Monday, November 24, 2014

Carolina Earns “Bicycle Friendly” Status

UNC is now one of 100 Bicycle Friendly Universities, earning a silver-level distinction from the League of American Bicyclists. The Bicycle Friendly America Program recognizes communities and universities that actively support bicycling. Carolina has been developing a Bike Master Plan to improve bicycle circulation, infrastructure, and parking on campus. Tar Heel Bikes, the university’s first bicycle share program, provides 30 bikes for free, short-term loan, and plans to expand. 

Tar Heels Partner with Sustainable Textile Manufacturer to Support Recycling

With a goal of driving recycling awareness and education among fans, UNC Athletics is the first collegiate athletics program to join REPREVE's #TurnItGreen™ movement. REPREVE, a leading recycled-fiber brand, is made from recyclable materials, including plastic bottles. On December 3, Tar Heels and REPREVE will turn the Dean Dome green by recycling more than 45,000 plastic bottles into REPREVE-based items. “Working with REPREVE gives us the opportunity to show how green our students and fan base can be, and I'm confident they will rise to the challenge,” said Roy Williams, head men's basketball coach at UNC. "Recycling really does make a significant impact, and we want everyone to take what they learn in the stands and put it into action, so that the entire campus community will recycle even more than we do currently.” 

Conservation Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Season

As we look forward to time away from campus, please remember that our building systems continue to operate during the break. With your efforts, we can reduce our environmental impact and costs over the holidays. Before leaving for any extended period, please: 

  • Shut down desktop and laptop computers unless instructed otherwise by IT or administrative staff. If your computer, speakers, phone charger, etc., are all on one power strip, turn off the power strip after shutting down your computer.
  • Unplug nonessential equipment that draws “phantom load”. Copiers, fax machines, printers, scanners, and chargers often use electricity even when turned off or in sleep mode. Warm transformers, chargers, and equipment are an indication that the device is using power. 
  • Unplug appliances, including coffee makers, microwaves, televisions, and radios. Like office equipment, many appliances use electricity even when turned off. 
  • Adjust the thermostat to 65 degrees or less. 
  • Turn off office lights and as much public lighting as possible in hallways, bathrooms, break rooms, and conference rooms. 
  • Check windows to make sure they are tightly closed and locked. 
  • Check faucets in bathrooms and break rooms to make sure they are completely turned off and not dripping. 
  • If you work in a lab with variable air volume fume hoods, shut the sash completely (just as you should any time the hood is not in use). 
  • Call in any leaks or maintenance issues to your Facilities Services team (962-3456 or www.fac.unc.edu) or Housing Support team if you live in the residence halls (966-2471 or Fix My Room).  
These tips will help keep your building safe and energy-efficient. They also apply at home. Post this information to share with colleagues, suitemates, and fellow building occupants.
Read more »

Carolina Ranks 32nd Among World’s Top Research Universities

According to the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Global Universities,” Carolina ranks 32nd among the world’s top 500 research universities and 24th among national research universities. “As a leading global public research university, Carolina inspires research, scholarship, and service on some of the most pressing international issues of our time,” said Chancellor Carol Folt. An inventory of university research that incorporates sustainability themes or addresses sustainability-related challenges can be found on the Sustainability Office website

New “Global Impacts on American Waters” Seminar Course

A new interdisciplinary seminar course on planning sustainable solutions for port communities will be offered this spring. The course explores global impacts on American waters including: water quality and availability; transportation by water, rail, and pipeline; and climate change impacts including sea-level rise, storm, and drought severity. AMST 498 with Professor Rachel Willis is for advanced undergraduates and graduate students, and will meet on Mondays from 3:35-6:25pm. 

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Divert 32,940 Pounds of Trash from Landfill

A district-wide composting and waste education effort, funded by cost-savings from decreased trash removal, has led to an 87% reduction in cafeteria landfill waste. Schools took the first step by transitioning from Styrofoam to compostable cafeteria trays with assistance from local organization Every Tray Counts. More than 8,000 students from elementary and middle schools separate compostable, recyclable, and landfill waste in cafeterias across the district. 

