List of Academic Programs on Sustainability & Environmental Law
AASHE had prepared a series of new resources on sustainability in legal education. The resources include lists of graduate programs in sustainability and environmental law, as well as a list of academic centers focused on sustainability and environmental law. The resources are available only to AASHE members.
Breakthrough Generation Fellowships
Breakthrough Generation is recruiting for a Fellowship Program that will select up to ten of the country’s top young organizers and thinkers to develop a vision and strategy for a new youth progressive movement. BG is seeking highly motivated, capable, and innovative young leaders who are willing to challenge accepted political norms. Fellowships include a $5,000 grant to support independent projects that both achieve on-the-ground local green solutions and advance the larger movement for a major national investment in clean energy, attendance at the spring and fall summits, and participation in the summer conference. Applications are due at 5p.m. on March 21, 2008.
Coca-Cola, National Recycling Coalition Bin Grant Program
The Coca-Cola and National Recycling Coalition Recycling Bin Grant Program supports local community recycling programs by providing bins to selected grant recipients for the collection of beverage container recyclables in public settings. Grants will be provided to a limited number of applicants who can demonstrate how their proposals will lead to sustainable recycling opportunities. The grant program is open to government, civic, school, non-profit groups and for-profit companies. Applications are due April 4, 2008.
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Podcast
AASHE has posted a podcast on STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The podcast gives an introduction to the rating system and the categories therein. The discussion also covers the process campuses will use to complete an assessment and receive an overall sustainability rating.
Whitman C to Establish $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund
Whitman College (WA) recently announced its plan to establish a $100,000 revolving loan fund for sustainability initiatives. The fund will be launched during the 2008 – 2009 school year and will correspond with a call for proposals from students, faculty and staff. Half of the money will come from Whitman's life cycle program, which is mainly for building maintenance. The additional $50,000 will come from year-end surpluses. The College also plans to hire a current student or recent graduate as Sustainability Coordinator for the campus.
Alternative Spring Break: Combating Climate Change
The University of California, Santa Barbara and Campus Progress invite applicants for Combating Climate Change, an alternative spring break in Santa Barbara, California from March 24 – 27, 2008. The alternative spring break will include trainings, workshops, and speakers from all aspects of the climate movement, including environmental justice, sustainability, and environmental policy. Located right on the beach, the alternative spring break will educate, train, and empower students to take action on the climate crisis in their own lives, on their campuses, and on a national scale.
Princeton Announces Sustainability Plan and GHG Commitment
Princeton University (NJ) has released a Sustainability Plan that includes a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 through on-campus activities rather than purchasing off-campus offsets. The plan also mandates that all new construction and renovations be LEED Silver equivalent and commits to providing financial support for commuter use of public transportation, enhancing the campus shuttle system and ride share programs, creating better walking and biking paths, developing telecommuting policy, and replacing retired campus fleet vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles. The plan also includes goals on resource conservation, research, education, and civic engagement.
Washington U St. Louis Eliminates Student Loans
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has announced that it will eliminate need-based loans as part of its undergraduate financial aid awards to students from low- and middle-income families. Beginning in fall 2008, both entering freshmen and returning full-time undergraduate day-school students with parental incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to take out need-based loans and will instead receive grants from the University that will not have to be repaid. Families with parental income somewhat higher than $60,000 also may receive additional student loan relief based on demonstrated need and their financial circumstances. The additional grant aid will be funded by the increase in spending from scholarship and unrestricted endowments in the university's four schools with undergraduate programs, as well as from unrestricted university resources.
U Buffalo Releases Climate Action Report
The University at Buffalo Green Office recently released the UB Green Climate Action Report, a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set of recommendations for how the University can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and move towards climate neutrality. UB found that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on campus are building energy use and transportation. The report recommends that the campus increase renewable energy purchases, maximize energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, advocate for a better mass transit system, and increase carpooling.
U Victoria to Host Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
The provincial government of British Columbia recently allocated $94.5 million to create the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, to be hosted and led by the University of Victoria (BC). PICS will bring together top scientists, government and the private sector to develop innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. The collaboration also includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
U System Maryland Appoints Vice Chancellor of Env. Sustainability
The University System of Maryland recently appointed the president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Don Boesch, as the Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability. Boesch will remain president of UMCES while devoting efforts to overseeing a system-wide sustainability initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs. The Vice Chancellor is charged with helping to coordinate a system-wide effort to institute sustainable practices that reduce the University's impact on the environment.
