The New School Launches Environmental Studies Program
The New School (NY) has announced that it will launch an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies this fall. The program will focus on urban ecosystems and sustainable design. Using New York City as its laboratory, students in the program will work hands-on with the city's natural ecosystems and will see firsthand how human activity in an urban setting can impact the environment. The New School will offer the degree, which will be administered by the Tishman Environment and Design Center, as a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts. Bachelor of Arts students will be able to choose to concentrate in urban ecosystems or public policy. Bachelor of Science students will have the option of choosing a concentration either in sustainable design or urban ecosystem design. Both degree programs are cross disciplinary and include fieldwork, internships, and collaborative final projects.
UC Davis to Establish Office of Sustainability, Sustainability Ctte
The University of California, Davis has announced plans to launch its Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Initiative. Through the initiative, a new office will be created to coordinate university-wide efforts on sustainability, a $100,000 green fund will provide seed money to support new projects, and a new committee will be formed to advise the chancellor on sustainability. Sid England, director of environmental planning for the Davis campus for 18 years, will lead the new office, which will be housed within the Office of Resource Management and Planning.
U Guelph, Ridgetown Receives Fed Funding for Biodiesel Plant
The University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus (ON) has announced plans by the Government of Canada to develop a functional, farm-scale oilseed processing and biodiesel plant on campus. The new plant will be used for technology demonstrations, education, and applied research. In partnership with local soybean and pork producers, the “real-life” operation of this plant will help determine the optimum model and scale of an economically viable on-farm biodiesel facility. The facility will provide an independent evaluation platform for the economic structure and feasibility of a small-scale, closed-loop system of biodiesel production. Another objective of this five-year project is to investigate alternate feedstock such as waste and residues, unmarketable crops, and agri-processing by-products that may be used as energy crops while assessing environmental considerations.
U Iowa Establishes Sustainability Steering Committee
The University of Iowa President Sally Mason has appointed members to the newly-formed Sustainability Steering Group. Mason tasked the group, which is made up of seven faculty and staff members, with conducting a comprehensive review of the university's environmental policies to assure that they promote exemplary environmental behaviors by the university.
U Michigan-Flint to Convert Abandoned House into Green Laboratory
The University of Michigan-Flint has announced plans to convert an abandoned house close to campus into an Urban Alternatives House (UAH), which will be used as both a classroom and laboratory to teach and explore better ideas for urban living. The UAH will provide an example of an energy efficient building that can be monitored and used to illustrate the functioning of energy generating devices, storm water management systems and landscape management. In addition to the UAH, University Outreach and the Department of Earth and Resource Science have adopted the vacant lot immediately south of the property and will be working to clean and beautify it. The Department plans to turn the lot into an urban garden.
U Michigan Partners with Ford to Develop Transportation Solutions
The University of Michigan Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART) program has announced a partnership with Ford Motor Company to develop long-term strategies to confront growing transportation and personal mobility challenges in large and increasingly congested metropolitan areas. U-M and Ford are working together to develop “Ford Urban Mobility Networks,” a new program that is designed to efficiently connect individuals to a variety of transportation options – buses, trains, taxis, car-share fleets, mopeds and bicycles – in urban areas where population growth is beginning to affect access to affordable personal mobility. These transportation options would be available through a transfer point or ‘hub’ where various modes of transportation and services come together. U-M and Ford have also been working together to link businesses related to sustainable transportation, municipalities, academic institutions, transportation providers, information technology companies and other entities that are increasingly turning their focus to the transportation needs of tomorrow’s urban regions.
U Minnesota, Morris Alumni Assoc to Purchase Carbon Credits
The University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association Board of Directors has designated funding from the UMMAA Impact Fund for carbon credit purchases to offset carbon emissions produced by UMM’s campus service fleet, a significant percentage of which are hybrids. The University hopes to generate its own carbon credits in the future.
