Invitation to 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.
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.
UC Irvine Establishes New Environment Institute
The University of California, Irvine has established a new research institute dedicated to the study of how the environment and society interact. The UC Irvine Environment Institute: Global Change, Energy, and Sustainable Resources will bring together scientists from across campus to work on projects specific to these areas. For example, projects could include studying how climate change will alter public health and welfare; whether people will accept the living patterns of green cities; and the environmental impacts of new energy technologies. The institute will award seed grants on a competitive basis to teams of UCI researchers from diverse schools and departments who design and collaborate on projects. Priority will be given to projects spanning scientific research, technological innovation, and/or societal response. In addition, UCI will dedicate eight positions over the next three years for new faculty members who will broaden its environmental expertise.
UW Oshkosh Sustainability Plan Aims for Fossil Fuel Independence
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh recently released its Campus Sustainability Plan, which aims for complete independence from fossil fuels for electricity, heating, and cooling. UWO plans to install solar panels, biodiesel electric generators and small wind turbines to help reach this goal. The plan contains 18 major goals and 135 recommendations that aim to incorporate the principles of sustainability into all aspects of the university. UWO would also be a venue for fair-trade products, hire a campus sustainability director, and develop a community garden and composting site.
Humboldt State U Opens Green Research Center
Humboldt State University (CA) recently opened the Green Product Design and Development Laboratory, a research center that allows students to gain skills in designing innovative green products through class and laboratory experiences. GreenLab, as it is called, grew out of a partnership between the HSU School of Business’ Department of Applied Technology, the John Ash Group and HSU’s Office for Economic & Community Development.
St. Cloud State U Unveils Biofuels Bus
St. Cloud State University (MN) recently unveiled a bus powered by 80 percent recycled vegetable oil and 20 percent diesel fuel. The Husky Fried Ride uses approximately 150 gallons of vegetable oil per week while classes are in session, and is operated by the city bus system on the university park-and-ride routes. The vegetable oil used in the Husky Fried Ride is obtained from the university deep fryers.
St. Cloud State U to Launch Yellow Bikes Program
St. Cloud State University (MN) recently announced that it will launch the Yellow Bike Program on campus. The St. Cloud community has been donating bikes to the program and volunteers have been repairing the bikes and painting them yellow. The Yellow Bike Program is a bike sharing program that makes bikes available to the community at no cost or for a small fee.
U Mary Washington Campaign Saves Energy
A University of Mary Washington (VA) student-led environmental campaign has saved an estimated 197 metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere as a result of a shift in energy-saving attitudes and behaviors on campus. Results of a survey showed that students wasted the most energy when taking long showers, leaving computer equipment on when not in use, and running fans and air conditioning units when no one was in the room. The University's energy services company, NORESCO, then designed and provided training for resident assistants to educate others about changing these three specific behaviors. Resident assistants then launched a campaign to change attitudes and behaviors by talking with their residents, modeling the behaviors, and posting flyers to remind students to conserve energy, among other activities. NORESCO plans to expand the program to other colleges and universities.
New Issues of 'International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education'
Two new issues of the 'International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education' are now available. Issues 1 and 2 of Volume 9 include papers on: developing ecological footprint scenarios on university campuses; sustainability in higher education in Atlantic Canada; achieving transformative sustainability learning; designing low carbon higher education systems; professional development for education for sustainability; growing a campus native species garden; and more.
UC Santa Barbara Adopts Sustainability Plan
The University of California, Santa Barbara recently announced its adoption of a Campus Sustainability Plan, which aims to make significant contributions to energy conservation, resource management, environmental awareness, and sustainability education and research on the UCSB campus and beyond. Developed as a "living document" that will be updated on a regular basis, the plan was drafted by the Campus Planning Committee's 17-member Subcommittee on Sustainability. The group worked in consultation with a b
U Kentucky Trustees Reject Student Approved Green Fee
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees recently rejected a student approved green fee for the second time. A $6 - $8 green fee, approved by 67 percent of the students in 2006 to support renewable energy on campus, was voted on in 2007 and failed to pass. This year, although the proposed fee increase was reduced to 50-cents, the green fee was again rejected. The Board felt that the proposal did not specify in sufficient detail how the money would be spent. Students rejected this argument, claiming that the fee would be spent on renewable energy.
