AASHE Makes Academic Programs in Sustainability Resource Public
AASHE has made its Academic Programs in Sustainability resource available to the public. The resource lists Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degree programs in Sustainability, minors and certificates in sustainability, and discipline specific sustainability related degrees in areas such as Agriculture, Architecture, and Business.
Yale U Announces Director of Climate and Energy Institute
Yale University (CT) has announced that Rajendra K. Pachauri will lead the newly established Yale Climate and Energy Institute (YCEI). Pachauri has chaired the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002 and has been director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), since 2001. He will retain these positions while taking up his new half-time position at Yale. Pachauri has been an active leader in the global climate policy debate and played a major role in laying the groundwork for the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. YCEI will provide seed grants, support postgraduate study, sponsor conferences and workshops, and foster interdisciplinary research spanning from basic atmospheric science to public policy. Nearly 100 Yale scientists, engineers, physicians, social scientists and policy experts have joined together to launch the enterprise.
Obama Nominates Tufts Professor as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
President Barack Obama has announced his intention to nominate Kathleen A. Merrigan to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Merrigan is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment M.S. and Ph.D. program at Tufts University (MA). Merrigan was head of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999 to 2001, when she helped develop U.S. organic food-labeling standards. As a Senate aide, she worked on the 1990 law that recognized organic farming.
UC Merced Science Building Receives LEED Gold
The Science and Engineering Building at the University of California, Merced has received LEED Gold certification. The 174,000-square-foot structure features natural lighting and was constructed with locally supplied and/or recycled building materials.
New York State Launches Energy Program for Campuses
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced a new initiative to encourage greater energy-efficiency awareness and market penetration to colleges and universities across New York State. The New York Energy $mart Focus on Colleges and Universities will identify technical assistance and financial incentive programs that institutions can access to maximize energy-efficiency and achieve their environmental goals.
Northern Arizona U Launches Energy Tracking Website
Northern Arizona University's Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with Visible Energy, has launched the Visible NAU website as part of a campaign to help faculty and staff better understand their home energy habits by comparing their usage to other NAU faculty and staff. The site allows employees who are APS or Unisource customers to sign up to have their energy data anonymously uploaded to the Visible NAU website where it can be compared with other NAU employees. Users will only be recognized as members of a certain department. The site is able to track departmental scores and which department's employees improve the most. Everyone who participates will be entered in a raffle to win energy-efficiency products and services. Tracking, however, will continue even after the completion of the campaign.
Cornell U Converts Biomass to Fuels
Cornell University (NY) has begun the Cornell University Renewable Bioenergy Initiative (CURBI), a new project to convert vegetable oil from dining hall fryers, animal bedding from campus barns, and farm waste from university research into fuels. CURBI will look at anaerobic digestion, high-efficiency direct combustion, and other renewable energy technologies, so that waste products from one system can be used by another.
Las Positas College Installs Solar Shades
Las Positas College (CA) has installed new solar photovoltaic shades covering two of its parking lots on campus. The shades, which cost the College $12.9 million, will help provide energy for the campus' air conditioning system.
Rutgers U Competes to Conserve Energy
The five campuses of Rutgers University (NJ) have begun a month-long energy reduction competition. The Busch, Livingston, College Avenue, Cook, and Douglass campuses are competing throughout the month of March to lower their percentage of electrical energy usage. The campus that is able to reduce the percentage of electrical energy consumption the most compared to the month of March last year will win a roving trophy that will be presented on Earth Day.
U Tulsa Partners to Advance Research at the Ntl Energy Policy Inst
The George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa (OK) have formalized a partnership to advance scholarship and research for the National Energy Policy Institute, a Tulsa-based organization funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation that is dedicated to developing a national energy policy that produces energy independence and reduces greenhouse gases. The partnership with The University of Tulsa provides NEPI with a headquarters on its campus, while also utilizing TU’s academic and research capabilities to advance the organization’s mission and support economic opportunities related to emerging energy technology.
AASHE Interview Series: Sustainability Programs Mgr, Stanford U
AASHE has posted another interview as part of its Interview Series with campus sustainability professionals. This installment features Fahmida Ahmed, the Manager of Stanford University's (CA) Sustainability Programs. Ahmed co-chairs the Sustainability Working Group, connects the Sustainability Working Teams, coordinates implementation of sustainability projects, supports Stanford’s long term climate and infrastructure planning, and manages the office’s communications and community relations programs. In the interview, Ahmed discusses her current sustainability projects, how she incorporates the social dimension of sustainability into her work, how students are involved in sustainability initiatives at Stanford, and the challenges of renewable energy credits and carbon offsets.
