Cornell U Converts Biomass to Fuels

Cornell University (NY) has begun the Cornell University Renewable Bioenergy Initiative (CURBI), a new project to convert vegetable oil from dining hall fryers, animal bedding from campus barns, and farm waste from university research into fuels. CURBI will look at anaerobic digestion, high-efficiency direct combustion, and other renewable energy technologies, so that waste products from one system can be used by another.

DuPage Students Help Habitat for Humanity Write Green Housing Plan

A group of architecture majors at the College of Dupage (IL) have helped to write a green housing plan for their local Habitat for Humanity chapter. The plan outlines how the non-profit can build 11 affordable, energy-efficiency houses in West Chicago over the next three years.

Florida State U Building Receives LEED Silver

Florida State University has received LEED Silver certification for its new McIntosh Track and Field Building. The two-story, 19,000-square-foot structure features local and regional materials, energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, low-flow water fixtures, sorted or recycled construction debris, and low-VOC paints.

Georgia Tech Begins Cell Phone and Battery Recycling

The Georgia Institute of Technology has begun a recycling program for cell phones and batteries on campus. The program, coordinated by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, allows the campus community to recycle AA, C, 9-volt batteries, rechargeable batteries, and cell phones at five appointed battery and cell phone recycling sites.

Governors State U Extends Recycling to Community

Governors State University (IL) has extended an invitation to surrounding communities to participate in the campus' paper recycling system. With the placement of two large collection containers on campus, GSU is asking people to bring their recyclable paper products for deposit. The University made the offer because some local communities do not have curb side recycling.

Las Positas College Installs Solar Shades

Las Positas College (CA) has installed new solar photovoltaic shades covering two of its parking lots on campus. The shades, which cost the College $12.9 million, will help provide energy for the campus' air conditioning system.

Los Angeles Times Covers Increase in Campus Farmers Markets

The Los Angeles Times has published an article on the growing number of colleges and universities that are adding regularly scheduled farmers markets to their campuses. The article mentions markets at the University of South Carolina, the University of Washington, Princeton University (NJ), University of California, Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, San Diego, Stanford University (CA), Harvard University (CT), Brown University (RI), Portland State University (OR), the University of Minnesota, the University of Maine, the University of Arizona, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

McMaster U Launches Sustainability Website

McMaster University's (ON) Office of Sustainability has launched a new website. The website features information on environmental issues such as energy, waste, and water, as well as social issues such as health and well-being. Users can also find detailed information on campus buildings and Hospitality Services' sustainability initiatives, alternative transit, and campus green space. The website aims to engage web savvy students on a number of levels, with information on sustainable living both on and off campus and links to resources to help students reduce their ecological footprint. It will also serve to connect students with opportunities to further study sustainability issues and promote events.

New York State Launches Energy Program for Campuses

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced a new initiative to encourage greater energy-efficiency awareness and market penetration to colleges and universities across New York State. The New York Energy $mart Focus on Colleges and Universities will identify technical assistance and financial incentive programs that institutions can access to maximize energy-efficiency and achieve their environmental goals.

Northern Arizona U Initiates Office Supply Exchange

The Northern Arizona University Office of Sustainability has initiated an office supply exchange with the goal of reducing the amount of office supplies purchased. Building occupants can bring the office supplies that they are not using for a free exchange and take what they can put to use. The idea is based on "freecycling," a growing trend that promotes the exchange of items already in existence to extend their usefulness and keep them out of landfills.

Northern Arizona U Launches Energy Tracking Website

Northern Arizona University's Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with Visible Energy, has launched the Visible NAU website as part of a campaign to help faculty and staff better understand their home energy habits by comparing their usage to other NAU faculty and staff. The site allows employees who are APS or Unisource customers to sign up to have their energy data anonymously uploaded to the Visible NAU website where it can be compared with other NAU employees. Users will only be recognized as members of a certain department. The site is able to track departmental scores and which department's employees improve the most. Everyone who participates will be entered in a raffle to win energy-efficiency products and services. Tracking, however, will continue even after the completion of the campaign.

