Congress Passes Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA)
Congress has passed all provisions of the Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA) as part of the new Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HR 4137). HR 4137, expected to be signed into law shortly by President Bush, creates a "University Sustainability Grants Program" at the Department of Education. It will offer competitive grants to institutions and associations of higher education to develop, implement, and evaluate sustainability curricula, practices, and academic programs. This is the first new
CSU Monterey Bay Receives 2 Awards for Energy Conservation
California State University, Monterey Bay has received two awards for its energy conservation efforts. The first award came from the Monterey County Business Council's Public/Private Partnership. The University was honored for implementing projects that have resulted in significant energy savings. Projects included lighting retrofits, heating and ventilation retrofits and controls upgrades, resulting in an annual savings of 16 percent of the University's electricity consumption and 11 percent of natural gas consumption. CSUMB's second award was part of an Energy Efficiency Partnership Program among California utility companies. The University received a best practice award for a project to monitor and reduce energy consumption in nine campus buildings. An 11 percent savings in electricity use and a 24 percent savings in natural gas consumption were achieved in the nine buildings that were monitored by the centralized energy management system.
EPA Announces Partnership with Norfolk State U & Hampton U
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a new partnership with Norfolk State University, Hampton University, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that will enhance environmental research and teaching at the two universities and fund projects benefitting their local communities. The partnership establishes an EPA-founded program called LEAP -- Linking Environmental and Academic Programs -- at both universities. Through Norfolk State University's LEAP project, ninth grade students in the Hampton Roads area will have an opportunity to learn more about air pollution and environmental science. At Hampton University, LEAP will enhance a graduate curriculum and air quality research activities within the Hampton Roads area. The EPA also announced a $50,000 grant to Norfolk State University and a $49,995 grant to Hampton University for environmental education projects.
Georgia Tech Students Support Local Food
The Georgia Tech Students Organizing for Sustainability and the Office of Environmental Stewardship have signed "A Plan for Atlanta’s Sustainable Food Future: The Atlanta Local Food Initiative" (AFLI). The plan outlines goals and objectives designed to create a food system that provides safe, nutritious, and affordable food from local, sustainable farms and gardens. The initiative seeks to “enhance human health, promote environmental renewal, foster local economies, and link rural and urban communities.”
Lafayette College Students Win Third Place in USGBC Contest
Five Lafayette College (PA) students have received top honors among undergraduates in the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Natural Talent Design contest to create the most sustainable learning environment in New York City and revitalize premier park space on the Brooklyn waterfront. The Lafayette team of civil engineering majors placed third, trailing only two teams of professional architects. The students designed a middle school, community arts center, and commercial space to transform the Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse and adjacent Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park while preserving the neighborhood’s historic nature. The contest provides an applied learning experience in integrated design, sustainability, innovation, and social consciousness, components of the building council’s LEED rating system.
New York Times Special Feature on Campus Sustainability
The New York Times has published an Education Life supplement with three articles on campus sustainability. "Green, Greener, Greenest" covers the emergence of campus sustainability ranking systems. The article mentions the Princeton Review's soon-to-be released annual guide to colleges, which will include a green rating, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the Sustainable Endowments Institute's report card, and other ranking lists provided by Forbes, Grist, and Sier
Princeton Review Releases Green Ratings
The Princeton Review has released its first "Green Rating" of colleges, a measure of how environmentally friendly, responsible, and committed the institutions are. The Green Rating is a numerical score on a scale of 60 to 99 that The Princeton Review tallied for 534 colleges and universities based on data it collected from the schools in the 2007-08 academic year concerning their environmentally related policies, practices, and academic offerings. The scores appear in the website profiles of the 534 scho
Santa Clara U Wins Energy Innovator Award
Santa Clara University (CA) has won one of five Silicon Valley Power Energy Innovator Awards. SCU received the Environmental Innovator Honor for constructing a 338-panel solar system on its mail facilities building and promoting creative energy and sustainability programs that reach 9,500 staff, faculty, and students.
Sault College Opens Renewable Power Energy Training Centre
Sault College (ON) has opened its new Brookfield Renewable Power Energy Training Centre. Brookfield Renewable Power, along with three other companies, invested in the facility, which will be used as a training/lab area for students to acquire skills and knowledge that is useful to employees in the energy sector. The new Centre was opened along with the inaugural turning of the blades of Sault College's new 30 kW wind turbine.
