Winter Shutdown Saves U Albany $280K
The State University of New York at Albany has announced that it saved $280,000 as a result of its winter Intersession and Fall Energy Savings initiatives. The University saved $266,140 by reducing room temperature and lighting throughout all buildings December 20, 2008 – January 15, 2009, and $14,000 as a result of a residence hall energy conservation challenge from September 3 – November 9, 2008. In addition, SUNY Albany received $5,000 from National Grid for the University's Change-A-Light campaign. To date, more than 1,300 energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs have been distributed in residence halls.
U Rhode Island Professor Creates Sustainable Seafood Website
Cathy Roheim, a professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics at the University of Rhode Island, has prepared a Consensus Seafood Guide that allows readers to look at and compare all the ratings provided by organizations such as Greenpeace and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Roheim created the Guide, which is available on the URI Sustainable Seafood Initiative website, with the goal to provide independent, scientific information to those in the seafood industry. The website also contains hundreds of reports from universities, governments, and advocacy groups on such topics as ecolabeling, consumer preferences, fisheries certification and standards, government policies, and markets for sustainable seafood.
Opportunity to Participate in Green Fee Survey
The University of Texas at Austin Campus Environmental Center is completing an analysis of Green Fee programs in the U.S. and in Canada. The Center invites institutions that have green fees to complete two surveys. Survey A - Program Details (to be completed by fund administrators and an institution's green fee program expert) will compare the characteristics and histories of green fees across the U.S. and Canada. Survey B – General Impressions (to be completed by faculty, staff, and students at institutions with green fees) aims to track green fees' perceived effects on campus sustainability. The surveys must be completed by Friday, March 27, 2009
AASHE Member Discount on STRiDA Foldable Bikes
Areaware is offering AASHE members a $100 discount and free freight on their STRiDA bicycle, a triangular frame bicycle that quickly folds for easy storage. The STRiDA features a rustproof aluminum frame, a greaseless chain, and weighs roughly 20 pounds.
Florida Atlantic U Installs Solar Installation
Florida Atlantic University has installed a solar array on the roof of its Higher Education Complex building. The University expects the 50kW array to supply 20 – 25 percent of the building's electricity consumption.
Unity U House Achieves LEED Platinum
Unity House, the home for the President of Unity College (ME), has received LEED Platinum certification. The 1,930 square foot home features a passive solar design, solar panel heating, high-efficiency appliances, and low-flow water fixtures.
Drexel U Commits to Green Globes Building Rating System
Drexel University (PA) has announced that it has become the first university in the country to commit to using the Green Globes green building rating system for all new construction and existing campus buildings. The system assesses existing buildings and construction projects for energy efficiency and effects on the environment. The third-party independent assessment process is usually completed one year after occupancy, and will result in a ranking based on Green Globes metrics. The results of all assessments will be posted on the website of Drexel’s sustainability program, “Drexel Green,” and will be available to the public for inspection.
Experiential Education & Sustainability – Faculty Workshop in Thailand
The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute invites faculty to participate in a 7 day summer workshop entitled, "Experiential Education and Sustainability." The workshop will focus on using case studies from the experience of ISDSI and other organizations to give participants practical experience with and a solid working knowledge of the key issues involved in teaching experiential field-based courses.
Sustainable Practices Summer Program
The Audubon Expedition Institute invites applications for its Sustainable Practices Summer Program, to take place June 1 – 22, 2009. Participants will explore sustainable practices and how they relate to their individual lives, to the greater society, and ecological systems. Topics of discussion will include alternative fuels for vehicles, composting and the basics of biologically active soil, agricultural seed diversity, gray-water systems, and passive solar design. All participants will grow and cook organic food, use sustainable technologies, and live out of doors for the duration of the program. Students will be expected to complete reading and writing projects one week before and one week after the program.
Illinois State U Releases Sustainability Report
Illinois State University has released its first ever Sustainability Progress Report. The report covers fiscal year 2008 and highlights various campus efforts in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and grounds and facilities operations. Academic initiatives are also covered, including sustainability-themed courses in various academic departments, faculty research, and campus-wide efforts to promote civic engagement by students.
U Wisconsin Drops Apparel Contract Due to Poor Labor Practices
The University of Wisconsin has announced that it will not renew an apparel contract with Russell Athletic due to questions concerning labor practices at the company's Honduras factory. UW requires that its suppliers agree to a code of conduct that includes provisions for freedom of association, which is meant to protect worker rights.
Portland State U Announces EcoWiki
Portland State University (OR) has launched "EcoWiki," a website that aims to help students, faculty, and staff form connections and share news related to sustainability on the PSU campus. Participants can ask questions, network, and brainstorm on the new site.
Power Down for the Planet
Climate Savers Computing, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program, invite higher education institutions to take part in "Power Down for the Planet," a challenge program designed to encourage universities and their campus communities to reduce their own IT power consumption and get their students, faculty, and staff involved in the fight against climate change. The challenge includes a month long competition to see which university can recruit the largest percentage of their campus community to pledge support to Climate Savers Computing. The pledge challenge will kick off on March 23 and conclude on April 17, 2009. The challenge winner and the collective results of all participants will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2009. In addition to the pledge challenge, students have the opportunity to create and submit a video that tells the Climate Savers Computing story. The winning videos will be selected based on a combination of content and relevance, as judged by Climate Savers Computing representatives. The winners of the student viral video challenge will receive technology prizes.
