U Guelph to Establish Centre for Ag Renewable Energy & Sustainability

The University of Guelph (ON) has announced plans to establish the Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES). The centre will have an agricultural focus, with the objectives of strengthening the agriculture sector, improving sustainability and development, increasing alternative energy and energy conservation, and leveraging education, training, and research.

U Maryland Campus Sustainability Report 2008

The University of Maryland, College Park Office of Sustainability has released its Campus Sustainability Report 2008. The Report relates some of the progress the University has made over the past 18 months and includes a Campus Sustainability Metrics section, which chronicles the campus's progress in sustainability.

U Maryland, College Park Completes Green Roof

The University of Maryland, College Park has completed the installation of a green roof on Cumberland Hall. The $350,000 green roof features extra insulation and 15 species of plants. UMD also plans to install a green roof on the Stamp Student Union in the near future.

U New Hampshire Dining Halls Serve Local Squash

University of New Hampshire dining halls have begun serving butternut squash grown and developed by UNH researchers. A UNH farm manager and a UNH professor worked with UNH Dining to plant a large plot of butternut squash this summer. UNH sells the squash to a distributor that peels, chops and processes them into an easily-used format then sells them back to UNH Dining to steam, mash, and serve to its diners. The squash may go to other customers if quantity allows. The squash is labeled in the serving area so diners can learn about its local pedigree and scientific service.

U New Mexico Adds 4 Biodiesel Buses to its Fleet

The University of New Mexico has purchased four new biodiesel buses for its campus. 100 percent of UNM's buses run on either biodiesel or compressed natural gas.

Virginia Commonwealth U Unveils New Green Building

Virginia Commonwealth University has unveiled its new $2.6 million research and education building at the Rice Center, VCU’s 343-acre living laboratory on the James River. The building was constructed with a goal of achieving LEED Platinum. The 4,900-square-foot Walter L. Rice Education Building houses lecture and laboratory rooms for classes, a conference room and administrative offices as well as an outdoor classroom pavilion. The building incorporates features such as geothermal heating and cooling, solar electrical power generation, an advanced water recycling and wastewater treatment systems; high-efficiency interior and exterior lighting; high insulation levels that rely on soy-based products and recycled denim; and ventilation via operable windows.

Whitman College Debate Team Goes Paperless

The Whitman College (WA) Debate Team has stopped using paper to prepare for and attend debates. The team made the decision was motivated by the desire to reduce paper use, printing costs, and the airline industry’s implementation of higher fees for luggage.

Whitman College Receives Grant for Solar Array

Whitman College (WA) has received a $51,750 grant from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy program to support the college’s proposed 23kW photovoltaic solar array. The project would place approximately 20 solar panels with a 23kW electricity potential on the roof of Jewett Residence Hall. In addition to providing solar electricity, the proposed demonstration project would be used as an educational tool for the Whitman and Walla Walla communities. The remaining cost of the array will be funded by a student and alumni group dedicated to promoting renewable energy on campus and the campus's Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund.

3 Institutions Establish LED Research Center

The National Science Foundation has announced plans to establish a new Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) to supplant the common light bulb with next-generation lighting devices that are smarter, greener, and ready for innovation. The NSF-funded Smart Lighting Center, which is supported by University of New Mexico and Boston University (MA), will investigate and develop light-emitting diode (LED) technologies. Twenty faculty researchers from Rensselaer, along with 10 researchers from BU and UNM, will staff the new center.

3 Institutions Receive EPA Env'l Justice Achievement Awards

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the winners of its first annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards. The Awards recognize organizations for their success in addressing environmental justice issues or by adopting the goals of environmental justice to positively impact their community. Out of 12 winners, 3 were from the higher education community. The Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Duke University (NC) was recognized for its efforts to reduce childhood lead exposure. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University (LA) was recognized for its work to help residents of New Orleans, Louisiana address environmental contamination and return home after Hurricane Katrina. Finally, the Medical University of South Carolina was recognized for its efforts to incorporate environmental justice into its community-based activities.

