U Rhode Island Begins Carpooling Challenge

The University of Rhode Island has begun a carpool challenge on campus. The two week program includes free $3 coupons for carpooling participants, a free one-day parking pass, and the chance to win one of four mp3 players.

U Rhode Island Completes Conservation Campaign

The University of Rhode Island has completed the first semester of its behavior-based energy reduction campaign in the residence halls. The campaign focused on helping students remember to turn of their computers when not in use, turn the heat and/or air conditioning off when leaving a room, and take shorter showers. As a result of the initiative, the number of students who turn off their computers when not in use increased from 18 to 35 percent, the number of students who turn off their heat or air conditioning increased from 45 to 65 percent, and the number of showers students take per week decreased from 8 to 6.8. URI plans to re-run the campaign in the fall of 2009.

U Victoria Adopts Sustainability Policy

The University of Victoria (BC) Board of Governors has approved a campus sustainability policy. The policy is an overarching framework that provides a common understanding of UVic’s commitment to sustainability in teaching, research, operations, and community partnerships. A comprehensive five-year sustainability action plan for campus operations has also been developed as a first step in implementing the policy. It provides goals and direction for a wide range of actions within eight inter-related topic areas: energy and climate; transportation; purchasing; governance, decision-making, and sustainability resources; buildings and renovations; grounds, food and urban agriculture; waste management; and water management.

U Wisconsin Madison Partners for Opportunities in Wind Energy

The University of Wisconsin, Madison's College of Engineering has partnered with Vestas, a producer of wind-power technology, to provide student learning opportunities. Under the partnership, Vestas will begin providing funding support this year that will grow to sponsor as many as 10 graduate and undergraduate students working on wind technology projects. The company also plans to provide visiting research fellows to campus and start a small research-and-development facility near the engineering campus that will focus on technology transfer. Another stage of the partnership will support named professorships or endowed chairs with expanded focus on wind-energy research and education.

U Wisconsin Madison Recognized as Bike-Friendly Campus

The University of Wisconsin, Madison has been named a silver award winner in the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Business program. Bicycle Friendly Businesses are defined as corporations, organizations, and nonprofit groups that weave bicycling into their business culture and encourage their employees and constituencies to be active in cycling.

Virginia Tech Begins Composting Program

Virginia Tech has begun a program to compost its dining hall waste. Members of the VT community can now compost chopped vegetables, peelings, and cores. Since the program's launch in January 2009, VT has composted as much as 2.5 tons of waste per week. The initiative is the result of a partnership between VT Dining Services and a food processing center on campus.

Zipcar Partners with Zimride at Stanford U

Zipcar, a car-sharing provider, and Zimride, a social online ride-sharing community, have launched a partnership to integrate car sharing and ride sharing services on the Stanford University (CA) campus. The partnership eliminates the need to own a car to share a ride for all faculty, staff, and students at Stanford. Both Zipcar and Zimride have offered their services on the Stanford campus since December 2007 and November 2008 respectively, but now members of the Stanford community are able to use a Zipcar to share a ride organized by Zimride.

Arizona State U Dedicates 5 Solar Installations

Arizona State University has completed five solar installations totaling 1.88 MW. The five installations complete phase one of ASU solar project, which will add a total of 12 MW of solar power to the campus.

Drexel U Building to Features Living Biofilter

Drexel University (PA) has announced plans to include a living biofilter in its new Sciences Building. The multi-story plant wall is intended to improve indoor air quality and reduce the temperature of the air in summer through the plants' natural respiratory properties. The installation will also function as a humidifier during the winter months. Drexel believes the bio wall to be the first in a United States university. The new science building is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Elizabethtown College Starts Community Garden

Elizabethtown College (PA) has announced plans to begin its first organic community garden. The new garden will offer plots to the campus community.

Indiana U Res Hall & Greek Students Compete to Reduce Energy

Students at Indiana University have begun a month-long competition to reduce energy use and conserve water on campus. The competition between residence halls and between houses in the Greek community challenges each living community to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of their house's or dorm's average per capita electricity and water consumption over a three-year average. Students are able to track their community's progress on the IU Energy Challenge website.