Orange County Public Vehicles recognized as NC Smart Fleet

The NC Smart Fleet initiative, a new, statewide program led by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, recognizes the efficiency efforts of public vehicle fleets. Orange County was recognized as having a NC Smart Fleet for reducing dependence on petroleum by reducing fuel load and adopting more fuel-conserving driving habits. The town of Chapel Hill received a champion level award for reducing emissions over the past three years.
Read more »

State Funding Announced for Clean Water Projects

North Carolina’s waterways, wildlife habitat, and water quality will get a boost thanks to $1.9 million in grant funding for projects that protect and improve ecosystem health and quality. Projects supported by the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program have resulted in the closure of 223 animal waste lagoons, the restoration or conservation of more than 20,700 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat, and environmental education and research initiatives. 

Clinton Global Initiative University

The Clinton Global Initiative University engages the next generation of leaders to develop innovative solutions to global challenges. The 2015 conference will take place at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, from March 6-8, 2015. The final application deadline is December 1, 2014.
Read more »

Apply Now for the EPA P3 Competition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking proposals to research and develop solutions to real world challenges. The People, Prosperity, and Planet Program (P3) will award up to $90K for teams to implement proposals in the field and marketplace. Last cycle award winners include projects on low-cost water quality monitoring, an air conditioning system that runs on solar power, and a campus recycling program for Styrofoam packaging. Submit proposals by December 16. 

Environmental Magazine Call for Submissions

Let the environment inspire you to create and share. eno is run by students in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University to encourage and publish artistic expression that inspires a deeper engagement with the environment. Submissions of writing or art are being accepted until November 26th.

Carolina in the News

Check out recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC: 

15 Years of Leadership in Sustainable Enterprise 
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School was one of the first business schools to offer a comprehensive curriculum in sustainable enterprise that includes experiential learning, enrichment activities, and career development. Today more than 550 MBA students have graduated with a concentration in sustainable enterprise and are pursuing a wide range of careers. “Sustainable enterprise is a strategic strength for UNC Kenan-Flagler,” said Al Segars, faculty director of the School’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise. The school's sustainability initiatives include the Sustainability Leadership Capstone course, a unique model of experiential learning; the Investing for Impact Competition, in which students assess socially and environmentally sustainable firms; and the MBA and undergraduate Net Impact clubs, which have received gold chapter standing for the last three years. 

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at uncnews.unc.edu.

Green Tip

Consider wasting less this Thanksgiving. Plan ahead and practice portion control. After the meal, donate your leftovers to a nearby food bank and don’t forget to compost your food scraps. 

The Water Institute at UNC – Director for Research – NC

City of Raleigh Stormwater Management - Senior Project Engineer – NC

Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) – Senior Planner-Sustainability – NC

Southern Energy Management – Director of First Impressions – NC

NC Division of Air Quality – Environmental Program Consultant – NC

AmeriCorps VISTA – Community Outreach Coordinator and Local Food Access Ambassador – NC

Interpretation and Education Assistant – NC Parks and Recreation – NC

Alliance for Climate Education – Program Associate – NC

Triangle J Council of Governments – Planner II - Energy, Environment and Transportation – NC

Western Carolina University – Coastal Research Scientist – NC

National Parks Business Plan Internship for Graduate Students – Multiple Locations

University of Richmond – Director of Sustainability – VA

University of California – Office of the Chief Investment Officer – Sustainability Director and Sustainability Officer – CA

Pomona College – Energy Manager – CA

Friday, September 26, 2014

UNC Board of Trustees Adopts Proposal to Invest in Clean Energy

The UNC Board of Trustees unanimously adopted the Sierra Student Coalition’s proposal to target clean energy in future investments for the University’s $2.1 billion endowment. The Board resolution encourages the UNC Management Company, which handles the endowment funds, to research investments that advance environmentally-friendly, clean energy strategies. The resolution will not affect current investments in coal-related energy companies. The Sierra Student Coalition led a coal divestment campaign last year that was supported by 77% of voting students. 

New Rankings Showcase Sustainability Initiatives at Carolina

The Sierra Club’s 2014 “Cool Schools” annual sustainability report ranked Carolina 15th out of 173 participating colleges and universities. Carolina was recognized for water reduction and energy savings, and overall, placed first in the state. The University of California Irvine was rated the Number 1 coolest school in the country thanks to its water-recycling program, on-site solar power projects, and summer institute for sustainability leadership. The “Cool Schools” ranking serves as a guide for prospective students to compare schools' commitment to sustainability. 