Carnegie Mellon U Announces Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency

Carnegie Mellon University (PA) and APC by Schneider Electric have announced the establishment of the APC Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency Research. The APC Research Fellowships, which are intended to increase the number of students engaged in data center efficiency research, support Ph.D. students at Carnegie Mellon with research foci in the area of data center efficiency.

Colorado State U Names Managing Director of Climate Initiatives

Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley has appointed Aaron Levi, formerly his chief of staff, as managing director of Climate Initiatives and Carbon Assets to manage the University's plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 and to oversee other university-wide environmental efforts. As operations manager, he'll work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to develop a long-term strategy and track the University's sustainability and energy management plans. He also will ensure the University completes its prior sustainability commitments, including the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the AASHE STARS pilot project.

DOE Awards $4.4M to U.S. Universities for Biofuels Research

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded 6 U.S. Universities a total of $4.4 million to support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The following schools received awards: the University of Toledo (OH), Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), Montana State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Maine, and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.

Fort Lewis College Switches to Compostable Food Trays

Fort Lewis College (CO) has switched to using compostable food trays in its dining halls and café. The College hopes to see a significant reduction in refuse as a result of the trays, which will be composted on site.

Johns Hopkins U Secures Funding for Campus Sustainability Initiatives

The Johns Hopkins University (MD) associate financial deans have authorized funding for the campus' Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program (SHIP). SHIP will offer funding for students and employees who have ideas for practical green projects on campus. Projects may receive funding as long as they reduce environmental impacts, do not interfere with ongoing projects, and do not require any ongoing maintenance. The funding will be allocated by the SHIP executive board, which consists of five students, and an evaluations committee.

Lewis & Clark CC Opens Institute for Environmental Sustainability

Lewis and Clark Community College has opened a new Institute for Environmental Sustainability. LCCC created the IES in conjunction with the statewide efforts of other colleges involved in a pilot program to establish the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network. These colleges include Kankakee, Wilbur Wright, and Heartland community colleges.

MacArthur Foundation Commits $15M for Sustainable Dev Master's Prgms

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a $15 million commitment to seed the creation of Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) programs at up to twelve universities worldwide over the next three years. The two-year MDP programs will provide professional training for future leaders in the field of sustainable development, with an emphasis on practical, cross-disciplinary knowledge from the health, natural, and social sciences and a strong focus on leadership and management skills. Courses will cover topics such as agronomy, climate change, and tropical diseases and will be supplemented by two summers of field training. The first program to be announced will begin at Columbia University (NY) in the fall of 2009.

Maharishi U of Mgmt Holds Energy Conservation Competition

Maharishi University of Management (IA) has inaugurated a campus-wide energy conservation competition, The M.U.M. Energy Challenge. During most of October, MUM students and faculty will complete daily spreadsheets to add up personal energy use, calculate the amount of carbon dioxide produced, and estimate how many pounds of greenhouse gas emissions they can prevent through simple conservation methods. Winning participants will be those with the largest percentage decrease in energy use over the month. The competition and spreadsheets were designed by a MUM student.

New York Times Features Campus Bike Programs

The New York Times has published an article entitled, "With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus." The article mentions the University of New England's (ME) and Ripon College's (WI) bike give-away programs, Mercer University's (GA) and Emory University's (GA) bike rental programs, and Saint Xavier University's (IL) computer-driven bike sharing program. The goal of campus bike programs, according to the article, is to reduce the number of parking spaces needed on campus and to promote a hea

Northwestern U Launches Sustainability Initiative

Northwestern University (IL) has launched the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), an organization that will support research, teaching, and outreach in the areas of sustainability and energy. ISEN will also provide startup funds for pilot or seed research projects, matching funds for post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate fellowships, and for major equipment purchases and maintenance. Additionally, four new undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on global issues related to energy and sustainability will be offered starting in the spring quarter. In the longer term, ISEN plans to establish an energy and sustainability minor at the undergraduate level across several schools and to create a master’s degree program in energy and sustainability studies.

