Worldwatch Publishes Letter to Nominated U.S. Education Secretary
The Worldwatch Institute has published a letter from prominent education and environmental leaders urging the newly nominated U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, to consider the importance of education in carrying out President-elect Barak Obama's environmental agenda. The letter includes a proposed Presidential agenda that focuses on setting a green buildings standard for renovations and new construction at education institutions, directing 1% of cap-and-trade revenues to green economy curriculum, and funding sustainability and environmental education programs.
Email List for Sustainable IT at Universities
EDUCAUSE has launched "Sustainable IT Constituent Group," a new online discussion list for sharing information on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through IT infrastructures at colleges and universities. Joyce Dickerson, Director of Sustainable IT at Stanford, will moderate discussions, suggest interesting topics, and coordinate the annual gathering at the EDUCAUSE Annual Meeting in the fall.
Carnegie Names Campuses for Community Engagement Classification
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected 119 U.S. colleges and universities for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, previously developed and offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Institutions were classified in one of three categories: Curricular Engagement, Outreach and Partnerships, and Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships. In order to be selected into any of the three categories, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices
U Idaho Purchases Electric Truck
The University of Idaho's Housing department has purchased an electric work truck. The truck can get 50-60 miles per charge and has a battery life of up to 25,000 miles. Its top speed is 25 miles an hour and can charge in about six hours.
Duke U Signs Agreement with Zipcar
Duke University (NC) has signed an agreement with Zipcar to provide students, faculty, and staff who are age 18 and older with an alternative to keeping a car on campus. The agreement provides the campus with four new cars, two of which are hybrids. Zipcar members age 18 – 20 can only reserve cars assigned to the Duke campus; members 21 and older have access to Zipcar’s network of more than 5,500 vehicles throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
U Michigan Flint Implements Student Carpool Initiative
The University of Michigan, Flint has launched GreenRide, an online map-based carpool program that connects people who want to share rides. The campus, which currently has over 6,900 commuters, offers the program to anyone affiliated with the University.
U Florida Dining Offers Reusable To-Go Containers
The University of Florida Gator Dining Services has begun offering reusable to-go containers at three locations on campus. The containers are dishwasher-safe and made to be reused over and over again, helping cut down on the waste produced from their traditional disposable counterparts. The process allows customers take their food to go as usual, bring the reusable container back at their earliest convenience at which time it gets washed by Gator Dining, and the cycle continues. Up to two reusable containers can be checked out per Gator 1 card.
U Washington Pilots Compostable Cup for Soft Drinks
The University of Washington is the pilot site for the first compostable paper cup designed specifically for soft drinks. The University expects to reduce the number of disposable cups that go to the landfill by 150,000 per year as a result of the new initiative. UW requested the cup in early 2007 to meet the City of Seattle's requirements that all packaging be compostable by July 2010, and it was created by International Paper in cooperation with the University of Washington and Cedar Grove Composting. The new compostable cup was the last big piece in UW Housing and Food Services' compostable products line, which already includes compostable plates, utensils and hot drink cups.
Clatsop CC Offers Free Bus Pass to Campus Members
Clatsop Community College (OR) has begun offering a free bus pass to all students, faculty, and staff. The new pass, which saves students $60 each term and saves faculty and staff $45 each month, allows campus members to ride anywhere in the county that the bus services.
Audio Recordings of Campus Sustainability Presentations
Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&E) has made audio recordings from selected past events available for download for free. Available presentations include, "Seven Steps to Developing a Climate Action Plan," "Leadership's Role for Administrators in Establishing a Campus Sustainability Program," and "What You Need to Know About EPA Tier II Filing Requirements."
'Real Food Is' Video Contest
The Real Food Challenge invites applicants for its "Real Food Is" Video Contest. The contest challenges K-12 and higher education students to complete the phrase, "Real food is...," with a 30 second to 3 minute video that informs, inspires, and encourages student advocacy to restore connections to community, food, land, and place through Farm to Cafeteria programs. The winners, one K-12 video and one college video, will receive $1,000 and one representative from each winning team will win an all expenses paid trip to the 4th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Portland, Oregon March 19-21, 2009. Submissions are due February 8, 2009.