Northland College Announces New Env'l Focused Curriculum

Northland College (WI) has redesigned its curriculum to include environmental issues. Set to launch in the fall of 2009, the redesigned curriculum offers students the choice of four new liberal arts programs and a full set of new or redesigned majors, all of which feature a focus on environmental issues. All of the college’s new majors, Humanity and Nature Studies, Sociology and Social Justice, History of Ideas (combining History, Philosophy, Religion, Music, and Literature), Sustainable Community Development, and the Environmental Sciences are built on a foundation of making connections, as are its most successful continuing majors such as Natural Resources, Outdoor Education, and a redesigned Business Program.

Obama Nominates Tufts Professor as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

President Barack Obama has announced his intention to nominate Kathleen A. Merrigan to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Merrigan is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment M.S. and Ph.D. program at Tufts University (MA). Merrigan was head of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999 to 2001, when she helped develop U.S. organic food-labeling standards. As a Senate aide, she worked on the 1990 law that recognized organic farming.

Rutgers U Competes to Conserve Energy

The five campuses of Rutgers University (NJ) have begun a month-long energy reduction competition. The Busch, Livingston, College Avenue, Cook, and Douglass campuses are competing throughout the month of March to lower their percentage of electrical energy usage. The campus that is able to reduce the percentage of electrical energy consumption the most compared to the month of March last year will win a roving trophy that will be presented on Earth Day.

Ryerson U Announces Certificate in Sustainability

Ryerson University (ON) has announced plans to launch a new Certificate in Sustainability in the fall of 2009. The Certificate, which aims to train students to understand sustainability in a broad context, includes six required courses and allows students to specialize in natural environment, urban environment, or socioeconomics of sustainability.

Second Nature to Support Green Building at Under-Resourced Schools

Second Nature has launched Advancing Green Building in Higher Education, a program focused on addressing some of the challenges faced by under-resourced colleges and universities to build green buildings on their campuses. With a $1,242,000 three-year grant from the Kresge Foundation, Second Nature is helping under-resourced schools learn about and use the financial and technical resources available to construct and renovate campus buildings in ways that save money, reduce environmental and health impacts, serve as educational tools, and increase student enrollment. As part of the program, AASHE is offering Title III and Title V schools a 60 percent discount on new membership. Campuses joining as part of this special offer may participate in a welcome webinar about AASHE resources and programs, as well as a series of complimentary teleconferences on campus sustainability topics such as green building, master planning, and energy conservation. Another part of the program will allow Second Nature to award fellowships to 40 university executives who will learn the skills and technical information they need to be effective champions for green building at their own under-resourced campuses. University campus planners, facilities directors, or vice presidents of finance and business will be eligible for the fellowships through which they will take part in learning and networking opportunities. In addition, Second Nature will create a Campus Green Builder Web Portal, to be launched in the fall of 2009. The portal will include case studies of green building at under-resourced schools and other useful resources.

Texas A&M Opens Office of Sustainability

Texas A&M University has opened an Office of Sustainability. The Office hopes to work with university stakeholders to develop, coordinate, and enhance current sustainability initiatives. The Office has specific plans to work to integrate sustainability into the campus' curriculum, expand current recycling initiatives, and improve alternative transportation options on campus.

UC Merced Science Building Receives LEED Gold

The Science and Engineering Building at the University of California, Merced has received LEED Gold certification. The 174,000-square-foot structure features natural lighting and was constructed with locally supplied and/or recycled building materials.

U North Carolina Wilmington Purchases Electric Truck

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington has purchased its first electric truck. The ECOtealmobile is used for delivering products to the new eco-friendly campus store, which is dedicated to selling only environmentally friendly products.

U Tulsa Partners to Advance Research at the Ntl Energy Policy Inst

The George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa (OK) have formalized a partnership to advance scholarship and research for the National Energy Policy Institute, a Tulsa-based organization funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation that is dedicated to developing a national energy policy that produces energy independence and reduces greenhouse gases. The partnership with The University of Tulsa provides NEPI with a headquarters on its campus, while also utilizing TU’s academic and research capabilities to advance the organization’s mission and support economic opportunities related to emerging energy technology.

