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April 17, 2012

Connecting the Dots...

This week’s bulletin features a nice selection of stories about technological installations on campuses, from solar and wind to subterranean thermal energy storage. In the overall transformation to campus sustainability, these are important operational changes.

Is it enough, however, for students, faculty and staff just to hear or read about these installations? If opportunities to interact with them are limited, what is the relationship between technological fixes and a comprehensive transition to campus sustainability?

Read more

News of the Week

Education & Research



Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing


Campus Operations













Planning, Administration & Engagement

Affordability & Access


Coordination & Planning


Diversity & Inclusion




Public Engagement


New Resources




Jobs & Internships




Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights


News of the Week

Education & Research


1. Mendocino College Introduces Sustainable Technology Program

Students will have the opportunity to obtain certificates in construction, renewable energy and residential performance and efficiency. Beyond the general core courses, one business elective is required.
See also: AASHE Resource: Certificate Programs in Sustainability

2. U Oregon to Expand Urban Farm Curriculum Opportunities

The university’s Urban Farm project, a program of the Landscape Architecture department and the Student Sustainability Center, has received $42,000 from the Associated Students of the University of Oregon's Over-Realized Fund to help secure more land and resources to meet increasing student interest. The funding will expand the farm to three new lots and create another graduate teaching fellow position to help with hands-on instruction, allowing more students to be involved with the farm.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Supported Agriculture and Farms (AASHE Member Resource)

Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing

3. Texas A&M Green Roof to Engage Wide Variety of Students

Next fall, students from a variety of academic programs at the university will begin collaborating on an interdisciplinary, three-year project to install and monitor a green roof and living wall atop a campus building. The project is funded by a $100,000 university reallocation grant for enhancing students’ preparation for the workplace and society through high-impact learning experiences. The project will also raise awareness of "green" technologies and provide opportunities for additional student research.

Campus Operations


4. Public Institutions Caught in Maintenance Funding Conundrum

In what Inside Higher Ed is calling "the other debt crisis," public colleges and universities are issuing their own debt to finance facility renovations, reports the online news source. Facing aging campuses, several years of backlogged maintenance projects, increased competition for students and little hope that states are going to fund the construction they need, institutions are "now catching up for several years of not being funded appropriately." Institutions that can't issue cheap debt are faced with choosing whether to hold off on projects (leading to an aging and potentially unsafe campus and more expensive renovations in the future), or funding projects from their operating budgets, potentially siphoning off resources for other priorities like faculty salaries and student services.

5. Maharishi U Mgmt Debuts Net-Zero Sustainable Living Center

Together, the building's 58 solar panels and 100-foot wind turbine are capable of producing 25 kilowatts, contributing to the building's ability to produce more energy than it consumes annually. Other energy-saving features include a heat pump and geothermal tubing, extensive use of daylighting, and strategic placement of windows and verandas. As more funds are raised, the university plans to take the center completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Solar Photovoltaic Installations
See also: AASHE Resource: Wind Power on Campus

6. Champlain College Restoration Awarded LEED Platinum

The $12 million renovation and expansion of the college's Welcome and Admission Center features a geothermal heat pump to provide space heating and cooling, ecological landscaping for wildlife habitat and stormwater reduction, energy-efficient lighting and the use of local and recycled building materials.

7. Eastern Michigan U Installs Green Roof

The 3,000-square-foot rooftop garden, installed atop the university's new Science Complex, contains 16 plant species and is expected to save the university $3,600 in energy costs per year.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Science Buildings (AASHE Member Resource)


8. Genesee CC Debuts Solar Powered Weather Station

The wireless weather monitoring station is powered through solar energy stored in rechargeable batteries. Current temperature and weather conditions are available via the college's Facebook page. The station was funded through the college’s Foundation President’s Innovation Award Program.

9. Luther College Completes Community Wind Power Project

A 1.6-megawatt wind turbine owned and operated by Luther College Wind Energy Project is providing the college and community with wind-generated electrical power. The power generated by the turbine is being sold to Alliant Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement and the project's Renewable Energy Certificates are being sold to the college.
See also: AASHE Resource: Wind Power on Campus

10. Utah State U Completes Subterranean Thermal Energy Storage Tank

The tank holds two million gallons of water that will be used to improve the campus' air conditioning system. The university expects the $2.6 million tank to pay for itself over the next 20 years.

