Indiana U Holds Web-enabled Energy & Water Conservation Competition
Indiana University recently began its first ever "IU Energy Challenge," a dormitory energy and water conservation competition. The four-week competition will encourage students living in 10 IU Bloomington dormitories to compete to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of their dorm's average per capita electricity and water consumption over the past three years. The competition features a website where students can view their current energy and water usage and standings. The dormit
Central Carolina CC Hires Green Building Program Coordinator
Central Carolina Community College (SC) recently hired Laura Lauffer as the College's first Green Building Program Coordinator. Lauffer has been brought on board to recruit highly qualified instructors, expand course offerings and apprenticeships for those who want careers in green construction and renewable energy, promote job creation, and increase the number of seminars on green building offered for consumers and homeowners.
Students Launch Cross-Canada Campus Sustainability Tour
Students across Canada recently joined together to launch the Generations Campaign and cross-Canada tour to send a message to federal policy makers that greater action is needed to combat climate change. The Canadian Federation of Students and the David Suzuki Foundation have teamed up to bring events to universities and colleges across the country. The Generations Campaign will bring keynote speakers to over 30 Canadian campuses this fall to discuss the importance of action in the fight against climate change. The tour will highlight ways in which students across the country are making a difference in their homes, campuses and local communities, and pressure the federal government to take action against climate change.
Vassar College Expands Financial Aid Program
Vassar College (NY) recently announced that it will eliminate loans from the financial aid packages of students with calculated family incomes of up to $60,000. The college will replace those loans with additional Vassar scholarship grants. The policy will take place in the fall of 2008. The College will also return to a need-blind admissions policy, with admissions decisions being made without regard to the student's ability to pay.
Columbia U Expands Financial Aid
Columbia University (NY) recently announced that students from families with incomes below $60,000 attending Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science will no longer be expected to borrow or contribute any of their income or assets to tuition, room, board and other fees beginning in fall 2008. At the same time, Columbia will eliminate loans for all new and continuing students in the College and SEAS who are eligible for financial aid, regardless of family income, and replace them with University grants. Additionally, all aid recipients will be invited to apply for exemptions from summer and academic-year work expectations when they engage in community service or accept unpaid research or internship commitments.
British Columbia University Presidents Sign Climate Action Statement
University presidents from across British Columbia have signed a Climate Change Statement of Action committing their institutions to a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The statement of action commits each university to initiate a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases by creating a planning body that includes students, staff, researchers, administrators and other partners. Within one year, each institution will have a complete inventory of greenhouse gas emissions on campus and within two years, targets will be set and strategies will be put in place to achieve the targets. All action plans, inventories, and progress reports will be made publicly available. BC’s university presidents will be inviting other post secondary institutions across British Columbia and Canada to join them in signing the Statement of Action.
Southwestern College, Winfield Creates Student Green Team
Southwestern College, Winfield (KS) is recruiting students for the Green Team, a four-year environmental program that will start in the fall of 2008. The eight or nine students selected will be eligible for up to $3,200 worth of scholarship funds. The Green Team's main responsibility will be to come up with innovative ideas on how to bring renewable energies to campus and to help reduce the campus carbon footprint. Green Team members will be permitted to major in any academic department, but will be required to take environmental and leadership courses. They will also work on projects that take place on campus and in the city of Winfield.
U Kansas Architecture Students Design and Build Green Building
A University of Kansas architecture class recently designed and built a green building and transported it to Greensburg, Kansas, a community in western Kansas that was destroyed by a tornado last spring. The graduate students from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning built the structure as seven prefabricated modules that were hauled by truck to the Greensburg building site. The students will assemble the modules themselves, and hope to complete the structure by early May. When the building is complete, it will feature solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heating, thermal massing and other green systems. KU expects the building to achieve LEED certification.
Drew U to Offer Environmental Studies and Sustainability Major
Drew University (NJ) recently received a $950,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create an innovative academic major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. The grant money will support two additional faculty members, new interdisciplinary courses, and a program of student internships and research experiences. Drew faculty members are working now to design the new major, which will incorporate internship experiences and coursework that is interdisciplinary and project-oriented. If approved by the College of Liberal Arts faculty this spring, it will be made available to students in the fall of 2008.
