Tuesday Poster Session

Tue, 10/29: 11:00 AM  - 12:00 PM 
Poster 
Poster Session II 
Spokane 
Room: Expo Hall, Poster Area 

Presentations

5 Engagement Lessons I Wish I Knew as a Campus Sustainability Officer

Engagement is at the core of sustainability. Without proper buy-in from campus stakeholders, sustainability efforts are temporary at best, and damaging to progress at worst. Unfortunately, the work of sustainability officers to cultivate supporters, partners, and champions is often rushed or overlooked. The reality, however, is that recruiting people to our cause and keeping them focused is one of the most important things we can do. With appropriate engagement, people can provide access to decision-making authority, political capital, and financial resources. People will also ultimately validate whether behavior change initiatives--including those targeting reductions in energy, water, waste, or carbon--are successful (or not). A strong communications and engagement strategy is a fundamental tool to create lasting change. It will help identify your audience, craft thoughtful messages, and determine the right channels for delivery. It will move stakeholders along a continuum from awareness to advocacy, taking an intentional, audience-specific approach. A thoughtful, well developed communications strategy is both "hooky" to get people interested and "sticky" to keep them engaged over time. The presenter, a recovering sustainability officer who led the founding of sustainability initiatives at two institutions, will share 5 specific and actionable insights gained through his work since leaving roles higher education. In his work at a strategic communications and stakeholder engagement firm, he's learned a number of lessons serving clients in education, healthcare, government, non-profit, and corporate settings that can be applied in the higher education sustainability context. Attendees can expect to learn core principles of strategic communications, including key insights to identify and connect with individuals and groups. Participants will also explore tools like a communications matrix and tactics that blend "high-tech" and "high-touch" engagement. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Josh Lasky, Managing Director and Chief Strategist
LINK Strategic Partners


A Collaborative Approach to Sustainability and Inclusion at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

This bright, colorful presentation and discussion will cover the value and importance of a cross-functional team and holistic sustainability strategy for large-scale events. We will share the story of how we created and implemented a comprehensive sustainability strategy for the first time at the Special Olympics USA Games, hosted primarily by 3 Seattle universities in July 2018. In this session, we will share the creative approach that led to sustainability being embraced by the Organizing Committee, the essential role of the Sustainability Advisory Committee that was created, and the key lessons learned around each of the six pillars of the sustainability strategy: accessibility & inclusion, waste & recycling, food & beverage, responsible sourcing, transportation, and education & legacy. The mission of the Special Olympics is to empower athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) with year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports. The Special Olympics USA Games, hosted in Seattle, WA, July 1-6 2018, were the first USA Games ever to create and implement a comprehensive sustainability strategy. The University of Washington, Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University were each host venues for events along with five other Seattle-area facilities. The Games welcomed 10,000 athletes and coaches from across the country along with over 7,500 family members, 15,000 volunteers and an estimated 120,000 spectators throughout the week. A key legacy project was to create a Playbook & Toolkit that could be shared with future Special Olympics USA Games and state programs. Many of the key elements are transferrable to a wide range of large- and small-scale events. In collaboration with Seattle U. Department of Sports Management, we were able to survey athlete families both before and after the Games and learn about how our sustainability and inclusion initiatives impacted their experience and post-Games thoughts and behaviors. 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Presenter

David Muller, Sustainability Consultant
2018 Special Olympics USA Games

Co-Presenter

Karlan Jessen, 2018 Special Olympics USA Games
Former Staff (One-time event, organization has closed)


A Model for Higher Education Involvement in Land Conservation: The ALPINE Network

With their academic roots, the authors of the Wildlands and Woodlands vision recognized that an untapped source of energy, skill, and commitment for land protection lies with the constituents of academic institutions in New England: students, faculty and staff, administration, and alumni. The network's common belief is that academic communities have both the potential and the moral obligation to be a powerful force for positive environmental change locally and globally. The ALPINE network seeks to explore and expand the role that academic institutions can play in conserving the New England landscape by bringing together representatives from colleges and universities to share their experiences and resources. Land conservation benefits academic communities in a variety of ways including water quality, health, carbon offsets etc.The network has currently 50 institutions including all of the main campuses of the six state universities, many small private colleges, community colleges, rural institutions with great land holdings, and urban institutions in densely populated areas. ALPINE aims to share success stories and lessons learned in order to increase the protection of institutional lands and those of surrounding communities, engage more of each institution's alumni in land-protection activities, and expand the regions targeted by conservation organizations and agencies. Initial activities guided by the ALPINE steering committee include developing case studies of institutional land-protection activities; mapping the land base of New England academic institutions; forging a strong collaboration with the Regional Conservation Partnership Network on landscape-scale initiatives, including the Appalachian Trail corridor and the Connecticut River Watershed, sharing curricula on the theory and practice of land protection; providing opportunities for students to do research/work in the field, and offering a variety of resources for undergraduate and graduate students. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Marianne Jorgensen, Manager, Academics for Land Protection in New England
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy


A Problem Solving Approach to Teaching Sustainability Studies ,  Presentation (2)

There has been a recent proliferation in the number of undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainability-related areas. Many of them have capstone experiences. Here I describe a culminating capstone experience for a new interdisciplinary undergraduate major in Sustainability Studies that takes an integrative, problem-solving approach. This is achieved by first providing the necessary content to identify and understand our linked environmental, economic and social problems, but then moves beyond the usual doom-and-gloom scenarios that pervade our teaching in this area by showing that sustainability can be achieved through specific solutions that use policy, science and technology, and business and economic approaches. Examples of assignments and student work that include problem identification, systems analysis, and the roles that individual actions, organizations, government, innovation and entrepreneurship, and unique collaborations among diverse stakeholders in solving these problems will be offered. Ultimately students explore successful ways in which their specific problem has been addressed globally, and develop a campaign of their own to further the cause. Resources for this course including the use of domains, blogging, social media, case studies, and new books entitled Sustainable Solutions: Problem Solving for Current and Future Generations, and Tools for Grassroots Activists: Best Practices for Success in the Environmental Movement will also be highlighted 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Richard Niesenbaum, Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies
Muhlenberg College


Academic Language for Sustainability Economy

Co-creating the sustainability economy depends on the ability of up and coming generations to grasp opportunities to successfully address sustainability issues confronting our world. An authentic teacher preparation program features course content that engages pre-service teachers in systems' analysis of how their disciplines relate to key environmental, economic, and social conditions/issues within local, national or global communities. Guided by these lenses, content area lessons are approached transdisciplinarily, framed around real world problems to posit possible approaches to creative solutions to sustainability issues in ways that are lived or experienced. Shaped by Kemmis and Mutton's (2012) notion of praxis (action and practice) within sustainability curriculum our candidates plan curriculum around three dimensions: using language or literacy (cultural discursive dimension), students doing or working (material economic dimension) and taking action in a larger realm outside of the classroom (the social/political dimension). These dimensions, along with ESD pedagogical tools suggested by the UNESCO's Sourcebook (ESD UNESCO, 2012) guide our work in redefining praxis in pedagogy for teacher candidates. This session highlights strategic sustainability curriculum design strengthened by use of academic language. Questions guiding candidates' curriculum design include: "What is the essential question (getting to the heart of the sustainability issue)?" "What is the purpose for using language (language function) in the sustainability lesson?" How does the lesson provoke meaningful discourse (disciplinary writing and speaking) addressing the sustainability issue?" "What is the assessment within the lesson and how does it provide students with an opportunity to use language effectively as a way to take action and promote change?" Candidate exemplars will be shared along with a guide for scaffolding sustainability curriculum using language as a foundation. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Florence Monsour, Professor
University of Wisconsin-River Falls


Advancing Campus Sustainability Success Through an Interdisciplinary and Solutions-Oriented Approach

Questions like: Can we build better, more sustainable, and with more resilience? What is the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) doing to reach its goals for sustainability on campus? Are just a few we asked ourselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. On September 14th, 2018, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Wilmington, NC. In the days following Florence's arrival, over 30 inches of rain was dropped in areas across North Carolina causing major flooding throughout the state. UNCW sustained minor to moderate damage to multiple buildings and residence halls, except for one building-Dobo Hall. Dobo Hall was built in 1996 and renovated a few years ago. It consisted of 21 rooms, 90 fume hoods, and housed the Departments of Biology & Marine Biology, and Chemistry & Biochemistry. Unfortunately, Dobo Hall had the most damage, which resulted in the decommissioning of the space as the university works to repair and renovate the structure. Under the pretense that global climate patterns are changing, it is important to recognize weather events like Hurricane Florence are not unprecedented anymore. In doing so, we can open ourselves to solutions focused on increasing sustainability and resiliency accounting for a changing climate. The first step to create this desired future was to gather information about how UNCW was making decisions about environmental stewardship and resiliency. For the scope of our project, we chose to focus on two different groups within this organization, the decision-makers and a subset of stakeholders, the students. Interviews were conducted with staff, administrators, and top-tier individuals at UNCW to understand how perceptions played into the construction of conversations and organizational decision-making. Additionally, surveys were randomly distributed to students to gauge awareness of environmental sustainability, their stake in the matter, and prioritization of green programs to implement on campus. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Alexa Ott
University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Co-Presenter

Michelle Whiting
University of North Carolina Wilmington


Affordable Renewable Energy for the Developing World that is Creating Jobs

In our world, there are currently 1.3B people living with no access to electricity. The lack of electricity can have negative impacts on their education, communication, safety and even health. A clean source of electrical energy can dramatically improve living conditions by providing clean LED lighting at night, access to the vast knowledge base of the World Wide Web, and cellular communication. Due to the high cost of infrastructure, there is a trend away from centralized energy production towards distributed energy, producing energy right at or very close to the point of use. This move can increase reliability while reducing infrastructure costs. In the developed world, technology changes at an incredible pace. There are many opportunities to apply these now "throwaway technologies" in the developing world. This provides countless possibilities to create solutions for global challenges through economic development. By combining solar photovoltaic, digital control circuitry, and lithium-ion battery storage, we have developed a safe and reliable source of clean energy that is affordable for a single-family unit and is available 24/7. The SLB50 is powered by the sun's energy, provides storage within lithium-ion cells, and has all the protection needed to prevent the catastrophic battery failures of the past. The energy bank has been sized to just meet the power needs of a single family. It will fully charge two smartphones and provide more than 5 hours of lighting to 100 square feet of living space. The energy bank is fully plug-n-plug, requiring no training or skills to operate. The design is complete and the cost to manufacture the unit is $20 U.S. Currently, we are identifying entrepreneurs in Haiti, Malawi and Sierra Leone to train them to produce the energy bank and solar module in their facilities, using their in-country labor. The entrepreneurs would then be responsible for distributing and servicing the product. 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Presenter

David Norvell, Asst VP Sustainability Initiatives
University of Central Florida


Aquaponics: How a Student Project led to a Sustainable Solution to Food Insecurity in the Community

