Yale U Releases 2008 GHG Reduction Strategy
Yale University (CT) has released its 2008 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy executive summary. The summary illustrates Yale’s progress to date and outlines the University’s strategy for reaching its target to reduce emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
3 Institutions Establish LED Research Center
The National Science Foundation has announced plans to establish a new Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) to supplant the common light bulb with next-generation lighting devices that are smarter, greener, and ready for innovation. The NSF-funded Smart Lighting Center, which is supported by University of New Mexico and Boston University (MA), will investigate and develop light-emitting diode (LED) technologies. Twenty faculty researchers from Rensselaer, along with 10 researchers from BU and UNM, will staff the new center.
Colorado State U Names Managing Director of Climate Initiatives
Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley has appointed Aaron Levi, formerly his chief of staff, as managing director of Climate Initiatives and Carbon Assets to manage the University's plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 and to oversee other university-wide environmental efforts. As operations manager, he'll work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to develop a long-term strategy and track the University's sustainability and energy management plans. He also will ensure the University completes its prior sustainability commitments, including the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the AASHE STARS pilot project.
New York Times Features Campus Bike Programs
The New York Times has published an article entitled, "With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus." The article mentions the University of New England's (ME) and Ripon College's (WI) bike give-away programs, Mercer University's (GA) and Emory University's (GA) bike rental programs, and Saint Xavier University's (IL) computer-driven bike sharing program. The goal of campus bike programs, according to the article, is to reduce the number of parking spaces needed on campus and to promote a hea
DOE Awards $4.4M to U.S. Universities for Biofuels Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded 6 U.S. Universities a total of $4.4 million to support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The following schools received awards: the University of Toledo (OH), Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), Montana State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Maine, and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.
Fort Lewis College Switches to Compostable Food Trays
Fort Lewis College (CO) has switched to using compostable food trays in its dining halls and café. The College hopes to see a significant reduction in refuse as a result of the trays, which will be composted on site.
U Maine Unveils Green Supercomputer
The University of Maine has unveiled a green supercomputer on its campus. The new computer has uses minimal space, has an energy-efficient design, and is accessible in the lab where researchers work. A team of bicyclists powered the 72-processor machine, which uses less than 300 watts of power, during the unveiling ceremony.
Virginia Commonwealth U Dedicates Env'l Research Pier
The Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences has opened and dedicated its new 5,100-square-foot research pier that gives scientists direct access to James River. The pier was developed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and sits on an ecologically rich, 343-acre parcel of land located on the north bank of the river. The site also serves as a science educator training facility and a place for local K-12 students to participate in various activities.
U Texas to Offer Free Electronic Textbooks
The University of Texas has announced plans to offer free electronic textbooks as a pilot project during the Spring 2009 semester. The e-book initiative will provide electronic copies of textbooks, which UT will pay for, for students in chemistry, biochemistry, marketing and accounting classes. Initially, students in those classes will use the e-books for free. If the program is successful, students would pay $25 to $40 a book in licensing fees.
SUNY Cobleskill Receives $250K for Energy Conservation
The State University of New York Cobleskill has received a $250,000 grant for energy conservation and facility upgrades throughout campus. The award was based on an energy audit performed by the New York Power Authority covering 19 of the college’s buildings. The audit identified eight separate energy saving measures. These include “occupancy based” controls in the college’s 10 dormitories to provide more efficient lighting; the replacement of existing windows with energy efficient ones; and the replacement of campus greenhouses with more efficient structures to meet research and teaching needs.
U Rhode Island Dining Facility Awarded LEED Silver
The University of Rhode Island's newest dining facility, Hope Commons, has been awarded LEED Silver certification. The structure, which cost $18 million to build, features a reflective roof coating; 75 percent local construction materials; and energy efficient lighting and food service equipment. The 42,500 square-foot building opened in August of 2007.