Vice President Biden Tours Energy Conservation Initiatives at U Penn

Vice President Joe Biden, along with four cabinet secretaries, the Philadelphia Mayor, the Pennsylvania Governor, and three congressmen, recently went on a tour of operations at the University of Pennsylvania. The University, which has cut its energy use by 15 percent, showed the group a small scale model of a former industrial wasteland that is being converted to park land. The park will feature native plant material to conserve water and might contain LED lighting and/or solar panels. The event was part of the White House's Middle Class Task Force, which held its first meeting in Philadelphia, focusing on energy green jobs to benefit middle-income workers.

Yale U Announces Director of Climate and Energy Institute

Yale University (CT) has announced that Rajendra K. Pachauri will lead the newly established Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI). Pachauri has chaired the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002 and has been director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), since 2001. He will retain these positions while taking up his new half-time position at Yale. Pachauri has been an active leader in the global climate policy debate and played a major role in laying the groundwork for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. YCEI will provide seed grants, support postgraduate study, sponsor conferences and workshops, and foster interdisciplinary research spanning from basic atmospheric science to public policy. Nearly 100 Yale scientists, engineers, physicians, social scientists and policy experts have joined together to launch the enterprise.

12,000 Youth Attend Power Shift

12,000 young leaders, a large portion of which were college students, converged on Washington, D.C. last week to participate in Power Shift 09 to demand that the President and Congress pass bold, just climate and energy policy in 2009 that dramatically reduces emissions, creates millions of green job and powers America with 100 percent clean energy. Despite a snow storm that paralyzed much of the city, the event concluded with a day full of hundreds of lobby visits and a rally with more than 3,000 youth on Capitol Hill. The four-day summit included seminars, panels, and workshops; a green career fair; legislative briefings and activist trainings; and a day of action on Monday where hundreds of youth entered the halls of Congress to lobby their representatives in more than 360 scheduled meetings. Three AASHE staff were present at the event and blogged about their experiences

9 New Institutions Sign Presidents' Climate Commitment

9 new institutions have signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin. In doing so, these campuses have committed to develop comprehensive plans for achieving climate neutrality. The new signatories are: Dr. Jake B. Schrum of Southwestern University (TX), Dr. David R. Smith of the State University of New York Medical Center, Dr. Alan R. Davis of the State University of New York, Empire State College, Dr. William Hartley of Anaheim University (CA), Dr. Paulette Perfumo of Pasadena City College (CA), Richard Berman of Manhattanville College (NY), Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson of Oregon College of Art & Craft, George C. Bradley of Paine College (GA), and Dr. Raul Rodriguez of San Joaquin Delta College (CA). 616 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.

Butte College Unveils 3 Solar Arrays

Butte College (CA) has unveiled three completed solar projects at its main campus. Together, the solar projects, which collectively are rated at 450kW, will power 10 campus buildings and are expected to save the College $40,000 annually in energy costs. Combined with a 1MW solar project completed during the 2004-2005 academic year, these solar panels will supply about 44 percent of the campus' electricity consumption.

Central Michigan U Competes to Save Energy

Central Michigan University has completed a competition to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the residence halls. The competition, which lasted throughout the month of February, took place in 5 dorms. The winners, which still haven't been determined, will receive $15 to spend at food stores around campus.

College of William & Mary Announces Sustainability Website & Grants

The College of William & Mary (VA) Committee on Sustainability has launched a new website that includes up-to-date information for new project proposal and student research grants that will be supported by the College's Green Fee. The site also includes background on current campus projects, information on how members of the William & Mary community can volunteer, and deadlines for upcoming proposals. The grants available through the website include 4 summer research grants in amounts up to $5,000.

Judson U Building Receives LEED Gold

Judson University's (IL) Harm A. Weber Academic Center has received LEED Gold certification. The 88,000-square-foot building, which opened in 2007, features a passive solar design, stack-induced natural ventilation, and on-site storm water management. The site also contains native prairie and habitat restoration.

Lehigh U Offers Grad Certificate in Environmental Law & Policy

Lehigh University (PA) has begun offering a graduate certificate in Environmental Law and Policy. The new program will provide students with instruction on how ethics, politics, and science policy influence the natural environment and shape human relationships to it, at local, national, and international levels of organization. Teaching both theory and practice of environmental law and policy, the certificate will integrate practical and career oriented expertise in the existing law that regulates environmental pollution, planning, and land use with consideration of how different policies might achieve better outcomes.