AASHE Student Sustainability Leadership Awards
AASHE is now accepting applications for the 2008 Student Sustainability Leadership Award, to be presented in November at AASHE 2008: Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond. The Student Sustainability Achievement Award honors an undergraduate student from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability. Applications are due August 1, 2008. The Student Sustainability Leadership Award includes a $750 prize. In addition, the winner of this year's award will be featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record .
4 KY Campuses Partner to Stimulate Green State Energy Policy
Berea College, Centre College, University of Kentucky, and University of Louisville recently partnered to form "Energizing Kentucky," an initiative that encourages Kentucky to focus on a 'coherent and integrated' energy policy. The program will assist policy formation by bringing together state and national energy experts to discuss the economic, educational, and environmental opportunities and challenges presented by the world's current energy situation. Three conferences will be offered to address the i
U Delaware to Conduct GHG Inventory, Unveils Sustainability Website
The University of Delaware recently announced that it will conduct a greenhouse gas inventory as part of its new commitment to sustainability on campus. The study, which will be lead by the Director of the University's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, will be supported by the UD Class of 2008, which has chosen to support the initiative with its senior class gift. UD is also launching a campus sustainability website, which will provide information on current research and campus sustainability events.
Purdue U to Green 3 Buildings, Purchases Green Vehicles
Three Purdue University (IN) buildings have recently been selected for Qualified Energy Savings upgrades as part of an Indiana legislative program. The upgrades will improve the energy efficiency on campus by replacing air handling units, installing more efficient toilets and urinals, and retrofitting kitchen and lavatory faucets with aerators to reduce water consumption. Purdue officials say that the energy savings from the upgrades will translate into a 3.3 percent annual reduction in overall carbon dioxide emissions from the campus utility plant. Additionally, Purdue recently purchased two hybrid vehicles and a mid-sized travel bus that can run on B20 fuel. With the addition of the two new cars, Purdue increased its hybrid fleet to four vehicles.
UNC Launches Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School has launched a business accelerator to speed the growth of firms with environmental and social objectives. The Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship will connect entrepreneurs to a range of sustainability resources with the aim of accelerating their growth and impact. Now in a pilot phase, BASE will work with seven early-stage Triangle-based sustainable businesses. The entrepreneurs will receive mentoring by BASE advisory board members; participate in networking events, training and workshops; get access to funding opportunities, service providers and the BASE resource network; and join a network of innovative sustainable entrepreneurs. The pilot phase of BASE will run through September 2008, when it will enter its full-scale phase, which will include a physical incubator with space for up to 10 businesses. Participants will benefit from access to faculty and students for consulting projects and internships; business support services, such as quarterly progress review sessions; and networking and learning opportunities.
The College of William & Mary Opens Campus Garden
The College of William and Mary (VA) Student Environmental Action Coalition recently started an on-campus garden. The garden was plowed and mulched in the fall of 2007, and students started seedlings in February. Campus Grounds gave the students the plot of land and allowed the students to use departmental garden tools. The garden also includes a compost bin in which Dining Services puts food daily. The garden is a result of SEAC, Dining Services, and members of the College's gardens and grounds division. Eventually, SEAC hopes to start a campus and community educational farm, teaching about sustainable agriculture and the farming process.
U New Hampshire Students Win Intl Environmental Design Contest
A team of University of New Hampshire business and engineering students recently won first place at the 2008 International Environmental Design Contest held at New Mexico State University. This year’s design tasks were based on real-world environmental challenges, focusing on technologies to tackle renewable energy innovation, sustainable building design, and water issues. The 14 member team, Retrolutions, developed the project EARTH (Education, Awareness, Reduction, Technology, and Holistic Approach), an integrated plan to retrofit a building in Phoenix. They conducted energy and water audits, and suggested reducing the demand of energy and water through education and awareness of the building’s occupants as well as by employing existing technologies. They also designed three technologies that could be implemented to minimize the buildings energy and water demands: a grey water recycling system, a solar concentrating energy production system, and a compressed air enhanced evaporative cooling system. Retrolutions has been invited to present their project at the Environmental Protection Agency Science Forum in May 2008.