Metropolis Magazine Covers Carbon Neutral Campus Efforts
Metropolis Magazine published an article in its February issue entitled "Carbon Neutral U" which highlights growing efforts by colleges and universities to reduce their carbon emissions. The article notes that "higher education has emerged as a thrilling proving ground for a sustainable society" and describes the activities of the Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group.
U Minnesota Morris to Install 2 Wind Turbines & a Steam Turbine
The University of Minnesota, Morris has received three Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a special type of tax credit bond providing the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. Authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, the bonds will allow UMM to construct two more wind turbines and to add a steam turbine that will convert steam from the biomass facility, which is currently under construction, into electricity. One of the wind turbines will be located on-campus, while the other will be located in western Minnesota and is to be shared with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Combined with a previously constructed wind turbine, the new campus turbine will allow UMM to be powered almost exclusively with wind.
UW Stout to Offer Minor in Sustainable Design & Development
The University of Wisconsin-Stout will offer a new minor in sustainable design and development beginning fall 2008. The new minor has an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural and social sciences with technical course work associated with environmental issues, and will be offered through the department of engineering and technology.
U Vermont Student Union Awarded LEED Gold
The University of Vermont's Davis Center was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The first student union to receive a LEED Gold rating, the Davis Center features a natural chimney that evacuates smoke in the event of a fire without the use of a mechanical system, sensors that regulate electric lighting based on the amount of daylight entering the space, and air conditioning, heating, and ventilation regulated by occupancy sensors. Other green elements include waterless urinals, a green roof, and 175 sensors to provide data to students, faculty, and staff on energy used for heating and cooling, electricity, water usage, soil moisture, content, and temperature on the green roof. This data will soon be displayed on the web as well.
U Buffalo Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
The University at Buffalo has a new Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy that will ensure that all the 8.5 by 11-inch paper purchased by the University will consist of 100 percent post-consumer content, chlorine-free paper. The new policy will cost the college approximately $10,000 extra per year.
Warner Pacific C Lowers Tuition
Warner Pacific College (OR) recently announced that, starting fall 2008, tuition and fees for incoming traditional undergraduate students will be 23 percent lower than the 2007 – 2008 school year. The move is intended to improve student access.
Harvard To Create Climate Task Force
Harvard University (MA) recently announced that President Drew G. Faust will soon appoint a task force to study how to reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations of the task force will form the basis of a commitment to reduce emissions that will be unveiled in June 2008.
Macalester College Hires Sustainability Manager
Macalester College (MN) has hired Suzanne Savanick Hansen as its first Sustainability Manager. Hansen's responsibilities include coordinating sustainability efforts and making connections on campus, and she hopes to create a sustainability website. The new manager has already begun her duties by co-teaching a senior level Environmental Studies seminar that will complete a greenhouse gas inventory for the College.
Cleveland State U Opens Green Bistro
Cleveland State University (OH) recently opened a new restaurant that will use local products when feasible. Elements Bistro on Euclid will serve cheeses, locally produced sausages and pastas, and eventually will feature Ohio wine and beer.
U Wisconsin-Stout Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Wisconsin-Stout recently purchased a zero-emission, no noise electric vehicle. The ZENN car will be used by Parking Services for security and safety patrol of campus parking lots.
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
The Earth Policy Institute is offering a free PDF download of "Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization," a new book by Lester Brown. The book, which could be used a textbook, covers topics such as deteriorating oil and food security, emerging water shortages, eradicating poverty and stabilizing population, and raising energy efficiency. The book may be downloaded by chapter or as a whole.
Goshen College Rieth Village Awarded LEED Platinum
The Goshen College (IN) Rieth Village has been awarded LEED Platinum. Reith Village, an ecological field station for undergraduate environmental study at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, features a passive solar design, cisterns for recycling rainwater, tulip poplar siding harvested locally, solar panels, and a wind generator. 2 cottages at the field station provide housing for up to 32 students and a third cottage serves as the initial classroom and office building.
Environmental and Social Issues Within Business Education
The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education has released February's "A Closer Look at Business Education" which discusses ways future business leaders are being introduced to Supply Chain Management and how some faculty are recognizing the opportunity to explore important social and environmental questions inherent within the subject.
