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
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.
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.
CFP: Climate Action Planning at US & Canadian Campuses
The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) have announced a call for papers for a special issue of the Journal on climate action planning at campuses in the United States and Canada. Judy Walton, AASHE's Acting Executive Director, will guest edit this special issue. Submitted articles must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length. The closing date for submissions is August 29, 2008.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AASHE Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award
AASHE invites undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at U.S. or Canadian institutions of higher education to submit research papers of any length on campus sustainability that have not been previously published, are written in English, and were completed after August 1, 2007. A version of the winning paper will be published in Sustainability: The Journal of Record (subject to editorial review). Longer papers will be edited to meet the Journal's length standards. Papers are due August 1, 2008.
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.
Lifecycle Building Challenge 2 Student Competition
The American Institute of Architects, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Building MaterialsReuse Association invite students and professionals to participate in the Lifecycle Building Challenge 2. The contest challenges participants to submit creative ideas or designs to advance cutting-edge design for adaptability, disassembly, and local reuse of building materials. This year's competition features Building and Innovation Categories and new awards for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Best School, and Best Residential Designs. Teams of up to 5 contestants can enter. The registration deadline is July 31, 2008.
University Reform in an Era of Global Warming
Chet A. Bowers has published a book entitled, "University Reform in an Era of Global Warming." The book examines why many professors continue to rely upon the conceptual frameworks learned in their own graduate studies even though these frameworks were established before there was an awareness of environmental limits. Bowers also discusses the need to educate students in how to live less consumer dependent lives and how to introduce students to understand and to participate in the local cultural commons.
List of Publications on Sustainable Transportation for Campuses
AASHE has posted a collection of publications focused on sustainable transportation for college and university campuses. The resource provides guides, articles, reports, and books on the use of alternative transportation methods such as bicycles, campus fleet, car-sharing, carpooling, parking, and U-Pass systems.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Power Vote MEGA Training Camp
The Energy Action Coalition will be convening an intensive 5-day training program from August 13 -17, 2008 to prepare organizers for their role in running the Power Vote program and beyond. Training participants will leave with a clear understanding of the Power Vote program goals, timeline, implementation plan, and their role in making it happen. The training will be highly interactive with a great emphasis on actually testing out the skills with time for discussion and feedback. Skills will be applicable for climate campaigning throughout the year. Priority will be given to low-income youth, youth of color and non-student youth. College, high school, and non-student youth are all encouraged to apply.
Call for Papers: Climate Action Planning at US Campuses
The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) have announced a call for papers for a special issue of the Journal on climate action planning at campuses in the United States. Judy Walton, AASHE's Acting Executive Director, will guest edit this special issue. Submitted articles must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length. The closing date for submissions is August 29, 2008.
New Issue of The Journal of Ecopedagogy
The Ecopedagogy Association International has published its latest issue of Green Theory & Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy. The scholarly journal presents research papers and essays on ecological politics and culture, ecocriticism, the critique of social structures, and sustainability education. The current issues includes such papers as, "Education for Sustainability: A Critical Contribution to the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development" and "Developing a Bioregional Pedagogy for Trans
New Blog for the Campus Sustainability Professional
Richard Johnson, the Director of Sustainability and the Associate Director for the Center for the Study of Environmental and Society at Rice University, has created a new blog entitled, "Greening the Campus: Inside the World of the Campus Sustainability Professional." Johnson's intention is to share insights and observations from the perspective of a campus sustainability professional and help to promote discussion and knowledge sharing within the professional community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.