Yale Announces First Grants for Sustainability Research

The Yale University (CT) School of Architecture has selected five projects to receive the inaugural grants from the Hines Research Fund for Advanced Sustainability in Architecture. The winning proposals fall into three thematic areas: constructional methods and materials, particularly in terms of reducing both embodied energy and the energy consumed by building systems; development of climate responsive building types; and analysis/optimization of energy behaviors in buildings. All proposals are committed to expanding academic research and educational opportunities for students.

CSU Chico College of Ag Receives $40K Organic Valley Award

The Research Foundation at California State University, Chico has received a $40,000 grant from Organic Valley. The money will be used by CSU, Chico's College of Agriculture to help fund a two-year study focused on improving net profit by improving pasture management. In addition to assessing and promoting more sustainable feeding systems, the project will host "grazing schools" for beginning and advanced dairy farmers to encourage and support efficient pasture use. The research will also assess organically approved soil amendments to establish profitability resulting from changes in forage quality and quantity.

U Illinois Chicago to Start Community Garden

The University of Illinois, Chicago has announced plans to dig a community garden on campus. The new garden, which will offer 5' by 6' and 5' by 12' plots, will be run communally and gardeners will be required to practice sustainable and organic techniques and refrain from using genetically-modified seeds. The UIC Office of Sustainability plans to offer educational workshops at the new site on topics such as gardening techniques, sustainable practices, and cooking and preserving.

U Nevada Las Vegas Unveils Energy Efficient Homes

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in partnership with Pulte Homes and NV Energy, has unveiled four energy efficient model homes in northwest Las Vegas. The homes were developed as part of a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a community of homes that combine energy efficient features and smart grid technology to cut residential energy usage by more than half.

Campus Sustainability Leader Earns Rhodes Scholarship

Oberlin College (OH) senior and environmental activist, Lucas Brown, has received a Rhodes Scholarship. Brown, along with two other students, designed and financed the SEED (Student Experiment in Ecological Design) house at Oberlin, an Oberlin-owned duplex that a group of students renovated to be more environmentally friendly. As a result of the changes made to the house, the students cut energy costs in half. Brown will begin a Masters in Economics program at Oxford University this fall.

MUM Students Build/Install Several Green Projects

A group of Maharishi University of Management (IA) Sustainable Living students have constructed and/or installed several green projects on campus. The projects include a wood-fired brick oven capable of making 20-30 loaves of bread at a time, a solar collector that is circulated into the classroom to provide warmth without the use of fossil fuels, a website the monitors the energy performance of their classrooms, a solar hot water heater, and a "living machine" that illustrates how a natural, living system can filter waste water. The system is a small-scale model of the sort of living machine that could be used to purify a home, office complex, or an entire city.

MSU Wins Grant to Establish Packing Innovation & Sustainability Ctr

Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has received a $400,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Company to establish the Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability. The planned Center, to be housed in the MSU School of Packaging, will serve as a think tank for packaging innovation and sustainability and a research and education hub to measure and reduce packaging’s environmental impact. The center will include state-of-the-art technology for bench research and testing of packaging materials and will offer academic, outreach and continuing education programs.

U Louisville to Operate Kentucky Renewable Energy Research Ctr

The University of Louisville has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Kentucky State Government to operate the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship. The Center has been funded by a $20 million donation from an alumnus. The Kentucky General Assembly created the Center in 2006 to provide leadership, research, support, and policy development in renewable energy. A governor-appointed board will set priorities for renewable energy research. The Center’s mission will include promoting partnerships among the state’s colleges and universities, private industry, and nonprofit organizations to actively pursue federal research and development resources that are dedicated to renewable energy.

Stanford U Announces $100 Million Energy Research Initiative

Stanford University (CA) has established a $100 million research institute to focus on energy issues. The new Precourt Institute for Energy will draw on scientific expertise from across the campus and around the world to help develop more sustainable forms of energy and to search for ways to reduce atmospheric levels of carbon. The $100 million in new funds will enable the hiring of additional faculty and support new graduate students.

U Delaware Opens Fuel Cell Research Center

The University of Delaware has established the Center for Fuel Cell Research to improve the understanding of fuel cells and address issues and barriers to commercialization. The Center will also provide undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to participate in fuel cell research and demonstration projects. The overall goal of the work is to improve performance and durability with novel materials, architectures, and operating strategies.

