Newsweek Covers Growth in Sustainability-Focused Academic Prgms
Newsweek has published an article on the increasing number of higher education institutions that are developing and adding to sustainability themed academic programs. The article cites that there were 27 sustainability themed programs, degrees or certificates in 2007 compared to three in 2005. The programs vary from business to agriculture, all with sustainability as a core focus. Higher education institutions mentioned include College of the Atlantic (ME), Green Mountain College (VT), Barnard College (NY), University of Virginia, Montana State University, Aquinas College (MI), Oregon Institute of Technology, and Arizona State University.
U Montana Receives Grant for Ethanol Production Research
The Native American Research Lab at the University of Montana has received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant funds research aimed at making the production of ethanol more efficient, easier to make, and cheaper to buy. The lab has both Native students and non-Native students working on this project.
U Waterloo Students Win Hydrogen Design Contest
Students at the University of Waterloo (ON) have won the 2009 Hydrogen Education Foundation’s Hydrogen Student Design Contest. The students' submission utilizes hydrogen power as a way to provide on-demand energy when the primary electricity generated from solar and wind power is unable to meet demand. Two different teams from Wayne State University (MI) received honorable mentions. Teams from around the world competed in the competition.
Kettering U Student Installs Wind Turbine
A Kettering University (MI) student has installed a wind turbine on the roof of a campus building as part of his thesis project. The seven-foot-diameter turbine will generate electricity for campus, allow students to do hands-on research, and help prompt similar initiatives in other buildings in the area. The new installation is expected to produce one kW of energy, with a 1.5 kW capacity.
Santa Barbara City College Receives Green Construction/Landscaping Curriculum Grant
Santa Barbara City College has received a $711,436 two-year grant from the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges for green construction and landscaping curriculum. The grant comprises the planning and delivery of classes that provide students a background in green technologies and the training necessary to conduct free sustainability audits for local business and homeowners.
3 MA Campuses Install Walk-In Cooler Energy-Reduction Systems
Smith College has installed 20 "CoolTrol" systems on campus. The system reduces the amount of time a walk-in cooler's compressor runs, thereby maximizing the energy efficiency and minimizing operational costs. After an up-front cost of $50,000, the technology will save Smith about $17,000 a year in electricity. Smith also received a rebate from National Grid to invest in the energy-saving project. The installation project is the result of a class assignment undertaken by a Smith undergraduate student. The coolers will also be installed at Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
3 Schools Receive DOE Funding for Carbon Capture Training Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that the University of Illinois, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Wyoming will each receive a portion of its $8.4 million in funding to develop sequestration technology training projects. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois will create the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium Sequestration Technology Training Center; the University of Texas at Austin will create an alliance for Sequestration Training, Outreach, Research and Education, as part of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, to promote the transfer of scientific knowledge and applied engineering technologies related to CO2 storage in the Gulf Coast region; and the University of Wyoming will develop the Wyoming Carbon Capture and Storage Technology Institute to implement training and technology transfer in the Wyoming and Rocky Mountain regions.
Ithaca College Launches New Dept of Env'l Studies & Science
Ithaca College (NY) has announced the creation of the Department of Environmental Studies and Science, which will house its degree programs in environmental studies and environmental science. The two majors were previously under the umbrella of the environmental studies program.
NCSE to Create Climate Solutions Learning Community
The National Science Foundation has awarded the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) a $1.7 million grant to build CAMEL (Climate, Adaptation, and Mitigation E-Learning), a nationwide learning community that will engage educators and scholars to develop curriculum at the undergraduate level based on the best available research and most effective teaching methods. It will also focus on faculty development, community building, and the cyberinfrastructure to disseminate innovative strategies. The three-year project will focus initially on expanding the curricular materials on climate science and solutions available to undergraduate students. Content will include an interdisciplinary treatment of climate change causes and consequences and solutions relevant to regional, national, and global scales. Once the project is completed, a virtual tool chest of teaching and learning resources on climate solutions will be freely available online for use by universities and colleges nationwide.
