U Florida Dedicates Pilot Ethanol Plant
The University of Florida has dedicated a pilot ethanol plant on its campus. The plant will research using genetically modified E. coli bacteria to convert plant waste into ethanol. Funded as part of a $4.5 million state grant, the plant will also be used to train graduate students.
UW Madison Holds Carbon Neutral Homecoming Game
This year's University of Wisconsin, Madison homecoming football game against the University of Illinois has been designated carbon neutral. UW Madison has planted thousands of trees at a nearby farm and purchased carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated directly by activities surrounding the game. The event also provided information on ways fans can take action in their daily lives to become more environmentally friendly.
Virginia Commonwealth U Dedicates Env'l Research Pier
The Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences has opened and dedicated its new 5,100-square-foot research pier that gives scientists direct access to James River. The pier was developed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and sits on an ecologically rich, 343-acre parcel of land located on the north bank of the river. The site also serves as a science educator training facility and a place for local K-12 students to participate in various activities.
Ryerson U Kiosks Promote Environmental Goals
Ryerson University (ON) has installed three new touch screen kiosks on campus that promote Ryerson's environmental goals. Students can click on the large blue information kiosks to find out more about RU's environmental initiatives and what they can do to help Ryerson achieve its green goals. More kiosks are scheduled to be built in the coming months.
U Arizona Establishes Institute for the Environment & Society
The University of Arizona has established the Institute for Environment and Society. The new institute's primary goal is to facilitate partnerships among university scientists and society in developing environmentally sustainable technologies, strategies, and policies that will strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life in Arizona and beyond. Diana Liverman of Oxford University has been recruited to co-direct the institute with Jonathan Overpeck, UA professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences. Overpeck has been director of UA's Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, which will be replaced by the new institute.
U Arizona Makes Biosphere 2 More Sustainable
The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 has begun offering opportunities for UA faculty and students who work on sustainability research or who are involved in a sustainability-relevant course to do experiments or projects within the biosphere. Additionally, Biosphere two currently features an on-site recycling program and will soon contain a rainwater catchment system. In addition, landscape architecture students are developing designs for a new master site plan to better serve visitors and incorporate new sustainable systems in Biosphere 2 operations.
Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley Partner with India to Reduce GHGs
The U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley have announced a joint research and development program in which researchers will work with the government and private sector of India to develop paths toward reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases while maintaining sustained economic growth. Scientists of the initiative, named the Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the Environment, will conduct research on basic science and engineering, new technology development, and policies to promote market transformation to further energy efficiency, clean energy sources, and smart growth.
Oregon State U Selected for Marine Renewable Energy Center
Oregon State University has been selected as the site for the Northwest Marine Renewable Energy Center. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded OSU a $1.25 million annual grant, which can be renewed for up to five years. This will be combined with funds from the Oregon legislature, OSU, the Oregon Wave Energy Trust, the University of Washington and other sources to create a total of $13.5 million over five years that will help create the Center. This monetary support will primarily be used to build a floating “test berth” to test wave energy technology on the Oregon coast. Construction of the new floating test berth should begin in 2010.
U Delaware Launches Energy Institute
The University of Delaware has launched its new Energy Institute. The purpose of the new institute is to create and integrate new solutions to challenges in energy sufficiency and sustainability. University President Patrick Harker has also announced the establishment of the Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration, which will explore connection and storage issues related to wind and other intermittent energy sources.
UW Green Bay Announces Institute for Env'l Mgmt & Business
The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay has announced plans to establish the UW-Green Bay Institute for Environmental Management and Business. Key goals of the institute will include strengthening and connecting academic programs that analyze environmental problems and seek practical, cost-effective solutions to these problems; providing outreach services to businesses and agencies that seek options for addressing environmental problems; promoting research by faculty and students aimed at solving local, regional, and global environmental problems; and serving as an academic resource for improving environmental sustainability of the UW-Green Bay campus.
U Wisconsin Oshkosh Establishes Community Garden
Students at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh have established a community garden on campus. The project started in 2006, and the students broke ground on the garden in June of 2008. The UW Oshkosh Community Gardens is managed by a student organization on campus named “Community Gardens.” The purpose of the organization is to maintain and promote the campus garden while engaging students in activities that encourage self-sufficiency, sustainability, and community connection. The Oshkosh Community Gardens will provide workshops in composting, irrigation, permaculture, “Sprouts for Sprouts” and Master Gardeners, as well as internships, summer school, and Service-Learning opportunities. There will also be regular farmers’ markets with proceeds going to local charities. The garden is currently only open to student participation, but the University hopes to open it up to the community next year.
