U Rhode Island Dining Facility Awarded LEED Silver

The University of Rhode Island's newest dining facility, Hope Commons, has been awarded LEED Silver certification. The structure, which cost $18 million to build, features a reflective roof coating; 75 percent local construction materials; and energy efficient lighting and food service equipment. The 42,500 square-foot building opened in August of 2007.

UT Arlington Completes Sustainability Curriculum White Paper

The University of Texas at Arlington President's Sustainability Committee's has issued a white paper providing an analysis of sustainability as a focal point in the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, university research, and the University’s academic engagement in the North Texas community. The paper includes several recommendations including establishing a center devoted to urban environmental studies; developing an undergraduate degree program in environmental studies and following up on an existing proposal for an undergraduate degree program in environmental science; creating an “environmental literacy” requirement for all undergraduates; and establishing a colloquium series on sustainability.

U Texas to Offer Free Electronic Textbooks

The University of Texas has announced plans to offer free electronic textbooks as a pilot project during the Spring 2009 semester. The e-book initiative will provide electronic copies of textbooks, which UT will pay for, for students in chemistry, biochemistry, marketing and accounting classes. Initially, students in those classes will use the e-books for free. If the program is successful, students would pay $25 to $40 a book in licensing fees.

UW Madison Creates Video on Being a Sustainable Public Institution

The University of Wisconsin, Madison has created a video entitled, "Being a Responsible and Sustainable Public Institution." The video is the third installment in a weekly video report showcasing major ideas for the UW Madison 2009 Reaccreditation Project. Each video features interviews with leaders of the six reaccreditation “theme teams,” which were built around the top priorities for UW-Madison’s future, as identified through input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the public.

UW Madison Holds Carbon Neutral Homecoming Game

This year's University of Wisconsin, Madison homecoming football game against the University of Illinois has been designated carbon neutral. UW Madison has planted thousands of trees at a nearby farm and purchased carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated directly by activities surrounding the game. The event also provided information on ways fans can take action in their daily lives to become more environmentally friendly.

Virginia Commonwealth U Dedicates Env'l Research Pier

The Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences has opened and dedicated its new 5,100-square-foot research pier that gives scientists direct access to James River. The pier was developed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and sits on an ecologically rich, 343-acre parcel of land located on the north bank of the river. The site also serves as a science educator training facility and a place for local K-12 students to participate in various activities.

Yale U Releases 2008 GHG Reduction Strategy

Yale University (CT) has released its 2008 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy executive summary. The summary illustrates Yale’s progress to date and outlines the University’s strategy for reaching its target to reduce emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

3 BC Campuses Pilot Beyond Climate Neutral Initiative

The University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and Thomson Rivers University have begun piloting the "goBEYOND" Initiative before it expands to other B.C. institutions in 2009. Funded by the B.C. government and B.C. Hydro, the program will engage students through lectures, workshops, presentations, and challenges to take climate action -- as individuals, on campus, and in their community. The program plans to launch a website that will offer students training and tools to reduce their emi

Aquinas College Library Receives LEED Silver Certification

The Aquinas College (MI) Grace Hauenstein Library has achieved LEED Silver certification. Green features of the renovation include low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, carpet, padding, and particleboard; a 32 percent reduction in water use; and over 82 percent of the renovation waste was recycled.

Belmont U Implements Green Initiatives for Presidential Debate

Belmont University (TN) took steps to make the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, which it hosted, environmentally friendly. Green features of the debate included Forest Stewardship Council certified, chlorine free, lignin free, and acid-free Debate08 letterhead; a reusable, polypropylene bag made of recycled materials; and an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for visiting media to use, which included materials like press releases, contact lists, and background information on a one gigabyte flash drive rather than using printed pieces. Additionally, Belmont powered the Media Filing Center with generators that used an environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel blend.

Cal Poly Starts Composting Program

The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo has started a composting program on campus. The new program combines uncooked leftovers from the Campus Dining hall and plant clippings from the campus farm to produce compost. The program, which started in the spring through a county grant, uses an estimated 10 percent of the food waste produced on campus.

