U.S. EPA Awards $1M+ to Colleges for Environmental Innovation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $1 million in grants to 14 college teams across the country who participated in the 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Winners of the EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) awards developed sustainable projects and ideas that protect the environment, encourage economic growth, and use natural resources more efficiently. The national P3 award competition encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to worldwide environmental problems through technological innovation. Each P3 award winner receives up to $75,000 to further develop a design, implement it in the field, or move it to the marketplace. Winners of this year’s awards are Harvard University (MA), Clemson University (SC), Texas A&M University, Humboldt State University (CA), Appalachian State University (NC), Clarkson University (NY) (two teams), Cornell University (NY), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Roger Williams University (RI), Virginia Tech, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and Drexel University (PA). The EPA has posted Science Works Podcasts with its Sustainable Design Competition Winners.

U Oregon is Finalist for Intl Sustainable Research Award 2010

The University of Oregon's Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Sustainable Research Globe Award. SCI represents a re-conceptualization of the research university as catalyst for sustainable community change. The multi-disciplinary, applied learning, and engaged community orientation allows SCI to serve as a model for universities around the world. This model combines scientifically rigorous research and exceptional student instruction and transforms them into a state of practice and knowledge catalyst for helping cities transition to more sustainable practice. While ultimately not accepted as the laureate, SCI was thrilled to be one of the finalists for the internationally recognized award, with competing entries from China, India, the UK, and Sweden.

Bowdoin College Awarded NASA Grant for Climate Change Research

Bowdoin College (ME) has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct multidisciplinary climate change research in the Gulf of Maine. The grant will fund a team of Bowdoin scientists and their colleagues at Michigan Tech, U.S. Geological Survey, Yale University (CT), and the University of New Brunswick using NASA satellite imagery to assess the flux and processing of dissolved organic carbon and nutrients from three major river systems draining into the Gulf of Maine. The project will incorporate historical data sets to develop a baseline of land use and climate change over the past century, and will include models for predicting how hydrology and carbon cycling is likely to be altered with projected changes in land use and climate change over time.

Dept of Energy Announces Teams to Compete in Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which will be held on the National Mall in Washington, DC in the Fall 2011. For two weeks, teams of college and university students from across the United States and the world will compete to design, build, and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, the competition will highlight affordable homes that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems that are available today. U.S. and Canadian teams include Appalachian State University (NC); the Research Foundation of CUNY (NY); Florida State University, The University of Central Florida, The University of Florida, and The University of South Florida; Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) and the New School (NY); Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell; Rutgers the State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology; Middlebury College (VT); Florida International University; The Ohio State University; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Old Dominion University (VA) and Hampton University (VA); University of Maryland, College Park; Purdue University (IN); University of Calgary (AB); University of Tennessee; University of Hawaii; and The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology.

Portland State U Partners to Foster EVs & Sustainability

Portland State University (OR) has partnered with Portland General Electric to help the region accommodate electric cars and renewable energy, design environmentally friendly buildings, and foster regional sustainability. The two organizations will work together to locate a network of charging stations for electric cars as part of a $100 million eTec-Nissan North America partnership that establishes charging stations in five states, including 2,000 in Oregon. The MOU also included a $50,000 commitment over two years to create a PGE Foundation Renewable Energy Research lab.

U Toledo Establishes Sustainable Materials Institute

The University of Toledo (OH) has recently established the Institute for Sustainable Engineering Materials. The institute will research ways to make industrial processes and materials more sustainable. They will look into how to increase the amount of waste recycled and to decrease the overall amount of waste used.

Denison U Professor Receives Sustainability Research Grant

Joe Reczek, assistant professor of chemistry at Denison University, has been granted a Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement (RCSA). With the $41,000 grant, Reczek and several Denison students will investigate the possibilities of new organic chemistry compounds and their applications for solar cells.

Rochester Inst of Tech Awarded Library Energy Reduction Grant

The Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has received a $580,174 grant for a major research project dealing with sustainable preservation practices in libraries. Many libraries maintain tightly controlled, energy-intensive environments for their stacks, special collections and exhibition spaces. For budgetary reasons and concerns about global climate change, libraries are searching for ways to responsibly and safely lower energy consumption. This project will investigate a promising method for libraries to achieve significant reductions in energy use without compromising the preservation quality of collection environments through a carefully monitored and risk-managed shutdown of air handling units during unoccupied hours. RIT will partner with libraries at Yale University (CT); University of California, Los Angeles; and Cornell University (NY); as well as the Birmingham Public Library and the New York Public Library.

