U Washington to Form College of the Environment
The University of Washington has announced plans to merge six existing academic disciplines that focus on oceans, the atmosphere, and forests to form the College of the Environment. The new college would join Forestry, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, Marine Affairs, and Oceanography, and it would add a new program, Environment, Society, and Culture.
UW Oshkosh Approves Sustainability as Essential Learning Outcome
The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh Faculty Senate has unanimously approved "the knowledge of sustainability and its applications" as part of the new set of Essential Learning Outcomes for all students in the University. The learning outcomes were developed by the University’s Liberal Education Reform Team (LERT) and Resource Group, comprised of faculty, staff and students.
Arizona State U Art Exhibitions Feature Sustainability
The Arizona State University Institute for Humanities Research recently held an art exhibit entitled, "Sustainability and the Visual Arts." The exhibition, which was on display last semester, explored the relationship between human beings and nature and proposed solutions within existing cultural structures. The exhibition featured work from students and community members, and showcased two-dimensional and small-scale sculptures from eight artists. The artists were asked to explore new meanings and inter
Oberlin College Offsets its Commencement Carbon Footprint
Oberlin College (OH) recently purchased carbon offsets for its 2008 Commencement/Reunion weekend. The purchase aimed to offset the carbon emissions created from travel, lodging, meals, energy consumption, waste disposal, production, and other incidental factors for more than 5,000 alumni, family members, and friends that attended commencement weekend events. The weekend also featured local food, bioware plates and flatware, and a 100 percent post-consumer paper Commencement/Reunion program.
Columbia U Establishes Center on Sustainable Intl Investment
Columbia University (NY) recently announced the establishment of the Vale-Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment. The center aims to promote learning, teaching, policy-oriented research and practical work within the foreign direct investment (FDI) area, paying special attention to the sustainable development dimension of investments. The center will study outward FDI from emerging markets, while its practical work will include workshops on such topics as resource endowments, FDI sustainability in the mining industry, and sustainability and risk assessment/mitigation in the FDI area. A $1.5 million grant, provided by Vale over a five year period, will help to establish the center, which was a joint undertaking by the Columbia School of Law and the Columbia Earth Institute.
Southwestern U Students Form Bike Collective
Southwestern University (TX) students from a course titled "Introduction to Sustainability" recently formed a bike collective as part of a class project. Students from the course were asked to participate in a project that would make them think about ways of living that are more sustainable. The bike collective aims to teach bike safety and repair to anyone that is interested and gives refurnished bikes to people who need one, paying in work-trade rather than money. The bike collective obtained $2,500 in
USGBC Announces Green Building Curriculum Award Winners
The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced the winners of its first annual awards and grants recognizing and encouraging green building curricula. The Recognition Grant recipients include Yavapai College (AZ), Grand Valley State University (MI), the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Virginia, among others. The Incentive Grants were awarded to Eastern Iowa Community College District, Santa Fe Community College (NM), Cornell University (NY), the University of Maine at Farmington, and others. The Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Recognition Awards and Incentive Grants are open to any green building programs and curricula from pre-K to college level. The Incentive Grants provide $20,000 for each recipient to develop new curricula.
Calvin College Course Prepares Carbon Neutrality Plan
Calvin College (MI) students from the Engineering 333 and Biology 354 courses recently completed an analysis of what it would take to make the College carbon neutral. Throughout the semester, the classes completed a carbon emissions inventory, a sequestration potential investigation, and a financial analysis of how the campus could reduce its carbon output. As a result, the students developed a plan to reach carbon neutrality within 11 years through a Green Energy Fund and installing a wind turbine.
San Francisco State to Launch Green Themed Living
This fall, San Francisco State University will launch ECO-Digs, a co-op project consisting of four campus houses dedicated to sustainable living. The four adjacent houses will allow residents to grow their own food, reduce their energy consumption, and conserve water. The houses are open to upper classmen and graduate students.