Students at Pittsburg State University (PSU) have made measurable success in creating a sustainable food production system on campus. This poster will focus on Students for Sustainability's (S4S) aquaponics system and how it is being integrated into the surrounding community to help combat food insecurity. A PSU organization, Students for Sustainability, began developing an aquaponics system on the rooftop greenhouse located on campus in fall of 2018. Upon successful production of fish and produce yields, the students in the organization--in collaboration with another student group, Enactus--have begun expanding into the community through a collaborative project with one of the surrounding Unified School Districts (USD 246) most-impacted by low income levels and food insecurity. This extended project is intended to create access to fresh, local food primarily for the youth population within the school district, as well as educate the local youth base in sustainable food production and food systems through curriculum development surrounding the aquaponics operation installed on their campus. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Erin Kruse, Student Sustainability Assistant
Pittsburg State University

Co-Presenter

Charlie Beetch, Student
Pittsburg State University


Available for Download: Leveraging Generation Z's Impact on the Wellbeing Economy ,  Presentation (2)

The goal of this presentation is to discuss the application of generational theory, specifically Generation Z, to principles of a wellbeing economy within a higher education setting. Generation Z students, born between 1995-2015, are becoming higher education's primary consumers, and data suggests that this group could provide sustainability professionals with a unique opportunity to merge awareness with meaningful activism. Drawing upon a review of relevant scholarly literature, as well as almost a decade of first-hand experiences coordinating co-curricular involvement activities for students, this presentation will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn how to facilitate meaningful educational moments for students to recognize, discuss, and act upon principles of a wellbeing economy; valuing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) strategy to move beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicators to create wellbeing indicators to guide decision making for economic policy. The presentation aims to leave attendees with practical action points for learning how to engage students in the process of creating and implementing programs that highlight the importance of a wellbeing economy. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Brandon Carlson, Coordinator of Residence Life
Texas A&M University


Balancing Effort With Productivity--Lessons Learned in Managing an Impactful Intern Program

Whether you manage an established intern program or are faced with the daunting task of starting one from scratch, you have likely acknowledged the effort and time commitment it requires. Though these programs are intended to increase sustainability offices' capacity to impact change on campus, they also require that resources be dedicated to preparation of projects for student involvement, managing personnel and, in many cases, revising (and unfortunately even replicating) efforts. It can be discouraging to learn of programs that host large teams of students with no mention of the inherent management struggles that may derail a small staff from the achievement of its goals. In this presentation, the University of Mississippi Office of Sustainability offers insight and strategies for supporting an internship program that not only empowers student leaders but enhances your office's capacity in a meaningful way for both students and full-time staff. The University of Mississippi's Green Student Internship Program (affectionately referred to as GSIP) is now in its 10th year and has undergone several stages in its growth. Its current form utilizes an integrated approach and was developed based on a series of interviews with GSIP alumni and interns. This approach offers each intern a depth of experience in one area, with collaborative work on other projects, producing well-rounded, well-informed student sustainability leaders. Though sustainability and environmentalism are not widely embraced in campus culture, the program still attracts a large, diverse pool of talented student applicants each semester. These students contribute demonstrably to office goals, proving indispensable to the mission of the office. This presentation will provide a practical, goal-oriented approach to sustainability internship programs, complete with an honest discussion of the associated struggles, time-constraints, communication mishaps, and lessons learned from a decade of trial and error. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Kendall McDonald
University of Mississippi, Office of Sustainability


Breaking the Bubble: Using Video to Demystify Sustainable Living

This poster presentation details an online video series entitled "What Can You Do to Live More Sustainably." Nine videos featuring students, staff and faculty across the University of Kentucky provide accessible information to learn more about actions people can take to live more sustainably. These videos include three important characteristics: the knowledge and communication style of the interviewee; the video duration; and the simple, concrete and unexpected elements of the video which make the ideas stick. Each interviewee is well-recognized within their peer-networks. Working as brokers, the interviewees bridge various networks and provide information to make sustainable living more accessible. Based on research, video attention spans only lasts for two minutes before the audience will click away from the online content. Therefore, these videos were designed to be one minute segments. One-minute videos work with social media because they upload easily and are short enough to engage audiences. For example, one of the videos features the University of Kentucky Chair of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. She discusses the importance of soil health and plant yields, but then transitions to the social impacts of food insecurity and how viewers can live more sustainably by making smart food purchasing choices. This video series was designed to "stick" by ensuring the videos conveyed enough information to engage and educate without alienating audiences new to the conversation. 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Presenter

Hannah Phillips, Student
University of Kentucky


Breaking the Silos: Increasing the awareness and adoption of Green Chemistry across disciplines

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that use and generate less hazardous materials. In practice, green chemistry can result in tremendous benefits such as the reduction of hazardous waste, reduction in use of hazardous chemicals, reduction in purchasing costs, and increasing the energy efficiency of laboratory practices. The field of green chemistry has grown significantly over the past two decades and has remained somewhat separate from campus sustainability initiatives. In reality, the principles and practice of green chemistry can be applied across disciplines and solutions to sustainability challenges will ultimately require multidisciplinary approaches. This presentation will provide an overview of Green Chemistry and how it can be applied in disciplines and courses beyond the sciences, such as art, business, communications, economics, and more. Specific examples include how governmental programs such as the U.S. EPA's Safer Choice, a certification used in Environmental Preferable Purchasing, can be used to showcase greener chemical products in courses (i.e., chemistry and communications), as well as in student club activities. Green chemistry applied to art courses will also be presented as a model for reducing impacts in courses and programs beyond the chemistry course and lab. The use of chemicals on campuses and in courses is not limited to chemistry courses and programs and even reaches us in our daily lives at home. Green chemistry can have significant benefits when applied across disciplines, helping to reduce impacts and hazards. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Irv Levy, Director, Green Chemistry Commitment
Beyond Benign

Co-Presenter

Saskia van Bergen, Washington State Department of Ecology
Green Chemistry Scientist


Bringing the Campus Community Together Through Gardening and Gardening Workshops

The Garden Commons is a community garden space on the campus of the University of Louisville, located next to the Cultural Center and the Student Activities Center. It exists as an open space for students, staff, faculty and community members. At the Garden Commons, we offer education through various different workshops throughout the year that touch on numerous topics having to do with urban agriculture and sustainability. We also offer regular workdays where people are welcome to come to the Garden and learn about gardening. These workshops offer a springboard for conversations about sustainability and engagement with agriculture in an urban campus setting. The Garden also offers access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the growing season; this access is important because bringing fresh, organic produce to campus can help improve overall student health - not to mention, many students at University of Louisville report food insecurity. Finally, one of the most important parts of the Garden Common's message is that the Garden Commons is a successful experiment in the gift economy. Anyone may take from the Garden, regardless of their involvement. By implementing this accessible, free green space on campus for the purpose of urban agricultural education and engagement, we provide an example for other universities. Successful engagement through a community garden when it's part of the university landscape offers a blank canvas for many different learning opportunities. Outlined in the proposal are several examples of workshops we have lead and partnerships we have created; "Seed Starting" is one example of a workshop where we partnered with the Jefferson County Agricultural Extension Services to offer education and also engage people to start the seeds that would later be planted in the Garden. These various workshops offer diverse opportunities to learn that reflect our diverse student body and could easily be applicable in many different collegiate settings. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Avalon Gupta VerWiebe
University of Louisville


Building Bridges Through Reuse

For this session, the presenters will focus on the Hoosier to Hoosier Sale at Indiana University – Bloomington (IU). The Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale is a reuse program that aims to divert waste from the landfill in Terre Haute, Indiana, reduce resource consumption by selling the collected items to the university and the local community, and raise funds for local organizations. From an environmental perspective, this program alleviates the harm that comes from landfills and the transportation required to get the waste to the landfill. From a social standpoint, the Hoosier to Hoosier Sale is a program that engages the community and allows for people from all demographics to work together toward a common goal. There are also economic sustainability aspects to this program, which can be most visible by examining the flow of money within the program. The money made from the diverted waste is used to compensate the volunteer groups, institutions, and intern that help divert waste and make the sale possible. The flow of money is a closed loop that benefits organizations in the Bloomington, Indiana area. The Hoosier to Hoosier Sale is an initiative that encompasses all three pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic. Although the Hoosier to Hoosier Sale encompasses all three pillars of sustainability, the presentation will focus on campus engagement and culture. Community engagement, and social sustainability, in general, are an important part of sustainability that is often disregarded. Without partnerships and community engagement, it becomes difficult to meet a sustainability agenda, such as diverting waste and reducing resource consumption. The Hoosier to Hoosier Sale is a partnership between Indiana University, the City of Bloomington, Cutters Soccer Club and The Warehouse and allows for IU students and community members to be involved through donating, volunteering, and shopping. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Steve Akers, Indiana University
Indiana University Bloomington

Co-Presenter(s)

Makayla Bonney
Indiana University Bloomington

Amanda Keene
Student


Campus Sustainability: Using Planned Behavior Theory to Assess Student's Pro-Environmental Behavior

Over the few past decades, sustainability has increased in importance both in policymaking and academic discourse. A concern that economic progress and overconsumption and accumulation of waste operate against principles of healthy, livable precincts and the planet in a way that is not sustainable frequently fuels debates and analytical studies. Sustainability, in short, refers to an approach to living or development that considers meeting present needs without compromising future needs. Core to this definition is the need and motivation to use available environmental resources in a way that does minimal or no harm to the planet's ability to replenish these resources or in a way that does not undermine the lives of generations to come. Environmental psychologists have categorized this conscious way of living and relationship to the natural environment as 'pro-environmental' behavior. Thus, one way to assess the sustainability of a system is by looking at the pro-environmental behaviors of the people who ascribe to or are part of a given system. In the current study, by examining students' pro-environmental behaviors, this study seeks to illuminate sustainability issues and trends at Missouri State University. The purpose of this research project is to understand what factors motivate or inhibit a student's pro-environmental behavior. The study acknowledges that students will care if their knowledge, values, beliefs and perceived control of behaviors match their motivation to adopt environmentally friendly behaviors. College students are an important population because they are starting to form their behaviors and habits, which will be carried throughout adulthood and taught to the next generation. The study also expects to inform campus policy on sustainability, enhance sustainability literacy and motivate positive behaviors that are friendly to the natural environment and living spaces. Findings will also be used to inform MSU's STARS reporting with AASHE. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Bernard Kitheka, Assistant Professor
Missouri State University

Co-Presenter(s)

Talita Menezes, Graduate Student
Missouri State University

Kenya Reeves, Student

Care Enough 2B Energy Aware: Using Submetering & Energy Models 4 Curriculum Dev. & Community Action

St. Louis University High School's faculty-coached and student led Energy Reduction team uses Energystar Portfolio, electric and solar panel submetering data, and energy modeling to create accessible curriculum for various groups in their school and the larger community, to increase immediate financial savings, and to prioritize energy conservation opportunities. In order to do this, SLUH students work with professionals in the field to develop the lessons plans, models, and programs that will be used in the school and the larger community. Meanwhile, they are developing an architectural/engineering portfolio, real-world problem-solving skills, and grit. They hope to help the school develop greater financial security through providing data for long-term financial forecasting and regional energy-sharing partnerships. Come help us brainstorm: How can you begin or move closer towards your goal with Energystar Portfolio? What current energy data is accessible to your communities on your website or in your facilities? How can you develop energy partnerships either through grants, modeling, community engagement, or energy sharing? 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Anne Marie Lodholz, Sustainability Committee Chair
St. Louis University High School


Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities of Collegiate Farming ,  Presentation (2)

The Colgate Community Garden was started in 2011 by Green Thumbs, a student group that works to manage and promote the activities of the garden. The purpose of the garden is to serve as an educational space providing students and community members first-hand opportunities to learn about small-scale, sustainable agriculture. We produce over 30 different kinds of organic vegetables and 20 different herbs. Half of this food is donated to the local food cupboard, and the other 50% is sold at our weekly farmstand or to local businesses. The garden is operated by student interns along with a part-time garden manager. Additionally, there are 11 plots that are rented by community members. Despite the many successes since its establishment, the garden has also faced many challenges. The garden has been moved twice throughout the years, and will likely change sites again in 2020. Currently the garden is situated a fair distance from main campus, and this can make it difficult to have many students actively aware of the garden and the activities held there. We also lost our greenhouse two years ago, due to a winter storm. While this was an unfortunate event as the greenhouse allowed us to start seedlings and get a head start on the growing season, we are optimistic about future plans regarding new ways to utilize the space. Within the past year, we have struggled to gain involvement with Green Thumbs. The group has had difficulty finding dedicated members, and without this group the future of the garden is unknown. However, the lull in engagement may prove as an opportunity to revamp the group and find new ways to promote student support of the garden. We have suggested that the group have a stronger focus on food security and reimagining the garden's role in the local food system. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Makenna Bridge, Office of Sustainability Intern
Colgate University


Climate Change Attitudes and Practices of Students : A Comparison Among Mennonite Colleges

Students at college and university campuses are often on the leading edge of social change, and thus might be expected to show increased concern and actions in response to the threat of climate change. While survey instruments (such as the widely used 6 Americas methodology) are effectively documenting the variation in climate change attitudes and practices in various segments of society, to date there is little specific information for college campuses. This project characterized students at Mennonite colleges in the United States using a survey that incorporated 6 Americas components, along with additional questions, and indicated some key similarities and differences between campuses. Although political and religious identities of campus communities varied between the campuses, all campuses showed high levels of concern about climate change. There was strong support for personal and institutional actions related to climate change, including a consistent desire among students to set carbon neutrality targets on their campus. Although students believed humans can address climate change, most were skeptical that humans would actually meet the challenge. There were clear differences in the level of student engagement on campus, with some campuses having notably more active student sustainability organizations, or institutional actions. Despite these differences, students across all campuses show low levels of engagement with public officials, a focus on small lifestyle changes, and a lack of understanding on some components of climate change. Liberal arts institutions with religious roots are especially interesting in purporting a particular strong moral underpinning for attitudes and practices. Mennonite colleges are positioned between a conservative tradition, and a more progressive religious interpretation of what it means to engage society, and thus provide unique insights into how students are responding to climate change. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Doug Graber Neufeld
Eastern Mennonite University


Closing the Loop: Connecting Education and Operations with a Food Waste Dehydrator Project ,  Presentation (2)

In October 2018, in order to meet our sustainability goals and provide relevant connections to coursework in several of our program areas, Western Technical College student government and the facilities department partnered to purchase and deploy a pre-consumer food waste dehydrator in our main kitchen. Thus far, the project has kept four tons of food waste out of the landfill by turning it into one ton of biomass. Students amend the biomass into a usable growing medium in which to grow the micro-greens that are served in our campus restaurant salad bar. Moreover, we anticipate savings in waste hauling and the purchase of soil and potential savings in landscaping costs. The food dehydrator project engages students in our culinary arts program, our horticulture education program, in addition to a local not-for-profit organization and demonstrates to our students and community the benefits of closing one food production/consumption loop. This project is still young and very much a work in progress. Learn about the promises and pitfalls we've encountered and walk away with ideas about how to encourage sustainability work on campus at the nexus of academics, facilities and community. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Casey Meehan, Sustainability Manager
Western Technical College


Collecting Actionable Data Using the Sustainability/Climate Change Survey

To better understand the campus community's perspectives on climate change, sustainability, and resilience issues, the sustainability office, and the institutional research office administered the first Earth Day Survey in spring, 2018. The IR office analyzed and processed a large amount of qualitative data and developed an innovative online data tool to disseminate both quantitative and qualitative survey data to all students and employees. Results show that 95% of the campus community are concerned about sustainability and climate change issues. The three issues people concerned the most are global warming, ocean and beach, and consumer culture. The valuable information collected from the earth day survey helps the university to develop practical strategies to achieve sustainable goals. Following are the four survey implementation areas: 1) Increase visibility about sustainability challenges and solutions; 2) Students are interested in sustainability-related courses, majors, and careers; 3) Provide options for people to make more sustainable lifestyle choices; and 4) Keep the community informed of progress on the university's sustainability goals, community's feedback to improve our campus, and opportunities to contribute. Aiming to bring awareness of sustainability issues among the campus community using the survey results, we created video presentations, conducted campus data sharing events, and collaborated with the communication office to develop news stories. We also focused on developing actional plans and campus implementations using the survey results. This presentation demonstrates how multiple offices can utilizing their different skill sets and resources to effectively collecting and using actionable data to support sustainability initiatives. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Co-Presenter

Matthew Lynch, System Sustainability Coordinator
University of Hawaii System Office


Comparing Environmental Literacy of U.S. University Freshmen With Incoming International Students

Since 2014, Pittsburg State University (a regional institution in southeast Kansas), has administered a survey to measure environmental literacy, pro-social environmental behaviors, and issue involvement of all incoming freshman as part of a required Freshman Experience class. Incoming international students are also required to take this course and have their own class sections. This research presents the preliminary results of an analysis comparing the responses of domestic incoming freshman students to those of incoming international students. There are a variety of research studies focused on students' perceptions related to sustainability knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and habits. Many of these are samples of undergraduates at different academic levels from US regional institutions. Common threads in this pool of research include a wide range of knowledge and practices, and, overall, a lower level of personal engagement in sustainability practices. The analysis presented here will allow the assessment of results in that context and also provide a broader geographic context in which to interpret the results. There have been changes in the cohort of international students to the United States since 2014 as the result of global scale political changes. This makes it impossible to directly compare different years of data of international students and makes assumptions of some consistency of countries of origin of our students through time unreasonable. Consequently, this analysis is not focused on the country of origin of international students. This analysis does, however, provide a more global context to better understand the knowledge and behavior of freshmen American university students and gives a broader context with which to frame what freshmen know as they enter university based on this coarse geography. If international students do show more awareness, they may serve as a positive influence on sustainability efforts on campus. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Catherine Hooey, University Professor of Geography
Pittsburg State University

Co-Presenter(s)

Timothy Bailey, University Professor ofGeography
Pittsburg State University

Alicia Mason, Professor of Communication
Pittsburg State University


Convincing Our Colleagues to Fly Less: Engaging Academics on E-Conferencing

Academic conferences provide invaluable scholarly interaction, yet a reliance on air travel means conferencing has a big carbon footprint. Estimates suggest air travel can make up 15-30 per cent of a post-secondary institution's emissions. For individuals, a couple flights a year can easily dwarf any other steps taken to reduce one's carbon footprint. For colleges and universities to take their climate pledges seriously, we need to develop carbon-neutral alternatives to traditional conferencing. From 2013–18, the University of Alberta hosted the Around the World Conference (ATW), a transcontinental research exchange without the air travel. This conference tests the feasibility of using online and video technologies to generate genuine scholarly exchanges. Each year, organizers experimented with formats and technologies, pushing the boundaries and building capacity on the university's IT team. In this poster presentation, I will share how my team is building off of ATW to promote e-conferencing to the university community. I will share our first steps at finding receptive faculty members-those who are willing to fly less and also take on the challenge of organizing a new type of conference. Surveys and focus groups have revealed differences between junior and senior scholars, differences in motivations, etc. while the Alberta Narratives Project provided valuable understanding of how messages on climate action can succeed or fail in our local context. While our goal is air travel reduction, this market research has revealed benefits, motivations and frames that might be more persuasive when it comes to convincing our colleagues to try e-conferencing. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Trevor Chow-Fraser, Program Lead (Marketing & Communications)
University of Alberta


Curriculum and a Hands-On Project: Manual vs. Automated Irrigation Methods in the University Garden

The Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability (CUAS) at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) has combined innovative curriculum with hands-on projects to teach sustainable practices. Students enrolled in the CUAS Experiential Learning program took a course in the spring semester, Fundamentals of Sustainability, where they learned the complexities of creating sustainable systems - analyzing problems from the complex interactions of social stability, economic growth and environmental health. In the summer students took Renewable Energy Systems where they designed solar-powered systems. In a summer project a group of students then compared irrigation methods of two garden beds in the UHD Garden. One bed was manually watered and the other bed was watered by an automatic irrigation system (to be hooked to the garden's solar power). This comparison allowed for analysis of energy consumption and water used in each bed along with agricultural implications of each method. Three plant varieties (okra, squash and eggplant) have been planted in a replicated block design down the axis of each garden bed and will be evaluated for final dry weight in early fall. Replicated soil samples are being collected and will be evaluated for nitrate levels over time. It is hypothesized that the less frequent and greater volume of water used in the hand-watered bed will leach nitrate out of the soil faster. Preliminary analysis indicates that the mechanized system is also creating healthier plants. The engineering and science components of this project expose students to cross-disciplinary teamwork and application of course topics. This project requires students to estimate economic investments, calculate energy needs to build solar power systems, maximize crop yield while minimizing water use, reduce nitrate pollution in water-ways and analyze the complex interactions of human energy needs, food production and environmental impact. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Lisa Morano, Director, Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability
University of Houston-Downtown

Co-Presenter(s)

Jeremiah Brice
University of Houston-Downtown

Ashley Carrera, Student
University of Houston-Downtown

Jimmy Ha, University of Houston - Downtown
Student

Leslie Lopez, University of Houston-Downtown
Student


Data-Driven Sustainability: How Universities Can Use Data to Make Ethical Licensing Decisions ,  Presentation (2)

Poor working conditions at a factory in China that manufactures t-shirts bearing a university's logo aren't that university's problem, right? Wrong. Universities are increasingly called to account (in a very public way!) when factories licensed to use their logos practice forced labor or harm the surrounding environment. The bad news: Even universities committed at their cores to sustainability have historically struggled to attain the data essential to making business decisions that keep people, revenue, and the planet in mind; factory workers and the environment suffer as a result. The good news: Things are changing. Universities can (and some already do) use social and environmental data to get a snapshot of factory conditions and licensee ethical sourcing practices, and then collaborate with business partners to cultivate improvement where it's needed. In this way, universities can proactively use information on ethical sourcing performance to make decisions about who is acceptable for them to work and grant logo licenses to. This session will offer evidence-based advice about how data can be used to make ethical licensing and sourcing decisions at the university level. Get ready to discover-via discussion and a mini case-study-which data is ripe for the picking, which tools universities can use to gather it (sorry, it's not free), and what they can do with it when they have it. We'll dig into successful examples and offer suggestions on how universities and businesses can co-create a sustainable economy using data! 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Co-Presenter

