Call for Nominations: Board of Directors for the RecycleMania Program
RecycleMania is seeking individuals to serve on its board of directors. RecycleMania's mission is to provide tools and opportunities that inspire, empower and mobilize colleges and universities to benchmark and improve the efforts to reduce or eliminate waste. The director’s term is three years and the board meets monthly. Statements of interest are due March 22.
Sorority Pledges $10M to 96 HBCUs
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, in partnership with the Educational Advancement Foundation, recently announced the establishment of the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund. Toward the end of February, presidents from 32 of the participating Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will receive the first installment of the endowment gift in the amount of $50,000. The fund was created in an effort to assist in the financial stability of HBCUs.
Grand Valley State U Trustees Approve Environmental & Sustainability Studies Major
During the university’s Feb. 8 Board of Trustees meeting, trustees approved the creation of an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major, which builds on the structure of the preexisting minor and will go into effect fall 2019. According to the program proposal, the major will be available both as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and span 35-37 credits. Students will be able to choose an area of focus such as sustainable food resources or water management.
Carnegie Mellon U Building Achieves LEED Gold
The university's home for the Tepper School of Business features a 120,000-gallon cistern to collect rainwater for reuse and the floor of its four-story atrium uses radiant slabs to heat or cool the space.
U Texas San Antonio Hires Sustainability Director
Lani May, who for the past seven months has served as the university's interim sustainability director, has been hired as the new university sustainability director. For the last nine years, May has served as a senior environmental planner in the UTSA Office of Facilities. Prior to joining UTSA, May spent more than six years as the natural resources coordinator. She earned a bachelor's degree in geography and a master’s degree in environmental science from UTSA and is currently working on her Ph.D. at UTSA in civil and environmental engineering.
Eastern Connecticut State U Program Supports African American & Hispanic Students
The new PASS (Promoting Academically Successful Students) program ensures that African American and Hispanic students who end up on academic probation are provided support. The program uses a hands-on advising model and an active career development program to inform students of available support services. Funded through a $75,000 grant from the Connecticut State Office of Higher Education, the program requires weekly advising sessions, skill development workshops, and group meetings for all participating students to review their schedules and make any necessary adjustments.
U Bath Receives Living Wage Employer Accreditation
(U.K.) The university received the accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. Accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation is reserved for employers that pay the independently-calculated living wage rates to all staff in the U.K., or those committed to an agreed timetable of implementation.
U Wisconsin–Madison Launches Reusable Takeout Container Program
Beginning in fall 2018, the university's dining services started a reusable to-go container program in order to reduce single-use disposable waste in dining facilities. Tokens for the containers are $5 each. After containers have been used, students can return them via a vending machine-like drop-off where, in exchange, they are given a new token.
Pennsylvania State U Announces 70 MW Solar Project
The university recently announced a partnership to develop a 70-megawatt solar-electric project that is estimated to provide 25 percent of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements over a 25-year term. The project will be ground-mounted using over 150,000 solar panels in three locations encompassing roughly 500 acres. The targeted completion date is set for July 2020.
Rhode Island College Installs 110 KW Solar-Electric System
The university's Donovan Dining Center and the Student Union now house a 110.9-kilowatt solar system. The $300,000 project is expected to save the college more than $231,000 in energy costs over the next 15 years, and is expected to generate 132,502 kilowatt-hours in the first operating year.
AASHE STARS Benchmarking Tool & Website
AASHE’s new STARS website, which features the new Benchmarking Tool, was redesigned to make it easier for institutions to learn about and participate in STARS and get support during the reporting process. Facilitating advanced data analysis, the STARS Benchmarking Tool allows AASHE members to compare colleges and universities based on scores and metrics reported through STARS.
CSU System Adopts Policy on Single-Use Plastics
The California State University system released a new policy on single-use plastics that aims to eliminate the distribution and sale of plastic straws, bottled water, plastic carryout bags, and styrofoam food packaging by designated phase-out dates that align with recent state legislation. Plastic straws and single-use plastic carryout bags were eliminated in January 2019. Single-use plastic water bottles are to be banned no later than Jan. 1, 2023.
Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment
The Northeast Summit for a Sustainable Built Environment, happening March 8 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, is themed Equity of Place: Social Justice in the Built Environment. Focus areas are material health and social justice, climate justice and conservation, resilience, community engagement and affordable housing.