Williams College Receives Student Env'l Leadership Skills Grant
Williams College (MA) recently received a $24,800 grant from the Henry David Thoreau Foundation for building environmental leadership skills among students. The College's Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives will implement the project, "Using the Study of Green Building Practices at Williams College to Educate Environmental Leaders for Tomorrow." The aim of the program is to develop knowledge of sustainable building practices and create opportunities for col
Caltech to Establish Environmental Science Center
California Institute of Technology recently received an $18 million endowment to establish the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science. The new center will include chemists studying ozone-destroying reactions in the stratosphere, fluid dynamicists and physicists studying atmospheric and oceanic flows, biologists studying nutrient cycles, geologists studying evidence of the effects of past climates, and social scientists (including economists) and humanists evaluating how society and institutions can respond to global change.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. Announces Transportation Research Initiative
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) Laboratory for Environmental Computing and Decision Making recently announced a new program aimed at exploring the environmental, economic, and energy impacts of global and domestic freight transportation. The Sustainable Freight Transportation Research Initiative plans to help build tools and conduct research necessary for improving the environmental footprint from moving goods around the globe. The LECDM will work on projects such as developing a Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transportation tool that allows shippers and policymakers to identify the easiest ways to move freight throughout the country. This mapping tool allows for the analysis of moving goods from origin to destination and can identify the greenest routes, as well as the fastest and least expensive routes.
UC Irvine Establishes New Environment Institute
The University of California, Irvine has established a new research institute dedicated to the study of how the environment and society interact. The UC Irvine Environment Institute: Global Change, Energy, and Sustainable Resources will bring together scientists from across campus to work on projects specific to these areas. For example, projects could include studying how climate change will alter public health and welfare; whether people will accept the living patterns of green cities; and the environmental impacts of new energy technologies. The institute will award seed grants on a competitive basis to teams of UCI researchers from diverse schools and departments who design and collaborate on projects. Priority will be given to projects spanning scientific research, technological innovation, and/or societal response. In addition, UCI will dedicate eight positions over the next three years for new faculty members who will broaden its environmental expertise.
Columbia U Students Break Ground for Campus Garden
Columbia University (NY) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new campus garden. The project aims to raise student awareness about sustainability, agriculture, and food-related issues by creating a space where students can see and actively participate in the growth of vegetables. The students plan to grow eggplants, tomatoes, squash, onions, and a variety of herbs, which will be sold to support the garden. The student group signed a contract with Facilities Management stating that if the garden project does not succeed, the plot will be returned to the department.
Humboldt State U Opens Green Research Center
Humboldt State University (CA) recently opened the Green Product Design and Development Laboratory, a research center that allows students to gain skills in designing innovative green products through class and laboratory experiences. GreenLab, as it is called, grew out of a partnership between the HSU School of Business’ Department of Applied Technology, the John Ash Group and HSU’s Office for Economic & Community Development.
The College of William & Mary Opens Campus Garden
The College of William and Mary (VA) Student Environmental Action Coalition recently started an on-campus garden. The garden was plowed and mulched in the fall of 2007, and students started seedlings in February. Campus Grounds gave the students the plot of land and allowed the students to use departmental garden tools. The garden also includes a compost bin in which Dining Services puts food daily. The garden is a result of SEAC, Dining Services, and members of the College's gardens and grounds division. Eventually, SEAC hopes to start a campus and community educational farm, teaching about sustainable agriculture and the farming process.
Green Mountain College Course Wins VT Env. Excellence Award
The Green Mountain College (VT) Course, "Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast," has received the Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention. The course explored how food choices affect the community. The class visited roughly one dozen area farms and hosted several national food and agricultural experts as guest speakers. As a final project, the class created sustainable purchasing guidelines for an on-campus dining hall.
MIT Establishes Center to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its partnership with Fraunhofer, a German research organization, to establish a research center in Massachusetts focused on significantly reducing the cost of solar energy over the next five years. The MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems aims to develop progressive technologies and materials for designing and producing better solar modules. Located adjacent to the MIT campus, the center will be active in other areas of sustainable energy research as well, including developing new technologies to substantially reduce the energy consumption of new and retrofitted structures.
