DuPage Students Help Habitat for Humanity Write Green Housing Plan
A group of architecture majors at the College of Dupage (IL) have helped to write a green housing plan for their local Habitat for Humanity chapter. The plan outlines how the non-profit can build 11 affordable, energy-efficiency houses in West Chicago over the next three years.
Los Angeles Times Covers Increase in Campus Farmers Markets
The Los Angeles Times has published an article on the growing number of colleges and universities that are adding regularly scheduled farmers markets to their campuses. The article mentions markets at the University of South Carolina, the University of Washington, Princeton University (NJ), University of California, Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, San Diego, Stanford University (CA), Harvard University (CT), Brown University (RI), Portland State University (OR), the University of Minnesota, the University of Maine, the University of Arizona, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Obama Nominates Tufts Professor as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
President Barack Obama has announced his intention to nominate Kathleen A. Merrigan to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Merrigan is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food, and Environment M.S. and Ph.D. program at Tufts University (MA). Merrigan was head of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999 to 2001, when she helped develop U.S. organic food-labeling standards. As a Senate aide, she worked on the 1990 law that recognized organic farming.
Maharishi U of Mgmt Joins Seed Savers Exchange
The Maharishi University of Management (IA) has joined the Iowa Seed Savers Exchange in an effort to preserve the genetic legacy of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees that is rapidly being lost as a result of factors such as industrial agriculture and genetic engineering. Part of the Exchange’s work is maintaining a huge collection of heirloom and open pollinated varieties that are available to the public. MUM will contribute to the Exchange by growing a Colored Butterbean.
Maharishi U of Mgmt Offers Community Supported Agriculture
Maharishi University of Management (IA) has announced plans to offer an organic community supported agriculture program beginning in April. The new program will provide members with a weekly box of vegetables and fruit grown at the farm at Maharishi Vedic City. All fruits and vegetables will be harvested within one day of distribution.
Nebraska State Colleges Offer Free Freshman Tuition
Three Nebraska colleges - Wayne State College, Peru State College, and Chadron State College - will offer free tuition to first-time, in-state freshman who receive a federal Pell Grant. Students will still be responsible for other expenses like books and room and board.
U Minnesota Ends Licensing Deal with Russell Corporation
The University of Minnesota has joined several other colleges and universities ending licensing agreements with the Russell Corporation amid allegations that the clothing maker engages in unfair labor practices. Atlanta-based Russell, maker of the Russell Athletic brand, has made T-shirts and other clothing items with the University of Minnesota’s logo. The agreement with Russell resulted in more than $26,000 revenue in 2007 and will terminate March 31, 2009.
U Oregon Offers Climate Course to Local Businesses
The University of Oregon has begun offering a course to local businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint. Climate Masters at Work, a spin-off of a previous program focusing on homeowners, is a 10-week course for businesses and nonprofit organizations. The coursework is followed by six months of consultation with the Lane Community College Business Development Center in conjunction with consulting firm Good Company, focusing on environmental issues and solid business practices. The first group of Climate Masters students has finished their seminars, which lasted from mid-October until the end of December, and will continue to work with the Business Center until June.
U Oregon Students Help Community to Increase Gas Mileage
Students at the University of Oregon have begun a project to help members of the Eugene community inflate their car tires to the proper pressure, which improves gas mileage and reduces tailpipe emissions. Students set up compressors at nearby parking garages to help drivers check their tires and pump them up. The first 150 cars to stop receive a free tire gauge.
6 Campuses Honored for Community Service
Six colleges and universities have received top honors among 635 institutions of higher learning that were named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Honor Roll's Presidential Award, given each year to only a handful of institutions, is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. California State University, Fresno, Emory University (GA), and Michigan State University were recognized for the general community service category, which considers the breadth and quality of an institution’s community service, service learning, and civic engagement programs. Brookhaven College (TX), Duke University (NC), and the University of Missouri-Kansas City were selected for their leadership in this year’s special focus area, which was helping youth from disadvantaged circumstances through service programs that lower school dropout rates and prepare students for college.