Sixth Annual Byron Fellowship
The Byron Fellowship invites applicants for its 5-day seminar in sustainable communities. Topics of learning will include ethical and theological basis for sustainable community interaction; local natural heritage including geology, flora, and fauna; learning through the stories of place; economic structure and incentives for sustainability; political action and community initiative; building communities for sustainable living; restoration ecology; and sustainable agriculture and forestry. The program, which will take place during the 3rd week in May at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana, is open to upper class undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates from the United States. Only 12 – 16 applicants will be accepted. Rolling admissions opened February 1, 2009. Applicants are reviewed and accepted weekly.
Clinton Global Initiative U Outstanding Commitment Awards
The Clinton Global Initiative University invites applications for its Outstanding Commitments Awards. Students, student groups, and universities have the chance to received funding directly from the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation to help them implement Commitments to Action in CGI U’s four main focus areas: energy & climate change, poverty alleviation, global health, peace & human rights, and education. A total of $400,000 will be distributed to various students and student-group commitments. Any CGI U commitment-maker is eligible to apply for this award. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 3, 2009.
Texas A&M Opens Office of Sustainability
Texas A&M University has opened an Office of Sustainability. The Office hopes to work with university stakeholders to develop, coordinate, and enhance current sustainability initiatives. The Office has specific plans to work to integrate sustainability into the campus' curriculum, expand current recycling initiatives, and improve alternative transportation options on campus.
AASHE Seeks Nominations for New Board Members
The Nominations Committee of AASHE's Board of Directors is inviting members to nominate candidates to fill several slots on the Board. The full board holds multi-day, in-person meetings at least once a year (usually twice), and holds monthly phone meetings. In addition, each board member is expected to participate in at least one board committee. Committees meet by phone an average of 6 times per year, depending on their respective work agenda. Overall, board members should expect to contribute an average of 8 to 16 hours per month to AASHE. The closing date for nominations is Friday, March 27, 2009
Book: Campus Design + Planning
The Canada Green Building Council has published a new book entitled, Campus Design + Planning: Culture, Context, and the Pursuit of Sustainability . The book includes best practices at leading post-secondary institutions and illustrates, by example, ways and means to realize better design, better planned, and greener campuses.
U North Carolina Wilmington Purchases Electric Truck
The University of North Carolina, Wilmington has purchased its first electric truck. The ECOtealmobile is used for delivering products to the new eco-friendly campus store, which is dedicated to selling only environmentally friendly products.
Georgia Tech Begins Cell Phone and Battery Recycling
The Georgia Institute of Technology has begun a recycling program for cell phones and batteries on campus. The program, coordinated by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, allows the campus community to recycle AA, C, 9-volt batteries, rechargeable batteries, and cell phones at five appointed battery and cell phone recycling sites.
Northern Arizona U Initiates Office Supply Exchange
The Northern Arizona University Office of Sustainability has initiated an office supply exchange with the goal of reducing the amount of office supplies purchased. Building occupants can bring the office supplies that they are not using for a free exchange and take what they can put to use. The idea is based on "freecycling," a growing trend that promotes the exchange of items already in existence to extend their usefulness and keep them out of landfills.
McMaster U Launches Sustainability Website
McMaster University's (ON) Office of Sustainability has launched a new website. The website features information on environmental issues such as energy, waste, and water, as well as social issues such as health and wellbeing. Users can also find detailed information on campus buildings and Hospitality Services' sustainability initiatives, alternative transit, and campus green space. The website aims to engage web savvy students on a number of levels, with information on sustainable living both on and off campus and links to resources to help students reduce their ecological footprint. It will also serve to connect students with opportunities to further study sustainability issues and promote events.
Webcast: Placemaking on Campuses
The Society for College and University Planning hosted a webcast entitled, "Placemaking on Campuses: Creating Destinations That Build Community." The webcast, which is now available on CD, discussed the concept of placemaking; making short-term, low cost campus improvements; and improving the town/gown relationship through cooperative planning of outdoor spaces.
DuPage Students Help Habitat for Humanity Write Green Housing Plan
A group of architecture majors at the College of Dupage (IL) have helped to write a green housing plan for their local Habitat for Humanity chapter. The plan outlines how the non-profit can build 11 affordable, energy-efficiency houses in West Chicago over the next three years.
