AASHE Inaugurates 13 'Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum'
AASHE recently concluded an application and selection process that designated 13 higher education institutions as Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum. The goal of this newly established program is to accelerate the infusion of sustainability content into curriculum by increasing the availability and accessibility of faculty development opportunities related to sustainability.
Colby-Sawyer College Opens Center Devoted to Community-Based Sustainability
Complementing its new degree program in community-based sustainability, the college recently held a grand opening of its field studies office for the Sustainable Learning Initiative, an experiential learning opportunity for students to use the principles of permaculture and sustainability to explore, design and develop sustainable solutions to real and evolving community needs.
U Kentucky Students Plant Native Species as Monarch Habitat
Conceived and managed by a graduate student pursuing his doctorate in agricultural economics, the project entails two plots that each have 300 native plants upon which monarch butterflies can rely as they make their journey between Mexico and Canada.
Simon Fraser U to Construct Green Building to House Sustainable Programs
The expansion of the university's Surrey campus will include a 161,000-square-foot building to house the proposed Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering Program, an interdisciplinary engineering stream that will support the clean tech and sustainable energy sector. The building's design, targeted for LEED Gold, will include electric vehicle charging stations and shared heat from the city's district energy system.
Unity College Begins Online MS with Sustainability Concentrations
As part of a distance education initiative, the college now offers an online master's of Professional Science degree in two tracks: Sustainability Science and Sustainable Natural Resource Management. The programs give training in core environmental science, sustainability topics and management skills.
Energy Dept. Names Finalists in Student Design Competition
The U.S. Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Design Competition recently released the 50 teams competing in the next competition, which represent 44 collegiate institutions from four countries. The Race to Zero is an annual competition designed to advance and enhance building science curriculum in universities. Student teams are asked to design high-performance homes that are so energy-efficient that renewable power can offset most or all the annual energy consumption.
Dickinson College Installs Beehives
Roughly ten thousand bees were recently brought to campus by way of the campus' beekeeping cooperative, The Hive. The two beehives, which are behind a fence to prevent passers-by from walking too closely, will remain dormant through winter and come alive in the spring after the queen lays an estimated 50,000 eggs.
Pennsylvania State U Offers Degree in Energy & Sustainability Policy
The new bachelor of science degree in energy and sustainability policy is a 120-credit program offered online by university's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences through its World Campus. The program aims to prepare students to work with a variety of organizations in the field of energy policy.
Cleveland State U Partners to Conduct Energy Audits in Community
The university partnered with the State of Ohio to conduct free energy audits of area buildings that help identify simple fixes and low-cost recommendations that could conserve energy and reduce operating costs. The initiative was made possible through a grant that the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering received through the Ohio Lean Building Program, which is managed by the University of Dayton.
Southern Oregon U Class Explores Sustainability Through Art
A class on art as activism encourages students to learn about art, race, ethnicity and ability, while examining both the ecological and cultural components of sustainability. Their task is to listen for what’s needed from a community, for example, a domestic violence shelter, then respond with a creative action.
U Iowa to Launch Water Sustainability Graduate Program with $3M Grant
The university has received a five-year, $3 million National Science Foundation Research Traineeship grant that will be used to develop a Sustainable Water Development graduate program. With a planned launch of fall 2017, the program will train about 50 master's and doctoral students to address water, food and energy challenges facing resource-limited communities.
Yale U Audits Curriculum for Overlap with U.N. SDGs
The Yale Office of Sustainability started auditing faculty scholarship to see how teaching and research aligns with the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a goal of identifying pathways for collaboration between disciplines. Preliminary results show that every department has at least one faculty member whose scholarship relates to the SDGs.
U South Carolina & Clemson U Students Engage with Industry to Reduce Manufacturing Waste
A new partnership with Michelin North America will select up to 12 students from each school to take two courses that will prepare students to research sustainability and come up with a plan to reduce the amount of waste in tire manufacturing. Students will visit Michelin headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina, a few times throughout the semester to work alongside Michelin employees.
Champlain College Students Investigate Corporate Social Responsibility
During the spring 2016, the college held an event that allowed students to explore Ben & Jerry’s social responsibility policy by creating an ice cream that would benefit a charity, nonprofit or other sustainable organization that had a social mission. The challenge also served as a way for business faculty to collaborate while designing an activity to educate students on business practices.