Point Loma Nazarene U Passes Green Fee
Students at Point Loma Nazarene University (CA) have approved a $5 per semester green fee to further campus sustainability. Students will work with PLNU’s Resource Stewardship Task Force to determine how the new funds will be distributed. The Associated Student Body (ASB) predicts that projects such as front loading washing machines, a community garden, energy efficient lighting, more fuel-efficient campus vehicles and expanded recycling efforts are likely to be at the forefront of the list of possible projects.
U Michigan Ends Licensing Agreement Due to Labor Violations
The University of Michigan has announced plans to end a licensing agreement with Russell Corporation, a subsidiary of Fruit of the Loom. The company is believed to have violated the University's code of conduct calling on licensees to guarantee the basic rights of workers. Under the agreement, Russell made T-shirt, sweatshirts, and fleeces with university logos. 11 other universities, including Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Purdue, and Rutgers, have also ended agreements with Russell.
Mars Hill College Receives Grant for Green Building
Mars Hill College (NC) has a received a $60,000 Green Building Initiative grant from the Kresge Foundation to be used toward design and planning costs for Day Hall. The College plans to seek LEED Platinum certification for the 36,000-square-foot multi-purpose building, which is currently in the planning stages.
South Dakota State U Installs Wind Turbines for K-12 Schools
South Dakota State University faculty members and students have begun providing technical assistance to the Wind for Schools program which places wind turbines at K-12 schools throughout the state. The program provides K-12 schools with residential-sized wind turbines to use as working laboratories and college-level students with the opportunity to obtain hands-on engineering experience.
U North Carolina Approves Green Fee Renewal
Students at the University of North Carolina have approved the renewal and expansion of the existing $4 per semester renewable energy student fee. 83 percent of students voting approved the fee and fee expansion, which allows funds to be used for energy efficiency projects on campus.
U Wisconsin Drops Apparel Contract Due to Poor Labor Practices
The University of Wisconsin has announced that it will not renew an apparel contract with Russell Athletic due to questions concerning labor practices at the company's Honduras factory. UW requires that its suppliers agree to a code of conduct that includes provisions for freedom of association, which is meant to protect worker rights.
U Albany Saves 280K with Energy Initiative, Receives $5K Grant
The State University of New York at Albany has announced that it reduced energy costs by $280,000 as a result of its winter Intersession and Fall Energy Savings initiatives. In addition, the University has received $5,000 from the National Grid for its Change-A-Light campaign, which has distributed more than 1,300 compact fluorescent light bulbs in residence halls.
U Arkansas Pine Bluff Receives Energy Grant
The University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff has received a $92,966 grant from Arkansas Entergy Inc. to convert all lighting on campus to energy-saving bulbs. The campus currently uses room and ceiling motion sensors to reduce energy use.
Michigan State U Partners to Promote Green Efforts
Michigan State University, News/Talk 760 WJR, and MLive.com have begun a partnership to more broadly communicate sustainability efforts in the Great Lakes region. MSU and Detroit radio station WJR are currently collaborating on “Greening of the Great Lakes,” a Web site and a radio program that focus on all aspects of sustainability. The new partnership includes direct links to MLive.com’s environmental page. Topics range from the construction of green buildings to the development of energy-efficient automobiles to the creation of the biofuels.
Notre Dame Helps the Poor with New Recycling Program
The University of Notre Dame (IN) has begun a new recycling program on campus that aims to help the environment and the poor. The Miraculous Metals recycling program allows ND students to collect aluminum cans and donate them to the Catholic Worker House, a shelter that takes in the homeless on freezing nights during the winter. The shelter then exchanges the scrap aluminum for funds. The new recycling program has been launched in the dorms, and the University hopes to expand it to off-campus housing and to the South Bend community in the near future.
Sustainability Named a Top State Policy Issue for Higher Ed
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities listed sustainability as a top state policy issue for higher education in its recent publication titled, "Top 10 State Policy Issues for Higher Education in 2009." The paper discusses the impact of gas prices on commuter students and institutions, the increase in renewable energy installations, and the possibility of 2009 federal and state policy actions that could accelerate campus sustainability projects and fund campus-based research endeavors.
