St. Petersburg College Opens Office for Sustainability

St. Petersburg College (FL) has opened an Office for Sustainability. The new Office aims to provide assistance and direction as SPC implements environmental education programs, student activities, and corporate training. The Office will also work on projects related to energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings, carbon emissions, and recycling. SPC has also begun offering several new sustainability-focused courses and has integrated sustainability-focused tracks in its Parks and Leisure Services program, Management Technology A.S. degree, Architectural Design and Construction Technology Associates A.S. degree, and Environmental Science Technology A.S. degree. In 2009, the College of Technology and Management plans to offer a Bachelors of Science degree in Sustainability Management, which will focus on sustainable business strategies, legal aspects of sustainability, and sustainability in built and natural environments.

Sustainability Named a Top State Policy Issue for Higher Ed

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities listed sustainability as a top state policy issue for higher education in its recent publication titled, "Top 10 State Policy Issues for Higher Education in 2009." The paper discusses the impact of gas prices on commuter students and institutions, the increase in renewable energy installations, and the possibility of 2009 federal and state policy actions that could accelerate campus sustainability projects and fund campus-based research endeavors.

U Delaware Creates Sustainable Landscapes Website

The University of Delaware Botanic Gardens has launched a new website on sustainable landscapes. The new site explains why sustainable landscaping is beneficial and is divided into five categories: soils, hydrology, vegetation, human wellness, and materials. The website is based on the document, "Sustainable Landscape Practices," which was created by the UD Botanic Gardens Advisory Board's Green Initiatives subcommittee.

U Georgia Plans 'World’s Most Sustainable Teaching & Research Lab'

The University of Georgia has begun planning what it anticipates will be the "World’s most Sustainable Teaching and Research Laboratory." The building, which will house the Odum School of Ecology, is being designed with the following elements in mind: pedagogy, biodiversity, livability, energy, water, and nutrient cycling. The building will feature indoor greenhouses, terrariums, aquariums, and eco-machines for wetland ecologies; rainwater collected from the roof and purified water from the eco-machine will feed the stream and be used for on-site irrigation; and a green roof will be planted in conjunction with lab curriculum to attract desired species. In addition, the structure is designed to face solar south, 100 percent of all interior spaces will be naturally daylit, and solar panels will be the primary energy source for the school.

U Idaho Purchases 5 Electric Vehicles

The University of Idaho has purchased 5 new electric vehicles for its campus fleet. The two cars and three trucks will be used by Facilities Services, Housing, and Parking and Transportation Services staff. The fully electric-powered vehicles can drive distances of 40-50 miles on a single charge and can reach a top speed of 25 miles per hour.

U Kentucky Approves Sustainability Policy

The University of Kentucky has approved a University Sustainability Policy, committing the institution to take steps towards reducing its carbon emissions and corresponding socio-economic problems. The policy calls upon all levels and constituencies of the University to participate in a continuous and on-going effort to institute the teaching, research, and practice of sustainability and to establish an institutional culture of sustainability. The document discusses sustainability in the areas of leadership, research, education, community engagement, administration, operations, unit planning, funding, accountability, and reporting.

U Michigan Names Dir of Graham Env'l Sustainability Institute

University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia, an internationally recognized expert on coastal "dead zones," has been named the new director of the University's Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute. Scavia, a professor of natural resources and environment and director of the Michigan Sea Grant Program, has studied the Great Lakes and other coastal ecosystems for more than three decades. He joined the U-M faculty in 2004 after serving as chief scientist for the U.S. National Ocean Service. The Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute was launched in 2005 and supports multidisciplinary research and education related to environmental sustainability. It awards research grants, fellowships and scholarships, and it sponsors academic programs. The institute focuses on six key issues: energy; freshwater and marine resources; human health and the environment; biodiversity and global change; sustainable infrastructure, built environment and manufacturing; and environmental policymaking and human behavior.

