6 Campuses Receive Presidential Recognition for Community Service

Six colleges and universities have been named as Presidential Awardees in the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. In 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service. The awardees include: Lee University (TN); Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Emory & Henry College (VA); Raritan Valley Community College (NJ); and Willamette University (OR).

Hamilton College Students Help Build Green Homes

Hamilton College's (NY) Habitat for Humanity Chapter has announced plans to build more energy efficient homes and to reduce waste during construction. Plans include increasing the insulation of windows and doors, using recycled building materials whenever possible, installing Energy Star appliances, and making an effort to recycle as much construction waste as possible. The Chapter also plans to seek LEED certification whenever possible.

Washburn U Students Create Community Bike Center

Washburn University (KS) graduate and undergraduate students have opened a new community bike center. The Topeka Community Cycle Project (TCCP) advocates for bicycling in the city and provides education on how to maintain a safe and working bicycle. TCCP hopes to promote a safe community for bikers.

Acadia U Awarded $120K for Community Climate Change Program

The Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment at Acadia University (NS) has been awarded a $120,000 grant from the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment, EcoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change. The funding is to support the development of a two-year Community Emissions Challenge program, which is intended to help individuals and communities across Nova Scotia reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The program features an online personal emissions calculator, website, and community awareness program involving local education and engagement activities. Program development is already underway and the calculator, website, and community awareness campaign launch is planned for September 2010.

North Carolina State U Opens Expanded Farmers Market

North Carolina State University's new expanded farmer's market has opened for the season with five new vendors. The market, which includes vendors that utilize sustainable farming practices, is different than other local markets in that its goal is education. A student booth at the market promotes the importance of buying local.

Rochester Inst of Tech Builds Green Habitat for Humanity House

Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has completed its first green Habitat for Humanity house. RIT’s Engineers for a Sustainable World worked with the city and RIT Habitat organizations and a local architect to make the home more energy efficient. Green elements of the home include an efficient ventilation delivery system to prevent heat loss; an air-lock entry redesign system; tankless hot water heater; 95 percent energy-efficient furnace; soy-based foam insulation; new pipe insulation; use of natural lighting and a roof designed to provide adequate summer shade; and solar panels. The house is located in the southwest part of Rochester. In the surrounding neighborhood, 99 percent of properties were built before 1950 and 20 percent of children under 6 tested at or above the highest levels of lead-paint poisoning.

Wesleyan U Brings Farmers Market to Campus

Wesleyan University (CT) students now have the option of purchasing products from local vendors every other Wednesday. The new farmer's market will offer items such as goat cheese, yarns, and pesto. Organizers of the market hope that it will educate students on the importance of buying local.

College of Marin Receives Award for Organic Farm

The College of Marin (CA) Organic Farm and Garden has been named Project of the Year in the category of "Pathways to Achievement – Post- Secondary, Training, and Credentialing Partnerships" by the Corps Network, a Washington D.C. based group. The farm is recognized as a place where at risk youth have been able to come and develop new skills and knowledge in organic and sustainable agriculture that puts them on a career path.

Northern Arizona U to Host Wind Power Education Program

Northern Arizona University has been selected to host a new program that will develop educational programs to improve the understanding of wind technology through the installation of small wind turbines at K-12 schools in rural areas across the state. NAU will receive about $60,000 a year for three years from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America program. Through this project, NAU will administer a Sustainable Energy Technology Center housed at NAU. In addition to installing wind turbines, the program will implement wind-related curricula and educational programs, both at K-12 schools and at the community college and university level. The Center will also support small wind and anemometer installations at schools and other facilities throughout the state and will serve as a repository for wind data, curriculum materials, and other information.

New York U Specifies Worker Rights in Middle East Campus Contract

The Washington Post has published an article on New York University's recent mandate that all workers involved in its Middle East campus in Abu Dhabi have labor rights. The provisions specify how often workers are paid, how many hours they can work in a week, that overtime is voluntary and must be paid, and that workers are entitled to vacation and paid holidays.

Santa Monica College Produces Water Conservation PSA

A group of Santa Monica College (CA) students, alum, and faculty have unveiled the "SMC Global Citizens for Water Conservation," a one-minute public service announcement that communicates the message that water conservation is important locally and globally. This production was made possible by a $10,000 water conservation grant SMC won in 2008, to be used for student-created video public service announcements on water conservation around the world.