11. U Vermont to Install Solar Panels at Equine Farm

With $55,740 from its Clean Energy Fund, the university has announced a solar panel installation at its Miller Equine Farm. Students will have the opportunity to work with Vermont Solar & Wind Partnership Program and the Clean Energy Fund during the installation in May. The power generated will feed directly into the electrical grid.
See also: AASHE Resource: Student Fees for Sustainability

12. Wilfrid Laurier U Energy Competition Saves $1.5K

Managed by sustainability representatives in the residence halls, the university's inaugural Residence Energy Competition saved $1,513 and averted 5,672 pounds of carbon dioxide.


13. U Georgia Enlists Goats for Creek Clean Up

With $3,000 from the university's student green fee, eight goats are now cleaning up a campus creek by eating the non-native plant species. Additional green fee money will go toward time-lapse equipment to document the progress of the clean-up.
See also: AASHE Resource: Student Fees for Sustainability
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainable Landscaping on Campus


14. Rhode Island College Graduates to Sport Recycled Plastic Gowns

Each cap and gown will keep 23 used plastic bottles from winding up in landfills. Students will also have an opportunity to donate their gowns to be recycled into carpets.

15. U North Carolina Partners to Keep Mattresses from Landfill

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's new mattress provider for on-campus housing uses a recycling and re-manufacturing process that includes the on-site removal and collection of old mattresses. The company deconstructs the mattresses and reuses or recycles all components. The university is saving 30 percent per mattress with the new contract, and expects to replace 800 mattresses annually; a savings of $20,000 per year.


16. Clark U Debuts Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

The university joined fellow Worcester, Ma.-based institutions Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Quinsigamond Community College to debut new charging stations for the campus community and city. The Institute for Energy & Sustainability, a nonprofit housed at the university, received a Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources grant to install 10 charging stations in central Massachusetts.


17. Eastern Kentucky U Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations

A $5,000 grant from the Bluegrass PRIDE community grant program will fund the installation of five water bottle filling stations in an effort to steer the campus community away from plastic water bottle use. With another $8,835 grant, biology and wildlife faculty and students will assist in the construction of an outdoor classroom and wetlands area to be shared by two local schools.
See also: AASHE Resource: Bottled Water Awareness and Reduction Campaigns (AASHE Member Resource)

Planning, Administration & Engagement

Affordability & Access

18. Tribal Colleges Focus on Preparing Students for Workforce

As the U.S. focuses on increasing college attainment and reducing unemployment, tribal colleges—some located on reservations with low education rates and high unemployment—are increasing their efforts to teach and train more of their populations, reports a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article. Six tribal colleges are the latest to join a growing list of community colleges involved in Breaking Through, an initiative developed by advocacy groups Jobs for the Future and the National Council for Workforce Education that includes comprehensive support services and remedial work embedded in credit-bearing courses.

Coordination & Planning

19. Temple U Hosts Sustainability Week

Focused on a call to action to "learn by doing," the week’s events included workshops and demonstrations that offer staff, students and faculty an opportunity to develop useful pursuits that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle.

20. U Florida Launches Adopt-A-'Swamp' Program

Student organizations will have an opportunity to clean and maintain conservation areas on campus through the Office of Sustainability’s new Adopt-A-"Swamp" program. At the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, participants will be responsible for keeping a selected area clean by picking up litter, removing invasive species and other tasks, for one year.

Diversity & Inclusion

21. Emory U Establishes Diversity Website

In an effort to bring students and faculty to a single location where they can learn more about ongoing diversity initiatives, the university has launched a new website in collaboration with the Office of Community and Diversity. The diversity web portal includes a section for news and announcements regarding diversity, lists upcoming diversity events and enables users to search for diversity-related organizations and groups on campus.

22. Gay Mormon Students Have New Visibility at Brigham Young U

A recent panel discussion of what it’s like to be gay and Mormon signaled a new attitude toward being gay at the university, which is owned and run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church teachings condemn sexual relationships between members of the same sex, but in recent years the university has adjusted its Honor Code to allow students to identify as gay without facing sanctions, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

23. San Francisco State U Earns Diverse Campus Designation

More than 35 percent of students enrolled at San Francisco State University (California) in fall 2011 identified as Asian American, Native American or Pacific Islander, earning recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation's most diverse campuses. The designation allows the university to apply for federal funding aimed at increasing the recruitment, retention and graduation of students from all underrepresented backgrounds.