CGI Announces Winners of Outstanding Commitment Awards

Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and the Wal-Mart Foundation have announced the winners of forty-four student grants and two university grants through the CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards. Winners will receive funding for their CGI U Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable plans to address a global challenge of the winners’ choosing. The Awards are designed to support innovative, high-impact work that creates lasting and positive social change, most notably within CGI U’s focus areas – energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation. One university award was given to Dillard University (LA) and Brown University (RI) to ensure that Dillard is rebuilt in an environmentally sustainable manner, encouraging faculty, students, and staff from Brown and Dillard to collaborate in advancing energy efficiency, curriculum and research development, and community projects, incorporating recycling and transportation improvements into Dillard’s new community. The second university award was given to the College of Menominee Nation in support of its commitment to ensure that principles of sustainability are adopted at all tribal colleges in the United States.

College of William & Mary Forms Sustainability Steering Ctte

The College of William and Mary (VA) has formed a steering committee of campus members to develop, plan, and recommend strategies for implementing the College's new sustainability policy. The new Committee on Sustainability includes students, faculty, and staff members who have passion for improving the campus environment. The first task of the steering committee will be to set the agendas and priorities of its subcommittees. The committee will also administer funds generated from the College's new annual $30 green fee which was approved last spring.

Cornell U Dining Hall Goes Trayless

Cornell University (NY) has begun a new initiative to eliminate the use of trays in its dining halls. Cornell officials removed the trays from Risley Dining Hall, the first dining facility to participate in the new initiative, after a successful pilot program in the beginning of the semester.

Cornell U Opens Green Science Center

Cornell University (NY) has completed and opened Weill Hall, the University's new life sciences building. The $162 million, 265,000-square-foot building features a green roof and natural lighting, uses 30 percent less energy than comparable buildings, and is registered to receive LEED Gold certification.

Furman U Receives $850K for Sustainability Education

Furman University (SC) has received an $850,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support sustainability and environmental education initiatives on campus. The grant will assist the faculty in developing new courses and redesigning existing courses related to the environment. Additionally, as part of the grant proposal, Furman has named Angela Halfacre to the new position of Director of Sustainability and Environmental Education. Halfacre will oversee the implementation of the courses into the curriculum and coordinate the numerous efforts on campus related to sustainability and education.

James Madison U Opens Inst for the Stewardship of the Natural World

James Madison University (VA) has announced the formation of the Institute for the Stewardship of the Natural World. The role of the institute will be to coordinate and facilitate JMU's pursuit of sustainability, environmental stewardship, and a broader sense of citizenship which includes fostering, informing, and documenting sustainability-related education, outreach, and scholarship. The ISNW will be led by Executive Director Christie-Joy Brodrick Hartman, who previously served as associate professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology and co-director of the university's Alternative Fuels Program.

Montana State U Installs 1.9 kW Wind Turbine

Montana State University students, faculty, staff, and volunteers have installed a 50-foot-tall wind turbine on the MSU campus. The 1.9 kW turbine is part of the Montana Wind for Schools program, which will install four similar turbines at schools in Cascade, Fairfield, Livingston, and Stanford in the coming weeks. Students will use the turbines in lessons about alternative energy. The five wind turbines were funded by about $60,000 in grants from Northwestern Energy and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Montana State U Students Approve Recycling Fee

Students at Montana State University have voted to approve a $3.50 per semester fee to support a new campus recycling program. The measure passed by a vote of 1,471 to 865. If the fee is approved by the state Board of Regents it will go into effect for the spring 2009 semester. The fee would raise $70,000 a year to hire a full-time employee who would be in charge of the recycling effort and its future expansion.

Morningside College Signs Talloires Declaration

Morningside College (IA) has signed the Talloires Declaration. The Talloires Declaration is a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities. Over 350 university presidents and chancellors in more than 40 countries have signed the Declaration.

Nevada Campuses Receive Climate Change Research Grant

Nevada's higher education system has received a $15 million federal grant to research regional climate change in a tri-state project during the next five years. Researchers from the Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada, Reno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College will analyze and model the effects of regional climate change on the state's ecosystems and water resources. Nevada will collaborate with New Mexico and Idaho, which received NFS funding to participate in the project.