GWU Integrates Corporate Responsibility into MBA Program
The George Washington University (DC) School of Business has launched a curriculum imbued with theories and practical applications on ethical leadership, corporate responsibility, and globalization. The new Global M.B.A. and World Executive M.B.A. programs incorporate values, theory, and international residencies aimed at producing ethical leaders.
Montana University System Unveils Green Jobs Portal
The Montana University System has unveiled a new web portal aimed at helping college students study and find jobs in an alternative energy field. The new website, called "Montana Green Campus," was developed by the state Commerce Department and the University System and provides opportunities for students to study, work, and live green. The site offers a list of the more than 50 online degrees and 500 internet classes available through the university system.
Ohio U to Hold Eco-Homecoming
Ohio University's 2008 homecoming weekend has been given the theme, "Get Your Green On." Participants in the homecoming parade were encouraged to construct floats using recyclable materials, and the Recycling and Refuse Office provided reusable float materials to float makers. Additionally, OU's Office of Sustainability created the "Adopt-a-Game" program where student groups are recruited to collect trash and recyclables during timeouts during the football game.
Power Vote Campaign Launches Debate Tour
The Campus Climate Coalition's Power Vote campaign, a nonpartisan youth voter campaign to elevate the issue of climate change in the 2008 election, has launched its debate tour with a 39 foot tall windmill installation on the site of the University of Mississippi campus, the site of the first presidential debate between candidates John McCain and Barak Obama. As part of the tour, the windmills will travel the country for 22 days, hoping to be installed on each of the Presidential and Vice Presidential debate sites. The remaining sites include Belmont University (TN) and Hofstra University (NY). The windmill installation is part of Power Vote's larger campaign to mobilize 1 million young Americans to pledge their vote for clean and just energy.
U Kansas Engineering Students Design Hybrid Car
Students enrolled in the University of Kansas Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Project class have used a 1974 Volkswagon Beetle to develop a hybrid car as part of a project called "EcoHawks." The students started by redesigning the engine to be able to use gasoline, biodiesel, and ethanol. This year's group used biodiesel that was produced in a chemical engineering laboratory on campus. The EcoHawks projects will continue after this academic year, choosing a different primary fuel source each year.
Mills College Creates Center for Socially Responsible Business
Mills College (CA) has established the Center for Socially Responsible Business at its Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business. The center plans to examine how businesses can improve social conditions in practical ways that do not harm and may even help their bottom lines. Created in part by a three-year grant from the Elfenworks Foundation, the Center aims to advance the study and practice of socially responsible business, promote its values, foster social responsibility in graduate business education, and build alliances with like-minded Bay Area companies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and government agencies.
North Carolina State U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center
North Carolina State University has announced that it will host the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems. The center will be supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. The new center will develop technology that transforms the nation's centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid"
Skidmore College Launches Eco-Reps Program
Skidmore College (NY) has launched a student Eco-Rep program, a peer leadership program designed to help increase environmental awareness among Skidmore students and to continue fostering environmentalism on campus. Skidmore has hired 10 paid student Eco-Rep positions that each work four hours a week in a residence hall. Five Eco-Reps will also serve as mentors to five first-year students as a service-learning project for a First-Year Experience seminar. The Eco-Reps will help the students learn about Skidmore's campus sustainability program, and also how to plan and implement sustainability initiatives and activities. To help them prepare for their new assignment, the Eco-Reps participated in a full day of training to gear up for the upcoming year of sustainability education. Training included learning about current Sustainable Skidmore initiatives, participating in peer leadership activities, setting goals, and brainstorming initiatives for the year.
South Dakota School of Mines to Host Bioenergy Research Center
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the National Science Foundation have partnered to create The Center for Bioenergy Research and Development. The School of Mines will be the host institution for the center, which will be a consortium of universities, industrial partners, and governmental agencies. Members of the consortium include South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, State University of New York Stony Brook, and the University of Hawaii. Each university pledges, as part of the membership agreement, to bring five industry or governmental partners on-board, which yields an industry commitment of more than 30 members.