Best College Rankings published an online list of “100 Colleges Doing Green Right,” which showcases how sustainability-focused college websites communicate with students. The report recognized Carolina’s interactive sustainability map and Climate Action Plan as notable campus sustainability initiatives. 

SaveOnEnergy.com reviewed the sustainability efforts of top football universities, with Carolina ranking 6th out of 25. The review highlights the Rameses Recycles Program for providing recycling to tailgaters, educating fans, composting food waste, and separating trash and recyclables during clean-up.

Learn to Lead Staff Sustainability Efforts

“Making the Workplace More Sustainable,” an interactive staff sustainability workshop, helps participants identify, measure and promote sustainable change opportunities in their work areas. Participants learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. The upcoming, two-day training will be held Tuesday, October 14, and Thursday, October 16, from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, at the Administrative Office Building on Airport Drive. Register soon, space is limited. 

UNC-Led Team Receives $2.2 Million to Develop Water Strategies for Southeast

The Southeastern United States, an area generally accustomed to abundant water supply, faces unprecedented water scarcity caused by global climate change, population growth, and limited new sources. An interdisciplinary team led by Greg Characklis, professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the Center for Watershed Science and Management at the UNC Institute for the Environment, was recently awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Characklis and his team will develop innovative, sustainable strategies for meeting future water demands in the Southeastern United States.

Carolina Recognizes Planning Professor

Daniel A. Rodriguez has been named Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Community Design in the Department of City and Regional Planning and will also join the UNC Institute for the Environment as the director of the Center for Sustainable Community Design. His research focuses on transportation planning and policy, public transit, and the relationship between transportation and the built environment. The professorship was established to support cutting-edge research in sustainable development.

Register Now for “Future Vision: Survival Tactics for Our Changing Environment”

Throughout October, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers will present their findings on urbanization, climate change, water supply, flood protection, and environmental stewardship. The “What’s the Big Idea?” lecture series will be held every Thursday evening in October from 7–8:30 pm at the Friday Center. Each course is $10, or you can register for all four lectures for only $30.

Volunteer Abroad for Sustainability Projects

Help international communities drive sustainable change while earning academic credit with Growth International Volunteer Excursions (GIVE). UNC students can volunteer abroad in Northern Thailand, Nicaragua, and Tanzania for service learning in education, sustainable infrastructure projects, and environmental conservation.

Northside Elementary Becomes NC’s First LEED Platinum Elementary School

Northside Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC, has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. The three-story, 100,000-square-foot school opened in the fall of 2013. The design incorporates a garden roof area, a comprehensive stormwater management plan, permeable pavers, porous playground surfaces, and light shelves to maximize daylight in classrooms and reduce the energy spent for lighting. Northside Elementary is one of only twenty LEED Platinum public schools in the nation, and one of only four elementary schools.

New Community for Student Sustainability Leaders

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) recently launched the EcoLeaders Initiative – an online community for student sustainability leaders to create personal profiles, share current projects, and connect with other student leaders. NWF Campus Ecology works with students to create greener campuses and communities. 

Federal Funding for Carolinas to Gauge Offshore Sand

SCNow.com
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the Carolinas are receiving $400,000 from the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management to evaluate offshore sand deposits. Knowing the locations of sand deposits will help state and local communities maintain their beaches and recover after storms. "The results of this study will help sustain our unique coastline and help to support the substantial positive economic impact the coastline has on the state," said Ken Rentiers, the deputy director of the Land, Water and Conservation Division of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Fixing Climate Change May Add No Cost, Report Says

The New York Times 
A new report casts doubt on the costliness of tackling climate change, claiming that necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate found that measures to limit emissions would cost approximately $4 trillion over the next 15 years, an increase of roughly 5 percent over the amount that would likely be spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and other infrastructure. When the secondary benefits of greener policies — like lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution and reduced medical bills — are taken into account, the changes might help save money. “We are proposing a way to have the same or even more economic growth, and at the same time have environmental responsibility,” said the chairman of the commission, Felipe Calderón, the former president of Mexico and an economist. “We need to fix this problem of climate change, because it’s affecting all of us.” 