U Adelaide Biodiesel Bike Taken on Trek Across Australia
A University of Adelaide (Australia) biodiesel motorcycle designed and built by mechanical engineering students has been chosen to be used for a 20,000 km trek across Australia to show its performance ability. The BioBike, which runs on used cooking oil and fats, won acclaim for generating minimal greenhouse gas emissions in completing a 3000km trek in 2007 between Darwin and Adelaide in seven days.
Emory U Promotes Green Initiatives at New Student Orientation
Emory University (GA) has begun an initiative to make its future student orientation events more sustainable. This year's event featured recycling, composting at three different events, and compostable flatware and locally produced foods during the opening dinner.
U Illinois Chicago Prof to Develop Climate Change Diagnostic Toolbox
A University of Illinois at Chicago mathematician has received a $473,000 National Science Foundation Career Award to create a "diagnostic toolbox" - a new set of algorithms that will provide a computational framework to aid climatologists in their predictions about climate change. Rafail Abramov hopes the math tool will help climate scientists narrow down parameters to ones that will make a difference.
U Wisconsin, Green Bay Plants Organic Campus Garden
The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay has planted an organic garden next to the campus's Student Union. The 1,200-square-foot garden contains tomatoes, onions, peppers, potatoes, lettuce, and edible flowers. The project, which was spearheaded by an environmental science and policy graduate student, is funded through the student government and will eventually include workshops on composting, seed germination and saving, and preparing food from the garden.
Babson College, Oregon Inst of Technology Partner for Green Curriculum
Babson College's (MA) Fast Track MBA Program and Oregon Institute of Technology's Renewable Energy Engineering Program have announced a partnership to explore business application for renewable energy technologies. In the pilot program, Babson MBA students in the Northwest region will be matched with students at OIT's Portland campus who are enrolled in the Renewable Energy Engineering program to address business challenges of projects focused on renewable energy products, services, or systems. The goal is to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation that could result in commercializing new green technologies.
New Mexico State U Receives Solar Funding
New Mexico State University's Southwest Technology Development Institute, a part of the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IEE), has received $1.75 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for leadership and operation of the Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs). Led by the Technology Development Institute, the Solar ABCs is a 10-member consortium of public and private entities that develops national and international codes and standards.
Roger Williams U Receives Grant for Sustainability Study Abroad
Roger Williams University (RI) has secured a federal grant to create an Interdisciplinary Sustainability Study Abroad Program in the Republic of Turkey. The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs awarded $96,798 to support the RWU initiative which includes a partnership with Turkish educational institutions to collaborate on issues related to urbanization, pollution remediation, green building design and construction, renewable energy, and public policy.
U Arkansas Partners with PepsiCo to Research Product Sustainability
The University of Arkansas has announced a partnership with PepsiCo to support research on how to create more sustainable products. Under the agreement, PepsiCo will provide a $300,000 grant over three years to UA's Applied Sustainability Center to focus on product sustainability, including life-cycle assessment and a sustainable food index.
U California, Merced to Lead Multi-Campus Solar Energy Research
The University of California, Merced has received a $2.25 million five-year grant to fund a new UC-wide solar energy research program. California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (CAST) researchers will cover the development of novel photovoltaic devices, which convert sunlight into electricity, and thermal energy for cooling of buildings, industry, and other applications. Other participating institutions include the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Western Kentucky U to Add Service Learning to State Env'l Ed Prgms
Western Kentucky University’s Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability has announced plans to lead a two-year, $1.5 million project to integrate service learning into environmental education programs in Kentucky. WKU and three other yet-to-be-determined Kentucky universities will incorporate service learning into their teacher education programs. Students in those courses will use service-learning to assess energy use in public buildings near campus and develop a project to decrease energy usage in their target buildings. The project is expected to engage about 360 college students and 4,000 elementary and secondary school students.
