U Minnesota Morris Dedicates Biomass Gasification Facility
The University of Minnesota Morris has dedicated its new biomass gasification facility. The new facility will use approximately 9,000 tons of biomass per year, which will include local corn residue, wood chips, and possibly grasses to offset roughly 80 percent of UMM’s fossil fuel usage. The University plans to purchase energy sources from area farmers and producers. The new facility is part of the University's plan to be energy self-sufficient by 2010. The project also received one of 12 energy grants from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy for $1.89 million to conduct research on carbon sequestration. Additionally, during the dedication ceremony, the American Council on Renewable Energy presented the University with a Campus Excellence Award. UMM received the award for “Outstanding Use of Renewable Energy.
3 BC Campuses Pilot Beyond Climate Neutral Initiative
The University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, and Thomson Rivers University have begun piloting the "goBEYOND" Initiative before it expands to other B.C. institutions in 2009. Funded by the B.C. government and B.C. Hydro, the program will engage students through lectures, workshops, presentations, and challenges to take climate action -- as individuals, on campus, and in their community. The program plans to launch a website that will offer students training and tools to reduce their emi
RIT to Launch Ph.D. in Sustainability
The Rochester Institute of Technology has received New York state approval for its doctoral degree in sustainability. The Ph.D. program will focus on sustainable production and will seek to advance research and education in alternative energy development, sustainable design, green product development, industrial ecology, and pollution prevention. The program will be offered through RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. RIT plans to admit students into the program immediately and is also recruiting additional faculty and research associates. The development of the program was made possible through an initial grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.
Spring Arbor U Receives Biodiesel Grant
Spring Arbor University (MI) has received a $400 Innovative Activities Grant from the American Chemical Society to fund a student project that will seek to produce gallons of biodiesel for use on campus. The team of students hopes to create enough biodiesel to power the maintenance department's utility vehicles and lawnmowers that currently run on diesel. The University plans to match the grant.
UT Arlington Expands Free Tuition Program
The University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Promise financial aid program has expanded its offerings to include free tuition for students whose household income is $65,000 or less and are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. The expanded program will begin in January of 2009 for the spring semester. The current threshold is $40,000, which was increased from $25,000 earlier this year. New freshmen students are eligible for the Maverick Promise for up to 5 years and new transfer students are eligible for up to 3 years.
College of William & Mary Forms Sustainability Steering Ctte
The College of William and Mary (VA) has formed a steering committee of campus members to develop, plan, and recommend strategies for implementing the College's new sustainability policy. The new Committee on Sustainability includes students, faculty, and staff members who have passion for improving the campus environment. The first task of the steering committee will be to set the agendas and priorities of its subcommittees. The committee will also administer funds generated from the College's new annual $30 green fee which was approved last spring.
Morningside College Signs Talloires Declaration
Morningside College (IA) has signed the Talloires Declaration. The Talloires Declaration is a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities. Over 350 university presidents and chancellors in more than 40 countries have signed the Declaration.
Quinnipiac U York Hill Announces $4 M Sustainability Plan
Quinnipiac University (CT) has unveiled a $4 million sustainability plan for its new York Hill campus. The 250-acre campus will feature a wind garden composed of 42 vertical-axis wind turbines that will generate about 84,000 kilowatt hours per year and photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of a campus residence hall that will generate about 250,000 kilowatt hours per year. QU President John L. Lahey also announced that a new student affairs position, an environmental coordinator, will be appointed to educate students, faculty, and staff about environmental issues and encourage projects that help protect and preserve the environment. Other green initiatives to take place on the new campus include the installation of a green roof, a recycling center, native landscaping, a gas-fired microturbine to generate a portion of the electricity required for the site, and a bio-detention pond that collects and cleanses storm water runoff to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality.
UC Riverside Launches Sustainable Dev & Green Design Certificate
The University of California, Riverside has launched a new certificate in Sustainable Development and Green Design. In the program, students will learn about the concepts and principles of sustainability through green building design, clean technologies and innovative approaches to achieving economic, environmental, and social sustainability. The courses required to complete the certificate are offered using distance education and online technology, coupled with classroom and interactive real-time computer systems.