U New Hampshire, State Partner to Create Green Jobs

The University of New Hampshire and the State of New Hampshire have partnered to create the Green Launching Pad, an initiative that will bring new green technologies to the marketplace, help innovative clean technology companies succeed, and support the creation of green economy jobs in New Hampshire. Through the Green Launching Pad, companies, both established and start-ups, will receive extensive financial, operational, technical, and managerial support to launch and commercialize green energy products and services. By accelerating these products and services to market, the program aims to help reduce energy use and carbon emissions while creating new jobs and economic opportunities in New Hampshire. The program, which starts immediately, will draw on the engineering, energy, environmental, and business research at UNH.

Portland State U Launches Social Innovation Incubator

Portland State University’s (OR) School of Business Administration has launched the Social Innovation Incubator (SII), a new program fostering entrepreneurial solutions to today’s environmental, social, and economic challenges. The Social Innovation Incubator assists individuals that are working to launch new initiatives within established organizations. Chosen through a selective application process, SII members receive strategic support for business planning, marketing, and fundraising. Services include one-on-one consulting, mentors and coaches, pro bono legal education, and networking.

Karnataka State Women’s U Grows Biofuel

Karnataka State Women’s University (India) has begun sharing some of its unused land with local farmers to create a bio-diesel park. The land will be used to grow trees specifically for creating biofuel. The project will create both biofuel and jobs for the local communities.

U Idaho Partners to Teach Local Students About Climate Change

The University of Idaho has announced a new program that aims to educate Idaho seventh through twelfth graders about the impacts of climate change and how it affects their everyday lives. McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) programs consist of five- to 10-day expeditionary science learning experiences that will occur in students' classrooms, in natural areas in close vicinity to their schools, and in the mountains and forests of central Idaho near the MOSS campus. Each outreach program module is divided into four sessions. Topics include watersheds, exploring local rivers, mapping and GIS, invasive species, fire ecology, and landforms. The program received a seed grant from the University of Idaho's National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.

Warren Wilson College Trains City Employees in Energy Efficiency

Warren Wilson College (NC) has partnered with the City of Ashville to help train its employees to evaluate and improve building energy efficiency. WWC held a week-long Home Energy Rating Systems training program, during which 20 employees learned how to utilize diagnostic equipment and software to conduct energy analyses. Participants also learned practices for increasing energy efficiency. The 16 building inspectors who participated in the training can now serve as energy efficiency ambassadors and the four building maintenance employees who participated will be able to help reduce municipal energy expenditures.

U Idaho Partners to Teach Local Students About Climate Change

The University of Idaho has announced a new program that aims to educate Idaho seventh through twelfth graders about the impacts of climate change and how it affects their everyday lives. McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) programs consist of five- to 10-day expeditionary science learning experiences that will occur in students' classrooms, in natural areas in close vicinity to their schools, and in the mountains and forests of central Idaho near the MOSS campus. Each outreach program module is divided into four sessions. Topics include watersheds, exploring local rivers, mapping and GIS, invasive species, fire ecology, and landforms. The program received a seed grant from the University of Idaho's National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.

Warren Wilson College Trains City Employees in Energy Efficiency

Warren Wilson College (NC) has partnered with the City of Ashville to help train its employees to evaluate and improve building energy efficiency. WWC held a week-long Home Energy Rating Systems training program, during which 20 employees learned how to utilize diagnostic equipment and software to conduct energy analyses. Participants also learned practices for increasing energy efficiency. The 16 building inspectors who participated in the training can now serve as energy efficiency ambassadors and the four building maintenance employees who participated will be able to help reduce municipal energy expenditures.

5 Campuses to Help Mexican University Institute Energy Program

Appalachian State University (NC) has received $300,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development/Mexico to enhance the capacity of a Mexican partner Institution, Fundación Universidad de Las Américas Puebla (FUDLAP), with its renewable energy and energy efficiency educational programs and activities. Appalachian is one of only five U.S. universities to receive funding under the TIES Phase IV Cycle 1 Competition. The other institutions include Arizona State University, University of Florida, Duquesne University (PA), and University of Colorado at Boulder

Massachusetts Students Weatherize Local Homes

A group of 140 volunteers made up of Williams College students and faculty members, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students, and local community college attendees have weatherized 35 local homes as part of the area's second annual Winter Blitz. 28 teams of four people each weatherized one or two homes and were provided with the necessary supplies and a trained student leader. As part of the project, students insulated doors, installed storm windows, and filled in cracks in the walls.

U Detroit Mercy Partners with Ford to Offer Engineering Classes

The University of Detroit, Mercy (MI) has partnered with Ford Motor Company to retrain around 2,000 of their engineers to work with electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. The University has worked with Ford to train its students in the field in the past, and the new project introduces a curriculum for current engineers that will help them address the problems that come with manufacturing a new product.

