Monthly Archive for March, 2008

URLs to report those throwing out trash and smoking cars

http://www.dontmesswithtexas.org/reportlitterer/index.php

  1. When you see a someone litter from a vehicle, intentionally or accidentally, write down the following information. Please be as accurate as possible:
    • Texas license plate number (Texas plates only)
    • Make of vehicle
    • Time of day
    • Location
    • Date
    • Who tossed (driver, passenger or accidental)
    • What was tossed
  2. TxDOT compares the information to our vehicle registration database and when an exact match is located, we send the litterer a Don’t Mess with Texas litterbag along with a letter reminding them to keep their trash off of our roads.

———————–

You can help the TCEQ get the word to owners of smoking vehicles in Texas. The next time you see a car, truck, or bus anywhere in Texas with dirty smoke coming from its exhaust for more than 10 consecutive seconds, write down the license number, date, time, and location you saw the smoking vehicle.

Report the smoking vehicle, within 30 days, by submitting the online reporting form in English, in Spanish or calling 1-800-453-SMOG (7664). You do not have to give your name, and the report is free.

See  http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/implementation/air/mobilesource/vetech/smokingvehicles.html

Maymester course — “Critically Assessing Architecture’s Role in the Bright Green Movement”

This course (ARCH 4315) is designed to explore in depth two recent books at the forefront of the bright green movement: Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to for the 21st Century and Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises. It is being taught by Dr. Douglas Klahr. A full description of the course is available here. Students interested in taking the course are urged to contact Dr. Klahr as soon as possible.

For more info on Worldchanging:

Amazon description          Worldchanging web page

For more information on Design Like You Give a Damn:

Amazon description           UTA Library info

Professor Klahr, please explain what the “bright green movement” is, if you would.

Stacy Alaimo to deliver lecture at UT Permian Basin

Stacy Alaimo, a UT Arlington associate professor of English, will deliver a high-profile lecture at UT Permian Basin tomorrow. The title of the lecture is “How to Find Yourself When Your Body is Everywhere: Science, Environment, and the Posthuman Self.” Alaimo is a member of the Curriculum, Research, and Community Engagement Work Group of the President’s Sustainability Committee and teaches several courses on the environment.

An excerpt from the event announcement:

The UT Permian Basin College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Literature and Languages, and Sigma Tau Delta will host a lecture by environmental critic Stacy Alaimo.

Drawing upon her forthcoming book, “Bodily Natures: Science, Environment and the Material Self,” as well as literature, film, photography and the Internet, Alaimo will argue that an understanding of the human body’s permeability profoundly alters our sense of human subjectivity, environmental ethics, and the individual’s relation to scientific knowledge. The lecture will be infused by the ethos of two movements that continue to increase in their significance — environmental health and environmental justice.

Full announcement here.

TCU to launch wind-energy research initiative

From the 3/20/08 Star-Telegram

Texas is already big in wind-energy production.

On Wednesday, Texas Christian University officials announced a multimillion-dollar initiative that could also make the state a leader in wind-energy research.

Funded by FPL Energy, the nation’s largest domestic wind and solar energy producer, the effort will bring TCU researchers together with scientists at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. The goal is to give the industry the tools to build better wind farms.

Full story here

Seeking volunteers to help install green roof test beds – April 11

This notice is posted on behalf of Amanda Popken, co-chair of the university’s green roof project committee. The installation will be for the purposes of testing a variety of plants and planting systems. If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with Amanda at amanda_popken@yahoo.com.

Jeff

[Shorthorn ran a story 3/25/08]

[Schematic of planting plan 3/20/08]

——————-

I am proud to announce that we have a date for installation! As stated in the forwarded email below, we will be working Friday April 11th and will need some volunteers to help. We volunteers will be working from about 10am to 6pm (with an hour lunch break somewhere in there), for at least two-hour shifts. So if you’re interested, please email me your availability, and I’ll confirm with you whether or not we already have our 8 volunteers for that time slot.

Thanks so much to all of you for your interest and ongoing support. I’ll continue to keep you updated on the plans to monitor this experiment and on the white paper we will be preparing for the university and community at large.

Sincerely,
Amanda

“Hopman, David D” <dhopman@uta.edu> wrote:

Amanda,

We have chosen April 11 as the date for the installation of the green roof. Larry Harrison has suggested that we keep the people involved to a minimum for reasons of safety and logistics. There will be several things to do as we will be installing the roofing systems, soil, irrigation, and plant materials. We will be moving and installing about 30,000 pounds of soil. We need about 6-8 volunteers willing to help at any given time. If more people want to get involved, we could sign them up in shifts. The materials will start to be delivered around April 1 and will be stored for a week or so over in the Wetzel center, then trucked to the freight elevator at the life science building on Friday the 11th (weather permitting). I am in touch daily with various vendors and UTA staff for this “Beta” extensive green roof.

Can you coordinate the volunteer effort?

Thank you again for your help.