U South Carolina Introduces Global Studies Degree
The new Bachelor of Arts degree program in Global Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that aims to familiarize students with the complex historical and contemporary relationships that link together people and places. By focusing on themes related to globalization, aim of the degree is to foster in students a critical, global outlook that will allow them to engage with pressing global questions and to thrive in an interconnected world.
U California Develops Climate Change Curriculum for Non-Science Majors
Through a series of curriculum workshops held across the university system, over 200 professors in fields ranging from music to Swahili have developed new materials for existing courses that incorporate climate change and sustainability into their subject areas. The new program is part of the university’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative.
Harvard U Funds Climate Solutions Course and Research Project
The multi-year Climate Solutions Living Lab course and research project is designed to bring together students from across the university in interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative approaches for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at Harvard and beyond. The strategies are intended to be scalable for potential adoption by other similarly situated institutions that want to reduce their emissions and improve public health in and around their buildings.
U Alabama Birmingham Installs Solar Electric System
The 100-panel system sits atop the UAB Campus Recreation Center and will be utilized for coursework and research by students and faculty, including by the university's U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon team.
U Montana Professor Receives Award for Civic Engagement
Robin Saha, associate professor of Environmental Studies, has been selected by Campus Compact as the recipient of the 2016 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award, which recognizes faculty for exemplary leadership in advancing student civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal partnerships, building institutional commitments to engagement and enhancing higher education’s contributions to the public good. The focus of Saha's scholarship is environmental justice and health policy, emphasizing advocacy for marginalized communities. Four finalists were also named: David Berle (University of Georgia), Christopher Janson (University of North Florida), Ellen Percy Kraly (Colgate University) and Susan Needham (California State University, Dominguez Hills).
U Louisville Trustees Approve Sustainability Major
Announced in September 2016, a new Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability will be designed to prepare students for careers in sustainability-related areas such as the environment, energy, climate change, public policy, transportation and urban and regional planning.
Portland State U Authors Book on University-Community Engagement
Released August 2016 and written by more than 25 university faculty and staff, the book shares the university’s collective successes and challenges in building collaborative campus-community sustainability programs. It aims to help other schools develop programs that connect students and faculty with the needs of local communities.
Michigan State U Students Test Solar Hot Water on Campus
Located in a cold-weather climate with an average of 174 sunny days per year, students, in collaboration with the Sustainability Office, are involved in testing the efficacy of flat plate collectors versus evacuated tubes to determine the best renewable energy solution for campus' hot water.
Marquette U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
Hired to lead Marquette's sustainability efforts, Brent Ribble was recently brought on to advance campus sustainability as it relates to academics, operations, planning and engagement. In addition, the university announced a new interdisciplinary major in environmental studies, that began fall 2016, to help prepare students to address sustainability challenges in their lives and careers.
U Calgary to Launch Certificate in Sustainability Studies
Expected to launch in 2017, the embedded certificate requires that students take a combination of core courses that explore sustainability in all dimensions and choose elective hours from a listing of over 350 sustainability-focused and -related courses.
U Washington Partners Students with Local Governments
In the year-long partnership with the City of Auburn, students and professors will work on 15-20 projects that seek to advance the city’s goals for livability and sustainability. Called the Livable City Year program, the initiative is a cross-university collaboration that connects local governments with university classes to address community-identified areas of need.
Orange Coast College to Fund Scholarship with Cup Recycling Revenue
Starting this fall, the college will use the revenue generated from selling used paper cups toward a new scholarship for an environmental or scientific studies student. This decision coincides with purchasing a new type of paper cup that is manufactured to be more easily recyclable.
2016 American Solar Challenge Announces Results
The 2016 American Solar Challenge, an eight-day, 1,975-mile road course traveling through nine national parks in seven states, provides student teams with an opportunity to demonstrate their solar-powered vehicles in real world driving conditions and test the reliability of all onboard systems. Twelve teams competed with trophies awarded to the top three finishers: University of Michigan, Dunwoody College of Technology and University of Toronto.
Pennsylvania State U Institutes Civic Engagement Program
The university's new Scholarship, Sustainability and Civic Engagement Program had 11 students pilot the program in the 2015-16 academic year, which included two semesters of classwork and summer fieldwork. The students worked with various cities across the state to find creative and innovative solutions to various issues, from food access to urban development. The program made a three year commitment to the cities, whereby future groups of students will build upon the work that began this year.