University-CC Partnership Addresses Homelessness
As part of a statewide plan to address youth homelessness in Massachusetts, the governor recently announced a pilot program to house a small group of homeless community college students at nearby four-year colleges and universities. Up to 20 homeless students at four community colleges will receive dormitory housing through partnerships. The university-community college matches are Massasoit Community College and Bridgewater State University, Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester State University, Middlesex Community College and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and MassBay Community College and Framingham State University.
U St. Thomas to Open Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice
The center will provide law students the opportunity to leverage legal training to address social justice challenges. Students will interface with lawyers in the community who are fighting for justice and equity to gain in-depth insights related to civil rights, human rights law and advocacy. It will also collaborate with the entire university and share its expertise on racial equity and social justice.
Amherst College Announces Climate Plan for Neutrality by 2030
At its January 2019 meeting, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the college's Climate Action Plan, which calls for changing the campus energy infrastructure from a traditional fossil-fuel powered steam system to renewable electric heat pumps that use geothermal energy sources. The plan does not rely on the purchase of carbon offsets.
Brown U to Offset All Electricity Use With Solar & Wind
As a major part of a campus-wide effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the university has finalized agreements for two renewable energy projects. Projected to offset around about 70 percent of Brown’s annual electricity consumption generated through fossil fuels, the first project is a 50-megawatt photovoltaic facility that will be constructed on an old gravel pit. The second renewable energy project is an 8-megawatt wind power project being developed in Texas, which will offset the remaining electricity use.
Parul U Bans Gas & Diesel Vehicles on Campus
In an effort to reduce pollution on campus and protect the health of teachers and students, the university recently banned the use of gasoline and diesel vehicles inside campus boundaries. To facilitate transportation across campus, one hundred bicycles have been placed across the campus, which the campus community can rent at a minimal cost.
Communicating Climate Change: A Guide for Educators
Communicating Climate Change provides environmental educators with an understanding of how their audiences engage with climate change information as well as with concrete, empirically tested communication tools they can use to enhance their climate change program. An open access version of this book is available through Cornell Open.
Rider U Wins Electric Vehicle Challenge
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection named the university a winner of the New Jersey Charging Challenge: Electrify Your Workplace recognition program in December 2018. Rider received a certificate of recognition for its installation of five single-port, level-two EV charging stations and the use of smartphone applications that provide information on proper charging etiquette.
2019 UL Innovative Education Award
Offered by UL in partnership with the North American Association for Environmental Education, the award program seeks to recognize those that promote learning through STEM priorities, engage all people in civic and social responsibility, and find solutions to environmental challenges. Five winning organizations will be named winners in 2019, with one grand-prize winner to receive $100,000; two second-tier winners to receive $50,000 each; and two third-tier winners to receive $25,000 each. Eligible organizations must apply by March 12.
Call for Proposals: 2019 NAAEE Conference & Research Symposium
Presentation submissions for the 2019 North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) conference (Oct. 16-19) and research symposium (Oct. 15-16) happening in Lexington, Kentucky, are being accepted through March 31. The conference theme is Educating for a Just and Sustainable Future.
Danish Academics Call for Climate Leadership
Over 650 Danish academics from multiple research fields in Denmark signed a letter at the end of 2018 calling on universities to immediately develop and implement a series of far-reaching policies to drastically reduce the universities’ carbon emissions. The letter was signed by researchers both inside and outside of climate research and has been sent to all management and boards of universities in Denmark.
U California Merced Introduces Student Climate Resiliency Program
Students participated in the new Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience, a three-day residential program that introduced students to the campus’ carbon neutrality, sustainability, food action and environmental justice communities through activities and tours. Students were instructed on ways scholarship and practice at the UC level address issues of climate and ecological crisis, social equity and regenerative economy.
Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership Workshop
Become familiar with the philosophy of change in higher education developed through the Ponderosa Project at Northern Arizona University and adapted at Emory in Piedmont Project and learn how to lead curriculum change for sustainability by participating in a two-day workshop featuring presentations, exercises, discussions, reflection and planning. Readings and organizational materials are provided. Drs. Peggy Barlett and Geoffrey Chase will facilitate the workshop. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until March 29.
Southern Oregon U Implements Audio Wayfinding App
The university is now more friendly to those who are sight impaired after partnering with an outside vendor to provide an audio wayfinding app. The university has placed 200 beacons across campus as waypoints that communicate with the free app, which allows users to locate both outdoor and indoor destinations.