Ashley Bernard, Director, Ethical Supplier Engagement Program
Sumerra


Debunking the Myth of the "Idiot Farmer": Alternative Forms of Agriculture for a Healthier Economy ,  Presentation (2)

The goal of this presentation is to highlight the importance of a new understanding of agriculture: directed by the young and educated, data driven, and focused on healthy and localized food production. There is a common misconception that farmers are uneducated and that farming is a lowly career choice. How do we reconcile this misguided idea with the growing movement toward an even more technology-driven agriculture focused in urban areas? As this is a necessary adjunct to existing rural farming, how do we properly educate students entering into new fields of study and careers that can focus on this shift? The presentation will begin in broad understanding-- of how a functional greenhouse ties together virtually every subject matter. Operating a productive greenhouse includes a knowledge of art and design, business, biology, and policy (to name a few). In understanding how greenhouses work, we can better approach the complexities of a multifaceted economy. Like a greenhouse, a sustainable economy can only properly function by thinking within an interdisciplinary and whole-systems framework. The most important takeaway is that an understanding of agriculture is integral to a sustainably minded educational system. There is no reason why agriculture should not be taught in math, health/nutrition, or engineering. The only way to change the mindset of the lowly farmer, is to teach students, at a higher level, about how it works. Farming can and will become a viable career when we understand that it requires a high level of intelligence to function well. Furthermore, as our system of agriculture is changing alongside new technologies, smart greenhouse design can both offset some of the damages of climate change (including water and energy use), as well as create an adaptive solution to the effects of it. Greenhouse technology is vital to the future of agriculture. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Jaclyn Jorgensen
Ceres Greenhouse Solutions


Departmental Sustainability Plan: A Game Plan for Sustainability

Recently, Texas A&M University's Department of Residence Life launched a departmental Sustainability Plan. After researching, nothing existed focusing on Residence Life & Housing; most just worked from the larger institutional plan. Mirroring the themes of the Campus Master Plan, Residence Life's plan aims to educate residents and staff on the ways they can impact and promote sustainability while living on-campus. This poster will be presented as a 'Trivial Pursuit' board reflecting the nines themes created in the Sustainability Plan. Much like the game, it will show how the department's efforts across each of these areas have advanced quickly through the "board" and those that have room to grow. Overall, this poster is a representation that sustainability takes a variety of avenues and multiple strategies are being used concurrently to advance sustainable solutions to institutional challenges. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Kristianna Bowles, Graduate Assistant Sustainability Coordinator
Texas A&M University

Co-Presenter

Carol Binzer, Director of Admin & Support Services
Texas A&M University


Design a permaculture garden through a co-curricular and service learning experience. ,  Presentation (2)

The Office of Sustainability partnered with a Group Communication Class and local permaculture guild to established a community garden at Pikes Peak Community College's Centennial Campus. Communication students interviewed five stakeholder groups to understand what they wanted to see in the garden. The students collated the information and presented it to the stakeholders and permaculture designers. The Office of Sustainability worked with two teams from the permaculture guild to design a community garden. The Sustainability Coordinator combined elements from the designs and implemented them using partially donated material from local garden shops. The Coordinator worked with Communication Professor to asses students ability to demonstrate effective group communication. The results indicate that 100% of students participated in all of the activities and achieved the learning outcome. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Konrad Schlarbaum, Sustainability Coordinator
Pikes Peak Community College


Empowering Energy and Resource Conservation in University Faculty and Staff ,  Presentation (2)

The presentation I am proposing is an informative and engaging seminar on two of Northern Arizona University's (NAU) Conservation Programs, The Green Office Certification Program (GOC), and Energy Mentor Program (EM). These conservation programs engage faculty and staff in the universities culture of sustainability through strategic education, relationship building, empowerment, and recognition. Our unique community, inclusivity, and connection based approach provide a platform for organic involvement and social change. We are excited to have the opportunity to share our stories with and brainstorm ways to improve the programs with other sustainability leaders in higher education. Our Green Office Certification Program plays a crucial role in the campus' culture of sustainability by means of education and recognition. The program's goal is to inform offices from all departments on campus on ways that they can conserve energy and resources in their everyday operations. The certification process looks at sustainable behaviors in several categories including energy conservation, recycling, waste reduction, events/meetings, purchasing, and campus engagement. We recognize achievement through completion of up to four levels which outline specific behaviors that increasingly lower the office's impact and are therefore require more effort and consciousness to carry out. In order to move beyond the second level of GOC, at least one member of the office must come certified as an Energy Mentor. The Energy Mentor program aims to educate campus faculty in staff on basic conservation behaviors so that they are comfortable acting as sustainability liaisons and mentors for their colleagues. Many of NAUs faculty and staff go above and beyond in the office setting every day by starting and spreading their own sustainability initiatives in order to be recognized at the platinum level. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Abigail Harman, Conservation Manager
Northern Arizona University


Engaging Students in Sustainability

My presentation will cover two initiatives I led on my campus at IUPUI. The first is the Yoga in the Garden event series for students, faculty, and staff. It is well known that yoga can greatly improve physical health. For both beginner and experienced yogis, practicing outside provides an environment that awakens the senses. One reason I decided to start a yoga series is because of the emotional burden that was taken away from me when I started practicing yoga. It is not uncommon to hear about the stress college students face, I wanted to create a program that would address that issue. There have been many studies done showing that environments can increase or reduce our stress levels; Exposure to nature reduces anger, fear, stress, and increases pleasant emotions. A significant part of this event was attendees having the opportunity to harvest and take home their own vegetables, bridging the gap between farm and table. I wanted to increase awareness of how infrequently we know where our food comes from. Typical produce travels over 1,500 miles to end up on our tables. Harvesting directly from the garden was the perfect way to demonstrate produce that doesn't have a carbon footprint and encourage urban gardening! The second initiative I will discuss is the Green Greek Movement. Through my experiences in college thus far, I have determined the university context is the perfect setting to integrate sustainable values into daily practices. The time students spend at their university is some of the most influential times and experiences that they will have. By giving chapters the opportunity to become Green Greek Certified by the Office of Sustainability, we are supporting exactly that. Through the Green Greek Program, chapters will have the opportunity to select a member of their organization to serve as their sustainability chair. By completing 5 campus-wide sustainability actions a semester, fraternities and sororities can become Green Greek certified. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Amber Greaney, Student
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)


Evaluating knowledge and awareness of "Sustainability" initiatives among college students

This study assesses college students' knowledge and awareness of sustainability issues. Upon the approval of an IRB, data was collected using the Campus Sustainability questionnaire. Students from a university in the southeastern part of Texas were selected and asked to participate in the study voluntarily by answering a self-report questionnaire. Findings indicate that only a minority of the students knew what sustainability was, but 95.8% indicated it was important. Although the University has committed to climate and sustainability agreements, majority of the students were not aware of it and only about 17% knew that the University's Strategic Plan has a sustainability component. More than half of the students also indicated that sustainability issues were not infused into curriculum courses or programs and they had no knowledge of any alternative power source for the University. We concluded that a majority of the students were not conversant with sustainability issues and were largely unaware of campus sustainability initiatives. This subject is unique in that at this time and age it can be thought that sustainability issues related to economy, environment, or social are a common knowledge in university settings and are widely integrated into the university system. However, this study proves otherwise. It reminds us there is still a long ways to go. More effort to educate is still needed. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Israel Msengi, Associate Professor
Lamar University


Freshman Engineering Students see Value in Sustainability-themed Project-based Learning

Engineers are required to evaluate the economic, policy, environmental, and social implications of their work in order to promote sustainability in design and manufacturing. Traditionally, university training in problem solving is primarily done using decontextualized textbook problems. To prepare engineering students to consider the critical perspectives and deep contextual factors required by sustainability-focused work while maintaining a high level of disciplinary rigor is a pressing challenge. In January 2016, Georgia Tech launched a campus-wide academic initiative-the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS)-aimed at preparing undergraduate students in all majors to use their disciplinary knowledge and skills to contribute to the major societal challenge of creating sustainable communities. This poster presents student perspectives on a sustainability intervention and related activities that bring social justice and sustainability issues into the classroom through project-based learning in a freshman engineering design course. All students in this course learn creative design ideation, formal sketching techniques, CAD tools and basics of design-for-manufacturing and 3D Printing. In addition to this disciplinary content, the SLS center-affiliated section of the course also implemented the following sustainability interventions; (i.) individual projects that address wasteful human behavior and environmental sustainability in product designs, and (ii) team projects with contextualized design problems that address social, environmental and economic sustainability aspects in designing large engineering structures. Through the contextualization of real-world problems, students develop system-thinking skills during the design, implementation, and evaluation stages of engineering solution. This poster discusses various intervention strategies, ongoing assessment methods, and preliminary results from thematic analysis of student response to post-activity reflections. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Raghu Pucha, Faculty
Georgia Tech


Getting Credit: Partnerships between Sustainability Offices and Academic Departments

This poster gives an overview of UMass Amherst's Sustainability Fellowship Program, which began in 2009. Fellows are compensated with three academic credits per semester (awarded by the Department of Environmental Conservation) for their commitment to campus sustainability, and are mentored by a faculty sponsor of their choice. The Sustainability Fellowship Program provides students a unique opportunity to select an area of campus operation to research and improve over two semesters with direct support from the Sustainability Engagement Coordinator and the Campus Sustainability Manager. Because the fellowship is run by Sustainability Staff in the Physical Plant (a non-academic department), our office's partnership with the Department of Environmental Conservation is crucial to our ongoing continuation and success. We will discuss advertising/recruitment, enrollment/academic department partnership, how we support student passions and enrich their individual experiences, benefits of the program, and the challenges we face running it. We will hold a facilitated dialogue and viewers will be invited to share the successes and challenges of similar internship programs on their campuses. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Rebecca Schmidt, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Getting WILD! Introducing Children to Nature...Why and How ,  Presentation (2)

Research has proved individuals interacting with nature are healthier, both mentally and physically. They have higher self-esteem, are more cooperative with others and perform better at work and school. However, many people from ethnic minorities express fear and uneasiness about being outdoors. Cedar Valley College is working with a local elementary school, early college high school students and Cedar Valley College students to provide positive experiences outdoors. We propose to explain the need and purpose of the grant, our experiences in creating partnerships, the activities used, and changes in attitudes about being outside at the end of the school year. 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Presenter

Brenda Floyd, Project Manager Sustainability
Cedar Valley College - DCCCD


Going Carbon Neutral – Giving Everyone a Voice, With Students Leading the Charge ,  Presentation (2)