Acadia U Grows Produce for Dining Hall
A group of 50 Acadia University (NS) students along with members of the community have started an organic garden on campus. The 1,400 square meter, university owned plot yielded produce for the University's cafeteria over the summer. The students, who are members of the Acadia Environmental Society, are also holding public meetings and workshops with local farmers and agriculture experts to share tips on developing sustainable agriculture systems. The University also provided the students and volunteers with equipment to be used at the Acadia Community Sustainable Farm.
Dominican U Holds Fall Lecture Series on Sustainability
The Dominican University (IL) Siena Center will explore the topics of sustainability and stewardship of the earth from a number of perspectives during a series of lectures throughout the fall. The series, titled “Sustainability and the Christian Tradition,” will consider what stewardship of the earth and care of creation demands of Christians, and how this relates to the larger struggle for social justice in the world.
Energy Action Coalition Launches Power Vote Campaign
The Energy Action Coalition has launched "Power Vote," a national non-partisan initiative to elevate the issue of the climate crisis this election season. Power Vote aims to unite one million young "climate voters" behind a platform centered on combating global warming pollution, creating millions of new green jobs, and ensuring our nation's energy independence by transitioning to a new clean energy economy. Those participating in the campaign, Power Voters, will mobilize young people for the Green Jobs No
Princeton U Expands Campus Garden
Princeton University (NJ) moved its student-run organic garden plot from a 12 by 55 foot piece of land to a 1.5 acre lot. The University has also provided the student garden with a storage bin for tools, a composting area furnished with large piles of leaves gathered from campus, two picnic tables, and a farm stand for washing newly harvested produce. The expansion is a result of the success of the pilot garden, which was started in the summer of 2007.
Sustainability Colloquiums at Ohio Wesleyan, U Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island's Fall 2008 Honors Colloquium, "People and Planet – Global Environmental Change," will explore human-caused global change, its consequences and potential responses through a series of lectures, films, exhibits and a cabaret. The series of free, weekly events featuring international experts and URI faculty members will run throughout the fall semester. In collaboration with public libraries throughout Rhode Island, URI’s Honors Colloquium will partner with book clubs to recom
U Minnesota Organic Farm Receives USDA Certification
The University of Minnesota's campus organic farm has received USDA certification. The garden, now in its fourth year, is maintained by students in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences.
U Tennessee Partners to Build Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Facility
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation has partnered with DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC to construct a pilot-scale biorefinery and research and development facility for cellulosic ethanol in Vonore, Tennessee. The pilot-scale biorefinery will develop the commercial package for DDCE's cellulosic ethanol technology. The project will utilize UT's expertise in cellulosic feedstock production and co-product research, as well as its work with Tennessee farmers to develop the first dedicated cellulosic energy crop supply chain for cellulosic biorefineries utilizing switchgrass. The facility design will incorporate the flexibility to operate on two different non-food biomass feedstocks: corn stover, cobs and fiber, and switchgrass. The plant capacity will be 250,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Site preparations are scheduled to begin this fall, and ethanol should be available from the pilot plant by December 2009.
Indiana U Releases Guide to Sustainable Student Living
The Indiana University Task Force on Campus Sustainability has released the "Indiana Sustainable Student," a guide to sustainable living practices for students that features such issues as water and energy conservation, alternative transportation, and sustainable food. The guide was produced by an IU senior who participated in the IU Summer Program in Sustainability, a summer sustainability internship program. In addition to providing concrete tips for sustainable living, the "Indiana Sustainable Student"
Montana State U to Host Wind Applications Center
Montana State University has been named by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory as the home for the state's Wind Applications Center. As part of the project, MSU will incorporate more wind-specific topics into existing engineering courses for students, help educate the public about wind energy and provide support for Montana's growing wind industry. The wind applications center contract, which was awarded in April, provides the University with $40,000 a year for three years. MSU will begin offering wind-related coursework this fall.
UC San Diego Students Help University Cool Buildings
A group of University of California, San Diego undergraduate students have designed, built, and deployed a network of five weather-monitoring stations as a key step toward helping the University use ocean breezes to cool buildings, identify the sunniest rooftops to expand its solar-electric system, and use water more efficiently in irrigation and in other ways. The network, which will be expanded to 20 stations in 2008, includes stations on San Diego-area schools and businesses.