SustainUS Agents of Change Youth Delegation
The SustainUS Agents of Change program is currently accepting applications to join the youth delegation to the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to take place Mary 5 – 16, 2008. The CSD-16 will be a review session and will address the topics of agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification, and Africa. Selected delegates will have the opportunity to work with government officials, scientists, civil society representatives, and youth from around the world to review progress on issues related to sustainable development. Applicants must be between the age of 18 and 26 as of April 2008. The deadline for applications is February 22, 2008.
Wellesley College Increases Financial Aid
Wellesley College (MA) recently announced a new initiative in its financial aid policies which will replace loans with grants for students from families who have calculated annual incomes below $60,000 and will reduce loans by one-third for those with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000. Under the new plan, eligible students from families with higher incomes will continue to benefit from Wellesley’s low loan packages, which will continue to cap the four-year maximum debt at $12,825. The new initiative will increase Wellesley’s spending on financial aid to about $40 million per year, 80 percent of which comes directly from its endowment.
Furman U Receives Sustainability Grant
Furman University (SC) recently received a $250,000 grant to support environmental sustainability initiatives and stewardship. The grant will provide scholarship aid for students engaged in environmental projects on campus and in the community through a student fellowship program. The Fellows will be charged with promoting sustainable practices on campus, with includes the production of biodiesel fuel, the development of the organic garden, and the creation and maintenance of environmentally friendly living spaces. In addition to the fellowships, the grant will also go towards the completion of Cliffs Cottage, the new Southern Living Showcase Home on campus that will model green design, renewable energy, and sustainable products, processes and materials. The grant was awarded by The Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
Yale U Develops Sustainable Event Guidelines
Yale University (CT) has developed Sustainable Event Guidelines for campus events. The guidelines provide sustainable energy, waste, transportation, materials and food strategies to help reduce the environmental footprint of the occasion. Events will be awarded a bronze, silver, or gold sustainability rating depending on how many of the guidelines to which they adhere. The program was launched in an effort to make sustainability part of the campus culture, and was created by the Yale Sustainability Office, the Yale Sustainable Food Project, Yale Recycling, and Yale Catering.
6 Institutions Receive Exemplary Community Service Award
Six colleges and universities recently received presidential recognition for extraordinary contributions to service in their communities in the second annual 2007 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Pennsylvania, and Otterbein College (OH) received Presidential Awards for General Community Service. Syracuse University (NY), the University of Redlands (CA), and Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI) were recognized for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances, a special focus area of this year's Honor Roll competition. In all, 528 schools were listed on the Honor Roll for their community service activities during the 2006-2007 academic year. This year, new Special Achievement Awards for outstanding service by minority serving institutions and community colleges were presented to California State University, Fresno, Lake Area Technical Institute (SD), Raritan Valley Community College (NJ), and Johnson C. Smith University (NC). In addition, the Honor Roll also recognized 127 schools as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. The awards were presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
U Puget Sound Offers Free Bus Passes
The University of Puget Sound's (WA) Transportation Task Force recently announced that it is distributing 75 free bus passes to members of the campus community in an effort to promote alternative transportation methods. The passes are available from February to April for three local bus lines. In exchange for the passes, commuters will share their bus-riding adventures via a blog for the duration of the program. The program is the result of a funding from the University's Sustainability Advisory Committee to purchase bus passes for faculty, staff, or students. One local transit operator, Pierce Transit, donated a matching number of passes to expand the program.
Middlebury C Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
Middlebury College (VT) recently adopted a policy to switch from 30 to 100 percent recycled content and chlorine free paper in all printers, copiers, and outsourced publications. The policy encourages the use of Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and calls for the highest percentage of recycled content suitable for jobs that cannot be printed on 100% PCW-PCF paper. The increase in cost is estimated to be $100 per month.
Stanford U Eliminates Student Loans
Stanford University (CA) recently announced a new undergraduate financial aid program that will eliminate the need for student loans. Under the new program, parents with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer pay tuition. Parents with incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to pay tuition or contribute to the costs of room, board and other expenses. Students will still be expected to contribute their earnings from work during the summer and academic year. The plan will go into effect in fall 2008.
Indiana U Offers Grad Concentration in Sustainable Development
The Indiana University School for Public and Environmental Affairs recently announced that students in the Master of Public Affairs degree program can now pursue an academic concentration in sustainable development. To complete the concentration, students must take eighteen credit hours in courses such as sustainable development, natural resource management, urban or economic development, data analysis, applied ecology, and international environmental policy. SPEA faculty approved the proposal last fall, and campus officials gave final approval last week.