Stony Brook Southampton Adds 3 Sustainability-focused Majors
Stony Brook Southampton (NY) has announced plans to establish three new sustainability-focused Bachelor's of Arts degrees this fall. The new programs include "Ecosystems and Human Impact"; "Environmental Design, Policy and Planning"; and "Sustainability Studies." The Ecosystems and Human Impact major aims to provide students with the skills to assess and address the complex interaction of humans and the natural environment; the Environmental Design, Policy, and Planning major will provide the skills, know
Trinity U Brings Local and FSC-certified Printing Company to Campus
Trinity University (TX) has announced that a local copying company will be replacing an international chain on campus. Ginny's Printing of Austin, a Forest Stewardship Council certified printer that uses vegetable- and soy-based inks, originated in a small house near the University of Texas at Austin and will open on campus in August.
UC Irvine Extension Offers Online Certificate in Sustainability Leadership
The University of California, Irvine Extension has launched a new online certificate program in Sustainability Leadership. Providing an interdisciplinary focus, the program aims to integrate sustainable development and environmentalism into management strategy, advance the comprehension of environmental compliance, contribute to an understanding of regulatory trends, and add to the achievement of corporate social responsibility. The program is designed for individuals who are leading sustainability initiatives in their roles in corporate, government and public agencies, nonprofit advocacy organizations, engineering, public health, urban planning, and law. In addition, those within professional designations such as human resources, marketing, and facility management are encouraged to participate. The program will begin this fall.
U Colorado Boulder Business Building Receives LEED Gold
The University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business has earned LEED Gold certification for the construction of a new addition and also renovation of the old section of its building. Student fees helped fund $17.5 million toward the $34 plus million project.
U Florida Starts Green Team Network
The University of Florida Office of Sustainability has developed a new program called the Green Team Network. The program calls for one volunteer from each campus department to be a Green Team captain. The captain's job is to inspire others to participate in green practices and to start green initiatives in his/her department. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability has created a Green Team homepage to provide resources to the approximately 50 teams that have signed up so far.
U New Hampshire Student Research Leads to New Wind Energy Law
A group of University of New Hampshire students' undergraduate research project on local ordinances regulating residential wind systems has led to a new state law that supports the use of residential wind energy. The new law provides guidelines for cities and towns regarding what to do when someone wants to erect a residential wind energy system. It addresses height issues, noise, setbacks, and aesthetics, and outlines a process for input from neighbors affected by such systems.
Unity College Starts Green Cleaning Program, Adds New Recycling Bins
Unity College (ME) has established a new green cleaning program on campus. The new program provides green cleaning products for custodians to use and allows custodians to work together, rather than independently. Additionally, Unity has also installed newly designed recycling stations in the residence halls. The color-coded bins aim to increase the amount of recycling collected on campus by make recycling easier for the Unity community.
U-Wisconsin Madison Students Create Local Food Map
Four University of Wisconsin, Madison geography students have created an interactive, online map of food sources within 100 miles of Madison. Their 100-Mile Diet Map aims to educate consumers and provide a central resource for those interested in eating close to home. The map shows the locations of a variety of local-food sources, including farms, farmers' markets, food cooperatives and restaurants that serve locally produced items. The initiative is the result of class project to design a web-based map that addresses a real-world problem.
UW Madison Students Start CSA
Members of the University of Wisconsin, Madison's F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture have started a small-scale community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Although the student organization has operated a garden for several years, this is its first year running a CSA, in which customers make a flat payment at the beginning of the season in exchange for a weekly share of produce. The students sold shares to 10 faculty and staff, and they gave another 15 shares to student volunteers who devote an average of four hours per week to the program.
Associated Press Covers Increasing Number of Green Res Halls
The Associated Press has published an article on the increasing number of green residence halls on college campuses across the U.S. The article mentions environmentally friendly residence halls at Sarah Lawrence College (NY), Wake Forest University (NC), and Emory University (GA). The article reports that there are 236 LEED certified buildings on college campuses and 1,547 campus buildings are in the process of pursing certification. Green building initiatives at Rollins College (FL), Vanderbilt University (TN), and the University of California, San Diego are also mentioned in the article.
