Green Corps Field School for Environmental Organizing
Green Corps is currently accepting applications for the 2008-09 Field School for Environmental Organizing. The program trains college graduates to run environmental campaigns, starting by building a core group of activists and finishing by convincing decision-makers to pass laws, change policies and create reforms to protect our environment. Trainees start working on campaigns from the start of their education. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Holy Cross Announces Financial Aid Initiative
The College of the Holy Cross (MA) recently announced that, beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, Worcester residents who are admitted to the college and who come from families with incomes below $50,000 will receive four years of free tuition. The new initiative was catalyzed by established alumni-funded scholarship programs that benefit Worcester students.
Schools Reduce Waste with Trayless Policies
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on how colleges and universities are implementing no-tray policies in dining halls in order to reduce waste and save water. In experiments at Alfred University (NY), students found that a no-tray policy would reduce food and beverage waste by 30-50%. Customers with disabilities or those who need extra assistance are permitted to use trays.
Birmingham U Installs Solar-Powered Parking Meter
Binghamton University (NY) recently installed a solar-powered multi-space parking meter system. The system is made up of a single meter that serves 33 spaces and features solar panels and a rechargeable battery.
JMU Announces Joint Masters in Sustainable Resource Mgmt
James Madison University (VA) and the University of Malta recently announced the new Joint International Masters Program in Sustainable Environmental Resources Management. Graduates will receive two degrees: the M.Sc. In Sustainable Environmental Resources Management from UM (an EU degree) and the M.S. in Integrated Science and Technology from JMU. The curriculum will be taught entirely in Malta with each school teaching half of the courses. The program incorporates a suite of courses that cover the appropriate analytical tools, presents the policy and legal framework, and uses a collection of case study courses. The program will begin in September of 2008.
UI Chicago Hires Interim Assoc. Chancellor for Sustainability
The University of Illinois at Chicago recently hired Cynthia Klein-Banai as the interim Associate Chancellor for Sustainability. Klein-Banai plans to consider student fees to support green projects, to set up a campus-wide committee that will work to initiate sustainability programs into many areas of campus life, and to complete a transportation survey on how people get to and around campus. She has also applied for a grant to expand UIC's recycling program.
AASHE Announces Campus Sustainability Rating System Pilots
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recently announced the launch of its pilot rating system for sustainability in higher education. Over ninety college and universities will test the self-assessment tool, called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System). Over the course of 2008, they will provide feedback to AASHE and inform STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009. The 90-plus participating campuses were selected to represent a wide range of institutional types, sizes, and geography. They include public and private schools, and community colleges and research universities. STARS is designed to help gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, from governance and operations to academics and community engagement; enable meaningful comparisons across institutions as well as benchmarking within institutions; create incentives for continuous improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.
U Vermont to Form Commission and Office of Sustainability
The University of Vermont recently announced that it will form a Commission on Sustainability and open an Office of Sustainability. The Commission will make strategic recommendations about policies and activities requiring significant operational changes or allocation of financial and other resources within the University. Its first charge will be to create a Climate Neutrality Working Group that will develop a plan within two years for reaching climate neutrality at UVM. The Office of Sustainability will support the Commission's development of an overall environmental sustainability strategy, track performance indicators and best practices, oversee the selection and implementation of the best ideas for reducing environmental impacts, and educate and involved the campus and Vermont community.
U Southern California Forms Sustainability Steering Committee
The University of Southern California recently created a 12 member Sustainability Steering Committee. The group is made up of students, faculty, administrators, and staff from all areas of the institution and is charged with maintaining current environmental initiatives and defining economic, social, and environmental opportunities for the campus.
List of Academic Programs in Sustainable Agriculture
AASHE has produced a new resource focused on sustainability in agricultural education. The resource includes lists of undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, and agroecology. Additionally, the resource includes a list of academic centers related to sustainable agriculture.
U Colorado Boulder Students to Purchase Local Offsets
University of Colorado at Boulder students have switched from purchasing wind energy credits to purchasing all locally-generated offsets to mitigate a portion of campus carbon emissions. The offsets are being purchased through Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's "Colorado Carbon Fund" program. The $50,000 of student funding will support Colorado projects that fight climate change while increasing economic prosperity, assisting local communities and creating service learning opportunities for students.
