Deadline extended to November 5 for AASHE's Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership Workshops. Apply today!
Connecting the Dots...
We should all look forward to the day when campuses report as many or more new programs to infuse sustainability into their curricula as they do green technologies to assist campus operations. I can’t wait for the day when a leading university genuinely embraces sustainability as the central unifying philosophy guiding its mission, curriculum, operations, strategic planning and development, funding and investment strategies, and campus outreach. Perhaps we should all be eagerly anticipating the day when the AASHE Bulletin has so many rich stories to report about “deep” sustainability achievements that it merely employs a box score to keep track of a burgeoning number of new LEED buildings and solar installations. When that day comes, we’ll know that sustainability has truly changed the course of higher education.
Education & Research
Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing
Planning, Administration & Engagement
Assessments & Ratings
Coordination & Planning
Jobs & Internships
|37.||Associate Director, Environment and Resources, Stanford U |
|38.||Advisor, Sustainability and Environmental Management, Harvard U|
|39.||Stormwater Coordinator, James Madison U|
|40.||Assistant Professor, Int'l. Development & Social Change, Clark U|
|41.||Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, St. Lawrence U|
|42.||Assistant Professor, Sustainable Tourism, U Hawaii Manoa|
|43.||Assistant Professor, Sustainable Energy Systems, U Utah|
Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights
Education & Research
The Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change program will support the international research of 24 Ph.D. students in earth sciences, ecology, economics, anthropology, and archaeology. Their focus will be on threats of abrupt climate change to global security; ecosystem sustainability under abrupt climate change; and adaptation of economic, social, political, and ideological systems to abrupt climate change. Funded by a $3 million award from the National Science Foundation, the program is a collaboration between the university’s Climate Change Institute and its School of Policy and International Affairs.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainability-Focused Doctoral Degree Programs
The university’s doctoral program in management has shifted to a more sustainable focus. The Ph.D. program will develop holistic consciousness in the manager; manage the transformation of organizations toward sustainable practices; and facilitate the measurement and communication of sustainability outcomes.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainability-Focused Academic Degree Programs
Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing
A group of students seeking to raise awareness about overlooked social justice issues created *The Dartmouth Radical*, a new campus paper. The eight-page publication will run poems, satire pieces and news stories from a progressive perspective. The Council on Student Organizations approved *The Radical* as an official student group and granted it college funding.
In a partnership with the Madieu Williams Foundation and the Maryland Sustainable Engineering student group, about 40 university students helped to design and install a 1.5-kilowatt solar array that would provide lighting to an elementary school in Sierra Leone. The team also installed a battery array that can last several days without any power input from the panels.
Saint Mary’s University in Halifax has partnered with Green Centre Canada and Springboard Atlantic Inc. to launch the Atlantic Green Chemistry Innovation program. The program will accelerate the commercialization of sustainable chemistry-related technologies in Atlantic Canada.
The Sustainable Energy Research Facility (SERF) will be home to a wide variety of renewable energy research projects, while also serving as an instructional building for classes related to renewable energy. The 6,300-square-foot building itself will be a demonstration and test center, as it will be entirely off-grid, powered and heated with all renewable sources including a combination of solar, wind, passive solar, and hydrogen fuel cell technology. The construction, equipping and staffing of SERF has been supported by two grants from the U.S. Department of Energy totaling nearly $1.6 million.
The 61,000-square-foot multi-use facility incorporates energy efficiency systems including a drainwater heat recovery system, solar hot water system, low-flow faucets, and daylight dimming controls in the classrooms. The facility is also equipped with a Green Education dashboard that will provided water and electricity usage data to help create awareness and modify occupant behavior.
See also: AASHE Resources on Campus Green Buildings
The renovation of a campus residence hall features a lighting control program that allows university housing to set specific hours for lights to be on and off.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Residence Halls (member resource)
The Environmental Technology Center will serve as an outdoor learning center that incorporates a garden, shaded area, and a ramada with solar panels. The project was funded through Salt River Project’s EarthWise Energy program.
The college’s new $1.8 million expansion project includes the installation of 16 solar panels and community training for battery and other alternative energy equipment storage. The project also explores alternative energy systems tied to existing grids with battery storage and off-grid systems with battery storage for eventual use.
