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March 5, 2013

Connecting the Dots...

As we connect the dots from ancient history to the distant future, we envision and hope for a clean and safe future for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. Sustainability professionals work diligently so that our posterity will look back at these days of the early 21st century and be pleased that their ancestors had wisdom, courage, tenacity, and imagination to overcome the huge obstacles of fast speeding and hard charging climate disruption. By honoring the ancient wisdom of our ancestors and working to protect the future occupants of our planet, our strong actions and passion may stand the tests of time. Although net-zero energy buildings currently represent a minuscule percentage of our nation’s infrastructure, they represent a hope for our descendants.

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News of the Week

Education & Research



Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing




Campus Operations



Dining Services










Planning, Administration & Engagement

Affordability & Access


Coordination & Planning


Diversity & Inclusion




Human Resources




Public Engagement


New Resources




Jobs & Internships




Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights


News of the Week

Education & Research


1. U Iowa Creates Wind Energy Certificate

The College of Engineering has created a new wind energy certificate program. The interdisciplinary program courses include “Wind Turbine Aerodynamics” and “Spatial Analyses of Wind Energy.” Students will also receive hands-on experience at the Wind Power Lab.
See also: AASHE Resource: Sustainability-Focused Undergraduate Certificate Programs

Co-Curricular Education & Student Organizing

2. Northwestern U Students Lead Charge to Divest from Coal

The university’s Associated Student Government has passed a resolution urging the administration to divest from the coal industry. Since passing the resolution, the student government and the Responsible Endowment Coalition has received more than 1,000 signatures from faculty, staff, alumni and students asking the university for three things: a full divestment from the coal industry, an increase in renewable energy and clean technology investments, and the full divestment from the fossil fuel industry in the near future.


3. U Dayton to Research Renewable Energy for Air Force

The university’s Research Institute has been awarded a five-year Air Force Research Laboratory contract with a $99 million ceiling for research, testing and transition of new energy and environmental technologies to the Air Force and other Department of Defense agencies. The contract included an initial award of $1.5 million for evaluation, testing and installation of advanced renewable energy storage and management technologies

Campus Operations


4. Colgate U Fitness Center Awarded LEED Gold

The university’s Trudy Fitness Center features passive solar design, a reflective white roof, and landscaping that does not require an irrigation system. Twenty percent of construction materials were locally sourced and 89 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Athletic Buildings (member resource)

5. Salem State U Residence Hall Achieves LEED Gold

Marsh Hall features solar panels on green roofs, low-flow plumbing, use of recycled materials and a vegetated swale water system.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Residence Halls (member resource)

6. North Lake College Student Life Center Earns LEED Silver

Sustainable features include low-flow plumbing, campus-wide alternative transportation strategies, and exterior view optimization to increase occupant wellness and reduce electrical lighting demand.
See also: AASHE Resource: Green Student Centers (member resource)

7. Elon U Station at Mill Point Achieves LEED Silver

The environmentally responsible Station at Mill Point residence hall has achieved LEED Silver certification.

Dining Services

8. Harvard U Café Pilots Reusable Container Program

The Food Literacy Project and Dining Services have partnered to introduce a reusable container pilot program in Dudley Café aimed at reducing excess waste from disposable food containers and packaging. Students and regular customers at the Café may claim a token upon returning a reusable container, which can then be redeemed for discounts at the next meal. Depending on impact and engagement, the Food Literacy Project and Harvard University Dining Services hope to consider opportunities to expand the program for the new school year.

9. U California Santa Cruz Students and Staff go Vegan

More than 25 students and staff members associated with the Crown/Merrill Dining Hall made a sustainability commitment to go vegan as part of the 28-day Engine2Diet Plant Strong Challenge.


10. Central State U to Save $1M Annually with New Energy Program

The university has announced a new project that is expected to reduce energy consumption by 41 percent and save the school more than $1 million annually in utilities. Funded by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, the project will use $20 million in low-interest and interest-free bonds to upgrade exterior and interior lights, expand the campus boiler system, improve roofs and building envelopes, and complete other related projects.

11. Indiana State U Dedicates First Wind Turbine

The 30-foot turbine is expected to generate between 5,000 and 11,000 kilowatts annually to help offset the university’s energy usage.
See also: AASHE Resource: Wind Turbine Installations on Campus (member resource)

12. U Maine Farmington Approves $1.55M Geothermal Heating Project

The university’s Board of Trustees approved spending up to $1.55 million to install 80 geothermal wells. The geothermal wells are expected to pay for the cost in energy savings in eight to 10 years and will save about 28,000 gallons of oil per year.