AASHE Member Discount on Campus Rideshare System Set-up
RideShark is offering AASHE members a 20 percent discount on the set-up of any new campus rideshare system for their college or university. RideShark's ridematching system allows students, staff, and faculty to find compatible carpool or vanpool matches, as well as walking, cycling, and transit ”˜buddies’. Additional modules are available to enable users to track their commuting emissions and to monitor carpool or vanpool participation.
Opportunity for Campuses to Host a Climate Corps Fellow
The Environmental Defense Fund and Net Impact are seeking campus hosts for the 2009 Climate Corps Fellows program. Fellows are MBA students with a strong background in finance or engineering who spend their summers on-site at host organizations, conducting detailed analyses of energy reduction opportunities in lighting, computer equipment, heating and cooling systems, and datacenters. They work to produce a detailed, actionable investment and implementation plan that helps hosts cut costs and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, the Climate Corps Fellows identified 110 million kilowatt hours of electricity savings at companies like Yahoo!, Cisco, and Intuit.
Dell Social Innovation Competition
Dell, in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, invites students from any college or university in the world to enter their ideas to change the world to its Social Innovation Competition. The venture should exist primarily to address a significant social problem, incorporate a quantifiable social return, and be financially viable. The grand prize is $50,000, and all entries addressing environmental sustainability are eligible to win a special $10,000 prize.
World Watch Magazine – Free Online Access for Professors & Students
The World Watch Institute is offering free online access to the World Watch magazine to professors and students so that they can easily integrate the magazine articles into course studies. The magazine covers environmental events and sustainability issues. To obtain access, email Juliane at email@example.com.
AASHE Interview Series: Dir of Sustainability, U Calgary
AASHE has posted a new interview as part of its Interview Series with campus sustainability professionals. In this installment, Joanne Perdue, the Director of Sustainability for the University of Calgary (AB), offers advice to new Sustainability Officers and discusses how U of C is integrating sustainability into the curricula, incorporating the social dimension of sustainability into its procurement plan, and funding sustainability efforts on campus.
U Central Florida Adds Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle to Campus Fleet
The University of Central Florida has purchased its second eco-friendly vehicle. The new electric car, which can travel up to 15 miles per day, has been retrofitted to run on solar power alone. Three solar panels were installed on the roof of the vehicle and produce the needed 72V to run it.
Agnes Scott College Hires Sustainability Fellow
Agnes Scott College (GA) has hired Lies Van Bekkum as its first sustainability fellow. Van Bekkum’s role as Agnes Scott’s Sustainability Fellow is shared with the city of Decatur where she works closely with the city’s new Environmental Sustainability Board. Van Bekkum, born and raised in the Netherlands, graduated from ASG in 2008 with a degree in Psychology.
Indiana U Libraries Names Sustainability Officer
The Indiana University Library System has named Kathy McCarnes to the newly formed position of sustainability officer. The System also plans to form a permanent task force that would promote the use of recycled paper and aid the transformation to more efficient technologies to eliminate wasted energy. McCarnes is tasked with heading the committee and encouraging sustainable practices within the IU Libraries System.
Georgia Tech Hires Institute for Sustainable Systems Director
Georgia Institute of Technology has hired John C. Crittenden, Ph.D., as a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Sustainable Systems and Director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems. In addition, he is also slated to fill the Hightower Chair in Sustainable Systems pending Board of Regents approval. Dr. Crittenden has received multiple awards for his research in the treatment and removal of hazardous materials from drinking and groundwater. He also has designed and received copyrights on computer software programs that analyze various pollution and absorption methods.
Humboldt State U Expands Solar Radiation Data Collection Site
Humboldt State University (CA) has purchased a third Eppley Precision Spectral Pyranometer to add to its Solar Radiation Monitoring Station project, making the site one of the primary data-collecting locations for solar radiation. HSU partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to become a data-collecting site for solar radiation in 2006.
Montana State U Long Range Plan Features Sustainability
Montana State University has released its Long Range Campus Development Plan, and sustainable practices, principles, and strategies are woven throughout the document. Specifically, sustainability is included as a Guiding Principle and is also incorporated into architecture, open space, land use, landscape, and signage principles. The Plan also describes MSU’s current sustainability initiatives, activities, and memberships, and includes a section on how sustainable practices will be included with implementation of the Plan.
UW Whitewater Goes Trayless
The University of Wisconsin, Whitewater has stopped offering trays at Esker Dining Hall, Drumlin Market, and the eateries in the James R. Conner University Center. The dining halls implemented the initiative after the successful pilot program, Trayless Tuesdays. The University estimates that it will save approximately 192,000 gallons of water.
U North Carolina Approves Green Fee Renewal
Students at the University of North Carolina have approved the renewal and expansion of the existing $4 per semester renewable energy student fee. 83 percent of students voting approved the fee and fee expansion, which allows funds to be used for energy efficiency projects on campus.
