Energize Colleges Free Curriculum Resources
A program of Strategic Energy Innovations, Energize Colleges is an energy education program that offers free curricula that advance energy and sustainability education and workforce development through experiential learning.
Anchor Collaboratives: Building Bridges With Place-Based Partnerships and Anchor Institutions
Released by the Democracy Collaborative, this report discusses the role of anchor institutions and collaboratives in leveraging the power of their economic assets to address social and economic disparities and to revitalize local communities. The report focuses on the work of anchor institutions and partner organizations that have joined to form place-based networks, also called anchor collaboratives, to develop, implement and support shared goals and initiatives that advance equitable and inclusive economic development strategies.
Pac-12 Announces Winners of Zero Waste Challenge
The Pac-12 Conference recently announced honorees of the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge for the 2018-19 basketball season with the University of California, Berkeley being selected as both the overall winner as well as winner of the student-athlete engagement category. Also recognized as subcategory winners include Arizona State University (fan engagement) and the University of California, Los Angeles (most improved).
NOAA Awards $175M to U Maryland for Earth System Studies
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a five-year, $175 million cooperative funding agreement to the University of Maryland for collaborative research in Earth system science called the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies. Led by two principal investigators from the UMD and one from N.C. State University, this institute will be a national consortium of more than two dozen academic and nonprofit institutions aimed at research activities covering three themes: satellite services, Earth system observations and services, and Earth system research.
Southern Connecticut State U Declares Climate Change Global Emergency
In response to student advocacy, the university's president, Joe Bertolino, recently declared climate change a global emergency. The emergency declaration is based on the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report; unprecedented acceleration of atmospheric carbon levels that as of May 2019; and local community health, environmental, and economic risk.
U Illinois Chicago to Offers In-State Tuition for Native Americans
Beginning this fall, the university will offer in-state tuition to students who are members of any of the 573 tribal nations recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rather than being charged the base non-resident tuition of $23,800, the eligible students will be charged $10,584 as a base tuition before federal Pell grants as well as any other aid they may have received. Eligible students will still have to meet all of UIC’s admission standards, including test scores and grade point averages.
U New Hampshire Places $37M in ESG Investments
The university foundation recently completed the transition of 16 percent of its investable assets—$37 million—into ESG-qualified (environmental, social and governance) investments. This latest transition in UNH’s sustainable investing practices has been guided by the Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR), established in 2017. The university has also dedicated $5 million to community impact investing.
NOAA Selects Seven Institutions to Conduct Sea Ecosystem Research
NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR), hosted by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has partnered with the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to carry out innovative, multidisciplinary research that will help inform decisions for sustainable and beneficial management of the U.S. Northeast continental shelf ecosystem.
GRITS Tool Available to Portfolio Manager Users for Free
In recognition of becoming an Energy Star partner, the Sustainable Endowments Institute has made available a free version of the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) available to users of the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. GRITS is a project-management platform used to calculate, track and share the energy, financial and carbon savings data from sustainability projects.
Making Sustainability Accessible: A Curriculum Development Workshop
The University of Kansas and Johnson County Community College are collaborating on this faculty development curriculum workshop, being held Aug 8-9 at Johnson County Community College. Designed to help faculty from all disciplines make connections to sustainability within their curriculum, this workshop will explore themes of sense of place, community wellness and cooperative problem-solving to make sustainability concepts relatable to students entering any field. The deadline to register is Aug. 5. The University of Kansas and Johnson County Community College are regional AASHE Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum.
U Maryland Receives $2.3M for GHG Reduction Research
Former mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, committed $2.3 million to the university's Center for Global Sustainability to evaluate and analyze current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reductions. As the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Bloomberg will submit the findings to the U.N. to demonstrate U.S. progress in meeting carbon reduction commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Georgetown U Opens Student Equity & Inclusion Office
The university recently announced the creation of the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion. The office aims to improve resources for first-generation and minority students on campus. Dr. Adanna Johnson, currently the senior associate dean of students and director of Diversity, Equity and Student Success, will lead the office as associate vice president.
80 Institutions Recognized for Advancing First-Gen Student Success
The Center for First Generation Student Success recently recognized 80 higher education institutions as the inaugural First Forward cohort. First Forward institutions are selected for their demonstrated commitment to advancing first-generation student success. The institutions will share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the U.S. The Center for First Generation Student Success is an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation.
College of the Atlantic to Eliminate All Disposable Plastic
The first campus to sign onto Post-Landfill Action Network's (PLAN) Break Free From Plastic Campus Pledge, the college is now committed to eliminate all single-use disposable plastics by 2025, which includes utensils, cups, plates, lids, polystyrene, shopping bags, clamshells and to-go containers, and condiment, sauce and seasoning packets, among other types.
Leading Deeper Change in Higher Education Workshop
During this 1.5-day workshop, participants will be introduced to Refocus: a leadership development program designed to enable practitioners to generate deep organizational change and establish sustainability as a strategic priority. The workshop aims to prepare participants to lead a transformational sustainability program.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education: New Issue
The latest issue includes articles on embedding ecological objectives in university planning, sustainability in engineering curricula, university-led educational travel impacts, promoting sustainability literacy through laboratories, and assessing pre-existing conditions for sustainability curriculum.
