Education for Sustainability

The Beauty of Net-Zero Energy Infrastructure: Lessons from History, Actions Today, and Dreams for the Future

March 5, 2013

Andrea Putman

By Andrea Putman, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Second Nature
(This post originally appeared in the March 5, 2013 AASHE Bulletin)

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.

At United Tribes Technical College Recycling Program Supports Sustainability

February 7, 2013

By Dennis J. Neumann, Public Information Director, United Tribes Technical College
(This article appears in the February, 2013 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer and was originally published in the December/January 2013 edition of United Tribes News)

ACUPCC ImplementerUnited Tribes Technical College used National Sustainability Day, October 24, to raise awareness and boost participation in the college’s recycling program. For a number of years campus departments have recycled paper and plastic under the leadership of a small but committed group of faculty members. Two years ago, interest in sustainability grew when United Tribes President David M. Gipp signed theAmerican College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The document outlines concerns about global climate change and offers methods for higher education institutions to model ways of minimizing the effects, showing leadership and integrating sustainability on campuses around the country. Institutions that sign-on commit their best efforts to pursue climate neutrality: By developing an institutional plan; initiating action to reduce greenhouse gases; and publicly reporting progress reports to the ACUPCC Reporting System.

Green Committee

Increased Staff Capacity to Support ACUPCC Implementation at MSIs

February 7, 2013

By Jairo Garcia, Kresge Implementation Fellow, Second Nature
(This article appears in the February, 2013 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

My name is Jairo Garcia and I am thrilled to be part of the Second Nature team as the ACUPCC Implementation Fellow. My primary responsibilities are to assist and support Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Under-Resourced Institutions (URIs) signatories of the ACUPCC to advance your institution’s commitment to carbon neutrality, implement sustainability practices in curricular initiatives and support your community partnerships. Also joining the Second Nature team is Axum Teferra. Axum is the ACUPCC Membership and Engagement Fellow, and will be sharing responsibilities in providing implementation support. Our positions were made possible by The Kresge Foundation through Second Nature’s “Sustainability Leadership, Capacity Building and Diversity Initiative”.

The University of Maine’s Integrative Graduate Education & Research Traineeship (IGERT) Focused on Adaptation to Abrupt Climate Change

December 4, 2012

By Misa Saros, A2C2 IGERT Program Coordinator, University of Maine

(This article appears in the December, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The University of Maine has launched a new National Science Foundationsponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) – the first of its kind to focus explicitly on adaptation to abrupt climate change (A2C2).  The A2C2 IGERT is a partnership between theClimate Change Institute (CCI) and the School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) and is focused on the need to adapt environmental policies and management strategies to meet the social and ecological challenges caused by abrupt climate change events.  The program is funded by a five-year, $3 million award from the National Science Foundation, and will support the research of 24 Ph.D. students in Earth sciences, ecology, economics, anthropology and archaeology. Their research will focus on the effects of abrupt climate change on global security, ecosystem sustainability, and the integrity of economic, social, political and ideological systems.

IGEN Career Pathways: Preparing a Green Workforce

December 4, 2012

By Terri Berryman, Project Director, IGEN Career Pathways, College of Lake County

(This article appears in the December, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), which was formed in 2006, is a President led initiative involving all 48 community colleges in the state of Illinois.  IGEN has four main areas of focus – green campus, green communities, green curriculum and green careers.  In 2011, the College of Lake County, on behalf of the IGEN, was awarded a $19.37 million grant from the Department of Labor (DOL) as part of round one of the Trade Adjustment Act Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program.  The grant, IGEN Career Pathways, brings together seventeen community colleges working as a consortium to create 31 on-line blended and hybrid degree and certificate programs in green career fields.