Los Angeles Times Covers Increase in Campus Farmers Markets
The Los Angeles Times has published an article on the growing number of colleges and universities that are adding regularly scheduled farmers markets to their campuses. The article mentions markets at the University of South Carolina, the University of Washington, Princeton University (NJ), University of California, Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, San Diego, Stanford University (CA), Harvard University (CT), Brown University (RI), Portland State University (OR), the University of Minnesota, the University of Maine, the University of Arizona, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Vice President Biden Tours Energy Conservation Initiatives at U Penn
Vice President Joe Biden, along with four cabinet secretaries, the Philadelphia Mayor, the Pennsylvania Governor, and three congressmen, recently went on a tour of operations at the University of Pennsylvania. The University, which has cut its energy use by 15 percent, showed the group a small scale model of a former industrial wasteland that is being converted to park land. The park will feature native plant material to conserve water and might contain LED lighting and/or solar panels. The event was part of the White House's Middle Class Task Force, which held its first meeting in Philadelphia, focusing on energy green jobs to benefit middle-income workers.
Second Nature to Support Green Building at Under-Resourced Schools
Second Nature has launched Advancing Green Building in Higher Education, a program focused on addressing some of the challenges faced by under-resourced colleges and universities to build green buildings on their campuses. With a $1,242,000 three-year grant from the Kresge Foundation, Second Nature is helping under-resourced schools learn about and use the financial and technical resources available to construct and renovate campus buildings in ways that save money, reduce environmental and health impacts, serve as educational tools, and increase student enrollment. As part of the program, AASHE is offering Title III and Title V schools a 60 percent discount on new membership. Campuses joining as part of this special offer may participate in a welcome webinar about AASHE resources and programs, as well as a series of complimentary teleconferences on campus sustainability topics such as green building, master planning, and energy conservation. Another part of the program will allow Second Nature to award fellowships to 40 university executives who will learn the skills and technical information they need to be effective champions for green building at their own under-resourced campuses. University campus planners, facilities directors, or vice presidents of finance and business will be eligible for the fellowships through which they will take part in learning and networking opportunities. In addition, Second Nature will create a Campus Green Builder Web Portal, to be launched in the fall of 2009. The portal will include case studies of green building at under-resourced schools and other useful resources.
City College of New York Begins Sustainable Food Program
The City College of New York's dining services provider, Metropolitan Food Services Inc. has initiated a sustainable food program on campus. Metropolitan plans to purchase organic food from local farmers in Long Island and New Jersey whenever possible. In addition, the company has installed a purified drinking water filtration system in order to reduce the amount of bottled water purchased on campus. Customers can fill their own beverage travel cups or purchase reusable travel mugs from the cafeteria that can be filled with hot or cold beverages. In December, Metropolitan piloted a Corporate Social Responsibility program by teaming up with an environmental non-profit organization. It also contributes financially to Carbonfund.org; which uses the money to support carbon-reducing projects such as: renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements and reforestation.
Ryerson U Announces Certificate in Sustainability
Ryerson University (ON) has announced plans to launch a new Certificate in Sustainability in the fall of 2009. The Certificate, which aims to train students to understand sustainability in a broad context, includes six required courses and allows students to specialize in natural environment, urban environment, or socioeconomics of sustainability.
Bucknell U Approves Core Curriculum that Includes Sustainability
Bucknell University’s (PA) College of Arts and Sciences has approved a new curriculum that includes sustainability in its Tools for Critical Engagement component. The courses in this component include "Environmental Connections", which will allow students to examine their personal connection to the environment through an analysis of environmental systems, cultural narratives that shape the environmental relationship, or societal mechanisms that collectively interact with the environment; and "Diversity in the United States", which has as its central concern approaches to gender, sexual orientation, class, race, religion or ethnicity in the cultural landscape of the United States. The new core curriculum will be launched in the fall of 2010.
Cabrini College to Implement Social Justice Based Core Curriculum
Cabrini College (PA) has announced plans to implement a new curriculum that focuses on social justice issues. Cabrini's "Justice Matters" core curriculum will include three writing-intensive courses that focus on awareness of a student’s connections to their communities; on participation through service learning with a partnering community organization; and on enacting social change through community-based research projects or legislative and advocacy work. The curriculum will also require a senior capstone experience in the student's major. College officials are currently researching ways to assess the success of the new curriculum.
Northland College Announces New Env'l Focused Curriculum
Northland College (WI) has redesigned its curriculum to include environmental issues. Set to launch in the fall of 2009, the redesigned curriculum offers students the choice of four new liberal arts programs and a full set of new or redesigned majors, all of which feature a focus on environmental issues. All of the college’s new majors, Humanity and Nature Studies, Sociology and Social Justice, History of Ideas (combining History, Philosophy, Religion, Music, and Literature), Sustainable Community Development, and the Environmental Sciences are built on a foundation of making connections, as are its most successful continuing majors such as Natural Resources, Outdoor Education, and a redesigned Business Program.
Governors State U Extends Recycling to Community
Governors State University (IL) has extended an invitation to surrounding communities to participate in the campus' paper recycling system. With the placement of two large collection containers on campus, GSU is asking people to bring their recyclable paper products for deposit. The University made the offer because some local communities do not have curb side recycling.