EPA Announces P3 Winners from Sustainable Design Expo
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition winners. This year's winners include students from Drexel University (PA), Loyola University Chicago (IL), the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Davis, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Iowa. The national competition, sponsored by the EPA's Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources, and be economically competitive. Each P3 award winner receives funding up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and implement them in the field or move them to the marketplace. The P3 Award competition was held at the EPA's fourth annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., where over 40 Exhibitors and over 50 P3 teams demonstrated their sustainable designs and new products for green buildings, innovative alternative energy technologies, strategies for rainwater collection and purification, and more.
U Vermont Offers Full Tuition to Pell Grant Recipients
The University of Vermont recently announced that beginning with the 2008 entering fall class, the university will offer grants and scholarships covering all tuition and fees to Vermont undergraduates eligible for Federal Pell Grants. The program will be implemented over the next four years to cover all Pell-eligible Vermont undergraduates attending UVM. When fully implemented, the new initiative will represent an approximately $750,000 investment.
Iowa State U Building Awarded LEED Silver
Iowa State University was recently awarded LEED Silver certification for Morrill Hall, a 115 year old building that received $10 million in renovations. 27 percent of construction materials were manufactured within 500 miles of the building, 88 percent of the building's structure and shell were kept and rehabilitated, and 18 percent of the new construction materials contained recycled materials. Morrill Hall is the first building at ISU to receive green building certification.
Higher Education Goes Green Website
The American Council on Education has launched, "Higher Education Goes Green," a website that offers news and videos on green campus initiatives. The site also provides a list of campus sustainability websites.
List of Sustainability Faculty Development Workshops
AASHE has published a list of institutions that have held sustainability faculty development workshops and links to more information about each institution's workshop(s). For some institutions, such faculty development workshops are key strategy for advancing sustainability across the curriculum. This resource is only accessible to AASHE members.
Unity College Pledges to Purchase Local Carbon Emission Reductions
Unity College (ME) and the Maine State Housing Authority, also known as MaineHousing, recently completed an agreement which states that the College will purchase carbon emission reductions derived from MaineHousing's energy efficiency programs. MaineHousing will use the funds it receives to create additional affordable, environmentally sound, and energy efficient housing.
UC Santa Cruz Releases Sustainability Assessment
The University of California Santa Cruz recently released its 2007 Campus Sustainability Assessment, which identifies sustainability related successes and areas for improvement in sustainability efforts. The report establishes a basis for measuring progress over time, and is the work of over 60 staff, faculty, and students.
Invitation to Comment on Campus Sustainability Rating System
AASHE is inviting feedback from the campus sustainability community on the latest draft of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). AASHE intends for STARS to provide a standardized system for tracking information about sustainability performance and to enable better information sharing about campus sustainability practices. The public comment period ends on May 9, 2008.
Student Eco-Literacy & Institution Support Survey for Campus Greening
Researchers at the College of William and Mary (VA) recently released a study entitled, "Campus Greening Efforts: What Difference Do They Make?" Researchers surveyed over 1,700 American college students on their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about climate change. The study compared universities that received either a high grade, A, or a low grade, D or F, on the levels of institutional commitment to environmental sustainability measures as determined by the Sustainable Endowments Institute Report
Ball State U Student Wins Electric Car for University
Ball State University (IN) student Jagjeet Singh Chahal recently won a $1,000 scholarship and a Miles electric vehicle for BSU for the Miles Revolution Video Contest. Chahal's video garnered the most views of any entrant with over 24,000 views on YouTube. The goal of the contest was to engage students in their institution's sustainability efforts and promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles on university campuses nationwide.
U Texas Austin Requires Students to Use Fluorescent Bulbs in Dorms
University of Texas at Austin recently announced that starting Fall semester 2008, students will be required to use fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. As part of this effort, the Division of Housing and Food Services has been in the process of replacing light fixtures with more energy efficient fluorescent models, replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient fluorescent bulbs, and installing motion detector light switches where applicable. The University will also provide recycling boxes at center desks for students to dispose of burnt out fluorescent bulbs.
Columbia U Students Break Ground for Campus Garden
Columbia University (NY) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new campus garden. The project aims to raise student awareness about sustainability, agriculture, and food-related issues by creating a space where students can see and actively participate in the growth of vegetables. The students plan to grow eggplants, tomatoes, squash, onions, and a variety of herbs, which will be sold to support the garden. The student group signed a contract with Facilities Management stating that if the garden project does not succeed, the plot will be returned to the department.
