3 Michigan Universities to Fund Energy Projects
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, the state's three largest research universities, will invest $900,000 to encourage their faculty to work collaboratively on novel renewable energy research that could help shape energy policy. The energy initiative is an attempt to usher inventions from labs to the marketplace and attract fresh jobs to the state. Faculty from the three universities will have until April 14, 2008 to submit their proposals for research in materials, nanomaterials, clean energy sources, transmission and storage that is environmentally safe, cost-effective, and secure, and energy policy. Funding to the winning proposal or proposals should begin in June.
Cape Cod CC Awarded Wind Turbine Grant
Cape Cod Community College (MA) has received a $2.4 million grant to install a 600 kW wind turbine. The grant will also allow CCCC to pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour for turbine-generated electricity that will be paid to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the grant provider. The savings CCCC sees will be shared with MTC’s Low Income Energy Assistance Network. The LEAN program works with other energy programs and provides benefits to low-income populations in the area including on-site housing improvements for energy efficiency.
Princeton U Helps Fund Town Bus Service
Princeton University (NJ) has agreed to cover the costs of the new community jitney bus service until Princeton Borough receives its permanent vehicle and funding from New Jersey Transit at the end of the year. The jitney bus service will be free to riders and will run Monday through Friday during peak commuting hours. The service also has a direct connection with the newly modified University shuttle routes.
Michigan State U, U Iowa Partner in Chicago Climate Xchge
Michigan State University and the University of Iowa have agreed to a partnership involving the transaction of carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange program. MSU has agreed to purchase 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide credits from UI in order to meet the requirements of 2007, its first membership compliance year. Next year, MSU hopes to increase the use of alternative fuels so that purchasing additional credits will be less of a necessity. In 2007, UI accumulated excess credits by burning oat hulls, a byproduct of Quaker Oats, instead of coal.
Lake Land College Receives 2 Renewable Energy Grants
Lake Land College (IL) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to help determine what type of wind turbine would fit the needs of the college. The college also plans to install solar hot water heaters, natural lighting via skylights with reflective lenses, and prairie grasses into the landscaping. The projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2008. The College also recently received a $45,000 grant that enabled it to complete the installation of a geothermal system in the Student Fitness Center, which is now heated and cooled entirely with geothermal energy. The geothermal grant was provided by GeoAlliance as part of a $1 million program to further the proliferation of geothermal technology. The wind turbine grant was provided by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Brown U Enhances Financial Aid
Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.
Become an AASHE 2008 Supporting Institution
In an effort to encourage strong student participation at its 2008 conference, AASHE is inviting colleges and universities to become Supporting Institutions. Supporting Institutions offer to cover the cost of participation in the conference for at least one of their students, and provide $250 to support the conference. In exchange, they will be recognized in the conference website, printed program, signage and other publicity materials.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. to Host Pollution Prevention Institute
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has been chosen to host New York State's Pollution Prevention Institute, a research and development center that will design and test green manufacturing methods and provide technical support to businesses for pollution prevention measures. RIT’s primary mission will be to promote cost effective pollution prevention techniques so that large and small business can reduce energy costs, hazardous substances, and wastes. The Institute will assist industry in reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the use of toxic chemicals, cutting waste generation, decreasing exposure risks to workers, and promoting more efficient use of raw materials and energy. A key part of RIT’s proposal to host the Institute is the creation of 16 research and development technological laboratories across the State, through partnerships with Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System Podcast
AASHE has posted a podcast on STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The podcast gives an introduction to the rating system and the categories therein. The discussion also covers the process campuses will use to complete an assessment and receive an overall sustainability rating.
U Oregon Offers Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law
The University of Oregon School of Law will offer a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law for students wanting to develop a specialty in the field. The new concentration focuses on emerging sustainability businesses and the regulation of energy and the environment. To earn a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law, students must satisfactorily complete a business law curriculum, selected courses addressing environmental and sustainability issues, and an appropriate paper, clinic, externship, business plan, or similar project approved by a faculty committee.
Wesleyan U & U Vermont Students Renounce Kimberly-Clark Products
Wesleyan University (CT) and the University of Vermont students have taken steps towards banning Kimberly-Clark products, particularly Kleenex, due to the lack of recycled fibers in the company's goods. A WU campus grocery store has discontinued the selling of Kleenex after two students sent a message condemning the lack of recycled fibers in Kimberly-Clark's paper products, in the facial tissue in particular. The ban will remain in effect until the company increases the recycled content in its goods. The UVM student group, UVM Forest Crimes Unit, is also boycotting Kimberly-Clark products for the same reasons. The group is collecting signatures for a campus-wide ban on the company's products and is meeting with the director of custodial services to consider alternative tissue products.
Unity College President's Blog: Env. Studies for the Real World
The President of Unity College, Mitchell Thomashow, recently started a new blog entitled, "Environmental Studies for the Real World." In the blog, Thomashow's goal is to use his voice as the President of Unity College to comment on how climate change, loss of biodiversity, and sustainability must be at the forefront of higher education.
