Stetson U Students Compile ESG Stock Index
Five university seniors in the Roland George Investments Program (RGIP) created a new index focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In total, $300,000 was approved from the RGIP Growth Fund for investment in four of the six stocks comprising the index.
Cornell U Students Redesign Regional Bus Signage for Accessibility, Clarity
Students of the Cornell University Sustainability Design (CUSD) collaborated with the county-wide campus and regional bus system to redesign over 560 signs to incorporate responsive mobile phone text messaging to help riders understand routes and delays. The new signs are also compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
UNESCO Designates Chair of Global Understanding for Sustainability at University of Jena
(Germany) The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has established a Chair on Global Understanding for Sustainability at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Over the next four years, the new chair will primarily encourage getting social sciences and humanities to become more involved in sustainability research. Social geographer Dr. Benno Werlen will hold the position.
U Florida Launches Center for Public Interest Communications
The center is dedicated to developing, translating and applying the science of strategic communication to drive social change. Among other things, the center will promote scholarship that can advance the practice of public interest communications and will create undergraduate and graduate curricula for adoption by other institutions. The university's College of Journalism and Communications has also launched the Journal for Public Interest Communications, an open-access academic journal devoted to this emerging field.
Fordham U and SASB to Develop Sustainability Accounting Education Program
The university's Gabelli School of Business will partner with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to advance the field of sustainability accounting through education, research and public events. In addition to hosting SASB board meetings at Fordham, the university will host a speaker series, conduct academic research into current and emerging topics related to financially material sustainability issues, and develop and test education materials for students.
Cornell U Establishes Center for Health Equity
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell’s Ithaca campus have established a new center to better understand why health outcomes vary among demographic groups. Through partnerships with communities in New York City and central New York, the Cornell Center for Health Equity will study the potential causes of health care disparities, which include unequal health care access and quality, as well as social influences, among minority communities with the goal of achieving health equity for people locally, regionally and nationally.
Pennsylvania State U to Lead Global Building Science Network
Faculty expertise in the university's Institutes of Energy and the Environment led the United Nations to ask the it to lead the Global Building Network, a global network to advance building science, construction processes and building management that advances energy efficiency and human performance.
North Carolina State U Tests Water Quality With Floating Islands
A faculty member and a student in biological and agricultural engineering recently installed floating islands of plants at an on-campus research site to evaluate whether the islands can improve stormwater quality. A temporary vinyl barrier divides the pond into a control side and an experimental side with water quality sensors providing continuous, multi-point data as water enters and exits the pond.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Launches Campus as Lab Seed Funding Program
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the university recently announced that it will provide seed funding for faculty members to assist in preparing a proposal for external funding that will include using campus sustainability features and projects in their research related to sustainability. Specifically, iSEE wants to leverage this seed money to attract external funds that are relevant to objectives from the Illinois Climate Action Plan.
U Helsinki Establishes Institute of Sustainability Science
(Finland) The newly formed Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science seeks to solve global sustainability issues by focusing primarily on the study of cities, the global south and Arctic areas, systems of sustainable consumption and production, and the theory and methods of sustainability science. Ten new professorships are being established in conjunction with the new institute, connecting nearly 200 researchers from six different faculties.
University Deans Refuse Funding From Tobacco-Tied Anti-Smoking Group
Seventeen American and Canadian public health schools have signed a pledge saying they won't work with or accept money from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, an anti-smoking group funded by Philip Morris International. Philip Morris International plans to contribute close to $1 billion to fund the organization, whose mission is to reduce illness and death from smoking. The statement claims both the tobacco industry and Philip Morris International have a long history of funding research in ways meant to purposely confuse the public and advance their own interests.
Queen’s U Belfast Opens Research Center for Renewable Energy
(U.K.) Working with a number of partners across Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland, the $12 million (9.7 million euros) research center for renewable energy projects will recruit 34 doctorate students across the marine and bio-energy disciplines to research the use of tidal and wave power generation.
North Carolina State U Uses Campus Buildings for Energy Management Living Lab
Working together with the university's energy management team, engineering professors and students were able to identify opportunities to reduce electricity use at times when costs are highest. The collaboration also revealed that if the university had a 1.2 megawatt solar array and 400 kilowatt-hour battery there would be a 5 percent reduction in electricity costs over the summer months.
Six Universities Receive Energy Dept CHP Research Funding
North Carolina State University, Pace University, Pennsylvania State University-University Park, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maine, Washington State University, Houston Advanced Research Center and the Center for Sustainable Energy will split a U.S. Department of Energy $25 million grant to further the installation of cost-effective, highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies. These institutions will, among other things, become regional CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships that will assist in the development of strategies to increase resilience to natural disasters and improve grid and electric delivery reliability.