Council of Ontario Universities Announces Research Chairs

The Council of Ontario Universities has announced three research chairs in environmental science. The Ontario Research Chair in Renewable Energy Technologies and Health has been awarded to the University of Waterloo and its candidate, Dr. Siva Sivoththaman. The two Ontario Research Chairs in Green Chemistry and Engineering have been awarded to Queen's University and its candidate, Dr. Michael Cunningham, and to Trent University and its candidate, Dr. Suresh Narine. Dr. Sivoththaman will bring focus to multi-disciplinary activities in renewable energy technologies and health, ensuring that health and safety are top priorities in the induction of new technologies. His research program will develop new technical approaches and will provide guidelines in setting standards to ensure health and safety in the manufacturing, use, and end-of-life phases of renewable energy technologies. Dr. Cunningham's research interests are in polymer science, with a focus on replacing environmentally harmful processes that employ organic solvents with more environmentally benign water-based processes that do not use solvents. His research will exploit newly discovered materials that can "switch" their properties and the latest chemistry techniques to control polymer product properties, using manufacturing methods that minimize environmental impact. Dr. Narine will focus on the use of natural oils to develop new high-value, high-performance, and toxic free/neutral chemicals, materials, and polymers.

U Arizona Creates Solar Park

The University of Arizona has established a new Solar Zone at its Science and Technology Park. The Solar Park will be an interdisciplinary and collaborative hub for researchers and industry to develop and promote renewable energy.

U Florida Receives $870K NASA Climate Change Research Grant

The University of Florida has received $870,000 from NASA to study how to better adapt to climate change. The NASA Land Use Land Cover Change Program grant will fund an interdisciplinary project that will analyze relationships among climate variability, climate change, land use and land cover change. Using remote sensing applications and socio-economic surveys, the project aims to create models that could enhance planning for sustainable resource use and help the people in these areas adapt to climate change. The grant will support graduate students and allow the project to conduct summer fieldwork in Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia.

U Wisconsin Oshkosh Receives 2 Grants to Construct Biodigester

The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh has received a $500,000 grant from the federal government and a $232,587 grant from Wisconsin Focus on Energy to build a dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester, which will convert year and food waste into fuel. The renewable energy facility will include heat and power generators, which will produce up to five percent of the campus’s electricity and heating needs. The biodigester needs 6,000 tons of organic biowaste per year to provide a 400 kilowatt output. The majority of the waste will be provided by campus and community sources with the remainder being supplied from other area partners.

U California Berkeley Awarded $24.5M to Reduce Electricity Usage

The University of California, Berkeley has been awarded $24.5 million to fund a multi-institutional research center that would aim to reduce power consumption by electronics. The five-year grant by the National Science Foundation will be used to establish the Center for Energy Efficient Electronics Science, or E3S, one of only five multi-institutional Science and Technology Centers to be established this year. UC Berkeley researchers will team up with colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University (CA), Contra Costa College (CA), Los Angeles Trade Technical College (CA), and the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to dramatically dampen electronics' appetite for power.

Two Michigan Institutions Awarded Offshore Wind Research Grants

Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center and University of Michigan's Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute have partnered to study the potential for offshore wind energy in Lake Michigan. The two institutions recently received $1.34 million in state grants to help pay for the construction of a floating data-collection platform in Lake Michigan.

4 Institutions Receive Research Grant for IT Energy Efficiency

A team of computer scientists from Rutgers University (NJ), the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia have received a two-year, $1 million research grant from Google to help reduce energy usage in large Internet data centers. The team will explore ways to create low power modes in servers, allowing parts of the computer to be turned off while other parts remain accessible. The goal is to allow less active servers to move their processing loads to other servers and essentially go to sleep. The goal of such redesigns would be to conserve 40 to 50 percent of the power that servers now consume. The team members are all affiliated with UCSB’s Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing.

U California Merced Prof Receives Grant to Study Solar Energy

Professor Alberto Cerpa of the University of California, Merced has received a $568,202 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a system to track the amount of sunlight collected by solar panels on the ground. This information will make it easier for electricity providers to plan and manage solar generation systems within their electrical grids. The research project will use a network of sensors to collect solar irradiance data at ground levels. The sensors will measure and track cloud cover, aerosol content, and the presence of gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide - all of which can reduce the amount of sunlight a solar cell can collect - in the Earth’s lower atmosphere and stratosphere.