U Nevada, Reno Students Create Community Farm
The University of Nevada, Reno Environmental Action Team (EnAcT) has created a new organic community farm on campus. The initiative is the result of an idea from two students in an environmental citizenship class project. A horticulturalist at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), the Assistant Director of the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, and UNCE's Master Gardeners program have provided the students with the guidance and supplies needed to be able to plant their first crop in mid-July.
U Texas at Arlington GHG Report
The University of Texas at Arlington has released a draft report of its first carbon footprint analysis. The report has been prepared for the President’s Sustainability Committee by an interdisciplinary student/faculty team through a summer course in the School of Urban and Public Affairs. It characterizes the university’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, forecasts emissions in 2010 and 2020, then proposes a framework for setting reduction targets and develops reduction scenarios based on those targets. The report, produced in a very short time frame, is being issued in draft form so that members of the committee and other interested parties can participate in reviewing it. Comments are invited.
U Virginia Receives Award for Green Stormwater Plan
The University of Virginia has received a landscape architecture merit award from the Society for College and University Planning for its Meadow Creek Regional Stormwater Management Master Plan. The plan calls for stormwater ponds to capture sediment before it enters the stream, opening up sections of the stream to daylight and allowing water to be absorbed and filtered by plants and soil before running off to the stream. The comprehensive plan is believed to be more effective and efficient than the alternative of creating individual stormwater management plans for each construction site.
3 NJ Campuses, SUNY New Paltz Donate Unwanted Items
Planet Aid held its first annual College Initiative this year, rescuing close 13,000 pounds of clothing and shoes. Rowan University, Montclair State University, Rider University, and the State University of New York in New Paltz students, faculty, and staff all participated in Planet Aid's event.
Appalachian State U Prof Receives Winds Advocate Award
Appalachian State University (NC) Professor Dennis Scanlin has received the "Small Winds Advocate of the Year" award from the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Powering America program for his leadership in small-scale wind energy activities in Western North Carolina. Dr. Scalnlin is also a the Coordinator of the Appropriate Technology Program in the ASU Department of Technology.
Appalachian State U to Install Wind Turbine
The Appalachian State University (NC) Renewable Energy Initiative has announced plans to install a 100kW community-scale wind turbine on campus. The turbine proposed for the project will stand 115 feet tall, will have a blade diameter of 66 feet, and is expected to produce 150,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The organizers do not yet have a timeline for installation.
Case Western Commits to Corporate Social Responsibility
Case Western Reserve University (OH), the city of Cleveland, and Cleveland Clinic have made a joint commitment to corporate responsibility towards the environment, human rights, labor rights, and anti-corruption. The three organizations have become members of the United Nations Global Compact, an international initiative to promote responsible corporate citizenship. Cities, corporations, academic institutions, non-profit groups, and other organizations join the compact to promote corporate citizenship to make business part of the solution to the challenges of globalization. By joining, these organizations voluntarily take responsibility for the impact of their activities on customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, communities, and other stakeholders, as well as the environment through sustainability and ethical business practices.
Clemson U Awarded for Commitment to Green Buildings
Clemson University’s (SC) Habitat for Humanity chapter has been named Campus Chapter of the Year by Habitat for Humanity International. Its campus chapter was selected for being a leader in green building practices. Last year the chapter sponsored a design contest with Clemson’s Emerging Green Builders as a service-learning project for architecture, landscape architecture and construction science students. Students designed environmentally friendly houses, and the winning design, named “Green House,” was constructed nearby. The chapter now is working on a house that will apply for LEED certification.
Colorado State U Pilots Smart Grid Technology
Colorado State University, in partnership with Spirae Inc, has developed the InteGrid Laboratory, which seeks to address challenges of taking intermittent wind power and turning it into a stable and reliable renewable resource. This "smart grid" project is being implemented in Denmark.
Dalhousie U Switches to Green Cleaning Products
Dalhousie University's (NS) Facilities Management Department has begun using green cleaning products. The products, an all-purpose cleaner, a disinfectant and a degreaser, have been third-party approved with Canada’s Environmental Choice logo and the United States' Green Seal certification.
