U Utah Awards 1st Round of Internal Sustainability Funds

The University of Utah Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund committee has chosen seven energy-saving proposals to receive funding from its sustainability fee. Among the projects selected were proposals to add switches to vending machines so they use less energy, modify the U’s solar panels to track the sun throughout the day to maximize their absorption, and design a way to capture storm water for the U’s plants. Approximately $35,000 has been allocated to the selected projects.

New York U Funds On-Campus Sustainable Projects

New York University has selected 14 projects out of over 50 submissions to be the recipients of its Sustainability Fund grant money. The Sustainability Task Force gave out $75,000 to projects that will reduce environmental impacts, engage the community, and advance applied research and educational goals on campus.

Rice U Establishes Committee on Investor Responsibility Policy

A group of students from Rice University's (TX) Rice for Peace and Justice group have created the Committee on Investor Responsibility Policy. The Committee, which will focus on the social and environmental impact of the institutions' investments, will consist of three faculty members chosen by the Faculty Senate, two graduate students chosen by the Graduate Student Association, three undergraduate students chosen by the Student Association and one administrator chosen by President David Leebron. All offices will need to be confirmed by the president and will be up for renewal on a yearly basis.

U Illinois Chicago Receives Funding Toward Food Issues Education

The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $149,000 grant from the Washington-based Institute of Museum and Library Sciences for its soup kitchen at the Jane Adams Hull-House Museum and the half-acre Hull-House Urban Farm that supplies some of its ingredients. The two-year grant will help fund the Hull-House Museum's Re-Thinking Soup program, a weekly luncheon that features recipes from local chefs and speakers on food issues like food sovreignty, ethical eating and animal rights.

Slippery Rock U Green Fee Funds Projects

The Slippery Rock University (PA) student green fee has distributed $19,500 in grant money to fund new projects. Professors and students recently submitted project proposals for how the funds should be spent and a committee chose five of the proposals including: a campus wide showing of Food Inc., lectures from green speakers, a biofuels project, occupancy sensors for class rooms, and electric metering equipment.

U Georgia Approves Student Green Fee

University of Georgia President Michael Adams has announced the approval of a student green fee to begin next fall. The $3 fee will help to fund a campus sustainability office, support efforts to coordinate environmental programming, address energy efficiency, and interlace sustainability efforts on campus with university academics.

Illinois CC Sustainability Network Receives Grant

The Illinois Community College Sustainability Network (ICCSN) has received a $1.7 million grant to expand its green educational and training offerings throughout the system and to open three new Green Job Centers. The ICCSN is a consortium of 48 community colleges geared toward advancing career development in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Agnes Scott College Receives Grant for Green Initiatives

Agnes Scott College (GA) has received a $150,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to continue and expand its efforts to become more sustainable. The grant will be used to fund a sustainability fellow position, install real-time utility trackers in several residence halls, and an energy audit that will provide a detailed assessment of the College’s energy use.

Gustavus Adolphus College to Increase Green Energy Lab Projects

Gustavas Adolphus College (MN) has received a $155,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to incorporate sustainable and renewable energy into the science programs. The grant will allow the college to set up new lab programs that focus on renewable energy from sources such as wind and biofuels. Equipment to be purchased includes solar thermal collectors, a demonstration model of a small wind turbine, demonstration fuel cells, solar panels, and a hydroelectric generator.

Kean U Receives EPA Grant for Emissions Reduction Trainings

Kean University (NJ) and the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability have received a three-year grant for $179,655 to help carry out a series of seminars and workshops for colleges and universities in New Jersey on how to become more sustainable. The 18 training sessions will focus on reducing and preventing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions; improving environmental performance; and quantifying and reporting the resulting reductions or avoided emissions use.

U Vermont Ctr for Rural Studies Receives Sustainable Foods Grant

The University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies has received a grant for $228,410 to address program goals in the study of local and regional food system issues, community problem-solving, entrepreneurship assistance, and community-level information resources for Vermonters. A number of workshops will be held to provide technical assistance to food entrepreneurs, as well as to help set up local networks.

U Georgia Approves Student Green Fee

University of Georgia President Michael Adams has announced the approval of a student green fee to begin next fall. The $3 fee will help to fund a campus sustainability office, support efforts to coordinate environmental programming, address energy efficiency, and interlace sustainability efforts on campus with university academics.

College of William & Mary Announces Funding for Sustainability Projects

The College of William & Mary (VA) has announced its fall 2009 grants for campus sustainability projects. Out of 26 proposals totaling almost $250,000 in requests, 12 were awarded funding at the committee's November meeting for a total of $78,759. The projects include large capital investments as well as small ones, ranging from a campus herb garden to an electric maintenance truck. An annual $30 student green fee that generates $200,000 a year provides funding for the grants.