Basic RGBThe grant’s goals are aligned with the four priorities outlined by the DOL: to accelerate progress for low-skilled and other workers; to improve retention and achievement rates to reduce time to completion; to build programs that meet industry needs, including pathways; and to strengthen online and technology-enabled learning.  Seven strategies are being used to meet these priorities:

Minority-serving Institution Signatories to the ACUPCC Strengthen Curriculum Component of their Climate Action Plans by Offering AMS Climate Studies

December 4, 2012

By James Brey, Director, AMS Education Program & Elizabeth Mills, Associate Director, AMS Education Program

(This article appears in the December, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

There has never been such a critical need for educating today’s undergraduates on Earth’s changing climate and pathways to sustainability.  The footprints of climate change surround us – Arctic sea ice reached its record lowest extent in August 2012, the 10 warmest years in the global climate record have occurred since 1997, and global sea level continues to rise (1). Climate change is also predicted to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, which combined with sea-level rise, may lead to more natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy (123).

It is imperative to develop a scientific workforce ready to tackle the challenge of climate change in light of the new energy economy and various societal and political factors. The National Science Foundation (NSF) underscores the need for increasing public literacy in the Earth System Sciences, including climate science literacy, and preparing a highly skilled scientific workforce reflecting the nation’s diversity (45).

Revolving Loan Fund at Lane Community College

November 6, 2012

By Jennifer Hayward, Sustainability Coordinator & Anna Scott, Energy Analyst, Lane Community College

(This article appears in the November, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Lane Community College established a revolving loan fund in 2006, the only one of its kind at a community college, to pay for energy conservation and renewable energy projects through utility carryover. The fund, called theEnergy Carryover Fund, realizes savings when current year electricity and natural gas expenditures are less than current year budget. Additionally, rebates and other incentives for energy-focused projects can be deposited into the Fund, helping to finance more projects in the future. The Fund is managed and implemented by Lane’s full time Energy Analyst, Anna Scott, and currently stands at $122,000.

Annual budgets for electricity and natural gas are determined using an energy use index calculation for the baseline year of 2004-05 and the current year’s prices.  Money is transferred to the Carryover Fund if Lane is purchasing less energy per square foot because of efficiency, conservation, and on-site renewables than in the baseline year.

Lane’s Energy Analyst plans the Fund’s projects in collaboration with faculty and students in its Energy Management and

Lane’s Solar Station provides electricity for charging vehicles and power for nearby buildings.

Renewable Possibilities at the University of Vermont

November 6, 2012

By Mieko A. Ozeki, Sustainability Projects Coordinator, University of Vermont

(This article appears in the November, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

How significant a role can campus-based renewable energy play in the University of Vermont’s (UVM) progress towards carbon neutrality?

Back in 2011 this question spurred the University of Vermont’s Clean Energy Fund to award up to $100,000 toward a Comprehensive Campus Renewable Energy Feasibility Study (CCREFS). The intent of the study was to generate scenarios to aid in renewable energy planning at UVM by getting a broad view of the potential for these technologies on-campus. The outcome of this study will also help to inform meeting UVM’s Climate Action Plan first target of becoming carbon neutral with our purchased electricity by 2015.

The funding for the CCREFS project was primarily sourced from UVM’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF), a student green fund approved in 2008 by UVM’s Board of Trustees. The CEF is sustained by a self-imposed student fee of $10 per student per semester and generates an estimated $225,000 per year. The fund was created in response to students’ desire to have UVM advance renewable energy research, education, and infrastructure on campus. To date, the CEF has awarded funding to twenty projects including the development of an internship program, CEF graduate fellowship, and lecture/workshop series.

Building Georgia Tech’s Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

November 6, 2012

By Howard Wertheimer, Director, Capital Planning & Space Management, Georgia Institute of Technology

(This article appears in the November, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Georgia Tech is committed to the development of a sustainable campus community, creating distinctive architecture and open spaces. In keeping with this goal, Georgia Tech has a clear mission for its new Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory Building: carbon neutral net zero site energy use. The 40,000 square foot facility is intended to set a new standard for sustainable design for laboratory buildings of this type by optimizing passive energy technologies, reducing electricity loads, thoughtful day-lighting strategies, water conservation and harvesting, and maximizing the use of renewable energy, including a 290kW photovoltaic array.

