Colleges Partner with Wal-Mart for Sustainability Consortium
Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas are leading a Sustainability Consortium that will provide scientific research to support Wal-Mart's sustainability index, a project that aims to place labels on all of the retailer's products that informs consumers about their environmental impact and treatment of workers. Additional campus partners include Duke University (NC); Harvard University (MA); Stanford University (CA); the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Michigan; the University of Quebec at Montreal; and the University of Texas.
Rhode Island College, Kwantlen Polytechnic U Host Farmers Markets
Rhode Island College and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (BC) have begun hosting weekly community farmers' markets on their campuses. The RIC market offers locally grown and organic fruits, vegetables, and flowers; eggs; and specialty items such as herbal soaps, body lotions, and natural-care products. The initiative is the result of last year's successful pilot project. The KPU market opened with fresh vegetables, bread, honey, preserves, and cut flowers from 32 vendors.
Michigan State U Helps Developing Farmers Grow Foods Sustainably
Michigan State University scientists are combining sustainable forest production with emerging carbon markets in an effort to help some of the world's poorest people grow trees that will boost their standards of living and slow climate change. Called Carbon2Markets, the program includes collaborative projects with farmers, researchers, and government agencies in five developing Asian and African countries. MSU researchers help the farmer groups integrate high-value forest crops into the crops they are currently growing using methods that are smart and sustainable. Then the farmers use standards created by MSU experts to accurately measure and record the carbon stored in the soil by the trees. In addition to earning money on the global carbon market for storing the carbon, the farmers also use and sell the forest products they grow.
New Mexico State U Installs 2 Community Gardens
New Mexico State University’s Housing and Residential Life has constructed two community gardens at family housing areas. The gardens were installed by NMSU faculty and staff, and a local gardening club plans to provide lessons to family housing residents about maintaining their garden. Plots are rented at no cost and only require filling out a form.
New York Colleges Form County Climate Protection Group
Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and others have partnered to establish the Tomkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI). The group of New York Institutions and organizations aims to leverage the climate action commitments made by the local higher education institutions to mobilize a county-wide energy efficiency effort focused primarily on the retrofitting of buildings.
U Mass Dartmouth Partners to Form Regional Sustainability Group
The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth has partnered with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District to form the Massachusetts Council on Sustainability. The purpose of the Council is to provide education, advice, and assistance on the broad issue of sustainability in Southeastern Massachusetts and to coordinate efforts among different entities in the region. The group currently has five subcommittees focused on: food and agriculture, economic development, energy, natural resources, and transportation. The Council plans to meet quarterly with the subcommittees meeting more frequently in the interim.
U Houston Commits to Socially Responsible Collegiate Apparel
The University of Houston (TX) has announced that its bookstore will sell a brand of clothing that has committed to higher standards of social responsibility. Knights Apparel manufactures collegiate apparel in overseas factories committed to providing all employees with benefits and a living wage sufficient to cover the monthly costs for a family of four.
Warren Wilson College Receives Green Curriculum Grant
The EcoTeam program of Warren Wilson College’s (NC) Environmental Leadership Center has been awarded a $2,000 grant from Progress Energy Carolinas to help expand its curriculum to include new lessons on energy and climate. EcoTeam is a science-based environmental curriculum for third-grade students that correlates with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The EcoTeam curriculum, taught by trained Warren Wilson students and focusing on the French Broad River Basin, has delivered lessons to thousands of third graders in the area since its inception in 1998.
St. John's U Partners to Educate the Homeless
St. John's University has partnered with the New York State Department of Homeless Services establish the Advantage Academy, a program that will provide more than 40 homeless and formerly homeless individuals the chance to obtain an associate degree in the fields of Information Technology and Business. While enrolled in the two-year program, students will receive free housing and support services from DHS and academic curriculum and life skills training from St. John’s. The Advantage Academy strives to prepare participants for independent lives and career paths and ultimately, to break the cycles of poverty and homelessness through higher education.
