Monthly Archive for October, 2007

Schools that “get it”

Sierra Club’s Cool Schools program has offered a list of top ten green schools — schools that “get it” (see school profiles).

Criteria? “[W]e looked at everything from colleges’ clean-energy purchases and green-building policies to their bike facilities and the food served in their dorms. We checked out how many victories their Campus Climate Challenge group had won and whether organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education or the Sustainable Endowments Institute had lauded their efforts.” (See story)

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Texas schools required to cut energy use

According to a story in today’s Austin American-Statesman, a new state law requires public schools — including “most public colleges and universities” — to post their utility bills on-line and reduce energy use 5 percent per year for six years. This obviously is a major development.

The story does not identify the bill, but it apparently is HB3693 (text [pdf] and analysis [pdf]), which was signed by the governor on June 15. The bill was co-authored by UTA alumnus Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth).

See:

Bloom, Molly, “State law makes consumption cut a top priority,” Austin American-Statesman, October 9, 2007, A1.

A&M schools switching to wind

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/6/07, p. 5B

By John Austin

The Aggies, or at least some components of the Texas A&M University System, have a bright idea: buy renewable (i.e., wind) energy. Eight universities within the A&M system, including Tarleton State University, are part of a four-year deal that should prevent more than 35 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, said Joe Standridge, Tarleton’s associate vice president of physical facilities. That’s the equivalent of taking 766 cars off the road for the next four years, he said.

“It was important that we were able to sign a contract for four years,” Standridge said in a recent news release. “We were able to lock in a price, so we will save money when energy prices rise or are affected by hurricanes or other events.”

It’s the largest higher-education renewable contract in Texas, according to the Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partnership Program.

The cost is about $26,000 higher per year for Tarleton, but planned energy conservation measures should offset the cost, allowing the school to stay within budget.

To learn more, go to www.tarleton.edu and click on the State Agency Energy Savings Program link at the bottom. To provide the university with additional energy saving ideas, contact Steve Bowman at 254-968-9263 or bowman@tarleton.edu.

Source: http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/259036.html

More info: Tarleton University press release

Fellowship opportunity

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
CAMPUS ECOLOGY FELLOWSHIPS
CALL FOR
PROPOSALS!

Accepting Proposals Beginning November 1.
Proposals Due December 15.
Learn more at:
www.nwf.org/campusecology/fellowships

WF’s Campus Ecology program is accepting proposals beginning November 1, 2007, for the 2008 class of Campus Ecology Fellows. NWF is seeking proposals from undergraduate and graduate students working with a team of faculty, staff, or other students on projects to reduce their campus’ carbon footprint. Global warming has emerged as the defining environmental issue of the 21st century. Scientists agree that human-triggered greenhouse gas pollution is the cause of increasing temperatures. At National Wildlife Federation, we know we can’t fully achieve our mandate to protect wildlife without addressing global warming. That is why we are now asking Campus Ecology Fellows to confront global warming on their individual campuses by committing to reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 2% per year, or 30% by 2020. Fellows also help to educate and engage the campus community on global warming impacts and solutions.Students are encouraged to submit fellowship proposals on a variety of sustainability practices that work to reduce their school’s carbon footprint. These practices can include, but are not limited to:

  • Implementing energy efficiency and conservation initiatives on existing or new buildings.
  • Conducting a greenhouse gas inventory and developing a climate action plan.
  • Co-hosting, with at least three other campuses, a gathering on global warming solutions.
  • Designing and/or implementing green transportation options.
  • Installing or purchasing clean energy.
  • Initiating sustainable food systems.
  • Increasing and protecting wildlife habitat and green space on grounds and roof tops.
  • Designing supportive processes such as fiscal incentives, planning documents, professional development, community outreach, and/or new policies, etc. to address global warming awareness.

Fellowship grants of up to $2,000 are awarded.

To submit a proposal, go to: www.nwf.org/campusecology/fellowships.

If you have any questions about NWF Campus Ecology Fellowships or other opportunities, contact Kristin Kranendonk at 703-438-6265 or at campus@nwf.org.