U Florida Football Goes Carbon Neutral
The University of Florida has announced that the 2008 Florida Gators home football season will be carbon neutral. The initiative, named Neutral Gator, aims to offset carbon emissions produced from game day activities including automobile travel, flights, hotel stays, and stadium energy usage. UFL will be the first college to host a carbon neutral football season. Neutral Gator has also partnered with a local utility company to provide compact fluorescent light-blubs to low income neighborhoods and is working to install solar panels on the UFL campus. Neutral Gator is a result of a partnership between the UFL Office of Sustainability, the University Athletic Association, and the Florida based non-profit Earth Givers Inc.
Villanova U Announces Year of Sustainability, Sustainability Eng. Prgm
Villanova University (PA) has announced that its 2008-2009 academic year has been designated as the "Year of Sustainability." As part of this theme, VU has also developed an interdisciplinary Master's of Science in Sustainable Engineering, available for enrollment in 2009. Open to engineers from all different fields, this program introduces students to the broader issues of sustainability through a series of core courses and then allows them to pursue one of three specialty tracks: alternative energy, sus
Yale U Student Builds Sustainable House
Yale University (CT) graduate student, Elizabeth Turnbull, with the help of family and friends, has designed and constructed a sustainable house to live in while attending graduate school. The 144 square feet Tiny House, as she calls it, features a composting toilet, solar panels, and recycled sailboat sails for ceilings. Turnbull decided to build the house after she realized that building the structure would actually save her money on housing and greatly reduce her carbon footprint while at Yale.
Green Mountain College to Hold Green Freshman Orientation
Green Mountain College (VT) has announced plans to hold an environmentally friendly freshman orientation this year. As part of the initiative, GMC reduced the amount of paper to be used during the event and will hold several workshops and public campaigns aimed at teaching students how to reduce their carbon footprint. The College has also encouraged students to bring their own utensils and travel mugs to orientation and will offer a locally produced breakfast one day during the event.
Ithaca College Opens Academic Year with Green Picnic
Ithaca College's (NY) annual zero-waste convocation ceremony and community picnic featured for the first time local seasonal foods, examples of solar- and bicycle-powered activities, and the distribution of reusable mugs made from 100% recycled plastic. Additionally, participants were asked to sign a “commitment to change” pledge to make more sustainable choices.
Maryville College Holds Green Freshman Move-in Day
Maryville College (TN) held a green move-in day for freshman. The event, entitled Green Grand Opening, featured cardboard recycling and green goodie bags containing compact fluorescent bulbs, eco-pencils, and reusable shopping bags.
17 Schools Selected to Participate in EcoCAR Competition
The U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and Natural Resources Canada has announced the 17 teams selected to participate in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, a collegiate vehicle engineering competition set to begin in the Fall of 2008. EcoCAR will challenge university engineering students across North America to reengineer a Saturn VUE to achieve improved fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal. Participating schools include Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (FL), Georgia Tech, Howard University (DC), Michigan Technological University, Mississippi State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN), Texas Tech University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo, University of Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.
Benedictine U to Celebrate 3 Years for the Environment
Benedictine University (IL) has announced plans to launch a three-year program entitled, "Years for the Environment," aimed at moving the campus from education and conversation into action. The effort will incorporate curriculum, speakers, events and community outreach. An array of environmentally-themed courses will be offered each semester. Many existing courses, particularly those in biology, humanities, religious studies, and anthropology, will incorporate environmental topics into their curriculum. Th
UC San Diego Increases Green Curriculum
The University of California San Diego has announced plans to offer more than 80 green seminars, workshops, and courses that cover sustainability issues this fall. Course topics will include global warming, consumerism, alternative energy, climate change and society, and corporate social responsibility. Nearly 200 courses with sustainability related content will be offered in total.
15 Colleges Complete North American Solar Challenge
15 colleges and universities have completed the 2008 North American Solar Challenge in which they designed and built solar cars that traveled 2,400 miles from Texas to Canada in 10 days. The University of Michigan finished in first place completing the race in 51 hours and 41 minutes. Principia College (IL) came in second followed by Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Germany), the University of Waterloo (ON), the University of Minnesota, the University of Calgary (AB), Missouri University of Science and Technology, Iowa State University, Red River College (MB), University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, Queen's University (ON), and Northwestern University (IL). Durham University and Oregon State University did not meet the required number of laps for qualifying, but were permitted to finish the race as non-competitive entries. 24 schools created their own cars, and 15 were able to finish.
Colorado Mountain College Fuses Sustainability into the Curriculum
Colorado Mountain College will offer several environmentally focused classes in its overall curriculum this fall. The College aims to embed environmental awareness into a wide range of subjects such as political science, philosophy, business, and English. So far, the school has identified 17 courses that will incorporate sustainability into the focus.