Dr. Simon Pek and Dr. Rick Cotton will take you on Gustavson School of Business' journey to carbon neutrality. In sharing the story of this success their aim is to help others achieve the same goals: reduce our impact on the environment and teach students both by example and with opportunities for experiential learning. The session will cover the multi-step process the school employed to achieve carbon neutrality, from data collection to determine Gustavson's carbon emissions to implementing behaviour changes initiatives amongst faculty, staff and students. They will also walk participants through the crown jewel of the school's carbon neutrality strategy: our Carbon Offset Pitch Competition. Gustavson was eager to establish broad-based carbon neutrality because there has always been a strong desire by people at the School to be socially responsible and to operate sustainably. As educators for the next generation of business leaders Gustavson wanted to teach by example. The Carbon Offset Pitch Competition invites students to analyze carbon offset projects and make a portfolio recommendation to the School. Gustavson faculty, students and staff vote on the student portfolio entries, collectively determining how to achieve carbon neutrality. Dr. Pek and Dr. Cotton are excited to share Gustavson's experiences in the hopes that other institutions will take our carbon neutrality strategy and make it their own, ramping up the effects on the environment. They'd also like to collaborate with other Schools –helping them create their own competition or establishing other initiatives like behavioural change challenges. Filled with stories of successes and learnings along the way, Dr. Pek and Dr. Cotton will share suggestions for how to begin the journey to carbon neutrality at your institution. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Simon Pek, Assistant Professor
Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Co-Presenter

Rick Cotton, Associate Professor
University of Victoria


How Do We Build a Bridge Between Science and Decision Making? Narratives Matter ,  Presentation (2)

Every decision is being made at in local, regional, national and global contexts. Researchers at universities are discovering solutions to be more sustainable and community colleges are equipping students to succeed in a four-year university or in their workplace. This proposal presents the best practices of Yale students of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Sociology students of Cedar Valley Community College (CVC). These students did a joint research project that resulted in a multi-stakeholder analysis with the PESTEL methodology to determine the core values of each group. Then a narrative was developed to talk about sustainable economic development based on these values. The students of both institutions worked on a proposal that solved the main challenges of southern Dallas County, where Cedar Valley is located. With concepts of regenerative economy a "Learning- Living Center was proposed to address the challenges of mobility, food insecurity and affordable housing, that were determined by the sociology students of CVC. This is an example of how career pathways were strengthened by doing undergraduate research between a 2 year and 4 year higher education. The project-based model worked well to incorporate the concepts of both courses and encourage critical thinking skills to improve the quality of life of the community. We will share what worked and what didn't work and how we have kept the project going for almost 3 years. Data is being collected on student success that will be analyzed in the summer semester to present at AASHE. The question that will be answered are: has the collaboration of these students in a real life project enhanced their learning? Are they better stewards of the people planet and prosperity of their communities? How can we replicate this experience in other programs and with other institutions? 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Presenter

Maria Boccalandro, Sustainable Communituies Institute Director
Cedar Valley College - DCCCD

Co-Presenter(s)

Brenda Floyd, Project Manager Sustainability
Cedar Valley College - DCCCD

Sangeeta Sinha
Cedar Valley College - DCCCD


How Residential Curriculum Can Help You Reach More Students, Faster

First implemented in early 2000 as a curricular approach to the residential experience on college campuses, Residential Curriculum has swept across the US and changed the way many branches of Housing and Residence Life manage their first-year student experience. Residential Curriculum utilizes year by year outcomes and rubrics to create a focused, holistic curriculum that promotes community and global identity development while providing a consistent structure for the creation of campus-wide engagement strategies. This structure, as well as the focus on campus partners inherent in the model, affords sustainability professionals with a fantastic opportunity to reach more of their campus population by creating strategies that utilize residence life student and professional staff in the implementation. Has your campus shifted toward Residential Curriculum, or is your Residence Life team discussing the potential of a curricular model? Learn the basics of Residential Curriculum, and how your office can utilize this new model to improve your relationship with Residence Life while enhancing the effectiveness of the program's you offer on campus. Not moving toward Residential Curriculum? Learn how the language and process it offers can help you streamline your outreach efforts, assist with student staff development, and connect with Residence Life through shared vocabulary and values. Since the implementation of Residential Curriculum at CU Boulder, all 7,100 students living in the halls are exposed to sustainability-related programming throughout the year specifically designed to encourage dialogue around sustainability as a campus value. These programs have increased buy-in from residence life around sustainability as a value, help promote efforts from our other sustainability staff, provide additional education about waste on campus, and encourage the development of sustainable practices that students will carry with them throughout their lives. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Rayna Oliker, Sustainability Manager for Residence Life
University of Colorado Boulder


How to Develop a Comprehensive Communication Plan for Sustainability Offices in Higher Education

Your sustainability office might be doing exceptional work, but how do you manage your promotional efforts throughout campus and the community to tell your story? We will provide a guide on how to develop and organize a comprehensive communication plan for sustainability departments within a higher education setting. You will learn how your organization's communication and outreach can be enhanced and intentional. Whether you have a team or are working alone, discover how you can successfully promote programs, events, and news by developing a comprehensive communication plan. Professional staff and students will benefit from this presentation by assessing their current communication plan and preparation methods. In addition, we will provide various types of processes that your team can utilize that are manageable and sustainable. The topics will include the importance of developing social media, photo content, and graphic design standards to managing your internal and external communication requests. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture  

Presenter

Brianna McCann, Administrative Assistant Senior
Western Michigan University

Co-Presenter

Carolyn Sacha, Communication Team Student Supervisor
Western Michigan University


Implementing Sustainable Event Practices In Residential Housing Curriculum

Implementing Sustainability practices in University Housing residential curriculum can be a daunting task. Working with resident mentors and residence life coordinators to implement sustainability curriculum that works with their goals and outcomes can be a challenge, but is not impossible. This poster will describe the steps and timelines needed to successfully implement these practices into the curriculum throughout the year as well as suggestions for training RM's and RLC's prior to the start of the school year for best results. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Laura Anne Hunt, Housing Sustainability Coordinator
University of South Carolina


Integrating Sustainability into Campus Administration and Student Government

This study outlines and portrays the ways by which the University of Central Florida's Office of Sustainability Initiatives (UCF SI) is partnering with the UCF Student Government (UCF SG) and campus administrators to implement sustainability into student programming, services, and curriculum. The implementation of sustainability in UCF SG and campus administration is achieved through two collaborative partnerships between UCF SI and the campus community: A member of the Executive Cabinet of UCF SG is appointed to serve as the Campus Innovation Coordinator to advance initiatives that improve the sustainability, health and wellness, and research scholarship of the UCF community. Concurrently, UCF SI is developing a program to integrate sustainability across UCF's curriculum through faculty-led committees from each academic college. This initiative is integrated with UCF's overhaul of its general education curriculum. As one of the largest universities by enrollment in the country, a study of sustainability in campus student government and administration is relevant and informative to a wide array of institutions, as projects at UCF are very sensitive to issues of scale and cross-institutional collaboration. An emphasis is placed on outcomes of innovative, transdisciplinary curriculum, community projects, and programming that engages stakeholders and emphasizes the ties between the environmental, psycho-social, and physical health of the campus community. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Sarah Swiersz, Student
University of Central Florida

Co-Presenter

Dempsey Perno, Student Outreach Assistant
University of Central Florida


Interpretive Signage: Inspiring Students and Visitors with Your Living Lab Campus

Colleges and universities are hotbeds of innovation in sustainability and wellness. Interpretive signage makes it possible for students and the community to engage with the Living Lab of the college campus. Visiting campus becomes an interactive process, providing opportunities to pursue sustainable solutions, wellness experiences and various career opportunities. Presenters will explore how the College of Lake County and Loyola University in Chicago developed interpretive signage to guide students and visitors along a path toward sustainability and a greater sense of well-being. The College of Lake County will share its collaborative process of developing its Living Lab Trail, with the Sustainability and Health and Wellness Promotion programs and the assistance of Quercus Consulting. Loyola University will share its experiences with conducting a sustainable landscape signage and outreach program. Both campuses use interpretive signage to feature geothermal heating and cooling, rain gardens, local food production, recycling and composting, and more. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

David Husemoller, Sustainability Manager
College of Lake County

Co-Presenter(s)

Lisa Aguilar, Wellness Labs Coordinator
College of Lake County

Aaron Durnbaugh, Director of Sustainability
Loyola University Chicago


Intersectionality of Student-Led Projects at State University of New York at Geneseo

The SUNY Geneseo Office of Sustainability has five major projects that help direct our campus towards the advancement of a sustainable economy. These student-led and organized projects include composting, the e-garden, biodiesel production, Greek life sustainability, and events and outreach. Our wide range of academic and extracurricular backgrounds provide a unique platform that fosters the creation of an interdisciplinary web of projects that have transformed the campus community. Because our project leaders come from many majors and are involved in various programs both on and off campus, they bring unique perspectives that enhance the diversity of our sustainability program. The diversity of projects in our sustainability program allows our campus community members with various interests to get involved in projects they specifically relate to. With this greater involvement opportunity, our department has grown significantly in the past few years. Our five-part presentation will discuss how the five main projects intersect to shape the direction of the Sustainability Office in order to grow the awareness of sustainability on campus and bring our campus community closer to our goal of participating in a sustainable economy. We will discuss how our waste disposal strategies, such as composting and conversion of waste fryer oil to biodiesel, help SUNY Geneseo reduce both monetary and environmental waste removal costs. We will also discuss how the efforts of our Greek life sustainability leaders and events coordinators involve community members to increase outreach and spread sustainability efforts on campus. Finally, we will include a review of how our e-garden committee works with Campus Auxiliary Services to serve locally grown food on campus. All our projects, which are bolstered by our project leader diversity, intersect to bring SUNY Geneseo closer toward our goal of becoming an active member in a sustainable economy. How can higher education most effective? 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter(s)

Clara Gallagher, Student
State University of New York at Geneseo

Martin Benzinger, SUNY Geneseo
Student

Co-Presenter(s)

Catherine Curley
State University of New York at Geneseo

Abigail Ritz, Student
State University of New York at Geneseo

Ariana Walczyk, Student
State University of New York at Geneseo


Laudato Si and the UNSDGs: An Ignatian Approach to Teaching Human Geography

In 2017 SLUH created a new Foundational Social Studies Curriculum that integrated Ignatian spirituality, neuroscience, executive functioning, research writing, and the AP Human Geography curriculum into a holistic course for Freshman. Co-created and using a digital platform, we were able to integrate the latest science about the anatomy of our brains and how it helps us learn, skills that help develop all students as leaders, and the basic content of Human Geography, a field of geography that studies the impact that humans have on the environment and the impact the environment has on human society. As the core of this course, we introduce the concept of Throwaway Culture that Pope Francis discusses in Laudato Si as a manifestation of modern, industrial culture and the UNSDGs as an alternative developmental model. This relationship stands as the conceptual framework of our academic research writing process and the hook from which we introduce dozens of possible historic and geographic research topics. We created a SLUH Passport that invites them into new experiences within the community around them and demands that they connect the lessons of each unit to their enrichment activities. Finally, we engage local and international simulations and real-world investigations to help them practice listening, reflection, and dialogue. Our goal is to give them experience with complex questions, open-ended answers, and finding God in all things. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Anne Marie Lodholz, Sustainability Committee Chair
St. Louis University High School