Carolina in the News


Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

UNC Researchers Discover “Burping Estuaries”  
Public Radio East 
Large bodies of water absorb and store carbon dioxide. Dr. Hans Paerl, Professor of Marine Sciences at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, and Dr. Joey Crosswell, postdoctoral researcher, discovered that tropical storms and hurricanes can cause stored carbon dioxide to be released all at one time. “Burping estuaries” could be a significant source of CO2 emissions. The only way to lessen the effect is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that humans introduce into the environment. “And so that means controlling emissions, like agricultural emissions,” says Dr. Paerl, “which generate quite a bit of CO2.” 

Kenan-Flagler Business School Honored for Course Innovation 
SFGate 
The Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management and McGraw-Hill selected Lisa Jones Christensen, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, to receive the 2014 Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award. Christensen’s Sustainability Leadership Capstone course uses entrepreneurship to advance leadership skills and students’ knowledge of sustainable business practices through a framework that compares local and international sustainability issues. “They leave the formal classroom behind and join partners to co-create solutions to entrepreneurial challenges using a sustainability lens,” said Jones Christensen.
Read more » 

UNC Student Research Prepares Duplin County for Waste-to-Energy Facilities 
The Herald Sun 
A new plant to capture gas from hog waste and turn it into usable energy has been proposed for Duplin County, NC. As part of the N.C. Strategic Economic Growth initiative, recent UNC graduate Carolyn Fryberger researched fifteen communities with waste-to-energy facilities to help officials understand the potential impacts of hog waste energy generation and address concerns about potential odors. Fryberger reports that the odors can be reduced and controlled. The N.C. Strategic Economic Growth initiative works to help distressed areas by pairing UNC-Chapel Hill MBA students with private company leaders to create economic development plans for communities. 

College Campuses Commit to the Real Food Challenge
GreenBiz 
UNC Chapel Hill is one of 140 universities participating in the Real Food Challenge. An online calculator helps campuses measure and report on sustainably-produced food served to students. Using the Real Food Calculator, UNC is shifting university food spending away from industrial agriculture and empty calories and towards local, fair, ecologically sound, and humanely produced food. Last semester, student researchers at Carolina found that 26% of food served on campus in February was “Real Food.” Over 600 student researchers across the U.S. have used the online tool to review 84,297 products and $71 million worth of campus food purchases. 

Why Environmental Rankings Should Include Social Impact 
The Guardian 
While everybody loves a good top-10 list, sustainability rankings often fail to include social metrics that provide a more complete picture of a company's societal impact. Carol Hee, director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, says that if we define sustainability as the “triple bottom line” – measuring business performance in terms of its effects on people, the planet and profit –corporate executives and stakeholders are provided with a comprehensive lens through which to assess sustainability. To determine whether a company is authentically sustainable, Hee seeks information on the management team, the firm’s corporate governance and the culture. “I’d also want to know whether the firm was socially responsible,” she said. “How does the firm treat its employees, retirees and job applicants? Does the firm have non-discriminatory practices, pay a fair wage, offer safe working conditions and benefits like health care and paid time off?” Hee argues that social responsibility stretches beyond a company’s walls, extending to its interactions with overseas workers and the local community. 
Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories AND compiling the summaries! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at uncnews.unc.edu.

Green Tip

September is National Wilderness Month. Consider taking a day trip to one of North Carolina’s beautiful and historic wilderness areas. Be sure to stay on designated paths, pack-in, pack-out, and bring plenty of water. Read more »

Environment America – Undergraduate Internships – Nationwide

The Water Institute at UNC – Multiple Positions – NC

SEEDS – Multiple Positions – NC

AmeriCorps VISTA – Multiple Positions – NC

Department of Environment & Natural Resource – Multiple Positions – NC

Southern Energy Management – Solar PV Technician – NC

Learning Outside – Outdoor Educator – NC

Yadkin Riverkeeper – Riverkeeper Position – NC

Wesleyan University – Grounds Manager – CT

Waterkeeper Alliance – Multiple Positions – NY

The Post-Landfill Action Network – Director of Development – NH

Second Nature, Inc. – Administrative Assistant – MA

Tufts University – Program Administrator, Institute of the Environment – MA

Concordia College – Sustainability Coordinator – MN

University of California, Santa Barbara – Events Manager, Sustainability Conference – CA