Courses: Certificate in Green Building Construction & Green Energy Mgmt
San Diego State University (CA) is offering online courses towards two certificate programs. Courses towards a Professional Certificate in Green Building Construction begin January 20 and include Building Green Buildings – The Contractor's Perspective; Building Information Modeling with an Emphasis on Green Construction; Construction Materials and Processes; Fundamentals of Green Building Design and Construction; and LEED for New Construction – Applying the Guidelines. Courses towards a Professional Certificate in Renewable Energy and Green Energy Management begin February 9 and include Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) for Green Buildings and Solar Energy Conversion.
Online Book: Addressing Global Env'l Security Through Educational Curricula
Springer Link has posted a new book, "Addressing Global Environmental Security Through Innovative Educational Curricula," online and made the copy available for download. The book includes chapters titled, "Science on the Marsh: Towards the Ground of Education for Sustainable Development," "The Educational Dilemma of Environmental Security: Hard Science or the Art of Decision Making," "Learning Eco-Efficiency Tools Through University-Corporate Cooperation," and "A Comparison of Ecological Education and Sustainable Development Education."
Online Book on Sustainability Education
C.A. Bowers has posted a new book online entitled, "Transitions: Educational Reforms that Promote Ecological Intelligence or the Assumptions Underlying Modernity?" The free downloadable book features chapters on ecologically sustainable educational reforms, the challenge facing science educators, rethinking social justice issues within an eco-justice conceptual and moral framework, and a state-wide approach to ecologically sustainable education reforms.
DePaul U Opens Green Science Building
DePaul University (IL) has opened the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Science Building, a $40 million green science education building. The 130,000-square-foot structure features high-reflective materials used in roofing and pavement fabrication, a green roof with two greenhouses and a planted garden, heat recovery systems, regional materials, and a water-efficient landscape. DePaul hopes to achieve LEED Silver or Gold certification for the new building.
Oberlin College Receives Best Appliance Award
Oberlin College (OH) has received the Best Appliance Award in the Energy Efficiency Markets Competition for its energy orb, a device that glows red when energy use in a particular building is high and glows green when consumption is low. The energy orb hangs in the lobbies of six Oberlin dorms and helped the College to realize a 56 percent reduction in energy use during a recent energy conservation competition.
U Buffalo Implements Trayless Policy
The State University of New York at Buffalo has implemented a trayless policy at three dining centers on campus. The University anticipates saving 48,000 pounds of food waste as a result of the new measure.
New School U to Establish Socially Responsible Investing Ctte
The New School University (NY) will establish a committee on socially responsible investing. The move comes in response to student protests, including a two-day sit in. As part of the resolution to the protest, New School President Bob Kerrey also promised to give students voting representation on the search committee for a new provost.
U Delaware Opens Fuel Cell Research Center
The University of Delaware has established the Center for Fuel Cell Research to improve the understanding of fuel cells and address issues and barriers to commercialization. The Center will also provide undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to participate in fuel cell research and demonstration projects. The overall goal of the work is to improve performance and durability with novel materials, architectures, and operating strategies.
U Michigan Partners to Fund Alternative Transportation
The University of Michigan has partnered with Fraunhofer to offer seed money grants of up to $200,000 for two years to projects that explore alternative energy innovations for transportation. Each project must have researchers from both U-M and Fraunhofer, have a strong potential to eventually attract external funding, and ultimately be good candidates for commercialization. The Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute will work with U-M’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Fraunhofer to select and evaluate projects. Projects will be awarded in 2009 and must be finished within two years.
U North Carolina Wilmington Hires Sustainability Coordinator
The University of North Carolina, Wilmington has hired Alyssa Halle as sustainability coordinator for the Campus Life Facilities. Halle is now responsible for documenting sustainable progress made thus far and creating new ways of making the campus more sustainable.
