Rutgers to Construct Major Solar Farm

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Board of Governors has approved the construction of a solar energy facility that will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston campus. Nearly half of the cost of the project will be subsidized by a rebate through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Clean Energy Program. In addition, Rutgers plans to sell Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) generated from the photovoltaic system. The University expects to recoup its investment within seven years. By the end of the 15-year incentive program, the university anticipates that it will net a return of $6.6 million over its initial investment. The seven-acre facility will be the largest solar energy project in New Jersey. It is expected to begin operation in spring 2009.

UC Irvine to Establish Green Materials Graduate Program

The University of California, Irvine has announced that it will establish a Green Materials Program, which will foster research and graduate-level training at UC campuses. The announcement came after UCI was awarded $1.62 million to lead a University of California program on development of nontoxic alternatives to everyday products, such as electronics, plastics, lighting products, fuels, and pesticides. The Green Materials Program at UCI will bring together public health, toxicology, materials science, engineering, and social science experts to work on innovative approaches to reducing health and environmental hazards associated with materials use in society. Participants will study California policies within the context of emerging international initiatives such as the European Union’s new REACH law (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) for the purpose of advising the state’s executive and legislative branches on regulations that could emerge from the new Green Chemistry Initiative and other local environmental protection agency studies.

U Colorado at Colorado Springs Students Approve Green Fee

Students from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs approved a $5 per semester fee to support the installation of solar panels on university buildings. The student-initiated statute is expected to generate more than $300,000 during its five-year duration. More than 76 percent of voting students voted in favor of the referendum.

U Florida to Offer Graduate Degree in Env'l and Land Use Law

The University of Florida Levin College of Law will offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environmental and Land Use Law. Although other law schools offer LL.M. degrees in environmental law and related areas, UF’s program is the first to combine environmental and land use law in a one-year, post-juris doctor degree. The new program will educate students on the historical and legal underpinnings of environmental and land use law policies, and will encourage them to think creatively to innovate solutions to pressing environmental and related social issues. In addition, the LL.M. program is unique in that six of the 26 required credit hours must be from relevant courses that have substantial non-law content — either offered outside the Levin College of Law or jointly by the law school and another department. The program will begin this fall.

U Idaho Installs Green Roof

The University of Idaho has begun a renovation project to install a green roof on its Student Union Building. The project will be nearly self-sufficient and will include a storm water run-off mitigation system that will collect and store run-off water. The run-off will have a higher water quality and will be stored in a series of 550-gallon containers that will be reused to water the plants on the roof in dry periods.

U Mississippi Partners with City to Expand Recycling System

The University of Mississippi's campus recycling program and the Oxford Recycling Department recently began an effort to expand the community's recycling program. The partnership has produced an increased number of drop-off recycling areas that are more accessible to students.

U New Mexico Implements 4-day Summer Work Week

The University of New Mexico has begun offering staff members the option of working a compressed workweek to decrease commuting costs and gasoline-use during the traditionally slower summer session. The program, available June 16 through August 15, 2008, will provide most full-time employees on main campus the opportunity to work a four-day workweek by extending their workday to 10-hour days.

Vanderbilt U Residential Building Receives LEED Gold

Vanderbilt University (TN) has received LEED Gold certification for The Commons Center, a building in which first-year students will live in a smaller community where they will be next-door neighbors with faculty. The Commons Center is 28 percent more energy efficient than a typical building of its type. Environmentally friendly features and practices at the center include hood exhaust systems in the kitchen that increase efficiency by more than 30 percent. The building will also save an estimated 900,000 gallons of water per year through the use of waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures. Special materials, paints, and adhesives were selected for healthy indoor air quality. In addition, there is signage throughout the building with information about the green features, as well as a brochure and a tour that is available for download onto an MP3 player.

