Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Sustainability research and course guides online

Looking for articles, books, multimedia, and other reference materials on sustainability? Check out the new guide on the UT Arlington Library’s web site. Suggestions for new links and resources are always welcome. Props to Ellen Baskerville for her work to create this resource.

Shorthorn story, Nov. 7

Public meetings on sustainability in Fort Worth, Nov. 3 & 5

The City of Fort Worth and American Institute of Architects are holding two public meetings to discuss “sustainability in Fort Worth.”


Distinguished faculty lectures

Several lectures in the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series will be on environmental topics.

Dr. James P. Grover, Professor

  • The Biology of “Golden Algae” and Fish Kills in Texas

Dr. Michael Jin, Assistant Professor

  • Where Does Superman Get His Power? Clean Electricity from the Sun

Dr. Laura D. Mydlarz, Assistant Professor

  • Global Warming and Coral Disease: Can Corals Survive This Double Threat?

Dr. Krishnan “Raj” Rajeshwar, Distinguished Professor/ Associate Dean

  • Make Hydrogen While the Sun Shines

Dr. Meng Tao, Associate Professor

  • Renewable Energy and Photovoltaic Cells

List of lectures

Info on the series

Air quality impacts of natural gas development and electricity generation, Nov. 7

The university chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association will sponsor a presentation by Dr. Al Armendariz of SMU’s Environmental and Civil Engineering Department ( His research on the air quality impacts of urban oil and gas drilling has recently heightened concern about the environmental consequences of gas development in the Barnett Shale.

When: Friday, Nov. 7, Noon

Where: Room 202 Nedderman Hall (map)

What: Presentation on 1) oil/gas drilling emissions and 2) mercury emission controls for electric generating units

Free. Students, faculty, staff, and public welcome.

Contact: Dr. Melanie Sattler, 817/272-5410

Star-Telegram story on Armendariz’s research, Oct. 12

Shorthorn story on UT Arlington emissions, Oct. 23

PSC budget for 2009 announced

A PSC budget of $138,750 for fiscal year 2009 has been approved by President Spaniolo and was announced at the Oct.14 meeting. These funds are to cover the expense of implementing some of the Sustainability Agenda items approved in the spring.

It is important to note that this budget does not include numerous Sustainability Agenda items that are being funded under the regular budget of various administrative units.

Building & Development                        $ 0  (0.0%)

Communications                              16,250 (11.7)

Curriculum & Research                    5,000 (3.6)

Dining Services                                          0 (0.0)

Energy & Water                              10,000 (7.2)

Landscaping & Habitat                   12,500 (9.0)

Management Systems                   60,000 (43.2)

Purchasing                                                  0 (0.0)

Transportation                                     TBA

Waste Reduction                             35,000 (25.2)
Total                              $138,750 ( 100.0%)

Detailed budget (if you have difficulty downloading, contact me)

Sustainability Agenda

Apartment complext sponsors “greenest building contest”

The management of Centennial Court apartment complex is challenging its residents to dramatically reduce their energy consumption. The following announcement, distributed by Centennial, describes the contest and provides tips on how to save energy. UT Arlington Recycling Coordinator Becky Valentich tells me that Centennial “has been really active in trying to promote recycling and sustainable practices.” For more on Centennial, see its web page.


Here’s your chance to win big while making a big difference in our world! Take efforts to reduce your apartment’s energy consumption in our “Greenest Building” Contest. Whenever you save energy, you not only save money, but you also reduce the demand for such fossil fuels as coal, oil, and natural gas. Less burning of fossil fuels also means lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary contributor to global warming, and other pollutants.

Two Ways to Win

1. The winning apartment will win back their electricity allowance for the month.

- $25 for each resident in a 4-Bed

- $30 for each resident in a 2-Bed

- $50 for residents in an Efficiency or 1-Bed

2. The winning building will win a special “Green” party in the Clubhouse to be held in November.

The winners will be chosen based on the greatest percentage of reduction in kilowatt hours used per resident from now through mid-November.

How to Win

Consider these tips to help reduce your energy consumption and increase your chances of winning…

Air Conditioning Tips:

- When you are home and awake, set your thermostat comfortably low in the winter and comfortably high in the summer.