Concordia U Wisconsin Env'l Center Receives Grant from Wal-Mart

Concordia University Wisconsin has received a $50,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation for its Center for Environmental Stewardship. The Center will open in 2010 and will educate K-12 students on conservation, wind turbines, solar energy, and fresh water ecosystems.

Campuses Increasingly Embrace Geothermal Power

The Boston Globe has published and article on how college and university campuses are increasingly turning to geothermal power as an alternative to heating and cooling campus buildings. The article mentions Boise State University (ID), which expects to save up to $80,000 per year in heating costs with its geothermal installations, Ball State University (IN), which expects to save $2 million a year once its project to upgrade 45 buildings to geothermal technology is complete, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which has recently installed a geothermal system and expects that cost will be recovered in 15-20 years.

Rhode Island Funds Prgm to Send Low-Income Students to College

The State of Rhode Island has begun a pilot program designed to send lower income high school students to college. The program, Bachelor Degree in Three, provides funding for lower income high school students to take up to one year of college courses while still in high school so that they can graduate from a college or university in three years, saving the family money. Participating schools include the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, and Rhode Island College.

West Virginia U Energy Saving Program Receives Federal Funds

West Virginia University, in partnership with the state Division of Energy, has received $500,000 in stimulus money to help fund its Save Energy Now program. The program helps businesses in the region save energy, create jobs, and improve the environment. This was the second time the program has received funds, making the total $1.2 million.

Chatham U Receives Funding for Solar Installations

The Pennsylvania state government has given out more than $23 million for 36 new solar and alternative energy projects in the state. $113,037 of the funding was given to Chatham University for on campus projects. The University is using the funding to install two solar thermal systems on two different campus residence halls.

U Tulsa Partners to Increase Native American Graduation Rates

The University of Tulsa (OK) and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) have partnered in an effort to help Native Americans in Oklahoma achieve their education goals and to increase Native American graduation rates in higher education. As part of the partnership, TU will reach out to students as early as the eighth or ninth grade through the CNO Scholarship Advisement Program’s workshops, college preparation testing, and school visits. TU also will act as a resource for the CNO Scholarship Advisement Program on issues related to college admission and financial aid.

Brevard CC Recognized for Sustainability Efforts

Brevard Community College (FL) has been named a Certified Green Business by the Green Business League, an organization out of Illinois, for its work towards sustainability. The group recognizes businesses that have adapted processes and practices needed to enhance their company’s environment. The College was noted for: transitioning to a four-day work week, more efficient boilers, and tighter regulations of air-conditioning systems.

Butte College Receives Funding for New Solar Project

Butte College (CA) has acquired $16.9 million in federal stimulus money to complete the third phase of its solar project. The new installation will increase the College’s solar generation capacity by 145 percent, generating 95 percent of the College’s electrical needs. The stimulus money will pay for 70 percent of the total cost and the College will cover the rest.

U Idaho Announces Internal Sustainability Grants

The University of Idaho has awarded $25,000 to projects within the institution that seek to advance sustainability efforts on campus and in surrounding communities. The funding has been distributed between nine projects that are led by students, faculty, and staff and involve work in broad areas such as transportation, food systems, waste minimization, energy and education.

Meredith College Student Wins Ntl Green Poetry Competition

Katie Holden, a student at Meredith College (NC), has earned first place with her mother and grandmother in the Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder 2009 poetry contest. Their entry, “Place of Peace,” won the intergenerational competition. Entries were required to be from a team of two or more persons, including a young person and an older person. The creative work expressed the "Sense of Wonder" that each team feels for nature. The contest is in honor of environmental activist Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring .

NC Campuses Embrace New State Ban on Plastic Bottles in Landfills

The State of North Carolina has implemented a law, which went into effect October 1, 2009, that bans plastic bottles from landfills in the state. The Appalachian State University (NC) Office of Sustainability has partnered with ASU Recycles to raise awareness of the new law through an on-campus educational recycling event. The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has seen an increase in recycling since the new law was announced.