Arizona State U Plans Major Solar Installation

Arizona State University recently announced plans to install solar panels on up to 330,000 square feet of rooftop space. Three companies have been hired by the University to install the panels, which could eventually produce more than 20 percent of ASU's energy needs. The university will purchase the electricity generated from the panels at a fixed rate that is slightly lower than what it is now paying for power from Arizona Public Service Co. In the first phase of the project, approximately 2 megawatts of solar panels will be installed on 135,000 square feet of rooftop space by the end of the year.

Brunswick CC Students Convert Algae Oil to Biodiesel

A group of Brunswick Community College (NC) students from the Aquaculture and Biotechnology programs have begun working on a project to extract oil from algae and convert it into biodiesel. BCC hopes that the new fuel will soon be used to power campus tractors.

Building Designed by U Kansas Students Awarded LEED Platinum

A new arts center designed by a group of University of Kansas graduate architecture students has received LEED Platinum certification. The building features wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, geothermal climate control, recycled building materials, and among other sustainability features. The building was designed and constructed by the students to honor the one year anniversary of the May 2007 tornado which devastated the town.

Clarkson U Youth Program Focuses on Sustainable Energy

Clarkson University (NY) is offering the Young Scholars Program, a one week summer program in which, this year, talented high school students will work with faculty to identify opportunities to create a riverfront sustainable energy park as part of a new campus master plan. The students will develop proposals and models for a park that will enable the University to utilize renewable energy resources and limit its carbon emissions, while providing educational and research opportunities in renewable energy production. Additionally, the park they design must serve as a scenic recreation area. At the end of the week, the students will present their proposals and models to a panel of energy and architectural experts and Clarkson administrators.

Colorado College Installs 25 kW Solar Array

Colorado College has installed a 25 kW solar array on campus. The new array, which is situated on the south-facing roof of a college-owned apartment building, produces enough energy to power the equivalent of one of the campus' language-theme residential houses. The College has created a webpage to view and track the amount of power produced by the panels.

Colorado State U Awards Renewable Energy Grants

The Colorado State University Clean Energy Supercluster has distributed its first set of seed grants to fund research in renewable energy sources and the policies and implications of these sources. 18 grants averaging about $20,000 each were awarded to more than 100 researches across the CSU campus. Grant winning project topics include: Developing and Sponsoring a Workshop/Conference on Cultivating Clean Renewable Energy from Understanding and Using Synthetic Biology; Development of Oilseed Crops for Biofuel Production in Colorado; The Impact of Improved Cook Stoves on Pollution Levels, Health Status, and Global Warming Potential in Nicaragua; and more.

Lafayette College Dining Services Goes Green

Lafayette College (PA) Dining Services has switched to using biodegradable products; purchasing organic, locally-grown food, and employing a more efficient waste management system. Green friendly dining products available in all dining locations on campus include clear, biodegradable cold beverage cups and take-away containers made from corn starch; plates, cups, and other types of containers made from wheat starch; and napkins generated from recycled paper. Dining Services has also begun using biodegradable hot beverage cups and is currently exploring sources for biodegradable utensils as well. Reusable hot beverage mugs and cold beverage bottles are available for purchase on campus and discounts are offered for using such renewable beverage containers. Also available in all dining locations is organic and fair-trade coffee.

Michigan State U Breaks Ground on Recycling Center

Michigan State University held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Recycling Center. The new facility will accommodate three times the amount of materials of the current recycling facility. A new comprehensive recycling program, coupled with the facility, will allow the university to expand recycling collection in 549 buildings on campus. The MSU Office of Recycling reports that 14 percent of the white and mixed office paper, newspaper, cardboard and plastics are diverted from trash landfills in Lansing through the current recycling program. The capture rate of these five key materials is projected to double by 2010.