Colorado State U to Establish School of Global Env'l Sustainability
Colorado State University has unveiled plans for the state's first School of Global Environmental Sustainability. The School of Global Environmental Sustainability will be an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at the university. Diana Wall will serve as founding director of the school. Over the next year, Wall will form advisory committees to help create curriculum and programs for the school, which could start offering new courses as early as 2010. The curriculum will include courses from eight different colleges in areas such as atmospheric science, environmental politics, wind engineering, agricultural economics, green building, wildlife biology, ecotourism, forestry, ecology, sustainable entrepreneurship and public policy. Students will have the opportunity to complement their majors with environmental courses.
Coolio and Jarez Work to Green HBCUs
The Environmental Justice and Climate Change (EJCC) has enlisted rapper Coolio and jazz saxophonist Jarez as spokespersons to educate students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) about global warming. The initiative, which resulted from a partnership between EJCC and former Vice President Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection's "We" campaign, aims to use unique voices to encourage black youth to get involved in greening their campuses.
Culinary School of the Rockies Launches Farm to Table Externship
The Culinary School of the Rockies (CO) has launched a Farm to Table Externship. The off-campus Externship takes students to work on farms and ranches in Colorado's North Fork Valley and in Boulder County, allowing students to learn firsthand how to source local ingredients from farmers, growers, and producers. Students also have an apprenticeship with Colorado chefs that cook with local and organic food.
Dickinson College Residence Hall Receives LEED Gold
Dickinson College's (PA) Center for Sustainable Living student residence, known as the "Treehouse," has achieved LEED Gold certification. Green features include highly efficient heating and cooling systems, dual flush toilets, low-flow fixtures, and the capture of gray water for sewage conveyance. Additionally, the house has all Energy Star appliances; was built with recycled, regional and salvaged materials; and includes provisions for alternative transportation such as a bicycle storage facility and pre
Florida State U Expands UPASS to Include Employees
Florida State University has partnered with its local city bus company to expand its UPASS initiative to include all FSU employees. Employees have been able to ride StarMetro buses for free in the past, but had to surrender their FSU parking passes to do it. Now, employees can keep their parking passes and ride StarMetro for free as well.
Glendale CC to Install 262 kW Solar Array
Glendale Community College (CA) has partnered with Glendale Water & Power and Chevron Energy Solutions to create a project on the college's campus that comprises 872 solar panels with a rated output of approximately 262 kW. The photovoltaic panels will be installed on a parking structure on campus. Glendale Water & Power will own and operate the system and sell the emission-free solar energy back to the college at the same price as conventional power.
Grand Valley State U to Offer Household Member Benefits
The Grand Valley State University (MI) Board of Trustees has approved the expansion of health benefits for employees to include Household Member benefits. The new plan will cover an adult who lives in the employee's home for at least 18 months but is not a tenant or boarder or already a dependent of the employee, without regard to marital status or gender. The new, three-year trial benefit aims to attract and retain talented faculty by addressing the increase in households that contain couples living together without being married.
Green Mountain College to Assess Green Curriculum
Green Mountain College (VT) has received a $248,000 grant from the Davis Education Foundation to fund a project that will assess sustainability skills and knowledge students acquire in the College’s Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) program. All Green Mountain students complete the 37-credit ELA general education program and all faculty members teach in it. Over the past twelve years, the environmentally-themed curriculum has changed incrementally in response to standard survey assessment results and the faculty’s evolving understanding of sustainability. The funding will be used over a three-year period to introduce new “ePortfolio” software which will be used to track students’ progress on learning outcomes, to help students across the entire ELA curriculum identify strengths and weaknesses, and guide their choice of future coursework. GMC will also post results of the assessment on its website and disseminate its model for assessing sustainability skills.
Middlebury College Master Plan Focuses on Sustainability
The Middlebury College (VT) Board of Trustees has approved the campus' 50 year master plan, a document that was built on a foundation of sustainability principles. The plan contains many recommendations that support the college’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2016, ranging from dramatically increasing renewable energy for heating and cooling to making the campus more bike-friendly. Goals of the new master plan include promoting sustainability in all college operations and planning, enhancing Middlebury’s relationship to the ecological landscape, promoting an accessible pedestrian-friendly campus, and improving the relationship between town and college.