Rochester IT Dedicates Green Building
Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) recently dedicated its new College of Applied Science and Technology building, RIT's first green structure on campus. The building collects rainwater from the roof and uses the water to flush toilets in the restrooms, reduces energy use by approximately 21 percent, and has a 300 square foot green roof.
Ohio State U Launches Bike Share Program
Ohio State University recently launched Buckeye Bikes, a new reservation program that allows students, faculty, and staff to reserve bicycles for free. Bikes are permitted to be on loan for up to 48 hours. The new program offers 20 bicycles that were donated by Schwinn.
U Minnesota Morris Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Minnesota, Morris recently purchased a Zero Emissions Vehicle, or ZEV, for the campus' plant services work fleet. Plant services sold its gas powered vehicle to purchase the $12,500 electric vehicle. The ZEV is expected to require 90 percent less maintenance than a normal gas powered automobile.
Portland CC Rock Creek Begins Composting Program
Portland Community College, Rock Creek (OR) recently began a vermicomposting program. An estimated 40,000 worms help to break down about 650 pounds of pre-consumer food waste per month within a large composting bin which was paid for with part of a $12,500 state grant. After the food has completely broken down, it is added to the college's organic learning garden. Vegetables grown in the garden are used in the cafeteria's food service program. The composting program has also been incorporated into college courses, ranging from health to environmental sciences to organic gardening. Students also plan to plant two plots in the learning garden to see how they respond to the worm compost.
Survey on College Sustainability Report Card
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has launched a web survey to gain feedback on its annual College Sustainability Report Card . The short survey seeks input on the Report Card's content and focus as well as suggestions for improvement. Participants are also invited to share stories about how they have used the Report Card or how they have seen it used. The survey is open to everyone.
U New Hampshire Launches Sustainability Blog
The University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability recently launched a new blog, entitled "Discover(ing) Sustainability." The goal of the blog is to share UNH's commitment to being a sustainable learning community while helping readers discover how sustainability connects us all. Currently authored by several University Office of Sustainability and communications staff at UNH, Discover(ing) Sustainability will seek voices from around the university, including students, researchers, and administrator
Portland State U Greenhouses Awarded LEED Silver
The Portland State University (OR) Biology Research Greenhouses have received LEED Silver certification. Sustainability features include: on-site treatment of all runoff from the roof before it enters the city's stormwater system; flow-through planters populated with native plants that are watered with rainwater; a driveway that is made of permeable pavers; and a covered patio that is enclosed by bamboo fencing. Inside the greenhouses, the lumber used for cabinets and counters is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The certification is for Phase 1 of a two-phase project of ten modular interconnected greenhouses.
MIT Science Building Awarded LEED Silver
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex recently received LEED Silver certification. The building features gray-water recycling for toilets, heat recovery on the exhaust air stream, and interior finishes that impose a minimal impact on indoor air quality.
RecycleMania Winners Announced
RecycleMania wrapped up its 2008 competition with 58.6 million pounds of recyclables and organics recovered from 400 colleges and universities across the U.S. For the 2008 competition, schools were divided into two divisions, those participating across their entire campus (Whole Campus Division) and those competing with only a subsection (Partial Campus Division). Within each division, schools chose to participate in any of eight categories. Schools that participate in both the Per Capita Classic, which recognizes the institution with the largest amount of recyclables per person, and the Waste Minimization competition, which recognizes the institution with the lowest amount of waste per person, can earn the title of RecycleMania Grand Champion. This year, Kalamazoo College (MI) achieved a recycling rate of 58.93 percent and was crowned the RecycleMania Grand Champion in the Whole Campus Division for excelling in source reduction, waste prevention and recycling. In the Partial Campus Division, California State University, San Marcos claimed the Grand Champion first place for the fourth year in a row, recycling 75.69% of its waste stream. North Lake College (TX), Northwest State Community College (OH), Stanford University (CA), Rutgers University (NJ), Stephens College (MO), Oregon State University, Mills College (CA), Rhode Island School of Design, and United States Coast Guard Academy (CT) were also awarded first place in specific categories.