Rowan U Receives New Jersey Green Award

Rowan University (NJ) has received the 2008 Excellence in Education Award, given in recognition of the University's commitment, enthusiasm and community pride through cleanups, educational programs, or projects that encourage the proper handling of solid waste. The New Jersey Clean Communities Council, the organization that presented the award, recognized Rowan for its "Clean and Green Day" a regularly held event that engages students, faculty and staff in cleaning up the campus and planting shrubs and flo

Rowan U Students Green Pharmaceutical Process

A team of Rowan University (NJ) chemical engineering students have begun working with Pfizer, Inc. to improve the environmental profile of the manufacturing process for the active ingredient in the arthritis pain medication Celebrex® (celecoxib). The project is one of several Rowan engineering clinic projects in which students are exploring green manufacturing strategies for pharmaceutical companies in the region. Started with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, the Rowan "green"

Solutions for Our Future Features Campus Sustainability

Solutions for Our Future, a national project created to increase awareness of the many ways in which American colleges and universities serve the public, has published "Unifying Influence," an article by Bud Peterson, Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, in which he discusses how universities can join together to address climate change and other social, economic, political, and environmental challenges of our society. He also lists the various sustainability programs CU has established to h

St. Olaf College Establishes Bike Share Program

St. Olaf College (MN) has established a bike-share program on campus. "Green Bike" features a fleet of 50 bicycles parked across campus for use by members of the campus community. The free program aims to reduce the number of times people use automobiles to get across campus or into the town.

Texas Tech Establishes Modified Work Schedule to Save Energy

Texas Tech has instituted a summertime modified work schedule aimed at reducing the amount of energy used on campus. Tech employees who do not work in offices that routinely interact with the public have the option of working from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a 30-minute break for lunch, according to a Tech announcement; all other employees will retain the normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday schedule. The modified schedule allows for the university cooling system to run fewer hours during the day, resulting in reduced energy use and cost. The schedule adjustment also reduces the amount of time employees spend in traffic during rush hour.

Triton College to Install Environmentally Friendly Roof

Triton College (IL) plans to install a one-inch layer of marble chips topping off the tar and insulation on the College Center's roof to reflect sunlight and keep the roof cool. This cooling effect will reduce cost and energy use from the building's air-conditioning and refrigeration units. Additionally, 85 percent of the original insulation will be used for the new roof. The roof has qualified for an Energy Star label.

U Arkansas Launches Sustainability Newsletter

The University of Arkansas has published its first issue of "Go! Green Outreach," a quarterly electronic publication dedicated to sustainability. The first issue includes an interview with the university Executive Assistant for Sustainability, an update on the University Sustainability Council, a profile of a staff member who is incorporating sustainability into his daily life, and more. The newsletter is open to contributions from faculty, staff, and students.

UC Santa Barbara Recreation Center Receives LEED-EB Silver

University of California, Santa Barbara's Recreation Center has received LEED for Existing Buildings Silver certification. To achieve the certification, recycling was increased by 70%, trash was reduced by 55%, and electrical usage, natural gas and water consumption were reduced substantially, all without reducing the operational capabilities of the Recreation Center or affecting its mission of providing recreational opportunities to UCSB's faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, the Recreation Center will be installing a 133 kWh photovoltaic array on its Multi-Activity Center (MAC) roof this summer, and, in early 2009, UCBS plans to install solar thermal water heaters to provide pre-heated water for its 1.8 million gallon pool, which, in tandem with the newly installed thermally efficient pool covers, will reduce natural gas usage by 80% and save $160,000 each year. The pool is heated to a year-round 81 degrees and currently relies exclusively on natural gas.

U New Hampshire Receives Organic Dairy Grant

The University of New Hampshire has received a $380,000 grant to study UNH's organic dairy research farm as a sustainable closed agroecosystem, exploring viable strategies for becoming energy independent. The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program aims to explore whether closing energy and nutrient cycles could help small family dairy farms in the Northeast survive economic vulnerabilities.

U New Mexico Purchases 4 Biodiesel Buses

The University of New Mexico has added four new biodiesel buses to its fleet. All of the campus's large shuttles are now run on biodiesel or compressed natural gas.

