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.
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.
El Camino CC Opens Green Humanities Building
El Camino Community College (CA) recently opened a new green humanities building. The 83,900-square-foot facility features natural day lighting, sun shades and other steps to reduce heat gain, recycled flooring materials, and a white roof.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Bowdoin Converts Student Loans to Grants
Bowdoin College (ME) has announced that, starting in the 2008-09 academic year, it will replace loans with grants for all new and current students receiving financial aid. Bowdoin President Barry Mills assured that the program would not cause the college to abandon its commitment to educate lower-income students. The initiative is part of The Bowdoin Campaign, a five-year effort that seeks to raise $250 million for the college.
U Western Ontario Switches to Biodegradable Food Packaging
As a result of efforts by the University Students' Council, the University of Western Ontario is transitioning from Styrofoam to 100% biodegradable food containers, plates, and garbage bags. The products, which come at no extra cost to students, are made mostly from sugar cane and corn starch and will biodegrade in 60 to 90 days.
Service Learning, Humanitarian, and Leadership Award Applications
The online application process for Campus Compact's Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award, Frank Newman Leadership Award and Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning is now open. The awards aim to spotlight the work of students and faculty members who are dedicated to the principles of civic engagement. Winners will receive national recognition and a cash reward to support community work.
Call for Jane Goodall Youth Leadership Awards Nominations
The Jane Goodall Global Leadership Awards honor organizations and individuals who share Dr. Jane's values, vision and commitment to making a positive difference in the world for all living things. The awards are given in the categories of Youth Leadership, Excellence in Public Policy, Global Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Activism in Media and Entertainment. The youth award recognizes an individual, age 14 to 24, who exhibit leadership and excellence through his or her work to help preserve our natural world, protect animals or benefit our human community. Nominations should be submitted by an adult who is closely acquainted with the nominee. Deadline is 5pm EST on February 15, 2008.
UC Boulder Online Course: Carbon Neutral University Planning
February 4-April 18, 2008
Dave Newport, the Director of the CU Environmental Center, will lead a web-based course on Carbon Neutral University Planning. The course will explore the concepts and methodologies involved in analyzing and planning for campus climate neutrality, and the opportunities and barriers to achieving climate neutrality. Participants will learn how to develop an analytical framework by which to evaluate emissions mitigation options, and draft a proposed strategic plan that would guide implementation of climate neutrality.
U Alabama Implements Recycling Program
The University of Alabama is planning to implement a recycling program across campus. The program, which comes after a successful pilot phase, will first be implemented in the residences halls, academic buildings, and administrative buildings. Once the program has enough support, the number of bins will be increased and the athletic buildings will receive bins as well.
Western Kentucky U Initiates Bike Share Program
Western Kentucky University has initiated Big Red's Bikes, a bike sharing program that was started by an on-campus student organization called GreenToppers. The program features bicycles that were refurbished through the donation of old bikes, chains, tires, tubes, and locks.
U Penn Launches Car Share Program
The University of Pennsylvania is launching a car sharing program which will include 40 vehicles and a Penn Sustainability Fund for special environmental projects. Officials say that this is the largest university car sharing program in the North America. The program, supported by PhillyCarShare, will be available to the University's faculty, staff, and students, age 18 and above.
Yale Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 17%
Yale University (CT) recently announced that it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17%, or 43,000 metric tons, since 2005. In 2005, Yale committed to cut its GHG emissions to 10% below the University's 1990 levels by 2020. Yale's strategy to shrink its carbon footprint calls for a mix of conservation measures, the use of renewable energy on campus, and direct participation in carbon offset projects. Yale has achieved its current reduction through projects and policies including the installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems in 90 buildings, new automatic controls for heating, cooling and lighting, the replacement of windows, new and modified power plant equipment, achieving LEED Silver or better certification for all new buildings and major renovations, the use of ground water for cooling, and a 10% yearly reduction in electricity consumption by students in Yale's undergraduate residential colleges.
Michigan State U to Build On-Campus Recycling Facility
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized building a new recycling facility on campus. The facility will triple the amount of materials currently being recycled by allowing the university to expand recycling collection in all buildings. The recycling facility will cost approximately $13.3 million and will pay for itself in 12 years. The Board also heard 26 recommendations to reduce MSU's ecological footprint presented by the Environmental Stewardship Systems Team, which is made up of faculty, staff, and students. The team recommended that MSU improve the way the campus monitors and tracks material waste, schedule classes more efficiently to reduce heating and energy costs in buildings, develop a "green" certification program for units and departments, and reduce energy use in all campus buildings by 9 percent through reducing heating, ventilation, and cooling system running time.
SUNY-ESF Hires Director of Renewable Energy Systems
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry hired Michael Kelleher as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this new position, Kelleher will focus on finding and adopting technologies to help the College save energy and produce energy from sustainable and renewable sources. Kelleher also serves as co-director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy and is a member of the ESF Campus Climate Change Committee.
Northampton CC to Use 100% Recycled Paper
Northampton Community College (PA) will switch to using 100% recycled paper. Although the per-carton cost will increase, the college plans to purchase the recycled paper in bulk to offset the costs. In addition to this effort, NCC has also set all campus printers to print double-sided and capped the amount of pages one computer can print within a given time frame.
Campus Sustainability Planning Network
The Society for College and University Planning has created a social networking website for people to connect and share knowledge about campus sustainability planning. The site will also serve to manage and promote campus-based Campus Sustainability Day events.
New Resource on Academic Programs in Urban Sustainability
AASHE has compiled a list of undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on urban sustainability. The resource also features a list of academic centers and research initiatives related to urban sustainability. The resource is only available to AASHE members.
Chronicle of HE Calls for Guest Writers
The Chronicle of Higher Education is calling for guest writers for their new Buildings and Grounds blog. The Chronicle plans to feature one guest blogger per month, and asks that the blogger post at least one item per week about facilities, campus buildings, landscape, sustainability, energy, or anything relevant. Blogs must be 500 words or less.
Call for EPA Environmental Justice Awards Nominations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will recognize academic institutions that undertake environmental justice initiatives to make a positive impact in a community. The goals of the award include, but are not limited to promoting positive behavior on environmental justice issues by all stakeholder groups, documenting EJ models of success for other to emulate, encouraging achievement of environmental results in communities having EJ issues, and encouraging collaborative problem solving by all stakeholder organizations to address significant EJ concerns. Nominees will be evaluated based on innovation, community responsibility, community, equity, and public involvement, partnership and collaboration, environmental justice integration, and demonstrated results in effectiveness or sustainability. Nominations must be postmarked by February 11, 2008.