U New Hampshire Buys Electric Vehicle

The University of New Hampshire Housing Department has purchased an electric truck. The new truck replaces a gas vehicle that was previously used by the department. The truck has a top speed of 25 miles per hour and can go from zero to 20 in five seconds. It can travel upwards of 60 miles before the battery, which is good for 25,000 miles, needs recharging. The vehicle has zero tailpipe emissions, does not require any gas, and needs 90 percent less maintenance than gas-fired cars.

UW Eau Claire Donates Unused Food, Replaces Trays with Plates

The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has begun a program to donate unused food to the local homeless shelters. All non-self-serve or publically accessible food is given to the Campus Kitchens Project which donates the food to local shelters. In addition, UW-Eau Claire has replaced cafeteria trays with regular-sized plates in an effort to reduce food waste.

U Wisconsin Oshkosh Names Director of Sustainability

The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh has appointed Almut Beringer as the University's first director of sustainability. Dr. Beringer will lead the effort to carry out goals outlined in the Campus Sustainability Plan, which was unveiled in April 2008, and will also work with the provost on incorporating sustainability into the curriculum. She will report jointly to the vice chancellor for administrative services and the interim provost. Dr. Beringer previously served as a senior research fellow for the Sustainable University Project at the University of Lí¼neburg in Germany.

Western Washington U Opens Sustainable Travel Information Desk

Western Washington University has introduced a new travel desk that aims to help students find cheaper and more sustainable travel options regionally and locally. The desk, which is staffed by WWU's Sustainable Transportation program, provides information about how students can travel around the Bellingham and Puget Sound area via the bus system, biking, walking, or hiking.

Agnes Scott College Receives 2 Green Building Grants

Agnes Scott College (GA) has received an $80,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative to fund the renovation of Campbell Hall, the College's former science building, to the highest level of green building possible and to its optimal purpose. Agnes Scott also received a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s "Grants to Green" program, which will help fund the evaluation of the energy and water efficiency of the Robert W. Woodruff Physical Activities Building.

Arizona State U Composts Landscaping Waste

Arizona State University has begun composting its landscaping waste at a nearby farm. Once the waste has fully decomposed, the farm returns it to ASU to be used in the campus' landscaping and organic gardens. The new program, which began in July of 2007, has saved the University about $20,000 in dumping fees.

Cal Poly Pomona Installs Solar Powered Bus Info Signs

The California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has installed four solar-powered digital signs that inform bus riders when shuttles will arrive. Riders may also push a button and a voice will announce the same information.

Drew U Opens Green Dorm

Drew University (NJ) has opened McLendon Hall dormitory, a new green building on campus. The structure, which will house 159 students, features a geothermal heating and cooling system, drought-resistant landscaping, light sensors, water saving showers and sinks, and carpeting and floor tiles made from recycled materials. The University is seeking LEED certification for the new structure.

Furman U Receives Award for Green Showcase Home

Furman University (SC) has received the Creative Partnership Award from District III of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in recognition of the partnership that led to the construction of the Cliffs Cottage, an on campus showcase home that features sustainable building materials and energy-saving systems. The award recognizes the partnership projects between private businesses/organizations and educational institutions that result in creative solutions to advancement issues. Only one award is given annually.

Madonna U Receives Grant for Green Science & Media Building

Madonna University (MI) has received a $1.5 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation to support construction of its environmentally-friendly, $20 million Science and Media Building. To meet the challenge, Madonna will raise $3.25 million by January 2010, as part of the University’s Leading the Way Capital Campaign. The 60,000-square-foot building features recycled materials, energy efficient windows and lighting, and a green roof. The University plans to seek LEED certification for the new structure.

Montana State U Offers New Degree in Sustainable Food & Bioenergy

Montana State University has begun offering a new Bachelor of Science program in Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems. The program is designed to contribute to the development of bioenergy and a stronger, more secure food system in Montana. The new major is a partnership between the College of Agriculture and the College of Education, Health and Human Development. Three concentration options, housed within three different departments at MSU, will be available to students working toward the degree. Those options and departments are agroecology, sustainable crop production, and sustainable food systems. Together, the options will focus on ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable farming methods, food and people's health, and other issues related to food and bioenergy systems.