U New Mexico Receives EPA Energy Award

The University of New Mexico has won the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing its energy use by 20 percent. EPA recognized the University for its natural gas-fired CHP system at the Ford Utilities Center. Part of a major energy infrastructure upgrade project, the CHP system supplies the campus with roughly one-third of its total electricity demand and produces steam to help meet the space heating, space cooling, and domestic hot water production needs of more than 25,000 students, staff, and faculty. The CHP system runs with an operating efficiency of almost 65 percent and requires 20 percent less fuel than typical alternatives.

University of Toledo Establishes Wetlands on Campus

The University of Toledo (OH) has established the Environmental Remediation and Restoration Experimental Park to support research on phytoremediation, the use of plants for the treatment of environmental contaminants. Researchers will use the site to test the effectiveness of constructed wetlands in removing pollution. The Park was made possible with nearly $4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

U Texas Arlington Approves University Sustainability Plan

The University of Texas at Arlington president has approved the University's first Sustainability Agenda, a package of 89 actions that will involve students, faculty, and staff across the campus in protecting the environment. Created by the President's Sustainability Committee, the Agenda aims to improve the University’s environmental performance, extend the environmental curriculum, and deepen campus engagement in North Texas environmental affairs. Approved actions include: hiring a Sustainability Coordinator to facilitate the work of the President's Sustainability Committee and sustainability efforts across campus; exploring ways to green the University's curriculum and research; extending implementation of energy conservation measures; hiring student interns to undertake a thorough ecological landscape assessment; and encouraging formation of an active student environmental organization.

U Waterloo Breaks Ground on Green Building

The University of Waterloo (ON) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new $55 million Engineering V building. The six-storey building will feature glass walls, a designated green roof area, and native landscaping. Engineering V, the first of a two-phase building, will house a student design centre on its first two levels. The centre will showcase award-winning student engineering projects, such as the solar and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Warren Wilson College Residence Hall Receives LEED Gold

Warren Wilson College's (NC) Village South residence hall has received LEED Gold certification. Designed and built with input from students, the apartment-style dormitory features energy conservation, water conservation, and waste minimization measures. Warren Wilson expects the adjacent Village North dorm to achieve LEED Gold certification as well.

Yale Launches Environmental Online Magazine

Yale University (CT) has launched "Yale Environment 360," a new online magazine that aims to become one of the leading websites for commentary and reporting on the crucial environmental issues of the day. The magazine’s inaugural edition features articles by noted environmental advocate and author, Bill McKibben; New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert; climate scientist Richard C.J. Somerville; marine biologist and author Carl Safina; British journalist Fred Pearce; and many other writers and thinkers.

Appalachian State U Launches Carbon Neutral Study Abroad Program

Appalachian State University (NC) has designed its first carbon neutral study abroad program. The first program, which will take students to New Zealand for one month this summer, requires the eighteen students and five professors to plant trees in New Zealand and to purchase green power both at home and abroad to completely offset the expected 73 tons of carbon dioxide associated with their air and ground travel. The month-long trip cost the group $782 to offset their travel emissions.

Clinton CC to Offer Wind-energy Degree

The Clinton Community College (NY) Board of Trustees has approved a resolution to create a wind energy and turbine technology associate's in applied sciences degree program. The program will be created in response to the growing need for wind energy technician in the area.

Cloud County CC to Expand Wind Energy Training Program

Cloud County Community College (KS) has been awarded $155,000 by the Kansas Department of Commerce to help expand its Wind Energy Technology program and increase Kansas’ capacity for wind energy production. The funding will help CCCC acquire new staff and equipment for its Associate of Applied Science degree program in Wind Energy Technology, and it will assist in the development of distance education classes. The award comes from the Workforce Solutions Fund and is a direct response to the state’s immediate need for skilled technicians in the wind energy industry. Manhattan Area Technical College (KS) and wind energy company Horizon Wind Energy will partner with CCCC on the project, lending a combination of financial and technical support.