Stanford U Dedicates Green Building
Stanford University (CA) recently dedicated the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building. Known as Y2E2, the new green building is said to be LEED Platinum-equivalent and uses 56 percent less energy than a typical building of its size. Y2E2 offers natural lighting, features natural ventilation for cooling, and uses 90 percent less potable water for fixtures than an equivalent building. Stanford plans to build 3 more buildings with the same goal of 50 percent reduction in energy use for each.
List of Academic Programs on Sustainability & Environmental Law
AASHE had prepared a series of new resources on sustainability in legal education. The resources include lists of graduate programs in sustainability and environmental law, as well as a list of academic centers focused on sustainability and environmental law. The resources are available only to AASHE members.
Princeton Announces Sustainability Plan and GHG Commitment
Princeton University (NJ) has released a Sustainability Plan that includes a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 through on-campus activities rather than purchasing off-campus offsets. The plan also mandates that all new construction and renovations be LEED Silver equivalent and commits to providing financial support for commuter use of public transportation, enhancing the campus shuttle system and ride share programs, creating better walking and biking paths, developing telecommuting policy, and replacing retired campus fleet vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles. The plan also includes goals on resource conservation, research, education, and civic engagement.
Whitman C to Establish $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund
Whitman College (WA) recently announced its plan to establish a $100,000 revolving loan fund for sustainability initiatives. The fund will be launched during the 2008 – 2009 school year and will correspond with a call for proposals from students, faculty and staff. Half of the money will come from Whitman's life cycle program, which is mainly for building maintenance. The additional $50,000 will come from year-end surpluses. The College also plans to hire a current student or recent graduate as Sustainability Coordinator for the campus.
Free One Year Subscription to YES! Magazine
YES! magazine, an independent, ad-free quarterly journal of solutions for building a just and sustainable world, is offering a free one-year introductory subscription to educators in the U.S. Those who take advantage of the offer by mid-April 2008 will receive the spring issue of YES!, Climate Solutions, as the first of four complementary issues. The YES! Climate Solutions issue highlights possible solutions to climate change and features writers such as Bill McKibben, Peter Barnes, and Joanna Macy. The issue also includes resources on teaching sustainability in the classroom. Faculty can request free copies of the YES! Spring 2008 Climate Solutions issue by contacting Kay Hubbard, YES! Education Manager, at email@example.com.
Environmental and Social Issues Within Business Education
The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education has released February's "A Closer Look at Business Education" which discusses ways future business leaders are being introduced to Supply Chain Management and how some faculty are recognizing the opportunity to explore important social and environmental questions inherent within the subject.
Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
The Earth Policy Institute is offering a free PDF download of "Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization," a new book by Lester Brown. The book, which could be used a textbook, covers topics such as deteriorating oil and food security, emerging water shortages, eradicating poverty and stabilizing population, and raising energy efficiency. The book may be downloaded by chapter or as a whole.
U Wisconsin-Stout Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Wisconsin-Stout recently purchased a zero-emission, no noise electric vehicle. The ZENN car will be used by Parking Services for security and safety patrol of campus parking lots.
Cleveland State U Opens Green Bistro
Cleveland State University (OH) recently opened a new restaurant that will use local products when feasible. Elements Bistro on Euclid will serve cheeses, locally produced sausages and pastas, and eventually will feature Ohio wine and beer.
Macalester College Hires Sustainability Manager
Macalester College (MN) has hired Suzanne Savanick Hansen as its first Sustainability Manager. Hansen's responsibilities include coordinating sustainability efforts and making connections on campus, and she hopes to create a sustainability website. The new manager has already begun her duties by co-teaching a senior level Environmental Studies seminar that will complete a greenhouse gas inventory for the College.
Harvard To Create Climate Task Force
Harvard University (MA) recently announced that President Drew G. Faust will soon appoint a task force to study how to reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations of the task force will form the basis of a commitment to reduce emissions that will be unveiled in June 2008.
Warner Pacific C Lowers Tuition
Warner Pacific College (OR) recently announced that, starting fall 2008, tuition and fees for incoming traditional undergraduate students will be 23 percent lower than the 2007 – 2008 school year. The move is intended to improve student access.
U Buffalo Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
The University at Buffalo has a new Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy that will ensure that all the 8.5 by 11-inch paper purchased by the University will consist of 100 percent post-consumer content, chlorine-free paper. The new policy will cost the college approximately $10,000 extra per year.
U Vermont Student Union Awarded LEED Gold
The University of Vermont's Davis Center was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The first student union to receive a LEED Gold rating, the Davis Center features a natural chimney that evacuates smoke in the event of a fire without the use of a mechanical system, sensors that regulate electric lighting based on the amount of daylight entering the space, and air conditioning, heating, and ventilation regulated by occupancy sensors. Other green elements include waterless urinals, a green roof, and 175 sensors to provide data to students, faculty, and staff on energy used for heating and cooling, electricity, water usage, soil moisture, content, and temperature on the green roof. This data will soon be displayed on the web as well.