U Idaho Joins Forestry Research System

The University of Idaho has received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to help university forestry researchers solve industry-wide problems. The University will use the funding to establish a research site in the Center for Advanced Forest Systems (CAFS), a program that links university-based forestry research programs in the U.S. By joining CAFS, the university will increase information sharing and optimize research in the areas of silviculture, biometrics, bioenergy, site resource availability, forest genetics, and geospatial analysis of forest productivity.

Banaras Hindu U Establishes Sustainable Development Center

Banaras Hindu University (India) has established the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development. The role of the institute is to spread information about sustainable development and to conduct research around issues such as pollution, natural resource management, and sustainable agriculture.

Dept of Energy Announces 5 University Wind Research Grants

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE’s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program announced the selection of five additional states to each receive approximately $60,000 in funding per year for three years for activities supporting Wind Powering America's Wind for Schools project. These awards will provide universities, state institutions, and non-governmental organizations funding and technical support that will be used to develop educational programs to improve understanding of wind technology and its implementation using the Wind for Schools model. The university leads on the selected projects are Appalachian State University (NC), James Madison University (VA), Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Alaska.

India Institute of Technology Builds Solar Plant

The India Institute of Technology, Kanpur is building a 500 kW solar plant to research how to reduce the cost of solar power. The scientists at IIT aim to make the cost of solar competitive with conventional resources. The plant is expected to be operational in four years. The plant will provide free power to six neighboring villages.

U Tasmania Opens Renewable Energy Research Facility

The University of Tasmania (Australia) has opened a new renewable energy laboratory and solar energy research facility. The research will focus on developing new and better ways to store the energy produced by renewable sources.

Zayed U and Masdar Institute Partner on Renewable Energy

Zayed University and Masdar Institute (United Arab Emirates) have partnered to advance research and education on renewable energy. Research will study the scientific and socio-economic implications of large scale renewable energy. The agreement also outlines arrangements for Zayed University to support the Masdar Institute’s "pre-Master’s" program by offering preparatory coursework to help students meet the Institute’s rigorous graduate admissions requirements.

Central Carolina CC Receives Grant for Green Laboratories

Central Carolina Community College (NC) has received a $30,000 grant from Progress Energy Foundation for its energy efficiency/green building and renewable energy programs. The grant will help pay for two new laboratories and allow students to have more hands on training. The energy efficiency/green building lab will include workstations in solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies, as well as weatherization stations and green building materials demonstrations. The renewable energy lab will allow students to work on photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, creating connections, testing equipment, and monitoring system efficiencies.

Colorado State U Receives $44M for Algae Research

Colorado State University, in partnership with Solix Biofuels Inc., has been awarded a $44 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for algae-to-oil research. The grant is part the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts, and the researchers will focus on such issues as reuse of biproducts and feasibility of algae replacing gasoline.

Rowan U Students & Faculty Work to Green Pharmaceutical Companies

Students and faculty in Rowan University's (NJ) College of Engineering are working with pharmaceutical companies to help green their processes. Through EPA grants totaling over $200,000, the University is expanding its green engineering research to work with the pharmaceuticals to help them reduce waste and become more efficient. Current research focuses on minimizing the impacts of raw materials used in creating the products and reducing pollution.

Stony Brook U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center

Stony Brook University and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has announced that SBU will host the Advanced Energy Center (AEC), which will support efforts to advance innovative energy research, education, and technology deployment with a focus on efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy. The commitment by NYPA includes $500,000 to support the operations of the AEC. Construction of the AEC building is expected to be completed by fall 2010.

U Delaware to Establish Energy & Env'l Policy Ctr in South Korea

The University of Delaware has signed an agreement with the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone Authority to establish the UD Center for Energy and Environmental Policy campus in Daegu, South Korea. The agreement will allow for the development of multilateral relations and an exchange of scientific ideas. Collaborative research in the field will be conducted at the new campus.