Kentucky CCs Offer Tuition Discounts to Unemployed Workers

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System and Governor Steve Beshear have announced the KCTCS Career Transitions program, an initiative through which recently unemployed workers can receive a 50 percent discount on tuition for up to 6 credit hours per term. The program also offers personalized assistance in navigating the college admissions process. The year-long initiative is offered at 16 community colleges across the state. Kentucky residents who have become unemployed and have filed for unemployment benefits since Oct. 1, 2008 are eligible for the program.

Lakeland CC Signs Energy Efficiency Contract

Lakeland Community College (IL) has signed an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies to improve energy efficiency on its campus. As a result of the contract, LCC expects to reduce its annual energy costs by more than $500,000. Siemens also plans to help the College establish a facility energy management course curriculum that will help students prepare for a segment of the green job market.

LA Times Covers Increase of Students Pursing Clean Energy Careers

The Los Angeles Times has published an article on the rapidly increasing number of undergraduate and graduate level college students who are taking courses towards a degree in renewable energies. Higher education institutions highlighted include the University of California, Los Angeles; Arizona State University; Indiana University; the University of Colorado; the University of South Carolina; Lehigh University (PA); and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Macalester Colleges Brings Car Share Program to Campus

Macalester College (MN) has signed an agreement with Zipride, a car share program. The program's website allows users to post rides offered, whether one time or habitual commutes, as well as rides wanted. Current Macalester students, faculty, staff, and alumni can participate in the program.

Saint Xavier U Building to Receive USGBC Natural Leader Award

The U.S. Green Building Council has announced that it will award Saint Xavier University (IL) with its 2009 Natural Leader Award. Saint Xavier will be recognized with the SMALL feet/large FEAT award for excellence in organizational change. The award recognizes Saint Xavier’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.

St. Petersburg College Announces 2 New Green Degrees

St. Petersburg College (FL) has announced two new degree programs, an Associate of Science in Environmental Science Technology and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainability Management. Both will be available in the fall 2009 semester. The Environmental Science Technology degree includes three sub-plans: Water Resource Management, Environmental Resources/Energy Management and Sustainability. The Sustainability Management degree focuses on sustainable business and communication strategies, energy and resource management, legal aspects of sustainability, and sustainability in built and natural environments.

Survey Shows Businesses' Need for Students Educated in Green Issues

In a recent survey completed by National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), 65 percent of business surveyed said they value environmental and sustainability knowledge in job candidates and 78 percent said that that value will appreciate as a hiring factor in the next five years. NEEF surveyed 1,354 people from businesses in 20 industry sectors, from NGOs, and from government organizations as part of the project. The findings have been released in a report titled, "The Engaged Organization, Corporate Employee Environmental Education Survey and Case Study Findings."

U California Berkeley Releases 2009 Climate Action Plan

The University of California, Berkeley has released its 2009 Climate Action Plan (CAP), which documents how the campus plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by one-third and eventually achieve climate neutrality. The Plan, which will be updated annually by the Office of Sustainability, examines how far the campus has come in the last two years to meet it emissions reduction goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2014.

U Iowa to Offer Certificate in Sustainability

The University of Iowa has announced plans to offer a Certificate in Sustainability starting in the fall of 2009. The program will allow students to augment their majors and minors with a certificate that promotes an integrated understanding of human and environmental systems and the complex interactions between them. To meet the certificate's requirements, students must complete 24 semester hours of course work that includes three introductory core courses, four electives from a designated list, and one project course. The required projects will address advanced problems in design, sustainability and education, and multimedia writing on the topic of a green economy.

U Washington Offers 4 New Certificates on Sustainability Topics

The University of Washington Extension has begun offering four new sustainability-focused certificates. "Decision Making for Climate Change" and "Sustainable Transportation" are offered online, and "Low Impact Development" and "The Practice and Policy of Composting, Recycling, and Waste Prevention" can be obtained through on-campus courses.