Rendition of GT’s Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

Join Second Nature and the EPA Green Power Partnership for "The State of Renewables in Higher Education"

November 2, 2012

The State of Renewables in Higher Education

This webcast was broadcast on November 29th 2012, 2:00-3:00pm EST

Supporting Documents

Second Nature and the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership are collaborating to identify the barriers to expanding renewable energy use among colleges and universities, identify solutions, provide education and training on green power procurement strategies and explore the possibilities of joint purchasing opportunities.

To kick-off this partnership, Second Nature and EPA invite you to participate in an interactive event to learn more about trends and possibilities in colleges and universities incorporation of green power onto their campuses, and in their climate reduction goals.

The live event will stream on this page.  Please bookmark this link and register to participate in the event.

Students Gear Up for Campus Sustainability Day 2012

October 17, 2012

Learn more in two new  posts from our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) about how students are getting involved for Campus Sustainability Day next week! Sustainable Students – Planning for Climate Change at a Campus Near You and Preparing for a Changing Climate with a Feast DownEast provide some great opportunities to learn more about Campus Sustainability Day, and generate ideas for your campus events.

The following two posts originally appeared on the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Switchboard Blog.

Sustainable Students – Planning for Climate Change at a Campus Near You

By Tiffany Traynum, Communications and Campaigns Program Assistant

Photo from the NRDC Switchboard

Preparing Students for a Changing Climate: Keynote Broadcast for Campus Sustainability Day 2012

October 5, 2012

Campus Sustainability Day 2012

Campus Sustainability Day Keynote Broadcast 2012: Preparing Students for a Changing Climate

The Campus Sustainability Day 2012 Keynote Broadcast, Preparing Students for a Changing Climate, aired live on Wednesday October 24th, 2012.  Click on the video above to watch the broadcast.  Read below for more information about the program and events held for Campus Sustainability Day in 2012, and visit the 2012 CSD Second Nature website.

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Join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of Campus Sustainability Day with a live panel discussing the role colleges and universities must play in creating sustainability education for all students which prepares the next generation of leaders to lead a just, healthy, and sustainable society.  How can colleges and universities prepare students for a changing climate, society, and economy through sustainability education?

The live event will stream on this page.  Please bookmark this link and register to participate in the event.

Educating the Next Generation to Compete in the Clean Energy Economy

October 3, 2012

By Kate Gordon, Director of Advanced Energy & Sustainability at the Center for the Next Generation, and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
(This article appears in the October, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

I’ve spent many years making the case that transitioning to a greener, more advanced energy economy will create jobs, spur economic growth and put America on a path toward global technological leadership. But lately, I’ve been thinking that I’ve placed too much emphasis on the stuff side of this equation—the need for investment in the products that make up the greener economy, like the wind farms, smart grid systems and efficient cars—and not enough on the people side—the high-quality workforce that can actually dream up, make, and install all that stuff. What does America need provided in advanced education, experience, and skills in order to prepare a workforce of students to meet the needs of the new green economy?

Involving Students in Climate Action Planning Prepares them for Life after College

October 3, 2012

By Anne Bertucio, Business & Community Relations Coordinator, Focus the Nation

(This article appears in the October, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Student involvement, ideas, and innovation have been and continue to be a driving force behind sustainability successes on college and university campuses.  In 2008, Focus the Nation (FTN) launched a national teach-in campaign to empower students through education, civic engagement, and action to advance a clean energy future. In turn, the ACUPCC has provided a terrific opportunity for students through their FTN training to play an integral role in the development and implementation of their campus’ Climate Action Plan’s.

Currently FTN offers the Forums-to-Action (F2A) program providing students withleadership skills, energy literacy, experiential learning and professional development. The F2A program benefits both the student and campus as it provides a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration, academic engagement with industry experts and elected officials, and an opportunity to apply existing campus resources to urgent sustainability issues in the community, to name a few. F2A participants at the University of Utah and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville have already made an impact. Their efforts show how valuable student leadership in implementing the climate action plan can be to the institution’s carbon footprint, and the capacity of students to prepare for a changing economy by shaping their institution’s climate and sustainability initiatives.