Aberdeen U Receives Funding for New Green Energy Center
Aberdeen University (United Kingdom) has opened the Scottish European Green Energy Center. The Center has received £2.6 million to help coordinate the development and distribution of renewable energy technologies. Located in Scotland, the Center will work to develop carbon capture and offshore wind and tidal power systems.
U Minnesota Awards Renewable Energy & Env Scholarships
The University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), in partnership with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, has selected 14 projects as part of the 2009 renewable energy scholarship program. The scholarship winners receive a stipend of up to $1,700 each. The students must assist with a faculty member’s research or carry out their own projects under faculty supervision. To fulfill the scholarship objectives, the projects must focus on expanding IREE’s renewable energy research portfolio at the University of Minnesota.
U New Hampshire Receives $953K for Energy Efficiency Prgms
Two University of New Hampshire energy efficiency programs - the New Hampshire Carbon Challenge (NHCC) and Carbon Solutions New England (CSNE) - have been awarded more than $953,000 from the New Hampshire Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Fund (GHGERF) to further their efforts. NHCC, a joint initiative of UNH and Clean Air-Cool Planet, received a two-year, $813,402 grant and will partner with the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association to develop web-based energy-efficiency tools that homeowners can use to reduce their energy usage. CSNE, a UNH-based public-private partnership designed to promote collective action to achieve a clean, secure energy future, secured $139,945 for one year to track, analyze, and report on projects funded by the GHGERF. The grant was made through the Public Utilities Commission as part of the emissions reductions fund, which are monies raised through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
USA Today, Inside Higher Ed Cover Increase in Sustainability Curriculum
USA Today has published an article on the increase in the number of college and university academic programs that incorporate sustainability into their curriculum. The article attributes the growth, in part, to increasing student interest in green careers. Institutions mentioned include the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University (MA), Arizona State University, Bucknell University (PA), and Kalamazoo Valley Community College (MI). In related news, Inside Higher Ed has published an article on the increase in academic programs and faculties that focus specifically on sustainability. Colleges and universities noted in the piece include Arizona State University, State University of New York at Stony Brook Southampton, Dalhousie University (NS), Colorado State University, Chatham University (PA), College of the Atlantic (ME), State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the University of Washington.
Wayne State U Receives $1.5M to Reduce Energy Waste
Wayne State University (MI) has received $1.48 million from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to help reduce energy waste in the Detroit water system. The University is developing computer software to reduce energy use in the system, which pumps 675 million gallons a day in a 1,079-square-mile area with 126 communities in eight counties.
Keene State College Establishes Env'l Studies Department
Keene State College (NH) has created a Department of Environmental Studies. The courses in the new department will focus on how people interact with the environment, incorporating the natural world as well as social and political systems.
UNESCO, Microsoft Announce Partnership for Green Training
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Microsoft Corp. have announced a joint task force to help higher education institutions worldwide meet the growing challenge of supporting economic stimulus efforts and work-force development strategies. The UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will create a strategic plan of action to identify how ICT can be used by governments as a catalyst for change. The Task Force will also seek to ensure that students are equipped to drive and support economic growth and to address major development challenges such as those related to the environment.
Federal Agencies Announce Biofuels Research Grants
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have announced up to $6.3 million in funding for genomics-enabled research leading to the improved use of plant feedstocks for biofuel production. Awards have been given to the University of Georgia, Michigan Technological University, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska.
North Carolina State U Receives $1.3M to Improve Hybrid Car Batteries
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $1.3 million to faculty in North Carolina State University's Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center to improve the batteries that help power plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The grant will support research into the development and use of electrospinning technology to integrate lithium alloy and carbon into novel composite nanofiber anodes, which hold more energy, cost less and tolerate abuse better than materials found in existing batteries.