UW Eau Claire Donates Unused Food, Replaces Trays with Plates
The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has begun a program to donate unused food to the local homeless shelters. All non-self-serve or publically accessible food is given to the Campus Kitchens Project which donates the food to local shelters. In addition, UW-Eau Claire has replaced cafeteria trays with regular-sized plates in an effort to reduce food waste.
Yale U Sets Sustainability Goals for Athletics
Yale University (CT) has announced a set of sustainability goals for its athletic program. Goals include developing a strategic sustainability plan for athletics; establishing a set of green standards for Yale athletic events; implementing collaborative efforts with student athletes, including creating sustainability partnerships with each varsity team in the coming term; using the lessons learned through the development of the strategic plan for Yale athletics to create a model that is measurable, transferable, and adaptable; and creating a database of best practices so that institutions interested in improving the sustainability of their athletic departments will have an accessible source of the best knowledge and experience.
New School U to Establish Socially Responsible Investing Ctte
The New School University (NY) will establish a committee on socially responsible investing. The move comes in response to student protests, including a two-day sit in. As part of the resolution to the protest, New School President Bob Kerrey also promised to give students voting representation on the search committee for a new provost.
Bristol CC Partners on Renewable Energy Workforce Development
Bristol Community College (MA) has partnered with a local business to begin teaching potential workers about renewable energy and the processes used to produce it. A total of 15 students will be taught operational functions for turbine prototypes and tidal turbine technology in a course that looks at how tidal power can be harnessed to create energy. Overseen by BCC's Center for Business and Industry, the green jobs program is supported through a $5,000 training grant from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts and the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance. The six-week training is being marketed to women, minorities, and blue collar workers who live nearby.
Loras College Receives Energy Efficiency Rebates
Loras College (IA) has received a $327,000 rebate from Alliant Energy for energy conservation in the College's new Athletic and Wellness Center. The structure features energy efficient heating and cooling systems, a lighting system that optimizes natural light, glazed windows, and roof and wall insulation. The College reduced expected electricity consumption by more than 72 percent, saving more than 2,340,599 kWh of electricity in one year.
Philadelphia Inquirer Covers College Programs for Laid-off Workers
The Philadelphia Inquirer has published an article on the increasing number of Pennsylvania and New Jersey colleges waiving tuition for laid-off workers. The article mentions programs at Burlington County College (NJ), Montgomery County Community College (PA), Delaware County Community College (PA), Bucks County Community College (PA), Camden County College (NJ), Gloucester County College (NJ), and the Community College of Philadelphia (PA).
Emory U Announces Winners of its Sustainability Grant Program
Emory University (GA) has announced the winners of its Sustainability Grant Program, an initiative that awards grants to students, faculty, and staff for creative plans to promote sustainability on campus. This year's grants will fund the expansion of Emory's educational food garden, research project to study the factors that lead to the purchase and consumption of organic and sustainable foods, and a campaign that aims to make it easier to practice sustainability in more than 11 departments at Emory.
Humboldt State U Wins Water Management Solutions Grant
A team of Humboldt State University (CA) faculty and graduate students has won a $620,000 federal grant to develop water management solutions in the face of soaring population growth and rapid changes in water and land use in the rural West. Scientists and students will develop quantitative models of ground and surface water flows and identify physical, economic, and regulatory mechanisms to foster conservation and efficient water management on developed land. Based on this research, they will provide planners, decision makers, and stakeholders with findings about the watershed’s hydrologic system and alternative conservation strategies.
Cleveland State CC Receives $65,000 Energy Grant
The Cleveland State Community College (TN) Alternative Energy program has received a $65,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to expand an existing energy efficiency training and education program. Grants totaling $546,000 were awarded to nine winners from six Appalachian states for projects promoting renewable energy production, energy-efficient facilities, and energy-related training and certification programs.
U Idaho Bookstore Contributes to Sustainability Fund
The University of Idaho Bookstore will contribute $2,000 to the University of Idaho Sustainability Center (UISC) as part of its annual textbook buy-back event. The Sustainability Center will use the additional funds to support activities that further sustainability initiatives at the institution.