- When you are asleep or out of the apartment, turn your thermostat back 5-10 degrees.

- If roommates disagree on the temperature, compromise on a thermostat setting then close or open the vents in each room to help distribute the air accordingly.

- If you’re too warm, wear lighter clothing and use light cotton sheets. If you’re too cool, wear layers of clothing and use flannel/wool sheets with an extra blanket.

- Open curtains and blinds on your windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your apartment, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

- Avoid going in and out of the door to help keep the inside temperature constant.

Lights and Electronics Tips:

- Computers, TVs and DVDs, use still consume power while in standby mode. Plug home electronics into power strips and turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.

- Always turn off lights when you leave the room. Use natural light and task lighting rather than the overhead light whenever possible.

- Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Free replacement bulbs are available from the Clubhouse.

Kitchen Tips:

- A dishwasher that is 50% full uses almost the same amount of electricity as if it were 90% full. Completely fill the dishwasher before running the cycle, or wash by hand to save even more.

- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s heated drying cycle.

- Keep your refrigerator on the middle setting and don’t overcrowd your food.

- Allow frozen foods to completely or partially thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

- Use a microwave or small convectional oven to reheat or cook small meals rather than using your oven.

For more information, call (817) 436-4800.

Shorthorn story, Oct. 28

Environmental Society Meeting Tomorrow!

The Environmental Society will hold its General Meeting tomorrow, October 10th at 12:00pm in College Hall 101. This week, we’ll be serving FREE pizza to kick-off our new lunch hour meeting time! Come on by and join us for food, fellowship, and fun.

On the agenda this week:

  • Dr. Robert McMahon, retired Professor of Biology,  will give a short and engaging presentation on the environmental repercussions of invasive species in Texas.
  • Updates on Power Vote and the National Teach-In
  • Announcement of a special event on campus in November
  • Much, much more!

We hope to see you all tomorrow.

New Directions: A Traditional Green Future for North Texas, Oct. 24

The Congress on New Urbanism

New Directions:

A traditional green future for north Texas

a one day symposium and discussion


Friday October 24

School of Architecture

The University of Texas at Arlington

8:30am — 5:30 pm


Free and open to students, faculty and staff

No prior registration required


Speakers include:

Jon Hockenyos

expert in economics and public policy


Peter Swift

dynamic leader in the area of walk-able communities


John Norquist

former mayor of Milwaukee, author, and expert in urban issues


Steve Mouzon

author, architect, and President of the New Urban Guild and Original Green.





Free Race, Free Pizza, Recycling!

While NASCAR may not be the most environmentally friendly of “sports,” the Keep Fort Worth Beautiful and Coca-Cola are collaborating to collect recycling from the fans at an upcoming race. If you are interested in volunteering, read the description below. To RSVP you must email Jay Long at You can contact me at if you are interested in carpooling from campus. I’ve got room in my car to drive to Fort Worth. We’d be back in Arlington about 10:30pm on a Sunday night.

“Keep Fort Worth Beautiful has a unique and exciting opportunity to help recycle on Sunday November 2nd at Texas Motors Speedway after the Dickies 500 race. Coca-Cola is sponsoring recycling at the race in November and needs about 150 volunteers for a “Green Team” to help collect recyclables after the race.

The plan is to have the volunteers meet at 3:15 p.m. at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Fort Worth. 3400 Fossil Creek Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas 76137. Volunteers will be shuttled to the speedway in vans. We will be able to watch about half of the race and be served pizza for dinner. As soon as fans begin to leave the stadium, the Green Team will start collecting aluminum cans and plastic beverage containers left in the stands. Water will be available for volunteers while working.

At a NASCAR event in Kansas 800 bags of recyclables were collected. So while this event promises to be fun, it will also require hard work and you must be able to climb stadium seating. If interested in being part of the Green Team for this NASCAR event please contact Jay Long at”

Shorthorn begins series of stories comparing sustainability programs at UT Arlington and other universities

The Shorthorn’s sustainability reporter, Sarah Lutz, is doing a series of stories comparing UT Arlington’s sustainability program with programs at other universities.

Story on Texas Christian University, Oct. 17

Story on UT Austin, Oct. 24

Story on Rice University, Oct. 30