UC San Diego Dedicates Green Building Extension
The University of California, San Diego has dedicated a new, energy-efficient building extension on the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The new extension increased the existing supercomputer center to 160,000 square-feet, and officials say it was built to standards equivalent to LEED Silver. The structure features a natural hybrid displacement ventilation system; a solar reflecting roof; building sensors to measure energy consumption and thermal effectiveness; and a rack system called CoolFlex that encloses traditional cold aisles in the data center, completely separating the cold air supplying equipment from the hot air exhausted from the gear.
List of Sustainability Research Inventories
AASHE has released a list of Sustainability Research inventories. The list highlights institutions that have identified their sustainability research activities. The resource is available to AASHE members only.
Hydrogen Student Design Contest
The Hydrogen Education Foundation invites submissions for its Hydrogen Student Design Contest. The contest challenges teams of university-level students from the U.S. and abroad to develop and design hydrogen applications for real-world use. This year's competition challenges teams to design a new green Student Center powered by hydrogen for the State University of New York, Farmingdale with an imaginary budget of $28 million. Entries are due on December 19, 2008.
U Colorado, Colorado Springs to Install Solar Thermal System
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has announced plans to install a 68-panel solar thermal system for pool heating on its new Recreation Center. The new solar thermal system will offset more than 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The system will be installed this fall. The Recreation Center is registered for LEED Silver certification.
Simon Fraser U Unveils Green Building
Simon Fraser University (BC) has opened Blusson Hall, a green building that will house the Faculty of Health Sciences. The $56.9-million, 12,000 square meter complex features a green roof, sustainably harvested wood products, limited use of off-gassing construction materials, storm-water collection for irrigation, radiant-floor heating, and abundant natural light. The structure has been built to exceed LEED Silver standards.
UW River Falls Survey Shows that Students Support Going off the Grid
A recent survey completed by students at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls showed that 95 percent of students support the University's plan to go off the grid by 2012 by lobbying the state for funds. Additionally, 65 percent of students were in favor of raising student tuition to cover the cost of the plan.
U Arizona Makes Biosphere 2 More Sustainable
The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 has begun offering opportunities for UA faculty and students who work on sustainability research or who are involved in a sustainability-relevant course to do experiments or projects within the biosphere. Additionally, Biosphere two currently features an on-site recycling program and will soon contain a rainwater catchment system. In addition, landscape architecture students are developing designs for a new master site plan to better serve visitors and incorporate new sustainable systems in Biosphere 2 operations.
Interview with Princeton Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs
AASHE has posted an interview between Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, and University of Kentucky student Tate White. Oppenheimer is a scholar on global warming and has participated actively on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as one of the co-authors of the Fourth Assessment Report. In the interview, Oppenheimer discusses his thoughts on the role of higher education in addressing climate change.
Endangered Environmental Laws Student Writing Competition
The Environmental Law Institute invites law students to submit papers exploring current issues of constitutional environmental law. Any topic addressing recent developments or trends in U.S. environmental law that have a significant constitutional or "federalism" component will be accepted. Any relevant article, case comment, note, or essay may be submitted, including writing submitted for academic credit. A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded along with publication in the Environmental Law Reporter .
Montana State U Students Approve Recycling Fee
Students at Montana State University have voted to approve a $3.50 per semester fee to support a new campus recycling program. The measure passed by a vote of 1,471 to 865. If the fee is approved by the state Board of Regents it will go into effect for the spring 2009 semester. The fee would raise $70,000 a year to hire a full-time employee who would be in charge of the recycling effort and its future expansion.
Oregon State U Launches Sustainability Blog
The Oregon State University Sustainability Office has launched Ecologue , a blog about sustainability at OSU. The new blog aims to provide a space for casual discussion, creative outlet, and constructive criticism on sustainability at OSU. The new blog will allow for ad-hoc posts and regular contributors.
