit hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine and fueled by B20. Other participants included Michigan Technological University, Pennsylvania State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN), San Diego State University (CA), Texas Tech University, University of Akron (OH), University of California, Davis, University of Michigan, University of Tennessee, University of Texas at Austin, University of Tulsa (OK), University of Waterloo (ON), Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.
Higher Ed Env'l Roles & Responsibilities in a Climate of Change Report
The Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence has published a new higher education report titled "Environmental Roles and Responsibilities in a Climate of Change." The document spotlights the evolving environmental, health, and safety assignment on college and university campuses where homeland security directives, sustainability initiatives, and emerging health and safety issues demand increasing attention. The 16-page booklet illustrates both the challenges and opportunities with narrative, quotes,
Clinton CC to Offer Wind-energy Degree
The Clinton Community College (NY) Board of Trustees has approved a resolution to create a wind energy and turbine technology associate's in applied sciences degree program. The program will be created in response to the growing need for wind energy technician in the area.
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.
AASHE Student Sustainability Leadership Awards
AASHE is now accepting applications for the 2008 Student Sustainability Leadership Award, to be presented in November at AASHE 2008: Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond. The Student Sustainability Achievement Award honors an undergraduate student from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability. Applications are due August 1, 2008. The Student Sustainability Leadership Award includes a $750 prize. In addition, the winner of this year's award will be featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record .
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
Portland State U Partners with Community to Win Service Award
Portland State University (OR), in partnership with the city of Portland and 112 community-based organizations in greater Portland has won the National Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration. The group won the award for its Community Watershed Stewardship Program, an initiative in which over 27,000 community volunteers have donated a quarter million hours to install 80,000 plants and restore 50 acres of watershed along two miles of river. Additionally, individual projects have been led and supported by 700 students working as part of class projects, resulting in two master’s theses and three research articles.
North Country CC To Establish Alternative Energy Program
North Country Community College (NY) has received a $50,000 grant to design a two-year degree and training program in alternative energy. The new program will initially focus on wind-power technician training with hopes to include special tracks on low-end hydropower generation and solar energy in the future. The grant was provided by Noble Environmental Power of Connecticut.
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.