Colorado State U to Establish School of Global Env'l Sustainability
Colorado State University has unveiled plans for the state's first School of Global Environmental Sustainability. The School of Global Environmental Sustainability will be an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at the university. Diana Wall will serve as founding director of the school. Over the next year, Wall will form advisory committees to help create curriculum and programs for the school, which could start offering new courses as early as 2010. The curriculum will include courses from eight different colleges in areas such as atmospheric science, environmental politics, wind engineering, agricultural economics, green building, wildlife biology, ecotourism, forestry, ecology, sustainable entrepreneurship and public policy. Students will have the opportunity to complement their majors with environmental courses.
Culinary School of the Rockies Launches Farm to Table Externship
The Culinary School of the Rockies (CO) has launched a Farm to Table Externship. The off-campus Externship takes students to work on farms and ranches in Colorado's North Fork Valley and in Boulder County, allowing students to learn firsthand how to source local ingredients from farmers, growers, and producers. Students also have an apprenticeship with Colorado chefs that cook with local and organic food.
Simon Fraser U to Establish Faculty of the Environment
Simon Fraser University (BC) has announced plans to establish the Faculty of the Environment. The new department will bring together SFU’s Department of Geography, the School of Resource and Environmental Management, the Centre for Sustainable Community Development, the SFU Environmental Science Program, and the Graduate Certificate Program in Development Studies. The new faculty will begin accepting new students for the fall of 2009.
Arizona State U to Establish Solar Power Laboratory
Arizona State University has announced plans to establish the Solar Power Laboratory to advance solar energy research, education, and technology. The goal of the lab is to improve the efficiency of solar electric power systems while making them more economically feasible. The laboratory will be a collaboration between the University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. The initiative is a response to the Arizona Board of Regents’ Solar Energy Initiative.
BCSEA Launches Canadian Clean Energy Academic Program Directory
The BC Sustainable Energy Association, a non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency, has launched its "Clean Energy Classrooms" project. The initiative includes an online portal that features a directory to all of Canada's currently available training and education options in renewable energy. The Clean Energy Classrooms resource guide is meant to provide comprehensive information to prospective students, help schools ensure strong enrollment for their renewabl
Michigan Tech, Michigan State U to Develop Ethanol Plant
Michigan Technological University has been selected to partner with Michigan State University and the Mascoma Corporation in Michigan’s first Center of Energy Excellence. The three institutions will develop the state's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant. Michigan Tech will contribute its knowledge of sustainable forestry management practices and access to its automotive engineering labs for analysis of the biofuels produced. MSU will provide expertise in pretreatment technology for cellulosic ethanol production and assistance with renewable energy crops that can be used by the bio-refinery. The universities will each receive an estimated $1 million to analyze issues related to the availability and cost of supplying the wood fiber and other plant materials to produce cellulosic ethanol.
St. Lawrence U Sends Green Shopping List to Freshmen
St. Lawrence University (NY) has sent a list of suggested green dorm room items to freshman, offering advice to students about what "green" shopping means and what to look for. The Green Shopping List begins by encouraging students to share items with their roommates rather than to buy new items, and suggests Energy Star products and used products as well. The list also encourages students not to bring items such as TVs and refrigerators, which are already provided in common areas.
U Central Florida Students Build Biodiesel Reactor
A group of University of Central Florida Mechanical Engineering students have designed and constructed a system that converts restaurants' used vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. The system, which can produce about 60 gallons of biodiesel every two days, is the result of a Senior Design class project. The University uses the biodiesel fuel produced to power its lawn mowers and heavy equipment. The students involved in the project have since graduated and started a company that will use the design for the biodiesel reactor that they constructed. Future UCF Mechanical Engineering students will be tasked with improving the current system.
Community College Times Covers Sustainability
The Community College Times has published an article on how community colleges are continuing to implement sustainability curriculum and other initiatives despite their tightening budgets. The article mentions Northeast Wisconsin Technical College's use of grants, Lane Community College's (OR) use of a revolving loan fund, Cape Cod Community College's (MA) green landscaping initiatives, Delta College's (MI) green cleaning initiatives, and Santa Fe Community College's (FL) installation of new cooling towers. Energy service companies are also mentioned as a way to implement energy saving initiatives without expensive upfront costs since they allow institutions to pay for the installation of energy-efficient technology through future savings in utility costs rather than up-front payments.