Leveraging Funding to Provide Student Experience and Community Enrichment

Would you like to learn how to provide consistent funding for a resilient student fellowship program? We have some thoughts and experiences to share. Furman University, a liberal arts school, focuses on engaged learning throughout our students' four-year experience. In order to broaden our range of experiences, we partner with many organizations throughout the local community on numerous research projects and internship opportunities. The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability operates a sustainability-focused Student Fellows Program that allows students to work with local organizations and government entities to benefit their education and their community at the same time. Given the wide reaching nature of sustainability, we work hard to partner with diverse organizations to provide experiences that appeal to students in all majors offered at Furman. These opportunities are possible because both endowed and grant funding provides stability and consistency for the program. The David E. Shi Center funds all the salaries for our student fellows giving us an advantage over programs that share funding and/or offer unpaid opportunities for students. These advantages include requiring project-focused experiences for our students, working with organizations that are too small or too underfunded to support an internship alone, and providing needed assistance to locally owned small businesses or nonprofits in the startup phase. Additionally, students are able to make these fellowships the focus of their summer because their financial needs are met; and our community partners gain much needed, highly skilled labor to further their work. With ten years and over 300 fellowships supported to date, we have experienced the benefits and the pitfalls of funding an engaged learning program that partners with the community. We will share these experiences and detail the aspects of the program's funding that have allowed us to provide so many rich student experiences. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Kelly Grant Purvis, Associate Director of Sustainability Programs
Furman University

Co-Presenter

Weston Dripps, Executive Director
Furman University


Making the Case for Campus-Wide Energy Monitoring and Student-Led Initiatives for Implementation

We present the case for campus-wide energy monitoring, a community-engaged energy dashboard, and how these initiatives become feasible with student leadership. At Creighton University, we have developed a holistic, detailed, and actively monitored energy monitoring system, including nearly 50 buildings and their individual control systems. The end results required student input and involvement, as well as University and key stakeholder sponsorship. Monitoring with purpose allows us to address carbon neutrality goals and validate ROIs for deferred maintenance projects. It is easy to focus on building sustainability during new construction when donor interest and campus attention is high. However, by utilizing energy monitoring in existing buildings to identify deficiencies, campuses can reduce energy waste, quickly identify financial savings, and communicate any renewable energy production. By monitoring energy infrastructure at all scales, as well as controlling and promoting energy curtailment, it serves to make the invisible problem of energy management more visible. This case study follows the students' journey through the process of implementation, from developing marketing strategies to creating data-driven reports that aid in energy curtailment, and directly maintaining and monitoring control systems. Our student-designed energy dashboard directly engages our campus community through energy reduction competitions, energy education, and increasing awareness of energy costs. The outcomes of this initiative are relevant work experience for students, better justified maintenance requests, and making the case for renewable energy solutions, including on and off campus projects. In our case, solutions include an actively monitored 98-kW solar array in the Dominican Republic and 120-kW of solar on our campus. We also present an effective small-scale case study as a tangible guide for students to initiate the conversation about energy monitoring on their campus. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Colin Thomas, Student
Creighton University


Moving Beyond "You're the sustainability person" To A Culture of Sustainability Mindedness ,  Presentation (2)

Sustainability professionals often hear the phrase "you're the sustainability person". This usually implies that the person making the statement does not care about sustainability as much. This particular mindset of "it's not my problem" or "I do not care about the effects of this decision on sustainability" can be damaging for an organization. In this presentation, I will focus on ways I have found sustainability allies on campus and within the community. I will share methods that I have used to find like-minded people and how we are collectively working to create a culture of sustainability mindedness where everyone is a stakeholder. This session will be particularly beneficial for smaller campuses or campuses that have extremely limited resources for sustainability. I will share examples of how UW-River Falls, a campus with only .5 FTE dedicated to sustainability, has made connections and helped advance our sustainability efforts despite a lack of time and resources. Even with reductions in staffing and funding, UW-River Falls has progressed from a STARS Silver institution (for 6 consecutive years) to a STARS Gold institution. The session will focus on creating collaborations, using courses to help advance sustainability initiatives, and utilizing the STARS framework to make connections and benchmark progress. Session attendees will leave with ideas on how to get stakeholder engagement as well as how to form collaborations across campus and within the community. The goal of this session is to give attendees some tools for how they can help create cultures of sustainability mindedness within their organizations as opposed to being the only person who has an interest in being more sustainable. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Mark Klapatch-Mathias, Sustainability & Custodial Supervisor
University of Wisconsin-River Falls


MOVING to Zero Waste: Diverting from Res Hall Move-Out Using Community Resources and Partnerships

Residence halls across the United States struggle with the amount of waste that is left behind by students when they leave for the summer, particularly at large, midwestern research institutions. Come see how Ohio State has addressed the challenge by integrating the passion of its students, the work of its staff, the commitment by university administration, and creating strategic partnerships with Goodwill Columbus. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Tom Reeves, Director--Energy Management & Sustainability
The Ohio State University

Co-Presenter

Tony Gillund
The Ohio State University


Native Bee Conservation: Bridging the Gap Between Research, Sustainability, and Educating the Public

Approximately 85% of flowering plants depend on animals for pollination. Bees, one of the most important pollinator groups, not only enable reproduction of most wild flowering plants, but also play an important economic role as they lend pollinator services to approximately 75% of crops. Although the honey bee has been widely used for crop pollination, recent reports of unusually high rates of loss of managed colonies have highlighted that has become unsustainable to rely on a single species for their pollinator services. Also, native bees have been shown to provide better quality pollination. Their presence enhances cross pollination and fruit set in a wide variety of crop species. This suggests that conservation strategies focused on increasing wild bee diversity have the potential to improved yield in animal pollinated crops.Central College is a liberal arts institution. Part of a liberal arts education is to connect different disciplines. Our undergraduate research program on native bees encourages students to not only study the biology of bees but to apply this knowledge to inspire communities to use sustainable practices that will lead to the conservation of native bees. The Iowa based research seeks to determine which native prairie plant species attracts the higher number and diversity of bees. The goal is to educate farmers on which prairie species to plant in their un-farmable land to increase pollinator services for their crops, while also conserving native bees. Our Costa Rica based research seeks to provide information useful to stingless beekeepers. Stingless bees are native to Costa Rica and keeping these bees provides communities with income, while helping preserve the bees and their ecosystem, in addition to crop pollination. Finally, Central College is a certified Bee Campus and therefore, we have developed programs to educate diverse audiences on the importance of native bee conservation. 

Topic Area

Research 

Presenter

Elizabeth Sheldon, Student
Central College

Co-Presenter(s)

Alexis Engen, Student
Central College

Paulina Mena, Associate Professor
Central College


Paper and Plug Load Energy Reduction: How Focusing on two Issues Broadened our Reach

In the current climate of fiscal restraint faced by many post-secondary institutions, it can be challenging for Sustainability Offices to advance their reach and impact with new programs and initiatives. In 2017, the Sustainability Office at Red River College found a way to grow our team by creating a position rooted in cost-savings. As a result, the Resource Reduction Specialist position was created to focus on two issues College-wide: paper and plug load energy reduction. Over the course of a two-year term, the Resource Reduction Specialist engaged staff, faculty and students in projects and initiatives to reduce paper and plug load energy consumption at the College while broadening the overall reach of the Sustainability Office. The creation of this focused position and the project's subsequent success can be attributed to four key factors: it was strategic, it was responsive, it was timely, and it capitalized on the existing strengths of the Sustainability Office. This presentation will explore these factors and how they were essential to securing the funding for this unique position and to building the key partnerships and relationships which helped the project succeed. The strategies and initiatives undertaken to engage the College community in paper and plug load energy reduction efforts will be discussed as well as the overall impacts of these efforts, including how the Sustainability Office's reach and impact were advanced among staff, faculty and students. Tips and lessons learned will be shared that can be applied not only to other paper and plug load energy reduction projects but to any effort to grow the capacity of sustainability initiatives. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Whitney Crooks, Resource Reduction Specialist
Red River College


Pursuing Sustainability in Education Abroad: Tools & Techniques

Well-designed education abroad programs expose students to the many ways other cultures prioritize and pursue sustainability. Foreign approaches to sustainability, biodiversity, and social justice reveal to students abroad the culturally distinct skills, attitudes, and behavioral habits that can be experienced, assimilated, assessed and - more importantly - transferred back home. How do we design programs that go beyond cultural learning and help students experience - through comparative approaches to implementing SDGs - how other people live lives far more sustainable than theirs? This session highlights tools and techniques for advancing sustainable lifestyle skills through study abroad. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Molly Laycob, Sustainability and Assessment Coordinator
The Education Abroad Network


Raising Food Waste Awareness in Residential Halls - Michigan State University

A large factor in creating a more sustainable economy will come from changes in human behavior with an effort to live more sustainability. Part of this change will be individuals minimizing waste. Michigan State University has introduced awareness efforts through several programs and initiatives, specifically the Clean Plates at State food waste audit program. This program helps raise awareness about food waste affecting the environment as well as provides the university with data about post-consumer food waste behavior throughout campus. Through our partnerships with academics, this program enhances the student experience by expanding their opportunity to learn and increase their enrichment of community, economic, and sustainable living. This session will discuss the logistics of making this grassroots, primarily student managed program successful and how other universities can bring something similar to their institution. Clean Plates at State began in 2012 to encourage students to be mindful of their waste while eating in the campus dining halls and continues today due to the positive responses the programs receive each year. The program consists of two audits per dining hall, one during a lunch portion and one during a dinner portion. Sustainability staff and student volunteers measure customer food waste using an electronic scale that records a per pound waste factor for data purposes. Once the program has conducted audits at each dining hall, staff then begin the process of accumulating data for the final report. In Fall 2018 there were approximately 516,800 pounds of food wasted just during our audit, which is equivalent to 3.16 ounces per customer in one day. Once completed, this data is provided to university staff and students to show the impact of food waste. Data is also converted to show staff how much money is being lost based on food wasted. These numbers are used to encourage staff and students to be mindful of their waste and how they can help. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Carla Iansiti, RHS Sustainability Officer
Michigan State University