NCSU Establishes Office of Sustainability, Sustainability Website
North Carolina State University has hired Tracy Dixon as its first Sustainability Director and has established a University Sustainability Office. Dixon is tasked with leading, coordinating, communicating and expanding NCSU's sustainable efforts. Dixon holds a joint Masters degree in Natural Resources and Public Administration from NCSU where her research focused on measuring regional sustainability. The new Sustainability Office will serve as a go-to resource for campus sustainability information. The office will also work closely with the Campus Environmental Sustainability Team, a group of faculty, staff, and students, to create and implement a campus wide sustainability strategic plan. In related news, NCSU has launched its new sustainability website. The site is intended to be a centralized sustainability resource and a communication tool, allowing students, faculty, and staff to provide content, suggestions and feedback. The new website features a community events calendar, campus sustainability news, and sustainability initiatives taking place on campus.
Pratt Announces Green Faculty Stipend Program
The Pratt Institute (NY) has announced a Faculty Stipend Program to encourage and support Pratt's educational community in creating innovative ways to bring environmental awareness to students. The program consists of three types of stipends that support faculty in their attempts to integrate sustainability into existing courses, workshops and lectures, and academic initiatives. The program is offered through Pratt's Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS), created and funded by the FIPSE grant awarded to Pratt last year, "Greener by Design".
Rhode Island College Res Hall Receives LEED Certification
Rhode Island College's new 367-bed residence hall has received LEED certification. The 127,500 square foot structure, which was completed in August 2007, features an air/vapor barrier to seal the building from drafts, a high efficiency HVAC system, a white Energy Star roof, recycling centers for students, low VOC indoor finishes. Additionally, over 56 percent of the construction trash was recycled, totaling over 750 tons, and over 27 percent of materials were supplied from within 500 miles of the project.
Richard Stockton College Breaks Ground on Green Campus Ctr
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has broken ground on its new 153,000 square-foot campus center, which has been designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. The building will run on the campus' existing geothermal well-field, will have a digital building management system that will monitor and control how the campus center can best operate on alternative energy sources, and its roof will collect stormwater to irrigate an onsite rain garden of native and adaptive plant species. The project is scheduled for completion in early 2011.
Rochester CC to Offer Associate's in Environmental Science
Rochester Community and Technical College (MN) has announced plans to offer an Associate's degree in Environmental Science starting Fall 2008. The program aims to provide a broad based understanding of basic sciences and important environmental and social issues. The AS program will prepare students with content-based and experiential-based knowledge in the environmental science field to continue on to a four-year degree or start a career.
Simon Fraser U Building Wins Earth Award
The Simon Fraser University Arts and Social Sciences Complex 1 has won an Earth Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association of British Columbia. The Earth Awards recognizes excellence in environmentally sound office building management and design. The structure features a cistern underneath the building’s inner courtyard that can store more than 50,000 gallons of rainwater for irrigating; variable-speed drives on pumps, fans, compressors to meet changing load requirements, reducing consumption and prolonging equipment life; and 50 percent recycled steel content in architectural columns and the substitution of as much as 50 percent fly-ash in place of cement for architectural concrete.
Simon Fraser U to Establish Faculty of the Environment
Simon Fraser University (BC) has announced plans to establish the Faculty of the Environment. The new department will bring together SFU’s Department of Geography, the School of Resource and Environmental Management, the Centre for Sustainable Community Development, the SFU Environmental Science Program, and the Graduate Certificate Program in Development Studies. The new faculty will begin accepting new students for the fall of 2009.
SUNY Cortland Residence Hall Earns LEED Certification
The State University of New York at Cortland's Glass Tower Hall has received LEED certification. Completed in 2005, Glass Tower Hall features bike racks, changing stations for renewable energy cars, and environmentally friendly outside lighting.
U Hawai'i at Manoa Installs Pervious Concrete
The University of Hawai'I at Manoa has used pervious concrete to pave some of the walkways and areas around two student housing buildings. The pervious concrete will allow water to seep through to the underlying ground, reducing storm-water runoff and recharging groundwater supplies.