Utah State U Adds Hybrids to its Fleet
Utah State University has purchased eight new hybrid sedans for the University. Three of the new sedans will go into the central rental fleet and will be available for use by all campus departments. USU began incorporating hybrid vehicles into its fleet of nearly 700 in 2006.
U Vermont Purchases Green Certified Toilet Paper
The University of Vermont has signed a contract to purchase "green certified" toilet paper and paper towels made from 100 percent recycled paper and bleached without chlorine. The paper is certified by Green Seal, an independent green certification organization. The new initiative is the result of Forest Crimes Unit, a student group on campus that drew attention to UVM's use of Kimberly-Clark toilet paper. The group raised concerns about allegations that Kimberly-Clark harvests wood from old-growth fores
U Arkansas, College of William & Mary Go Trayless
Three University of Arkansas dining halls have gone trayless. The University estimates that it will reduce food waste from 433,500 to 225,000 pounds, save 200,000 gallons of water, and thousands of kilowatt-hours of electricity per academic year. The College of William and Mary (VA) Sadler Center has adopted a tray-free program as well. The dining hall is the second on campus to do so.
U Delaware Launches Energy Institute
The University of Delaware has launched its new Energy Institute. The purpose of the new institute is to create and integrate new solutions to challenges in energy sufficiency and sustainability. University President Patrick Harker has also announced the establishment of the Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration, which will explore connection and storage issues related to wind and other intermittent energy sources.
Green Mountain College Receives Farm & Food Grant
Green Mountain College’s (VT) Farm and Food Project has received a $110,000 grant from the Jensen/Hinman Family Fund, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The funding, which will be matched by GMC, supports research aimed at running the College’s Cerridwen Farm with as few fossil-derived resources as possible with the ultimate target of using no fossil fuels at all. Research will be incorporated into GMC’s new summer intensive program in sustainable agriculture beginning in 2009.
UC San Diego Appoints Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives
The University of California, San Diego has appointed Byron Washom as its first Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives. Washom is tasked with providing strategic leadership in the establishment of an innovative energy plan. Future projects include energy storage systems that adjust to the intermittency of renewable energy and provide permanent load shifting; strategic purchasing of renewable energy from the grid during periods of surpluses; co-production of hydrogen from its fuel cell system; utilizing cold ocean water from the adjacent La Jolla Trench; and converting the campus vehicle transportation fleet into cleaner, alternative fuels.
UW Green Bay Announces Institute for Env'l Mgmt & Business
The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay has announced plans to establish the UW-Green Bay Institute for Environmental Management and Business. Key goals of the institute will include strengthening and connecting academic programs that analyze environmental problems and seek practical, cost-effective solutions to these problems; providing outreach services to businesses and agencies that seek options for addressing environmental problems; promoting research by faculty and students aimed at solving local, regional, and global environmental problems; and serving as an academic resource for improving environmental sustainability of the UW-Green Bay campus.
Boston U Expands Local Scholarship to Include Full Tuition Grants
Boston University (MA) President Robert A. Brown and Mayor Thomas M. Menino have announced that Boston University is expanding its program for providing scholarships to graduates of Boston Public Schools. Under the expansion, BU will award 20–25 full-tuition academic scholarships each year to qualified Boston residents graduating from Boston Public Schools. The initiative is a continuation of the merit-based Boston Scholars Program, through which 1,719 graduates of the Boston Public Schools have received nearly $126 million in scholarships from Boston University. BU has also expanded its need-based awards for Boston Public School graduates who are admitted to the University. BU plans to meet these students’ eligibility for assistance in its entirety without reliance on loans.
Anderson U Receives Recycling Grant
Anderson University has received a $25,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to convert itself into a more recycling-friendly campus, with plans to use the grant to fund recycling trailers, bins and totes, and a campaign to inform students and faculty about the new recycling opportunities on campus. Anderson students, faculty, and staff aim to keep an estimated 384 tons of recyclables out of landfills as a direct result of the IDEM grant. The grant money comes from the Indiana Solid Waste Management Fund, an account generated by a per-ton fee on solid waste disposed at Indiana landfills.