Central Lakes College Receives $100,000 for Energy Research
The Central Lakes College (MN) Ag Center at Staples has received a $100,000 renewable energy grant from the state of Minnesota Next Generation Energy Board. The grant will help the center with projects such as cellulosic ethanol production, an anaerobic digester technology for hog manure, and using turfgrass to produce electricity. The center will also evaluate the best methods for growing and harvesting switchgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, Survivor false indigo, prairie cordgrass, and miscanthus as cellulosic energy crops.
College Presidents Give Back Pay
The New York Times has published an article on the high number of college and university presidents that have returned a portion of their base pay and/or declined a pay increase due to recent financial difficulties at their institutions. The article specifically mentions the chancellor of Washington University (MO), the president of the University of Pennsylvania, the president of the University of Washington, and the president of Washington State University as campus leaders that have taken voluntary cuts in pay.
Northampton CC Waives Tuition for Unemployed
Northampton Community College (PA) has announced plans to reinstate its Tuition Waiver program for Spring 2009. The program will allow unemployed persons to take up to 12 credits tuition-free in certain career programs, or a maximum of $900 in specified non-credit work-related classes.
Shenandoah U Tries More Equitable Salary Increases
Shenandoah University (VA) has increased each employee's base pay by $1,000 instead of implementing its normal raises that are based on a percentage of each employee's pay. This year's increase allowed lower-paid staff to receive more help than usual. Additionally, several senior-level administrators at Shenandoah have decided to forgo their raises this year. The excess money is being used to help students who are struggling to pay their tuition.
U Michigan, GM Partner to Train Alternative Powertrain Engineers
The University of Michigan has partnered with General Motors to train 50 GM engineers on alternative powertrain technology, the skills and tools used to create hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles. The GM engineers will begin taking UM courses in January in pursuit of a Master's degree. GM initiated the partnership in hopes of refocusing a portion of its company around the electrification of the vehicle.
U North Dakota to Establish Bioproducts Center of Excellence
University of North Dakota affiliate, North Dakota Sustainable Energy Research Initiative and Supporting Education (SUNRISE) group has been awarded $2.95 million from the North Dakota Department of Commerce for 2009-2011 to establish the SUNRISE BioProducts Center of Excellence for biobased chemicals, polymers, and composites. In addition to research, development, and commercialization activities, SUNRISE BioProducts will contribute to three SUNRISE outreach programs: Power ON! - a program to encourage 5th-8th graders in math, science, and engineering; the NATURE Freshman Experience to expose Native American high school and tribal college students to chemistry and chemical engineering; and the SUNRISE Research Experiences for Undergraduates-a summer program to introduce college undergraduate students to research.
12 PA Campuses Receive 2008 Solar Scholars PV Grants
12 Pennsylvania colleges have received a total of $180,000 in matching grants to fund the design and installation of a solar system on campus and to help integrate renewable energy concepts and technologies into the curriculum. The grants, which were provided by the Sustainable Energy Fund and PPL Electric Utilities, were awarded to Dickinson College, Elizabethtown College, Franklin & Marshall College, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lycoming College, Muhlenberg College, Northampton Community College in Bethlehem; Penn College of Technology in Williamsport; Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton, Pennsylvania State University, Schuylkill, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and the University of Scranton.
Canadian Report Features Student Activism in Campus Sustainability
GlobeCampus, The Globe and Mail 's site dedicated to undergraduate education in Canada, has published is Canadian University Report 2009. The publication features an article entitled "Lean green campus machines" that discusses the catalytic role students have played in an effort to make colleges and universities more sustainable. The article mentions students' presence on sustainability committees, student approved green fees, and grassroots efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Oth
Coastal Carolina U Receives Grant to Study Wind Power
Coastal Carolina University has received a $200,000 grant from the Budget and Control Board’s South Carolina Energy Office to study offshore wind power potential in South Carolina. Coastal Carolina University and North Carolina State University partners will collect data using an observation network along the South Carolina coast that measures wind, wave, and tide resources. The data will be acquired using several ocean/atmospheric monitoring stations off the coast to identify optimal sites for wind energy structures based on overall energy potential and projected grid connection and foundation costs, as well as environmental and aesthetic impacts. Coastal Carolina University plans to investigate areas along the South Carolina coast, stretching from the North Carolina border to the Winyah Bay area in Georgetown County.