24. U South Florida Announces Green Energy Fund Awards

The university's Student Green Energy Fund Council has awarded a total of $269,510 to five approved proposals for energy-conserving projects around campus. Projects include the installation of lighting controls; software that will put computers in sleep mode when not in use; and upgrades to a campus building's heating, ventilation and cooling system.
See also: AASHE Resource: Student Fees for Sustainability

Public Engagement

25. Seattle U Gives Water Bottle Proceeds to Haiti Water Project

Proceeds from the university's sale of reusable water bottles are now going to an Engineers Without Borders student chapter project that makes clean water accessible to Haitians. In its first 18 months, the initiative has raised $4,400.

26. Unity College Partners to Raise Chickens for Food Security

Unity College (Maine) students have partnered with the Waldo County Technical Center to grow broiler chickens in support of hunger relief efforts in Waldo County. The students are developing management plans, delivering animal care and learning more about how local agriculture can work to improve food security.

New Resources
27. New Book: 'The Sustainable University'

Published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, this book identifies four challenges to establishing sustainable policies and programs facing higher education chief executive officers and leadership teams. Authors James Martin and James E. Samels also look at solutions to address them including: effectively institutionalizing sustainability thinking; developing an efficient, flexible system of sustainability benchmarks; implementing an accountable university budget model; and engaging boards of trustees in the campus sustainability agenda.

28. Strategies to Address the Rising Cost of Higher Education

The 2012 installment of Presidential Perspectives, a higher education leadership series written by and for college presidents and published by ARAMARK, is focusing on the innovations, best practices and strategies that colleges and universities are embracing to address the rising cost of higher education. One chapter will be released each month.

29. ACUPCC 'Celebrating Sustainability' Series

The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is recognizing 15 colleges and universities in April that exemplify the initiative's mission to re-stabilize the earth's climate through education, research and community engagement in a new Celebrating Sustainability series. The signatories that will be celebrated include Allegheny College (Pennsylvania); Arizona State University; Austin Community College (Texas); Georgia Institute of Technology; Haywood Community College (North Carolina); Pratt Institute (New York); Luther College (Iowa); Montgomery County Community College (Pennsylvania); Mount Wachusett Community College (Massachusetts); SUNY Upstate Medical University; University of California, Irvine; University of Central Missouri; University of Louisville (Kentucky); Weber State University (Utah); and William Paterson University (New Jersey).

30. Call for Applications: AASHE 2012 Awards Program

AASHE is doubling the number of awards it gives campuses through its annual sustainability awards program. AASHE will recognize the achievements of two community colleges, two four-year institutions, one faculty member and three students at its awards ceremony in Los Angeles during the 2012 AASHE conference. The deadline to apply is July 2.

31. Call for Submissions: AASHE Earth Week Project

To celebrate Earth Week, AASHE is asking its members and STARS Institutions: What top three sustainability achievements is your campus, organization or business most proud of? The AASHE community's greatest sustainability achievements will be highlighted in a photo essay in AASHE's Campus Sustainability Perspectives blog. This project will be promoted through the AASHE Announcements and STARS Update e-newsletters, and through our social media channels. To be featured, submit three sustainability highlights (up to 50 words each) and at least one photo. Submissions may include up to three photos. As a bonus, these photos will be curated for future AASHE publications and promotional materials. Contact Jillian Buckholz at with questions.

32. SEED Center Green Genome Awards

The American Association of Community Colleges' Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center is looking to recognize five innovative community colleges its inaugural Green Genome Awards program. Five awards of up to $10,000 each will be awarded to community colleges that are driving clean energy growth, training workers for green collar jobs and integrating those efforts with other institutional and community sustainability efforts. Applications will be released on April 21 and SEED will hold an informational webinar about the awards on May 1.

33. Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy

Graduate and senior-level undergraduate students are invited to apply for this University of Illinois at Chicago interdisciplinary program that explores a broad spectrum of sustainability and energy related topics including policy, economics, health, science, engineering, environment, urban planning, business and entrepreneurship. Themed "Election 2012: Energy, Economics and Environment," the August 2012 institute will use the presidential election as the point of departure for a critical analysis of national energy and sustainability issues. For fullest consideration, applications should be submitted by June 1.

34. USGBC Survey: CC Green Building Courses, Training Programs

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Pearson Education are asking community college faculty, deans and program directors to participate in a survey that will help the organizations better serve community colleges with relevant green building education and training opportunities for students. Those who complete the survey by April 20 will be entered into a raffle to receive a trip to USGBC's 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo.