U Delaware Offers Renewable Energy Undergraduate Internships
The University of Delaware Department of Chemical Engineering and the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology will administer a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, which will enable 10 exemplary students per year in chemical engineering to work with UD researchers on such projects as designing new fuel cells and engineering novel nanomaterial coatings to reduce the drag on ships in water. Under the mentorship of faculty advisers, students selected for the program will not only conduct research, but also learn how to present their findings in scientific seminars and poster sessions.
Arizona State U Offers 'Edible Campus' Internships
Arizona State University recently began offering a plant biology internship, "The Edible Campus," which charges interns with harvesting ASU's fruit and nut trees, maintaining their individual organic garden plots, and marketing the harvested products. The internship program, which meets regularly as a class, aims to connect students to their campus landscape and help students understand the reasoning behind composting and eating locally.
Presidio School Partners to Advance Sustainability in the Curriculum
The Presidio School of Management (CA) recently formed a partnership with ClimateCHECK, a firm that provides greenhouse gas management services and solutions. The partnership, which integrates environmental, social, and financial sustainability in all Presidio courses, will enable ClimateCHECK to better train the next generation of environmental and business leaders on issues surrounding climate change and the management of greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the agreement, ClimateCHECK will provide learning opportunities to students through internships and Presidio’s project oriented learning program, which will offer students the chance to work with the company on climate change-related projects as part of their coursework.
Eastern Mennonite U Plots Campus Garden
Eastern Mennonite University (VA) recently broke ground for a campus garden. Students have already begun tilling and fertilizing the soil and hope that the garden will soon provide part of the produce for the campus. This summer, the garden will function as a pilot project, but students plan to expand the plot in the future.
Texas Christian U Partners to Research Wind Power
Texas Christian University, the University of Oxford, and FPL Energy, LLC recently announced the formation of a partnership and research initiative to better understand the ecological and socio-economic impacts of wind power development. The five-year research effort includes three primary focus areas, including wind turbine impact on birds and bats, wind turbine ecological impacts, and socio-economic impacts of wind projects. The research will be coordinated by TCU’s Institute for Environmental Studies and Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute and will be funded by FPL Energy. All of the field research necessary for the project will be conducted at FPL Energy’s wind farm locations across the U.S.
Utah State U Donates Land for Organic Farm
Utah State University recently donated a 5-acre plot of its research land to be used for an on-campus organic farm. Students will help to prepare the field, and will also help make decisions on rotation rates and plots. Faculty coordinators of the project hope that the produce will be sold in an on-campus student famers market. The coordinators plan for the farm to become a self-sustaining project that will eventually make enough money to allow for a full-credit intern, research projects, and thesis projects.
Clinton Global Initiative U Holds Inaugural Meeting
The Clinton Global Initiative University, which works as part of the Clinton Global Initiative to mobilize college students and universities to address issues with practical and innovative solutions, recently held its first meeting at Tulane University (LA). Nearly 700 college students gathered on the campus of Tulane University, traveling from more than 250 colleges and universities and representing almost each state and every continent except Antarctica. While there, 600 students cleaned and prepared more than 10 blocks of the Lower 9th Ward that will welcome the first returning residents to the New Orleans area. The cleaning was part of Brad Pitt's Make it Right Project, which will construct 150 sustainable and affordable homes in the Lower 9th Ward.
Funding Cut for U New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program
Last year, the University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies program received a $207,000 grant from the state Legislature; this year, the University offered Sustainability Studies $15,000, an amount that will not be enough to sustain the program. The College of Arts and Sciences is currently looking for alternative funding. Approximately 80 students have enrolled in Sustainability Studies at UNM.
Southwestern College, Winfield Creates Student Green Team
Southwestern College, Winfield (KS) is recruiting students for the Green Team, a four-year environmental program that will start in the fall of 2008. The eight or nine students selected will be eligible for up to $3,200 worth of scholarship funds. The Green Team's main responsibility will be to come up with innovative ideas on how to bring renewable energies to campus and to help reduce the campus carbon footprint. Green Team members will be permitted to major in any academic department, but will be required to take environmental and leadership courses. They will also work on projects that take place on campus and in the city of Winfield.
