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 Maryland Hosts Inaugural Competition Designed to Solve Agricultural Issues

Earlier this spring, the university's College of Agriculture & Natural Resources hosted an innovation and entrepreneurship competition for students to submit business ideas that address pressing challenges such as food safety, energy conservation, green infrastructure and environmental protection.

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.

Florida Atlantic U Receives $360K Grant for Clean Energy Research Experiences

The university's Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center received a $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for high-potential undergraduate research experiences focused on removing barriers to ocean current-based electricity.

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.

U Toledo to Test Building Renewable Energy Integration Technology

The university has embarked on a project with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to test software that can automate energy use of buildings on its campus. The project will tap into an existing 1-megawatt solar array on the campus and add battery storage to the system so solar power can be stored.

Niagara College Launches Diversity and Social Justice Center

The university announced its plans to launch a new on-campus center that aims to foster and grow the institution's commitment to diversity and social justice. Among other goals, the center will support faculty and student research, organize events, provide professional development, and serve as a community resource and expand community engagement.

Indiana U Bloomington Faculty Approve Open Access Policy

The Bloomington Faculty Council unanimously approved an open access policy recently that ensures that faculty scholarship will be accessible and available to the public for future generations. Adopting the policy reduces barriers to research and learning by making research available on the public internet to be downloaded and shared freely, making it possible for scholarship to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in closed-access, licensed journal databases.

Syracuse U Allocates Inaugural $50K Campus as Lab Funding

Six faculty and student projects will receive grants totaling $50,000 through the new Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability (CALS) funding program. The call for proposals sought projects that address climate disruption and offer opportunities for communication and outreach to the campus and wider community. Some of the projects include a lab to research and test ways to connect electric vehicles to the Smart Grid and a climate disruption virtual reality simulator.

Carlow U to Research Gun Violence & Offer Scholarship to Victims

Educating for Justice is a new three-year university focus on gun violence. The initiative will examine several issues related to gun violence, including access to guns, and other contributing factors, such as lack of education, poverty and mental health. As part of the initiative, Carlow is using donor funds to create need-based scholarships for students who have been victims of gun violence.

U Florida Launches Public Water Quality Website

The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences launched a new website to teach Florida residents how to preserve and protect the state’s quality of water. The site is targeted at different roles of people regarding how to be more efficient with their water usage. Topics include water use in agriculture involving irrigation and fertilizers, water use in nature, like aquifers and wetlands, and how homeowners and builders use water in urban settings.

U Kentucky Allocates $200K Toward Six Sustainability Projects

As part of the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program, six projects that further campus sustainability are sustainability education in the first year experience, introduction of an interdisciplinary research program for undergraduate students, development of a sustainable, community food system that includes training students how to cook, and creating a tree ambassador program that raises awareness for the benefits of urban trees.

Husson U Students Receive Grant to Study Stormwater Runoff

The three students were awarded $1,500 from Maine Campus Compact to study stormwater runoff. Working on the project with the faculty member and chair of the campus sustainability committee, the students will be using the award to design a rain garden on Husson’s Bangor, Maine campus.

NY Times Covers Influence of Corporate Funding on Higher Ed Research

Recently published in The New York Times, the article highlights the experience of three professors at different universities–University of Exeter in England, West Virginia University and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich–to examine the ways agrochemical companies influenced scientific inquiry.

U Albany Art Exhibition Focuses on Climate Change

The university art exhibit, called Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene, brought more than 10 artists to the university to showcase artwork dealing with climate change by portraying the effects of humans' presence in the world.

U New Hampshire Organic Farm Launches Innovative Composting Operation

At the university's Organic Dairy Research Farm, students and researchers continue to close the loop of operations through launching a composting program that provides a high-quality compost product and uses compost heat to preheat water for other farm uses.

Furman U Sustainability Center Receives $500K for Fellowships

Former Furman University President David E. Shi and his wife, Angela Halfacre Shi, have made a $500,000 gift to the university that will provide additional financial support for students who are actively involved in the work of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability. The gift will create an endowed fund to support undergraduate students in sustainability research, service, and internships focused on campus and community-based projects.

Syracuse U Starts Sustainability Scholarship Grant Program

A new university grant program that combines scholarship with campus sustainability is offering up to $50,000 in funding for projects that promote reductions in greenhouse emissions and increase awareness about sustainability. The grants are part of the Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability program, overseen by a team of faculty from 11 schools and colleges. The project merges academic scholarship with the university’s broad initiatives to meet energy efficiency goals, while having the campus become a testbed for innovative ideas.