Colorado State U Receives $50K for Campus Sustainability & Water Research
The $50,000 grant will be split between campus sustainability research and collaboration, and STEM opportunities for diverse and underrepresented students. The university's National Western Center Sustainability Team will use $37,500 to develop innovations in water, energy, food systems, and health and recreation, and improve the natural environment. The second part of the grant, $12,500, supports the CSU Water Fellows program. First-generation CSU students from diverse and often underrepresented backgrounds will team with neighboring high school students to work on water issues.
Southern Oregon U Launches Botanical Tour
The tour includes GPS coordinates for trees located across the university’s 175-acre campus, along with a printed tour brochure and a web-based tour. The tour serves to educate southern Oregon residents about the campus' biodiversity, inspire people to expand sustainability efforts and foster engagement with groups throughout the community.
U Colorado Boulder Receives LEED Gold on Three New Buildings
The Sustainability, Energy and Environment Laboratory, a hub for environmental and sustainability research, features a high-performance energy recovery system that captures waste exhaust from labs and utilizes it in the heating and cooling of the building. The East District Energy Plant features a rain gardens that captures all stormwater from the roof and a yellow roof to reduce light pollution. The Grounds and Recycling Operations Center building features include an 11-kilowatt rooftop solar array, exterior LED lighting and an electric-truck charging station.
Michigan State U to Test Algae-Based Carbon Capture on Power Plant
With the support of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, university researchers will test a novel technique for capturing power plant emissions while producing high-value chemicals and biofuels with algae. The test will take place at the T.B. Simon Power Plant on MSU’s campus.
U California Davis Pilots Energy Saving Technology to Keep Cows Cool
In an effort to demonstrate an effective alternative to cooling cows that consumes less energy and water, the university's new pilot program uses chilled water and air cooling. The project is part of a four-year, $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission to help improve water and energy efficiency in California’s dairy industry.
Indiana U Launches $300M Grand Challenges Program
The university's Grand Challenge program announced the new Prepared for Environmental Change initiative. The new multi-million dollar initiative seeks to gather an interdisciplinary team of researchers that will engage government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to implement actionable solutions to the impacts of environmental change.
MIT Energy Initiative Announces $10.3M Collaboration
The $10.3 million, five-year collaboration with energy company Iberdrola aims to advance technologies and policies that will help transition to clean energy and fight climate change. The agreement includes $5 million in funding for a professorship at MIT dedicated to research and education in power systems engineering.
Queen's University Receives $11M for Renewable Energy Research
(Ireland) The $10.9 million (9.3 million euros) funding will be used to create a "virtual center of competence" to support research into bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources. Working with a number of cross-border partners including the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, and University of Highlands and Islands, the center will research wave and tidal power, ocean power, and energy produced through anaerobic digestion of food waste.
U Illinois Chicago Receives $450K to Help Chemistry Teachers Tackle Heavy Metals
UIC has received a nearly $450,000 National Science Foundation grant that will help high school chemistry students and teachers from seven Chicago public schools study and address urban heavy metal contamination in their communities. The project, called “The Poisoned Onion,” will support educators to teach chemistry within the context of heavy metal contamination in the soil and water of Chicago neighborhoods.
UK Universities Partner With Rail Industry on New Research Center
The newly-created U.K. Railway Research and Innovation Network, a partnership of seven U.K. universities and the rail supply industry, secured 92 million pounds ($188 million) in funding to create three linked centers of research and innovation. The aim of the centers is to develop new technologies and products for trains, railway systems and infrastructure that will deliver a better, more reliable and efficient railway.
U Arkansas Plans Interdisciplinary Resiliency Center
An interdisciplinary Resiliency Center is being developed under the university's School of Architecture and Design. Still subject to approval from the university's board of trustees, the new center proposes to coordinate graduate-level education, undergraduate sustainability coursework, research, and outreach programs in sustainable food, water, community and landscape systems.
EAUC Publishes Living Labs Research
The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (U.K.) recently released new research on living labs. The research is broken into three reports: what living labs are and why they are important; making the case for living labs; and how living labs work.
Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis Launches MS in Product Stewardship
Launching in fall 2017, the university's new Master of Science degree in product stewardship is designed to prepare students to address local, national and global issues relating to the environment, worker health and safety, and social accountability as they relate to the design, use and disposal of everyday products.
U Virginia Launches Environmental Resilience Institute
The new Environmental Resilience Institute aims to accelerate solutions to urgent social-environmental challenges, such as coastal flooding and storm impacts in coastal regions, and water security. The institute will be initially funded with a three-year, $2 million grant from the university, and spearheaded by the offices of the executive vice president and provost, and the vice president for research.