Duke U Residence Hall Receives LEED Platinum
Duke University's (NC) Home Depot Smart Home, a 10-person student residence hall for green living and learning, has achieved LEED Platinum certification. The building features a green roof, solar cells, and rainwater cisterns. The Smart Home was designed to be adaptable, environmentally sustainable and technologically integrated. In addition to being built with recycled and sustainable materials, Smart Home boasts a fiber-optic network with the fastest Internet access on the campus, about 40 gigabytes per second.
Furman U Opens Green Cottage
Furman University (SC) has opened its Southern Living Showcase Home, Cliffs Cottage. The Cliffs Cottage was built to be a model of environmentally responsible design, sustainable building techniques and materials, and energy-saving systems. The building features bamboo flooring, insulated windows, rooftop solar panels, a rainwater collection system, and organic and formal gardens. The cottage is currently open for public tours.
Iowa State U Increases Sustainable Food Purchasing
Iowa State University has completed its first year of the Farm to ISU program. Over the past year, ISU has spent approximately 10 percent of its dining budget on organic and local food products, which is 5 percent more than expected. 76 percent of dairy purchases, 0.2 percent of bakery goods and grocery items, and 3 percent of meat purchases were made through the Farm to ISU program last year, while 1.5 percent of the produce was local. Additionally, all of the honey was purchased locally, and some tea and spices were organic. ISU plans to continue and expand the program in the coming year.
Natl Recycling Coalition Announces Recycling Bin Grant Winners
The National Recycling Coalition and The Coca-Cola Company have announced the recipients of their Spring 2008 Recycling Bin Grant program. 23 of the 75 grant recipients were colleges and universities. Recipients were chosen based on a number of criteria, including where bins are likely to have the most impact on recovering beverage containers from the waste stream, ability of recipients to sustain their program in the future, and intention to support collection programs with recycling education and promotion.
NYU to Pursue Re-use of Existing Buildings Rather than Build New
New York University President John Sexton and Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer announced that NYU, elected officials, and local community groups have agreed to a set of principles to guide the University’s future expansion. As outlined, NYU, which projects a need for 6 million square feet of space over the coming decades, will pursue re-use of existing buildings before developing new facilities and will actively pursue academic and residential centers outside the Washington Square area. In addition, the principles are designed to emphasize contextual development, mitigate the effects of construction, enhance community consultation, and support community sustainability, such as preservation efforts aimed at local retail businesses. As embodied in the principles, NYU will also engage in extensive community outreach for new projects, work to minimize negative effects of construction including noise and dust, and develop a relocation policy for legal residential tenants displaced by University projects.
Oklahoma State U Completes Energy Upgrades
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences has completed energy efficiency upgrades to five buildings that are expected to realize approximately $9 million in energy savings over the course of a 20-year performance contract with Johnson Controls, Inc. Based on a utility bill comparison, the project has already delivered more than $154,000 in operational savings during the installation period. The savings are a result of upgrades that range from glazing windows and installing lighting controls to retrofitting the buildings’ plumbing and air flow systems. Work began on the project in September 2006.
Purdue U Installs Energy Efficient Supercomputer
Purdue University (IN) has installed a new supercomputer designed to use up to 80 percent less energy and be more effective in some situations. The system is designed for high performance computing used in research supercomputers, and its processors draw 600 milliwatts of power each, compared to 25,000 milliwatts in standard supercomputers.
Stanford to Establish Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics
Stanford University (CA) has received a $25 million grant from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to fund Stanford's new Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics. The center aims to make solar electricity at a cost that is competitive with coal plants by constructing solar cells that are more efficient and last up to 10 years longer.
U Arizona Uses Ice to Cool Buildings
The University of Arizona has created the University Thermal Ice Storage Project, an award-winning chilled water production and distribution system that spends the evening and early morning hours freezing water that is then used to cool buildings across the main campus and at the Arizona Health Sciences Center. The system involves the use of water chillers, cooling towers, pumps and pipes that snake around the campus through underground pipes that connect the plants. The project can produce more than 900 tons of ice per hour and the pipes feed the melting ice, or cooled water, to campus buildings. The process moves the bulk of the UA’s electrical load from the hot daytime hours to the cooler nighttime hours. UA recently received the Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award from Trane for being one of a few institutions to have such a project up and running. And, just recently, the UA partnered with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Tucson chapter to begin teaching engineering students about chilled water technology and other heating and cooling processes.