Tufts U Launches Climate Policy Lab

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts announced the launch of its Climate Policy Lab, a research and policy center working to evaluate current climate policies, utilizing empirical, informed research to make concrete recommendations to policymakers around the world. As part of the launch, the lab announced a new partnership with the United Nations Development Program that will support the development of national and local adaptation plans, and the design and implementation of climate change policies.

Yale U Audits Curriculum for Overlap with U.N. SDGs

The Yale Office of Sustainability started auditing faculty scholarship to see how teaching and research aligns with the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a goal of identifying pathways for collaboration between disciplines. Preliminary results show that every department has at least one faculty member whose scholarship relates to the SDGs.

Harvard U Partners on Building Materials Tool

The university is the first founding partner from the higher education community to sign on to Portico, a web-based application designed to simplify the analysis, selection and specification of building products that meet health and transparency objectives. Harvard’s Office for Sustainability and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Center for Health and the Global Environment will partner with Healthy Building Network and Google to foster opportunities for faculty and students to use the data available to generate new research and support existing initiatives on healthy buildings that are already underway at the university.

Harvard U Funds Climate Solutions Course and Research Project

The multi-year Climate Solutions Living Lab course and research project is designed to bring together students from across the university in interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative approaches for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at Harvard and beyond. The strategies are intended to be scalable for potential adoption by other similarly situated institutions that want to reduce their emissions and improve public health in and around their buildings.

U Washington to Install Three Solar System Test Projects

Three residence halls will be the recipients of photovoltaic arrays to support research on how solar energy can be combined with other demand-side resources, resources such as battery systems. Seattle City Light's Green Up program is contributing $225,000, which enabled the university to compete for the Washington State Department of Commerce Solar Grant Program that is providing $225,000 in matching funds.

Georgetown U President Responds to Its History of Slavery

After a new report was published by the university's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, which cites the school's involvement in the institution of slavery when it sold 272 enslaved people in 1838, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia announced that it will issue an apology, give the descendent community the same admissions process considerations as the Georgetown community, develop a public memorial to the enslaved, and establish a new Institute for the Study of Slavery and Its Legacies. In addition, two campus buildings will be renamed.

U Southern Mississippi Announces New School of Ocean Science and Technology

The new marine science center, housed within the College of Science and Technology, brings together marine-related research and education programs under a single administrative unit and coordinates operating budgets and facilities. The goals of the new center are to increase productivity of Southern Miss’ marine-related research, education and economic development enterprises through enhanced coordination of research and education programs, improved opportunities for external funding and increased focus on community and industry relations.

Michigan State U Researchers Examine Building Demolition Process

To address the cycle of urban construction that leads to demolition of abandoned buildings, a university researcher is conducting a feasibility study to examine more sustainable options for managing abandoned properties. Rather than opting for demolition, where most materials are sent to the landfill, structures would be deconstructed for reuse and diverted from the landfill in an attempt to see if a different process could have both environmental and economic value to consumers.

Princeton U Professor Receives EPA Green Chemistry Award

Paul Chirik, Princeton University’s Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry and associate director for external partnerships at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, received a 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chirik was recognized for discovering a new class of catalysts that are used to produce silicones that could dramatically reduce the mining of ore and reduce costs, greenhouse-gas emissions and waste.

'Community College Innovation Challenge' Names 2016 Winners

The 2016 Community College Innovation Challenge, a team competition calling for innovative, research-based solutions for food, energy and water, named Forsyth Technical Community College as first place, and Normandale Community College and Virginia Western Community College as tied for second. The competition was hosted by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges.

U California Receives $300K for Carbon Neutrality Project

With a $300,000 gift from the TomKat Foundation, established by Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor, the university recently launched the TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project. UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency will lead the project and bring together working groups of researchers, practitioners and students with wide-ranging areas of expertise from diverse disciplines in order to advance UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which aims to eliminate the use of fossil fuels through major investments in energy efficiency, behavioral incentives, the development of alternatives to natural gas and the widespread deployment of renewable energy.

Harvard U Sustainability Science Alums Offer Presentations of Work

At a recent 10-year celebration of the Harvard Kennedy School's Sustainability Science Program, more than 70 program alumni gave mini-lectures over the two-day event that celebrated accomplishments and progress, and outlined challenges.