Tracking Solid Waste at Delta College

September 5, 2012

By Linda Petee, Sustainability & Risk Management Coordinator, Delta College

(This article appears in the September, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Scope 3 emissions can escalate a carbon footprint significantly if not monitored and tracked diligently.  To provide a comprehensive analysis, Delta College chose to report additional Scope 3 categories, including solid waste, right from the start.

Recycling was introduced in 1991 and our program quickly earned recognition as a statewide best practice in 1995.  Early on, area waste haulers were not equipped to collect recyclables and sorting facilities were limited.  Our fledgling program partnered with a local rehabilitation center for sorting and bundling. Later, as residential programs took hold, we piggybacked on municipal collections. Eventually, local material recovery centers were established. Having an established program has allowed us to refine our processes and provide guidelines to aid collection.

Understanding the Campus Metabolism at the University of South Florida Tampa

September 5, 2012

By Garrick Aden-Buie, Research Fellow; James Buckingham, Research Fellow; Kebreab Ghebremichael, Senior Research Fellow, and Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the Patel School of Global Sustainability

(This article appears in the September, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

As the eighth largest university in the United States and the third largest in the state of Florida, the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa serves approximately 40,000 students and 12,000 faculty and staff. Like many other university campuses, the USF Tampa campus is a veritable miniature city. Situated in an urban setting, the campus contains 250 buildings on 1,561 acres and generates 266 million gallons of wastewater and 1,190 tons of solid waste, while requiring approximately 183 million kWhs of electricity and 740 million gallons of water a year to support its educational, research and social endeavors.

Much like the arteries of an organism, everyday activities on campus are supported by a system of networks that transport goods, resources, and energy to or from their users. Twenty-eight miles of roads and 92 miles of sidewalks move students and faculty.

3D Visualization of the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa Campus Urban Metabolism Model

Crisis and Opportunity in the Environmental Century

August 31, 2012

This piece by Unity College President Stephen Mulkey originally appeared on Climate Access and is reposted with permission from that site.

Crisis and opportunity in the Environmental Century: Inspiring a generation to greatness
By: Unity College President, Stephen Mulkey

As an ecologist, I know that we have precious little time to prepare a generation to respond to the ecological crisis of our planet in peril. As the president of Unity College, I am alarmed by how little progress has been made in focusing higher learning on what is undoubtedly the most important challenge facing humankind. Given the overwhelming scientific evidence of imminent climate disruption, failure to make climate literacy a requisite part of any undergraduate curriculum is inexcusable.

Update on the ACUPCC Corporate Partnership Program

August 8, 2012

By Andrea Putman, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Second Nature
(This article appears in the August, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC corporate sponsorship program has evolved from its initial inception in 2007 into a partnership of 27 sponsors that supports the ACUPCC in several ways.  The program provides the opportunity to bring corporate expertise to support schools in implementing the ACUPCC. It provides funding that is critical to securing additional philanthropic support and member dues from signatory schools, and it sends a strong signal to signatory institutions that the private sector believes that pursuing climate neutrality and sustainability in education and operations is important for all of society, including business.

Based on a meeting of the ACUPCC Steering Committee and sponsors at the June 2011 Climate Leadership Summit, Second Nature developed the “Corporate Council” and invited sponsors at the diamond, platinum, and gold levels to participate. Working with the ACUPCC Steering Committee and Second Nature, the corporate sponsors worked together to develop a “Corporate Council Statement in Support of Education for Sustainability,” which is included in the ACUPCC Five Year report. The statement follows:

From the Archives: Second Nature's 1998 Website

July 31, 2012

by Rima Mulla, Communications Manager, Second Nature

Found, in the Second Nature archives, evidence that our organizational website once reflected the critical and pivotal nature of our work:

Vice President Gore on the 1998 Second Nature Website

Vice President Al Gore loved it…in 1998.

Vote daily for Second Nature in the Carrots for a Cause contest.
Multiply your vote by recruiting colleagues and friends to support us.

We really need to bring our website up to 2012 standards. Thank you!

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