Central College Adds Sustainability to Core Curriculum
Central College (IA) has added a global sustainability component to its newly restructured core curriculum, to begin in the fall of 2010. The initiative began when one of Central's professors of Political Science brought the idea to the faculty and received 70 percent of the group's support. The Central faculty plan to either develop new courses or infuse existing courses with sustainability components.
U Western Ontario to Add Green Process Engineering Prgm
The University of Western Ontario has announced plans to add a new undergraduate program, Green Process Engineering, to its curriculum in September of 2009. The new program will combine and integrate the fundamental principles of chemical engineering to design commercial products and processes that are safe, economical, and environmentally friendly.
Rice U Expands No-Loan Policy
Rice University (TX) has expanded its no-loan policy for the 2009-2010 freshman class from a $60,000 income limit to an $80,000 limit. Under the new policy, incoming freshmen who qualify for need-based aid with family incomes below $80,000 will not be required to take out loans to pay for college. Almost 18 percent of this year's freshmen were from families with incomes under $80,000. For a family whose income is above $80,000 and who demonstrates need eligibility, Rice will meet 100 percent of the student's need, and the student's loans will not exceed a total of $10,000 over four years at Rice.
Kent State U Trumball Announces Scholarships for Laid Off Workers
Kent State University’s (OH) Trumbull campus has announced plans to provide a one-time scholarship to new students who have recently been laid off from a full-time position, effective for the spring 2009 semester. The offer is available on a pilot basis and can be applied to the tuition cost of up to 12 credit hours.
Milwaukee Area Technical College Installs 90 kW Wind Turbine
The Milwaukee Area Technical College in Mequon (WI) has installed a refurbished, 90-kilowatt wind turbine on campus. The new turbine is expected to generate approximately 8 percent of the campus' electricity and will be used for teaching students who are seeking energy engineer and operations sustainability certifications.
U Buffalo Installs High Efficiency Servers
The State University of New York at Buffalo has begun installing new high efficiency servers in its Center for Computational Research, an academic supercomputer center. Installation is expected to be complete by the end of the spring 2009 semester. The University at Buffalo estimates that it will realize $150,000 in energy savings per year as a result of the upgrades.
Northwest Missouri State U Replaces Traditional Textbooks with E-Texts
Northwest Missouri State University has implemented a pilot program to replace traditional text books with e-texts. Twelve academic departments participated in the program last semester, and this semester, the program has been expanded to include approximately 500 students. An additional 3,000 students have the option to use either version if they are enrolled in a course using an e-text. Most pilot participants are accessing e-texts via laptop computers that are provided to all full-time Northwest students. A smaller group will be using an upgraded version of the Sony eReader, an earlier model of which was part of the fall 2008 e-text trial.
Catholic U Opens Green Residence Hall
Catholic University (DC) has opened Opus Hall, a seven-story green residence hall. The 127,000-square-foot, 402-bed structure features low VOC emitting materials, renewable interior finishes, enhanced daylight views, and energy-efficient and locally obtained insulated precast. In addition, a portion of the construction waste was recycled.
Philadelphia Inquirer Covers College Programs for Laid-off Workers
The Philadelphia Inquirer has published an article on the increasing number of Pennsylvania and New Jersey colleges waiving tuition for laid-off workers. The article mentions programs at Burlington County College (NJ), Montgomery County Community College (PA), Delaware County Community College (PA), Bucks County Community College (PA), Camden County College (NJ), Gloucester County College (NJ), and the Community College of Philadelphia (PA).
Bristol CC Partners on Renewable Energy Workforce Development
Bristol Community College (MA) has partnered with a local business to begin teaching potential workers about renewable energy and the processes used to produce it. A total of 15 students will be taught operational functions for turbine prototypes and tidal turbine technology in a course that looks at how tidal power can be harnessed to create energy. Overseen by BCC's Center for Business and Industry, the green jobs program is supported through a $5,000 training grant from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts and the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance. The six-week training is being marketed to women, minorities, and blue collar workers who live nearby.