UC Berkeley Hires Director of Sustainability
The University of California, Berkeley recently hired Lisa McNeilly as the campus's first Director of Sustainability. McNeilly is charged with creating and managing a campus Office of Sustainability and supporting the efforts of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the Cal Climate Action Partnership, the Berkeley Environmental Alumni Network, and the Berkeley Green Campus Program. The position will report to the Vice Chancellor for Administration.
Macalester C Senior Gift to Fund Sustainability on Campus
The Macalester College (MN) Senior Class Gift Committee recently announced that the 2008 senior gift will fund sustainability initiatives on campus. The 10 seniors on the committee sent out a survey to their class to gauge what type of contribution the class would like to make and, based on the results, decided to fund campus sustainability projects. The class will attempt to raise $38,000 for the fund. Sustainability Coordinator Suzanne Hansen will ultimately decide how the money is used.
Northwestern U Increases Financial Aid
Northwestern University (IL) recently announced that it will replace loans with grants for its 450 neediest undergraduates. When choosing who will qualify for the grant, Northwestern will consider family income as well as other financial pressures such as extensive medical expenses and multiple sibling families. The University will also cap the amount of federal loans undergraduates can take out over four years to $20,000.
UCLA Law School to Establish Center on Climate Change
The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law recently secured an endowment fund to establish the Emmett Center, a center dedicated to the study, research, and teaching of knowledge related to climate change and the environment. The Emmett Center plans to engage UCLA experts who are working on matters related to climate change and intends to play a key role in addressing environmental issues.
Johns Hopkins U Task Force on Climate Change Begins Work
The Johns Hopkins University (MD) President's Task Force on Climate Change recently held its first meeting. The group, which includes administrators, faculty, community leaders, and students, was formed to help guide the development of the university's new climate change policy. It is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan and creating an interdisciplinary working group of experts who will focus on innovative and novel approaches related to climate change.
Georgia Tech to Install Green Tissue Dispensers
The Georgia Institute of Technology will install No-Touch Hands Free Paper Towel and Tissue Dispensers, which will use Green Seal certified paper towels and toilet tissue. The installation will begin in February.
Brown U Announces GHG Emissions Reduction Plan
Brown University (RI) has announced a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 42% below 2007 levels for all existing buildings by 2020. Brown also promised to reduce energy consumption up to 50% for all newly constructed and acquired facilities. The university plans to achieve these goals through initiatives such as switching the fuel that powers the central heating plan to cleaner natural gas when available, implementing new lighting technologies, improving the energy efficiencies of buildings, increasing co-generation of electricity, and using renewable energy sources where appropriate.
Ohlone Opens Green Campus registered for LEED Platinum
Ohlone College (CA) recently opened a newly constructed green campus. The campus, which hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification, features solar energy co-generation that will supply up to 42% of the building's energy needs, geothermal ground coils, enthalpy wheels, storm water filtering, wetlands restoration, and indoor water-saving fixtures.
U Washington to Offer Professorships in Sustainability
The University of Washington plans to offer professorships in sustainability. Pending the approval of the Board of Regents, the first two professorships will be held by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake of an environmentally conscious architecture firm. Kieran and Timberlake will teach six related courses exploring designs and methods for reducing environmental impacts of construction. Funding for the professorships comes from Mithun and The Russell Family Foundation.
Unity College to Offer 2 New Sustainability Majors
Beginning in the fall of 2008, Unity College (ME) will offer a Bachelor's of Science in Sustainable Design and Technology and a Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability. Students in the Sustainable Design and Technology program will learn to evaluate and implement emerging technologies and to design, quantify, and account for programs of energy efficiency and climate emission reductions for government, for private businesses, or for households. The emphasis will be on practical skills based on solid general theory. The Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability program will prepare students for future study and careers in the growing fields of sustainable agriculture and food systems. The approach will be interdisciplinary and experiential, drawing on several disciplines that intersect in the field of agriculture and food systems study, including biology, ecology, economics, critical social sciences, and history, as well as applied sciences such as horticulture, livestock management, and marketing. The program will have a significant field and experiential component.