MSU Wins Grant to Establish Packing Innovation & Sustainability Ctr

Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has received a $400,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Company to establish the Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability. The planned Center, to be housed in the MSU School of Packaging, will serve as a think tank for packaging innovation and sustainability and a research and education hub to measure and reduce packaging’s environmental impact. The center will include state-of-the-art technology for bench research and testing of packaging materials and will offer academic, outreach and continuing education programs.

Purdue U, Vincennes U to Train Laid-off RV Workers

Purdue University and Vincennes University have begun offering technical training and advanced manufacturing instruction to the hundreds of recreational vehicle production workers in north-central Indiana who recently lost their jobs. Workers can learn new trades, such as precision metalworking, welding, and industrial maintenance. Vincennes will provide technical skills training, and Purdue will teach manufacturing techniques such as lean manufacturing tools, quality systems, sustainability, problem solving, change movement, conflict resolution, and essential communication skills in the workplace. The training is funded by $13 million in state and federal grants.

UC Davis Receives $2.5 M to Advance Energy Efficiency

The University of California, Davis has received $2.5 million from the Chevron Corporation to create a permanent leadership position for the campus's Energy Efficiency Center. The person appointed to the Chevron Chair in Energy Efficiency will direct the center, which was established in 2006. The campus plans to conduct a national search for the person to hold the Chevron Chair. S/he will be responsible for expanding the impact of the center’s research programs through interdisciplinary collaboration, education, outreach, and commercialization of technologies. He or she also will continue developing strong links with state and federal government, as well as with international programs.

UC Santa Barbara Starts CSA Program

The University of California, Santa Barbara has begun a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program on campus. Through the program, UCSB faculty, staff, and students are able to pick up a box of fresh organic produce once a week, delivered directly from a nearby organic farm to the campus that morning.

U Louisville to Operate Kentucky Renewable Energy Research Ctr

The University of Louisville has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Kentucky State Government to operate the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship. The Center has been funded by a $20 million donation from an alumnus. The Kentucky General Assembly created the Center in 2006 to provide leadership, research, support, and policy development in renewable energy. A governor-appointed board will set priorities for renewable energy research. The Center’s mission will include promoting partnerships among the state’s colleges and universities, private industry, and nonprofit organizations to actively pursue federal research and development resources that are dedicated to renewable energy.

U Nevada Reno Receives Grant to Help Businesses Reduce Energy Use

The Small Business Development Center at the University of Nevada, Reno has received a $125,000 federal grant for projects offering energy-efficiency help to small businesses. The UNR center will help small businesses evaluate their energy efficiency and implement energy-efficiency measures. The efforts might include support with renewable energy technology; green building and construction; and development and commercialization of clean-technology products, goods and services.

U New Hampshire Completes Methane Pipeline

The University of New Hampshire has completed the EcoLine pipeline, which will pipe methane 12.7 miles from Waste Management's Rochester landfill to UNH's cogeneration plant. Once the Rochester processing plant finishes in testing, which is expected to happen in February, landfill gas will replace commercial natural gas in the cogeneration plant and will be used to heat the buildings on campus.

U Oregon Extends Composting Program

The University of Oregon has approved an increase in the campus recycling budget that will fund the continuation of its composting program, which began in the spring of 2008 and collects up to one ton of recycling each month. When the program began, it was given funding for one year and would not have continued without additional funding.

U Tennessee Lowers Building Temperatures to Save Energy

The University of Tennessee has lowered building temperatures to 68 degrees and plans to raise building temperatures to 76 degrees in the summer. The new temperature policies do not apply to residence halls, but students are being issued coupons for coffee at Starbucks to reduce their energy use.

U Western Ontario Purchases Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

The University of Western Ontario has purchased a hybrid sedan to move employees, consultants, and clients around campus. In addition, the campus has announced plans to purchase a two-seat electric utility vehicle. The vehicle's features include six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries, which can be charged by plugging into a standard household electrical receptacle, a top speed of 40kmh, and an average range of about 30 miles on a single charge.