Saviors of Our Cities Survey Announces 25 'Best Neighbor' Colleges

Westfield State University (MA) has completed "Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships," a report that lists the nation's 25 'best neighbor' colleges and universities. The top ten institutions are, in order: University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California (tying for 1st), University of Dayton (OH) and University of Pittsburg (PA) (tying for second), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Creighton University (NE), Case Western Reserve University (OH), Tulane University (LA), Portland State University (OR), and Drexel University (PA). Criteria for assessment in the 2009 survey remained consistent with the first survey that was completed in 2006, providing benchmarks for the development and growth of the original institutions and serving as comparators for new additions to the rankings. The criteria include the following: length of involvement with the community; real dollars invested; catalyst effect on others; presence felt through payroll, research, and purchasing power; faculty and student involvement in community service; continued sustainability of neighborhood initiatives; effect on local student access and affordability to attend college through K–12 partnerships; qualitative esprit of the institution in its engagement; quantifiable increase in positive recognition of the institution; increase in student applications and resources raised through renewed alumni giving; and recognition of the impact of these institutions within their community.

U Pennsylvania Creates Internal Grant Fund for Green Ideas

The University of Pennsylvania has established an internal grant program that will fund green projects. The Green Fund will award one-time grants up to $50,000 and is available to faculty, students, and staff who submit proposals focused on reducing the University’s carbon footprint and increasing its sustainability.

Dept of Energy Announces Solar Installer Instructor Training Awardees

The U.S. Department of Energy has launched the Solar Installer Instructor Training network to address a critical need for high-quality, local, and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales, and inspection. As part of the program, seven campuses and one community college group will receive funding for their training programs and resources. The winners are: Pennsylvania State University ($3.5 million), North Carolina State University ($3 million), Kennebec Valley Community College (ME) ($2.8 million), Hudson Valley Community College (NY) ($3.4 million), Salt Lake Community College ($3.1 million), Houston Community College (TX) ($3.5 million), University of Central Florida ($2.8 million), and the California Community Colleges Board of Governors ($3.5 million). Solar Installer Instructor Training is a 5-year effort intended to create a geographic blanket of training opportunities in solar installation across the United States.

Dept of Energy Awards Millions to Campuses for Geothermal

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced up to $338 million in Recovery Act funding for the exploration and development of new geothermal fields and research into advanced geothermal technologies. These grants will support 123 projects in 39 states, with recipients including private industry, academic institutions, tribal entities, local governments, and DOE’s National Laboratories. Higher education institution slated to receive funding include: Ball State University (IN) ($5M); University of Alaska, Fairbanks ($4.6M); University of Kansas ($2.4M); Utah State University ($4.6M); University of North Dakota ($3.4M); New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ($2M); Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($549,148); University of Utah ($2.9M); West Virginia University ($1.3M); University of Southern California ($1.5M); University of Texas ($1.7M); the Regents of the University of California ($1.8M); Colorado School of Mines ($2.3M); Pennsylvania State University ($1.1M); the Regents of the University of Minnesota ($1.6M); California State University, Long Beach Foundation ($380,156); Boise State University (ID) ($1.5M); Florida International University Board of Trustees ($250,000); Oklahoma State University ($250,000); University of Hartford (CT) ($146,973); Wright State University (OH) ($232,596); Colorado Northwestern Community College ($430,000); Furman University (SC) ($2.5M); Indiana Institute of Technology ($1.3M); Montana Tech of the University of Montana ($1M); Oakland University (MI) ($2.8M); the Curators of the University of Missouri ($2.5M); and University at Albany (NY) ($2.8M).

Earth Island Institute Honors Top Youth Environmental Leaders

The Earth Island Institute has announced the six winners of the 2009 Brower Youth Awards. Winners include: Hai Vo, 22, of California, for helping transform University of California food purchasing; Sierra Crane-Murdoch, 21, of Vermont, for uniting the movement to battle coal; Adarsha Shivakumar, 16, of California, who implemented a biofuel solution in rural India; Alec Loorz, 15, of California, the youngest presenter of Al Gore’s “The Climate Project;" Diana Lopez, 20, of Texas, who created an organic food source for San Antonio; and Robin Bryan, 21, of Manitoba, who helped protect one million acres of forest in Canada from industrial logging. The winners were selected from more than 125 applicants and will receive a $3,000 cash prize for their achievements.

Savannah College of Art & Design Receives Sustainability Award

Savannah College of Art and Design (GA) has received the Fashion Group International’s 2009 Sustainability Award. The award recognizes SCAD for its sustainable practices, adaptive use of historic properties, integration of sustainability into their curriculum, and urban renewal.

Aspen Institute Releases Beyond Grey Pinstripes Green MBA Ranking

The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education has released the 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternative ranking of how well full-time MBA programs are preparing students for the environmental, social, and ethical complexities of modern-day business. This year, 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in the effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society. The Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada, ranked first in the survey, getting high marks for the extraordinary number of courses available to students that contain environmental, social, and ethical content as well as for the number of relevant scholarly articles being published by the School’s faculty members. The University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, the Yale University (CT) School of Management, the Stanford University (CA) Graduate School of Business, and the University of Notre Dame (IN) Mendoza School of Business received second, third, fourth, and fifth in the ranking respectively.