U Waterloo Establishes Green Bus. Practices Research Chair
The University of Waterloo (ON) and Export Development Canada (EDC) have announced the creation of a new research chair, funded by EDC, to identify financial products and practices that will help companies engage in business practices such as socially responsible investing and integrate social and environmental performance measures into their business activities. The new chair will seek to identify tools companies can use to address environmental issues such as climate change and environmental sustainability in emerging markets. The EDC Chair in Environmental Finance, based in the University’s Centre for Environment and Business, will also help businesses identify new ways to commercialize "green" technologies and services as well as explore carbon financing and clean energy funds. The University will also hire an additional professor in a related field, to further expand its Centre for Environment and Business.
Washington Post Features Article on Campus Sustainability
The Washington Post recently featured a front-page article on campus sustainability entitled, "Higher Learning Adapts to a Greening Attitude." The article discusses the increase in sustainability in the curricula at college campuses across the US, and mentions, in particular, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, Catholic University (DC), Goucher College (MD), the University of Oregon, and Johns Hopkins University (MD). The article also mentions co-curricular sustainability activi
2 Northern Michigan U Res Halls Receive LEED Certification
Northern Michigan University's Meyland and Van Antwerp Halls have received LEED Certified and Silver ratings respectively. While renovating the two buildings, NMU recycled more than 250 tons of metal piping and wiring, used recycled and locally produced materials when possible, and reduced regulated water use by up to 60 percent by installing dual-flush toilets and low-flow showers and faucets. Additionally, the buildings' new furnishings were made with environmentally farmed, quickly renewable Malaysian hardwood and were manufactured in Indiana. The replaced beds were donated to RE-MEMBER, a nonprofit organization that supports residents in need in South Dakota. Other furnishings were donated to the town's Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Carroll College to Complete Energy Efficiency Renovations
Carroll College (WI) has announced plans to complete several upgrades to make the campus more energy efficient. Carroll will replace three boilers, upgrade lighting and plumbing fixtures and controls, and install a backup propane fuel system. The College expects to save enough money in energy bills to break even on the project in 15 years.
Central College Breaks Ground on Green Education Building
Central College (IA) has broken ground on its future education and psychology building, a structure that is aiming for LEED Platinum. The 57,748 square foot structure, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009, will feature renewable and energy conservation technologies, a green roof, storm water recycling, and natural landscaping. The three-story building will provide new classrooms, office and instructional space.
Central Connecticut State U Reports on Sustainability Progress
The Central Connecticut State University Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability recently reported its findings from its sustainability audit. The committee, which hired an environmental sustainability consulting firm to perform a Sustainability Baseline Audit, found that CCSU already has several successful sustainability initiatives in place, including the following energy conservation programs: a new, efficient Energy Center; energy-efficient and water-saving features in buildings; green purchasing efforts; and a hazardous waste minimization program. The audit also identified several areas for improvement, including improving recycling programs, launching an educational campaign on water conservation, improving the sustainability of food service operations, reducing transportation impacts, and formalizing some of CCSU’s current programs with formal policies.
DePauw U Building Receives LEED Gold
The DePauw University (IN) Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics building has received LEED-NC Gold certification. Located in the DePauw University Nature Park, the building was designed to minimize impact on the environment. The building features a white roof that reflects the sun and thereby reduces demand for air conditioning; awnings that serve to admit the winter sun for passive heating and shade the building from the summer sun; and rooms that are equipped with motion sensors which automatically turn off lighting in unused areas. Additionally, the structure was built using local limestone and locally harvested trees.
Furman U Library Awarded LEED Gold
The Furman University (SC) James B. Duke Library has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The newly renovated building also received the 2006 Sustainable Design Award from the Carolinas Chapter of the International Interior Designers Association.