Community College Times Highlights Renewable Energy Curricula

The Community College Times has published an article on how community colleges across the U.S. are beginning to offer courses focused on training renewable energy technicians and installers. The article mentions sustainability across the curriculum initiatives at Butte College (CA); a green building certification program at Cuyahoga Community College (OH); and solar and wind energy, sustainable design, sustainable food supply and biofuels online programs at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Loyola & Lafayette Colleges, CSU Chico Donate Dormitory Items

Students at Loyola College in Maryland donated clothing, dishes, small appliances, school supplies, and non-perishable food items to local non-profit agencies as they moved out of the residence halls this year. The College created a website for the "Good Stuff Campaign" to coordinate the two week collection. Lafayette College (PA) also held a move out donation campaign in which they collected more than 5,000 pounds of unopened food, clothing, personal, and household items, as well as a truckload of furnit

Michigan State U to Reduce Campus Environmental Impact

Michigan State University has announced its plans to begin an Environmental Stewardship Program this summer to help the institution reduce its environmental footprint. Members of the program are tasked with looking into the ways to reduce energy consumption on campus and ways to reduce the amount of trash the University produces. As part of the program, recycling bins will be placed in all of the residence halls starting this fall and in the academic buildings in January of 2009. The initiative is part of the University's membership in the Chicago Climate Exchange, which requires MSU to produce 6 percent less greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 at the campus power plant than in 2000.

Mississippi State Students Win Sustainable Vehicle Competition

Mississippi State University has won the 2008 General Motors and U.S. Department of Energy Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainability student engineering competition. The competition challenged 17 university teams from the U.S. and Canada to reengineer a Chevrolet Equinox that employs advanced powertrain technologies. The goal is to produce a vehicle that has improved fuel economy and lower emissions, all while maintaining driver comfort and vehicle performance. University teams have followed a real world vehicle development process and integrated their advanced technology solutions into their Equinox vehicles. The Mississippi State team designed a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by bio diesel (B20). It achieved a 38 percent increase in fuel economy over the production vehicle on a modified urban test cycle. The second place vehicle, engineered by students at the University of Wisconsin, is a through-the-road parallel hybrid electric vehicle with a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine fueled by B20. Ohio State University was awarded third place for its powersplit hybrid electric vehicle powered by a 1.9L GM direct injection turbo diesel engine and fueled by B20. Other participants included Michigan Technological University, Pennsylvania State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN), San Diego State University (CA), Texas Tech University, University of Akron (OH), University of California, Davis, University of Michigan, University of Tennessee, University of Texas at Austin, University of Tulsa (OK), University of Waterloo (ON), Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.

North Country CC To Establish Alternative Energy Program

North Country Community College (NY) has received a $50,000 grant to design a two-year degree and training program in alternative energy. The new program will initially focus on wind-power technician training with hopes to include special tracks on low-end hydropower generation and solar energy in the future. The grant was provided by Noble Environmental Power of Connecticut.

Northern Arizona U Establishes Office of Sustainability

Northern Arizona University has established an Office of Sustainability to serve as the main point of contact for sustainability issues on campus and in the region. The Office, with falls under the purview of the Office of the President, is also tasked with implementing sustainable energy, water, transportation, purchasing, and recycling efforts on campus and developing partnerships that can bring practical application of university research to campus, the state, and the nation.

Pacific Lutheran U Building Receives LEED Silver

The Pacific Lutheran University (WA) University Center has been awarded LEED Silver certification. The new student center features Energy Star appliances; a lighting system with an internal, perpetual calendar that controls what lights turn on and off based on the rising and setting of the sun; concrete flooring that requires no chemical cleaning products or waxes; low-flow toilet and faucet fixtures that save water; and wood flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition, nearly 95 percent of the construction waste was recycled. The University Center is also powered entirely by renewable energy through a two-year commitment by PLU to purchase wind energy from two local power companies.

