U North Carolina Asheville to Offer Environmental & Cultural Sustainability Certificate

The five-course Environmental and Cultural Sustainability Certificate program will begin in spring 2017 and consist of five courses, including classes in sustainable cultures, economics and energy systems, and two elective classes.

Pennsylvania State U Institutes Civic Engagement Program

The university's new Scholarship, Sustainability and Civic Engagement Program had 11 students pilot the program in the 2015-16 academic year, which included two semesters of classwork and summer fieldwork. The students worked with various cities across the state to find creative and innovative solutions to various issues, from food access to urban development. The program made a three year commitment to the cities, whereby future groups of students will build upon the work that began this year.

U Maryland Eastern Shore Receives $1M to Boost Green Workforce

Delmarva Power announced a pledge of $1 million to help the university launch the Green Collar Initiative, a series of energy conservation projects that include crafting a sustainable curriculum using research, development and training assistance targeting rural businesspeople, especially those in agribusiness.

Western Washington U Begins Sustainable Cities Partnership

Applying its academic expertise to strengthen communities beyond the campus, the new Sustainable Cities Partnership with the city of Edmonds will focus student energy and ideas on a variety city issues oriented toward sustainability.

U Massachusetts Amherst Partners on $16M Solar Project

With no upfront cost to itself through third-party financing and ownership with Brightergy, the university will be installing 5.5-megawatts of photovoltaic technology projected to cut costs by $6.2 million. The university will purchase all the electricity from the installation at a reduced rate. Brightergy is also providing educational funds for learning labs and internships.

Energy Department Funds $2.1M Solar Training Program

The Solar Training Network that includes the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) aims to improve access to solar training, resources and careers, and seeks to increase the quality and diversity of the solar workforce and establish national training standards. The $2.1 million program is led by The Solar Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

U California San Diego Installs Student-Developed Solar Charging Station

The student-engineered project is a spot for students to unwind and charge electronic devices from solar energy. Inspired by a trip to Costa Rica, the site features a 1.5 kilowatt solar tree and two benches. The benches have electrical ports for charging multiple devices and a LED light fixture.

'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 Saskatchewan Plants Rooftop Garden

The urban garden project currently underway is part of the university's Department of Plant Sciences, through which a class on urban food production is offered. The food is sold to Culinary Services, who supplies food waste back to the university's compost that is used in the garden to create a closed loop.

Emory U Awards Inaugural Green Labs & Offices Grants

The university’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives announced the recipients of its inaugural Green Labs at Emory and Green Offices at Emory Incentives Fund programs that use small grants to fund innovative, timely and impactful projects led by students, faculty and staff to foster sustainability-related knowledge and habits in laboratories and workspaces.

Yale U Nursing Students Connect with Food Systems to Improve Patient Wellbeing

Students in their first year of the school's Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing program work with Yale Landscape Lab for a series of workshops that focus on the importance of creating meaningful connections with their patients as they work with them to learn to access and eat healthy foods. These sessions combined with hands-on growing and cooking exercises help the students explore their personal connections with food as a way to empower them to promote healthy lifestyles.

North Carolina State U Welcomes Aquaponics to Student Union

Thanks to the NC State Sustainability Fund, the university's Talley Student Union is now home to a student-designed and maintained, 800-gallon aquaponics system, a closed-loop food production method, featuring a tank of up to 15 fish and two shallow planting containers that will grow tomatoes and salad greens in water.

Massachusetts Senator Offers 'Climate Change Education Act'

The newly introduced bill (S.3074) by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a national climate change education program. The bill allows NOAA to, among other things, create a program to give grants to "improve the quality of and access to higher education in green collar industries and green economy-related fields" and "for institutions of higher education to engage teams of faculty and students to develop applied climate research and deliver to local communities direct services on climate mitigation and adaptation".

California State U Sacramento Receives $80K Living Lab Grant

An $80,000 boost awarded by the California State University’s Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) program will cover the redesign of Urban Agriculture, a course in the Department of Environmental Studies. A large portion of the funding will go toward running power and water to the area where students work. As a part of the Urban Ag course, students will do hands-on work in the yard, creating compost and mulch for the 3,500 trees on campus.