U Colorado Boulder Campaign Collects 40 Tons of Recycling
The University of Colorado at Boulder's "Ralphie's Green Stampede," a home football game recycling campaign, resulted in 40 tons of recyclable and compostable materials in 2008 season. More than 800 people in 11 organizational units helped to cut waste by 30 percent during the six home games. During the last 4 games of the season, over 80 percent of the stadium's waste was composted or recycled. Additionally, 300 gallons of used vegetable oil was converted into biodiesel by the University.
SUNY Canton Implements 4-Day Academic Schedule
The State University of New York at Canton has switched to a 4-day academic schedule in an effort to cut operating costs and increase sustainability across campus. Portions of College’s workforce will also work on a four-day schedule, but buildings such as the library, fitness center, and admissions office will remain open on the fifth day.
Illinois State U Dedicates Center for Renewable Energy
Illinois State University has dedicated its new Center for Renewable Energy. The Center coordinates education, outreach, and research efforts on wind, solar, bio-fuel, and other alternative energy sources. In addition, the Center brings together faculty from several academic disciplines and colleges at ISU to support the University’s renewable energy major, provide the public with objective research-based information on renewable energy, and facilitate applied research through collaborations with other universities. The Center was established through a grant awarded by the Department of Energy.
Louisiana State U Hires Campus Sustainability Manager
Louisiana State University has hired Denise Scribner as the institution's first campus sustainability coordinator. Housed within LSU's Department of Facility Services, the new hire will be responsible for cataloging existing eco-friendly initiatives around campus and spearheading new ways to cut back on waste and carbon emissions. Scribner will also research grant opportunities relating to sustainability and coordinate campus and community relations in order to communicate LSU’s ongoing efforts to the faculty, students, staff, and Baton Rouge area.
Ithaca College to Launch Sustainability Major and Minor
Ithaca College (NY) has received a $500,000 grant from a New York based bank to support the development of a new sustainability major and minor at the College. The two new programs are tentatively scheduled to begin in fall 2009. The grant will also subsidize scholarships and fellowships, an internship and research fund for projects, and a scholar-in-residence program.
Green Chemistry Outreach Fellow Program
Beyond Benign invites undergraduate and graduate students in the U.S. to apply for its 2008-2009 Green Chemistry Outreach Fellows Program. Students will work as "Ambassadors" and will talk about green chemistry to a wide range of audiences and express the importance and necessity of a sustainable world through science. As an Ambassador, the student will be the link between green chemistry and their community. Ambassadors do not have to be scientists, but should be energetic and be able to talk to a wide audience with enthusiasm.
U Michigan, UW La Crosse Launch Sustainability Websites
The University of Michigan has launched a campus sustainability website. Links on the site provide information about on-campus recycling, energy-conservation, green student groups, and sustainability-related research projects and academic offerings. The Graham Institute and the Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health co-sponsored the project, which took about a year to complete and involved more than 20 people. The University of Wisconsin, La Crosse has also launched a new sustainability website, which will serve as a clearinghouse for news, events, campus projects, resources, and information relating to sustainability and environmental literacy both on and off campus. The new site features a blog, podcasts, and information on UW-L's Joint Committee on Environmental Sustainability.
U Kentucky Dining Halls Offer More Local Foods
The University of Kentucky has announced plans to expand its partnership with Kentucky food producers in 2009. UK aims to expand the amount of locally grown produce purchased from $60,000 in 2007-2008 to $500,000 in 2009. Additionally, UK has partnered with a local diary provider to purchase fresh milk from pasture grazing cows that are not supplemented with hormones to increase milk production to be used in campus dining facilities.
Saint Xavier U Res Hall Receives LEED Gold
Saint Xavier University's (IL) Agatha O'Brien Hall has received LEED Gold certification. The new 36,664-square-foot residence hall features natural and mechanical ventilation, a 50-foot high circular glass stair tower that draws tempered air to assist in summer night pre-cooling and winter heating, and a solar reflection system on the roof. In addition, 100 percent of the building's energy use is being offset by renewable energy sources.