U Florida Launches 'Erase the Waste' Campaign
The University of Florida has launched "Erase the Waste," a new campaign designed to help the University with its goal of producing zero waste by 2015. The main component of the “Erase the Waste” campaign is getting students, faculty, and staff to sign a pledge online and at campus dining halls that commits them to taking only what they know they will eat and going back for seconds, properly planning trips to the grocery store to avoid over-buying, composting food scraps at home, growing their own produce
Florida Golf Coast U Begins Reef Construction, Restoration
Florida Gulf Coast University scientists and local volunteers have begun oyster reef construction and restoration in Estero Bay. The project will improve water quality, habitat availability, and protect shoreline and mangrove erosion. Work involves loading fossil oyster shells into wire mesh bags, transporting them and placing them in strategic points in the estuaries that attract natural oyster spat (larvae) and eventually form reefs. Within one year, the 400 square meters of oyster reef created at this event will produce more than 1,000 oysters per square meter, filter at least 10 liters of water and particulates per oyster per hour from the water column, provide stability to mangrove shorelines by minimizing the impact of boat wakes, and provide food, shelter and habitat to nearly 300 species of invertebrates, fishes and birds.
U Arizona Hires Social Justice Education Coordinator
The University of Arizona Residence Life has hired Mohammed Naser as the Social Justice Education Coordinator to teach students living in campus housing about diversity and social justice issues. One of Naser’s tasks is to form a peer advisory group called Advocates Coming Together, or ACT, that will be responsible for instituting new programs in the residence halls and on campus. Residence Life will be testing students’ knowledge about diversity and justice-oriented topics and themes before and after the academic year to gauge student learning.
Cornell Receives $10 M for Computational Sustainability Institute
Cornell University (NY) has received a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Computational Sustainability Institute, a center that will focus on computational methods for a sustainable environment, economy, and society. The Institute will work on such projects as optimizing the design of land corridors for grizzlies that now live in three separate areas in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana to find a viable route while reducing the cost of land acquisition; developing models to transition to an ethanol economy; and preserving bird habitats and designing bird corridors by analyzing hemispheric-scale bird migrations involving billions of birds. The Institute will involve 14 Cornell faculty members along with scientists at Oregon State University, Howard University (DC), Bowdoin College (ME), the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Conservation Fund.
Syracuse U Launches Several Sustainable Commuting Initiatives
Syracuse University (NY) has launched a new "Flexible Work and Sustainability Initiative" to encourage the use of flexible work options that support the University's commitment to energy conservation and sustainability. SU has also launched the One-Seat Rides Program, the Central Fare Deal program/Guaranteed Ride Home Service, a carpool parking program, the SU Ride Share program, and a University-wide Zipcar option. In related news, SU has also launched its second annual Campus Commuter Challenge. As par
U Wisconsin Oshkosh Establishes Community Garden
Students at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh have established a community garden on campus. The project started in 2006, and the students broke ground on the garden in June of 2008. The UW Oshkosh Community Gardens is managed by a student organization on campus named “Community Gardens.” The purpose of the organization is to maintain and promote the campus garden while engaging students in activities that encourage self-sufficiency, sustainability, and community connection. The Oshkosh Community Gardens will provide workshops in composting, irrigation, permaculture, “Sprouts for Sprouts” and Master Gardeners, as well as internships, summer school, and Service-Learning opportunities. There will also be regular farmers’ markets with proceeds going to local charities. The garden is currently only open to student participation, but the University hopes to open it up to the community next year.
Oregon State U Selected for Marine Renewable Energy Center
Oregon State University has been selected as the site for the Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded OSU a $1.25 million annual grant, which can be renewed for up to five years. This will be combined with funds from the Oregon legislature, OSU, the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, the University of Washington and other sources to create a total of $13.5 million over five years that will help create the Center. This monetary support will primarily be used to build a floating “test berth” to test wave energy technology on the Oregon coast. Construction of the new floating test berth should begin in 2010.
U Memphis Students Construct Eco-Friendly House
The University of Memphis' (TN) Center for Sustainable Design has started construction on an eco-friendly house called TERRA, which stands for Technologically and Environmentally Responsive Residential Architecture. Involved in the project, which is funded by a grant from the FedEx Institute of Technology, are students from architecture, interior design, graphic design and photography. The house will feature solar panels, cork floors, water-saving toilets, an insulated concrete form, energy-efficient lights, and a greywater recovery system. The two-story, 1,680-square-foot house should be completed in January of 2009.
Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley Partner with India to Reduce GHGs
The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley have announced a joint research and development program in which researchers will work with the government and private sector of India to develop paths toward reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining sustained economic growth. Scientists of the initiative, named the Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the Environment, will conduct research on basic science and engineering, new technology development, and policies to promote market transformation to further energy efficiency, clean energy sources, and smart growth.
Kent State U Stark, U Miami to Launch Env'l Media Initiative
Kent State University, Stark (OH) has received a gift from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation to establish the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative for Environmental Media Activism. The Initiative, the result of collaboration between Kent State University, Stark and the University of Miami (FL), is designed to develop generations of scholars who understand science and are able to produce new media that is fair, highly educational, and effective in triggering change on individual and social levels. The Initiative will also sponsor at least one project a year to create an educational campaign for an environmental issue related to Ohio, and, where applicable, Stark County; provide grants for Kent State Stark faculty members to research and design collaborative courses that incorporate environmental issues; sponsor frequent screenings of environmental films from celebrated filmmakers; and sponsor an annual environmental short film/new media festival for student filmmakers with cash awards for the winners.
List of Sustainability Course Inventories
AASHE has published a list of sustainability course inventories. The list highlights institutions that have cataloged their sustainability course offerings and links to each campus' inventory. This resource is available to AASHE members only.
Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula
The Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina is honored to announce the inauguration of the Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula. The Page Prize will have two purposes: to encourage efforts to expose business students to state-of-the-art environmental sustainability knowledge and to demonstrate the Moore School's commitment to promoting sustainability in business education. Faculty, doctoral students, and others are invited to submit non-published materials related to innovative curricula, courses, and/or substantial course components appropriate for rigorous and relevant teaching about environmental sustainability and business. Initial prizes will be $1,000 each. The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2008.
U Texas Austin Receives $5M for Renewable Energy Initiative
The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electrochemistry has received a $5 million grant from the Welch Foundation to start the Renewable Energy Initiative (REI), a multi-disciplinary, collaborative effort to promote advances in renewable energy technologies. The initiative will focus on developing new kinds of photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical materials that could eventually make solar power competitive with fossil fuels; creating better batteries that can store energy over long periods of time; and developing better catalysts for fuel cells and water electrolysis.
2 Community Colleges Break Ground on Green Expansions
The Community College of Philadelphia (PA) has broken ground on its $31 million green expansion of the Northeast Regional Center. The 58,000 square-foot expansion will feature a green roof, a rainwater collection system, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The addition is registered for LEED Silver certification. Bucks County Community College (PA) has also broken ground on a new expansion. Its addition will be registered for LEED certification and will feature a geothermal heating system, tinted and insulated windows, and a green roof. At the groundbreaking, members of the student-run Environmental Club planted a tree to commemorate the project’s concern for the natural surroundings.
Saint Xavier U Purchases 1,200,000 kWh of Clean Energy
Saint Xavier University (IL) has purchased 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of “Clean Source” renewable energy over the next two years to compensate for electricity to be used in a new student residence hall. The “Clean Source” energy used in the soon-to-be-dedicated Mother Agatha O’Brien Hall is expected to prevent the emission of more than 817,000 pounds of CO2. SXU's purchase helped to fund a biomass cogeneration facility, a hydroelectric operation that does not obstruct fish migration; and 128 wind turbines.
3 PA Schools Receive Green Power Awards
Dickinson College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburg Medical Center have each received a “2008 Green Power: Turn It On!” award from Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture). Dickinson received the award for purchasing 50 percent of its electricity from wind power and installing a 60-kilowatt solar array. The University of Pennsylvania received the award for purchasing 200,000 MWh per year of its electricity from wind energy. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center received the award for leadership in pursuing environmentally sustainable practices within the healthcare industry and for purchasing 10 percent of its electricity from green energy sources. 26 organizations and individuals in the state received recognition at PennFuture’s ninth annual Green Power Awards ceremony.
Barry U Launches Single-Stream Recycling
Barry University (FL) has introduced single-stream recycling on campus. The new program will make it easier for Barry students, faculty, and staff to recycle by placing all their recyclable items – paper, plastic, aluminum – in a single container for collection and processing.