U Michigan Partners to Fund Alternative Transportation

The University of Michigan has partnered with Fraunhofer to offer seed money grants of up to $200,000 for two years to projects that explore alternative energy innovations for transportation. Each project must have researchers from both U-M and Fraunhofer, have a strong potential to eventually attract external funding, and ultimately be good candidates for commercialization. The Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute will work with U-M’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Fraunhofer to select and evaluate projects. Projects will be awarded in 2009 and must be finished within two years.

Arizona State U Graduates First Master's in Sustainability Candidate

Arizona State University awarded its first ever master’s degree in sustainability at its fall commencement ceremonies. The new graduate, Brigitte Bavousett, received her degree from the university’s School of Sustainability, the first degree-granting institution of its kind in the nation.

Illinois State U Dedicates Center for Renewable Energy

Illinois State University has dedicated its new Center for Renewable Energy. The Center coordinates education, outreach, and research efforts on wind, solar, bio-fuel, and other alternative energy sources. In addition, the Center brings together faculty from several academic disciplines and colleges at ISU to support the University’s renewable energy major, provide the public with objective research-based information on renewable energy, and facilitate applied research through collaborations with other universities. The Center was established through a grant awarded by the Department of Energy.

U New Haven Receives Biodiesel Grant

The University of New Haven (CT) has received a $135,276 grant from the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to expand its biodiesel research. The main objective of the UNH study is to identify species of algae from Long Island Sound that could be harvested or cultivated to produce biodiesel. A professor and a group of students plan to collect phytoplankton, identify and analyze the species collected, and attempt to find a viable algae source.

EKU to Establish Ctr for Renewable Fuel Technologies

Eastern Kentucky University has announced plans to establish the EKU Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT). The Center will provide researches with the opportunity to examine the potential for a cellulose-derived biodiesel industry in Kentucky. CRAFT will aim to identify and develop baseline agricultural and economics data. The work will include: the prioritization of agricultural crops that would make good feedstock for the production of bio-oils; the identification of land that could be cultivated without negatively impacting existing agricultural businesses; the determination of potential/probable crop yields; the identification of the economic impacts on the Commonwealth’s agricultural, transportation, and biofuels industries; and the determination of transition scenarios for moving toward a biofuel industry in the Commonwealth.

Middlebury College to Reduce Energy Use in Prgms Abroad

The Middlebury College (VT) Office of International Programs, Off-Campus Study, and Sustainability Integration have begun a year-long effort to assess the environmental practices of its abroad programs. Students and faculty are working to develop an assessment tool that will help to define what it means to be sustainable and will enable each program to evaluate its own status in regards to the definition. The Directors of each program will meet in the summer of 2009 to evaluate the project and decide how to implement changes at each site.

U Waterloo Signs MOU for Renewable Energy Research

The University of Waterloo (ON) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in India and the Centennial Energy Institute in Canada to further enable research on renewable energy, nanotechnology, and nuclear engineering. The goal of the agreement is to improve energy security, reliability, and affordability. The partnership will allow for students and faculty from both institutions to collaborate.

Clarkson U Establishes Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Clarkson University (NY) has launched the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems. The Center aims to create new approaches to energy education, biofuels, hydrogen cells, solar energy, wind power, and efficiency. CSES supports energy research for more than 40 faculty members.

Notre Dame Hosts Carbon Neutral Football Game

The University of Notre Dame's (IN) final home game of the 2008 football season, played against Syracuse University (NY), was carbon-neutral. For the first time, all of the carbon emissions produced by stadium energy use, fan travel, hotel stays, and visiting team travel were offset by energy conservation projects coordinated by the University’s Office of Sustainability.

U Georgia Holds Green Football Game

The University of Georgia has partnered with Georgia Power to power its football game against Georgia Tech with renewable sources. The majority of electricity for them game came from the Seminole Landfill methane gas facility.

