Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Winguth: “Global climate change and its impact on North Texas”

Arne Winguth, Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has posted the Powerpoint file he used in his Sept. 25 OneBook talk.

Presentation (ppt, 58.2 MB)

Garrigus: “Three Keys to Understanding Deep Economy”

John Garrigus, Associate Professor of History, has posted the video of his September 9 talk for the OneBook series. It is in four parts.

Video, part 1

Video, part 2

Video, part 3

Video, part 4

Shorthorn story on lecture, 9/9/09

“Green screen: Student films about the environment,” Sept. 30

On Wednesday, September 30, at 12:00 p.m. in the 6th floor Library Parlor, the OneBook Program will host “Green Screen: Student Films about the Environment.” The films featured were produced by English undergraduates under the direction of Asst. Prof. Carolyn Guertin.


UT System sustainability policy is finalized

UT System has published a formal policy governing “sustainability practices.” It begins with this statement:

The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System is committed to stewardship of the environment and promotion of the principles of energy efficiency and sustainability. The System’s commitment to energy savings goals, reductions in carbon emissions, and sustainable design is evident in existing practices, and the institutions will continue to implement wellthought-out initiatives that increase efficiencies, reduce emissions, and promote sustainability practices that contribute meaningfully to the environment, while still achieving excellence in higher education. The System’s decisions and actions regarding sustainability practices will be guided by its mission statement and will be reflective of budgetary constraints and legal, regulatory and programmatic requirements, while continuing to further the missions of the institutions.

The initiatives described in this policy are intended to provide the scope, direction, and expectations underlying System’s Policy on Sustainable Practices and to identify best practices to facilitate compliance with this policy.

Full text

Eco Fest Arlington, Sept. 19

Saturday, September 19, 2-11 pm
Founders Plaza and Levitt Pavilion


Sustainability Series – Council Chambers

3:00-3:45: Rainwater Harvesting – Kathryn Beer

4:00-4:45: Personal Energy Independence – Terry Jensen

5:00-5:45: Landscape Irrigation Efficiency – Byron Beall, Ewing

6:00-6:45: Sustainable Daily Living: It’s not just for Tree Huggers! – Kimberley Jardine


Gardening Greats – City Hall Front Porch

2:30-3:00: Landscape Design – Carl Trehus

3:30-4:00: Soil Testing, Preparation, and Fertilizing – Warren Tingley

4:30-5:00: Weed and Pest Control (organic and/or least toxic methods) – Lucy Harrell

5:30-6:00: Native Plants – Gailon Hardin

6:30-7:00: Fall Gardening – L.J. Williams


Family Factory – Children’s Area

2:30-3:00: Children’s Gardens – Lucy Harrell

3:30-4:00: Insect Art

4:30-5:00: Kids Can Be Green, Too! – Lori De La Cruz

5:30-6:00: Native wildlife and habitats

6:30-7:00: Green Housekeeping – Lori De La Cruz

Ongoing: Fun with River Legacy Living Science Center

Activities with Arlington Libraries and UTA

Bounce Houses, Crafts, and Games


Demonstration Depot

3:00-3:30: Solar Cooking

3:30-4:00: Composting, Make a Rain Barrel

4:00-4:30: Basic Tree Care and Maintenance

4:30-5:00: Composting, Make a Rain Barrel

5:00-5:30: Solar Cooking

5:30-6:00: Composting, Make a Rain Barrel

6:00-6:30: Efficient Irrigation Technology and Maintenance

6:30-7:00: Composting, Make a Rain Barrel


Live Entertainment – Levitt Pavilion

2:00-2:30: UTA Drumline & Band

3:00-3:30: Roark Elementary Ballet Folklorico


5:00-5:30: Ms. Persis Dance Company

6:00-6:30: Scott & James

7:45-9:00: Garbage Movie

9:30-11:00: Patrice Pike

Full info

Environmental Societys’ First General Meeting Fall ‘09


The Environmental Society at UT Arlington invites you to their first general meeting this Fall. The meeting begins at noon on 11th September 2009 in Room 106, College Hall.


1. Introductions
2. 2 minutes of silence in memory of 9/11
3. Membership & Dues
4. Committees and Connections
5. Preparations for upcoming events:
Make a Splash (12th September 09)
Arlington EcoFest (19th September 09)
6. Webbing our way through UT Arlington: Our new website, blog and e-magazine.

Please come, bring your friends, ideas and energy!
Win prizes in a surprise activity!

Vin Valluri

Environmental Society,
University of Texas, Arlington

Greening English Studies, Oct. 14-17

Wednesday, October 14th – Film Screenings

(check here for schedule)

Thursday, October 15 – Graduate Student Workshops
Two hour sessions with leading scholars in the field of environmental humanities. Participants will need to read 2-3 articles in advance of the seminar. Invitation only. Please Contact Matthew Lerberg, the Workshop Coordinator.