Montclair State U Students Partner with Businesses to Problem-Solve

Undergraduate and graduate students will be participating in a pilot, 10-week program that allows transdisciplinary teams to work with New Jersey businesses to solve sustainability problems.

Energy Dept. Announces Collegiate Wind Competition Results

The national competition that asks participants to build a small-scale wind turbine that can provide off-grid power named The Pennsylvania State University as top prize winner, while University of Massachusetts Lowell and Boise State University claimed second and third respectively.

U Central Florida Begins Engineering Course with Campus as Lab

In spring 2016, the university’s College of Engineering and Computer Science offered a new honors-level course titled Systems Analysis for Sustainability in Engineered Systems that utilizes the main campus as a living laboratory to apply their systems knowledge to diverse problems. The course introduces principles of sustainable engineering, systems and life-cycle thinking, and the development of sustainability metrics and indicators.

Michigan State U Water Research Reveals Campus Behavior

A recent survey of students, faculty and staff revealed that 37 percent prefer tap water while 36.6 percent prefer bottled water, 39 percent use filtered water stations, and 90 percent understand that bottled water has a higher environmental and economic cost than tap water. These insights will be used to help improve recycling programs and create awareness of refill stations across campus.

Central Carolina CC to Offer Construction Program

Part of the community college's Sustainability Technologies Program, the newly approved Building Construction Technology program will attempt to help students build better using sustainable technologies.

Green Mountain College and Audubon International Announce Partnership

Graduate students at Green Mountain College can apply their place-based education by exploring and implementing Audubon International’s programs alongside professional staff. Staff at any of Audubon International's member facilities will receive discounts to enroll in the college’s online graduate curriculum in one of four sustainability disciplines. The goal of the partnership is to improve training opportunities for sustainability professionals and students, and lead to new research on sustainability practices.

Michigan State U Students Discover Solution for Polystyrene

A group of students from the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program is researching the use of mealworms to degrade this material beyond the industry standard of 20 percent. Funded by the Be Spartan Green Student Project Fund, the Meals for Mealworms project was proposed, researched and executed by freshman students, earning them an invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference.

Wilfrid Laurier U Claims First in Aspen Institute Competition

The university's Lazaridis School of Business & Economics claimed first place out of five finalists at the Aspen Institute's 2016 Business and Society International MBA Case Competition, for which it earned a grand prize of $15,000. Founded in 2009, the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society International MBA Case Competition provides an opportunity for MBA students from 25 leading business schools over three rounds to reflect on the significant influence and positive impact a well-managed business can have on society.

Five Universities Place in Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

This year's Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles, concluded with the following winners: Queens University (Canada), University of Alberta (Canada), University of Colorado at Boulder, Laval University (Canada), and Université de Sherbrooke (Canada). The win qualifies the teams to compete at the Shell Ecomarathon Europe and the Drivers World Championship in London this summer.

U Manitoba Concludes International Bee House Design Competition

The university's international bee house design competition called BEE / HOUSE / LAB aimed to address the rapid decline in bee populations due to pesticide use and severe winters brought on by climate change. Participants were challenged to design a bee house for 80-100 solitary nesting bees. In the Open category, first place went to a team from University of Manitoba and McGill University, and Ryerson University placed second. In the Student Competition category, a student from University of Toronto won top honors, with two students from Carleton University taking second.

U Massachusetts Amherst Establishes School of Earth and Sustainability

Approved by the board of trustees in April 2016, the university's new School of Earth and Sustainability will serve as a central hub for a suite of academic programs, research, innovation outreach and extension activities focused on finding solutions to the complex, global environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Education Dept Announces 2016 Green Ribbon Schools Award

This year's U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award went to Elon University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Hawkeye Community College; Macalester College; Raritan Valley Community College; Slippery Rock University; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; University of Montevallo; and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors postsecondary institutions that are demonstrating progress in three pillars: environmental impact, health and wellness, and sustainability education.

