Connecting the Dots...
One of my great pleasures as AASHE’s Director of Resources and Publications is reading the weekly Bulletin. After scanning through the news and opportunities, it’s hard not to feel a renewed sense of hope for society. On the heels of the great moving nowhere show that was Rio+20, it was especially encouraging to read this week’s Bulletin stories and see the dots being connected up, down, and sideways.
Education & Research
Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing
Planning, Administration & Engagement
Affordability & Access
Coordination & Planning
Jobs & Internships
Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights
Education & Research
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ new environmental science and sustainability major will debut in fall 2013. The curriculum will integrate physical, chemical, biological and social sciences with humanities with proposed concentration areas including environmental biology and applied ecology; environmental policy and governance; biogeochemical sciences; and environmental economics.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainability-Focused Baccalaureate Degree Programs
The university has announced plans to expand its environmental and life sciences program to the New Jersey Highlands, a 2 million acre region in New Jersey that provides more than half of the state with drinking water. As part of a preservation and management program, students and faculty will research the impacts of climate change in the ecosystem, and biochemical processes related to landscape management in this living laboratory setting.
The new interdisciplinary program will cover ecological, economic, political and social systems as they relate to food and farming. Working with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to create a permaculture garden on campus, the college will also offer courses in permaculture, botany and horticulture. In addition, students can select courses from a "re-skilling series" in areas including beekeeping, four-season farming, mushroom foraging and cultivation, and creating a cooperative food economy.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainability-Focused Associate Degree Programs
Financed by a $458,000 Department of Labor grant, the new lab serves as a training facility for the installation of geothermal heating and cooling units. The facility includes a 60-gallon solar thermal water heater, 12 solar panels and an electric car charging station. With funding from a federal grant, renewable energy training at the college is offered at no cost to participants.
Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing
Graduate student Ryan King has partnered with the Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association to establish the Ashland Apiary Project on campus. Three new bee colonies mark the completion of the first stage of the long-term environmental education project. Next, King plans to start an official SOU Beekeeping Club by September 2012.
Sustainable features of the Knight Management Center include rooftop photovoltaic panels, extensive daylighting, and a grey water system that reduces potable water use for sewer conveyance by 80 percent. Fifty percent of the site is devoted to open space.
The college's Student’s Union/Building C complex features a thermal energy exchange system that produces zero greenhouse gas emissions from heating and cooling. The college's Library/Classroom Building has received additional accolades including the Canadian Architecture Award of Excellence and the Sustainable Architecture & Building Award.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Libraries on Campus (AASHE Member Resource)
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Student Centers (AASHE Member Resource)
Sustainable features of the second LEED-certified project on campus include: a roof constructed with reflective materials, landscaping that combines native and adapted vegetation with efficient irrigation, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. More than 88 percent of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Residence Halls (AASHE Member Resource)
Home to a number of centers and classrooms, the newest building on the university’s Lake Shore Campus includes a high performance exterior enclosure, in-slab radiant heating and cooling, and an atrium that passively induces natural stack-effect ventilation. Cuneo Hall is seeking LEED Gold certification.
The Students on Ice Alumni Delegation, an international group of students under the age of 24, recently lobbied for sustainability in the Arctic and Antarctica at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The organization, which received full United Nations accreditation, created a global agreement that addresses the sustainable development challenges facing the Polar Regions.
The university's Stanford Energy Systems Innovations (SESI) project will convert all campus steam piping to hot water and replace the current cogeneration plant with a new heat recovery facility. Once complete, SESI is expected to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and campus potable water use by 18 percent. The university has launched a website for those interested in following the project through an interactive campus map that shows current and upcoming areas of construction.
The university has received its first Tree Campus USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation. With the help of students, the university began implementing standards for sustainable campus forestry in 2010.
The designation from Fair Trade Colleges & Universities recognizes both universities' commitment to using goods produced according to standards that address fair prices and wages, safe working conditions and environmental sustainability. The commitment also includes integrating fair trade educational and advocacy efforts into the school’s culture. The Fair Trade TrailBlazers at Pennsylvania State University's Brandywine campus, for example, are working to include an educational component to the university’s Fair Trade Live festival.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Fair Trade Practices and Policies (AASHE Member Resource)
The university has embraced the Plastic Disclosure Project, an international initiative that uses the concept of a plastic footprint as a way of stimulating change in the way the world deals with this resource. Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, will start with a campus audit to quantify its plastic use. The campus will then involve faculty, staff and students in strategies for reducing its plastic waste.