David Hopman, ASLA

Landscape Architect,

Assistant Professor

The University of Texas at Arlington

School of Architecture

Landscape Architecture Program

Dallas & Houston among top municipal purchasers of green power

Dallas and Houston recently completed purchases of more than 333 million kilowatt-hours and 262 million kilowatt-hours of green power respectively, propelling the cities into the top spots on EPA’s Top 10 Local Government list. “Texas leads the nation in wind power production, and Dallas and Houston are leading the way in showing other cities how green power can help protect the environment,” said EPA Region 6 Administrator Richard Greene. “By shifting to wind and other renewable power sources, cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions and change the way we generate energy.” Source

Students to engage in environmental projects during Spring Break

Students with UTA Volunteers’ Alternative Breaks program at The University of Texas at Arlington will travel to Oklahoma City and Catalina Island, Calif., to work on various service projects during Spring Break. In Oklahoma City, nine students and staff will be working with Habitat for Humanity building “Hope Crossing,” which will eventually be a development of 240 Habitat homes. On Catalina Island, 12 students and staff will be working with CELP (Catalina Environmental Leadership Program) to do invasive plant removal, planting and transplanting, composting, hauling, raking, trail building, painting, seed collection, landscaping, mulching, gardening, beach clean ups and scientific data collection. The Catalina team will depart at 5 a.m. and the Oklahoma City team will depart at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 16, from the E. H. Hereford University Center, 300 W. First St. The Alternative Breaks program at UT Arlington began in 2002 and students have performed service work during spring and winter breaks in such locations as New Orleans (following Hurricane Katrina), Branson, Mo., and Brownsville, Texas. Contact Brian Joyce at (817) 272-2963 or visit www.alternativebreaks.org or www.uta.edu/stuact/volunteers for more information.

Star-Telegram story on campus sustainability movement

The Star-Telegram’s new environmental blog, Planet DFW, has a story on the campus sustainability movement.

Recyclemania – Halfway There

Well, Recyclemania is in full swing and I really don’t know where all of this material is coming from. We have had some extraordinary weights coming out of the residence halls. Week 4 we had a total weight of 4,043 lbs. but then, here comes week 5, and we had 9,303 lbs. That’s an increase of 5,260 lbs. in one week. This is good because it bumped us from 38th place in the standings to 30th place out of 53 schools participating in our category. As far as the standings, here they are. If you notice, only 3 lbs. separate Trinity from KC Hall. Tight Race!

Arlington Hall – 2109

Brazos House – 1370

KC Hall – 2208

Lipscomb – 1503

Trinity – 2211

Apartments:

Forest Glen/Cooper Chase – 1770

Timberbrook – 1625

University Village – 675

Meadow Run I – 1615

Meadow Run II – 1635

Arbor Oaks – 1700

Garden Club, Autumn Hollow, West Crossing, Oaks Landing, Maple Square, Legacy Heights – 870

Outstanding article

Metropolismag.com has published an excellent article on the promise and paradoxes of campus greening. Although focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, it touches on many issues, including the relationship between greening of operations and greening of curriculum.

Full article

Excerpt:

In late 2005 Yale University president Richard Levin exercised the considerable prerogative of his office and announced that his institution—with its 5,500 residents, 21,000 commuters, and 1.7 million square feet of office space—would slash its greenhouse-gas emissions. His chosen target seemed attainable enough: a 43 percent reduction by 2020, which would bring the university ten percent below 1990 levels, thereby exceeding Kyoto Protocol goals. More than two years later Yale’s carbon graph is a beautiful site in an otherwise Sisyphean struggle. The university has already cut emissions 17 percent, with projects under way expected to cut another 17 percent by 2009—putting Yale a decade ahead of schedule in reaching its target. The even better news is that Yale is far from alone among universities: nearly 500 schools have signed the American College & University Presidents Cli­mate Commitment, which sets them toward climate neu­trality by a specified date (although it’s toothier than it sounds).
But Levin isn’t smug. An economist by training, if anything he’s frustrated by the wide view. “We’re showing it can be done, but our carbon savings are miniscule compared to what needs to happen,” he says on the telephone one morning. “And even if you put all the educational institutions in the world together, it still doesn’t add up to much. The answer has to come from governments, and I think the major reason for doing this is to enlighten the public so that ultimately governments will get serious about it.”
Yale and other schools are being spurred to action by a catch-22: the environmental moves they make on campus matter far less than what they teach their students—and what their students teach the world. But presidents and professors realize that the best way to teach students is through what they do on campus. Today’s campus sustainability movement is balanced be-tween nuts and bolts and big ideas. Local action has replaced global symbolism.
Higher education has emerged as a thrilling proving ground for a sustainable society. Schools of all statures and sizes—from the Ivies to red-state community colleges—are making the most of their fiefdoms, leveraging their educated and politically engaged populations, long-term outlooks, and self-managed (the often signifi­cant) physical footprints to make substantial changes. But with those changes comes a surprising reversal in academe’s typical stance: the mechanics of the campus are occupying the brightest spotlight. Students, administrators, and faculty are obsessing over the cleaning products the janitors use, how dining-hall potatoes are grown, and which dorms consume the least energy. Infrastructure is hot—hotter arguably than research or teaching about sustainability. It is as if the ivory tower has looked out to the world and seen a choking planet, and its first response is to look inward again at its own activities—building designs, power plants, and transportation systems.

[indexing: bamboo, (see comments below)]