Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

New course: Introduction to Environmental & Sustainability Studies (ESST 2300)

Spring 2011

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 9:30-10:50

Prof. Jeff Howard

This is the core course for the university’s recently launched minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. It is open to all undergraduates.

Introduces major topics, questions, issues and methods within interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary environmental studies. Includes a study of some of the most significant texts, studies, practices, and creative works from diverse fields relating to environment, ecology, and sustainability. Features guest lectures by faculty members involved in minor.

Flyer – Please distribute widely (pdf, 1.3 MB)

Sustainability: Green Development in North Texas, Oct. 20

Jyl DeHaven

Rosebud Theater, University Center

October 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

DeHaven is owner of Green Urban Development, CCO of Prism 3 Solutions LLC, and an adjunct instructor in the School of Urban and Public Affairs

The talk is sponsored by the UT Arlington chapter of the Interdisciplinary Studies National Leadership Organization

Constructed Wetlands: Application of a Green Treatment Technology, Aug. 4

The College of Engineering and the Arlington Technology Association welcome Tim Noack,PE, a principal with Alan Plummer Associates. Wetlands, an ages-old method to purify water, are gaining in popularity as water conservation and reuse issues become more critical. Constructed wetlands, which mimic natural systems, are simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. In this presentation, Noack will provide examples of some of the constructed wetlands projects he has helped to design. Everyone welcome. Light breakfast provided. Free to first-time guests; $5 others. Reservations required. Contact Roger Tuttle.

7-8 a.m.

601 Nedderman Hall


“Bodily natures: The environmental activism of the posthuman,” March 29

Lecture by University Sustainability Committee Co-Chair and English Professor Stacy Alaimo

Central Library, 6th floor, 12:00-1:00

The University of Texas at Arlington OneBook Program is proud to present “Bodily Natures: The Environmental Activism of the Posthuman”, a Brown Bag lecture by Dr. Stacy Alaimo of the Department of English at UTA. Dr. Alaimo is a preeminent theorist of feminism and eco-criticism and one of the most dynamic and popular professors on campus. Dr. Alaimo’s presentation explores how new forms of environmental activism emphasize how we humans are literally part of the world that we destroy. Analyzing film, photography, and activist web sites, Dr. Alaimo’s provocative talk will discuss how new forms of environmentalism challenge our assumptions about what it is to be human in today’s world. Dr. Alaimo’s presentation is a part of a yearlong conversation about “sustainability” and Bill McKibben’s “Deep Economy” that is being hosted by the UT Arlington OneBook Program.

Alaimo’s research profile


It’s a big week. Here’s the latest:

DAY 1 and 2 ROUNDUP:

Hope for deal at conference
The UN climate change conference opened Monday in an atmosphere of hope for a deal in Copenhagen within the next two weeks.

192 nations at UN climate conference in Copenhagen
The conference, the climax of two years of contentious negotiations, convened in an upbeat mood after a series of promises by rich and emerging economies to curb their greenhouse gases, but with major issues yet to be resolved.

EU keeps world in suspense on 30 percent vow
To keep up pressure on other major players, mainly USA and China, the EU will hide its cards on a key issue until the very last moment of the UN conference on climate change. This is according to the Swedish Minister for Environment, Andreas Carlgren. As Sweden holds the rotating EU presidency, Mr. Carlgren is negotiating on behalf of the union.

EU rumoured to provide “one-three billion euro”
Quoting an unnamed diplomatic source, Financial Times Deutschland reports the European Union to be ready to put money on the table during the ongoing UN climate summit in Copenhagen as a sign of good faith. The sum will be earmarked for climate change mitigation and adaptation in vulnerable third world countries during the next three years.

US body aids Copenhagen conference
Coinciding with the beginning of the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, a US body has opened a new door to legislation that may reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) concludes that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are a threat to public health. As such, the six substances can be subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act.

“Danish text” raises furore
According to The Guardian, developing countries “react furiously” after a draft text allegedly written by the UN conference’s host country was leaked Tuesday.

UN chief optimistic of robust climate deal
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon predicted Tuesday that a robust agreement to combat climate change will be reached in Copenhagen and implemented immediately.

Top UN scientist: What Climategate?
In harsh wording Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, defends British colleagues whose hacked emails have ignited debate over the credibility of mainstream climate science.

Study: Few climate refugees leave their countries
The number of people affected by natural disasters has more than doubled in recent years. However, fears that millions of poor people will migrate to rich countries as a result of climate change has been greatly overstated, a new study from the International Organization for Migration shows.

No doubt: The earth is warming
The British Met Office has published station temperature records for over 1,500 of the stations that make up the global land surface temperature record. The data shows that global-average land temperatures have risen over the last 150 years and that global warming has increased since the 1970s.

Bangladesh asks for 15 percent of any climate fund
Even before any climate adaptation fund has seen the light of day, Bangladesh makes substantial demands.

France wants financial tax in climate accord
France is pushing for a political agreement at the climate conference in Copenhagen to include a tax on financial transactions to help developing countries, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says.

Gordon Brown: Go for a 30 percent cut
British Prime Minister urges EU to lay the cards on the table.


Volunteer at Cowboys stadium?

Anyone interested in volunteering to help kick off the Cowboys recycling program on Sunday, Oct. 25? Let  me know and I’ll forward the info.

Environmental Society launches upgraded website

The Environmental Society at UT Arlington has launched its upgraded website.
A new sapling of Maverick ‘Green’ brand has set root and hopes to sprout up, rising through the Fall.

Kudos to the Webmasters: Electra Thornburg and Himanshu Pahwa, for their dedication and initiative. Our gratitude extends toour advisers: Dr. Tim Henry and Dr. Bob McMahon, whose support and encouragement made this possible. Final revisions and proofing are in the process. Please send in your comments, suggestions, ideas and feedback to

Coming up soon: A new blog where all UT Arlington students, staff and faculty can tune into charged conversations on topics such as ’smoking and clean air’, ‘parking and public transit’, ‘fast food and real food’, ‘Deep Economy – OneBook discussions’ etc.

Vinodh Valluri
Environmental Society,
University of Texas, Arlington

Texas schools get C on College Sustainability Report Card; UT Arlington not rated

The College Sustainability Report Card 2010, released yesterday, gave a middling grade to Texas colleges and universities. The 11 schools that participated in the exercise got overall grades ranging from D to A. By my calculation, the overall GPA for the 11 schools was C. I’m not sure why, but UT Arlington did not participate in the rating.

Abilene Christian University            D

Baylor University                                  C

University of Houston                         B-

Rice University                                       B

Southern Methodist University       C+

Southwestern University                   C+

Texas A&M University                        B-

Texas Christian University                C-

Texas Tech University                         D+

University of Texas-Austin                B-

University of Texas-Dallas                 C-

Full report

Comparison of Texas schools

Howard: “Sustainability and the Crisis of Expertise”

My presentation for today’s Focus on Faculty lecture series is available at the link below.

Presentation (ppt, 4.6 MB)

Shorthorn story on presentation, 10/8/09

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