University of Illinois to offer Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Writing

The Undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW) is a new offering for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students wanting to engage the latest research in sustainability science — and to build their skills in environmental communication.

The Certificate is a joint venture of iSEE, the School for Earth, Society, and Environment, and the English Department…

The motto of the CEW is “turning data into narrative” — learning about the latest scientific research on the environment and how to communicate that research effectively to the public.

Up for a Challenge? The TRI Program is seeking University Partners!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program is challenging the academic community to find innovative ways to use TRI data to promote collaboration among communities, manufacturers, and government or between environmental programs.

For the 2017 TRI University Challenge, EPA is looking to academic institutions to help build a diverse portfolio of practical and replicable projects that benefit communities, the environment, TRI-covered industrial facilities, academic institutions, and the TRI Program. This year, we’ll be prioritizing proposals that use chemical pollution release and pollution prevention data to promote collaboration, but students and professors may submit any project ideas that increase the knowledge, use, and understanding of TRI data and other related information. Example project ideas include:

  • Develop specific products that can be used by industry and community stakeholders to increase awareness and use of North American chemical release and pollution prevention data from TRI and from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Taking Stock Online, and develop a plan for distribution of the products;
  • Produce a replicable strategy and tools (e.g., Good Neighbor Agreements) for engaging community members and local reporting facilities in a productive dialogue;
  • Demonstrate the benefits of multi-stakeholder collaboration for reducing the use and releases of toxic chemicals as measured by chemical pollution data;
  • Bring together data from TRI and other data sources to show trends in environmental or human health outcomes in communities, either within the U.S. or across North America; and
  • Identify pollution prevention successes achieved by facilities, and develop strategies for sharing such successes with communities and other facilities

Institutions whose project proposals are selected will serve as 2017 TRI University Challenge partners. Partners will receive direct non-monetary support from EPA TRI staff experts and, depending on the outcome of their project, may receive national recognition for their project as well as speaking opportunities at conferences and events.

Want to join us?

  • Begin developing a proposal! Start thinking about a project that fits the challenge and develop your proposal materials. Submit your proposal to Caitlin Briere by midnight on April 21, 2017.
  • Learn more! Visit the TRI University Challenge webpage to learn more about the challenge and past participants.
  • Spread the word! Distribute this announcement to your colleagues in the academic community who might be interested in joining the TRI University Challenge.
  • Don’t miss an update! Sign-up to receive emails about the TRI University Challenge in your mailbox.

Need more information? Please contact Caitlin Briere, the TRI University Challenge lead.

ACEEE Accepting Applications for Scholarship to Attend 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry

Application Deadline: April 10, 2017

ACEEE is proud to announce that we are accepting applications for Linda Latham Scholarships to attend our 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry in Denver, Colorado from August 15 -18, 2017.  The scholarship was established in memory of Linda Latham who served as ACEEE’s Chief Operating Officer until her untimely death in September 2011. Linda, who helped found the US government’s ENERGY STAR® program, believed that students bring talent and creativity to the field of energy efficiency especially if we provide a venue to inspire and educate them.

Applicants must be an undergraduate or graduate student in an accredited college or university whose course work is related to energy/energy efficiency, climate change, environmental science, or a related field of study, and who is considering a career in energy/ energy efficiency. “Latham Scholars” will be exposed to new ideas and opportunities as they interact with energy efficiency experts from around the world. In turn, Summer Study attendees will be able to meet these exceptional students — a reciprocal opportunity for all!

For the 2017 Summer Study, scholars will receive a full conference registration and housing. A few travel stipends of up to $500 may be available; however, given limited funding, such requests could reduce chances of selection.

How To Apply
Applicants can either complete the online application, or complete this form and email to scholarships@aceee.org. Applications must be submitted with required attachments including a copy of the applicant’s Student ID and proof of student status (unofficial transcript/enrollment for current semester). No applications will be accepted after the April 10, 2017 deadline. An ACEEE committee will review applications and select the winners, who will be notified beginning April 21, 2017.

Please visit the 2017 Summer Study Industry website for more information and contact scholarships@aceee.org if you have questions.

Tackling Food Waste In Iowa’s K-12 Schools

Read the full story in Biocycle.

Audits at 17 schools found students generate more food waste at lunch than an initial estimate of 0.1 lbs/student, creating a baseline for prevention and recovery steps.

How Maker Mindsets Can Be An Easy Fit For Rural Schools

Read the full story from KQED.

The maker movement has expanded greatly in recent years and much of the attention has focused on cities with high population density and large well-funded school districts. In rural districts, teachers are also developing maker projects to help students gain the benefits that come from hands-on experiences, while better understanding the needs of their communities.

Take for instance the work being done by Brock Hamill at Corvallis High School in Montana. The students in his science class construct air sensors and analyze data in a way that helps address a problem unique to their community. Air pollution poses a problem for that region of Montana because of nearby forest fires and, in the winter, use of wood-burning stoves.

Webinar: STARS and Beyond: Adventures of an Embedded Librarian in the Campus Sustainability Office

March 9th, 11:15 – 11:45 PM CST
Register at http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/events-0

During the past year Amy Brunvand, an academic librarian at the University of Utah, has been on leave from the library in order to work out of the campus Sustainability Office.  Her main project was helping to compile a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) report, a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance that is used for ranking by Sierra Magazine and Princeton Green Schools among others.  Along the way she gained insights into what drives campus sustainability and how academic libraries and librarians can get involved in and offer support to sustainability efforts across the whole campus organization.

Amy Brunvand is an academic librarian and government information specialist at the University of Utah where she has spent the past year on leave working out of the campus Sustainability Office.  Besides librarianship, she writes a monthly environmental news column for Catalyst magazine (catalystmagazine.net).  She also writes poetry, and her poems have recently appeared in Dark Mountain, Kudzu House Quarterly, saltfront, Terrain.org and the anthology “Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in our Hands.”

Nearly 8,000 U.S. public schools are plagued by toxic air

Read the full story at Grist.

Nearly 8,000 U.S. public schools lie within 500 feet of highways, truck routes, and other roads with significant traffic, according to a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. That’s about one in every 11 public schools, serving roughly 4.4 million students and spread across every state in the nation. Thousands more private schools and Head Start centers are in the same fix.