California State University, Chico – Sustainability Coordinator – CA

Monday, July 28, 2014

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

Oyster Reefs Grow Faster than Sea-Level Rise
Phys Org (Research and Technology News)
Rising sea levels due to climate change and ice melt are threatening coastal ecosystems. Oyster reefs are particularly sensitive to additional habitat loss. Ninety-five percent of oyster reefs on the East Coast have already been lost due to habitat degradation and overfishing. Biologists Tony Rodriguez and Joel Fodrie at The University of North Carolina Marine Science Institute are studying how oyster reefs respond to sea-level rise and how shoreline restoration improves their chance of survival. They discovered that oyster reefs can grow up to ten times faster than previous estimates, fast enough to outpace even the most extreme predictions of sea-level rise. Their work provides guidance to produce the biggest and healthiest reef. Read more » 

Water Conservation and Financial Stability
National Geographic
Pricing is a powerful tool for shaping behavior, including water use. More water utilities are adopting water rates designed to encourage customers to conserve. This is great news from a conservation standpoint, but the unintended result can be unexpected reductions in revenue for water utilities. The Environmental Finance Center at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill developed a tool to help water systems anticipate revenue risks. The Water Utility Revenue Risk Assessment Tool allows users to compare two different rate structures and to assess which one offers greater revenue resiliency. Read more » 

Air Pollution Controls Lower NC Death Rates
Newsobserver.com; Nature
Researchers at Stanford University found that climate change is leading to global air stagnation, which worsens air quality by trapping pollution in the lower atmosphere. “This study shows how widespread the effects of air stagnation will be,” says Jason West, an environmental scientist at UNC Chapel Hill. Poor air quality results in more cases of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases. Over the past few decades, policies in response to legislation such as the Clean Air Act and North Carolina’s 2002 Clean Smokestacks Act have improved NC’s air quality. Sulfur dioxide emissions in NC have dropped 92 percent since 2005, and half of NC’s aging coal plants have shut down. In order to determine whether stricter pollution controls have affected public health in North Carolina, researchers at Duke University combined environmental and health-related data from 1993 to 2010. The study found a correlation between air pollution control and a substantial decline in deaths from respiratory illnesses such as asthma and emphysema. Read more » 

Scientists Map Sea Floor for Wind Energy
Newsobserver.com; UNC-TV
North Carolina’s coastline boasts some of the strongest and steadiest winds in the nation. To determine appropriate locations for offshore wind turbines, marine science researchers at UNC are working to map and explore North Carolina’s sea floor. Avery Paxton, a graduate student in Biology at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, studies the rocky reefs off of North Carolina’s coast. Paxton identifies important reefs that must be protected from wind turbine construction. To identify ideal wind turbine locations, researchers at UNC Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences deployed two buoys between Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras to collect information on water and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic. Researchers at UNC are part of a joint research effort to map the sea floor for wind energy, led by The National Ocean Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, UNC and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Only 7 percent of the Southeast’s sea floor has been mapped with modern sonars and hydrographical surveys. Read more » 

UNC Creates a Renewable Energy Future
Rocky Mountain Institute
The oldest public university in the nation is embracing modern technologies to fulfill its commitment to the state’s environmental health and the efficient use of energy. The University of North Carolina recently sent a team to Rocky Mountain Institute’s eLab Accelerator to learn how it can employ more renewable energy on its 17 campuses. The team focused on solar photovoltaics as a potentially valuable source of energy for the UNC system. The team learned that the North Carolina utility and regulatory environment presents challenges to emerging renewable energy business models, and that solar energy as a grid resource is largely undervalued. Also, given the current tax‐credit business models and the UNC system’s capital availability, building and financing large‐scale renewable energy resources will require external sources of funding. During Accelerator, the UNC team developed a list of funding options, identified primary team members, met and built relationships with utility representatives, further developed their project vision, and came up with a plan for next steps. The team is developing techniques that will benefit North Carolina in the future. UNC currently spends about $1,000 per student per year on energy. Its financial goal is to save the state $1 billion over 20 years. Read more » 

 
Discovering New N.C. Plants in the 21st Century
Charlotteobserver.com
In North Carolina, two or three new plant species are described and given scientific names each year. For 25 years, Alan Weakley, director of the UNC Herbarium, has been writing “The Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States,” an ever-growing book that now describes 7,000 plant species. The most recent draft is available online at the UNC Herbarium website, and Weakley’s work will soon be available as an app called FloraQuest. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories AND compiling the summaries! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at http://uncnews.unc.edu.

