2019 Ashoka U Exchange Call for Presentations
Ashoka U encourages submissions for the 2019 Ashoka U Exchange, happening Feb. 21-23, in San Diego, California. The gathering is a platform for sharing best practices and lessons learned to transform higher education into a tool for social change and impact. This year’s theme is Beyond Boundaries and Borders: Expanding Possibilities for the Future of Higher Education. Presentation submissions are due Sept. 26.
Call for Proposals: U.S Dept of Energy Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition comprising 10 contests that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. This Solar Decathlon, which spans 2019 and 2020, gives teams the option to participate in one of two challenges: the Design Challenge or the Build Challenge. Whether participating in the Design or Build Challenge, all teams are evaluated across 10 contests.
Princeton U Dining Diversifies Food & Reduces Plastic Use
The culinary team spent the summer reworking all the menus in the Frist Food Gallery with the goal of including healthier, globally diverse menu options. Plastic water bottles were replaced by refillable cups, glass bottles and several types of carton water. Plastic bags were replaced by paper bags, now available by request. Silverware were moved to a more prominent position and for to-go orders, plant-based utensils are given. Paper and plastic straws are now available at the cashier stations upon request.
U Hawai'i Mānoa Launches Institute for Sustainability and Resilience
The new Institute for Sustainability and Resilience will promote environmental sustainability and community resilience in Hawaiʻi through sustainability-focused curricula and solution-oriented approaches to research and community partnerships. The university has appointed professor Makena Coffman as director, who currently serves as chair of the city and county of Honolulu Climate Change Commission.
U New Mexico Receives $20M for SMART Grid Center
Funded by a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a consortium of universities, research laboratories and industry partners will contribute to a SMART Grid Center at the University of New Mexico. The SMART Grid Center, which stands for Sustainable, Modular, Adaptive, Resilient and Transactive, will support an integrated research and education program for the development of a modern electric grid. The research program seeks to transform existing electricity distribution feeders into interconnected microgrids and will utilize multiple testbeds across New Mexico.
Six New York City Universities Work to Reduce Water Use
The New York City Water Challenge to Universities was recently announced by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. As part of the challenge, the participating universities will work to reduce their campus-wide average water consumption by 5 percent, which would be a savings of approximately 1.3 million gallons of water per month. The participating universities are Fordham University; Long Island University, Brooklyn campus; Pace University; St. John’s University; The New School; and Weill Cornell Medical.
U Kentucky Launches Sustainability Pitch Competition
The university's Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and its Student Sustainability Council announced the new competition for teams interested in pitching sustainable startup ideas to a panel of judges. The startup idea must be related to one or more of the three pillars of sustainability and can be for profit or nonprofit. A total of $2,000 will be awarded to the top three finalists, with the first-place team receiving $1,000 to help make their startup a reality.
Rice U Dining Expands Inclusive Dining Options
This semester the university is debuting its plant-based charcuterie program, which seeks to make a variety of meat-and-dairy-free foods such as sausage, cheese, corned beef and pastrami. By using the term plant-based rather than vegan, the university hopes to appeal to those that don't consider themselves vegan.
Boston U Announces 15-Year Wind PPA
The university announced plans to buy electricity from 48.6 megawatts of wind generation capacity annually through a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 15 years. Last year BU used 205,000 megawatt-hours, which is what it plans to purchase from the wind facility annually. The university will receive and retire the associated 205,000 Green-e Certified renewable energy certificates. The electricity will feed the South Dakota electrical grid, one where BU can displace more fossil fuel intense electricity production.
New Partnership Aims to Increase Diversity of Solar Industry
With a goal of making the solar workforce more diverse, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition have signed a memorandum of understanding to begin a comprehensive effort to help the solar industry recruit and employ more students from the nation’s 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This will include hosting a national jobs fair and individual jobs fairs at the HBCU schools.
Sierra Student Coalition Climate Justice League
The Climate Justice League is a 10-week-long organizing fellowship for high school and college aged students that want to learn key organizing and leadership skills, meet other youth activists from around the country, and take action for climate and social justice. The final deadline to apply is Sept. 25.
Seattle U Trustees Votes to Divest From Fossil Fuels
The university's Board of Trustees recently voted to adopt a pair of recommendations that will divest the university’s $230 million endowment from fossil fuels within the next five years. The plan calls for a 50 percent reduction in exposure to companies owning fossil fuel reserves in the marketable portion of the endowment portfolio by Dec. 31, 2020, and full divestment by June 30, 2023.
SUNY & UC Leaders Call on Higher Ed to Lead on Climate Action
University of California President Janet Napolitano and State University of New York Chancellor Kristina Johnson co-wrote a piece for the Washington Post recently that contends the higher education community is well-equipped to lead on climate action. They write, "With some 20 million college students nationwide, the impact the higher education sector could have by decarbonizing its own operations, and by educating the next generation to wean the world off fossil fuels, is significant." Because universities generally contain in-house expertise and a commitment to sustainability, they have the opportunity to be testbeds that can be used to inform public policy and mitigate immense environmental challenges.
Leuphana U Lüneburg Receives Funding for 'Dilemmas of Sustainability’ Project
(Germany) The university has received $1.06 million (900,000 Euros) for the Dilemmas of Sustainability project, which aims to empirically investigate the use of the term sustainability and develop criteria that can be used to assess sustainability programs and projects. Funding for the project comes from Ministry of Science of Lower Saxony and the Volkswagen Foundation's Science for Sustainable Development funding program.
