Meetings & webinars

2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference Call for Papers

October 20-22, 2015
Embassy Suites
Lincoln, Nebraska
For more information:

The Groundwater Foundation began in 1985 with enthusiasm and passion for groundwater. Now, 30 years later, the Foundation celebrates this milestone by looking to the future: it truly is just the beginning.

Groundwater is perhaps an even more critical resource now than three decades ago. Increased demand for groundwater for drinking water, agriculture, and industry, along with ever-changing threats from contamination, puts groundwater at an important juncture – one that necessitates action by each and every one of us.

The 2015 Groundwater Foundation National Conference will serve as a call to action on behalf of groundwater.  The future is upon us, and action is needed to identify challenges and develop approaches and solutions to address them. From climate change and growing societal needs to a wide variety of emerging contaminants, each of us will need to be prepared to prevent and mitigate the potential risks to this precious resource.

Through knowledgeable speakers, educational workshops, and unique tours, conference participants will find tools and experiences to help them take action to protect groundwater in their communities.

Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2015 National Conference. Deadline for submission is March 31, 2015.

DOE Announces Webinars on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s FY2016 Budget Request, and More

EERE offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

Upcoming Webinars

February 25: Live Webinar on Models for Tribal Energy Development Organizations

Webinar Sponsors: Office of Indian Energy, Western Area Power Administration

The Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy and the Western Area Power Administration will present a live webinar titled “Models for Tribal Energy Development Organizations” on Wednesday, February 25, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  The webinar is part of the Energy Department’s Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar Series. Presenters will discuss the benefits of developing new organizations to support energy project development, including organizations with the ability to effectively manage and implement projects that significantly contribute to community economic development and support tribal goals of energy self-sufficiency and self-determination. In addition to learning about available business models, attendees will learn how to establish strategic partnerships with private industry to advance tribal energy projects and initiatives.

Register for the webinar.

February 26: Live Webinar on Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy

Webinar Sponsor: Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled “Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy” on Thursday, February 26, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  This Technical Assistance Program webinar will feature a comparative analysis of program design elements of existing property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs across the country. PACE is an innovative financing technique that allows energy efficiency and renewable energy investments to be made on existing structures, and is continuing to expand in communities across the country. This webinar will feature research recently conducted by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) and provide insight into how different commercial PACE programs have structured their programs in areas such as capital sources, underwriting criteria, and eligible energy upgrades. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of how PACE works, program design element choices, and lessons learned from early adopters.

Speakers include the Energy Department’s Eleni Pelican; LBNL’s Emily Fadrhonc, Program Manager of Electricity Markets and Policy; and Chris Kramer with Energy Futures Group, Inc.

Register now.

March 3: Dealerships to Donuts: Best Practices for Energy Efficiency in the Franchise Model

Webinar Sponsor: Better Buildings

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled “Dealerships to Donuts: Best Practices for Energy Efficiency in the Franchise Model” on Tuesday, March 3, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Finding energy savings opportunities for a business franchise can be easy, but getting them implemented can be hard. While franchisors typically supply business knowledge, architectural designs, and equipment, franchise agreements and business models are not often designed to make it simple for franchisees to capitalize on energy efficiency opportunities.

Learn about the programs and tools being employed by Better Buildings partners Dunkin’ Brands and InterContinental Hotels Group to bridge this gap and motivate franchisees to save energy and reduce their environmental impact.

Register for the webinar.

March 3-5: Live Webinars on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s FY2016 Budget Request

Webinar Sponsor: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will present a series of webinars on our Fiscal Year 2016 budget request from Tuesday, March 3 through Thursday, March 5. The webinars will feature our deputy assistant secretaries and technology office directors providing in-depth presentations of the budget proposal by sector, including specific technology office requests, and an opportunity for participants to ask questions.  Topics and registration details are below:

  • Tuesday, March 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time: Sustainable Transportation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Reuben Sarkar. Register for the webinar.
  • Wednesday, March 4, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time:  Energy Efficiency, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Hogan. Register for the webinar.
  • Thursday, March 5, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time: Renewable Power, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Doug Hollett. Register for the webinar.

University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment Frontiers in the Environment Events for March

The spring 2015 Frontiers in the Environment event series is in full swing, asking BIG QUESTIONS in solutions-focused conversations about the next wave of research and discovery. Held at noon Wednesdays in St. Paul or online, each hour-long session includes a lively 30-minute presentation followed by Q&A and a networking reception. Talks are free and open to the public – please join us! Here’s the March schedule.

3/4 – Is drawing down aquifers really so bad?
Close to 70 percent of Minnesotans drink groundwater everyday and many of our crops are irrigated with it. Concerns about overpumping are making headlines. So what’s the right way to manage this resource? Kate Brauman, lead scientist for IonE’s Global Water Initiative; Steve Polasky, project lead for IonE’s Natural Capital Project and IonE resident fellow; Sherry Enzler, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources general counsel; and Perry M. Jones, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist, will explore the question, “Is drawing down aquifers really so bad?”

3/11 – Government action on the environment: what does “success” look like?
There are many pathways to sustainability but few overall strategies that do not include some action by local, state and national governments.Eric Lind, postdoctoral associate in the College of Biological Sciences; Julia Frost Nerbonne, executive director of Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light; Kate Knuth, Boreas Leadership Program director and former Minnesota State Representative; and Jessica Tritsch, senior organizing representative of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal to Clean Energy Campaign, examine case studies of successful government action at state and national scales, from multiple perspectives inside and outside government, that can serve as models for future efforts in “Government action on the environment: what does “success” look like?”