U Wisconsin-Eau Claire Launches Sustainability Column

The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has launched the Sustainability University column in its student newspaper. The new column is designed to provide ideas, tips, and information on sustainable practices to help individuals make small changes in behavior that have a major and lasting impact on the environment and world. Students are able to send in questions for the editor of the column, which dedicated its first month to introducing the University Center's Green Team and Earth Month awareness events.

Westfield State College to Begin Single Stream Recycling

Westfield State College (MA) has announced plans to switch the campus to 100 percent single-stream recycling on campus. WSC piloted the successful program in one dormitory in November and has decided to expand single-stream recycling to all dorms this spring.

Brock U Completes Sustainability Assessment

Brock University (ON) has completed a 25-page Sustainability Audit. The document includes assessments in the areas of water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, governance, health, and ethical purchasing. The University used the Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework, a Canadian-based assessment tool.

Case Western Reserve U Purchases 4 Electric Vehicles

Two departments at Case Western Reserve University (OH) have purchased four new electric vehicles that travel up to a maximum speed of 25 mph. The four new vehicles are replacing four gas-run campus automobiles.

Clark U Announces Dual MBA and Env'l Science & Policy Degree

Beginning in the fall of 2009, Clark University (MA) will offer a dual degree program for a Master of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy and a Master of Business Administration. ES&P students admitted to the dual degree program will be able to integrate the perspectives, knowledge, and skills they gain from the ES&P courses, which focus on policy analysis and the use of scientific and quantitative tools, with perspective, knowledge, and skills from business and management.

Clark U Launches Bike Share Program

Clark University (MA) has launched a new bike share program on campus. The program is organized, maintained, and promoted by Cycles of Change, a new cycling club on campus. Students in the club earned bicycles by volunteering at a local bike shop where they learned how to build bicycles from salvaged parts. The program will start out with six bicycles that Clark students, faculty, and staff may borrow upon leaving a valid Clark ID at the university center's main desk. Helmets and locks will also be available. A bike need only be returned by midnight of the day it is borrowed.

Dickinson College Hires Sustainability Education Coordinator

Dickinson College (PA) has hired Sarah Brylinsky as sustainability education coordinator in its new Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. Brylinsky’s goal is to incorporate components of sustainability into every discipline at Dickinson College, and she'd like to make sure everyone on campus utilizes the center and its resources. The new coordinator earned a B.A. in communication management and design from Ithaca College (NY), with minors in environmental studies and women's studies. Brylinsky received the 2008 Student Sustainability Leadership Award from AASHE.

Emory U Begins Green Pledge Program

In an effort to encourage faculty, staff, and students to live more sustainably, Emory University (GA) is asking members of the campus community to sign a personal sustainability pledge that commits them to at least three changes in their daily habits or routine. The changes are chosen from a list of suggested options. Participants can then renew their pledge each semester by updating promises as needed.

Mid-South CC Awarded Grant to Enhance Renewable Energy Training

Mid-South Community College (AR) has received $127,500 from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Education to enhance its renewable energy program for high school students. The funds will support MSCC’s Technical Center, which provides dual-enrollment opportunities for Crittenden County students to learn high-tech job skills while earning high school and college credit, at no cost. The first goal in the renewable energy program is to develop a program that will prepare bio-refinery technicians to go in the field and work in bio-facilities. MSCC will teach students about botany, the bio-processes of ethanol, pneumatics, hydraulics, programmable logic computers, and basic electricity so graduates will understand what it takes to keep a bio-refinery running.

Northern Kentucky U Releases Master Plan

Northern Kentucky University has released its "Master Plan 2009." One of the goals of the Master Plan is to "create a sustainable campus which reflects the highest standards of excellence." Specific initiatives include protecting sensitive habitat and environmental areas; installing rain gardens and green roofs; and mandating that all future buildings pursue LEED certification. The plan also envisions adding 2.1 million square feet of green space.

NYT Covers Upcoming Env'l Mgmt Prgm at Montclair State U

The New York Times has published an article on a new doctorate degree in Environmental Management at Montclair State University (NJ) that is currently under development. The goal of the program is to help students understand both environmental policy and science. Several courses on the social and political aspects of the environment will be required, and the program is aimed at students with interests in areas such as green technology, alternative sources of energy, climate change, and human health.