Democracy and Climate Solutions Engagement Resources
Organized by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) and the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS), Beyond Doom and Gloom: Climate Solutions is an initiative to empower students, educators and the public to advocate for climate solutions through resources and policy engagement opportunities.
Diversifying Graduate Schools and the Faculty Report
Released by Inside Higher Ed, the report provides models for building diverse pipelines from graduate school to faculty. Topics include diversity in doctoral programs that create blockages in the diversity faculty pipeline, graduate school admissions processes that encourage a more holistic review of prospective students, bridge programs and HBCUs' role in increasing diversity in graduate school programs, and the importance of putting diversity and inclusivity into strategic plans and messages from university leaders.
World Environment Day Mask Challenge
From May 24 through World Environment Day (June 5), the United Nations Environment Program is asking people to commit to action that supports clean air, such as biking to work or school, using public transit or choosing non-toxic paints and furnishings. Challenge participants are encouraged to post their actions to social media in order to raise awareness for clean air.
U Kentucky Athletics Building Earns LEED Silver
The Joe Craft Football Training Facility features energy-efficient HVAC, thermal comfort and lighting systems. Additionally, it consumes 40 percent less water and 21 percent less energy than other buildings of its type.
Doane U Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment
At the beginning of May, the university’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to end all future investments in fossil fuel companies. Doane currently holds 1.6 percent of its endowment in two direct oil and gas investments.
Castleton U Announces Solar Partnership
A new partnership will allow the university to purchase net-metering credits from local community solar. Combined, the sites will include a 500-kilowatt array. The university is not responsible for insurance, maintenance or other obligations with regard to the solar project itself.
EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Announces Winners
The Ohio State University has been named The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year One champion. Rounding out the top three are Virginia Tech in second place and the University of Alabama in third place. Ohio State will take home an extra $10,000 to further support the university’s advanced vehicle technology program. EcoCAR is a U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition that challenges 12 North American universities to improve the energy efficiency of a Chevrolet Blazer while balancing factors such as emissions, safety and consumer acceptability.
Furman U Approves Slavery & Justice Committee Actions
Approved at the university's Board of Trustees May meeting were a number of recommendations made by the board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice, including erecting a statue and creating day of celebration to honor the late Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first African-American student. Furman is a member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium headquartered at the University of Virginia, along with 10 other universities.
Bladen CC Opens Food Bank
The community college's new faculty-run food bank, the Eagle’s Nest Food Bank, supplies food to food insecure students.
U California Davis Gets Grant for Water-Conserving Landscapes
The University of California, Davis’ California Center for Urban Horticulture recently received a donation from TreeTown USA to help develop water-conserving landscapes through the center's SmartLandscape Initiative. By combining low water-use plants with the latest available irrigation technology, the horticultural innovation center will be an educational tool focused on measuring and monitoring water use data and reducing urban landscape water waste.
Call for Submissions: Research to Action: The Science of Drawdown
In partnership with Project Drawdown, Pennsylvania State University will hold the first international conference on climate solutions, based on the book Drawdown, The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. The three-day conference, happening Sept. 16-18, will provide opportunities to learn about and discuss the science underlying Project Drawdown’s portfolio of 100 solutions to reverse global warming. Conference organizers invite abstract submissions for research poster presentations and artwork/demonstrations. A selection of poster presenters will be asked to participate as panelists, discussants or lightning talk presenters. The final deadline for abstract submissions is Aug. 15.
U Oxford Unveils Initiatives for Underrepresented Backgrounds
(U.K.) Two new programs that expand access to academically talented students from underrepresented groups were recently announced. Opportunity Oxford is aimed at students from more disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Foundation Oxford is open to students who have personally experienced severe disadvantage or educational disruption. Both schemes are free and students’ residential and living costs will be fully funded. When fully up and running, these major new programs will offer paths to education for up to 250 state school students a year, representing 10 percent of Oxford’s U.K. undergraduate intake.
NCAR Launches Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Program
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is launching the Early Career Faculty Innovator Program this summer, naming nine early-career faculty members from U.S. universities to conduct interdisciplinary research into the impacts of climate change and natural hazards on U.S. coasts. Each faculty member will bring a graduate student to assist with research. Faculty were selected from Columbia University, New York University, Stanford University, Stony Brook University, University of Central Florida, University of Connecticut, University of Oregon, University of South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Mohawk College & U British Columbia Win Awards for Sustainable Built Environments
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada announced in mid-May the 2019 recipients of its Awards of Excellence, which reflect outstanding achievement in architecture through innovation, green building, allied arts, advocacy and journalism. Mohawk College's Joyce Center for Partnership & Innovation won the Innovation in Architecture category for its net-zero institutional building on the Fennel campus that is helping to set the standards for the Canada Green Building Council Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. The University of British Columbia's Campus Energy Center won in the Green Building category for its hot water facility that uses almost 63 percent less energy and 31 percent less water than a baseline building of its type.