Ohio U Approves Sustainability Implementation Plan

The Ohio University Board of Trustees have approved a plan to implement House Bill 251, a state-level law that requires all state-funded colleges and universities to develop a 15-year plan for implementing energy-efficiency and conservation projects, with the goal of reducing building energy consumption at least 20 percent by 2014, using 2004 as the benchmark year. In addition to a 20 percent energy reduction, OU's implementation plan seeks the same level of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve these ends, at least 20 percent of capital budget allocations must be put toward infrastructure efficiency projects, according to the plan. The implementation plan will also help the University meet the requirements of Vision OHIO's call for an institutional commitment to sustainability and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Oregon State U Launches Sustainability Blog

The Oregon State University Sustainability Office has launched Ecologue , a blog about sustainability at OSU. The new blog aims to provide a space for casual discussion, creative outlet, and constructive criticism on sustainability at OSU. The new blog will allow for ad-hoc posts and regular contributors.

Quinnipiac U York Hill Announces $4 M Sustainability Plan

Quinnipiac University (CT) has unveiled a $4 million sustainability plan for its new York Hill campus. The 250-acre campus will feature a wind garden composed of 42 vertical-axis wind turbines that will generate about 84,000 kilowatt hours per year and photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of a campus residence hall that will generate about 250,000 kilowatt hours per year. QU President John L. Lahey also announced that a new student affairs position, an environmental coordinator, will be appointed to educate students, faculty, and staff about environmental issues and encourage projects that help protect and preserve the environment. Other green initiatives to take place on the new campus include the installation of a green roof, a recycling center, native landscaping, a gas-fired microturbine to generate a portion of the electricity required for the site, and a bio-detention pond that collects and cleanses storm water runoff to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality.

RIT to Launch Ph.D. in Sustainability

The Rochester Institute of Technology has received New York state approval for its doctoral degree in sustainability. The Ph.D. program will focus on sustainable production and will seek to advance research and education in alternative energy development, sustainable design, green product development, industrial ecology, and pollution prevention. The program will be offered through RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. RIT plans to admit students into the program immediately and is also recruiting additional faculty and research associates. The development of the program was made possible through an initial grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

RMI Announces 'Campus Climate-Change Initiatives' Winners

The Rocky Mountain Institute has invited 12 U.S. campuses to host a two-day site visit by RMI this fall and later to collaborate with each other, RMI and AASHE in a workshop to reduce the barriers to becoming a carbon neutral campus. Participating institutions, which had to apply to be invited, include Harford Community College (MD), Richland College (TX), Lakeshore Technical College (WI), the University of Minnesota, Morris, Furman University (SC), Unity College (ME), Luther College (IA), Colorado State University,the University of Vermont, the University of Missouri, Tufts University (MA), and Yale University (CT).

Ryerson U Kiosks Promote Environmental Goals

Ryerson University (ON) has installed three new touch screen kiosks on campus that promote Ryerson's environmental goals. Students can click on the large blue information kiosks to find out more about RU's environmental initiatives and what they can do to help Ryerson achieve its green goals. More kiosks are scheduled to be built in the coming months.

Simon Fraser U Unveils Green Building

Simon Fraser University (BC) has opened Blusson Hall, a green building that will house the Faculty of Health Sciences. The $56.9-million, 12,000 square meter complex features a green roof, sustainably harvested wood products, limited use of off-gassing construction materials, storm-water collection for irrigation, radiant-floor heating, and abundant natural light. The structure has been built to exceed LEED Silver standards.

Spring Arbor U Receives Biodiesel Grant

Spring Arbor University (MI) has received a $400 Innovative Activities Grant from the American Chemical Society to fund a student project that will seek to produce gallons of biodiesel for use on campus. The team of students hopes to create enough biodiesel to power the maintenance department's utility vehicles and lawnmowers that currently run on diesel. The University plans to match the grant.

Sustainable Endowments Institute Announces Innovator Awards

The Sustainable Endowments Institute has announced the winners of its Sustainability Innovator Awards. These awards serve to recognize sustainability innovators among colleges and universities with smaller endowments that also merit recognition. This year's winners include Green Mountain College (VT), Northland College (WI), and the University of Prince Edward Island.

Trinity College Launches BYOB Initiative

Trinity College (CT) has launched its Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) initiative. The program, which is funded by a donation from the Student Government Association, purchases brightly colored aluminum bottles for students to use in dining halls on campus. The purpose of the program, which was started by a student on campus, aims to challenge students to think about the waste created by using plastic water bottles.