Rice U Approves Energy and Water Sustainability Minor

Rice University (TX) has approved a new minor in Energy and Water Sustainability. The minor requires seven courses: three core courses, a design practicum, and three electives focusing on energy, water, or sustainability, no more than two of which can be in the same category. Students will be able to declare the minor starting in the fall of 2009.

Rice U Grad Housing Begins Bike Promotion Program

Rice University's (TX) new graduate student apartment complex has begun an initiative aimed at increasing the use of residents who commute by bike and reducing the number of need parking spaces on the property. The housing complex offered a free bike to students who signed an agreement not to register a motor vehicle with Rice for one year. In addition, students who bring their own bikes to campus or receive them through the program may keep them in a dedicated storage room at the apartment complex.

Six Campuses Receive Recognition for Community Service

Six colleges and universities have received presidential recognition for extraordinary contributions to service in their communities in the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. California State University, Fresno, Emory University (GA), and Michigan State University received Presidential Awards for General Community Service. Brookhaven College (TX), Duke University (NC), and the University of Missouri-Kansas City were recognized for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances, a special focus area of this year's Honor Roll competition. In all, 635 schools were listed on the Honor Roll for their community service activities during the 2007-2008 academic year. Over 80 institutions also received Honor Roll with Distinction.

St. Thomas U to Offer Green Law Degree

St. Thomas University (FL) has announced plans to offer a dual degree program in Environmental Justice and Law. The program allows students to complete a Bachelor's in Environmental Justice and a law degree specializing in Environmental Law in six years rather than the seven years that is usually takes to earn an undergraduate and law degree separately. Through the program, students learn business law and how corporations can be held accountable for the environmental footprints they leave behind. The program offers clinical programs, externships, and internships with such organizations as the United Nations, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy. The program is a competitive honors program.

Temple U Begins Conservation Initiative, Adopts Conservation Policy

Temple University (PA) has begun a new initiatives aimed at helping faculty, staff, and students remember to turn the lights off when they leave a room. As part of the initiative, student and staff volunteers have been going from building to building on campus affixing decals to light switch covers in classrooms and other high-traffic areas. The brightly designed, green stickers cover wall switches and remind occupants to switch off the lights when they are the last to leave a space. The initiative is part of Temple's implementation of a new Energy Conservation Policy. Adopted in December, the policy provides regulations governing the use of a range of university resources, including heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; lighting; computer equipment; and water.

Towson U Announces New Green Transportation Initiatives

Towson University (MD) has announced plans to pilot several initiatives aimed at lowering the demand for parking spaces on campus. Towson will be partnering with a car rental agency to provide students with the opportunity to reserve a car on an hourly or daily basis. Rates will include gas, insurance, and maintenance. The cars will be either hybrid or electric and more will become available if the demand is high. Parking and Transportation Services will also be providing new off-campus shuttles next semester. In addition, the University will begin offering discounted bus passes to faculty and staff, will continue offering four free parking passes to anyone who agrees to use alternative transportation as their primary means of getting to and from campus, and will continue the Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides a free or discounted ride home to people who do not bring a car to campus.

UC Berkeley Installs Hydration Stations to Reduce Bottle Purchases

The University of California, Berkeley has installed two water-dispensing devices where people can fill up bottles twice as fast as a standard drinking fountain allows. The "hydration stations," which are part of the Recreational Sports Facility's Play Green initiative to diminish its environmental impact, aim to encourage the campus community to switch to reusable water bottles.

U Kansas Purchases Wind to Power Library

A University of Kansas student organization has purchased enough wind power credits to power the campus' library for one year. The Student Environmental Advisory Board chose the library because of its central campus location and its familiarity to the university community. The purchase was funded by a mandatory $1.25 per semester student fee that was approved in 2007.

U Minnesota, City of Minneapolis Announce 2 New Bike Programs

The University of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis have announced the creation of two federally funded bicycle initiatives. A new U of M Bike Center will be constructed on campus, and a bike sharing program will be launched with a total of 1,000 bicycles and will be available to the campus and local communities. Both initiatives will be created with the federally funded Bike Walk Twin Cities initiative that aims to increase biking and walking and reduce driving in Minneapolis and neighboring communities.