Michigan's Univ Research Corridor Announces Energy Seed Grants
The University Research Corridor, an alliance of Michigan’s three research universities, has announced its first seed fund grants to provide startup support for two “revolutionary but feasible” energy projects. The seed investments will help launch two collaborations for efficient development of cheaper forms of electricity and fuel, one involving the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University and the other involving MSU and U-M. The U-M, MSU, and WSU project will work to develop more efficient and low-cost thermoelectric materials to be used for power generation and environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems. The MSU and U-M project will work to develop nano-biocarriers to rapidly and efficiently produce low-cost ethanol from switchgrass or corn stover (the leaves and stalks that make up about half of a corn crop).
Montclair State U Signs Green Construction Agreement with EPA
Montclair State University (NJ) has formally entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to utilize some of the latest green technologies and practices at its campus. The agreement makes the University the first educational institution in the nation to enter into a comprehensive green construction and operation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the EPA. The MOU spells out management and operational principles ensuring that Montclair State meets high environmental standards and reduces its carbon footprint. Highlights of the MOU incorporate initiatives that delineate the development and management of systems to ensure that green activities and sustainability will be integrated into all facility operations. This includes the usage of solar and steam energy; large-scale recycling of paper, plastic, and food waste; water and land conservation, as well as incorporation of green building technology and materials for new construction.
NC State U to Establish 2 Professorships in Energy Engineering
North Carolina State University's College of Engineering has announced that it will receive a $1.25 million endowment gift from the Duke Energy Foundation to support workforce development, teaching, and research related to the generation and delivery of energy. The gift will create two named professorships, one each in nuclear engineering and electrical and computer engineering, and will establish an endowed K-12 educational outreach fund to promote the continued development and diversification of the future engineering workforce. The endowed professor of nuclear engineering will help develop nuclear energy technologies, while the other endowed professor will lead a multi-university effort to study the integration of renewable energy sources into the nation's electrical power grid.
Nova Scotia CC Launches Sustainability Engineering Tech Prgm
Nova Scotia Community College has launched Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology, a new two-year program dedicated to preparing students to take on leadership roles in helping future employers develop more environmentally sustainable practices. Drawing on their skilled trade backgrounds, students in the ESET program will work with faculty who are energy experts to master the art of creating customized energy systems that include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, tidal, and other alternative and renewable sources. Graduates will be qualified to audit energy systems and recommend the best alternative energy for new and existing commercial or residential properties. The program is set to begin in September 2008.
NYU Announces Green Grant Recipients
New York University has announced its 2008 Green Grant recipients, ultimately awarding a total of $160,000 to 23 projects. The winning projects aim to help the University reduce environmental impacts, engage the community, and advance applied research and educational goals. Awards were given to a community garden, an energy conservation initiative, a composting project, and bike-sharing pilot program. Other initiatives range from resource conservation and efficiency to outreach and communication to academic curricula and research.
Princeton U Receives Funding for 9 Sustainability Initiatives
Princeton University (NJ) has received a gift from the High Meadow's Foundation to support nine sustainability projects that focus on research, education, and civic engagement within the University's Sustainability Plan. Such initiatives include a course that evaluates energy efficiency in local homes, a new sustainability curriculum for Outdoor Action participants, and the installation of a student-designed garden at Forbes College.
Richland College to Build Green Science Building
Richland College (TX) has announced plans to build a new science building that will include special construction for harvesting sunlight, cisterns that irrigate rain water to other parts of the campus as well as interactive devices in restrooms that users control. Some building materials will be recycled, such as the carpet, and local vendors will be utilized as often as possible to minimize exhaust fumes from lengthy transports. The décor will even be eco-friendly and is to include a geology pit for a hands-on “field learning” for the students. Richland is striving for LEED Platinum certification.