RecycleMania Begins with Record Number of Participants
RecycleMania began January 27, 2008 with a record 400 colleges and universities participating. The competition has more than doubled each year from its initiation in 2001 by two Ohio colleges. The 400 schools represent 46 states and the District of Columbia and include institutions ranging from small two-year community colleges to Ivy League universities. Over a 10-week period from January 27 to April 5, 2008, participating schools will compete in various categories measuring the success of their recycling and waste prevention efforts. Each week, the standings will be posted on the RecycleMania website.
Northern Arizona U Building Achieves LEED Platinum
Northern Arizona University's Applied Research and Development Building has achieved LEED Platinum certification, earning 60 out of 69 points possible. The 59,821 square-foot building features a photovoltaic solar power system that provides a minimum of 20% of its electricity, automatic shade controls, venting windows, and an enthalpy wheel, which regulates the building's temperatures. About 30% of the building's supplies are from recycled materials, 57% are from local producers or manufacturers, and the wood used was sustainable harvested from a renewable forest-management system. Additionally, the building's conference unit has a green roof, and the parking lot is made of pervious concrete, which allows water to be captured in natural aquifers to be used for irrigation purposes.
Rice U to Begin EcoRep Program
An internal grant program at Rice University (TX) has provided funds to enable the development of an "EcoRep" program this semester. The grant will pay one student from each residential college to serve as an EcoRep. Each EcoRep will have six main duties: facilitating recycling, reducing waste in the serveries, conserving energy, promoting environmental issues, maintaining contacts with relevant University staff, and administering the Green Dorm Initiative, a program which certifies dorm rooms meeting cer
U Texas at Austin Launches Campus Sustainability Newsletter
The University of Texas at Austin recently launched 'Synergies,' a monthly newsletter devoted to sustainability-based campus events, activities and achievements. The goal of the newsletter is to publicize sustainability initiatives on campus, create a broader understanding of sustainability at UT, and help connect individuals who wish to get involved with campus projects. 'Synergies' is designed for UT faculty, staff, and students and is distributed primarily online.
DOE Announces 2009 Solar Decathlon Teams
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the schools selected to compete in the fourth Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Washington, DC in 2009. The teams, selected from universities in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, will each receive $100,000 from the DOE to design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully-solar-powered home. In addition to producing enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, from powering lights and electronics to cooking, washing clothes and dishes, each home must produce surplus energy sufficient to power an electric car. Applications for the competition were evaluated by a panel made up of engineers, scientists and other experts from DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Teams were required to meet specific criteria, demonstrating their ability to design and build an innovative, entirely solar-powered, 800-square-foot home from scratch, including the ability to raise additional funds and assemble a team necessary to carry the project through to completion.
UC Berkley Study on GHG Mitigation Options
The University of California, Berkley recently published the findings of a climate action course that evaluated options for reducing the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The students found that green building retrofits should be expanded, renewable energy should be used on campus, and that the campus needs to develop a long-term program for mobilizing the resources needed to become a more energy-efficient campus.
Sustainable Investment Challenge
The 2007-08 SustaInvest: Sustainable Investment Challenge is a virtual portfolio competition that calls for its student participants to jointly maximize profitability and sustainability in investment decisions. The competition is comprised of three categories: university student teams, undergraduate students, and graduate students and is open to all colleges and universities. Portfolio judging criteria rewards successful, sustainability-driven investments that promote a long-term, triple bottom line business strategy as a means of increasing investors' financial bottom line.
Casper College to Launch Renewable Energy Program
Casper College (WV) recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to launch a program in renewable energy. The majority of the funding will support the construction of a small wind generator testing and training site, which will serve as a laboratory for students in the program. The program will also include courses such as electrical power, electrical machines, and alternative energy.
U Michigan Annual Environmental Report
The University of Michigan recently released its Annual Environmental Report, which lists the University's energy use, water use, emissions, waste production, mass transit systems, and total carbon footprint. The report finds that the institution's carbon output decreased by 40,000 pounds since 2004.