13. North Carolina State U Winter Break Energy Savings Top $280,000

The university has saved $281,774 in energy costs during winter break, Dec. 21, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013. Since the baseline year of 2004, this annual energy-saving initiative known as the Winter Holiday Energy Setback has saved the university more than $2.1 million.


14. Agnes Scott College Named Tree Campus USA

The college has been certified as a Tree Campus USA institution by the Arbor Day foundation.


15. Northeastern U Installs Bike Repair Station

The university has installed a self-service bike repair stand on campus. The Student Government Association’s Renewable Energy Initiatives Board purchased the stand with money from the Renewable Energy Fund.

16. Quinnipiac U Partners with CT Rides

The university’s Sustainability Committee has partnered with CT Rides, a program sponsored by CT Department of Transportation, to encourage students to use alternate forms of transportation. Students will have the opportunity to earn rewards and discounts from local restaurants and businesses by riding the shuttles.

17. U South Florida St. Petersburg Introduces Car Sharing Program

The university has partnered with WeCar by Enterprise to offer a car sharing service for students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
See also: AASHE Resource: Car Sharing on Campus (member resource)

18. Appalachian State U Students Lobby to Legalize Skateboards

The university’s Sustainability Council has begun a campaign to make skateboards legal in the town of Boone and on campus. A transportation study conducted last year showed that among the general population, a significant percentage of students had a strong, positive response toward legalizing this type of eco-friendly transportation.


19. Harvard U Launches System to Reuse Interoffice Envelopes

In an effort to reduce costs and promote reuse, the university’s School of Public Health Eco-Opportunity team members have launched a new reuse system for interoffice envelopes. A pop-up notification on the website page for new interoffice envelopes now directs purchasers to the appropriate contacts for receiving surplus envelopes at no cost.

Planning, Administration & Engagement

Affordability & Access

20. Indiana Passes Bill to Promote Transfer of CC Credits

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill that will make it easier for students to transfer to four-year universities or colleges and keep all the credits they’ve earned through an associate’s degree. The bill requires that the state’s four-year schools accept an associate’s degree from another state school as two years worth of classes – as long as student majors will be in related fields.

21. Purdue U Institutes Two Year Tuition Freeze

In an effort to make education more affordable and accessible, the university has announced that it will institute a two-year freeze on tuition and most fees at the West Lafayette campus. “In this period of national economic stagnation, it’s time for us to hit the pause button on tuition increases. Our students and their families deserve a high-value education that they can afford,” said President Mitch Daniels.

Coordination & Planning

22. Lamar U Creates Office of Sustainability

As part of the university’s strategic plan to promote sustainability in all aspects of university life, a new office of sustainability has been established. Assistant professor of biology, Jim Armacost, has been named the first director of sustainability.

Diversity & Inclusion

23. Northwestern U Council Proposes Diversity Requirement

Following six months of collaboration between administrators, students and faculty members, the Diversity Council has formulated a proposal for a university-wide diversity requirement for undergraduate students. The Social Inequalities and Diversities requirement, recommended for implementation in fall 2015, would include an academic curricular component and a discussion-based activity completed outside the classroom.


24. Barnard College Senior Gift to Fund Sustainability on Campus

The college’s Senior Fund committee has announced that the 2013 senior gift will fund sustainability initiatives on campus. The committee asked students and groups last semester to submit proposals for how to use the fund, and members of the senior class voted online in favor of the sustainability initiative.

25. Longwood U Receives Grant to Study Biomass Fuel Processing

The university has received a $50,000 Dominion renewable energy grant to commission a pre-planning study for a biomass fuel processing center. The focus of the study is to find efficient ways to dry sawdust used to fuel the biomass boilers using alternative energy sources. The university has been using biomass to heat the campus for 30 years, and currently uses almost 26,000 tons of sawdust from local logging and sawmills annually.

Human Resources

26. Whitman College Approves Sustainability Coordinator Position

The Board of Trustees voted to hire a permanent sustainability coordinator that would oversee all green and sustainable efforts on campus. The decision is a result of several months spent by the Associated Students of Whitman College and student sustainability interns to convince the college that hiring a sustainability coordinator would be beneficial to the campus.


27. Princeton U Students Participate in Investment Dialogue

In response to increased interest on campus in issues of socially responsible investing, the Resources Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community will host a March 7 talk on ethical investment models for the 21st century. Following the talk, students chosen through an application process will have the opportunity to respond with their own thoughts on University investments. The event is open to the public.

