Read the full story from the University of Minnesota.
A project aimed at developing magnets that don’t require the use of rare earth elements captured the $10,000 top prize in a Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) competition held Dec. 4 at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment in St. Paul.
Read the full story in the Cornell Daily Sun.
The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to create an ad hoc sustainability committee to lower carbon emissions, particularly those in laboratories, at a meeting Monday.
Richard Walroth grad, president of the GPSA, said that graduate student leaders need to work with the Office of Sustainability to reduce carbon emissions in labs.
Read the full story from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Entering the sustainable materials library at UNCG’s Interior Architecture (IARc) Program feels like stepping into a professional architecture firm. While most interior architecture departments have sample rooms stocked with discards and cast off donations from manufacturers, IARc has done something different. Their ever-expanding resource does not simply house materials. It tells stories.
The thoroughly-organized collection of materials is searchable via electronic catalog. Protocol sheets within the catalog detail each material’s sustainability attributes, ranging from production and harvesting practices (for natural products such as bamboo flooring) to toxic chemical content (for paints and fabrics). The catalog even considers factors such as transportation distance when accounting for how “green” a product is. Thanks to the library, students are better equipped to make informed decisions about materials they use for projects and to stay aligned with UNCG’s commitment to sustainability…
Having a sustainable materials library at the undergraduate level is unusual. The IARc library is even more so because it is catalogued through the university library system. Since the Library of Congress has no procedure for organizing this type of inventory, Mary Jane Conger of the UNCG Jackson Library helped establish an unprecedented cataloguing scheme for IARc. The materials library’s catalog is searchable through the UNCG Libraries catalog, with entries including protocol sheets as well as links to material manufacturers’ websites.
Read the full story from Duke University.
What if you could supply everything your garden needs to produce a robust crop of veggies without buying a single bag of fertilizer? That’s a question Duke senior Anne Martin has tackled in a year-long independent study project.
“The Duke Campus Farm is a very sustainable organic farm, yet we currently have to bring in all of our soil amendments, such as fertilizers or mineral inputs, in bags from off the farm. It’s frustrating to have to rely on products when we don’t really know how they’re procured, produced or transported,” Martin said. “It’d be great to be able to produce our own organic soil amendments, on-site and cost-effectively.”
Martin is testing the potential of biochar – pulverized charcoal produced by burning downed trees, branches, chicken litter and other organic material – as an alternative to more conventional amendments. She is studying whether biochar can increase soil quality, water and nutrient retention and ultimately, crop production. Studies have suggested that biochar could be a low-cost, sustainable option for farmers, in particular those with limited resources, and may even be a good tool to sequester carbon, a strategy to help mitigate global warming.
Read the full story from UC-Santa Cruz.
During the spring, mandatory water restrictions of 25% were put into place by the City of Santa Cruz to reduce water use during this “exceptional” drought, and UC Santa Cruz has been successful at staying within these reductions since late spring. To achieve this goal, the Water Working Group requested the creation of a student-led team through the Sustainability Office, focused specifically on drought response. Thus, the Drought Response Team was born, comprised of five students: Nataly Dybens, Lindsay Edelman, Marino Hernandez, Elly Martinez, and McCall Williams.
This summer, this student team took on the projects of auditing water fixtures, educating the campus through signage, and learning about water in our county. Through their efforts and the water conservation actions of our entire campus community, we have stayed within our water restriction amounts.
The University of Colorado Boulder’s “Learn More About Climate” (LMAC) initiative is part of the Office for University Outreach. The office puts the university’s faculty scholarship and research into the hands of teachers, students, citizens, and policymakers. LMAC’s goal is to extend the university’s vast scientific expertise to create an informed dialog about this critical global issue.
To learn more and access videos and educational tools related to water and climate change, visit: http://learnmoreaboutclimate.colorado.edu/topics/water.