Rutgers to Construct Major Solar Farm
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Board of Governors has approved the construction of a solar energy facility that will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston campus. Nearly half of the cost of the project will be subsidized by a rebate through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Clean Energy Program. In addition, Rutgers plans to sell Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) generated from the photovoltaic system. The University expects to recoup its investment within seven years. By the end of the 15-year incentive program, the university anticipates that it will net a return of $6.6 million over its initial investment. The seven-acre facility will be the largest solar energy project in New Jersey. It is expected to begin operation in spring 2009.
UC Irvine to Establish Green Materials Graduate Program
The University of California, Irvine has announced that it will establish a Green Materials Program, which will foster research and graduate-level training at UC campuses. The announcement came after UCI was awarded $1.62 million to lead a University of California program on development of nontoxic alternatives to everyday products, such as electronics, plastics, lighting products, fuels, and pesticides. The Green Materials Program at UCI will bring together public health, toxicology, materials science, engineering, and social science experts to work on innovative approaches to reducing health and environmental hazards associated with materials use in society. Participants will study California policies within the context of emerging international initiatives such as the European Union’s new REACH law (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) for the purpose of advising the state’s executive and legislative branches on regulations that could emerge from the new Green Chemistry Initiative and other local environmental protection agency studies.
U Colorado at Colorado Springs Students Approve Green Fee
Students from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs approved a $5 per semester fee to support the installation of solar panels on university buildings. The student-initiated statute is expected to generate more than $300,000 during its five-year duration. More than 76 percent of voting students voted in favor of the referendum.
U Florida to Offer Graduate Degree in Env'l and Land Use Law
The University of Florida Levin College of Law will offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environmental and Land Use Law. Although other law schools offer LL.M. degrees in environmental law and related areas, UF’s program is the first to combine environmental and land use law in a one-year, post-juris doctor degree. The new program will educate students on the historical and legal underpinnings of environmental and land use law policies, and will encourage them to think creatively to innovate solutions to pressing environmental and related social issues. In addition, the LL.M. program is unique in that six of the 26 required credit hours must be from relevant courses that have substantial non-law content — either offered outside the Levin College of Law or jointly by the law school and another department. The program will begin this fall.
U Idaho Installs Green Roof
The University of Idaho has begun a renovation project to install a green roof on its Student Union Building. The project will be nearly self-sufficient and will include a storm water run-off mitigation system that will collect and store run-off water. The run-off will have a higher water quality and will be stored in a series of 550-gallon containers that will be reused to water the plants on the roof in dry periods.
U Mississippi Partners with City to Expand Recycling System
The University of Mississippi's campus recycling program and the Oxford Recycling Department recently began an effort to expand the community's recycling program. The partnership has produced an increased number of drop-off recycling areas that are more accessible to students.
U New Mexico Implements 4-day Summer Work Week
The University of New Mexico has begun offering staff members the option of working a compressed workweek to decrease commuting costs and gasoline-use during the traditionally slower summer session. The program, available June 16 through August 15, 2008, will provide most full-time employees on main campus the opportunity to work a four-day workweek by extending their workday to 10-hour days.
Vanderbilt U Residential Building Receives LEED Gold
Vanderbilt University (TN) has received LEED Gold certification for The Commons Center, a building in which first-year students will live in a smaller community where they will be next-door neighbors with faculty. The Commons Center is 28 percent more energy efficient than a typical building of its type. Environmentally friendly features and practices at the center include hood exhaust systems in the kitchen that increase efficiency by more than 30 percent. The building will also save an estimated 900,000 gallons of water per year through the use of waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures. Special materials, paints, and adhesives were selected for healthy indoor air quality. In addition, there is signage throughout the building with information about the green features, as well as a brochure and a tour that is available for download onto an MP3 player.
Arizona State U Plans Major Solar Installation
Arizona State University recently announced plans to install solar panels on up to 330,000 square feet of rooftop space. Three companies have been hired by the University to install the panels, which could eventually produce more than 20 percent of ASU's energy needs. The university will purchase the electricity generated from the panels at a fixed rate that is slightly lower than what it is now paying for power from Arizona Public Service Co. In the first phase of the project, approximately 2 megawatts of solar panels will be installed on 135,000 square feet of rooftop space by the end of the year.