South Dakota State U Installs Wind Turbines for K-12 Schools
South Dakota State University faculty members and students have begun providing technical assistance to the Wind for Schools program which places wind turbines at K-12 schools throughout the state. The program provides K-12 schools with residential-sized wind turbines to use as working laboratories and college-level students with the opportunity to obtain hands-on engineering experience.
Mars Hill College Receives Grant for Green Building
Mars Hill College (NC) has a received a $60,000 Green Building Initiative grant from the Kresge Foundation to be used toward design and planning costs for Day Hall. The College plans to seek LEED Platinum certification for the 36,000-square-foot multi-purpose building, which is currently in the planning stages.
U Maryland Helps Fund Portable Wind Turbine Development
The University of Maryland's Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program is providing $1.4 million, with participating companies donating a total of $3.4 million, to support research in the laboratories of participating University System of Maryland faculty who work with company researches. As part of the Program, $51,000 has been allocated to help ProParts LLC of Baltimore to develop low-wind, low-cost wind turbines that can be mounted in residential or urban markets and portable turbines for military applications.
Yale Announces First Grants for Sustainability Research
The Yale University (CT) School of Architecture has selected five projects to receive the inaugural grants from the Hines Research Fund for Advanced Sustainability in Architecture. The winning proposals fall into three thematic areas: constructional methods and materials, particularly in terms of reducing both embodied energy and the energy consumed by building systems; development of climate responsive building types; and analysis/optimization of energy behaviors in buildings. All proposals are committed to expanding academic research and educational opportunities for students.
U Western Ontario Switches to FSC-Certified Paper
The University of Western Ontario has switched to Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper. The Purchasing Department tested the new paper last May within the Graphic Services Department and expanded the initiative to the entire campus this spring.
29 U.S. Colleges Named 'Tree Campus USA'
Twenty-nine schools from across the United States have earned Tree Campus USA status from the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation for their dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. The 29 schools recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation make up the initial Tree Campus USA class. Tree Campus USA is a new national program launched by the Arbor Day Foundation and aims to honor colleges and universities that engage in best tree-care and sustainability practices. To receive Tree Campus USA recognition, schools are required to meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement. Those standards are: establishing a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Saginaw Valley State U Students Build Wind & Solar Charging Station
A group of four Saginaw Valley State University (MI) students have built a wind and solar charging station for an electric golf cart on campus. The mobile station consists of a small wooden shed that features solar panels, a wind turbine, and 6-volt batteries to store the energy when it's not in use. To charge the cart, users plug it into an outlet in the shed overnight, which gives the cart sufficient energy needed to make its normal runs of two to three hours per day.
Connecticut College Offsets 100% of Energy Usage with Wind
Connecticut College has purchased wind renewable energy certificates to compensate for 100 percent of the College ´s annual electricity consumption. This marks the third year the College has offset energy consumption by nearly 100 percent.
Oregon State U Students Exercise to Generate Power
Oregon State University has begun converting the energy generated by exercise machines into electricity. The University has retrofitted 22 elliptical machines to generate electricity that is fed back into the power grid. The effort will produce an estimated 3,500 kilowatt hours of electricity in a year. The initiative was funded by an $8.50 per semester student green fee.
Bethel College Opens Fair-Trade Coffee Shop
Bethel College (KS) has opened a coffee shop in the lounge of one of its residence halls. The shop features fair trade coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. The shop was initiated and is run by two Bethel students in an effort to increase a sense of student community within the building.
Central Carolina CC Launches Biofuels Degree Program
Central Carolina Community College (NC) has launched a new Associate's in Applied Sciences Degree program in Alternative Energy Technology. The biofuels degree curriculum includes biofuels analytics, biofuels waste management, bioprocessing practices, chemistry, math, and renewable energy technology. Its interdisciplinary approach also requires students to take courses in electrical control systems, welding, pumps and piping systems, and small business development.
U South Florida to Offer Ph.D.s Focused on Sustainable Communities
The University of South Florida Board of Governors has approved new doctoral programs in history, government, and sociology. The three programs are linked and will focus on sustainable healthy communities in a global context. The programs will discuss global security, population growth, land-use development, and the international financial crisis.
North Carolina State U Names Sustainability Spring Semester Theme
North Carolina State University has announced that its spring semester theme will focus on sustainability. Called "S.E.E. NC State," the semester will feature events that focus on the three dimensions of sustainability: society, economy, and environment. Events will include e-waste recycling, an environmental movie series, an Energy Fair, a Lake Raleigh clean up, and a concert featuring local and regional bands.
Yale U School Purchases Carbon Offsets
The Yale University (CT) School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has purchased carbon offsets to compensate for the air miles traveled by FES students on school-related trips in 2008. The offsets purchased will fund two carbon offset projects: a Pennsylvania family farm that captures methane gas released by manure, and uses it to generate electricity and heat and a New York landfill that traps and destroys methane gas. The two projects will compensate for 1.25 million pounds of carbon dioxide.