Pennsylvania College of Technology Expands Weatherization Ctr

Pennsylvania College of Technology has expanded its Weatherization Training Center with the help of federal money. The Center helps to train men and women to implement programs that assist low-income households become more energy efficient. The expansion will allow the center to train up to 1,000 people a year, compared to 250-350 previously.

SUNY Canton Educates Girls Scouts On Sustainable Design

State University of New York, Canton recently hosted 50 young women from the Thousand Island Girl Scout Council to create sustainable pet shelters. The program, which was funded with a grant from the Corning Foundation, is being done to educate youth about sustainable design and help a local animal shelter rehabilitation project.

Unity College Weatherizes Local Homes

Unity College (ME) has participated in the second annual Neighbor Warming Neighbor program, which took place in November 2009. As part of the program, students and faculty from the College teamed up with members of the community to help weatherize homes in the surrounding area. The goal of the project is to help community members support themselves through the winter season, as well as to reduce the carbon footprint of the town. Teams of four or five were sent out with weatherization kits specific to the houses they would be working on based on earlier energy audits. On average, each team worked on two houses. The team left the homeowner with additional supplies if needed, suggestions on what else they could do, and a blanket. Over the two weekends that the program was held, roughly two dozen homes in the area were weatherized.

Students Persuade Russell Athletic in Anti-Sweatshop Agreement

The New York Times has published an article on the United Students Against Sweatshops' (USAS) recent success in convincing Russell Athletic, a leading sportswear company, to agree to rehire 1,200 workers in Honduras who lost their jobs when the company closed soon after its workers had unionized. USAS launched a national campaign against Russell Athletic soon after the shutdown by convincing administrators of over 90 colleges and universities to suspend their licensing agreements with Russell. The article mentions Georgetown University (DC); the University of California, Los Angeles; Boston College (MA); Columbia University (NY); Harvard University (MA); New York University; Stanford University (CA); the University of Michigan; the University of North Carolina; University of Miami (FL); Cornell University (NY); and Western Kentucky University.

Kaua’i CC Hosts Farmers’ Market

Kaua’i Community College (HI) has partnered with the Kaua’i Country Farm Bureau to host a weekly farmers’ market on its campus. The market will offer local produce, value-added products, cooking demonstrations from the College’s culinary arts program, and an assortment of local food offerings.

W Michigan U Receives Funding for Green Manufacturing Project

Western Michigan University has received $1 million in federal funding to support its Green Manufacturing project, which will assist businesses throughout West Michigan in creating more energy efficient and sustainable processes and products. WMU's Green Manufacturing project draws upon existing research and development centers at the University. Faculty researchers and students will collaborate with area manufacturers, especially smaller businesses, to help them build greater energy efficiency into manufacturing processes and promote recycling of materials to further reduce costs.

Louisiana State U Architecture Prgm Helps Coastal Communities

Louisiana State University's School of Landscape Architecture has announced two projects that are aimed at helping coastal communities of south Louisiana rebuild wetlands and develop recreational uses for waterways that have been damaged during recent hurricanes. The first project seeks to help the city of Des Allemands find an acceptable solution to repairing a damaged portion of the levee that protects it from the bayou. The second project seeks to help two cities that are trying to develop new sport and recreational fishing opportunities in waterways that were badly damaged during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. Both projects are being funded by the Louisiana Sea Grant, a program sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Owens CC Installs Wind Turbine, Launches Wind Program

Owens Community College (OH) has installed a 2.4 kW wind turbine on campus to generate a portion of the College's power and to provide experiential learning for its new Wind Turbine Installation and Wind Technology Maintenance Technician certificate program. The 172-hour program will provide instruction in the installation, operation, and maintenance of wind turbines for unemployed and dislocated workers. The training will include both classroom lecture and hands-on applications with the new 33-foot wind turbine to include the actual design and installation of the renewable energy educational component

Two Illinois Campuses Lead Smart Grid Collaboration

The Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in partnership with the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, and several other entities, have announced plans to lead a statewide initiative to speed the adoption of the Smart Grid in Illinois. The $120 million Illinois Smart Grid Collaboration hopes to bring $60 million in stimulus money to Illinois to lower electricity bills, reduce blackouts, make energy cleaner, and create green jobs.

UC San Diego Partners to Transform Region to Smart Grid

The University of California, San Diego (CA) and CleanTECH San Diego have created a coalition of 25 local, national, and international organizations to transform the San Diego region’s electrical grid into a digital smart grid. The coalition will, in part, create a community-scale utility system within the region that can interconnect greater percentages of renewable generation at both the distribution- and transmission-system levels, store electricity, and use automated sensors and communication technologies to help manage these intermittent energy resources. The smart grid will utilize the latest technology in the energy field including renewable energy generation, advanced electric transmission, and distribution technologies, smart metering, and energy storage.