U Kansas Receives $12M Grant to Build Green Technologies Facility

The University of Kansas School of Engineering has received a $12.3 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Construction Grant Program to build a green technologies research facility. The 34,600-square-foot Measurement, Materials, and Sustainable Environment Center, which will aim for LEED certification, will house research projects on the development of biofuels; remote sensing technologies used to monitor polar ice and glaciers; and development and testing laboratories for commercial avionics, sustainable materials, and advanced research in materials fracture and fatigue. The University must raise $6.5 million in matching funds for the project, which will total $18.8 million.

Dept of Energy Announces 5 University Wind Research Grants

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory and DOE’s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program announced the selection of five additional states to each receive approximately $60,000 in funding per year for three years for activities supporting Wind Powering America's Wind for Schools project. These awards will provide universities, state institutions, and non-governmental organizations funding and technical support that will be used to develop educational programs to improve understanding of wind technology and its implementation using the Wind for Schools model. The university leads on the selected projects are Appalachian State University (NC), James Madison University (VA), Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Alaska.

Associated Press Covers Campus Green Poinsettia Initiatives

The Associated Press has published an article on initiatives at some U.S. institutions to grow poinsettias more sustainably. Institutions mentioned include the University of New Hampshire, Purdue University (IN), North Carolina State University, and the University of Florida.

Clemson U Researchers Receive Grant to Study Carbon Sequestration

Clemson University (SC) researchers have received an $891,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study the storage of carbon dioxide in underground geological formations. The researchers will focus on carbon dioxide dissolved in saltwater at high pressure and how to keep it away from underground drinking water. They will also work with a professor from Stanford University (CA).

College Students Attend White House Youth Energy Forum

The New York Times has posted a blog on the White House Youth Clean Energy Economic Forum, which several campus members were able to attend. The Forum was held to begin building a framework for a green economy. The University of California, Berkeley was mentioned in the post.

Temple U Opens Center Focused on Diversity

Temple University (PA) has established a new center focused on diversity. The Academic Center on Research in Diversity launched earlier this year to promote faculty and student research on diversity. The Center will also hosts forums about diversity and reach out to the local community.

U Idaho Graduate Student Wins National Conservation Award

A graduate student from the University of Idaho has won the national William T. Hornaday Conservation Award from the American Society of Mammalogists. Jan Schipper is currently pursuing his doctorate degree at the University and has done a significant amount of work to improve the protection of mammals. One initiative he has led is to assess the status of the world’s 5,500 mammal species by working with organizations around the world.

2009 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing Announced

The 2009 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing has been awarded to a study on the complex relationship between corporate financial performance, corporate social performance, and social pressure. The winning paper, “The Economics and Politics of Corporate Social Performance” was written by David Baron of the Stanford University (CA) Graduate School of Business, Maretno Harjoto of Pepperdine University's (CA) Graziadio School of Business and Management, and Hoje Jo of Santa Clara University's (CA) Leavey School of Business.

Clemson U Receives Grant to Conduct Wind Turbine Research

Clemson University (SC) has received a $45 million grant from the Department of Energy and an additional $53 million in matching funds to build a wind turbine research facility. The facility will focus on developing large-scale turbines that can generate 5 to 15 megawatts, which currently do not exist in the US. The facility will be part of the Restoration Institute at the former U.S. naval base in Charleston.

Florida Gulf Coast U to Create Green Research Center

Florida Gulf Coast University has partnered with the John D. Back Foundation to create the Florida Gulf Coast Innovation Hub, a 1.2 million-square-foot research and development area. FGCU plans to build a facility at the Innovation Hub to study renewable energy, solar energy, alternative energy sources, biotechnology, green technology and other programs. One of the primary goals of the initiative is to attract businesses and universities with an interest in renewable energy, and spur growth in green jobs.

U Washington Selected to Test Smart-Grid Technology

Seattle City Light has chosen the University of Washington’s campus to test its smart-grid technology. The project will install energy monitoring equipment and other technology in two classrooms and two residential halls. The project will cost $9.6 million and is part of a national initiative from the Department of Energy to make the national energy grid more efficient.

U Memphis Professor Receives Grant for Biodiesel Research

University of Memphis (TN) professor Srikant Gir has been awarded a $500,000 grant to conduct research on biodiesel research and development. Dr. Gir is focusing on creating a smaller waste-into-fuel converter so that the process can be done in a more local way. He sees small businesses using it to convert vegetable oil and fallen leaves into energy.