Williams College Shuts Down to Conserve Energy

Williams College (MA) decreased building temperatures and turned off equipment over its winter break in an effort reduce utility costs and greenhouse emissions. As a result of the initiative, the College saved nearly $90,000 compared to last year and reduced its annual emissions by one percent. Fifty-five percent of the energy savings came from heating. On average, building electricity use was down 40 percent, and electricity use in dorms was down 47 percent.

Wilson College Purchases 2 Electric Vehicles

Wilson College (PA) has replaced two of its gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. One is used for campus security patrols and the other is used to collect recycling. Both vehicles can travel approximately 50 miles on one charge, and charging the vehicles takes about 4 to 6 hours.

Yale U Sets Sustainability Goals for Athletics

Yale University (CT) has announced a set of sustainability goals for its athletic program. Goals include developing a strategic sustainability plan for athletics; establishing a set of green standards for Yale athletic events; implementing collaborative efforts with student athletes, including creating sustainability partnerships with each varsity team in the coming term; using the lessons learned through the development of the strategic plan for Yale athletics to create a model that is measurable, transferable, and adaptable; and creating a database of best practices so that institutions interested in improving the sustainability of their athletic departments will have an accessible source of the best knowledge and experience.

8 New Institutions Sign Presidents' Climate Commitment

8 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: John Quistgaard of Bemidji State University (MN), Wellington Reiter of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL), John Erwin of Illinois Central College, Henry D. Shannon of Chaffey Community College (CA), Dr. Shirley Mullen of Houghton College (NY), Gwendolyn W. Stephenson of Hillsborough Community College (FL), Bryan D. Albrecht of Gateway Technical College (WI), and Dr. Constance Mierendorf of Sussex County Community College (NJ). 607 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.

AP, Chronicle of Higher Ed Cover Prevalence Biofuels on Campus

The Associated Press and the Chronicle of Higher Education have both published articles on the increasing number of schools that are converting used vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel for use on campus. Institutions mentioned include Stetson University (FL), Keene State University (NH), Dickinson College (PA), Sinclair Community College (OH), and the University of Kansas

Business Week Article Features Green MBA Programs

Business Week has published an article on the increasing amount of sustainability-focused courses in business school curricula. The article mentions green MBA curricula at the University of California, Berkeley, Babson College (MA), the University of North Carolina, Presidio School of Management (CA), Harvard University (MA), Dartmouth College (NH), Stanford University (CA), Yale University (CT), and the University of Pennsylvania.

Colorado State U, Pueblo Dedicates 1.2 MW Solar Array

Colorado State University, Pueblo has dedicated a 1.2 MW solar power system that will provide more than 10 percent of the campus' future power needs. The solar array covers 4.3 acres with more than 6,800 photovoltaic panels, and is capable of generating approximately 1,800 megawatt hours of electricity per year. BP Solar installed and will operate and maintain the system, selling the zero-carbon electricity to the University.

Dalhousie U Launches New Sustainability Program

Dalhousie University (NS) has launched a new academic program, Environment, Sustainability, and Society (ESS). Students can take ESS, a four-year undergraduate program, as half of a double major or as combined honors—combining their ESS studies with a more traditional discipline. Depending on their specialty, students will work towards a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Management, Bachelor of Community Design, Bachelor of Computer Science or Bachelor of Informatics. Classes in ESS will emphasize teamwork and problem-based learning. The program will begin in September of 2009.

Drew U Switches to 100% Recycled Paper

Drew University (NJ) has switched from 30 percent post-consumer content paper to 100 percent post-consumer content and 100 percent processed chlorine-free recycled paper. The new paper will be used campus-wide in all copiers and office printers. Efforts to switch Drew’s copy paper to a greener source come from the Drew University Purchasing Department.

Maharishi of Management Announces Sustainable Ag Track

The Maharishi University of Management (IA) has announced a new Sustainable Agriculture track in its undergraduate Sustainability Living program. The new track is slated to start this spring and will offer students the opportunity to spend April through September running all aspects of the Abundance Ecovillage Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Tasks will include growing crops, collecting payments, planning, harvesting, distribution, and composting. The new track is designed students interested in sustainable small-scale food production systems, and will provide them four of six elective courses required for their major.