In an effort to reduce paper consumption, the university has discontinued the printing of pay statements and salary letters. A new web application allows employees secure online access to their pay and benefits information.
The university's recent graduation ceremony featured refillable water bottles for staff and faculty members, eliminating the use of hundreds of disposable water bottles. The initiative is part of a pledge to phase out the sale of disposable water bottles on campus by 2015.
The college’s annual charity-driven yard sale has set a new record by raising more than $26,000 for the United Way of Southeast Delaware County. Shoppers rescued a total of 13.5 tons of goods from landfills this year, including more than 1,000 books, 876 pairs of shoes, 32 rugs, 12 printers and 126 mini-refrigerators.
The university’s annual yard sale, organized by the Community and Campus Sustainability Initiative, has raised $2,173 for its Student Green Fee. Items that were not sold were donated to local nonprofits.
See also: AASHE Resource: Student Fees for Sustainability
In partnership with the Milwaukee Water Council, the University of Wisconsin System's water technology project will tap the specific strengths of its five campuses to integrate STEM education and create new approaches to the sustainable use of water systems. The initiative will receive ongoing guidance from the Business-Higher Education Forum, an organization working to close gaps between higher education and the professional workforce.
In an effort to conserve water and reduce utility costs, the institute’s Energy Conservation team has completed a urinal replacement project. With 308 automatic, low-flow urinals now in several older buildings on campus, the institute expects to save up to 5,300 gallons of water per day and savings of up to $54,000 annually.
Led by the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science's Department of Civil Engineering, this 10-year water initiative is bringing researchers and industry partners together to expand research and provide hands-on learning experiences for graduate and undergraduate students. The project aims to raise awareness of the impact of industrial development and agriculture on watershed health and water supplies.
Planning, Administration & Engagement
Affordability & Access
The foundation has awarded $9 million in grants for "breakthrough learning models" in higher education with a focus on accessibility and completion. Awards include $1 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop and offer a new, free prototype computer science online course targeting low-income young adults; $1 million to the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (CUNY) to support the launch of the New Community College at CUNY; and $450,000 to the League for Innovation in the Community College to develop and pilot a national consortium of online two- and four-year colleges that will support more low-income young adults in attaining a postsecondary credential.
Coordination & Planning
The university's Division of Student Affairs recently hosted an interactive sustainability fair showcasing its projects and programs in an effort to streamline sustainability efforts on campus and identify opportunities for collaboration. Activities included a "Swap & Shop," where participants swapped unwanted items for needed ones; Sustainability Jeopardy; and chef demonstrations with fresh, local food.
Furman University (South Carolina), Duke University (North Carolina) and Vanderbilt University (Tennessee) will share a $75,000 grant from the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation to support student fellowships in community sustainability, research and service. Two undergraduate Duke fellows will work with the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative to install energy efficiency upgrades in 15 local homes; two Furman fellows will help implement a Sustainability Action Plan for the City of Greenville and work with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to advance sustainable forestry; and two Vanderbilt fellows will provide research and recommendations for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) in the Office of Sustainable Practices, and work with the Green Initiatives division of TDEC to create a Governor’s Sustainability Statement.
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology has partnered with GreenHomeNYC on a Green Homes, Green Cities outreach program. The program will educate New York City and Buffalo residents on waste prevention, energy efficiency and the use of non-toxic, recycled and reusable building materials in construction and renovation projects.
The university has received the first Excellence in Integration Award from the International Sustainable Campus Network for its institution-wide efforts at environmental stewardship including its Council on the Environment; minor in sustainability; STARS Silver rating; transportation program that features hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles; commitment to green building; and innovative geothermal heating and cooling system.
AASHE is doubling the number of awards it gives campuses through its annual sustainability awards program. AASHE will recognize the achievements of two community, technical or tribal 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.
The Community Works Institute (CWI) invites the higher education community to join others working to embrace service-learning and sustainability within their teaching practice at two service-learning institutes this summer. The first, taking place July 16-20 in Shelburne, Vermont, will provide interactive training around CWI’s model for service-learning best practice with both an instructional and site-level focus. The second institute takes place July 30–August 3 in Los Angeles.