Clemson U, Montana State U Open Farmers' Markets on Campus

Clemson University (SC) and Montana State University have launched fall farmers' markets on campus. At Clemson, students have established a monthly fall market that will offer food from Clemson's organic farm and from local growers. The market, which was pioneered by sophomore Angela Nixon, received a one-time $10,000 grant from the state Agricultural Department. At MSU, students have begun a fall market at which they sell vegetables that were grown on the University’s horticulture farm to faculty, staff, students, and the community.

Colorado State U Professor Receives Village Earth Award

Professor Bryan Wilson of Colorado State University has received the Maurice L. Albertson Medal in Sustainable Development from Village Earth, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable community-based development around the world. Professor Wilson has been a part of CSU’s Engines and Energy Conservation Lab for the past 18 years where he has helped to develop two-stroke engine retrofit technology. This technology is used to retrofit dirty engines mostly located in Asia. In 2006, Wilson co-founded Solix Biofuels to commercialize technology to produce oil from algae and turn it into biodiesel. He is now the director of CSU’s Clean Energy Super Cluster, which works to maximize the impact of energy solutions developed in laboratories across campus.

Portland State U Receives Sustainability Leadership Award

Portland State University (OR) has received the Cecil D. Andrus Leadership Award for Sustainability and Conservation from Sustainable Northwest, a nonprofit that works to promote solutions to land management challenges. PSU received the award for its partnership with the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. The Cecil D. Andrus Leadership Awards for Sustainability and Conservation are bestowed annually to individuals, nonprofit organizations, or collaborative community-based efforts that demonstrate a commitment to conservation of the environment, outreach and service to community, adaptability and innovation, and leadership of others to pursue similar sustainable paths.

Mercyhurst College, St. Cloud State U Open Farmers' Markets

Mercyhurst College (PA) and St. Cloud State University (MN) have opened farmers' markets on campus. The Mercyhurst market will offer fresh produce from both local farmers and Mercyhurst's garden, where students, faculty, and staff have been raising vegetables throughout the summer with chemical-free fertilizers. St. Cloud State has established a weekly farmers market aimed at bringing local, organic produce to students, faculty, and staff on campus. The new market, which is an effort to create a more sustainable campus community, will offer vegetables, fruit, preserves, flowers, candles, spiced pears, cinnamon apples, and organic meats, including duck, lamb, chicken, and pork.

Johns Hopkins U, North Carolina State U Launch Farmers' Market

Johns Hopkins University (MD) and North Carolina State University have begun a weekly farmers' market on campus. The JHU market hosts vendors of locally grown and produced fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, cheeses, jams, teas, confections, baked goods, pork, poultry, beef, and more. The NCSU market, which was pioneered by the Sustainability Commission of the Student Government, will offer local and organic food items such as beef and pork, milk and eggs, and seafood, including clams, shrimp, grouper and snapper.

Cal State U San Bernardino to Offer 3 New Green Certificates

California State University, San Bernardino has announced plans to add three new green certificate programs to its fall 2009 course offerings. The new certificates, which are offered through the CSUSB extension program, include: Green Building Construction, Green Energy Management, and Sustainable Practices. Each program consists of five courses that can be taken individually or together to earn a certificate.

Unity College Donates White House Solar Panels to Smithsonian

Unity College (ME) has donated a solar panel that was once installed on the White House to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The panels were originally installed on the roof of the White House above the Oval Office by President Jimmy Carter's administration to heat water in the staff kitchen. The panels were removed in 1986 during the Reagan Presidency and obtained by Unity College in 1991. Sixteen panels were refurbished and installed atop the College's cafeteria. They heated water until 2005 when they reached the end of their lifespan. One of those panels was donated to the museum’s collection in the division of politics and reform. Another panel was donated to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta.

U System of Ohio Partners for Green Jobs

The Ohio Board of Regents has announced the launch of Ohio Green Pathways, a collaboration of the University System of Ohio and the Ohio Environmental Council that is designed to link education and training with green industry jobs in the state. The program aims to demonstrate career pathways for students in green education programs, increase enrollment in these programs, and help ensure that the state's workforce demands are met. Goals of the program include creating a database of green programs in the University System of Ohio, identifying current best practices in green education and training programs in Ohio and across the nation, and meeting anticipated workforce demand through new and expanded development of workforce training in the University System of Ohio's adult career-technical education sites and community colleges.