College of the Desert to Train Students for Solar Farms

The College of the Desert (CA) has received an $815,843 California Clean Energy Workforce Training Program grant. The money will be used to train students to work in large-scale, commercial solar farms. The grant will help cover materials, curriculum development, employee placement programs, and instructors.

Pomona College Receives $7.5 M for Green Residence Hall

Pomona College (CA) has received an individual gift of $7.5 million to help construct a new green residence hall. Sontag Hall, which will be registered for LEED Gold certification, will use solar power to heat water and to produce some of the energy needed to provide heat in winter. Sustainable aspects of the construction will include using more than 20 percent recycled content, more than 30 percent regionally produced materials and low-emitting materials, and a diversion rate of 75 percent of construction waste. Sustainable features of the completed building will include occupancy sensors, efficient heating and air conditioning systems, operable windows and ceiling fans, use of non-HFC-refrigerants, efficient plumbing fixtures, “cool roof” and paving surfaces to reduce heat island effects, efficient irrigation technology, drought-resistant landscaping, storm water collection, and real-time monitoring of energy and water use and renewables generation.

Swarthmore College Students Create Fund for Sustainability Ctte

Swarthmore College’s (PA) Sustainability Committee will receive $43,500 from the student council to invest in environmental sustainability and awareness on campus. The fund will be used to implement sustainability projects such as changing all the lights in a building to LEDs. The Committee plans to focus on low-cost projects that generate large savings. These savings will be reinvested into a revolving green fund.

Pennsylvania Colleges Receive Funds for Renewable Energy Projects

West Chester University and Bucks County Community College have received loans from the State of Pennsylvania for renewable energy projects. WCU was granted two loans of $192,294 and $195,00 to install a geothermal system for two academic buildings. BCCC received an $85,500 Renewable Energy Program loan to install a geothermal system in the Upper County Campus. The money became available after Pennsylvania’s governor made $18.4 million available for 31 statewide projects related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Warren Wilson College featured in NY Times for Sustainability

Warren Wilson College (NC) was recently featured in The New York Times for sustainability efforts at the EcoDorm, its LEED Platinum residence hall. Students living in the dormitory, which uses two-thirds the amount of energy of a comparable building, pledge to embrace sustainability by using composting toilets, harvesting fruits and vegetables from the gardens, and reducing their energy consumption.

SEI Releases College Sustainability Report Card 2010

The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has released its College Sustainability Report Card 2010 on GreenReportCard.org. The annual publication provides school profiles and grades along with insights about sustainability in higher education. For the first time, the Institute is also offering universal access to 1,100 sustainability survey responses about campus, dining, and student initiatives, as well as endowment investment. Grading the schools entailed researching publicly available information, conducting surveys of appropriate school officials, and assessing performance with 120 questions across 48 indicators in the following 9 categories: Administration, Climate Change & Energy, Food & Recycling, Green Building, Transportation, Student Involvement, Endowment Transparency, Shareholder Engagement, and Investment Priorities.

13 Campuses Pilot Food Carbon Calculator

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale has launched a Green Scholarship Program funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Seven $9,000 undergraduate scholarships will be awarded to low income community college transfer students pursuing a major in science and/or engineering related to the environment. The program will target economically disadvantaged students who are finishing up their general studies at community colleges but cannot afford a four-year education. The funding is part of NSF’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education program.

Luther College Receives $500K for 1.65 MW Wind Turbine

Luther College (IA) has received a $500,000 grant and a $1,302,385 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to install a 1.65 MW wind turbine that is expected to generate approximately one-third of the electrical energy consumed by the College each year. Delivery of the turbine is tentatively scheduled for December 2009 with installation to be completed by June 2010. The REAP funds awarded to the Luther wind turbine project are part of the program’s $62.5 million in loans and grants for 705 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 45 states and Puerto Rico.

Five Institutions Receive $2.6 M Grant for Minority Education

The University of Washington, Boise State University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and Washington State University have received the Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation that aims to increase the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to minorities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Currently, the four-year partners award about 350 degrees to underrepresented minorities in the STEM fields; the five-year goal is to increase this number to 700. Students will be provided with financial, academic, social and professional support in a coordinated effort to help them succeed.