Cornell to Eliminate Tuition for Families with Incomes Below $60K
Cornell University (NY) has announced plans to further reduce student loans for its neediest students. The new financial aid initiative will eliminate the parental contribution for undergraduate students from families with incomes below $60,000 and assets below $100,000; cap need-based student loans at $7,500 annually for students who have financial need and whose families have annual incomes above $120,000; and reduce the parental contribution for selected students who have financial need and whose families have annual incomes above $60,000. Cornell already eliminates need-based student loans for family incomes below $60,000 (the income level will rise to $75,000 in fall 2009), and annually caps need-based student loans at $3,000 for family incomes between $60,000 and $120,000.
GWU Business School Launches 'Green Sports Score Card'
The George Washington University (DC) School of Business' Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sport Management program has launched a "Green Sports Score Card" research initiative that will help sports organizations globally assess their environmental friendliness. The Green Sports Score Card is an assessment tool that sports teams and other organizations, from youth to professional levels, may use to determine their "green score" and compare how they rank among peers. The GW Institute for Corporate
Oklahoma State U Receives $20M for Biofuels Research
Oklahoma State University Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has received $20 million from the National Science Foundation and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The combined $4 million in annual support is renewable for the next five years and enables Oklahoma EPSCoR to support research under its new theme area, “Building Oklahoma’s Leadership Role in Cellulosic Bioenergy.” During the five-year project, the researchers will explore: molecular mechanisms and tools for biomass development, the molecular basis and mechanisms underlying efficient microbial conversion of biomass to liquid fuels, and new catalytic/thermochemical conversion processes of cellulosic biomass.
Queen's U Establishes Statement of Responsible Investing
Queen's University (ON) has established a Statement of Responsible Investing. The purpose of the Statement is to set down the principles which govern investments at Queen’s and to provide details on the process under which non-financial factors will be considered in investment decisions. The Statement allows the University to take Special Action on investments which contain "social injury" and explains the steps by which faculty, administrative and support staff, students, retirees, and alumni can submit
Rensselaer Launches Center for Architecture Science & Ecology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) have officially launched the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE). Headquartered at SOM’s offices on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, CASE is a collaboration that engages scientists, engineers, and architects from the professional and academic worlds toward a common goal of redefining how we build sustainable cities and environments. The idea is to tap and cultivate the talents of a new generation of architects, thinkers, and planners and to turn out sustainable and energy-efficient solutions to environmental challenges in the global building sector.
U Louisville to Help Kentucky Schools Reduce Energy Use
The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, located in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville (KY), has announced plans to work with all of the state’s school districts to help them reduce energy costs through the Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program for Schools (KEEPS). In a two-year pilot, KEEPS helped five school districts and three colleges and universities save more than $1 million, close to a 10 percent reduction, in energy costs during fiscal years 2006-07 and 2007-08.
AASHE Holds Largest Campus Sustainability Gathering
AASHE recently held its second biannual conference, "Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond." With over 1,700 registrants from over 400 colleges and universities in 48 states and 15 countries, the conference was the largest gathering focused on campus sustainability to date in North America. The conference featured over 300 presentations, more than 100 posters, and over 120 exhibitors. Blog posts, photos, and podcasts from the event can be found on the Live at AASHE 2008 webpage. The
College of William & Mary Funds Projects with Green Fee
The Committee on Sustainability at the College of William and Mary (VA) has awarded the first round of green fee funding to campus projects. Initial projects include additional funding for the campus recycling program, seed money for student and faculty research on solar cell development and storm water runoff, and facility improvements such as the installation of occupancy sensors and electric metering.
Green Mountain College Receives $250,000 for Biomass Facility
Green Mountain College (VT) has received a $250,000 grant from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund to install a biomass co-generation facility. The College estimates that the biomass plant will save GMC over $250,000 per year in heating costs, and will meet about 20 percent of GMC's electricity needs. GMC plans to have the new plant operational by January 2010.