The Department of Dining Services has created a commitment to sustainable food and launched a Sustainable Food Working Group, comprised of students, faculty, and staff. The group will help the department find innovative and cost-effective ways to achieve a goal of 20 percent sustainable food purchases by 2020.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainable Dining Initiatives on Campus (member resource)
The college pledges to purchase at least 30 percent “real food” by 2020, which will include food that is community based, ecologically sound, humanely produced, or fairly traded. The college joins Wesleyan College, UC-Santa Cruz and the University of Vermont as a signatory institution.
The university has invested in a scientific study to improve the efficiency and sustainability of campus operations. An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers will work with the university’s Energy Services and Sustainability Office to estimate the environmental footprint, and will then identify ways to reduce that footprint as well as operating costs. This project will help the university work toward achieving its 2050 carbon neutrality goal.
The college has completed the installation of a solar project, which included the installation of 1200 solar panels on the Kingston Campus and 442 on the Brockville Campus. The project is expected to generate approximately $230,000 in revenue annually in Kingston and $93,000 in Brockville. Students in the college's Energy Systems Engineering program will gather real-time solar data and learn how solar power generation is impacted by tilt angles, flat versus sloped rooftops, types of inverters, and different geographic locations.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Solar Photovoltaic Installations
Students have assembled and installed twin-array solar panels as part of a class on energy and the environment. In addition, students are monitoring the system to gauge its capability and will also install a data collection system. A U.S. Department of Energy grant funded the project.
Along with the implementation of several energy efficiency initiatives, the university has invested $25,000 in renewable energy certificates. This has allowed the university to cut its carbon footprint in half and will also help to increase the amount of wind power in the electricity grid.
Yale Printing and Publishing Services has received Chain-of-Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. This certification traces the path of products from forests through the supply chain, verifying that FSC-certified paper pulp is identified and kept separate from non-certified paper pulp.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Sustainable Paper Procurement Practices (member resource)
As a means of promoting cycling, the university has opened a bike lounge on campus. The RamBikes Stand has 29 program bikes, houses a full repair stand, and is staffed by bike ambassadors.
Campus Dining Services has begun recycling cooking oil to donate to local schools to use as biodiesel in buses. The university was already recycling its cooking oil to be used as biofuel, but the new program allows the fuel to be used locally without any extra fees for distribution or conversion.
The university has diverted 45 percent of its waste from landfills in the past year, improving by three percent from the previous year. The waste diverted falls into several categories, including leaf and yard waste, electronic waste, organics, furniture, scrap metal, and book recycling. The Sustainability Office is developing an online tool to provide information on recycling and responsible disposal on campus.
See also: AASHE Resource: Campus Recycling and Waste Minimization Policies
The university has installed recycling bins in common areas of every floor in every residence hall after several semesters of students campaigned for a campus-recycling program.
The university has unveiled 16 outdoor recycling units across campus as part of a new recycling initiative. Forty-eight bins have also been placed in classrooms throughout two buildings.
Planning, Administration & Engagement
Assessments & Ratings
A group of 15 engineering students won first place in the national Green Energy Challenge competition with an energy-saving plan designed for the Historical Center of Industry and Labor on the university’s campus. The University of Washington, Iowa State, and Georgia Tech placed second, third and fourth, respectively.
Coordination & Planning
The university has released a sustainability impact report that provides a campus-wide snapshot of the progress that has been made to reduce the campus’ environmental footprint and increase its operational efficiency. Available online, the report includes data on greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and transportation, as well as infographics, multi-media stories, and progress timelines.
The new Office of Energy and Sustainability will help to make the campus more sustainable through improved communication of sustainability resources to the community, increased student involvement, and innovative sustainability projects. Graduate students with one-year appointments will staff the new sustainability coordinator position.
The university has appointed its first sustainability energy and environmental coordinator. Since the appointment, progress has already been made in developing a university climate action plan, creating awareness through social media channels, and building community partnerships.