Urban Sustainability Initiative Graduate Assistantships
The Urban Sustainability Initiative at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is accepting applications for the inaugural USI Graduate Assistantships. Qualified master’s and doctoral students may pursue research and/or educational activities associated with any facet of sustainability. Applicants must be admitted or in the process of applying to a UNLV graduate program. Preference will be given to doctoral students. Fall applications are due May 1, 2008, and spring applications are due November 1, 2008.
MIT Announces New Financial Aid Program
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its financial aid program for the 2008-2009 academic year. Under the new plan, families earning less than $75,000 per year will have all tuition covered and will not be expected to take out loans to cover expenses beyond tuition. MIT will also no longer consider home equity for families with total annual income below $100,000 and typical assets. In addition to the financial aid plan, the Institute will also reduce the work-study expectation for all financial aid recipients by 10 percent.
Lehigh U Enhances Financial Aid
Lehigh University (PA) recently announced its new plan to increase financial aid. As long as students are eligible for financial aid, the University plans to eliminate loans for students whose family’s calculated annual income is less than $50,000 and plans to limit loans to a maximum of $3,000 per year for students whose family’s calculated annual income is between $50,000 and $75,000. Additionally, work-study awards for students who are included in the loan elimination and reduction initiatives will be increased by 25 percent to $2,200 per year, thus offsetting the need for loans. Additional funds are also being made available to enroll a larger number of eligible, international students with demonstrated financial need.
Carleton College Announces New Access Scholarship Program
Carleton College (MN) recently announced its new Access Scholarship program aimed at reducing or eliminating student loans for students from a family with an annual income of $75,000 or less, starting with the 2008-09 school year. The plan calls for a $4,000 scholarship for students from families making less than $40,000 annually, a $3,000 scholarship for students from families with annual incomes of $40,001-$60,000, and a $2,000 scholarship for students from families with yearly incomes of $60,001-$75,000.
USA Today Covers Increasing Student Awareness of Global Warming
USA Today recently published an article on the increasing number of students who are concerned about the effects of global warming. More and more students are participating in national events, such as Focus the Nation and Powershift, and creating their own campus initiatives aimed at reducing global warming and increasing knowledge about the problem.
Clinton Global Initiative U Holds Inaugural Meeting
The Clinton Global Initiative University, which works as part of the Clinton Global Initiative to mobilize college students and universities to address issues with practical and innovative solutions, recently held its first meeting at Tulane University (LA). Nearly 700 college students gathered on the campus of Tulane University, traveling from more than 250 colleges and universities and representing almost each state and every continent except Antarctica. While there, 600 students cleaned and prepared more than 10 blocks of the Lower 9th Ward that will welcome the first returning residents to the New Orleans area. The cleaning was part of Brad Pitt's Make it Right Project, which will construct 150 sustainable and affordable homes in the Lower 9th Ward.
Wright State U Hires Director of Sustainability
Wright State University (OH) recently hired Huntting W. Brown as the first Director of Sustainability. Brown's responsibilities include exploring collaborations with other organizations throughout the Miami Valley and, with faculty, staff, and student involvement, explore potential new initiatives. With degrees in anthropology-sociology, zoology and law, Brown has focused his life’s work on environmental issues. Following jobs with the State of Florida’s Department of Natural Resources and with utility companies operating in the mid-west, Brown brought his diverse background to Wright State’s Center for Groundwater Management in 1989.
Tulane U Dining Services Goes Trayless
Tulane University (LA) Dining Services recently removed trays from its dining facilities on campus. The initiative is an effort to reduce food waste, to conserve water that would be used to wash the trays, and to conserve energy that would normally be used to prepare more food. Additionally, the campus dining facilities now offer fresh Louisiana produce and seafood, recycled-content paper napkins, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Medical U of South Carolina Installs Geothermal System
The Medical University of South Carolina recently installed a geothermal system into the Anderson House, a campus administration building that houses the South Carolina College of Pharmacy's administration. The building is the first on campus to utilize a closed loop geothermal heat pump.