U Nebraska Lincoln Receives $1.5 M for Organic Agriculture

The University of Nebraska, Lincoln has received a $1.5 million grant to conduct research exploring issues around organic agriculture. The grant is part of $19 million in funding awarded to universities across the country from the USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, which is designed to create local and regional food systems.

U Wisconsin Madison Prof Awarded Grant for Green Chemistry

Shannon S. Stahl, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison has been awarded a $747,166 grant for green chemistry research. Her research focuses on developing innovative approaches in chemistry and engineering to make the development of pharmaceuticals more environmentally friendly. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded the grant as part of $16.4 million in research grants around the country.

California Awards $27M for Green Collar Job Training

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced the 34 recipients of $27 million in grants to jump-start the California Clean Energy Workforce Training Program (CEWTP), a state-sponsored green jobs training program. Under the this first phase of the program, anticipated to train 5,600 participants, workers will be prepared for hands-on jobs, such as installing solar panels and maintaining electric vehicles to computer programming and researching fuel cell technologies, to help develop the state’s low-carbon, clean energy economy of tomorrow. The following higher education institutions received a portion of the funding: Contra Costa Community College District, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, Kern County College District, Long Beach Community College District, North Orange County Community College District, College of the Desert, Hartnell College, Imperial Valley College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Peralta Community College District, San Bernardino Community College District, and Solano Community College.

U Minnesota Receives $2.2 Million Grant for Biofuel Research

The University of Minnesota and BioCee, a university start-up company, have received a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a bioreactor using bacteria embedded in a thin latex coating to produce hydrocarbon fuel. The funding is part of a larger $151 million pool of money being issued to institutions for renewable energy research.

Frostburg State U to Establish Green Energy Research Facility

Frostburg State University (MD) has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the Renewable Energy Center’s self sufficient, off-the-grid building. The $856,350 grant will assist in purchasing research equipment and computers and employ researchers at the Sustainable Energy Research Facility. The Center will conduct research on the effectiveness of sustainable energy resources in Appalachia.

Ohio Governor Announces Nine New University Advanced Energy Ctrs

Governor Ted Strickland, together with Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut, has announced nine new Centers of Excellence in advanced energy, to be located at eight Ohio universities. The Centers will be committed to focusing their academic and research activities on advanced energy development to meet the requirements of Senate Bill 221, which mandates that 25 percent of all electricity sold in Ohio comes from advanced energy sources by 2025. The Centers will be located at Bowling Green State University, Case Western Reserve University, Central State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and University of Toledo.

Willamette U Students Build Wind Turbine on Campus

Two students at Willamette University (OR) constructed a homemade wind turbine on top of the E.S. Collins Science Center to demonstrate do-it-yourself power capability. The turbine was built in the course of one year and the students hope it will be used to power an irrigation pump at a campus garden that supplies produce to the school's dining services. The construction of the turbine was funded by the Center for Sustainable Communities.

Congress Aids U Maine Presque Isle in Solar Project

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will receive $800,000 from Congress through the 2010 Energy and Water Senate Appropriations Conference Report for the UMPI solar energy initiative. The funding, which was secured with the help of Maine Senator Susan Collins, will allow the University to design and install photovoltaic solar panel arrays and an automated weather station to collect information on solar radiation levels.

U California Berkeley Commits to Green Chemistry

The University of California, Berkeley’s College of Chemistry has appointed Alexis T. Bell to be the Dow Chair in Sustainable Chemistry and has established the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry. Bell is known for his pioneering work on protecting the environment with green chemistry. The new Center, which is a collaboration of the Haas School of Business, School of Law, College of Natural Resources, and School of Public Health, seeks to bring a multidisciplinary approach to research, education, and engagement in sustainable chemistry practice.

U California Berkeley Haas School of Business Launches Energy Institute

The University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business has launched the Energy Institute, which seeks to commercialize new technologies and teach students how energy markets work. The Institute combines the efforts of several existing programs.

U California Merced Prof Receives Grant for Solar Energy Research

Professor David Kelley at the University of California, Merced has received a $1.3 million grant for research to reduce the cost of solar energy. The National Science Foundation grant will be used to help improve a device called the luminescent solar concentrator, a device that absorbs sunlight across a wide area and then re-emits it onto a small photovoltaic cell. Kelley will work with other UC Merced faculty to conduct the research.