Public Engagement

28. Unity College to Raise Pastured Chickens for Hunger Relief

The college has received a grant from the Food for All program to raise free range chickens as part of an ongoing hunger relief effort. Through the collaborative grant, Unity students and local high school students designed the project, including budgeting, planning, and development of educational opportunities. A local food pantry and soup kitchen will be recipients of the meat and will distribute it to its clients.

New Resources
29. AASHE Debuts Campus Sustainability Revolving Loan Funds Database

AASHE with support from the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has released a new [Campus Sustainability Revolving Loan Funds]( database. The database reveals higher education as a leading sector for energy efficiency investments with revolving loan-funded energy efficiency improvements totaling over $117 million at nearly 80 institutions. The database provides detailed information about successful funds and allows for contributions from visitors. To learn more and contribute to this resource, visit the database.
See also: Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation and Management (publication)

30. AASHE Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership Workshop

Taking place June 27-28 in San Diego, California, this workshop is for faculty leaders of all disciplines who wish to develop or enhance curriculum change programs around sustainability on their campuses. Engaging with the philosophy of change in higher education developed through the Ponderosa Project, workshop participants will experience an intensive two days of presentations, exercises, discussions, reflection, and planning with the aim of adapting the Ponderosa Project model to their own campuses. Workshop space is limited to 35 participants. The deadline to apply is March 22.

31. AASHE Workshop: Developing a Campus Sustainability Living Lab

Taking place June 7-9 in Portland, Oregon, this workshop will introduce systematic efforts to break through the current curricular and operational paradigms and form a new model for both education and sustainability action—the campus living lab. Participants will leave with: a plan and a set of actions/strategies for implementing a campus living lab; a deep understanding about the underlying theory and value proposition in implementing a sustainability living lab on campus; clear typology and definition for a living lab program and courses that increase sustainability education; a network of peers; and more. The deadline to register is April 23. The deadline to register is April 23.

32. National Wildlife Federation 2013 Fellowships

The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program is seeking applications for its 2013 Campus Climate and Emerging Leaders Fellowship program. Since 2000, NWF has awarded over 150 fellowships to students across the country working on projects ranging from campus-wide energy audits to implementing sustainable forestry practices. Fellows gain practical experience in the conservation field and firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities inherent in conservation efforts. Applications will be accepted through March 31.

33. Real Food Challenge Field Organizer Fellowship Program

The Real Food Challenge Field Organizer Fellowship Program is an opportunity for recent college graduates to get first hand experience as part-time organizers and food movement leaders. Through this 14-month program, fellows engage in intensive student organizing projects on a regional and national level while also honing their leadership skills and food systems knowledge through a participatory learning curriculum and engaged fellowship community. Fellows come away with direct campaign experience, new professional and movement networks and a toolbox of relevant non-profit, food movement and grassroots organizing skills. At the same time, they support important student-led efforts to shift millions of university dollars away from industrial agriculture and toward just, sustainable food enterprises. The deadline to apply is March 22.

Jobs & Internships
34. Director of Sustainability, MIT

35. Assistant Vice President of Environmental Stewardship, Columbia U

36. Coordinator, Sustainability Practices, Arizona State U

37. Coordinator, Campus Sustainability, Texas A&M U Kingsville

38. Student Sustainability Advisor, Oregon State U

39. AASHE Webinar: Sustainable Procurement in Higher Education

March 26, 2013; 2:00 pm Eastern; Online

40. AASHE Webinar: Zero Waste: From Development to Implementation

March 27, 2013; 1:00 pm Eastern; Online
Host: AASHE Webinar featuring Leader-Level AASHE Member, Waste Management and Rutgers University

41. Integrating Curriculum, Research & Operations Webinar

March 21, 2013; 11:00 am Eastern; online
Host: Spheres of Influence

42. SEI Financing the Future of Energy Efficiency Summit

April 17, 2013; San Diego, CA
Host: Sustainable Endowments Institute's Billion Dollar Green Challenge

43. Sustainability Studies' Contributions to Place Seminar

July 08-13, 2013; Durham, NH
Host: U New Hampshire Durham

Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums Highlights

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

44. Building Standards for Energy Use Per Square Foot

Do any schools set performance standards for BTU of energy consumption per square foot for new construction for different types of buildings? Or is there data somewhere on average energy use per square foot of buildings on college campuses, and for best or high performing buildings? Thanks for any guidance you can share.

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