UW Stout to Offer Minor in Sustainable Design & Development
The University of Wisconsin-Stout will offer a new minor in sustainable design and development beginning fall 2008. The new minor has an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural and social sciences with technical course work associated with environmental issues, and will be offered through the department of engineering and technology.
U Minnesota Morris to Install 2 Wind Turbines & a Steam Turbine
The University of Minnesota, Morris has received three Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a special type of tax credit bond providing the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. Authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, the bonds will allow UMM to construct two more wind turbines and to add a steam turbine that will convert steam from the biomass facility, which is currently under construction, into electricity. One of the wind turbines will be located on-campus, while the other will be located in western Minnesota and is to be shared with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Combined with a previously constructed wind turbine, the new campus turbine will allow UMM to be powered almost exclusively with wind.
Washington U St. Louis Eliminates Student Loans
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has announced that it will eliminate need-based loans as part of its undergraduate financial aid awards to students from low- and middle-income families. Beginning in fall 2008, both entering freshmen and returning full-time undergraduate day-school students with parental incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to take out need-based loans and will instead receive grants from the University that will not have to be repaid. Families with parental income somewhat higher than $60,000 also may receive additional student loan relief based on demonstrated need and their financial circumstances. The additional grant aid will be funded by the increase in spending from scholarship and unrestricted endowments in the university's four schools with undergraduate programs, as well as from unrestricted university resources.
Alternative Spring Break: Combating Climate Change
The University of California, Santa Barbara and Campus Progress invite applicants for Combating Climate Change, an alternative spring break in Santa Barbara, California from March 24 – 27, 2008. The alternative spring break will include trainings, workshops, and speakers from all aspects of the climate movement, including environmental justice, sustainability, and environmental policy. Located right on the beach, the alternative spring break will educate, train, and empower students to take action on the climate crisis in their own lives, on their campuses, and on a national scale.
U Buffalo Releases Climate Action Report
The University at Buffalo Green Office recently released the UB Green Climate Action Report, a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set of recommendations for how the University can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and move towards climate neutrality. UB found that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on campus are building energy use and transportation. The report recommends that the campus increase renewable energy purchases, maximize energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, advocate for a better mass transit system, and increase carpooling.
U System Maryland Appoints Vice Chancellor of Env. Sustainability
The University System of Maryland recently appointed the president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Don Boesch, as the Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability. Boesch will remain president of UMCES while devoting efforts to overseeing a system-wide sustainability initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs. The Vice Chancellor is charged with helping to coordinate a system-wide effort to institute sustainable practices that reduce the University's impact on the environment.
Metropolis Magazine Covers Carbon Neutral Campus Efforts
Metropolis Magazine published an article in its February issue entitled "Carbon Neutral U" which highlights growing efforts by colleges and universities to reduce their carbon emissions. The article notes that "higher education has emerged as a thrilling proving ground for a sustainable society" and describes the activities of the Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group.
U Victoria to Host Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
The provincial government of British Columbia recently allocated $94.5 million to create the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, to be hosted and led by the University of Victoria (BC). PICS will bring together top scientists, government and the private sector to develop innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. The collaboration also includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
Goshen College Rieth Village Awarded LEED Platinum
The Goshen College (IN) Rieth Village has been awarded LEED Platinum. Reith Village, an ecological field station for undergraduate environmental study at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, features a passive solar design, cisterns for recycling rainwater, tulip poplar siding harvested locally, solar panels, and a wind generator. 2 cottages at the field station provide housing for up to 32 students and a third cottage serves as the initial classroom and office building.
Middlebury C Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
Middlebury College (VT) recently adopted a policy to switch from 30 to 100 percent recycled content and chlorine free paper in all printers, copiers, and outsourced publications. The policy encourages the use of Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and calls for the highest percentage of recycled content suitable for jobs that cannot be printed on 100% PCW-PCF paper. The increase in cost is estimated to be $100 per month.
Indiana U Offers Grad Concentration in Sustainable Development
The Indiana University School for Public and Environmental Affairs recently announced that students in the Master of Public Affairs degree program can now pursue an academic concentration in sustainable development. To complete the concentration, students must take eighteen credit hours in courses such as sustainable development, natural resource management, urban or economic development, data analysis, applied ecology, and international environmental policy. SPEA faculty approved the proposal last fall, and campus officials gave final approval last week.
Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition Launches Energy Campaign
The Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition recently announced the launch of the Energy Future Campaign at a press conference at the state capitol. During the event, the MSSC dropped off Valentine's Day cards to the Michigan Legislature in support of the Energy Future Campaign. The cards, along with the online cards sent by youth through cleanenergylove.com, called for a renewable energy standard of at least 25% by 2025 and an energy efficiency standard that would require 2% annual energy efficiency increases in this state between now and 2015, with a commitment to the renegotiation of a stronger standard after 2015. The letters also asked for a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in Michigan and Integrated Resource Planning, which would require state regulators to consider demand-side options like energy efficiency programs as well as supply-side options in their efforts to meet Michigan's needs for energy, equity, and the environment.