U Arizona Establishes Institute for the Environment & Society

The University of Arizona has established the Institute for Environment and Society. The new institute's primary goal is to facilitate partnerships among university scientists and society in developing environmentally sustainable technologies, strategies, and policies that will strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life in Arizona and beyond. Diana Liverman of Oxford University has been recruited to co-direct the institute with Jonathan Overpeck, UA professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences. Overpeck has been director of UA's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, which will be replaced by the new institute.

U Arizona Makes Biosphere 2 More Sustainable

The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 has begun offering opportunities for UA faculty and students who work on sustainability research or who are involved in a sustainability-relevant course to do experiments or projects within the biosphere. Additionally, Biosphere two currently features an on-site recycling program and will soon contain a rainwater catchment system. In addition, landscape architecture students are developing designs for a new master site plan to better serve visitors and incorporate new sustainable systems in Biosphere 2 operations.

U Colorado, Colorado Springs to Install Solar Thermal System

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has announced plans to install a 68-panel solar thermal system for pool heating on its new Recreation Center. The new solar thermal system will offset more than 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The system will be installed this fall. The Recreation Center is registered for LEED Silver certification.

U Minnesota Morris Dedicates Biomass Gasification Facility

The University of Minnesota Morris has dedicated its new biomass gasification facility. The new facility will use approximately 9,000 tons of biomass per year, which will include local corn residue, wood chips, and possibly grasses to offset roughly 80 percent of UMM’s fossil fuel usage. The University plans to purchase energy sources from area farmers and producers. The new facility is part of the University's plan to be energy self-sufficient by 2010. The project also received one of 12 energy grants from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy for $1.89 million to conduct research on carbon sequestration. Additionally, during the dedication ceremony, the American Council on Renewable Energy presented the University with a Campus Excellence Award. UMM received the award for “Outstanding Use of Renewable Energy.

U Oregon Launches Bike Loan Program

The University of Oregon Outdoor Program has started a bike-loan program on campus. The initiative has started with a fleet of 30 bikes, which were originally abandoned on the UO campus. The program allows students to rent a bike for the semester or academic year for a $65 deposit. Students can get the deposit back as long as they return the bike undamaged. The program has been funded by an $18,000 grant from the Associated Students of the University of Oregon and a $5,000 grant from PowerBar.

U System of Georgia Challenges Institutions to Reduce Energy

The University System of Georgia has challenged its 35 institutions to take immediate measures to reduce utility consumption in an effort to reduce costs. As a result, East Georgia College has adopted a goal of reducing energy consumption by 6% during Fiscal Year 09 and of continuing to reduce water consumption in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order issued in October of 2007. To help meet this goal, East Georgia College has moved to a condensed work week. East Georgia College's new hours of operations are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

UT Arlington Expands Free Tuition Program

The University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Promise financial aid program has expanded its offerings to include free tuition for students whose household income is $65,000 or less and are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. The expanded program will begin in January of 2009 for the spring semester. The current threshold is $40,000, which was increased from $25,000 earlier this year. New freshmen students are eligible for the Maverick Promise for up to 5 years and new transfer students are eligible for up to 3 years.

UW River Falls Survey Shows that Students Support Going off the Grid

A recent survey completed by students at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls showed that 95 percent of students support the University's plan to go off the grid by 2012 by lobbying the state for funds. Additionally, 65 percent of students were in favor of raising student tuition to cover the cost of the plan.

Vanderbilt U to Expand Financial Aid

Vanderbilt University (TN) has announced plans to replace all need-based student loans with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance starting in the fall of 2009. Funded through a combination of strategic budget allocations and Vanderbilt’s Shape the Future fund-raising campaign, the initiative – designed to increase access to a Vanderbilt education across all income levels – has already reduced the average overall indebtedness of graduating seniors by 17 percent. This program will apply to all undergraduates with demonstrated need who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. In addition, all seniors set to graduate in May 2009 will have their need-based loans for the spring 2009 semester replaced with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance.

Washington State U, U Washington Compete in 'One Thing' Challenge

Washington State University and University of Washington residence hall students have begun the "One Thing" Challenge, a competition in which students make a personal commitment to doing one thing to help the environment. The campus with the most participants will receive bragging rights and a ceremonial awarding of the One Thing Cup, a trophy made of recycled material. The competition ends November 22, 2008, the day of the annual rival football game between WSU and UW.

