Inside Higher Ed Begins Getting to Green Blog
Inside Higher Ed recently started a new blog, entitled "Getting to Green," that will to discuss topics related to greening the higher education. The start of the blog coincided with Focus the Nation.
U Maine Farmington Receives 2 LEED Building Certifications
Two recently constructed buildings at the University of Maine at Farmington were awarded LEED certification. The Education Center was awarded LEED Silver and was designed to serve as an ecological teaching tool for UMF students, K-12 students, practicing teachers and the region. Green components of the building include 42 geothermal wells, a high-performance thermal envelope, and window glazing to decrease heat loss in the winter and reduce cool air loss in the summer. Additional green features include the use of construction materials with recycled content, interior materials and furnishings that do not emit indoor pollutants and a sustainable landscape design. The Frances Allen Black Hall, a residence hall on campus, received LEED Certified status. The hall qualified for this distinction based on a number of green features including, developing the building site with the least amount of environmental impact, using over 10 percent recycled construction materials and nearly 35 percent locally available construction materials, and increasing thermal efficiency by approximately 25% by using continuous rigid insulation on the building's exterior.
UC Irvine Contracts for 1.2MW Solar Array
The University of California, Irvine recently contracted with UPC Solar to install a 1.2 megawatt solar panel array on campus. Under the 20-year contract, UPC Solar will design, install, own and maintain 6,500 solar panels to be placed on 11 campus buildings. UCI will then purchase the power from UPC, especially during peak demand periods when the cost of electricity is high. Kiosks located strategically around the campus will monitor the system and provide ready information to passersby about how much energy is being generated.
Brown U Announces GHG Emissions Reduction Plan
Brown University (RI) has announced a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 42% below 2007 levels for all existing buildings by 2020. Brown also promised to reduce energy consumption up to 50% for all newly constructed and acquired facilities. The university plans to achieve these goals through initiatives such as switching the fuel that powers the central heating plan to cleaner natural gas when available, implementing new lighting technologies, improving the energy efficiencies of buildings, increasing co-generation of electricity, and using renewable energy sources where appropriate.
Ohlone Opens Green Campus registered for LEED Platinum
Ohlone College (CA) recently opened a newly constructed green campus. The campus, which hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification, features solar energy co-generation that will supply up to 42% of the building's energy needs, geothermal ground coils, enthalpy wheels, storm water filtering, wetlands restoration, and indoor water-saving fixtures.
U Washington to Offer Professorships in Sustainability
The University of Washington plans to offer professorships in sustainability. Pending the approval of the Board of Regents, the first two professorships will be held by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake of an environmentally conscious architecture firm. Kieran and Timberlake will teach six related courses exploring designs and methods for reducing environmental impacts of construction. Funding for the professorships comes from Mithun and The Russell Family Foundation.
Unity College to Offer 2 New Sustainability Majors
Beginning in the fall of 2008, Unity College (ME) will offer a Bachelor's of Science in Sustainable Design and Technology and a Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability. Students in the Sustainable Design and Technology program will learn to evaluate and implement emerging technologies and to design, quantify, and account for programs of energy efficiency and climate emission reductions for government, for private businesses, or for households. The emphasis will be on practical skills based on solid general theory. The Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability program will prepare students for future study and careers in the growing fields of sustainable agriculture and food systems. The approach will be interdisciplinary and experiential, drawing on several disciplines that intersect in the field of agriculture and food systems study, including biology, ecology, economics, critical social sciences, and history, as well as applied sciences such as horticulture, livestock management, and marketing. The program will have a significant field and experiential component.
RecycleMania Begins with Record Number of Participants
RecycleMania began January 27, 2008 with a record 400 colleges and universities participating. The competition has more than doubled each year from its initiation in 2001 by two Ohio colleges. The 400 schools represent 46 states and the District of Columbia and include institutions ranging from small two-year community colleges to Ivy League universities. Over a 10-week period from January 27 to April 5, 2008, participating schools will compete in various categories measuring the success of their recycling and waste prevention efforts. Each week, the standings will be posted on the RecycleMania website.
UCLA Law School to Establish Center on Climate Change
The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law recently secured an endowment fund to establish the Emmett Center, a center dedicated to the study, research, and teaching of knowledge related to climate change and the environment. The Emmett Center plans to engage UCLA experts who are working on matters related to climate change and intends to play a key role in addressing environmental issues.
1100 Campuses Focus the Nation on Global Warming Solutions
On Jan. 31, 2008, more than 1100 colleges and universities across the US participated in Focus the Nation, a major educational initiative on global warming solutions. The event, which also had the participation of several hundred high schools, faith organizations and civic groups, is believed to be the largest teach-in in U.S. history. Many institutions help open forums on climate change with participation from faculty, elected officials, and other guests. Faculty members from a wide range of disciplines also incorporated climate change into their lectures. The final component of Focus the Nation is the 'Choose Your Future' vote, in which all students, faculty and community participants are encouraged to vote on what they think are the top five climate change solutions from a list of 15 that is available on the event's website. Voting ends in mid February.