U Illinois Chicago Begins Green Renovation
The University of Illinois at Chicago has begun its first green building renovation project on campus, with hopes of achieving LEED certification. The Lincoln Hall project, which is being funded through student fee revenue, will feature geothermal heating and cooling and thermally insulated windows. UIC expects the building to be complete in the summer of 2009.
U Louisville Performs Energy Audit, Creates Sustainability Council
The University of Louisville (KY) has hired Siemens Building Technologies under a 12-year contract to help the University reduce its energy use through equipment upgrades and better systems for controlling the use of electricity, water, and other resources. The University predicts that the upgrades will save them more than $33 million by 2020. Additionally, the University of Louisville has announced the creation of an internal Sustainability Council to provide oversight and direction, coordinate activity and recommend policy.
U Northern British Columbia to be Heated with Renewable Energy
The University of Northern British Columbia has received $3.5 million from the Government’s Innovative Clean Energy fund to become the first university in Canada to be heated largely with renewable energy. The proposed UNBC project is intended to focus on testing the economic, environmental, operational, and industrial viability of bioenergy and biomass fuels such as wood. The system would be added to the UNBC Power Plant and supplement the University’s existing boilers, which currently burn natural gas.
Arizona State U to Establish Solar Power Laboratory
Arizona State University has announced plans to establish the Solar Power Laboratory to advance solar energy research, education, and technology. The goal of the lab is to improve the efficiency of solar electric power systems while making them more economically feasible. The laboratory will be a collaboration between the University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. The initiative is a response to the Arizona Board of Regents’ Solar Energy Initiative.
BCSEA Launches Canadian Clean Energy Academic Program Directory
The BC Sustainable Energy Association, a non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency, has launched its "Clean Energy Classrooms" project. The initiative includes an online portal that features a directory to all of Canada's currently available training and education options in renewable energy. The Clean Energy Classrooms resource guide is meant to provide comprehensive information to prospective students, help schools ensure strong enrollment for their renewabl
Benedictine U to Offer 2 Concentrations in Sustainability
Benedictine University (IL) will offer two new concentrations focused on sustainability in its Master of Business Administration program - Sustainable Business and Sustainable Leadership. Both degrees will be obtained by choosing 12 or more credits from a list of sustainability-focused courses.
Christian Science Monitor Article on Green Campus Ratings
The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on campus sustainability rating systems and the importance of colleges and universities collaborating to improve their green ratings. The article mentions the Princeton Review, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the Sustainable Endowments Institute's College Sustainability Report Card, and Grist Magazine's ranking of the top fifteen green colleges and universities in 2007.
Fresno Pacific U Implements 4-day Work Week
Fresno Pacific University (CA) has implemented a compressed work week for the summer. The new schedule, which consists of four 10-hour days, was introduced as an initiative to help reduce the amount of money employees spend on gas each week. Approximately 200 of FPU's employees are taking advantage of the new schedule, which will last until early August when the University returns to the normal work schedule.
Grand Valley State U to Offer 4 Certificates in Sustainability
Grand Valley State University (MI) has begun an initiative to redesign the campus curriculum to incorporate sustainability. GVSU also plans to develop certificates in renewable energy, green chemistry, sustainable business, and urban sustainability; offer new sustainability-based courses; and establish a minor in environmental studies and a liberal arts major that emphasizes sustainability.
Hillsborough CC Opens Green Building
The Hillsborough Community College (FL) South Shore campus has opened its first building, a 55,000 square foot structure that was built to achieve LEED Gold. The building features an east-west footprint that limits heat absorption and maximizes light, a water reclamation system that allows for rainwater to be used for irrigation and plumbing, and indoor lighting that automatically dims in the presence of natural light.
Indiana U Students’ Energy Contest Website Wins Int'l Competition
Two Indiana University School of Informatics graduates took a first-place award at the Imagine Cup finals, an international competition sponsored by Microsoft Corp., for their residence hall energy reduction competition website. The theme of this year's Imagine Cup was the environment; specifically, participants were encouraged to "imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment." The pair’s website design won against 200,000 other entrants.