Reinvigorating Your University's Sustainability Commitment

While some universities have established sustainability offices, others may have a structure in place, but greater support is needed from faculty, students, and administrators. This presentation will describe the efforts at Southern New Hampshire University to relaunch a sustainability office. 13 years ago, SNHU signed the Second Nature climate agreement and was active in the renewable energy market. However, these efforts waned after the program director left. The purpose of this presentation is to describe key steps taken that can reinvigorate your college's efforts towards sustainability. After a two-year process, SNHU has recently recommitted to reducing our increasing our sustainability investment. Our story covers the co-creation of relaunched sustainability program by faculty, students, and administrators. Our case study will highlight the following points: • Students are vital co-creators of sustainability programs. Students are the most persuasive voice and are most directly impacted by the university's collective actions. • Faculty from across multiple disciplines can share resources and increase chance of approval. Similarly, combining requests or co-teaching courses across departments can help demonstrate broader interests and opportunities for research collaboration. • While formal funding is unlikely, identifying grants or spreading costs around multiple departments can provide small wins that get the attention of decision makers. Tying funding to specific goals and achievements can help focus fledgling sustainability actions. • Demonstrating the need for investment by comparing to other schools can create a virtuous cycle of improvements. Publicly available tools and programs add credibility to University decision makers. • There's strength in numbers when seeking to (re)launch new initiatives. Inviting each person who has provided input to join the team can increase chances of success by including a larger number of campus areas. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter(s)

Caitlin Jillson, Graduate Assistant for Sustainability
Southern New Hampshire University

Lindsey Andrews, Southern New Hampshire University
Miss

Co-Presenter(s)

Sophia Koustas, Assistant Professor
Southern New Hampshire University

Kevin Snyder
Southern New Hampshire University


Seeing Sustainability in Your Own Backyard: Place-Based Learning and the Liberal Arts

Goshen College students have a unique opportunity to live, learn, and research at the 1,189-acre nature sanctuary called Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center. Located near Wolf Lake, Indiana, Merry Lea is committed to educating with relevance and influence, strengthening relationships, shepherding resources, and communicating effectively. To fulfill their strategic goals, Merry Lea effectively runs many types of programs for grades Pre-K to 12, as well as offers an advanced degree of Masters of Arts in Environmental Education. The educational endeavors in this natural sanctuary that this poster will focus on includes two innovative undergraduate semesters. The Sustainability Leadership Semester (SLS) and Agroecology Summer Intensive (ASI) are residential undergraduate programs that focus on connecting people to place, linking the past, present, and future of sustainability, and bringing the concept of quality, hands-on experience into the realm of higher education. Both of these programs explore the many ways to contribute towards building a sustainable, resilient future for our communities in the midst of our rapidly changing planet. The students are motivated to explore the continuously changing facets of environmental sustainability. This involves interaction between students, connections with the college faculty, and involvement with community members. The integrative sessions within these semesters also include field trips to meet a variety of local sustainability initiators and professionals, bringing real-life examples into the "classroom." As alumni Sustainability Leadership students, we value the interdisciplinary education experiences through place-based learning that can bring deeper layers of personal understanding and alignment of values towards promoting sustainability. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Mandira Panta, Undergraduate Student
Goshen College

Co-Presenter

Lydia Dyck, Student
Goshen College


Seeing Sustainability Through Indigenous Eyes: Collaborative Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning

This presentation will showcase a field course offered by George Mason University in collaboration with the Maijuna indigenous group of the Peruvian Amazon. The authors worked with the Maijuna to design curriculum focused on their culture and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) as well as their biologically diverse ancestral forests. Curriculum and hands-on activities were developed around community-based conservation and sustainability initiatives in Maijuna lands focused on traditional agriculture, sustainable palm fruit harvesting, handicraft production, and native stingless beekeeping, among others. During the course, Maijuna elders and leaders served as co-instructors, offering students a rare opportunity to learn directly from indigenous people who are fighting for cultural survival and pursuing economic initiatives that promote a sustainable income while ensuring conservation of ancestral lands. With fewer than 500 individuals, the Maijuna are one of the smallest and most endangered indigenous groups in Peru and they live in one of Earth's most biologically rich places. The Maijuna successfully fought to end economically and ecologically destructive logging and poaching in their lands. With the help of allies, in 2015 they pushed the Peruvian government to officially protect over 391,000-hectares of their territory (an area 22% larger than Yosemite National Park). These victories are unique given that most indigenous cultures and lands in the Amazon basin are under siege. As part of this curriculum development initiative, extensive assessment of student learning outcomes was completed. Also, focus groups were conducted with Maijuna instructors to evaluate and monitor their perceptions of student engagement, course content, and overall course success. Results will be shared as well as lessons learned for teaching students to critically evaluate real-world community conservation and sustainable development initiatives in indigenous communities. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Andrew Wingfield, Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies
George Mason University


Student Approved Projects on Campus: What Could Go Wrong and What Could Go Right?

Like many universities, Western Michigan University has instituted a grant to fund student-led sustainable change on campus. What sets Western Michigan University apart, however, is that the allocations of these funds are controlled by students; administrators and staff only help while drafting the application. And that's not to say that Western Michigan University's grant structure is perfect, as students may not always choose the grants that are favored by sustainability professionals, but the positives of such a setup outweigh most concerns. This grant structure encourages students to be more involved in the process, to develop their own ideas, and to evaluate their peers' suggestions for what needs to be changed on campus. The autonomy granted to students to initiate and guide change on campus is powerful in that it emboldens and empowers tomorrows leaders to make changes today. The presentation will outline the positive aspects of this student-led grant initiative while addressing some areas of concern a brief history of how the program began will also be offered, hoping that other institutions might begin their own similar programs. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Justin Gish, Project Manager
Western Michigan University


Student Governments as Platforms for Sustainability Efforts

Many sustainability efforts on college campuses are student-driven, however, the majority of the students leading these efforts tend to be involved in sustainability-related organizations or employees of their university's sustainability office. This presentation will focus on how to use student governments as platforms to create institutional change in terms of sustainability. In the case of The University of Denver's Undergraduate Student Government (USG), several amendments were proposed in order to include more sustainability efforts during the process of re-writing the finance manual. DU's USG proposed and passed a single-use plastic ban on purchases with student funds. Along with this amendment, the Sustainability Committee houses a compost closet where students can request compostable serve-ware at no cost in order to make their event more sustainable and to curb the costs associated with the ban and compostable products. Additionally, an amendment to include the purchasing of carbon offsets whenever USG funds student flights for conferences and competitions was proposed and passed. Not only was the carbon offset amendment passed but it determined that carbon offsets would be purchased through Cool Effect's Native American Project, which is a local Colorado methane capturing project done by the Ute Tribe. In an effort to tackle both social and environmental sustainability efforts, it is imperative to use student government bodies and their funding powers to demonstrate student support and engagement of sustainable practices and to also lead the way for institutional change. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Sophia Gonzalez-Mayagoitia
University of Denver


Students and Staff: The Mutual Benefits of Connecting Student Groups and Sustainability Offices

Student groups often are the driving force behind changes for sustainability on campus. Energized and empowered students can gain the attention of administrators and advocate for change which can be difficult to create from within the institution, as well as create programs that directly respond to student needs. However, there is often a steep learning curve for students as they determine how to create changes for sustainability or implement programs within an institutional framework. In addition, student groups are often dependent on a small group of passionate students, and when those students graduate or leave the university, it can be difficult for the group to maintain the same level of operation. At the University of Washington, the UW Sustainability Office provides administrative support and staff advisers to two independent student groups: the Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) and UW EcoReps. These two groups are very different in size and scope, but both benefit from the institutional support by having access to institutional knowledge and consistency, along with staff who can help coordinate connections and meetings with administrators in order to advance student-driven sustainability efforts. UW Sustainability also benefits by having access to student ideas, determination and energy. CSF and EcoReps students provide ideas for projects and programs to advance sustainability across the university. In both cases, the student groups operate independently with student leadership, but UW Sustainability offers resources to the groups including the ability to use office space, help with IT and communication resources, and help with financial management; but the groups have an autonomous governance structure. This hybrid model allows the groups to access staff resources while maintaining student leadership. This session will outline how these connections have evolved over time, and present the perspectives of staff and students on the benefits of this model. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Daimon Eklund, Sustainability Communications Coordinator
University of Washington, Seattle

Co-Presenter

Kyle McDermott
University of Washington, Seattle


Sustainability Misconceptions in Higher Education: How AASHE STARS Reporting May Drive Innovation ,  Presentation (2)

Institutions of Higher Education have the capacity and capability to become leaders in sustainability, and potential agents of change. Sustainability conversations have been occurring at colleges and universities over the last half century; however, the process of becoming a documented sustainable institution has not been yet been extensively researched. The purpose of this research is to identify and potentially remove obstacles for implementing sustainability initiatives on campuses. This case study examines the current incorporation and data collection of the AASHE STARS (Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education, Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) reporting program at a medium-sized, primarily non-residential, Midwestern regional state university campus. This accreditation process has revealed bureaucratic, systemic, and communication obstacles, as well as misconceptions of faculty, staff, and students that smaller colleges are faced with while implementing and documenting sustainable programs which may improve the quality of life for the campus and local community. This poster will briefly discuss barriers that could deter sustainability implementation and reporting at these institutions, as well as providing examples as to why sustainability should be essential. Existing research suggests that a lack of involvement, such as by administration and other influential campus stakeholders, may contribute to misconceptions about sustainability within the campus community. This research will address the challenges commonly observed by (Velazquez, Munguia, and Sanchez, 2005), such as the lack of the following: awareness, interest, and involvement; funding organizational structure; support from university administrators; measurable performance indicators; clearly defined policies to promote sustainability on campus; standard definitions of concepts. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Robin Frederick, Sustainability Assessment Intern
Indiana University Southeast


Sustainable Architecture and Initiatives: Lessons from Integrating Sustainability on Campus

University campuses are living laboratories -- testing grounds for sustainability strategies that can translate to the larger communities within which the campuses reside. For communities of all sizes, integrated sustainability requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders and a flexible, multi-nodal plan that is part of both the physical and cultural environment. In this session, an architect and green building specialist experienced in higher education projects teams with sustainability staff from the University of Houston central campus and the University of Houston-Downtown to discuss the challenges and opportunities of integrating sustainability in campus environments. The presentation will explore the roles of green architecture, university processes, and academic curriculum as a means to integrate sustainable practices into both the physical environment and culture of universities. Among the examples discussed will be the value of showcase green buildings on campuses; student engagement efforts of UHD's Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability; and the data tracking, research, and policies supported by the University of Houston's Office of Sustainability. Through the sharing of lessons learned and brainstorming with the audience, this presentation will use campuses as case studies to help identify a diverse toolbox of both top-down and bottom-up strategies to integrate sustainability across university campuses and potentially within broader communities. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Colley Hodges, Director of Sustainability
Kirksey Architecture

Co-Presenter

Michael Mendoza, Sustainability Manager
University of Houston


Sustainable Campuses: Integrating Sustainability into Your Institution

Colleges and universities can advance sustainability applications and student learning opportunities by taking an active role in sustainability initiatives that can provide on-campus benefits for improved curriculum and recruiting. This poster session will provide information about utilizing the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) framework on how to integrate sustainability throughout campuses and will be applicable to both public and private institutions. The program is focused on how campuses can achieve sustainability within their campus community. The ACSP helps institutions become great places to live, work, learn and play by using the three e's of sustainability to protect, conserve and enhance wildlife habitat, water conservation, energy use, and other resources while engaging the community and other partners. We will discuss establishing priorities and setting expectations within the broader context of sustainability, while also focusing on specific elements that are most applicable and important to the individual campus. Through award-winning environmental education, technical assistance, certification, and recognition, AI has facilitated the implementation of natural resource management practices on campuses that ensure land, water, wildlife, energy, and other natural resources are sustainably used and conserved. AI has enrolled over 3,000 properties in its certification programs including several college campuses. This approach to environmental management encourages continuous program improvement, ensures that sustainability officers engage the campus community in outreach and education activities that promote awareness about the importance of comprehensive sustainability planning. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Jessica Latus, Director of Sustainable Community Programs
Audubon International