U Arkansas Sustainability Research Ctr Receives PepsiCo Grant
The University of Arkansas Applied Sustainability Center has received a $300,000 grant from PepsiCo. The Center works with a wide range of partners, including other UA colleges, for the rapid development of sustainable business practices and to promote their application across the retail and consumer goods industries.
Universities Receives DOE Funding for Wind Energy Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the selection of 28 new wind energy research projects for up to $13.8 million in funding. The higher education institutions that will receive a portion of the funding include: the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Illinois Institute of Technology; New Mexico State University; the University of Michigan; the University of Colorado; Tennessee Technological University; the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
U Tennessee Opens Biodiesel Production Facility
The University of Tennessee has opened a biodiesel production facility on its agricultural campus. The production facility will convert waste fryer oil from Knoxville area restaurants into useable fuel and will serve as a research center for other agricultural fuels like soybean oil and oilseed crops. The facility can produce up to 380,000 gallons of biodiesel annually, which will supply UT and local businesses.
Trident Tech, Virginia Tech Partner for Sustainability Initiatives
Trident Technical College (SC) and Virginia Tech have announced a joint initiative called TTC Green, a program that seeks to expand TTC's energy efficiency and sustainability efforts at all three of its campuses. Virginia Tech will help the College to develop curricula that will enhance TTC's program offerings to include green building construction, engineering technology, and management curricula and certifications that lead to green careers. Virginia Tech experts will also consult with TTC officials as the college develops a comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit program.
U Maine, U Southern Maine Receives $20M for Sustainability Initiative
The University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine have received a $20 million National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant for a new project called the Sustainability Solutions Initiative. The research portion of the five-year initiative will bring together core research teams from UM and USM, as well as government and industry stakeholders, to work to improve the science and practice of sustainable development. Researchers will also collaborate with non-profit organizations focused on community development in rural Maine. The project will begin by focusing on problems related to urbanization, forest management, and climate change.
Arizona State U Receives $60K Grant for Sustainable Cities
Arizona State University has received a $60,000 grant for its Sustainable Cities Network. The contribution is a market grant, with money pooled from 13 Sam’s Club stores in the Phoenix-Tucson-Prescott area. The Sustainable Cities Network is designed to be a bridge between ASU’s research and technical capabilities in sustainability and the front-line challenges facing cities.
Caltech Announces $90M Sustainability Institute
California Institute of Technology has announced plans for a $90 million Resnick Sustainability Institute. The vision of the new Institute is to provide a path to sustainability by focusing on innovative science and engineering developments required for groundbreaking energy technologies. Caltech has already received $30 million and has plans to obtain additional funding over the next year.
Carnegie Mellon U Prof Receives EPA Green Chemistry Award
Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, the J.C. Warner Professor of the Natural Sciences and University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University (PA), received the 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Matyjaszewski, the second Carnegie Mellon professor to receive the award, was recognized in the academic category for the development of an environmentally low-impact form of Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization, a widely used method for preparation of functional polymers. The EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge promotes research and development of less-hazardous alternatives to existing technologies in an effort to reduce or eliminate waste, particularly hazardous waste, in industrial production.
CC of Allegheny Council to Launch Green Institute
The Community College of Allegheny County (PA) has announced the establishment of the Green Institute, which will launch this fall with a broad range of topics related to both green technology and energy conservation. The College will offer three free informational classes in alternative energy and energy conservation this summer as a preview of the institute’s fall programs. The courses offered in the fall include: "Go Green at Home with Safer Products," "Green Building Operators Certification," "Solar Panel Installation and Maintenance Certification," and "Energy Losses and Conservation of Energy in Buildings."
Union College Pilots Fuel Cell Technology
Union College (NY) has been selected as the host site of a new residential fuel cell. As part of the project, a 5 kilowatt combined heat and power (CHP) unit will convert natural gas into electricity and heat for the Beuth House residence hall. The companies running the unit will use the data collected to determine system refinements for incorporation into the next-generation system design.