Wheaton College Breaks Ground for Green Science Center

Wheaton College (MA) has broken ground on the Center for Scientific Inquiry and Innovation. The 99,000 square-foot, $50 million project, which will include the construction of a new, three-story building and the renovation of the first floor of the existing Science Center, will feature a green roof. The structure will be registered for LEED certification.

Whitman College Hires Campus Sustainability Coordinator

Whitman College (WA) has hired senior Karlis Rokpelnis as Campus Sustainability Coordinator. Working under the chair of the conservation committee, Rokpelnis serves as a liaison between faculty, staff, and students and is the administrator of Whitman's new $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund. As the first Whitman Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Rokpelnis works 10 hours per week.

2 Community Colleges Break Ground on Green Expansions

The Community College of Philadelphia (PA) has broken ground on its $31 million green expansion of the Northeast Regional Center. The 58,000 square-foot expansion will feature a green roof, a rainwater collection system, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The addition is registered for LEED Silver certification. Bucks County Community College (PA) has also broken ground on a new expansion. Its addition will be registered for LEED certification and will feature a geothermal heating system, tinted and insulated windows, and a green roof. At the groundbreaking, members of the student-run Environmental Club planted a tree to commemorate the project’s concern for the natural surroundings.

3 PA Schools Receive Green Power Awards

Dickinson College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburg Medical Center have each received a “2008 Green Power: Turn It On!” award from Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture). Dickinson received the award for purchasing 50 percent of its electricity from wind power and installing a 60-kilowatt solar array. The University of Pennsylvania received the award for purchasing 200,000 MWh per year of its electricity from wind energy. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center received the award for leadership in pursuing environmentally sustainable practices within the healthcare industry and for purchasing 10 percent of its electricity from green energy sources. 26 organizations and individuals in the state received recognition at PennFuture’s ninth annual Green Power Awards ceremony.

Anderson U Receives Recycling Grant

Anderson University has received a $25,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to convert itself into a more recycling-friendly campus, with plans to use the grant to fund recycling trailers, bins and totes, and a campaign to inform students and faculty about the new recycling opportunities on campus. Anderson students, faculty, and staff aim to keep an estimated 384 tons of recyclables out of landfills as a direct result of the IDEM grant. The grant money comes from the Indiana Solid Waste Management Fund, an account generated by a per-ton fee on solid waste disposed at Indiana landfills.

Barry U Launches Single-Stream Recycling

Barry University (FL) has introduced single-stream recycling on campus. The new program will make it easier for Barry students, faculty, and staff to recycle by placing all their recyclable items – paper, plastic, aluminum – in a single container for collection and processing.

Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley Partner with India to Reduce GHGs

The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley have announced a joint research and development program in which researchers will work with the government and private sector of India to develop paths toward reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining sustained economic growth. Scientists of the initiative, named the Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the Environment, will conduct research on basic science and engineering, new technology development, and policies to promote market transformation to further energy efficiency, clean energy sources, and smart growth.

Boston U Expands Local Scholarship to Include Full Tuition Grants

Boston University (MA) President Robert A. Brown and Mayor Thomas M. Menino have announced that Boston University is expanding its program for providing scholarships to graduates of Boston Public Schools. Under the expansion, BU will award 20–25 full-tuition academic scholarships each year to qualified Boston residents graduating from Boston Public Schools. The initiative is a continuation of the merit-based Boston Scholars Program, through which 1,719 graduates of the Boston Public Schools have received nearly $126 million in scholarships from Boston University. BU has also expanded its need-based awards for Boston Public School graduates who are admitted to the University. BU plans to meet these students’ eligibility for assistance in its entirety without reliance on loans.

Cornell Receives $10 M for Computational Sustainability Institute

Cornell University (NY) has received a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Computational Sustainability Institute, a center that will focus on computational methods for a sustainable environment, economy, and society. The Institute will work on such projects as optimizing the design of land corridors for grizzlies that now live in three separate areas in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana to find a viable route while reducing the cost of land acquisition; developing models to transition to an ethanol economy; and preserving bird habitats and designing bird corridors by analyzing hemispheric-scale bird migrations involving billions of birds. The Institute will involve 14 Cornell faculty members along with scientists at Oregon State University, Howard University (DC), Bowdoin College (ME), the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Conservation Fund.