Lesley U Offers M.A. in Urban Environmental Leadership

Lesley University (MA) has begun offering a Master's of Arts in Urban Environmental Leadership. Students in the program study the urban environment and the human forces that shape it. The program's examination of the urban environment addresses the history of cities and the political, social, and cultural forces that influence the environmental decision-making process.

Louisiana State U Holds Energy Conservation Competition

Louisiana State University has begun a one month energy conservation competition in its residence halls and apartment complexes. The Unplug Residential Life Energy Competition looks to promote an understanding throughout the LSU on-campus community of what energy conservation entails and to empower students to take action in their daily lives to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Nine residence hall communities, which altogether house 4,800 residents and 135 resident assistants, are competing to see which community has the greatest reduction in energy usage between March 6 and April 3. The contest compares the March 2009 electrical meter readings with those from March 2008. The overall competition winners will be announced during LSU’s Earth Day celebration April 24. Residents in the winning halls will each receive a free USB computer flash drive.

Luther College Strategic Plan Features Sustainability

The Luther College (IA) Board of Regents has approved the College's Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan for 2008-2012. One of the three strategic imperatives of the plan is to connect sustainability, stewardship, and global citizenship. One of the goals in the five-year plan is to cut the college's carbon footprint in half. Already, the college has reduced its campus carbon footprint by 15 percent and plans to make further investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy systems to reach the 50 percent goal. The plan also focuses on ways to reach the goals of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment. In addition, $5 million (10 percent) of the Sesquicentennial Fund seeks endowment support for a new Center for Sustainable Communities. The goal of the center is to catalyze change and be an educational resource for businesses, churches, governments and communities in the region. Luther College has already created a new Campus Sustainability Council as a result of the plan.

Luther, Wartburg Colleges Compete to Reduce Energy

Luther College (IA) and Wartburg College (IA) have begun a competition to see which campus can conserve the most energy. The winning campus will receive a hand-carved trophy and bragging rights, and the losing campus will have to hang a sign that says the other school won.

Maharishi U of Mgmt Joins Seed Savers Exchange

The Maharishi University of Management (IA) has joined the Iowa Seed Savers Exchange in an effort to preserve the genetic legacy of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees that is rapidly being lost as a result of factors such as industrial agriculture and genetic engineering. Part of the Exchange’s work is maintaining a huge collection of heirloom and open pollinated varieties that are available to the public. MUM will contribute to the Exchange by growing a Colored Butterbean.

Maharishi U of Mgmt Offers Community Supported Agriculture

Maharishi University of Management (IA) has announced plans to offer an organic community supported agriculture program beginning in April. The new program will provide members with a weekly box of vegetables and fruit grown at the farm at Maharishi Vedic City. All fruits and vegetables will be harvested within one day of distribution.

Missouri Western U Begins Recycling Paper

Missouri Western University has begun recycling paper on campus. The campus maintenance crew takes care of the 96-gallon containers located behind all of the buildings on campus, except for residence halls. Members of the campus community can place any form of paper in the recycle containers, as long as it isn’t cardboard.

Mount Holyoke College Res Hall Receives LEED Gold

Mount Holyoke College's (MA) new residence hall, which opened in September 2008, has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The 176-bed, $30 million building features bike racks, solar panels, and an energy monitoring system that allows students in each of the six clusters to track their energy use and compete with the other clusters on energy conservation. The structure also contains highly recyclable content and rapidly renewable materials.

Nebraska State Colleges Offer Free Freshman Tuition

Three Nebraska colleges - Wayne State College, Peru State College, and Chadron State College - will offer free tuition to first-time, in-state freshman who receive a federal Pell Grant. Students will still be responsible for other expenses like books and room and board.

NY Times Article Covers the Greening of Business School Buildings

The New York Times has published an article on the prevalence of green construction initiatives in business school buildings across the United States. The article mentions green features of business school structures at the University of Michigan, Stanford University (CA), Thunderbird School of Global Management (AZ), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and New York University.

Ohio State U Switches to Biodegradable Bags in Dining Halls

Ohio State University dining halls have switched to biodegradable bags for students who take their food to go. In addition, several dining halls are selling reusable cloth bags for $1 each. After nine purchases with the bag, students get an entrée for free.