3 Florida Colleges, City Partner for Sustainability

Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach Community College, and Lynn University have partnered with the City of Boca Raton, Florida to address environmental sustainability issues. The group plans to appoint a five person Green Living Task Force that will advise the City Council.

Colleges Partner with Wal-Mart for Sustainability Consortium

Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas are leading a Sustainability Consortium that will provide scientific research to support Wal-Mart's sustainability index, a project that aims to place labels on all of the retailer's products that informs consumers about their environmental impact and treatment of workers. Additional campus partners include Duke University (NC); Harvard University (MA); Stanford University (CA); the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Michigan; the University of Quebec at Montreal; and the University of Texas.

Rhode Island College, Kwantlen Polytechnic U Host Farmers Markets

Rhode Island College and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (BC) have begun hosting weekly community farmers' markets on their campuses. The RIC market offers locally grown and organic fruits, vegetables, and flowers; eggs; and specialty items such as herbal soaps, body lotions, and natural-care products. The initiative is the result of last year's successful pilot project. The KPU market opened with fresh vegetables, bread, honey, preserves, and cut flowers from 32 vendors.

Michigan State U Helps Developing Farmers Grow Foods Sustainably

Michigan State University scientists are combining sustainable forest production with emerging carbon markets in an effort to help some of the world's poorest people grow trees that will boost their standards of living and slow climate change. Called Carbon2Markets, the program includes collaborative projects with farmers, researchers, and government agencies in five developing Asian and African countries. MSU researchers help the farmer groups integrate high-value forest crops into the crops they are currently growing using methods that are smart and sustainable. Then the farmers use standards created by MSU experts to accurately measure and record the carbon stored in the soil by the trees. In addition to earning money on the global carbon market for storing the carbon, the farmers also use and sell the forest products they grow.

New Mexico State U Installs 2 Community Gardens

New Mexico State University’s Housing and Residential Life has constructed two community gardens at family housing areas. The gardens were installed by NMSU faculty and staff, and a local gardening club plans to provide lessons to family housing residents about maintaining their garden. Plots are rented at no cost and only require filling out a form.

New York Colleges Form County Climate Protection Group

Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and others have partnered to establish the Tomkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI). The group of New York Institutions and organizations aims to leverage the climate action commitments made by the local higher education institutions to mobilize a county-wide energy efficiency effort focused primarily on the retrofitting of buildings.

U Mass Dartmouth Partners to Form Regional Sustainability Group

The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth has partnered with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District to form the Massachusetts Council on Sustainability. The purpose of the Council is to provide education, advice, and assistance on the broad issue of sustainability in Southeastern Massachusetts and to coordinate efforts among different entities in the region. The group currently has five subcommittees focused on: food and agriculture, economic development, energy, natural resources, and transportation. The Council plans to meet quarterly with the subcommittees meeting more frequently in the interim.

U Houston Commits to Socially Responsible Collegiate Apparel

The University of Houston (TX) has announced that its bookstore will sell a brand of clothing that has committed to higher standards of social responsibility. Knights Apparel manufactures collegiate apparel in overseas factories committed to providing all employees with benefits and a living wage sufficient to cover the monthly costs for a family of four.

Warren Wilson College Receives Green Curriculum Grant

The EcoTeam program of Warren Wilson College’s (NC) Environmental Leadership Center has been awarded a $2,000 grant from Progress Energy Carolinas to help expand its curriculum to include new lessons on energy and climate. EcoTeam is a science-based environmental curriculum for third-grade students that correlates with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The EcoTeam curriculum, taught by trained Warren Wilson students and focusing on the French Broad River Basin, has delivered lessons to thousands of third graders in the area since its inception in 1998.

St. John's U Partners to Educate the Homeless

St. John's University has partnered with the New York State Department of Homeless Services establish the Advantage Academy, a program that will provide more than 40 homeless and formerly homeless individuals the chance to obtain an associate degree in the fields of Information Technology and Business. While enrolled in the two-year program, students will receive free housing and support services from DHS and academic curriculum and life skills training from St. John’s. The Advantage Academy strives to prepare participants for independent lives and career paths and ultimately, to break the cycles of poverty and homelessness through higher education.

U Illinois Chicago Opens Urban Farm

The University of Illinois at Chicago has opened an organic farm near its Jane Adams Hull-House Museum. The half-acre Hull-House Urban Farm will provide ingredients for the museum's gourmet soup kitchen and food education programming such as workshops on gardening techniques, sustainable practices, cooking, and preserving.