Cabrini College Offers Fair Trade Bananas
Cabrini College (PA) recently began offering fair trade bananas. The initiative started as an idea from the Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors on campus. A fair trade banana-split party was held to celebrate the success of the initiative.
Eastern Illinois U to Purchase Electric Vehicles
Eastern Illinois University plans to replace about six of its gas-powered minivans with small electric vehicles. These electric vehicles can be recharged within one hour and can travel up to 30-40 miles at a time. The University has already purchased one six-seat electric vehicle for the campus.
Funding Cut for U New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program
Last year, the University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies program received a $207,000 grant from the state Legislature; this year, the University offered Sustainability Studies $15,000, an amount that will not be enough to sustain the program. The College of Arts and Sciences is currently looking for alternative funding. Approximately 80 students have enrolled in Sustainability Studies at UNM.
2 Universities Receive 2008 National Transit Award
The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded 10 U.S. transit systems with the Success in Enhancing Ridership Award. Among the winners were the University of New Hampshire-Wildcat Transit and city of Macomb-Go West Transit, which is a partnership between Western Illinois University and the City of Macomb. The awards recognized transit providers who tried fresh approaches to boost their ridership between the years of 2005 and 2006. The two-year period allowed enough time to implement the new strategies and then measure the results. In addition to netting more passengers, the new techniques also had the potential to be successfully implemented by other transit systems. Wildcat Transit was cited for using better traveler information, nicer bus shelters with solar power lighting, and new biodiesel transit buses, which helped increase ridership by 21 percent. Macomb-Go West Transit was recognized for increasing their ridership by 22 percent by revising their fare structure, advertising, and partnering with Western Illinois University.
Brower Youth Awards
The Earth Island Institute is inviting applications for the 2008 Brower Youth Awards, which recognize people ages 13 to 22 living in North America who have shown outstanding leadership on a project with positive environmental and social impact. Recipients will receive a $3000 cash prize and weeklong trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. During that week, award recipients will participate in a week of media and public outreach and be recognized at an awards ceremony attended by 900 members of the public. Applications are due May 15, 2008.
Climate Fellowship Program for Students
Clean Air–Cool Planet has created the Climate Fellowship, a competitive program designed to pair outstanding students with real-world opportunities to propel society toward a low-carbon future. This program seeks highly qualified graduate and undergraduate students in fields such as environmental policy, economics, statistics, engineering, physical and biological sciences. Projects are challenging and in-depth, and may include creating or updating greenhouse gas inventories; conducting feasibility studies or implementing operational and process changes to reduce GHG emissions; creating and updating web-based tools and resources, or others identified by partner organizations. Applications are due by April 4, 2008.
Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy
The Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy, which will be held July 7-11, 2008, will provide science and engineering research faculty, post-docs and doctoral students with the necessary knowledge and skills to move environmentally sustainable and green technology research out of the laboratory and into practice. Participants will leave with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize, develop, and communicate potential commercial and knowledgeable distribution opportunities arising from their research. The Academy is a five-day intensive program integrating lecture, exercises, and team projects. Applications are due May 2, 2008.
Lists of Academic Programs in Ecological and Environmental Economics
AASHE has prepared a series of new resources on sustainability in economics education. The resources include lists of graduate and undergraduate programs in ecological and environmental economics, as well as a list of academic centers focused on ecological and environmental economics. The resources are available only to AASHE members.