Energy Dept. Names 'Race to Zero Student Design Competition' Winners

Prairie View A&M University was named Grand Winner in the U.S. Department of Energy's collegiate competition engaging university students to design zero-energy ready homes. First and second place winners were named in four other categories. A major goal of the competition is to advance building science curriculum in university programs across the country.

Harford CC & U Maryland Tie for First in Student Competition

The Sustainable Growth Challenge, an annual collegiate competition hosted by the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, enables teams to conduct community planning exercises, analyze economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable growth and develop creative community solutions. Harford Community College developed a multimodal transportation proposal that connects existing bike routes throughout Harford County, while University of Maryland developed a plan to revitalize a vacant lot to address the community's needs and assuring economic prosperity for the neighborhood.

Indiana U Faculty Mentors & Students Collaborate in Sustainability Scholar Program

The university's inaugural 2020 Sustainability Scholar program paired undergraduates with faculty mentors from multiple disciplines to conduct high-quality research in the area of sustainability. As part of the program, students were required to complete a research work plan and enroll in a class that explores sustainability research methods.

Worcester State U Students Offer Incentive to Divest from Fossil Energy

A student-led movement at the university aimed at pressuring the university to pull its investment money out of coal, oil and natural gas companies has recently announced its participation in the Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund. Until the university makes an official statement pledging to divest itself from fossil fuels, the money in the multi-school fund will remain in escrow. The Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund includes participation from more than 30 schools nationwide.

Illinois State U Students Work to Site Large Solar Array

The student-led initiative, known as Solar Pathways Project, is currently exploring possible sites for solar panels to be installed at the university. The effort is sponsored by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and part of a multi-university effort organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Virginia Commonwealth U Builds Learning Garden

With funding from a community engagement grant, the university's learning garden received new infrastructure from leftover renovation materials and is used to grow food as donation crops and rented by community members.

Penn State Grounds Become Bat Habitat

Biology and engineering students collaborated to research, design and build bat houses that will be placed at two campus locations that were identified as suitable bat habitats.

Cranfield U Launches MS Course in the Circular Economy

The new master's level course is on the concept of the circular economy, a notion that attempts to increasingly decouple production from the consumption of finite resources, and emphasizes keeping products and materials at their highest value and utility at all times. The course will focus on how business can be restorative and regenerative.

Michigan State U Courses Conduct Waste Audits

Two of four of the university's Introduction to Sustainability courses provide students with the opportunity to partner with the university's Recycling Center team to conduct a hands-on waste audit of a campus building. The Recycling Center team will use the data to improve signage and outreach materials.

Umpqua CC to Install 36KW Photovoltaic Array

As part of an ongoing energy efficiency overhaul for the campus, the community college will be installing a 36-kilowatt solar energy system that will have the ability to be expanded up to 300-kilowatt capacity.

SUNY Oneonta Creates Sustainability Living and Learning Community

Beginning in fall 2016, the college will offer two new living, learning communities for incoming freshman. The Sustainability Living Learning Community will focus on management of environmental and financial resources, and finding harmony with the natural environment. The Social Justice Living Learning Community will enable students to engage diverse perspectives and views, critically examine issues that cause oppression related to race, gender, age and other differences, and form connections to other community members interested in social justice issues.

U Calgary Launches Institutional Sustainability Strategy

The university recently completed a comprehensive institutional sustainability strategy that, for the first time, incorporates an academic framework to advance education and research for sustainability. During the launch, the university also announced a new interdisciplinary sustainability certificate that will be offered to all undergraduate students. The strategy is the result of more than two years of broad consultation with students, faculty, staff and community partners.

Michigan State U Students Nurture Green Space

A group of students from the university's Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment recently transformed a low-traffic area to a vibrant natural space to encourage students to enjoy and take advantage of the outdoor environment. Funding for the project was provided by the university's student sustainability fund.