CGI Announces Winners of Outstanding Commitment Awards
Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) and the Wal-Mart Foundation have announced the winners of forty-four student grants and two university grants through the CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards. Winners will receive funding for their CGI U Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable plans to address a global challenge of the winners’ choosing. The Awards are designed to support innovative, high-impact work that creates lasting and positive social change, most notably within CGI U’s focus areas – energy and climate change, global health, human rights and peace, and poverty alleviation. One university award was given to Dillard University (LA) and Brown University (RI) to ensure that Dillard is rebuilt in an environmentally sustainable manner, encouraging faculty, students, and staff from Brown and Dillard to collaborate in advancing energy efficiency, curriculum and research development, and community projects, incorporating recycling and transportation improvements into Dillard’s new community. The second university award was given to the College of Menominee Nation in support of its commitment to ensure that principles of sustainability are adopted at all tribal colleges in the United States.
The College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge
The Brita Products Company invites proposals for its College FilterForGood Eco-Challenge Grant Program. Undergraduate and graduate students in good academic standing in an accredited secondary college or university in the U.S. are encouraged to prepare a proposal and budget for a program that is either action-based or will create tangible results in the interest of helping to protect the environment. The program should be initiated and make significant progress towards completion by April 2009. Up to five $10,000 grants will be awarded. The deadline to apply is November 14, 2008.
EPA Research Fellowships for Undergrad Environmental Study
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of its Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) program, is offering GRO undergraduate fellowships for bachelor level students in environmental fields of study. Subject to availability of funding, the Agency plans to award approximately 20 new fellowships by July 31, 2009. Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer between their junior and senior years. The fellowship provides up to $19,250 per year of academic support and up to $8,000 of internship support for a three-month summer period. Applicants attending fully accredited four year U.S. institutions of higher education are eligible to apply. The deadline for receipt of pre-applications is December 11, 2008.
Paper on Reasons for Green College Admissions Processes
ConnectEDU has released a "green" paper entitled, "Why 2008 is the Year of Green Admissions." The paper is a report of research conducted to evaluate student perspectives around going green as they approach college admission. The paper reports on how green accomplishments affect college choice and how campuses can be socially responsible during the admission process. The Connect! Green Survey, a survey which polled the high school class of 2009 for the report, found that, although colleges are engaged in
2008 Guide to Social & Env'l Issues in Grad Business Programs
Net Impact has released its 2008 issue of Business as UNusual . The publication is a report of a survey sent to MBA students to evaluate their own institutions in the areas of social and environmental issues. The report includes school profiles, which contain information on curriculum, student activities, career services and alumni, administrative support, and reasons to attend, and provides ratings and aggregate responses from the survey.
Trinity College Launches BYOB Initiative
Trinity College (CT) has launched its Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) initiative. The program, which is funded by a donation from the Student Government Association, purchases brightly colored aluminum bottles for students to use in dining halls on campus. The purpose of the program, which was started by a student on campus, aims to challenge students to think about the waste created by using plastic water bottles.
Ryerson U Kiosks Promote Environmental Goals
Ryerson University (ON) has installed three new touch screen kiosks on campus that promote Ryerson's environmental goals. Students can click on the large blue information kiosks to find out more about RU's environmental initiatives and what they can do to help Ryerson achieve its green goals. More kiosks are scheduled to be built in the coming months.
Sustainable Endowments Institute Announces Innovator Awards
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has announced the winners of its Sustainability Innovator Awards. These awards serve to recognize sustainability innovators among colleges and universities with smaller endowments that also merit recognition. This year's winners include Green Mountain College (VT), Northland College (WI), and the University of Prince Edward Island.
Nevada Campuses Receive Climate Change Research Grant
Nevada's higher education system has received a $15 million federal grant to research regional climate change in a tri-state project during the next five years. Researchers from the Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada, Reno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State College will analyze and model the effects of regional climate change on the state's ecosystems and water resources. Nevada will collaborate with New Mexico and Idaho, which received NFS funding to participate in the project.