Students Launch Cross-Canada Campus Sustainability Tour
Students across Canada recently joined together to launch the Generations Campaign and cross-Canada tour to send a message to federal policy makers that greater action is needed to combat climate change. The Canadian Federation of Students and the David Suzuki Foundation have teamed up to bring events to universities and colleges across the country. The Generations Campaign will bring keynote speakers to over 30 Canadian campuses this fall to discuss the importance of action in the fight against climate change. The tour will highlight ways in which students across the country are making a difference in their homes, campuses and local communities, and pressure the federal government to take action against climate change.
U Kansas Architecture Students Design and Build Green Building
A University of Kansas architecture class recently designed and built a green building and transported it to Greensburg, Kansas, a community in western Kansas that was destroyed by a tornado last spring. The graduate students from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning built the structure as seven prefabricated modules that were hauled by truck to the Greensburg building site. The students will assemble the modules themselves, and hope to complete the structure by early May. When the building is complete, it will feature solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heating, thermal massing and other green systems. KU expects the building to achieve LEED certification.
3 Michigan Universities to Fund Energy Projects
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, the state's three largest research universities, will invest $900,000 to encourage their faculty to work collaboratively on novel renewable energy research that could help shape energy policy. The energy initiative is an attempt to usher inventions from labs to the marketplace and attract fresh jobs to the state. Faculty from the three universities will have until April 14, 2008 to submit their proposals for research in materials, nanomaterials, clean energy sources, transmission and storage that is environmentally safe, cost-effective, and secure, and energy policy. Funding to the winning proposal or proposals should begin in June.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. to Host Pollution Prevention Institute
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has been chosen to host New York State's Pollution Prevention Institute, a research and development center that will design and test green manufacturing methods and provide technical support to businesses for pollution prevention measures. RIT’s primary mission will be to promote cost effective pollution prevention techniques so that large and small business can reduce energy costs, hazardous substances, and wastes. The Institute will assist industry in reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the use of toxic chemicals, cutting waste generation, decreasing exposure risks to workers, and promoting more efficient use of raw materials and energy. A key part of RIT’s proposal to host the Institute is the creation of 16 research and development technological laboratories across the State, through partnerships with Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Stanford Helps Create the Center for Ocean Solutions
Stanford University (CA), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have joined together to create the Center for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore oceans. Although based in California, the center will confront problems that affect oceans worldwide, including climate change and overfishing. Made possible by a $25 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Center for Ocean Solutions will be managed by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.
U Victoria to Host Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
The provincial government of British Columbia recently allocated $94.5 million to create the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, to be hosted and led by the University of Victoria (BC). PICS will bring together top scientists, government and the private sector to develop innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. The collaboration also includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
College of the Sequoias to Open Organic Dairy Plant
College of the Sequoias (CA) recently leased a local dairy processing plant in order to provide hands-on experience for students studying organic dairy certification. The plant will allow for up to 30 student positions and will produce 150 organic milk products. Some of these products will be offered in COS campus dining halls. COS expects the plant to be open in early March.
1100 Campuses Focus the Nation on Global Warming Solutions
On Jan. 31, 2008, more than 1100 colleges and universities across the US participated in Focus the Nation, a major educational initiative on global warming solutions. The event, which also had the participation of several hundred high schools, faith organizations and civic groups, is believed to be the largest teach-in in U.S. history. Many institutions help open forums on climate change with participation from faculty, elected officials, and other guests. Faculty members from a wide range of disciplines also incorporated climate change into their lectures. The final component of Focus the Nation is the 'Choose Your Future' vote, in which all students, faculty and community participants are encouraged to vote on what they think are the top five climate change solutions from a list of 15 that is available on the event's website. Voting ends in mid February.
DOE Announces 2009 Solar Decathlon Teams
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the schools selected to compete in the fourth Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Washington, DC in 2009. The teams, selected from universities in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, will each receive $100,000 from the DOE to design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully-solar-powered home. In addition to producing enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, from powering lights and electronics to cooking, washing clothes and dishes, each home must produce surplus energy sufficient to power an electric car. Applications for the competition were evaluated by a panel made up of engineers, scientists and other experts from DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Teams were required to meet specific criteria, demonstrating their ability to design and build an innovative, entirely solar-powered, 800-square-foot home from scratch, including the ability to raise additional funds and assemble a team necessary to carry the project through to completion.