U Illinois Chicago Opens Urban Farm
The University of Illinois at Chicago has opened an organic farm near its Jane Adams Hull-House Museum. The half-acre Hull-House Urban Farm will provide ingredients for the museum's gourmet soup kitchen and food education programming such as workshops on gardening techniques, sustainable practices, cooking, and preserving.
Farmingdale State U Partners to Establish Smart Energy Campus
Farmingdale State College (NY) has teamed with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to create Long Island's first "Smart Energy Campus." Under the partnership, LIPA will work with the College to expand FSU's solar center to become a Renewable and Sustainable Resource Center for demonstration of customer-owned renewable resources such as wind and solar. The College will also utilize the renewable energy center to expand certificate training programs for renewable resources for green technology entrepreneurs and industry workforce.
St. Petersburg College Develops Garden at Local Grade School
St. Petersburg College (FL) Sustainability Club members have partnered with a local elementary school to develop a garden on its grounds. The garden will cover approximately 1,700 square feet and will be tended by K-5 students starting in the fall. The garden will produce a variety of vegetables, fruits, perennials, and annuals grown in an ecologically responsible manner.
Wayne State U Hosts Community Farmers' Market
Wayne State University (MI) has begun hosting a community farmers' market on its campus. The market, which is held every Wednesday from June to October, offers fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and prepared foods. The weekly event was established after two successful pilots last year.
Alabama State U Partners to Produce Biodiesel for School Buses
Alabama State University has partnered with the Montgomery Public Schools and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to establish the "Save the Environment" program, which will produce biodiesel fuel from recycled cooking oils for use in MPS buses and other equipment they use. ASU will provide the technical assistance, training, and scientific study of emissions and fuel efficiency; structure an alternative fuels internship program to assist in the operation of the program and in the collection of data for further scientific study; implement programs to inform its students and the public on ways to improve the environment; and apply for appropriate federal funds and/or grants to further the goals of the project.
Lafayette College Students Prepare Community Water Solutions
Students from a Lafayette College (PA) Technology Clinic class have prepared a set of recommendations for the town's West Ward Neighborhood Partnership on issues concerning the management of surface water runoff. Some of the group’s suggestions include slowing down runoff through the use of gravel and permeable pavement, green roofs, cisterns, and retention ponds; storing runoff with rain barrels, cisterns, and septic tanks; and reusing runoff to provide water for drinking, urban gardening, household applications, and energy through the use of turbines. In related news, a group of students from the same class created a marketing plan for a proposed flood museum in the community. The students’ mission was to create ideas and exhibits that focus on flood-related issues of immediate local importance for The Flood Project of the Nurture Nature Center. The students created interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations designed to engage the community and the College with issues surrounding floods.
California State U San Marcos, U Minnesota Host Farmers' Markets
California State University, San Marcos has begun a new farmers' market on campus. The weekly market is a joint project of CSUSM and the San Diego County Farm Bureau. The University of Minnesota has also begun hosting its community farmers' market. The weekly event features produce from the students organic farm, meat and cheese from the University's laboratories, and food from local vendors.
John Brown U Partners to Help Community Measure Wind Potential
The John Brown University Renewable Energy Department and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Energy Office have partnered to develop an anemometer loan program designed to allow land owners in Arkansas to measure wind energy potential and to help promote wind energy throughout the state. Through the program, selected participants will borrow wind measurement instrumentation to conduct a one-year measurement study on their site. Faculty and students from JBU will install the equipment and monitor the data from campus. They will also develop a wind resource analysis for each participant at the end of the measurement period. Once the one-year measurement period is completed and the data is collected, the equipment will be relocated to other selected participants.
Yavapai College, Habitat for Humanity Partner to Build Eco-House
Yavapai College (AZ) has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to construct a grid-tied house that generates all of the power it needs on-site. The 1,200-square-foot house features an insulated concrete slab, solar panels, an airtight frame, balanced fresh-air ventilation, a solar-power hot water heater, and Energy Star appliances.
Maharishi U Mgmt Students Build Community Greenhouse
A group of Maharishi University of Management (IA) students have helped to construct a greenhouse on a nearby farm. The students participated in a workshop held by the nonprofit organization Practical Farmers of Iowa in which the students, along with several members of the community, installed the 35 by 96 foot hoop house. The students' participation was part of the curriculum for MUM's Sustainable Living program.