Washington State U, U Washington Compete in 'One Thing' Challenge
Washington State University and University of Washington residence hall students have begun the "One Thing" Challenge, a competition in which students make a personal commitment to doing one thing to help the environment. The campus with the most participants will receive bragging rights and a ceremonial awarding of the One Thing Cup, a trophy made of recycled material. The competition ends November 22, 2008, the day of the annual rival football game between WSU and UW.
U Oregon Launches Bike Loan Program
The University of Oregon Outdoor Program has started a bike-loan program on campus. The initiative has started with a fleet of 30 bikes, which were originally abandoned on the UO campus. The program allows students to rent a bike for the semester or academic year for a $65 deposit. Students can get the deposit back as long as they return the bike undamaged. The program has been funded by an $18,000 grant from the Associated Students of the University of Oregon and a $5,000 grant from PowerBar.
Wheaton College Breaks Ground for Green Science Center
Wheaton College (MA) has broken ground on the Center for Scientific Inquiry and Innovation. The 99,000 square-foot, $50 million project, which will include the construction of a new, three-story building and the renovation of the first floor of the existing Science Center, will feature a green roof. The structure will be registered for LEED certification.
Cornell U Opens Green Science Center
Cornell University (NY) has completed and opened Weill Hall, the University's new life sciences building. The $162 million, 265,000-square-foot building features a green roof and natural lighting, uses 30 percent less energy than comparable buildings, and is registered to receive LEED Gold certification.
Aquinas College Library Receives LEED Silver Certification
The Aquinas College (MI) Grace Hauenstein Library has achieved LEED Silver certification. Green features of the renovation include low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, carpet, padding, and particleboard; a 32 percent reduction in water use; and over 82 percent of the renovation waste was recycled.
Montana State U Installs 1.9 kW Wind Turbine
Montana State University students, faculty, staff, and volunteers have installed a 50-foot-tall wind turbine on the MSU campus. The 1.9 kW turbine is part of the Montana Wind for Schools program, which will install four similar turbines at schools in Cascade, Fairfield, Livingston, and Stanford in the coming weeks. Students will use the turbines in lessons about alternative energy. The five wind turbines were funded by about $60,000 in grants from Northwestern Energy and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
Whitman College Hires Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Whitman College (WA) has hired senior Karlis Rokpelnis as Campus Sustainability Coordinator. Working under the chair of the conservation committee, Rokpelnis serves as a liaison between faculty, staff, and students and is the administrator of Whitman's new $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund. As the first Whitman Campus Sustainability Coordinator, Rokpelnis works 10 hours per week.
U Arizona Establishes Institute for the Environment & Society
The University of Arizona has established the Institute for Environment and Society. The new institute's primary goal is to facilitate partnerships among university scientists and society in developing environmentally sustainable technologies, strategies, and policies that will strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life in Arizona and beyond. Diana Liverman of Oxford University has been recruited to co-direct the institute with Jonathan Overpeck, UA professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences. Overpeck has been director of UA's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, which will be replaced by the new institute.
Belmont U Implements Green Initiatives for Presidential Debate
Belmont University (TN) took steps to make the 2008 Town Hall Presidential Debate, which it hosted, environmentally friendly. Green features of the debate included Forest Stewardship Council certified, chlorine free, lignin free, and acid-free Debate08 letterhead; a reusable, polypropylene bag made of recycled materials; and an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for visiting media to use, which included materials like press releases, contact lists, and background information on a one gigabyte flash drive rather than using printed pieces. Additionally, Belmont powered the Media Filing Center with generators that used an environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel blend.
Furman U Receives $850K for Sustainability Education
Furman University (SC) has received an $850,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support sustainability and environmental education initiatives on campus. The grant will assist the faculty in developing new courses and redesigning existing courses related to the environment. Additionally, as part of the grant proposal, Furman has named Angela Halfacre to the new position of Director of Sustainability and Environmental Education. Halfacre will oversee the implementation of the courses into the curriculum and coordinate the numerous efforts on campus related to sustainability and education.