Casper College to Launch Renewable Energy Program
Casper College (WV) recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to launch a program in renewable energy. The majority of the funding will support the construction of a small wind generator testing and training site, which will serve as a laboratory for students in the program. The program will also include courses such as electrical power, electrical machines, and alternative energy.
U Texas at Austin Launches Campus Sustainability Newsletter
The University of Texas at Austin recently launched 'Synergies,' a monthly newsletter devoted to sustainability-based campus events, activities and achievements. The goal of the newsletter is to publicize sustainability initiatives on campus, create a broader understanding of sustainability at UT, and help connect individuals who wish to get involved with campus projects. 'Synergies' is designed for UT faculty, staff, and students and is distributed primarily online.
U Michigan Annual Environmental Report
The University of Michigan recently released its Annual Environmental Report, which lists the University's energy use, water use, emissions, waste production, mass transit systems, and total carbon footprint. The report finds that the institution's carbon output decreased by 40,000 pounds since 2004.
Sustainable Investment Challenge
The 2007-08 SustaInvest: Sustainable Investment Challenge is a virtual portfolio competition that calls for its student participants to jointly maximize profitability and sustainability in investment decisions. The competition is comprised of three categories: university student teams, undergraduate students, and graduate students and is open to all colleges and universities. Portfolio judging criteria rewards successful, sustainability-driven investments that promote a long-term, triple bottom line business strategy as a means of increasing investors' financial bottom line.
UC Berkley Study on GHG Mitigation Options
The University of California, Berkley recently published the findings of a climate action course that evaluated options for reducing the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The students found that green building retrofits should be expanded, renewable energy should be used on campus, and that the campus needs to develop a long-term program for mobilizing the resources needed to become a more energy-efficient campus.
DOE Announces 2009 Solar Decathlon Teams
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the schools selected to compete in the fourth Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Washington, DC in 2009. The teams, selected from universities in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, will each receive $100,000 from the DOE to design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully-solar-powered home. In addition to producing enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, from powering lights and electronics to cooking, washing clothes and dishes, each home must produce surplus energy sufficient to power an electric car. Applications for the competition were evaluated by a panel made up of engineers, scientists and other experts from DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Teams were required to meet specific criteria, demonstrating their ability to design and build an innovative, entirely solar-powered, 800-square-foot home from scratch, including the ability to raise additional funds and assemble a team necessary to carry the project through to completion.
Rice U to Begin EcoRep Program
An internal grant program at Rice University (TX) has provided funds to enable the development of an "EcoRep" program this semester. The grant will pay one student from each residential college to serve as an EcoRep. Each EcoRep will have six main duties: facilitating recycling, reducing waste in the serveries, conserving energy, promoting environmental issues, maintaining contacts with relevant University staff, and administering the Green Dorm Initiative, a program which certifies dorm rooms meeting cer
Georgia Tech to Install Green Tissue Dispensers
The Georgia Institute of Technology will install No-Touch Hands Free Paper Towel and Tissue Dispensers, which will use Green Seal certified paper towels and toilet tissue. The installation will begin in February.
Johns Hopkins U Task Force on Climate Change Begins Work
The Johns Hopkins University (MD) President's Task Force on Climate Change recently held its first meeting. The group, which includes administrators, faculty, community leaders, and students, was formed to help guide the development of the university's new climate change policy. It is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan and creating an interdisciplinary working group of experts who will focus on innovative and novel approaches related to climate change.
Furman U Students Win Award for Campus Green Living Film
A film made by a group of Furman University (SC) students has been selected as a finalist in the Conservation in Action Multimedia Contest. Their film, "The Lifestyle Project," documented the transformation and experiences of Furman freshmen as they sought to reduce their impact on the environment by changing the way they lived their daily lives. The film followed the students as they followed a vegetarian diet, reduced their water and electricity usage, generated less trash, and quit driving their cars o
Northern Arizona U Building Achieves LEED Platinum
Northern Arizona University's Applied Research and Development Building has achieved LEED Platinum certification, earning 60 out of 69 points possible. The 59,821 square-foot building features a photovoltaic solar power system that provides a minimum of 20% of its electricity, automatic shade controls, venting windows, and an enthalpy wheel, which regulates the building's temperatures. About 30% of the building's supplies are from recycled materials, 57% are from local producers or manufacturers, and the wood used was sustainable harvested from a renewable forest-management system. Additionally, the building's conference unit has a green roof, and the parking lot is made of pervious concrete, which allows water to be captured in natural aquifers to be used for irrigation purposes.
El Camino CC Opens Green Humanities Building
El Camino Community College (CA) recently opened a new green humanities building. The 83,900-square-foot facility features natural day lighting, sun shades and other steps to reduce heat gain, recycled flooring materials, and a white roof.