Western State Colorado U Partners on Environmental Management Degree Expansion
The university's new partnership with Earthship Biotecture Academy allows students in its Environmental Management degree program to learn how to build an Earthship while earning their degree. Participants in the academy might also earn undergraduate credit to be applied to their bachelor’s degrees at other universities.
Insight Into Diversity Honors 2018 HEED Award Recipients
This year's Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award was given to 98 higher education institutions, 13 of which were categorized as "Diversity Champions" by exemplifying an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels. The Insight Into Diversity HEED Award measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
Hope College Student Center Earns LEED Gold
The new building features large, energy-efficient windows, shower facilities for cyclists, and an energy-efficient HVAC system. Twenty-one percent of the building’s content is recycled material and the college was able to divert 91 percent of construction waste from landfills. Connecting the building to its site, wood boards from an elm tree that was knocked down in a 2011 storm were used to panel the east wall of the building’s chapel.
AASHE Member Discount: $100 Off Sustainability Certification Through ISSP
The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) offers students, faculty and staff from AASHE-member schools a $100 discount on the ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA) credential exam. The program is designed to recognize the knowledge, skills and abilities of those in the sustainability field, including students with knowledge of core sustainability concepts.
National Council for Science and Environment (NCSE) 2019 Conference
Early bird registration is open for the National Council for Science and Environment 2019 Conference, taking place Jan. 7-10, in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference theme is Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience. Attendees will look at the opportunities and challenges for sustainability at the convergence of built, natural, social and cyber infrastructure. Attendees will also explore examples of community resilience and discuss how to apply best practices in their community.
2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit Call for Proposals
The 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, happening Feb. 10-12 in Tempe, Arizona, is a national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees and other senior leaders working to accelerate climate solutions through all aspects of institutional activities. Proposals are being accepted on a variety of topics from building consensus across the campus for climate action to transformational education strategies around climate education. The event is hosted by Second Nature and Intentional Endowments Institute.
Green Guy Podcast: UCLA's Living Laboratory for Climate Change Research
University of California Los Angeles' Chief Sustainability Officer Nurit Katz and Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer Bonny Bentzin share why UCLA is called a “Living Laboratory” for climate change research, what is the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge and how sustainability on campus impacts the city of Los Angeles.
Two Pennsylvania State U Dorms Receive LEED Silver
The two residence halls, one new and one renovated, feature water-efficient fixtures, energy-efficient electrical systems and low VOC paints and flooring. More than 85 percent of the construction demolition and waste was recycled. More than 90 percent of regularly occupied spaces have exterior views.
Four Universities Join University Climate Change Coalition
Second Nature recently announced that Boston University, the University of Connecticut, the University of South Florida, and Washington University in St. Louis have joined the thirteen other research universities that comprise the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3). UC3 is a new network of research institutions from across North America formed in early February that committed to leveraging their institutional strengths to foster exchange of best practices and research agenda in pursuit of accelerating local climate solutions.
U Tennessee Knoxville Opens Outdoor Garden Classroom
The Grow Lab is a new campus garden that serves as an outdoor classroom and hub for community engagement while working to address local food insecurity. The garden’s harvest will be donated to a food pantry to provide free, nutritious food for students in need. This living laboratory includes 12 garden beds. Classes and clubs can reserve plots to conduct research and engage in community service.
Syracuse U to Open Center for Social Justice With $5M Gift
A Syracuse University alumni couple is providing a $5 million donation to support the creation of the Lender Center for Social Justice, which will include research support, symposia, and faculty and student fellowships. The center aims to support innovative and multidisciplinary research of contemporary social problems while providing proactive and concrete approaches and solutions.
Wege Prize 2019 Call for Team Applications
Wege Prize 2019 is looking for undergraduate and graduate students who want to work together to re-think and re-design the way economies work by creating regenerative solutions that have a widespread and lasting impact. Teams will contend for $30,000 in total cash prizes. The Wege Prize is organized by Kendall College of Art and Design’s Wege Center for Sustainable Design with support from the Wege Foundation. The deadline for team applications and research plan is Nov. 18.
Envisioning Public Scholarship for Our Time: Models for Higher Education Researchers
This book proposes a new paradigm of public scholarship that supports a diverse democracy and promotes equity and social justice. It demonstrates how public scholarship in higher education can increase its impact on practice and policy and argues that public scholarship should be recognized as normative practice for all scholars and integrated into the curriculum of graduate courses.
Pennsylvania State U Establishes Dual-Title Doctoral Program in Climate Science
The new dual-title degree program is based on the idea that climate science is relevant across many different disciplines. Students electing this degree program will earn a doctorate with a dual-title in the participating program and in climate science. The program aims to provide a curriculum in climate dynamics and observations, numerical and statistical methods, the physical climate system, biogeochemistry, and human dimensions of climate change.
Call for Chapter Proposals: Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
The Emerald Group Publishing is compiling a volume in Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning that aims to explore the educational opportunities and challenges in integrating sustainability in higher education. Supporting Sustainable Development Goal 4, and any of the other goals being implemented in higher education, the tentative volume titles are "Integrating sustainable development into the curriculum", "Sustainable development leadership and strategies", and "University partnerships for sustainable development". One-page chapter proposals are due Oct. 3.
NUS Shares Results of Survey Regarding Students' Attitudes
The National Union of Students in the U.K. released new survey results revealing students' expectations for and experiences of teaching and learning for sustainable development. While this is the eighth year of the survey, it is the first year that the results include input from students outside of the U.K. The results say that 91 percent of students surveyed want their place of study to incorporate and promote sustainable development and 70 percent want sustainable development incorporated and promoted through all courses. Additionally, 61 percent said they would accept a lower salary than average to work in a company with a positive social and environmental record.