Three Universities Create Global Alliance to Offer Sustainability Degrees

Arizona State University, King's College London and University of New South Wales Australia recently announced the PLuS Alliance, a new partnership dedicated to find research-led solutions to global challenges and increase access to learning. Beginning in fall 2016, more than 20 programs in sustainability, global health, social justice and sustainability leadership will be offered online. Degrees through the PLuS Alliance include Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science.

National U, U California San Diego Offer Sustainability Manager Training

The new partnership offers students a pathway to pursue studies in sustainability management by allowing those who have completed a University of California San Diego Extension’s Sustainable Business Practices certificate program to obtain credit for two classes that can be applied toward National University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management. Both the certificate and master’s program are available online.

U Massachusetts Amherst to Open Online Food & Farming Degree

Starting in September 2016, the university's Stockbridge School of Agriculture will offer an online associate of science degree in sustainable food and farming. The online-only, 60-credit degree will cover basic knowledge of plant and soil science, and train students in agricultural techniques, community development, public policy and education. The program is designed to be flexible, allowing students to focus on specific career objectives.

Portland State U Launches Food Systems Certificate Program

The new program, Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems, aims to educate students on topics ranging from business and urban planning to policy and public health, providing a multi-dimensional understanding of the social, environmental and economic impacts of the food sector. A collaborative program developed by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, the certificate is offered through a unique partnership between four PSU units: the College of Urban and Public Affairs, Graduate School of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Business Administration.

Binghamton U Approves Sustainable Communities Master's Degree

The new 38-credit program draws on transdisciplinary approaches to sustainability to offer students a Master of Science and Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities.

U Kansas Offers Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability

Students from all disciplines can now pursue a certificate in sustainability that aims to bring a lens of sustainability to their future career. Requirements of the certificate include completing a selection of interdisciplinary coursework, an experiential learning component and a final reflection. The experiential learning requirement will involve participation in 60 hours of service, research or fieldwork with a campus department, community organization or business on a project or effort related to sustainability.

Virginia Tech, RIT Win Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge

A student from Virginia Tech recently won the award for best student design with a computer backpack made from 60-70 recycled plastic bags and organic cotton capable of reducing the plastic waste and carbon emissions by taking advantage of embodied energy already in the processed plastic. Rochester Institute of Technology's Engineers for a Sustainable World Team won the best use of Autodesk Fusion 360 by developing a recycled broom with a bristle head made form biodegradable material that can be replaced independently of the broom's other components. Autodesk allowed the team to compare and conserve materials through the animation feature, promoting a Cradle to Cradle approach to design.

U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Offers New Sustainability Minor

Six academic units at the university now collaborate to offer a new campus-wide sustainability minor through the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment. The purpose of the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Fellows Program (SEE FP) is to promote systems-level thinking about energy and sustainability, and foster the development of an integrated view of the economy, society and the environment. The fellows program will prepare students for pursuing careers in the corporate sector, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and environmental advocacy groups.

Rochester IT Students Create Enviro-Friendly Product Packaging

As part of a design competition, students from the packaging science department partnered with industrial design and graphic design students to re-work packaging designs for two Wegmans products, orange juice and Greek yogurt, with more sustainable materials. The challenge resembled those that would be found in the workplace, and provided the students with hands-on skills in project management, marketing and incorporating sustainable designs in product development.

Smeal MBA Sustainability Case Competition Names Five Finalists

The University of Texas at Dallas won the $10,000 prize for first place. Duke University walked away with $5,000 for finishing second. Penn State was awarded $2,500 for third place. Teams from Dartmouth and Texas Christian University were the other finalists. These five teams were selected from a pool of 28 after pitching their presentation about corporate environmental affairs at IBM to judges from IBM, PepsiCo and SKF.

Penn State Unveils New Online Undergraduate Sustainability Certificate

The new online undergraduate certificate in Earth sustainability is offered through the university's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The four courses required to obtain the certificate allow students to work with large data sets about climate change, water and food supplies, and natural hazards and conduct lab activities.