U Montana Approves Climate Change Minor

The University of Montana has approved the creation of a minor in climate change studies. The new program will combine training in sciences with course work in ethics and policy to offer students a multidisciplinary understanding of climate change. Students will examine the scientific and social dimensions of global climate change, as well as explore potential solutions. Students pursuing the minor will take an interdisciplinary introductory course and six credits in each of three areas of study: climate change science, climate change and society, and climate change solutions.

U North Carolina to Develop Green Below-Market Housing

The University of North Carolina has announced that they will develop a new neighborhood that will offer university faculty and staff single-family town homes and condominium homes at below-market rates. The home and landscaping of Carolina Commons will also be designed to be as green as possible.

U Winnipeg Bans Sale of Bottled Water on Campus

The University of Winnipeg (MB) has begun to phase in a ban on the sale of bottled water on campus. Students will also be encouraged to refrain from bringing retail, disposable bottles on campus and to switch instead to reusable bottles. To encourage this practice, the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association will partner with Uwinnipeg to provide all first year, incoming students with reusable bottles for free as part of their orientation package.

123 PCC Signatory Institutions, UT Austin Complete Public GHG Report

123 signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have submitted public greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin . The GHG inventory is the first major reporting requirement of the Commitment and is due within a year of signing. In related news, the University of Texas at Austin has also published a greenhouse gas inventory.

2 California Institutions Partner to Establish Model Sustainable Community

The University of California, Santa Cruz, and Foothill-De Anza Community College District (CA) have announced a new partnership with NASA Ames Research Center to establish a sustainable community for education and research at the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field. The goal of the partnership is to create a prototype for an environmentally sustainable community and to contribute to the economic vitality of the region. For students, the collaboration will offer joint academic programs that draw upon the talents and expertise of each partner institution. Carnegie Mellon University (PA), Santa Clara University (CA), and San Jose State University (CA) have also been involved in the planning and may eventually join the partnership. Work on the site could begin as early as 2013, with initial occupancy as early as 2015.

Amherst College Students Donate $70K to Budget Woes

Students at Amherst College (MA) have voted to donate $70,000 to help the college deal with its budget shortfalls. $50,000 will go towards financial aid, and $20,000 will go towards maintaining staff pay for Amherst's lowest-paid employees. The $70,000 gift will come from a reserve fund of unspent money generated by student activity fees from previous years.

Auburn U Competes to Reduce Energy, Waste, & Water Consumption

Auburn University (AL) has completed a one month competition between 22 residence halls to reduce energy, waste, and water consumption by the largest percentage compared to the average utility usage for that same building from 2006-2008. The winners of the Sustain-A-Bowl 2009 competition, Sasnett Hall, reduced their energy use by 20 percent and their water use by 25 percent. The calculated savings for February 2009 for all 22 residence halls was $5506 for electricity and $2785 for water. All residence halls increased their recycling and reduced their waste.

Inside Higher Ed Covers Sustainability in Study Abroad

Inside Higher Ed has published an article on higher education initiatives that aim to make studying abroad more sustainable. The article discusses a report submitted to NAFSA: Association of International Educators by a national task force on environmental sustainability in study abroad, new sustainability standards being proposed as additions to the Forum on Education Abroad's Standards of Good Practice, and the Green Passport Program, a new social networking site that aims to raise student awareness of their ecological and social impacts abroad. Higher education institutions highlighted include Augsburg College (MN); Marlboro College (VT); Warren Wilson College (NC); University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Middlebury College (VT); and Willamette University (OR).

Maharishi U Mgmt Organic Farm Receives $13K Grant

The Maharishi University of Management (IA) Organic Farm has received a $13,750 grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture to study growing vegetables in large gutter-connect greenhouses in winter without added heat. The method involves placing an extra layer of plastic directly over the plants to retain more heat. The farm workers will measure growth and yield of four crops, measure soil and air temperatures, and estimate heating cost savings. If this study is successful, Iowa farmers will be able to grow organic vegetables in large greenhouses without spending money on heating fuel.