U Michigan Provides $365 K for Energy Modulating Tool

The University of Michigan has announced that it will provide $365,000 in seed money to launch an effort to build a robust, ultimately Web-based, interactive tool that enables people to answer real-world questions about how and if energy technologies can succeed. The University hopes that the models, which are intended to be modular, accessible and changeable over the web, will provide capability and accessibility for answering how the energy world works and what are the likely consequences of actions, policies, and world events. The immediate goal is to create an interactive website-based model where users can explore scenarios for future automotive and electricity grid performance and costs, as well as market conditions subject to regulation, and visualize the time-scales over which plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. UM also plans for the website to be able to present measures that will aid in assessing the quality of simulation outcomes for society and the realism of the input scenarios.

Marshalltown CC Starts Organic Garden

Marshalltown Community College (IA) has started an organic garden on campus. The two-acre garden will be tended by six students in the Entrepreneurial and Diversified Agriculture Program. The students plan to start a Community Supported Agriculture Program with the organic fruits and vegetables that will be grown in the garden starting next spring.

Michigan State U Department of Theatre Goes Green

The Michigan State University Department of Theatre has announced plans to produce its first "green" play. The set for Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” features natural fabrics, eco-friendly lighting, and recycled materials. The student set crew made portions of the set from papier-mâché constructed from issues of the State News and used low-VOC paint. In addition, the actors didn't use paper copies of scripts and materials were not shipped in for the production. MSU plans to host at least one “gree

Middlebury College Student Newspaper Publishes Green Issue

Middlebury College's student newspaper, The Middlebury Campus , has released a special "green" issue to report on green issues affecting the campus and engage the community in environmental dialogue. Special features of the green issue included all content on environmental topics, including green submissions from regular columnists and articles on topics like organic food, environmental art, and local trends in eco design; Op-Eds solicited from environmental thinkers; and environmentally friendly pro

UI Chicago Establishes Community Garden, Replaces Light Bulbs

The University of Illinois, Chicago has established a new community garden on campus. The 40 foot by 30 foot plot is currently managed by one farmer, but the University hopes to open it up to more community helpers in the spring. In addition, the University's Office of Sustainability recently started an initiative to replace all incandescent light bulbs on campus with more efficient compact florescent bulbs. The Office estimates that by changing all of the bulbs in the main administrative building on campus, the University will save $170,000 annually.

UNC Wilmington Opens Student-Run Green Products Store

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington has opened ECOteal, a new student store devoted to environmentally friendly products and practices. The store offers transportation-related items, green products, and repair services; all merchandise is recyclable, biodegradable, or otherwise environmentally preferable; clothing is made from organic cotton or bamboo; and a local bike mechanic is available at the store by appointment every week.

U Wyoming Partners with GE for Cleaner Coal

The University of Wyoming and GE Energy have reached an agreement on a proposed development plan for the High Plains Gasification Advanced Technology Center. The Center is intended to enable researchers from both GE and UW to develop gasification and cleaner coal technologies for Powder River Basin and other coals. The center will include a small-scale gasification system.

WVU Announces the Sustainable & Renewable Energy Grants Prgm

West Virginia University has announced the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Grants Program. The Program will offer $500 to $1,000 grants to teams of WVU students to further their energy research projects. WVU will announce the grant winners in December. Funding will be available January 7th, 2009.

Indiana U, Purdue U Partner for Energy Research

Indiana University and Purdue University have partnered to form the Indiana Consortium for Research in Energy Systems and Policy to spur development and research in energy solutions. The Consortium aims to advance interdisciplinary research related to energy systems as well as environmental and energy policy issues. The Consortium joins the efforts of IU's new Center for Research in Energy and the Environment, Purdue's Center for Research in Energy Systems and Policy, and IUPUI's Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy. Its primary goals include facilitating the formation of interdisciplinary and multi-institution research teams; securing funding for research team projects; and conducting objective research focused on meaningful solutions to challenges resulting from increased demand for energy resources.

O.A.R. Launches Campus Sustainability Tour

Reverb, an environmentally focused non-profit, has announced O.A.R. as the featured band of its third annual Campus Consciousness Tour. The Tour aims to promote environmental sustainability among students and administrators at each college campus they visit. Each stop on the tour has an "interactive Eco-Village" featuring campus environmental groups. In addition, O.A.R. has begun using buses than run on biodiesel.