James Madison U Opens Inst for the Stewardship of the Natural World
James Madison University (VA) has announced the formation of the Institute for the Stewardship of the Natural World. The role of the institute will be to coordinate and facilitate JMU's pursuit of sustainability, environmental stewardship, and a broader sense of citizenship which includes fostering, informing, and documenting sustainability-related education, outreach, and scholarship. The ISNW will be led by Executive Director Christie-Joy Brodrick Hartman, who previously served as associate professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology and co-director of the university's Alternative Fuels Program.
Vanderbilt U to Expand Financial Aid
Vanderbilt University (TN) has announced plans to replace all need-based student loans with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance starting in the fall of 2009. Funded through a combination of strategic budget allocations and Vanderbilt’s Shape the Future fund-raising campaign, the initiative – designed to increase access to a Vanderbilt education across all income levels – has already reduced the average overall indebtedness of graduating seniors by 17 percent. This program will apply to all undergraduates with demonstrated need who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. In addition, all seniors set to graduate in May 2009 will have their need-based loans for the spring 2009 semester replaced with Vanderbilt grant and scholarship assistance.
Ohio U Approves Sustainability Implementation Plan
The Ohio University Board of Trustees have approved a plan to implement House Bill 251, a state-level law that requires all state-funded colleges and universities to develop a 15-year plan for implementing energy-efficiency and conservation projects, with the goal of reducing building energy consumption at least 20 percent by 2014, using 2004 as the benchmark year. In addition to a 20 percent energy reduction, OU's implementation plan seeks the same level of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve these ends, at least 20 percent of capital budget allocations must be put toward infrastructure efficiency projects, according to the plan. The implementation plan will also help the University meet the requirements of Vision OHIO's call for an institutional commitment to sustainability and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
New AASHE Member Discounts – LEED Training & Smart Strips
AASHE has announced two new discounts for members. LEEDLearn is offering a ~10 percent discount to AASHE members on their Platinum Package, an online study course to help clients pass the LEED 2.2 New Construction exam. The course is taught by Bharat Patel, faculty of the USGBC and past chair of the USGBC-LA chapter. Bits Limited is offering AASHE members the wholesale rate – a discount of 38 percent or more – for cases of their Smart Strips, which can be used to save energy on computers, TVs, & home entertainment systems.
RMI Announces 'Campus Climate-Change Initiatives' Winners
The Rocky Mountain Institute has invited 12 U.S. campuses to host a two-day site visit by RMI this fall and later to collaborate with each other, RMI and AASHE in a workshop to reduce the barriers to becoming a carbon neutral campus. Participating institutions, which had to apply to be invited, include Harford Community College (MD), Richland College (TX), Lakeshore Technical College (WI), the University of Minnesota, Morris, Furman University (SC), Unity College (ME), Luther College (IA), Colorado State University,the University of Vermont, the University of Missouri, Tufts University (MA), and Yale University (CT).
Cal Poly Starts Composting Program
The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo has started a composting program on campus. The new program combines uncooked leftovers from the Campus Dining hall and plant clippings from the campus farm to produce compost. The program, which started in the spring through a county grant, uses an estimated 10 percent of the food waste produced on campus.
U System of Georgia Challenges Institutions to Reduce Energy
The University System of Georgia has challenged its 35 institutions to take immediate measures to reduce utility consumption in an effort to reduce costs. As a result, East Georgia College has adopted a goal of reducing energy consumption by 6% during Fiscal Year 09 and of continuing to reduce water consumption in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order issued in October of 2007. To help meet this goal, East Georgia College has moved to a condensed work week. East Georgia College's new hours of operations are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.
Cornell U Dining Hall Goes Trayless
Cornell University (NY) has begun a new initiative to eliminate the use of trays in its dining halls. Cornell officials removed the trays from Risley Dining Hall, the first dining facility to participate in the new initiative, after a successful pilot program in the beginning of the semester.