MIT Switches to Co-mingled Recycling

The Department of Facilities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has adopted a co-mingled recycling system. After a successful pilot program in one building in August, MIT decided to expand it to the entire campus, including student dormitories.

Monmouth U Signs Agreement with EPA

Monmouth University (NJ) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that outlines goals to improve the school’s energy, water and fuel use, waste disposal, and landscaping. Monmouth will join several of EPA’s voluntary programs, which provide trainings, online tools and technical support from EPA experts to program partners. Monmouth will report the progress of its goals to EPA every six months. Based on the reports, EPA will quantify the benefits of the school’s environmental efforts.

OIT Announces Emphasis Area in Sustainable Technologies

The Oregon Institute of Technology has begun offering a new interdisciplinary emphasis area in Sustainable Technologies under the Environmental Sciences bachelor's degree program. Environmental Sciences/Sustainable Technologies students will take courses from the Renewable Energy Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering, and Business Management departments for exposure to a wide range of technological and engineering solutions to environmental problems.

Oregon Institute of Technology to Be 100% Geothermal Campus

The Oregon Institute of Technology has installed a 150-foot-tall drilling tower in an effort to power its campus entirely with its own renewable geothermal source. If OIT succeeds, officials believe it will be the first campus in the world powered entirely on geothermal energy. The drilling rig will punch into a geological fracture almost a mile below ground, tapping 300-degree water to feed a 1.5-megawatt electrical plant. The $4.5 million high-heat plant will produce more than enough energy to power the entire Klamath Falls campus.

Stanford U Announces $100 Million Energy Research Initiative

Stanford University (CA) has established a $100 million research institute to focus on energy issues. The new Precourt Institute for Energy will draw on scientific expertise from across the campus and around the world to help develop more sustainable forms of energy and to search for ways to reduce atmospheric levels of carbon. The $100 million in new funds will enable the hiring of additional faculty and support new graduate students.

U Arkansas Wins 3 Awards for Sustainable Neighborhood Design

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center, an outreach program of the School of Architecture, has won three national awards for a sustainable neighborhood that they designed for the Washington County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Named Porchscapes , the design won a 2009 American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design; a Progressive Architecture Award in the 56th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards program, sponsored by Architect magazine; and a 2008-09 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the American Institute of Architects. These latest awards bring recognition for the project to a total of seven regional and national awards.

U Toledo Expands Free Tuition Program

The University of Toledo has expanded its UT Guarantee scholarship program to include 15 additional areas of Ohio. The program was originally created to offer high-achieving, financially-challenged students a no-out-of-pocket-tuition-and-fees option to students in the state's 6 largest cities.

Warren Wilson College Res Hall Receives LEED Gold

Warren Wilson College's (NC) Village North residence hall has received LEED Gold certification. The new building features radiant floor heating, dual flush toilets, green cleaning products, Energy Star appliances, and a passive solar design. In addition, 20 percent of the building materials were from a 500-mile radius.

Carnegie Names Campuses for Community Engagement Classification

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected 119 U.S. colleges and universities for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, previously developed and offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Institutions were classified in one of three categories: Curricular Engagement, Outreach and Partnerships, and Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships. In order to be selected into any of the three categories, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices

Catholic U Opens Green Residence Hall

Catholic University (DC) has opened Opus Hall, a seven-story green residence hall. The 127,000-square-foot, 402-bed structure features low VOC emitting materials, renewable interior finishes, enhanced daylight views, and energy-efficient and locally obtained insulated precast. In addition, a portion of the construction waste was recycled.

Central College Adds Sustainability to Core Curriculum

Central College (IA) has added a global sustainability component to its newly restructured core curriculum, to begin in the fall of 2010. The initiative began when one of Central's professors of Political Science brought the idea to the faculty and received 70 percent of the group's support. The Central faculty plan to either develop new courses or infuse existing courses with sustainability components.

Clatsop CC Offers Free Bus Pass to Campus Members

Clatsop Community College (OR) has begun offering a free bus pass to all students, faculty, and staff. The new pass, which saves students $60 each term and saves faculty and staff $45 each month, allows campus members to ride anywhere in the county that the bus services.