The university has released its first Sustainable Carolina Annual Report. The 2011-2012 report highlights the work of students, faculty, and staff from across the university on subjects as broad as curriculum development, “greening the mind”, and recycling.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded funding to Plastic Pollution Coalition and four other organizations to expand the Plastic Free Campuses program to the University of California campuses at Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. A key objective of the program is to reduce plastic pollution at the source.
The university’s College of Agriculture Sciences has received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research biofuel-based economic development. The project will promote the use of marginal farmland and abandoned lands so that these crops will not compete with resources for food production.
A team at the university’s medical school has created a “banking system” that will allow medical professors to build flexibility into their schedules and better balance their professional and personal lives. The system, asks professors to track the time spent on tasks such as mentoring, serving on committees, and taking on extra clinical hours. Such work translates into credits, and professors can cash these credits in when needed.
The university garden and CulinArt have partnered to host a market on campus. Students will be able to spend their food service dollars on fresh groceries that they would otherwise have to buy off campus. The CMU Garden supplies the produce.
The university has begun hosting a weekly campus farmers market. Eleven vendors offer locally grown and organic fare, including wildflower honey, heirloom tomatoes, organic granola, broccoli, hydroponic lettuce, apples, and handmade goat’s milk products.
AASHE has revealed the winners of its 2012 Sustainability Awards. Faculty and students at University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of California at Berkeley, Humboldt State University (CA), University of Oregon, Alfred State College, Owens Community College, Skidmore College and University of British Columbia were honored during the awards ceremony at the AASHE 2012 conference for innovations in green building, sustainability research, and leadership. The University of Wisconsin at Madison’s LEED Gold Wisconsin Institute for Discovery will receive the inaugural Innovation in Green Building award, presented in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools.
Real Food Real Jobs has released a new report, ‘Our Common Ground: Food Workers, Sustainable Food Advocates, and Institutions of Higher Education,’ which outlines the opportunities for college and university communities to create a model of campus food sustainability that will serve as an example for other large institutions across the country.
This year AASHE is introducing a new approach to differentiating its curriculum workshops. There are now three levels of workshops based upon the participant experience and role in higher education. AASHE's Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership Workshop is a level II workshop in the series and is designed for faculty leaders and program directors. The Advanced Level III workshop, Sustaining Leadership for Curriculum Transformation, is a pilot offering focused on the transformation of higher education broadly and will develop strategies for transforming the curriculum, sustaining and strengthening vision and leadership skills, and shaping the structures within each school and across schools that can reach deeper levels and national arenas. The next workshops are slated for Jan. 7-8, 2013 at Emory University (Georgia) and Jan. 14-15, 2013 at San Diego State University (California). The deadline to apply for both is November 5.
The program 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 the sustainability of their organization's policies and practices, communicate sustainability initiatives and evaluate best practices. New online seminars begin 11 times each year, and the next two session start dates are on November 1 and 29. Discounts are available to AASHE members. Upcoming seminars include "Integrating Sustainability into Training and Curriculum" and "Tools and Techniques for Planning and Managing Sustainability Projects." Most Ithaca sustainability seminars are now GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute) approved.
Nov. 8, 2012; 1:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
Host: College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC) with support from AASHE
Nov. 14, 2012; 8:00 p.m. Eastern; Online
Host: Kappa Delta Pi
Dec. 2 – 5, 2012; Laguna Niguel, CA
Co-produced by members of the Council for Higher Education Management Associations
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2013; Portland, Oregon
Host: Portland State University
|Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights|
Click on the titles below to view the full discussion thread.
I am a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, studying environmental sustainability, and I'm working on a project that focuses on the student room selection process for school housing. I'm specifically interested in the sort of information that is made available to potential residents when they're choosing a room. Some individuals might be drawn to certain predilections of a given space, while others might have aversions to those same features. Some people find that they're always cold, others are too warm even in the winter. Similarly, some rooms are bright at dawn, some never get direct sunlight, some are above server rooms and tend to be hot, and some are hard to heat because they're north-facing rooms above archways. Greater student satisfaction with room assignments could potentially be accompanied by energy savings through making certain details of rooms available to residents when they are selecting their future living spaces. I would greatly appreciate any insight you could give me into the details your school provides about the differences between rooms and the particular characteristics of individual spaces.