College of Marin Starts Organic Farm
The College of Marin (CA) Indian Valley campus has started an organic farm on its land. The 5.8 acre demonstration farm and garden is part of a new program launched in a collaboration involving the college, Marin Conservation Corps and University of California Cooperative Extension-Marin Master Gardeners.
Christian Science Monitor Covers Increase in Green Campus Initiatives
The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on the increasing number of colleges and universities that are integrating green initiatives into their operations. The article mentions the biomass gasification plant that runs on wood chips at Middlebury College (VT), the wood-pellet boiler at the College of the Atlantic (ME), the biomass gasification facility that will use corn stover at the University of Minnesota, Morris, the methane system at the University of New Hampshire, and the carbon reductions that have resulted from the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Florida State U Building Receives LEED Silver
Florida State University has received LEED Silver certification for its new McIntosh Track and Field Building. The two-story, 19,000-square-foot structure features local and regional materials, energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, low-flow water fixtures, sorted or recycled construction debris, and low-VOC paints.
12,000 Youth Attend Power Shift
12,000 young leaders, a large portion of which were college students, converged on Washington, D.C. last week to participate in Power Shift 09 to demand that the President and Congress pass bold, just climate and energy policy in 2009 that dramatically reduces emissions, creates millions of green job and powers America with 100 percent clean energy. Despite a snow storm that paralyzed much of the city, the event concluded with a day full of hundreds of lobby visits and a rally with more than 3,000 youth on Capitol Hill. The four-day summit included seminars, panels, and workshops; a green career fair; legislative briefings and activist trainings; and a day of action on Monday where hundreds of youth entered the halls of Congress to lobby their representatives in more than 360 scheduled meetings. Three AASHE staff were present at the event and blogged about their experiences
Rice U to Go Trayless
Rice University (TX) has announced plans to remove all of its cafeteria trays over its spring break. The Student Association passed a resolution to support the removal of trays from dining halls in an effort to reduce food waste. The new initiative will reduce energy use as well as water and chemical waste since trays no longer have to be washed. Trays will still be available for handicapped and injured students.
Maharishi U of Mgmt Joins Seed Savers Exchange
The Maharishi University of Management (IA) has joined the Iowa Seed Savers Exchange in an effort to preserve the genetic legacy of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees that is rapidly being lost as a result of factors such as industrial agriculture and genetic engineering. Part of the Exchange’s work is maintaining a huge collection of heirloom and open pollinated varieties that are available to the public. MUM will contribute to the Exchange by growing a Colored Butterbean.
U Oregon Students Help Community to Increase Gas Mileage
Students at the University of Oregon have begun a project to help members of the Eugene community inflate their car tires to the proper pressure, which improves gas mileage and reduces tailpipe emissions. Students set up compressors at nearby parking garages to help drivers check their tires and pump them up. The first 150 cars to stop receive a free tire gauge.
U Oregon Offers Climate Course to Local Businesses
The University of Oregon has begun offering a course to local businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint. Climate Masters at Work, a spin-off of a previous program focusing on homeowners, is a 10-week course for businesses and nonprofit organizations. The coursework is followed by six months of consultation with the Lane Community College Business Development Center in conjunction with consulting firm Good Company, focusing on environmental issues and solid business practices. The first group of Climate Masters students has finished their seminars, which lasted from mid-October until the end of December, and will continue to work with the Business Center until June.
Ohio State U Switches to Biodegradable Bags in Dining Halls
Ohio State University dining halls have switched to biodegradable bags for students who take their food to go. In addition, several dining halls are selling reusable cloth bags for $1 each. After nine purchases with the bag, students get an entrée for free.
Rice U Opens Green Graduate Housing
Rice University (TX) has opened the Rice Village Apartment complex, a new green graduate housing hall located close to campus. The 237-bed residence features bicycle storage and was built to LEED standards. In addition, the complex offers a free bicycle to residence who agree not to bring a car to the apartments.
College of William & Mary Announces Sustainability Website & Grants
The College of William & Mary (VA) Committee on Sustainability has launched a new website that includes up-to-date information for new project proposal and student research grants that will be supported by the College's Green Fee. The site also includes background on current campus projects, information on how members of the William & Mary community can volunteer, and deadlines for upcoming proposals. The grants available through the website include 4 summer research grants in amounts up to $5,000.
Mount Holyoke College Res Hall Receives LEED Gold
Mount Holyoke College's (MA) new residence hall, which opened in September 2008, has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The 176-bed, $30 million building features bike racks, solar panels, and an energy monitoring system that allows students in each of the six clusters to track their energy use and compete with the other clusters on energy conservation. The structure also contains highly recyclable content and rapidly renewable materials.