Indiana U Offers Sustainability Research Grants

The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs has announced a new grant program that will provide opportunities for faculty members and students to develop externally funded research related to environmental sustainability. The Sustainability Research Development Grant program will allow for up to five $10,000 grants during the 2008-09 school year. Award recipients will be expected to develop new, collaborative lines of research that have the potential to develop into externally funded research projects; engage with other members of the university sustainability community; submit a report on their work to the dean of SPEA at the end of the fall semester following the award; and produce a grant proposal for continuation of the research for submission to one or more federal or state research organizations, foundations, or corporate sponsors.

Arizona State U Partners to Establish Solar Testing Facility

Arizona State University has partnered with TUV Rheinland Group to create TUV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory. The collaboration, which will be based in Tempe, will allow the two entities to test and certify PV panels and electrical components for Europe, Asia, and North America. Additionally, Arizona Public Service, one of Arizona's electricity providers, will provide five acres of outdoor testing space at its Solar Test and Research (STAR) Center for use by the venture to conduct outdoor endurance testing. TUV Rheinland will be the principal investor in the new company and will develop a new facility near ASU’s Tempe campus.

Campuses Celebrate Campus Sustainability Day

Several hundred campuses participated in this year's Campus Sustainability Day, October 22, 2008. The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), in conjunction with the Higher Education Associations' Sustainability Consortium, organized a web cast with The New York Times Knowledge Network to discuss "Climate Realities, Challenges, and Progress in Higher Education." SCUP's Campus Sustainability Planning Network homepage lists several press releases and news stories about CSD events that too

Cornell U Announces Funding for Sustainability Research Projects & Workshops

Cornell University's (NY) Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future has announced its inaugural Academic Venture Fund awards. This year's awards granted funding to seven sustainability research projects and five sustainability workshops for Cornell faculty. The seven projects include improving the stability and productivity of algal bioreactors for biofuels production; integrated digital design environment for sustainable architecture; forecasting disease and economic consequences of climate change; environmental, energetic, and economic potential of biochar; understanding aflatoxin accumulation in maize; vibro-wind technology as alternative wind energy systems for buildings; and how plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electrifying transportation affects energy use and emissions. The projects are funded by the Center's 2008 budget of almost $3 million. The five workshop topics include large-scale wind-generated power; managing sources of uncertainty for sustainable resource management; building social networks for biological inventories and information; urban trees for sustainable cities to develop an integrated social-ecological sciences research agenda in New York City; and environmental sustainability in an aging society.

George Mason U, Smithsonian Partner for New Conservation Program

George Mason University (VA) and the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park have signed an agreement to develop a comprehensive academic program for undergraduates, graduates, and practicing conservationists. Multidisciplinary faculty members from Mason’s Center for Conservation Studies and the Zoo’s Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability have launched Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Education Studies, a program that will provide academic opportunities for up to 50 undergraduate students per semester and accommodate an additional 60 participants in the professional training and certificate programs that the partnership will offer. The program will offer students an opportunity to live and study at the Zoo’s 3,200-acre Conservation and Research Center, where it cares for and conducts research on more than 30 critically endangered species.

Highland CC Breaks Ground for Wind Turbine Technology Ctr

Highland Community College (IL) has broken ground for a 5,500 square foot Wind Turbine Technology Center. The Center will be fully available for students beginning in the fall 2009 semester and will provide space to house an Associate's of Applied Science in Wind Turbine Technology. Additionally, the new center will be fitted with specialized tools and supplies through a partnership with Greenlee Textron, Inc.

Macomb CC to Establish Center for Green Auto Technology

Macomb Community College (MI) has begun work on an Advanced Technological Education Center that will focus on advanced automotive technology as part of the college’s effort to help steer the region toward the economy of the future. The center will focus on the growing fields of hybrid electric, alternative fuel, and fuel cell technology as they relate to all aspects of the automotive product life cycle: design, development, manufacturing, service, and recycling. The college, working with a consortium that includes Wayne State University, Henry Ford Community College, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, was awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an implementation plan for the new center, which would be based at Macomb’s South Campus in Warren.

Pomona Announces Sustainability Action Fellows Program

Pomona College (CA) has announced the creation of the Sustainability Action Fellows program. The new program will allow for a group of 29 students to participate in the creation of the College's Sustainability Action Plan. Each Fellow will be responsible for seeking out sustainability strategies in one of six areas: energy, water, purchasing, ducation/communication, waste and recycling, or environmental justice.