Texas State Technical College Installs Solar Array

Texas State Technical College has received an $88,000 grant from Green Mountain Energy Company to install a 60-panel solar array that will produce 13,000 kilowatt hours per year. The installation is expected to save the College approximately $300,000 in electric bills over the next 30 years.

AASHE Announces Campus & Student Sustainability Award Winners

AASHE has announced the winners of its annual Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards, Student Sustainability Leadership Award, and Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award. The Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards recognize institutions that have demonstrated an outstanding overall commitment to sustainability in their education and research, campus operations, and administration and finance. The 2009 winners are: New York University, University of New Hampshire, Furman University (SC), and Butte College (CA). The Student Sustainability Leadership Award, given to Missy! Orr of Depauw University (IN), honors an undergraduate from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability. The Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award recognizes outstanding student research that advances the field of campus sustainability. This year's award was given to a team of graduate students from Stanford University (CA) for their paper, "EVs with PVs: Analysis of Electric Vehicle Integration at Stanford University Using Solar PV Panels.

AASHE Launches STARS 1.0 Early Release

AASHE has launched its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) 1.0 Early Release. All colleges and universities are able to register for STARS 1.0 as Charter Participants. The STARS 1.0 Technical Manual is available online and registrants are encouraged to begin collecting documentation required for each credit. The STARS online reporting tool will be available in January and campuses may begin uploading their data at that time. Institutions that register before December 31, 2009, will receive a discount. Discounts are also available to AASHE members.

Miami U Debuts Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund

Miami University (OH) has unveiled a $50,000 revolving loan fund for cost saving, feasible, environmentally impactful, and well-researched projects. Money saved as a result of the projects will be filtered back into the fund and will be made available for new projects. The first round of proposals, open to staff, faculty, and students, are due in November.

U Colorado Boulder Mountain Research Station Installs 10kW Array

The University of Colorado at Boulder has installed multiple photovoltaic arrays that will create a total of 10 kW of energy at its Mountain Research Station. The new installation will provide 15 percent of the Station's total electricity load. The $60,000 project received a grant from Sustainable CU, a student led and funded sustainability grant program approved by student referendum and managed by the CU Environmental Center.

Nature Publishes Article on Campus Sustainability Around the World

Nature has published "How green is your campus?" in the September 2009 issue of its magazine. The article mentions the following U.S. institutions: Emory University (GA); Arizona State University; Pomona College (CA); Green Mountain College (VT); University of Minnesota, Morris; Middlebury College (VT); Harvard University (MA); University of Colorado at Boulder; and Williams College (MA).

Portland CC Announces Green Initiative Fund

Portland Community College (OR) has announced the Green Initiative Fund, a project to reward students, faculty, or staff with financial incentives for coming up with their own green projects to reduce the College’s carbon footprint. The fund allocates money to projects that increase the amount of renewable energy used on campus, increase energy efficiency, and reduce the amount of waste created by the College. Portions of the fund will support education initiatives and student internships and will be administered through a student-majority governance board.

Central College Receives $25K Rebate for Energy Reduction

Central College (IA) has received a custom rebate check for $25,789.27 from Interstate Power and Light Company for its efforts in reducing the College’s energy usage. When constructing its education and psychology building, Central College installed energy-efficient insulation, energy-efficient windows, and a heat recovery system. The installation resulted in a gas usage reduction of 19,746 therms, which will avoid more than 98.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In addition to the rebate, Central College will realize an estimated savings on its annual energy bill of more than $13,000.

Greenopia Releases Green Rating for 100 Campuses

Greenopia , a Los Angeles guide for green living, has released a sustainability rating for 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. Data was collected from the institution or from other sources pertaining to green building design, waste program, food selection, campus vehicle fleet, water conservation measures, climate performance, renewable energy usage, and the overall environmental transparency of the school. Ratings were awarded on a scale of 1 to 4 green leaves, with 4 being the best. The University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Barbara were the only schools to receive 4 green leaves. The University of Oregon; the University of California, Davis; Colorado State University; Stanford University (CA); Harvard University (MA); Pennsylvania State University; the University of California, San Diego; and Duke University (NC) made it into the top 10.

Mother Jones Posts Top 10 Inexpensive and Eco-Friendly Schools

Mother Jones magazine has published its list of the top 10 affordable higher education institutions, many of which focus on sustainability, environmental studies, service learning, and/or alternative energy. Schools in the "MoJo Mini College Guide" include: Berea College (KY); New College of Florida; Hope College (MI); Fisk University (TN); the University of Minnesota, Morris; Kettering University (MI), the College of New Jersey; California State University, Monterey Bay; Warren Wilson College (NC); and the University of Kansas.