Purdue U Installs Green Roof

Purdue University (IN) has installed a green roof on its Schleman Hall of Student Services. PU received a $68,000 grant from State Farm Insurance to help fund the new installation.

Queen's U to Host Green Chemistry Commercialization Center

The federal government of Canada has announced that it will provide $9.1 million over five years to help establish GreenCentre Canada at Queen's University (ON). The new commercialization center will focus on green chemistry, aiming to help guide more energy-efficient chemical processes from university labs into factories across the country. At the GreenCentre, new chemical processes developed in university labs across the country will be tested on a larger scale and adapted for practical applications. The Centre will also study catalysts, substances that make chemical transformations more energy efficient to increase yield and decrease the amount of waste byproducts.

Rice U Opens Green Child Care Center

Rice University (TX) has opened the Rice Children's Campus, a building that meets LEED standards. The structure features reused materials, light sensors, programmable thermostats for each of five separate zones, double-paned energy-efficient windows, and overhands that block the sun. Other green elements include water-efficient fixtures, and 8,000 gallon underground rainwater cistern, and local plant landscaping. The building has a capacity of 86 students, who must be the children of Rice faculty, staff, or students to be eligible for admission.

Rice U Opens Green Graduate Housing

Rice University (TX) has opened the Rice Village Apartment complex, a new green graduate housing hall located close to campus. The 237-bed residence features bicycle storage and was built to LEED standards. In addition, the complex offers a free bicycle to residence who agree not to bring a car to the apartments.

Rice U to Go Trayless

Rice University (TX) has announced plans to remove all of its cafeteria trays over its spring break. The Student Association passed a resolution to support the removal of trays from dining halls in an effort to reduce food waste. The new initiative will reduce energy use as well as water and chemical waste since trays no longer have to be washed. Trays will still be available for handicapped and injured students.

U Kentucky Uses Elliptical Machines to Power Generators

The University of Kentucky has retrofitted 14 elliptical machines to put energy back into the building's power system when in use. The Johnson Center, the gym that houses the exercise machines, also features a processor that tells how many watts of energy are being created by the elliptical machines at any moment.

U Minnesota Ends Licensing Deal with Russell Corporation

The University of Minnesota has joined several other colleges and universities ending licensing agreements with the Russell Corporation amid allegations that the clothing maker engages in unfair labor practices. Atlanta-based Russell, maker of the Russell Athletic brand, has made T-shirts and other clothing items with the University of Minnesota’s logo. The agreement with Russell resulted in more than $26,000 revenue in 2007 and will terminate March 31, 2009.

U Oregon Offers Climate Course to Local Businesses

The University of Oregon has begun offering a course to local businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint. Climate Masters at Work, a spin-off of a previous program focusing on homeowners, is a 10-week course for businesses and nonprofit organizations. The coursework is followed by six months of consultation with the Lane Community College Business Development Center in conjunction with consulting firm Good Company, focusing on environmental issues and solid business practices. The first group of Climate Masters students has finished their seminars, which lasted from mid-October until the end of December, and will continue to work with the Business Center until June.

U Oregon Students Help Community to Increase Gas Mileage

Students at the University of Oregon have begun a project to help members of the Eugene community inflate their car tires to the proper pressure, which improves gas mileage and reduces tailpipe emissions. Students set up compressors at nearby parking garages to help drivers check their tires and pump them up. The first 150 cars to stop receive a free tire gauge.

U Western Ontario Launches Green Process Engineering Prgm

The University of Western Ontario has launched a Green Process Engineering undergraduate program that combines and integrates the fundamental principles of chemical engineering to design commercial products and processes that are safe, economical, and environmentally friendly. The program will educate students to apply process engineering tools to design sustainable and safe chemical processes . The program also explores alternative sources of energy with reduced carbon emissions. Some of the distinguishing features of the program include the emphasis on green chemistry, green power, solar and bio-fuel cells, and conversion of waste (such as agricultural byproducts) to bio-diesel and bio-ethanol products. Engineering students will have the opportunity to apply to the Green Process Engineering program upon completing their first common year.