Wayne State U Works to Revitalize Surrounding Neighborhoods
Wayne State University (MI) has begun refurbishing run-down buildings in surrounding neighborhoods for campus use. WSU has opened a new police department, academic buildings, apartments, and a welcome center in renovated buildings in an effort to help the downtown Detroit economy.
Northland College Launches Collaborative for Sustainability Ed
Northland College (WI) has launched the Midwest Regional Collaborative for Sustainability Education (MRSCE). The goal of the MRSCE is to use education as the catalyst for community-based sustainability initiatives that engage four aspects of sustainability: environmental integrity, economic prosperity, social equity, and educational innovation. The MRSCE plans to host a five-day sustainability workshop this June and has launched an online social network for sustainability education. Each member on the website will be able to post a personal profile and add content to the website.
U Idaho Receives Grant for Water Resources Education
The University of Idaho has received a $2.94 million grant from the National Science Foundation for a water resources project that connects the research community with middle and high school classrooms in rural northern Idaho and eastern Washington. The five-year project pairs graduate-level research scientists with middle and high school science teachers to enhance education on water resources through new classroom activities, workshops, and field projects. As part of the program, science topics will be linked to local and regional water resource topics, such as aquifer depletion or the politics of salmon, dams, and Indian Tribes.
U Minnesota Crookston Students Support Red Lake Nation
Members of the University of Minnesota, Crookston Students in Free Enterprise team have announced two new projects: an effort to launch a recycling program at the Red Lake Nation's high school and middle school and an exploratory look at acquiring funding for one or more wind turbines. After speaking with members of the tribe, the student group decided to help them with two of their main needs – recycling and reducing energy costs through alternative sources. Members of SIFE and of the Red Lake Nation have begun collaborating on the projects.
Purdue U, Vincennes U to Train Laid-off RV Workers
Purdue University and Vincennes University have begun offering technical training and advanced manufacturing instruction to the hundreds of recreational vehicle production workers in north-central Indiana who recently lost their jobs. Workers can learn new trades, such as precision metalworking, welding, and industrial maintenance. Vincennes will provide technical skills training, and Purdue will teach manufacturing techniques such as lean manufacturing tools, quality systems, sustainability, problem solving, change movement, conflict resolution, and essential communication skills in the workplace. The training is funded by $13 million in state and federal grants.
U Nevada Reno Receives Grant to Help Businesses Reduce Energy Use
The Small Business Development Center at the University of Nevada, Reno has received a $125,000 federal grant for projects offering energy-efficiency help to small businesses. The UNR center will help small businesses evaluate their energy efficiency and implement energy-efficiency measures. The efforts might include support with renewable energy technology; green building and construction; and development and commercialization of clean-technology products, goods and services.
U Arkansas Wins 3 Awards for Sustainable Neighborhood Design
The University of Arkansas Community Design Center, an outreach program of the School of Architecture, has won three national awards for a sustainable neighborhood that they designed for the Washington County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Named Porchscapes , the design won a 2009 American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design; a Progressive Architecture Award in the 56th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards program, sponsored by Architect magazine; and a 2008-09 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the American Institute of Architects. These latest awards bring recognition for the project to a total of seven regional and national awards.
Carnegie Names Campuses for Community Engagement Classification
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected 119 U.S. colleges and universities for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, previously developed and offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Institutions were classified in one of three categories: Curricular Engagement, Outreach and Partnerships, and Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships. In order to be selected into any of the three categories, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices
Worldwatch Publishes Letter to Nominated U.S. Education Secretary
The Worldwatch Institute has published a letter from prominent education and environmental leaders urging the newly nominated U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, to consider the importance of education in carrying out President-elect Barak Obama's environmental agenda. The letter includes a proposed Presidential agenda that focuses on setting a green buildings standard for renovations and new construction at education institutions, directing 1% of cap-and-trade revenues to green economy curriculum, and funding sustainability and environmental education programs.