St. Lawrence U Science Building Receives LEED Gold
St. Lawrence University's (NY) Johnson Hall of Science was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The building features passive/active solar design, energy and water conserving technologies, efficient lighting strategies, on-site recoverable energy systems, and a planning process that involved students and faculty in collaboration. In addition, the building was designed for "sustainable transition," anticipating the incorporation of 100 percent renewable technology (biofuel and photovoltaic) use in the
Maharishi U Dining Hall Goes 100% Vegetarian, 90% Organic
Maharishi University of Management's (IA) new student center dining hall is serving 100 percent vegetarian and 90 – 95 percent organic food. Campus farms provide the school with fruits and vegetables during the summer, and campus greenhouses offer tomatoes and greens during the winter. The school has spent the past eight or nine years replacing foods grown with herbicides and pesticides with organic food. Most of the remaining food comes from local producers.
U Maryland Receives Grant for Endowed Sustainability Professor
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently received a $750,000 challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. This gift will establish the Center’s first endowed chair, a professorship in Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, which will research ecosystem restoration in the face of growth and climate change.
Oregon State U Increases Financial Transparency
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on Oregon State University's new online budget reporting system. This new system allows students, faculty, and staff connected with the University to view budgeted allowances, actual expenditures, and available balances for income, salaries and wages, other payroll expenses, and other expenses for each department. Additionally, campus members can view the invoices of each completed purchase. The name of the employee associated with the transaction is not shown in the database. The data are updated each night.
Green Chemistry Bill Introduced into Congress
5 U.S. Senators recently introduced the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008 into Congress. The bi-partisan legislation would leverage federal green chemistry initiatives in an effort to advance research and development at universities and at federal agencies. The Act would create an inter-agency working group lead by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, and in coordination with the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to advance green chemistry research. The bill also provides grant funding for private sector and academic projects for environmentally friendly chemicals.
Business Officer Magazine Covers President's Climate Commitment
The National Association of College and University Business Officers' February Business Officer Magazine features an article urging college and university presidents to sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. The article includes ideas on how to fund the commitment, reduce the campus carbon footprint, and convince students, faculty, and staff to participate.
U Maryland to Establish Green Real Estate Development Institute
The University of Maryland's real estate development program, which has a broad-based approach to sustainability, has received a $3 million gift that will help establish the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in UM's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The Institute will be the academic home for the school's two year-old Masters in Real Estate Development, giving the program a solid financial foundation, creating a new track with an even greater focus on sustainable development, expanding its leadership training, and extending the program's public outreach and international presence.
U Chicago Hires Sustainability Project Manager
The University of Chicago (IL) Sustainability Council has hired Eric Heineman to fill the newly created project manager position for the Council. Responsibilities of the position will include increasing communication among campus organizations and units to streamline collaboration on sustainability projects. The Council and University administrators hope to eventually make Heineman’s six-month position a permanent addition to sustainability efforts on campus.
Green Mountain College Announces Sustainability Website
Green Mountain College (VT) recently published a sustainability website that is linked to the GMC homepage. The website features the college's environmentally focused curriculum, a list of environmental leaders, and the campus's green mission, projects and partnerships, campus initiatives, and awards.
Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship for Environmental Scientists
The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program invites mid-career academic environmental scientists from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to apply for the 2009 fellowships that provide scientific leadership, networking, and outreach training to help move ideas into action and advance science-based decision-making. The Leopold Leadership Fellowship selects up to 20 Fellows annually, supports them to participate in two intensive one-week training sessions, and offers other services and non-financial resources associated with outreach and leadership skill development during the Fellowship year and beyond. Applications are welcome from a broad range of disciplines related to the environment. Applicants must be employed by an academic institution, be midcareer as a tenured or tenure-track professor, and be active in research and teaching. Applications are due April 14, 2008.
Duke Bans Future Investments With Sudan-Linked Companies
The Duke University (NC) Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution that prohibits Duke from making future direct investment in companies engaged in business with the government of Sudan. The resolution, in protest against that government’s human rights violations in the war-torn region of Darfur, covers the $8.2 billion in endowment and assets of Duke University that is invested by the Duke Management Corporation. The policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the United States government lifts sanctions against Sudan.
Dalhousie U Implements Trayless Policy
Dalhousie University (NS) recently implemented a policy that eliminates trays from all four of its campus dining halls. The initiative serves to reduce food waste and water and detergent consumption during the cleaning process.