35. Ithaca College Online Sustainability Leadership Certificate

Ithaca College (NY) offers the chance to credential sustainability work through single seminars or a six-seminar sustainability leadership certificate. All work is completed online. Participants will learn to assess their organization's green policies and practice, communicate sustainability initiatives and evaluate best practices. New online seminars begin 11 times each year. Next two session start dates: April 19 and May 10. Discounts are available to AASHE members. Next seminars include "Integrating Sustainability into Training and Curriculum," "Communicating the Organization's Sustainability Efforts" and "Tools and Techniques for Planning and Managing Sustainability Projects."

36. Sustainable Engineering Workshops

These Syracuse Center of Excellence workshops, slated for June 4-5 and June 7-8, 2012, will include interactive and hands-on sessions that address sustainable engineering concepts, ways to incorporate these concepts into courses, comparisons of sustainable engineering education at schools across the country, federal programs for research and education funding in sustainable engineering, and building a community of educators in this emerging topic. Applications will be accepted beyond the April 15 deadline until space is filled.

37. 2012 Green Power Leadership Award Nominations

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these awards recognize the actions of individuals, institutions, companies and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through green power markets. Nominations are due by April 20.

Jobs & Internships
38. Director, Biodiversity Institute, U Wyoming

This newly founded institute seeks a director to establish the its curricula with opportunities for student research, field experiences and internships. The position will also oversee outreach activities designed to serve the needs of the public, Wyoming state agencies and non-governmental organizations. Successful candidates will possess an internationally recognized reputation in biology, a passion for biodiversity and proven leadership abilities. Contact Wilma Varga at to apply. The review of applications will begin April 30.

39. Assist. Director, Community Sustainability, Indiana State U

This position will be expected to think creatively about ways to empirically test sustainable solutions, design experiments and gather the necessary data to successfully assess the value of different sustainable solutions. The assistant director will also help institute fellows pursue and administer successful grants associated with sustainability efforts at the university. Successful candidates will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least six months of experience. The review of applications will begin April 20.

40. Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Bemidji State U

This position will teach a team-taught, interdisciplinary environmental issues course and upper division courses in law and policy and environmental justice. Other responsibilities include developing research opportunities in areas of expertise, program planning, and assessment in environmental studies. Successful candidates will have a Ph.D. or ABD in environmental studies or a closely related field and must be eligible for associate graduate faculty status.

41. Manager, Sustainability, Bentley U

The university's Office of Sustainability seeks a manager to oversee the day-to-day operations including recycling and waste management programs, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, carbon footprint analysis, green dining and catering programs, and green transportation programs. Successful candidates will have a bachelor's degree in a related field and the ability to develop new projects and institutionalize new sustainability efforts within an academic setting.

42. Coordinator, Environmental Studies, Skidmore College

This position will serve as a liaison to community organizations to cultivate internships, community outreach and undergraduate research. Other responsibilities include overseeing environmental studies program communications, organizing speakers and co-curricular activities, and teaching two courses per semester. Successful candidates will have a master’s degree in a related field and college teaching experience. The review of applications begins April 20.

43. Program Coordinator, Sustainability Institute, Bridgemont CTC

Bridgemont Community and Technical College's (West Virginia) Sustainability Institute seeks an instructional specialist/program coordinator to support sustainable community development for the Office of Workforce Development's Sustainable Communities program. Successful candidates will have a bachelor's degree and one to three years of experience in sustainability education, sustainable community or business development, or a related field.

44. Program Coordinator, Sustainability, U Texas Austin

This position will assist in identifying and shaping new programs that meet the Campus Environmental Center's mission and goals, and be responsible for implementing project criteria, procedures and standards related to campus recycling and sustainability goals. Successful candidates will have a bachelor's degree and a strong youth advocacy and project development background.

45. Sustainability Fellow, Northland College

This three-year appointment will serve as the link between the student body and the college, supporting the current sustainability initiatives; assisting in the development of educational programs; and providing oversight and direction for the student Sustainability Crew. Successful applicants will have previous experience with sustainability programming/projects and a bachelor’s degree.

46. Sustainability Fellows, Yale U

Yale University's (Connecticut) Office of Sustainability and Center for Environment and Population are seeking recent graduates or current master's degree candidates with an interest in campus engagement in sustainability for a joint sustainability fellow position for summer 2012. The position will assist with hands on, project-based tasks. The university's Office of Sustainability also has two additional openings for a sustainability fellow position in summer 2012.

47. Sustainable Technology Research Fellow, Oberlin College

Oberlin College (Ohio) is reopening its search for recent college graduates (or those with equivalent experience) with advanced computer skills and excellent organizational skills to assist in the development and management of a system of building and bioregional "dashboards" and other devices. These technologies will provide city and college residents with environmentally and socially contextualized real-time feedback on electricity and water flows through college, residential and commercial buildings, and through the City of Oberlin.