Three Michigan Universities Partner on Water Quality Research & Solutions
Michigan State, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University are partnering on a new program called IN-Water, Infrastructure Network for Water, in part due to aging water infrastructure as witnessed in the Flint, Michigan water crisis. The idea behind the program is to bring water leaders together to draw up a road map for how to help communities update their water systems.
U Michigan Launches Environmental Health Masters Degree Program
The university's School of Public Health has launched a new Masters of Public Health degree program called Environmental Health Promotion & Policy that will integrate the principles of environmental health sciences, with health policy and health promotion approaches to address and reduce environmental and occupational health risks.
U Idaho Research Building Receives LEED Gold
The university's new interdisciplinary research facility features include dedicated bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging spaces; metal paneling and automatic window shades that let in natural light while reducing glare and heat; and a 3,500-cubic-feet rainwater catchment system used to water trees, native grasses and plants.
Wege Center for Sustainable Design Announces Winners of Wege Prize 2017
Wege Center for Sustainable Design, housed at the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University, announced the winners of Wege Prize 2017, the fourth iteration of the annual design competition challenging transdisciplinary teams of college and university students to rethink and redesign the way economies work. Three multi-institutional teams were selected as winners out of the five finalist teams.
Wesleyan U Receives $4M Gift for College of the Environment
An alumnus and his wife recently donated $4 million to the university’s College of the Environment. The endowment will fund seminars, workshops and faculty-student research grants, internship learning opportunities for students with financial need who are pursuing studies related to environmental research, and an endowed scholarship for those who have demonstrated exceptional academic accomplishment and are pursuing the environmental studies linked major or the environmental studies certificate through the College of the Environment.
U Vermont Receives $6M Donation for Environment Institute
A $6 million gift from the Gund family will create the university's first university-wide sustainability institute. Designed to catalyze interdisciplinary research at UVM, the Gund Institute for Environment will help address urgent global issues highlighted in the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals.
Bard College Unveils Environmental Education Degree Program
Beginning fall 2018, the college's Center for Environmental Policy will host the new Master of Education degree program in environmental education, which aims to prepare educators to create an informed and engaged citizenry that will support progress toward a sustainable future.
Louisiana State U Opens Sustainability Living Laboratory
The university's new BASF Sustainable Living Laboratory selects researchers to reside in the laboratory based on, in part, whether or not their research is designed to meet sustainable solutions as defined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The aim of the lab is to promote problem-based teaching and research focused on sustainable solutions that meet global challenges.
U California & Mexico Partner to Allocate $10M to Energy Efficiency Research Projects
Building on a memorandum of understanding signed by the university and Mexico, Mexico officially launched a request for proposals that will award up to $10 million (200 million pesos) to support energy efficiency research projects in Mexico, led by Mexican research institutions in collaboration with University of California researchers. The request for proposals aims to further advance shared goals of increasing energy efficiency in buildings and cities by investing in demonstration projects and microgrids.
Simon Fraser U to Train Researchers in Clean Technology
The university was selected to lead a program that will train researchers from low- and middle-income countries to research innovative solutions to global issues, such as food and water security, and solar energy and waste-heat technologies. The goal is to cultivate collaborations that can drive innovative research on a local and international level, while developing scholars to become leaders in their field.
Pomona College Receives $2.5M for Energy Efficiency Upgrades
A new $2.5 million California Energy Commission grant will fund a three-year project to enhance existing energy management systems for 10 campus buildings. In partnership with five other organizations, the grant will provide additional occupancy sensors, automated controls, and optimization of air circulation, lights and thermostats.
Three Higher Ed Groups to Implement Open Access Initiative
The Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries, and Association of American University Presses are implementing a new initiative, expected to launch spring 2017, to advance the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members by publishing free, open access, digital editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs. To date, there are 12 institutions that have committed to participate in this initiative.
Hood College Receives $944K for Bioproducts Faculty Position
The college has been selected to receive a $944,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Commerce to establish an endowed faculty position in Advanced Bioproducts Research and Education focused on bringing biofuels and bioproducts production from the research laboratory to market. In addition to supporting the endowed chair position, the funding will be used for staff and support personnel, graduate and undergraduate research, and scientific equipment.
Harvard U Awards $1M to Seven Climate Change Projects
Five Harvard Schools will share about $1 million, awarded by the Climate Change Solutions Fund, for seven projects. Topics include energy, decarbonization, air pollution, imagining a fossil-free future, healthy eating and reducing the environmental footprint of food, and policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to inform the 23rd annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting of the parties in November.
U British Columbia & U Washington Receive $1M for New Public Research Partnership
Thanks to a $1 million gift from Microsoft, the new partnership will establish the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative, helping the Cascadia region address social challenges. The partnership will revolve around four main programs: a social good summer program for students, a social good symposium, research partnerships and development of new software, systems and services to facilitate data management and analysis.