Western Illinois U Partners to Protect National Resources
Western Illinois University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the shared goals of protecting natural resources and enhancing environmental sustainability in the region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will work closely with Western's Institute for Environmental Studies to conduct environmental research and data gathering and to provide environmental education opportunities surrounding large river natural resources.
Appalachian State U Partners for Renewable Energy Education
Appalachian State University (NC) has partnered with Ching Yun University to develop faculty and student exchanges, participate in collaborative research activities, and jointly publish research papers focused on renewable energy. ASU hopes to learn from CYU's solar and wind installations, and CYU plans to study ASU's biofuel initiatives.
U Colorado Boulder Partners to Establish Renewable Energy Ctr
The University of Colorado at Boulder has announced plans to partner with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to launch a joint institute on campus. The institute will blend disciplines — including business, engineering, and law — to explore renewable energy production and policies. The program will facilitate collaboration among researchers and offer graduate and undergraduate courses.
Alliant Intl U Partners for Green Development
Alliant International University (CA) has partnered with EcoDynamics, LLC to advance renewable energy production, environmental conservation, and sustainable business development. As part of each of its projects, EcoDynamics will create an Alliant Sustainability Center that will house research, educational, and outreach activities related to energy production, resource management, sustainable development, and conservation. These Centers will provide further opportunities for Alliant’s faculty and students to participate in research, planning, and educating the public about these topics.
Cornell U Opens New Biofuels Research Laboratory
Cornell University (NY) has opened a new Biofuels Research Laboratory. The new $6 million facility will study and research ways to convert sugars from nonfood crops, such as grasses and wood, into fuel. The lab will provide educational opportunities for students.
McGill U Receives Funding for Green Chemistry Project
McGill University has received a total of $63 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Quebec government. The funds will support five research projects, one of which will help discover new chemical reactions which allow chemists to switch from harmful petrochemicals and solvents to environmentally sound alternatives. $16 million has been allotted for green chemistry research.
Ohio State U Students Win 1st Phase of EcoCAR Competition
A team of Ohio State University Engineering students have won the first phase of EcoCAR: The Next Challenge, a competition run by the U.S. Department of Energy that is challenging student teams to re-engineer a 2009 Saturn Vue to achieve improved fuel economy and reduced emissions while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal. 17 teams competed in the competition. In this first year of the EcoCAR competition, each team received $10,000 to begin developing their vehicle designs. During years two and three, students will build the vehicle and continue to refine, test and improve vehicle operation. At the end of years two and three, the re-engineered student vehicle prototypes will compete in a week-long competition of engineering tests.
San Diego State Establishes Center for Regional Sustainability
San Diego State University (CA) has established the SDSU Center for Regional Sustainability. The Center will be a forum through which a range of stakeholders can come together to work collaboratively to implement comprehensive sustainable solutions to pressing problems in San Diego and Imperial counties, and in Northern Baja, Mexico. Identifying and tackling particular issues, such as water resource management, climate change, transportation, energy, air quality, health, social equity, and sustainable workforce development, the center will build on its capacity to conduct basic and applied research while sponsoring regional and community forums to further define and identify pressing issues.
U Connecticut Partners for Green Chemistry Solutions
The University of Connecticut and VeruTEK Technologies, Inc has entered into an agreement to jointly develop, formulate, and distribute green chemistry solutions and implementation technologies that remedy and eliminate the toxic effects of chemical waste in the environment. The partnership seeks to develop Environmental Catalysis and Photocatalysis of Pollutants.
Campuses Donate Unwanted Items During Move-Out
AASHE has posted a blog on 2008 campus collection/donation campaigns, through which several campuses donated unwanted items during move-out season. The initiatives kept items out of landfills, saved trash pickup fees, and donated items to a good cause. Highlighted campuses include Rutgers University (NJ), Suffolk University (MA), San Francisco State University (CA), University of Dayton (OH), and Alfred University (NY).