48. Sustainability Fellow, St. John's U

This position will advise the Sustainability Campus Committee on sustainable campus operations including energy, transportation, waste and recycling, water, transportation, food and purchasing. The fellow will support the work of the committee through data collection and analysis; project development and implementation; campus education, outreach and marketing; and by coordinating communication among the units responsible for elements of the university's sustainability plans. Successful applicants will have a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and a familiarity with greenhouse gas audits and/or campus sustainability issues.

49. AASHE, NWF Webinar: Guide to Creating an Eco-Rep Program

April 18, 2012; 2:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
In celebration of the launch of the new "Student Sustainability Educators: A Guide to Creating and Maintaining an Eco-Rep Program on Your Campus," authored by Champlain College (Vermont) Sustainability Director Christina Erickson and co-published by AASHE and the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology program, this webinar will detail the design, implementation and evaluation of student Eco-Rep programs. Erickson will be joined by Eco-Rep staff at institutions including Babson College (Massachusetts), Lehigh University (Pennsylvania) and the University of Pennsylvania.

50. STARS Webinar: Best Practices from the Curriculum Subcategory

April 24, 2012; 2:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
This webinar will highlight case studies from STARS participants that illustrate best practices for approaching credits in the Curriculum subcategory including ER 5: Sustainability Course Inventory, ER 6: Sustainability-Focused Courses, and ER 7: Sustainability-Related Courses.

51. AASHE Rio +20 Webinar: Increasing Collaboration to Build a Sustainable Future

May 10, 2012; 1:15 p.m. Eastern; Online
Co-produced by AASHE, this webinar is the first in the Security and Sustainability Forum's "Run up to Rio +20" webinar series. AASHE's Executive Director Paul Rowland will host a panel of academic and industry thought leaders in a discussion about existing sustainability initiatives and collaborative efforts, and how they can be augmented to help meet the goals being established at the United Nations Rio +20 Summit.

52. Webinar: Applying AASHE’s STARS to the Community College

April 18, 2012; 1:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
Hosted by Johnson County Community College (Kansas), the April installment of the Community College Sustainability Webinar series will provide an overview of what AASHE is learning from the community colleges that are participating in its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). A representative from Moraine Valley Community College will detail the college's experience going through the STARS process including highlights and challenges.

53. CURC Recycling Webinar: Campus and Community Outreach

May 10, 2012; 1:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
"Recycling Education and Awareness: Tools, Tips and Ideas for Campus and Community Outreach," hosted by the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC), will cover tools and communications strategies specific to college campuses. Participants will learn how to increase program visibility through national events including Recyclemania; maximize reach through collaborations with campus-based and community organizations; and effectively utilize social media and other free communications tools.

54. Academic Impressions Integrated Sustainability Planning Institute

June 25-27, 2012; Atlanta, GA
Higher education professionals charged with initiating sustainability programs on their campuses are invited to attend this Academic Impressions workshop covering the basics of integrated sustainability planning. Supported by AASHE, this event will explain how to streamline and integrate disparate initiatives occurring across campus, and what core components must be tackled to create integrated and comprehensive sustainability at any institution.

55. Town & Gown Partnerships Conference

June 4-8, 2012; Richmond, KY
Hosted by Eastern Kentucky University and the City of Richmond in partnership with Berea College, "Town and Gown Partnerships for the Present and Future" will feature presentations and open discussions about topics including economic development, urban planning, city/university planning, community relations, student affairs, education, bioenergy, and arts and culture.

Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights

Click on the titles below to view the full discussion thread.

56. Defining Local (STARS)

A group of us at Middlebury are trying to get a clearer picture of what other schools consider to be “local” when it comes to purchasing food for their dining services. We wondered whether AASHE has an official definition or whether it is left for each member institution to determine their own definition. I know that in the STARS Food and Beverage Purchasing credit a 250 mile radius is used, but is that AASHE’s official definition of local food? I would also love to hear what other schools are using as their definition.

57. Sustainability Tracking and Reporting Software?

I have been searching online for the past few days for some sort of software that would allow me to consolidate all sustainability information into one location (energy, water, waste, etc.). They all seem to be very large hosting services that are too big and expensive, while I’m just looking for some sort of software I could install on my computer or download...Does anyone happen to know of any programs like this that might be what I’m looking for? I'm just looking for some sort of rather simple program that I can download or install on my computer.

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