RecycleMania Begins with Record Number of Participants
RecycleMania began January 27, 2008 with a record 400 colleges and universities participating. The competition has more than doubled each year from its initiation in 2001 by two Ohio colleges. The 400 schools represent 46 states and the District of Columbia and include institutions ranging from small two-year community colleges to Ivy League universities. Over a 10-week period from January 27 to April 5, 2008, participating schools will compete in various categories measuring the success of their recycling and waste prevention efforts. Each week, the standings will be posted on the RecycleMania website.
Rice U to Begin EcoRep Program
An internal grant program at Rice University (TX) has provided funds to enable the development of an "EcoRep" program this semester. The grant will pay one student from each residential college to serve as an EcoRep. Each EcoRep will have six main duties: facilitating recycling, reducing waste in the serveries, conserving energy, promoting environmental issues, maintaining contacts with relevant University staff, and administering the Green Dorm Initiative, a program which certifies dorm rooms meeting cer
UCLA Law School to Establish Center on Climate Change
The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law recently secured an endowment fund to establish the Emmett Center, a center dedicated to the study, research, and teaching of knowledge related to climate change and the environment. The Emmett Center plans to engage UCLA experts who are working on matters related to climate change and intends to play a key role in addressing environmental issues.
NC State Begins 'Year of Energy' with Solar Array Dedication
North Carolina State University initiated its 'Year of Energy' with the dedication of a new 75.6 kW photovoltaic array that will serve as an educational project for students. The 'Year of Energy' is a program in which the University plans to focus on energy-related issues throughout 2008. The array, which is owned by Carolina Solar Energy, is believed to be the largest privately financed solar photovoltaic array in North Carolina. The power it generates is sold to Progress Energy. The dedication ceremony was followed with NCSU's inaugural Energy Fair, which served to show attendees how NCSU and its partners foresee solutions to energy issues.
MIT Announces Energy Research Partnership
MIT announced that it will be partnering with Italian energy company, Eni, to develop advanced solar technologies. The Eni-MITEI Solar Frontiers Research Program will focus on nano-structured thin film photovoltaics, luminescent solar concentrators, self assembling photovoltaic materials, water splitting, materials for solar energy capture and storage, and maximizing the return on investment for solar thermals plants. Eni will also support various other energy related projects such as research in evaluation methodologies for the commercial potential of energy startups and novel energy technologies.
National Law Journal Covers Law Schools Going Green
A recently article in the National Law Journal describes how law schools across the country are going green. The University of Colorado School of Law's Wolf Law Building and the University of Denver's Frank H. Ricketson Jr. Law Building have both been certified LEED gold in recently years, and many schools plan to follow suit. Environmentally and sustainably focused law courses and degrees have become more prevalent in recent years, and law schools are seeing increasing student interest in environmental law topics as well.
U Maine Art Students Participate in Global Warming Exhibit
University of Maine art students submitted their global warming and environmentally focused work to an exhibit hosted by the Kennebec Art Association. During the exhibition, participating artists will be accepting donations to purchase offsets for the carbon fuels and materials used for the event.
CUNY Joins Statewide Solar Energy Consortium
The City University of New York (CUNY) recently joined The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) of New York State, a not-for-profit group of private and public companies and institutions that will research and develop new ways to efficiently and effectively deliver energy from the sun. TSEC plans to research ways to install economically sensible photovoltaic systems and to create a solid solar industry in the state of New York. Other participating institutions include Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, Binghamton University and The State University of New York at New Paltz.
U Arizona Launches Research Institute for Solar Energy
The Arizona Board of Regents have approved $3.35 million in funding for Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE). The new institute was established at University of Arizona this summer with the goal of fully developing solar energy's potential through research, industry partnerships, and policy solutions. The research goals of AzRISE include identifying, funding and coordinating Arizona-specific solar energy research opportunities, developing intellectual property and promoting development and widespread adoption of solar energy. The new funding approved by the regents will allow AzRISE to support individual research efforts and continue its outreach efforts to promote solar energy adoption.