Portland State U Partners with Community to Win Service Award

Portland State University (OR), in partnership with the city of Portland and 112 community-based organizations in greater Portland has won the National Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration. The group won the award for its Community Watershed Stewardship Program, an initiative in which over 27,000 community volunteers have donated a quarter million hours to install 80,000 plants and restore 50 acres of watershed along two miles of river. Additionally, individual projects have been led and supported by 700 students working as part of class projects, resulting in two master’s theses and three research articles.

Stanford Awards Energy Grants to Faculty

Stanford University's (CA) Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency has awarded its first three grants for research to faculty members, totaling $358,000 over the next year to 18 months. The three grants were awarded to: engineering professor Curtis Frank and civil and environmental engineering professor Sarah Billington to develop energy-efficient biodegradable foam materials for structural insulated panels to improve heating and cooling efficiency in homes and commercial buildings; civil and environmental engineering professor Mark Jacobson to assess how weather and increased demand from plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2020 will impact the ability of California to deliver a consistent supply of electricity from renewable sources; and associate professor of mechanical engineering Chris Edwards to develop a practical method for quantifying the environmental impacts of diesel and ethanol fuels.

SUNY-Ulster Begins Energy Conservation Project

The State University of New York at Ulster recently began an upgrade to its campus facilities which will be funded through expected energy savings. This project will simultaneously reduce utility, operating and maintenance costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. Upgrade activities will include retrofitting older, less energy efficient equipment on campus with state-of-the-art energy using equipment. The project will also address water conservation and a renewable energy system in the form of a solar hot water heating system. SUNY Ulster is partnering with Johnson Controls to assist in the energy conservation upgrade to its campus.

Texas Christian U to Hold Sustainability-Themed Semester

Texas Christian University has named sustainability as the theme for its fall 2008 semester. The “Think Purple, Live Green” semester will consist of presentations by well-known personalities in sustainability, special classes, symposia and workshops discussing how to make human economic systems last longer and have less impact on ecological systems. The goal of the fall 2008 theme is to encourage members of the TCU community to participate in sustainable activities and learn how to lower their carbon footprint.

U Florida to Offer Minor in Sustainability Studies

The University of Florida has announced that it will begin offering a minor in Sustainability Studies this fall. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the interdisciplinary minor will be a compilation of courses already offered across the university, with the exception of a newly created introductory course, Facets of Sustainability, and a new capstone course, Sustainability in Action. Students will choose from four tracks of study, which include diverse course offerings from several UF colleges and departments. The tracks are: Ethics, Culture and Human Behavior; Economics, Law and Policy; Production Systems and the Built Environment; and Ecology and Environmental Stewardship.

U Illinois Receives Energy Grants, Establishes Offices of Sustainability

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has received 3 grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation totaling over $4 million. The energy foundation grants will provide $1.2 million for lighting upgrades; $2 million for a wind turbine project and $825,000 for a bioenergy research project. In addition, sustainability offices will be established on the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses to coordinate administration and student efforts to encourage energy conservation, promote environmentally friendly practices and integrate green thinking into the campuses’ curricula, research, and extracurricular activities.

U Michigan Students Win Better Living Business Plan Challenge

Four University of Michigan master's degree students and one student from New York University have won the "Better Living Business Plan Challenge," a competition that was created to provide business students from around the world an opportunity to invent sustainable products or business solutions. Eight student teams presented their business plans to a panel of executives from Wal-Mart, non-governmental organizations, and other companies in April. The UM team was awarded $20,000 for developing a biodiesel

U Regina to Test Greywater Reclamation Plant

The University of Regina (SK) has received funding for a project to reclaim greywater and protect vital aquatic ecosystems in Saskatchewan and beyond. Over the next three years, Dr. Stephanie Young of the University of Regina will design and test a self-contained, portable, greywater reclamation plant for small community applications. The design of the portable plant is intended to work with a community's existing water treatment facilities. The project will be lead by the University of Regina in collaboration with Communities of Tomorrow. The goal of the applied research and demonstration project is to commercialize the portable plant, increase efficiency of water reuse, and reduce fresh water demand and the corresponding wastewater load.