3/18 – Spring Break: No Frontiers

3/25 – How do we make advanced heat recovery in buildings commonplace?
Large commercial and institutional buildings consume a lot of electricity which degrades into heat, ultimately expelled as waste. Patrick Hamilton, IonE resident fellow and director of the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Global Change Initiatives; Scott Getty, energy project manager for Metropolitan Council Environmental Services; Katie Gulley, regional program manager of BlueGreen Alliance; and Peter M. Klein, vice president of finance for the Saint Paul Port Authority, evaluate the hurdles and tipping points to the more rapid adoption of advanced heat recovery to deliver a suite of environmental and economic benefits in “How do we make advanced heat recovery in buildings commonplace?”.

Get the complete list of scheduled talks and watch any you’ve missed in the archives.

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.

March 2-27, 2015: Free Online TOXNET Class Offered By the National Library of Medicine Training Center

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Training Center (NTC) is offering an online, asynchronous class called “Discovering TOXNET” from March 2-27, 2015.

Discover TOXNET® and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises. The class is taught online in thirteen independent modules.

TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and occupational safety and health. The independent modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, IRIS, Haz-Map, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, REMM, LiverTox, and more.   You’ll learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises.

Who should take the class?

Health sciences librarians and health or environmental sciences professionals interested in unlocking the information in TOXNET and the other environmental health and toxicology resources.

How much time?

You will work on your own time over a period of 4 weeks to complete the modules that are of interest to you. There is one required module; the remaining modules are optional. This class is offered for variable MLA Continuing Education credit. Each module will be offered for 0.5 to 2.0 credit hours, for a total of up to 12 hours. Credit will not be awarded for partial completion of a module. Total credit awarded will be based on completed modules with a minimum of 1.0 credit hours.

What happens during the class?

This course is offered asynchronously through Moodle, open-source learning platform. You will work at your own pace. Each module consists of guided interactive online tutorials AND/OR tutorial videos as well as discovery exercises. Instructors will be available to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the course.

The modules are:

  1. Introduction to TOXNET: 0.5 hour (Required)
  2. TOXLINE: 1.0 hour
  3. ChemIDplus: 2.0 hours
  4. Integrated Risk Information System & Risk Assessment: 1.0 hour
  5. Hazardous Substances Databank: 1.5 hours
  6. Toxic Release Inventory: 1.0 hour
  7. TOXMAP: 1.5 hours
  8. Household Products Database: 0.5 hour
  9. LactMed: 0.5 hour
  10. Haz-Map: 0.5 hour
  11. WISER & CHEMM: 1.0 hour
  12. REMM: 0.5 hour
  13. LiverTox: 0.5 hour

How do I register?

Space in the class is limited.  Register now at: For questions, contact the NTC at

Triple Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable — St. Louis, March 31-April 2

Dates: March 31-April 2, 2015
Location: St. Louis, MO
For more information, visit

Who Should Attend

  • Technical Assistance Programs (TAPs) attend all three days for training, networking, new program ideas and to learn new skills
  • Craft Brewers attend Tuesday to learn how to make your brewery more efficient and lower environmental footprint
  • Green Business Recognition Programs (GBP) attend Thursday to learn about other Green business program models, initiatives that work, and meet your peers
  • Manufacturers attend Thursday to learn how to be more Lean and efficient within your operations to save money while lowering your environmental impact

Craft Breweries: On-site Training

Get training in pollution prevention assessments for craft breweries, the fastest growing segment of food processing, pollution prevention and lean principles. Training takes place at Schlafly Bottleworks and includes a walk-through of the brewery.
Day One Schedule

Networking: Getting to the Essence

A full day of facilitated interaction for P2 technical assistance professionals. We will share innovative program delivery methods; ways to measure P2 results; discuss barriers and benefits of P2 for businesses; and learn about technical assistance best practices, P2 policies, sources of funding, and more.
Day Two Schedule

Green Business Programs Breakouts

Featuring presenters from our regions and across the country, these sessions highlight different ways to structure Green Business Recognition or Certification Programs and details about initiatives that businesses are interested in adopting, their barriers and benefits.
Day Three Schedule

Tools for TAPs Breakouts

Technical Assistance Programs (TAPs) are in the business of marketing, cajoling, encouraging, being a technical resource, helping to implement changes at facilities and measuring it all. There’s alot to know! This session is designed to provide education on best practices and lessons learned, show new tools and resources, and give insight beyond the “low hanging fruit.”
Day Three Schedule

P2 and Lean Training

Geared for small or large manufacturers or any service provider that uses repetitive processes in their operations, this workshop teaches how to systematically analyze processes to identify the source of material waste or excess time and reduce or eliminate it. TAPs will get alot of information and tools to assist their clients.
Day Three Schedule

Webinar: Development and Implementation of Cook County’s Demolition Debris Diversion Ordinance

Thu, Mar 5, 2015 12:45 PM – 2:30 PM CST
Register at

Cook County’s Demolition Debris Diversion Ordinance has allowed the County to recycle or reuse 90% of building materials from demolitions and renovations, keeping them out of landfills, reclaiming valuable materials, avoiding Greenhouse Gas emissions and creating jobs. Enacted in 2012, the Ordinance sets standards and requirements for building material reuse in suburban Cook County. Please join us to learn about the development and implementation of the ordinance and how its principles could be beneficial to your community.