U Maryland Eastern Shore Receives $1M to Boost Green Workforce
Delmarva Power announced a pledge of $1 million to help the university launch the Green Collar Initiative, a series of energy conservation projects that include crafting a sustainable curriculum using research, development and training assistance targeting rural businesspeople, especially those in agribusiness.
Western Washington U Begins Sustainable Cities Partnership
Applying its academic expertise to strengthen communities beyond the campus, the new Sustainable Cities Partnership with the city of Edmonds will focus student energy and ideas on a variety city issues oriented toward sustainability.
U Massachusetts Amherst Partners on $16M Solar Project
With no upfront cost to itself through third-party financing and ownership with Brightergy, the university will be installing 5.5-megawatts of photovoltaic technology projected to cut costs by $6.2 million. The university will purchase all the electricity from the installation at a reduced rate. Brightergy is also providing educational funds for learning labs and internships.
Energy Department Funds $2.1M Solar Training Program
The Solar Training Network that includes the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) aims to improve access to solar training, resources and careers, and seeks to increase the quality and diversity of the solar workforce and establish national training standards. The $2.1 million program is led by The Solar Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
U California San Diego Installs Student-Developed Solar Charging Station
The student-engineered project is a spot for students to unwind and charge electronic devices from solar energy. Inspired by a trip to Costa Rica, the site features a 1.5 kilowatt solar tree and two benches. The benches have electrical ports for charging multiple devices and a LED light fixture.
'Community College Innovation Challenge' Names 2016 Winners
The 2016 Community College Innovation Challenge, a team competition calling for innovative, research-based solutions for food, energy and water, named Forsyth Technical Community College as first place, and Normandale Community College and Virginia Western Community College as tied for second. The competition was hosted by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges.
U Saskatchewan Plants Rooftop Garden
The urban garden project currently underway is part of the university's Department of Plant Sciences, through which a class on urban food production is offered. The food is sold to Culinary Services, who supplies food waste back to the university's compost that is used in the garden to create a closed loop.
Emory U Awards Inaugural Green Labs & Offices Grants
The university’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives announced the recipients of its inaugural Green Labs at Emory and Green Offices at Emory Incentives Fund programs that use small grants to fund innovative, timely and impactful projects led by students, faculty and staff to foster sustainability-related knowledge and habits in laboratories and workspaces.
Yale U Nursing Students Connect with Food Systems to Improve Patient Wellbeing
Students in their first year of the school's Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing program work with Yale Landscape Lab for a series of workshops that focus on the importance of creating meaningful connections with their patients as they work with them to learn to access and eat healthy foods. These sessions combined with hands-on growing and cooking exercises help the students explore their personal connections with food as a way to empower them to promote healthy lifestyles.
North Carolina State U Welcomes Aquaponics to Student Union
Thanks to the NC State Sustainability Fund, the university's Talley Student Union is now home to a student-designed and maintained, 800-gallon aquaponics system, a closed-loop food production method, featuring a tank of up to 15 fish and two shallow planting containers that will grow tomatoes and salad greens in water.
California State U Sacramento Receives $80K Living Lab Grant
An $80,000 boost awarded by the California State University’s Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) program will cover the redesign of Urban Agriculture, a course in the Department of Environmental Studies. A large portion of the funding will go toward running power and water to the area where students work. As a part of the Urban Ag course, students will do hands-on work in the yard, creating compost and mulch for the 3,500 trees on campus.
Energy Dept. Announces Collegiate Wind Competition Results
The national competition that asks participants to build a small-scale wind turbine that can provide off-grid power named The Pennsylvania State University as top prize winner, while University of Massachusetts Lowell and Boise State University claimed second and third respectively.
U Central Florida Begins Engineering Course with Campus as Lab
In spring 2016, the university’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offered a new honors-level course titled Systems Analysis for Sustainability in Engineered Systems that utilizes the main campus as a living laboratory to apply their systems knowledge to diverse problems. The course introduces principles of sustainable engineering, systems and life-cycle thinking, and the development of sustainability metrics and indicators.
Michigan State U Water Research Reveals Campus Behavior
A recent survey of students, faculty and staff revealed that 37 percent prefer tap water while 36.6 percent prefer bottled water, 39 percent use filtered water stations, and 90 percent understand that bottled water has a higher environmental and economic cost than tap water. These insights will be used to help improve recycling programs and create awareness of refill stations across campus.
Central Carolina CC to Offer Construction Program
Part of the community college's Sustainability Technologies Program, the newly approved Building Construction Technology program will attempt to help students build better using sustainable technologies.