Synergy with Residential Life and Sustainability

Educating students about sustainability can be a challenge in higher education climates, whether it is due to short supply monetary resources or human labor. To overcome this challenge, the Office of Residential Life at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has developed a committee of Resident Assistants (RA) who work with the Office of Sustainability to promote sustainability initiatives and practices to our on-campus student residents. The RA Sustainability committee was formalized in the Fall of 2018 by its designation in the University's Sustainability Strategic Plan as a strategy meant to help the University meet its objective of increasing sustainability awareness and participation across campus. The specific purpose of the committee, which meets monthly with the Office of Sustainability, is to help student residents assimilate to sustainable living on campus and in the community. The role of any RA is to create an environment that encourages social and academic development within a residence hall or on-campus apartment community. Their status as "peers" as well as their frequent contact with students makes RAs the most efficient and impactful option for informing students and modeling behavior related to sustainable living habits. Our committee uses programming to educate on-campus residents about topics and behaviors related to sustainability. This teaches lessons and institutes habits that will benefit both the students and their communities once they leave campus. In its first formal year, the RA sustainability committee has: -Started a successful plastic bag collection and recycling program -Led community bike rides and trips to the local farmers market -Instituted the "Cajuns Don't Waste Room Challenge" where rooms are scored on sustainable topics and given a green certification -Hosted "Energy Week" (educating residents of sustainable living habits) -Conducted many LED light bulb exchanges 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Jonathan Brown, Area Coordinator
University of Louisiana at Lafayette


Teaching Water Sustainability Through Regional and Global Studies at the University of Pittsburgh ,  Presentation (2)

The poster exhibits a multidisciplinary approach to understanding water equity and sustainability in the understudied region of Central Eurasia. The effort is led by faculty from the University of Pittsburgh, who designed and implemented a cycle of three undergraduate courses on the theme "Water in Central Eurasia: Tributaries of Change." Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the courses incorporate multiple subject areas and are offered through the Departments of History and Political Science at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, through the Swanson School of Engineering, and the College of Business Administration. Enrolled students bring technological, economic, and humanistic approaches to water management and further consider these approaches in other world regions and at the global scale. The "Water in Central Eurasia" initiative provides students with skills to create a more sustainable relationship between communities and the environment. Having curriculum that acknowledges shifts in social realities and technical horizons allows students to focus not only on the "bottom line," but also on the real human consequences of water management. By investigating and challenging conventional frameworks in engineering and business courses, students are prepared to think more critically about the commodification of water and can shift their understandings towards a more inclusive economy. This multidisciplinary study of water in Central Eurasia challenges disciplinary silos. The poster will showcase how different analytical frameworks are mobilized in the courses. Combining the study of water with Central Eurasia not only provides a fascinating case study, but also allows students to make multidisciplinary, cross-regional, and global connections crucial to success in today's world. This poster is of interest to faculty and students curious about how collaborative work on sustainability can manifest through the higher education curriculum. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Clara Weibel, Program Assistant
University of Pittsburgh


The Book of Fails - Learning from our mistakes through pictures and storytelling (and a few laughs)

Working in campus sustainability can put you into all kinds of strange situations. From learning that powdered cheese doesn't mix well into wet food scraps in the compost mixer, to figuring out the hard way that your box truck does not fit under the parking garage, the learning-while-you-work model is effective, meaningful, and … usually... very funny. Eventually, anyway. As we work with students from all backgrounds, the learning curve for student interns in the Center for Sustainability looks different for every new group we hire. One integral part of their training is the Book of Fails. Using humor and storytelling, we take new interns through the mistakes their predecessors made in the hopes they can avoid them. Yet, each new group of interns adds their own adventures to the never-ending Book of Fails. In this session, we will share those tales with a larger audience, for educational purposes and the reminder that the serious work of campus sustainability can make for a good laugh. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Krystal Anton, Zero Waste Coordinator
Johnson County Community College


The Energy Challenge as a Tool for Campus Engagement and Sustainability Education

The Center of Sustainability's Energy Challenge was redesigned from previous years which involved competitions between residence halls to reduce their electricity, natural gas and water consumption. The new structure of the energy challenge involved increased individual student participation. The energy challenge involves 5 events: • Plant your own garden • Water your own seeds • Candlelit full moon yoga • Make your own tea and • Open mic nights. At glance, all events seem conventional, but they are designed to focus on behavioral change by committing students to sustainable practices. The events run concurrently with a social media campaign that promotes the events, sustainability and participation. The events create an outreach targeted at creating sustainability awareness for students in a relaxed environment. Students are required to fill pre and post surveys which create opportunity for accountability, encourage commitment and provide data to measure the impact of the events. This has impacted on the students and led to increased awareness on sustainable practices beyond the dorm and college life. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Grace Houser, Undergraduate Energy Lead
University of Denver Center for Sustainability


The Importance of Community, Culture, History, and Education for Sustainability

In this presentation I will share the story of Keokuk, Iowa - my hometown - a river town community along the Mississippi River, which is considered the most dangerous town in Iowa and the town with the highest poverty. Keokuk (population around 10,000) is located in the southeast corner of Iowa and is a beautiful community, however it struggles with low wages, alcohol and drug addiction, environmental pollution, etc... name something negative and most likely you will find it in Keokuk. One woman from Iowa described, "Keokuk [as] a place you don't go out after dark". However, Keokuk also has a rich history that includes Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and Roger Maris. In this case study I will introduce audience members to this Midwest community. I will explain the issues the town is facing and I will highlight the interesting history and culture and discuss the people who call Keokuk home. Then, my presentation will focus on the importance of community members knowing and understanding a community's history. I argue the importance of local schools teaching about a community's cultural history and connecting people from today with people from the past. I also discuss community education, which I believe will help engage citizens, increase "hometown" pride, and spark community revitalization. In my presentation I will discuss how communities can create community education programs to promote cultural education and improve morale and motivate sustainable change. Audience members will be provided a set of tools to take back to their own communities to address sustainable issues through a grassroots movement approach. 

Topic Area

Public Engagement 

Presenter

Renee Harmon, Assistant Professor
Minnesota State University-Moorhead and Colorado State University


Using Complexity Leadership Theory to Achieve Sustainability Goals

This proposal explores how utilizing complexity leadership theory, which is a combination of adaptive, enabling, and administrative leadership, to further campus sustainability goals and initiatives. This presentation will focus on helping attendees understand and access these types of leaders and leadership structures within in their own organizations. Through strategic partnerships, that were developed utilizing these theories, the presenter has accomplished a wide variety of sustainability initiatives, including but not limited to the development of a campus sustainability policy, energy efficiency projects, campus environmental audits, and a range of sustainability focused professional development programs for faculty and staff. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Mackenzie Crigger, Energy and Sustainability Manager
Chapman University


Using Sustainability Principles to Impact Library Education: Information Literacy, Resources and Services

Libraries are the ultimate hubs of sustainability on academic campuses. Libraries are built for everyone, provide services to everyone, and seek to house information – physically and digitally – on every topic. Recently, the American Library Association (ALA) voted to include Sustainability as a core value of Librarianship. This inclusion serves to further the ALA Library Code of Ethics to include making strategic decisions that will affect future generations of library users. Research has long been heralded as a cyclical, instead of linear, process. Borrowing from systems thinking to help explain concepts related to information literacy serves two purposes: To better enable learners to grasp the various factors that impact the research process; and to offer an opportunity to infuse all learning with systems thinking to promote a more mindful, holistic perception of the world.  

Topic Area

Research 

Presenter

Betsy Evans, Education and Outreach Librarian
Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library/Sul Ross State U


Vampire Energy Slayers 2.0 ,  Presentation (2)

The Vampire Energy Slayers program was first developed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). At the University of San Diego, we have embraced the program and aim to quantify the results. The program aims to raise awareness of vampire energy consumption. Vampire energy accounts for over 10% of the electrical consumption of a typical campus, so reducing these loads can create considerable GHG and financial savings. Through this student-led guerilla marketing campaign, we have increased awareness of this issue; now we hope to show that awareness has translated into results. Students serve as vampire energy "Slayers" on days designated by the Sustainability Office. Slayers seek out instances of vampire energy in selected buildings and give a brief overview of vampire energy to occupants. Should an occupant not be present, Slayers place "tickets" on offending appliances. The tickets incorporate humor and education to inform the device owner about vampire energy. Prior to their visits, Slayers learn about vampire energy, its causes, and the benefits of reducing it. They also receive instruction on respecting work environments; Slayers are encouraged to turn off lights in unoccupied areas and computer monitors in common spaces, but personal electronic devices are off-limits. USD Vampire Energy Slayers enjoyed a successful pilot season, with students "slaying" on 22 days in mid-October through early November. Slayers reached 250 employees in seven campus buildings, identifying a total of 455 instances of vampire energy; 77% of offices had 2 or fewer devices. The program will be replicated in Spring 2019 so that we can track if vampire energy consumption has been reduced due to the program, and we intend to share these results in our presentation. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Trey McDonald, Director of Sustainability
University of San Diego

Co-Presenter(s)

Savannah Robledo, Student - Special Projects Intern
University of San Diego

Alison Sanchirico, Sustainability Coordinator
University of San Diego

Rachel Sarner, Student
University of San Diego


When Academics and Operations Collide

This proposal explores how using student senior Capstone projects can push operational activities forward and provide a new understanding of both the student experience and the inter-workings of a university. Projects like these not only help Universities push forward sustainability initiatives, but help to position students to enter the job force with real-world training and experience. They are able to enter organizations and be significant contributors almost immediately, and that raises the profile of the university. 

Topic Area

Campus Engagement & Culture 

Presenter

Mackenzie Crigger, Energy and Sustainability Manager
Chapman University


Why Is It So Darn Hard to Change!

On top of his or her academic studies, thousands of issues bombard students asking them to be concerned about every issue from social inequalities to environmental crisis to political and corporate corruption. With all of that pressure, many students buckle under and simply say that it is too difficult to affect change. Therefore, how do we generate passion around an issue that seems so overwhelming that they view it as being impossible to change? How do we design a course that teaches students to filter through all of the rhetoric to form reasonable solutions to critical issues that threaten sustainability? From the perspective of a Sustainability Coordinator, this session will explore the development of an Introduction to Sustainability course. The session will specifically offer perspectives about how "action assignments" engage students to explore his or her behaviors and how "service learning opportunities" promote academic and personal growth. The presentation will review various online simulations, videos, and other resources used throughout the course. 

Topic Area

Curriculum 

Presenter

Christopher Johnson, Sustainability Coordinator
Winthrop University