U Delaware Offers Renewable Energy Undergraduate Internships
The University of Delaware Department of Chemical Engineering and the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology will administer a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, which will enable 10 exemplary students per year in chemical engineering to work with UD researchers on such projects as designing new fuel cells and engineering novel nanomaterial coatings to reduce the drag on ships in water. Under the mentorship of faculty advisers, students selected for the program will not only conduct research, but also learn how to present their findings in scientific seminars and poster sessions.
U Michigan Launches Carpool Program
The University of Michigan recently launched GreenRide, a Web-based, geographic information system ride-matching application. GreenRide helps a potential carpooler or vanpooler find ride-sharing partners by searching for other UM staff who live close by or on the commute route and who have similar work schedules. Participants will get a map of the general area showing potential ride matches near them and along their commute route, and it calculates potential fuel savings for the carpool or vanpool. Additionally, effective July 1, the University's Carpool Program will allow fellow carpoolers to split the cost of one parking permit using payroll deduction. For a fee, carpoolers will be able to request a reserved parking space. New University carpoolers will get a 10-percent reduction in the shared parking permit fee for the first six months of the program and they will be entered in weekly drawings for $25 gas card prizes.
Green Mountain College Course Wins VT Env. Excellence Award
The Green Mountain College (VT) Course, "Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast," has received the Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention. The course explored how food choices affect the community. The class visited roughly one dozen area farms and hosted several national food and agricultural experts as guest speakers. As a final project, the class created sustainable purchasing guidelines for an on-campus dining hall.
Sustainability in Intl. Education: Recommendations for Education Abroad
The Task Force on Environmental Sustainability in Education Abroad of the Association of International Educators has released a report entitled, "Sustainability in International Education: Recommendations for Education Abroad Administrators and Faculty." The report addresses the questions of how education abroad programs can be both high quality and low impact and also contribute to greater environmental awareness.
Purdue U Launches Student Aid Campaign
Purdue University (IN) recently announced that it is starting a $304 million fundraising campaign for student scholarships. The programs being funded include Purdue Promise, which will provide scholarships to students whose families make less than $40,000 per year; the Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program, which will provide for students whose families make $40,000 to $70,000 per year and qualify for little or no state and federal aid; Presidential and Trustee Scholarships, which will be awarded to the highest-achieving students in an effort to recruit and retain them at Purdue, and more. All programs are expected to start in fall 2009.
Lock Haven U of PA Clearfield Breaks Ground on Green Building
The Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Clearfield campus recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new academic building. Plans for the building features design elements that permit high standards of energy efficiency and the use of local building materials. The University plans to use 50 to 75 percent recycled building materials and incorporate other components that are environmentally friendly. The University hopes to receive LEED Silver certification for the new building.
MIT Buildings To Undergo Energy Conservation Improvements
Several Massachusetts Institute of Technology buildings will undergo a variety of basic energy conservation improvements in the next few months. Pilot projects include retrofitting light bulbs and fixtures, adding and adjusting motion sensors, monitoring buildings to gauge energy use, and automating fume hood controls. The projects have been made possible by $500,000 in seed funding from the Executive Vice President, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Facilities. Additionally, students in a recent Sloan School of Management course partnered with the Department of Facilities to identify an additional $14 million of potential investments with a three-year return. These include a major revamping of the heating system in one building to include heat recovery; continuous building commissioning that assesses and optimizes building energy systems in real time; and strategic maintenance to improve energy efficiency in existing ventilation systems.
Princeton U Installs Water-saving Toilets in Dorms
Princeton University (NJ) recently installed water-saving toilets in two residence halls on campus. The new dual-flush toilets allow users to push the flush handle one way to use less water for liquid waste and another way to release more water for solid waste. Facilities Management installed water-saving shower heads as well.
U Miami Switches to Local Produce & Antibiotic-Free Pork
University of Miami's (FL) on-campus dining halls recently began purchasing locally-grown tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, oranges and antibiotic-free pork. The University has also switched to cage-free whole eggs, and is currently exploring its options to start composting within the next year. The changes are part of Green U, a program designed to minimize the university's environmental impact.
Duquesne University Purchases RECs
Duquesne University (PA) recently purchased 8,020,000 kW of Renewable Energy Credits. This purchase is equivalent to 100 percent of the University's purchased electricity.