U Guelph to Establish Centre for Ag Renewable Energy & Sustainability

The University of Guelph (ON) has announced plans to establish the Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES). The centre will have an agricultural focus, with the objectives of strengthening the agriculture sector, improving sustainability and development, increasing alternative energy and energy conservation, and leveraging education, training, and research.

3 Institutions Establish LED Research Center

The National Science Foundation has announced plans to establish a new Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) to supplant the common light bulb with next-generation lighting devices that are smarter, greener, and ready for innovation. The NSF-funded Smart Lighting Center, which is supported by University of New Mexico and Boston University (MA), will investigate and develop light-emitting diode (LED) technologies. Twenty faculty researchers from Rensselaer, along with 10 researchers from BU and UNM, will staff the new center.

Carnegie Mellon U Announces Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency

Carnegie Mellon University (PA) and APC by Schneider Electric have announced the establishment of the APC Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency Research. The APC Research Fellowships, which are intended to increase the number of students engaged in data center efficiency research, support Ph.D. students at Carnegie Mellon with research foci in the area of data center efficiency.

U Florida Dedicates Pilot Ethanol Plant

The University of Florida has dedicated a pilot ethanol plant on its campus. The plant will research using genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert plant waste into ethanol. Funded as part of a $4.5 million state grant, the plant will also be used to train graduate students.

UW Madison Holds Carbon Neutral Homecoming Game

This year's University of Wisconsin, Madison homecoming football game against the University of Illinois has been designated carbon neutral. UW Madison has planted thousands of trees at a nearby farm and purchased carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated directly by activities surrounding the game. The event also provided information on ways fans can take action in their daily lives to become more environmentally friendly.

Virginia Commonwealth U Dedicates Env'l Research Pier

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences has opened and dedicated its new 5,100-square-foot research pier that gives scientists direct access to James River. The pier was developed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and sits on an ecologically rich, 343-acre parcel of land located on the north bank of the river. The site also serves as a science educator training facility and a place for local K-12 students to participate in various activities.

Ryerson U Kiosks Promote Environmental Goals

Ryerson University (ON) has installed three new touch screen kiosks on campus that promote Ryerson's environmental goals. Students can click on the large blue information kiosks to find out more about RU's environmental initiatives and what they can do to help Ryerson achieve its green goals. More kiosks are scheduled to be built in the coming months.

U Arizona Establishes Institute for the Environment & Society

The University of Arizona has established the Institute for Environment and Society. The new institute's primary goal is to facilitate partnerships among university scientists and society in developing environmentally sustainable technologies, strategies, and policies that will strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life in Arizona and beyond. Diana Liverman of Oxford University has been recruited to co-direct the institute with Jonathan Overpeck, UA professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences. Overpeck has been director of UA's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, which will be replaced by the new institute.

U Arizona Makes Biosphere 2 More Sustainable

The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 has begun offering opportunities for UA faculty and students who work on sustainability research or who are involved in a sustainability-relevant course to do experiments or projects within the biosphere. Additionally, Biosphere two currently features an on-site recycling program and will soon contain a rainwater catchment system. In addition, landscape architecture students are developing designs for a new master site plan to better serve visitors and incorporate new sustainable systems in Biosphere 2 operations.

Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley Partner with India to Reduce GHGs

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley have announced a joint research and development program in which researchers will work with the government and private sector of India to develop paths toward reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining sustained economic growth. Scientists of the initiative, named the Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the Environment, will conduct research on basic science and engineering, new technology development, and policies to promote market transformation to further energy efficiency, clean energy sources, and smart growth.

Oregon State U Selected for Marine Renewable Energy Center

Oregon State University has been selected as the site for the Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded OSU a $1.25 million annual grant, which can be renewed for up to five years. This will be combined with funds from the Oregon legislature, OSU, the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, the University of Washington and other sources to create a total of $13.5 million over five years that will help create the Center. This monetary support will primarily be used to build a floating “test berth” to test wave energy technology on the Oregon coast. Construction of the new floating test berth should begin in 2010.

U Delaware Launches Energy Institute

The University of Delaware has launched its new Energy Institute. The purpose of the new institute is to create and integrate new solutions to challenges in energy sufficiency and sustainability. University President Patrick Harker has also announced the establishment of the Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration, which will explore connection and storage issues related to wind and other intermittent energy sources.