Oxfam America Student Leadership Program
Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, is currently accepting applications for the CHANGE Initiative, their national student leadership program. CHANGE offers students entering their sophomore or junior year at US based colleges the opportunity to become effective social change agents. CHANGE Leaders are exposed to the international development issues that inform Oxfam's work, and apply their skills and insights to run Oxfam campaigns on their campuses and in their communities. Selected students are required to participate in a week-long training in Boston, July 19-25, 2008, which is organized and paid for by Oxfam. Students must also implement an Oxfam campaign on their campus and communicate regularly with Oxfam staff about the work they are undertaking during the 2008-2009 academic year. Applications are due April 1st, 2008.
2008 Citizen Science Paper Competition
SustainUS is holding the 2008 Citizen Science Paper Competition. Participants are asked to submit a paper related to the discussion topics of the upcoming UN Commission on Sustainable Development. This year's discussion topics are: Africa, Agriculture, Desertification, Drought, Land, and Rural Development. The purpose of the competition is to make technical aspects of those topics relevant and understandable to the general public and influence sound public policy. Winners have their work published in the online journal Citizen Science, and are given the opportunity to present at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to be held May 5-16, 2008 in New York City. Papers will be accepted in three categories, based upon education and experience, with a winner chosen within each: 1) Middle and high school; 2) Undergraduate, including all two- and four-year institutions; and 3) Graduate, including all masters, professional and doctoral programs. All participants must be residents of the United States (this includes international youth studying at a US academic institution) and between 13-26 years of age. The application deadline has been extended to February 15, 2008.
Call for EPA Environmental Justice Awards Nominations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will recognize academic institutions that undertake environmental justice initiatives to make a positive impact in a community. The goals of the award include, but are not limited to promoting positive behavior on environmental justice issues by all stakeholder groups, documenting EJ models of success for other to emulate, encouraging achievement of environmental results in communities having EJ issues, and encouraging collaborative problem solving by all stakeholder organizations to address significant EJ concerns. Nominees will be evaluated based on innovation, community responsibility, community, equity, and public involvement, partnership and collaboration, environmental justice integration, and demonstrated results in effectiveness or sustainability. Nominations must be postmarked by February 11, 2008.
Chronicle of HE Calls for Guest Writers
The Chronicle of Higher Education is calling for guest writers for their new Buildings and Grounds blog. The Chronicle plans to feature one guest blogger per month, and asks that the blogger post at least one item per week about facilities, campus buildings, landscape, sustainability, energy, or anything relevant. Blogs must be 500 words or less.
New Resource on Academic Programs in Urban Sustainability
AASHE has compiled a list of undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on urban sustainability. The resource also features a list of academic centers and research initiatives related to urban sustainability. The resource is only available to AASHE members.
Campus Sustainability Planning Network
The Society for College and University Planning has created a social networking website for people to connect and share knowledge about campus sustainability planning. The site will also serve to manage and promote campus-based Campus Sustainability Day events.
Northampton CC to Use 100% Recycled Paper
Northampton Community College (PA) will switch to using 100% recycled paper. Although the per-carton cost will increase, the college plans to purchase the recycled paper in bulk to offset the costs. In addition to this effort, NCC has also set all campus printers to print double-sided and capped the amount of pages one computer can print within a given time frame.
SUNY-ESF Hires Director of Renewable Energy Systems
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry hired Michael Kelleher as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this new position, Kelleher will focus on finding and adopting technologies to help the College save energy and produce energy from sustainable and renewable sources. Kelleher also serves as co-director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy and is a member of the ESF Campus Climate Change Committee.
Michigan State U to Build On-Campus Recycling Facility
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized building a new recycling facility on campus. The facility will triple the amount of materials currently being recycled by allowing the university to expand recycling collection in all buildings. The recycling facility will cost approximately $13.3 million and will pay for itself in 12 years. The Board also heard 26 recommendations to reduce MSU's ecological footprint presented by the Environmental Stewardship Systems Team, which is made up of faculty, staff, and students. The team recommended that MSU improve the way the campus monitors and tracks material waste, schedule classes more efficiently to reduce heating and energy costs in buildings, develop a "green" certification program for units and departments, and reduce energy use in all campus buildings by 9 percent through reducing heating, ventilation, and cooling system running time.
Emerson Building Receives LEED Certification
Emerson College's (MA) new 14-story residence hall and campus center has received LEED certification. The building promotes density, is located on a redeveloped urban site, uses reduced-flow fixtures, provides maximum daylight to all of the living spaces, and was built with significant amounts of recycled and regionally-manufactured materials.
Colby Replaces Student Loans with Grants
Colby College (ME) recently announced that, beginning in the fall of 2008, the school will replace all student loans with grants. The loan elimination program will apply to new and currently enrolled students and will take about $1.5 million per year to implement.
Washington U in St. Louis Offers Hybrid-Only Car Share Program
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) recently introduced WeCar, a car sharing program that will exclusively utilize hybrid vehicles. Under the program, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will make 6 hybrid vehicles available to rent on an hourly basis by faculty, staff, and students over age 18.