Launching this summer, the Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Initiative's Mentor Connect Program is designed to help community colleges build sustainability and green programs through technical assistance and a series of conference calls, site visits, and meetings with mentor colleges. Mentor colleges will be matched with partners based on need and fit. SEED is a program of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
Presented by the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools in partnership with AASHE, the Innovation in Green Building Award recognizes a leading college or university that is transforming the built environment and creating living laboratories for sustainability. This year's award will be presented at Greenbuild 2012 with a special emphasis on innovative projects that promote institutional change. The awardee in this category will receive free registration at both AASHE 2012 and Greenbuild 2012. The deadline to apply is July 27.
Ithaca College (New York) 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: July 19 and September 20. Discounts are available to AASHE members. Upcoming seminars include "A Systems Approach to Sustainability," "Establishing Sustainability as an Organizational Purpose" and "How Green is Your Organization: Sustainable Policy and Practice." Most Ithaca sustainability seminars are now GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) approved.
This position will coordinate, collaborate and partner with campus units and departments to manage and lead campus-wide efforts to drive diversity to the core of all university activities. The successful candidate will be a respected scholar with credentials meriting full professorship in a department of the university and a skilled administrator with significant experience in program building and administration. The review of applications will begin August 15.
The director will be responsible for the development and oversight of the college's Environmental Institute. Responsibilities will include annual grant reports, establishing relationships with grantors and teaching one class per semester. Successful candidates will have a master’s degree and prior experience in grant development.
This position will work collaboratively with the campus community to plan, develop and facilitate sustainability efforts; support and evaluate existing programs; guide the development of new initiatives; and raise internal and external awareness of existing and developing campus sustainability initiatives. Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree and experience in a related field.
This live-in position will be responsible for all aspects of food production, preservation and storage, as well as the management and maintenance of the physical location for the university's new Sustainability Semester site including sustainable energy, waste and other systems. This position will have formal and informal teaching responsibilities. Successful candidates will have a bachelor's degree in a related field, experience with homesteading, and the ability to effectively teach sustainable agriculture and living skills.
The primary teaching responsibility of this position, beginning fall 2012, will be within alternative and conventional energy systems including energy analysis, energy efficiency and sustainability. A master's degree in a related field is preferred with a working knowledge of many of the following areas: wiring networks, electrical systems, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, geothermal, hydrogen fuel cells, wind turbines, bio-energy, energy efficiency practices and cogeneration systems.
Oct. 14-17, 2012; Los Angeles, CA
Registration is now open for AASHE 2012: Investing in the Future. The conference will feature campus tours, a Student Summit with keynote speaker Billy Parish, and workshops including "Campus Recycling & Zero Waste" and "Communicating Sustainability to Create Change." New this year, the conference will feature advanced sessions and an advanced track. The early bird registration rate is available through June 30.
June 26, 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 Energy subcategory, particularly the OP 7: Building Energy Consumption credit.
July 12, 2012; 1:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
Supported by AASHE, the latest webinar in the College & University Recycling Coalition's (CURC) 2012 webinar series will look at the business aspects of recycling. Participants will learn about different types of contracts, elements that define a good contract, incentive items, and revenue share. Also covered will be tips for creating and maintaining an effective budget, where to make cuts when needed, and creative ideas for financing projects and programs.
July 5-8, 2012; Fairfield, IA
The university's Department of Business Administration is hosting this free summer symposium that will explore the topic of "deep green business" and the transformation of consciousness needed to truly "embed" sustainability in companies and in society. Topics will include how this transformation can take place, the mechanics of change, how businesses and communities are facilitating this transformation, and the results of such a transformation. Speakers include author and TV producer Hazel Henderson, who works in the field of ecologically sustainable human development and socially responsible business and investment, and Capital University of Economics and Business (Beijing) professor Yu Qiwu, who will present on the "Study on the Mechanism and Benefits of
Promoting Green Consumption in Beijing."
July 30-31, 2012; Atlanta, GA
Higher education facilities and maintenance professionals charged with overseeing deferred maintenance prevention and management on their campuses are invited to attend this Academic Impressions event. Participants will learn how to generate the buy-in needed to develop a strategy for tackling deferred maintenance initiatives.
March 5-7, 2013; Boston, MA
Featuring a new Campus and Community track, this Northeast Sustainable Energy Association conference features accredited educational sessions in renewable energy and green building, networking and a trade show. The conference will also announce a $10,000 Zero Net Energy Building Award.
|Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights|
Click on the titles below to view the full discussion thread.
Does anyone have experience with installing hourglass shower timers in residence halls? If so, have they been generally well received? Have you been able to quantify any reductions in water usage and/or cost savings? Any reports or numbers that you could point me to would be a great help!