Colleges and universities

Second Nature Sustainability Sit-Downs Video #6

Sustainability Sit-Downs #6 is out. This week’s video features M. Lee Pelton, President of Emerson College, discussing higher education’s role in making a sustainability society. Sustainability Sit-Downs is a new Second Nature video series consisting of 12 short interviews with sustainability leaders in higher education and partner organizations. A new video will be released every Wednesday.

Energy Department Announces 2016 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants

The Energy Department has announced the twelve collegiate teams that have been selected to participate in the Department’s second Collegiate Wind Competition. The Collegiate Wind Competition challenges teams of undergraduate students to design and build a model wind turbine based on market research and siting considerations, develop a business plan to market their products, and test their turbines against a set of rigorous performance criteria. Bringing together the next generation of wind energy pioneers with today’s industry leaders, the 2016 Collegiate Wind Competition will take place at the annual American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana, from May 23 to 26, 2016.

The Collegiate Wind Competition combines the expertise of students from a variety of engineering, business, communications, and social science programs, and challenges them to utilize their individual skills to develop state-of-the-art wind energy solutions as a team. Intertwining academic coursework with tangible, hands-on learning, the Collegiate Wind Competition provides valuable real-world experience as students prepare to enter the workforce.

Five new schools have been selected along with seven returning teams from the 2014 competition. The twelve colleges and universities that have been selected to participate in the 2016 Collegiate Wind Competition are:

  1. Boise State University (Idaho)
  2. The California Maritime Academy
  3. California State University, Chico
  4. Kansas State University
  5. Northern Arizona University
  6. The Pennsylvania State University
  7. Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico)
  8. University of Alaska Fairbanks
  9. University of Maryland
  10. University of Massachusetts Amherst
  11. University of Massachusetts Lowell
  12. University of Wisconsin Madison

Hailing from across the United States, from Alaska to Puerto Rico, each team brings diverse experiences and unique perspectives to the competition. The Energy Department held the inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition in 2014 at the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada, where over 150 students from ten institutions helped lay the groundwork for what has become the country’s prominent undergraduate-level wind energy competition.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about the Collegiate Wind Competition by visiting the Competition’s official Web page.

Graduate Scholarships in Solid Waste Research Available for the 2015-2016 Academic Year

The Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) is one of the largest sources of solid waste research funding in the U.S., allocating approximately $1 million annually in research grants and graduate level scholarships.

Thus far, over 50 students have been EREF scholars, many of whom are now in key academic and professional positions across the U.S.

EREF is pleased to announce that scholarship applications for the 2015-2016 academic year are now available. The application deadline is May 1, 2015 at 5:00 pm (eastern).

Applications will be considered from those who:

  • will be this year or are now a full-time master’s student, doctoral student or post-doctoral researcher, and
  • have a clearly demonstrated interest in solid waste management research. EREF defines solid waste management to pertain to municipal solid waste, construction & demolition waste, industrial waste (e.g. coal ash), WTE ash, etc. Note this definition does not include agricultural wastes or wastewater treatment plant sludge.

Scholarships recognize graduate students pursuing excellence in solid waste management research and education. Recipients are chosen based on credentials and potential contributions to the solid waste industry and its scientific community. Awards are based on:

  • Academic performance
  • Professional experience
  • Relevance of one’s work to the advancement of solid waste management science
  • Potential for success

Award amounts consider the cost of tuition at the recipient’s institution and any other funds received. Full scholarships may not be awarded to students who will be receiving full-tuition scholarships from other sources (excluding direct university assistance such as tuition remission or assistantship income) but may still be considered for partial awards.

Doctoral and post-doctoral scholarships are awarded up to a minimum of $12,000 per year and paid monthly. Doctoral/post-doctoral scholarships are renewable each year to a maximum of three years from the initial award date. Master’s scholarships are awarded up to a minimum of $5,000 per year and renewable each year to a maximum of two years from the initial award date. Scholarship renewal is dependent upon satisfactory progress as determined by the student’s academic advisor.

2015 Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit Call for Presenters deadline extended

June 24-26, 2015, West Lafayette, Indiana
More information about the conference at
Deadline: March 6, 2015

This year’s agenda will be designed to bring together collegiate athletics staff, campus recreational managers, sustainability professionals, and recycling/facility managers together to identify ways to achieve common campus sustainability goals through sports and athletics, save money, foster better inter-departmental relationships, and increase recognition for your institution’s efforts.

Submit a proposal online.

New ASU center will advance biomimicry education and research

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Global biomimicry innovation consulting firm Biomimicry 3.8 announced today it has partnered with Arizona State University — one of the largest universities in the world by student population — to launch the Biomimicry Center, which aims to help accelerate the spread of biomimicry training and research.

Students completing the online-only program will earn either a graduate certificate in biomimicry or a masters of science in biomimicry (the first in the world). Students will take courses in communicating , teaching and facilitating biomimicry, along with several electives.

The program is, by design, online-only — due to its appeal to working professionals. However, there are plans to establish an on-campus degree within the next two years. Most significant, this is an accredited degree program, which could make it easier for prospective students to secure employer buy-in and student loans.

New Release: Second Nature Sustainability Sit-Downs Videos #5

This week’s video features Katharine Jacobs, Director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions and former Assistant Director in the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President. She will discuss challenges and solutions for higher education in promoting a sustainable society. Sustainability Sit-Downs is a new Second Nature video series consisting of 12 short interviews with sustainability leaders in higher education and partner organizations. A new video will be released every Wednesday.

Campus bike recycling programs give cash-strapped students a ride

Read the full story in USA Today.

As temperatures and gas prices rise this spring, college students and staff alike will likely increasingly use bicycles as an alternative way of getting to campus.

Student-led initiatives at various universities are working to put bikes in the hands of people who couldn’t otherwise afford them by making use of what some might consider garbage.