2:00-4:00: “Environmental Humanities and the Question of Globalization” with Ursula Heise, Professor, Stanford University (Required Readings)

5:00-7:00: “Ecology and History” with Robert Markley, Professor, University of Illinois (Required Readings)

Friday, October 16th – Hermanns Presentations
40 minute talks, with 10 minutes for discussion

9:00-10:00: “Vermin and Parasites: Shakespeare’s Animal Architectures.” Karen Raber (details)

10:00-11:00: “Embodied Time, Climatological Time, Sustainability” Robert Markley, Professor of English, University of Illinois (details)

11:00-12:00: “Extinctathon: Species Loss and Memory Practice.” Ursula K. Heise, Professor of English, Stanford University (details)

2:00-3:00: “On Ice and the Cinema of Preservation.” Jennifer Fay

3:00-4:00: “The Public Life of Environmental Literature and Criticism” Cate Mortimer-Sandilands, York University Saturday (details)

Saturday, October 17th – Roundtable Discussion

10:00-11:00: Giovanna Di Chiro – “Interdisciplinarity and Environmental Studies, Or, Does Going Green Mean Going Mavericky?” (details)

11:00-12:15: Roundtable Discussion: “Environmental Conversations Across the Disciplines”: Jennifer Fay, Ursula Heise, Robert Markley, Karen Raber, and Cate Mortimer Sandilands will be joined by the following UTA faculty: Jim Grover (Biology), Jeff Howard (SUPA), Chris Morris (History).


Detailed schedule

Lecturer bios

Environmental Science undergrad degree program is announced

The University’s sustainability curriculum expands significantly with the addition of a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. John Wickham, chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has announced:

The new BS in Environmental and Earth Science is designed to prepare students for present and future environmental challenges. Coursework is split evenly between biology and geology, with a significant component of math and chemistry. Jobs in this growing field occur in local, state and federal government agencies as well as the private sector. Students will be able to become majors starting in October, when the degree plan will be posted and included in MyMav.

 Coordinating Board letter of approval, Aug. 26


Green Rankings and Ranklings

Rankings are always tricky. Particularly when it comes to how green one college or university is compared to another. There are so many factors to consider—the use of renewable energy, the size of the campus, the environmental educational offerings, the local food options in the cafeteria… For its third annual top 20 list of “coolest” schools—referring to efforts to combat global warming—Sierra Magazine used a survey that covered eight categories: efficiency, energy, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management and administration. Schools could earn up to 10 points in each category, and up to five bonus points if they had additional green initiatives.

According to the magazine’s measurements, University of Colorado at Boulder ranked first, followed by the University of Washington at Seattle, Middlebury College, University of Vermont and College of the Atlantic. While none of these are surprising choices, the whole notion of comparing “greenness” rankled commenters, either because their own worthy schools were omitted, or there was a perceived vagueness among how these categories were decided. For instance, wouldn’t a small, easily walkable campus trump in transportation one that merely offered bike sharing? Not apparently.

To put a finer point on it, Greenopia came out with their own green ranking—although theirs focused specifically on the 100 largest universities and looked at green building design, renewable energy, green food options, waste programs, alternative fuel vehicles, water conservation and environmental reporting. University of Washington topped the list thanks to recycling and composting efforts, green buildings and water conservation, followed by University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Oregon, University of California, Davis and Colorado State University.

The more important lesson may not be who’s winning or whose list is more authentic, but the fact that so many schools are now in the running. Of course, the schools are really responding to a new level of green interest among students. Two-thirds of university applicants now say that a school’s environmental report card would influence whether they’d enroll, according to a survey by the test-prep company Princeton Review.

Carl Pope, the Sierra Club’s executive director, says, “The next generation of students cares deeply about stopping global warming, and schools that take the initiative to become environmentally responsible are doing the right thing for the planet and are better poised to attract the best students.”


Student Congress to consider resolution for paperless Shorthorn

A resolution has been introduced in Student Congress that calls on the Shorthorn to “no longer print and distribute paper editions on a regular basis” and to rely, instead, on electronic distribution. The resolution is sponsored by Jeremy Dennis, Diana Gallego, Edrica Boswell, Kachi Amajor, Tasriqul Nibir, George Okonkwo, and Eleanor Khonje on Sept. 1. It cites the university sustainability program’s ongoing effort to reduce waste, and it notes the cost of the newspaper’s paper version (stated as approx. $250,000 for printing and $15,000 for distribution, annually).

In an e-mail message to members of the President’s Sustainability Committee today, the chair of the committee’s Communications Work Group, Amy Schultz, said, “Neither the University’s administration nor the President’s Sustainability Committee has an official position on this resolution. We encourage and value rigorous debate among our students.”

Resolution, Sept. 1

Shorthorn story, Sept. 11