Purdue U Students to Build Green Habitat for Humanity Home

Students in Purdue University's (IN) Engineering Projects in Community Service program has announced plans to partner with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity to build a home in a nearby town that uses standards for environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings. The project is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund. As part of the project, students and Habitat personnel will identify and analyze green building strategies, build the home, and design training for other Habitat affiliates to use in building similar green homes. The design will use best practices for building a green home that can be followed by a volunteer work force.

Saint Michael's College Launches Yellow Bike Program

Saint Michael's College (VT) has launched a Yellow Bike Program on campus. The program, which started with a fleet of 25 bikes, rents bicycles to students for a yearly fee of $10. $5 is used for bike maintenance, and the remaining $5 is returned to the program members at the year's end as long as the fleet remains in good condition. The program was started by three Saint Michael's seniors.

Saint Xavier U Purchases Renewable Energy Credits

Saint Xavier University (IL) has signed an agreement to purchase 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of “Clean Source” alternative energy over the next two years to power its new eco-friendly student residence hall. The energy used to power Mother Agatha O'Brien Hall will prevent the emission of more than 817,000 pounds of CO2. SXU’s clean energy producers include: The New Hope Power Partnership, a biomass cogeneration facility; Belleville Hydroelectric, a run of river operation that does not obstruct fish migration; Elk River Wind Farm; and the Mass Hill Wind Farm.

SUNY Cobleskill Breaks Ground for Green Technology Center

The State University of New York Cobleskill has broken ground on its new Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST). The new structure will be a center for teaching, learning, and research in green technology. SUNY Cobleskill’s CEST will house research in the conversion of agricultural and municipal waste to clean energy through gasification. The college has been allocated nearly $4 million from the US Departments of Defense and Energy for the research.

SUNY Cobleskill Receives $250K for Energy Conservation

The State University of New York Cobleskill has received a $250,000 grant for energy conservation and facility upgrades throughout campus. The award was based on an energy audit performed by the New York Power Authority covering 19 of the college’s buildings. The audit identified eight separate energy saving measures. These include “occupancy based” controls in the college’s 10 dormitories to provide more efficient lighting; the replacement of existing windows with energy efficient ones; and the replacement of campus greenhouses with more efficient structures to meet research and teaching needs.

UC San Diego Dedicates Green Building Extension

The University of California, San Diego has dedicated a new, energy-efficient building extension on the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The new extension increased the existing supercomputer center to 160,000 square-feet, and officials say it was built to standards equivalent to LEED Silver. The structure features a natural hybrid displacement ventilation system; a solar reflecting roof; building sensors to measure energy consumption and thermal effectiveness; and a rack system called CoolFlex that encloses traditional cold aisles in the data center, completely separating the cold air supplying equipment from the hot air exhausted from the gear.

U Florida Dedicates Pilot Ethanol Plant

The University of Florida has dedicated a pilot ethanol plant on its campus. The plant will research using genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert plant waste into ethanol. Funded as part of a $4.5 million state grant, the plant will also be used to train graduate students.

U Maine Unveils Green Supercomputer

The University of Maine has unveiled a green supercomputer on its campus. The new computer has uses minimal space, has an energy-efficient design, and is accessible in the lab where researchers work. A team of bicyclists powered the 72-processor machine, which uses less than 300 watts of power, during the unveiling ceremony.

U Memphis Renovates Climate Control System

The University of Memphis (TN) has conducted extensive renovations of its campus climate control system to reduce energy usage on its main campus. At a cost of approximately $3.3 million, the University estimates that the system will pay for itself in 15 years and will provide a total savings of over $6 million over its predicted lifespan. Additionally, the University of Memphis earned the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Awards for its sustainable energy and operational efficiency building designs and practices.

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.