Green Tip

Fresh produce is easy to come by this time of year. Try pickling fresh cucumbers and other vegetables while they are in season. Pickles stay eco-friendly year-round. Read more »

UNC Earns Gold in National Sustainability Assessment

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) is a comprehensive, objective, and transparent reporting tool that measures sustainability performance of colleges and universities nationwide. STARS participants pursue credits and earn points to achieve a STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating.

The Sustainability Office is proud to announce that UNC Chapel Hill has earned a gold rating in STARS 2.0. This achievement recognizes the University's progress and opportunities for improvement in all areas of education, research, operations, planning, administration, engagement, and innovation.

STARS is a valuable tool to help Carolina measure its progress in achieving environmental quality, economic prosperity, and societal well‐being in the campus community and beyond. Comparing Carolina’s first AASHE STARS report, which received a silver rating in 2011, to this recent report, highlights improvement:

  • Energy use is down 33% per square foot since 2003 and potable water use is down 60% per square foot since 2000. 
  • More than 400 researchers, or 15% of the faculty, are engaged in sustainability research.
  • More than 11% of classes incorporate sustainability themes or address sustainability challenges. 

The STARS process is a collaborative, campus-wide effort in assessing and reporting the integration of sustainability into Carolina’s policies, practices, curriculum, research and behaviors. "We are proud to be a charter STARS participant and to attain a STARS Gold rating. Sustainability is a core value at Carolina and we are committed to advancing sustainability in all our endeavors," stated UNC Chancellor Carol Folt in submitting the University's STARS report. The University's complete AASHE STARS report is now publicly available online at https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-chapel-hill-nc/report/2014-07-18/

Federal Funding to Expand Solar Energy Research at UNC

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences has granted $10.8 million in research funding to the Energy Frontier Research Center for Solar Fuels (EFRC) at UNC Chapel Hill. This award, part of a $100 million per year initiative from the Department of Energy, will be used for research to develop devices with earth-abundant materials that generate and store solar fuels for long durations at low cost. “We are delighted with the news of continued support by the Department of Energy for our leading edge research on a new approach to solar energy conversion and storage,” said Thomas J. Meyer, Arey Professor of Chemistry. The EFRC for Solar Fuels collaborates with researchers from the University of Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Research Triangle Institute and receives strong institutional support from UNC. Read more »

Staff Sustainability Training, Tuesday, October 14, and Thursday, October 16

Sustainability is a core value and top-level priority at Carolina. Success depends on each of us taking an active role. Be the leader in your workplace by learning practical steps to become more economically, environmentally, and socially responsible. This workshop will help participants identify, measure, and promote sustainable change opportunities in their areas. Participants will learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. The upcoming two-day training will be held Tuesday, October 14, and Thursday, October 16, from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, at the Administrative Office Building on Airport Drive. Register soon, space is limited. Read more »

Carolina-Led Global Health Consortium Awarded $180 Million

The Carolina Population Center has received a five-year, $180 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for its Monitoring and Evaluation to Assess and Use Results (MEASURE) Evaluation project. MEASURE evaluates public health programs around the world to ensure that government funds are used effectively and support improvements in health and nutrition. This is the second-largest award ever received by UNC Chapel Hill. Read more »

Researchers Ponder Power from Pig Methane


Eastern North Carolina is home to the densest industrial swine farming activity in the world. High concentrations of swine waste affect environmental quality, public health and property values in neighboring communities. The Kenan Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill, in close partnership with the Department of City and Regional Planning and Duke University’s Carbon Offsets Initiative, is investigating the potential to utilize swine waste for electricity production and other uses. Swine waste-to-energy development can mitigate community impacts while creating new forms of revenue from on-farm electricity production. Read more »

EPA Awards $2 Million to Environmental Finance Center at UNC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $2 million to the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) to improve the nation’s smallest water systems. Housed in UNC’s School of Government, the EFC will team up with the Environmental Finance Center Network and the American Water Works Association to improve water system management. “Small water systems comprise more than 94 percent of the nation’s 157,000 public water systems and struggle much more to meet clean drinking water standards than their larger counterparts,” said Glenn Barnes, senior project director of the UNC EFC. Twenty-five percent of the nation’s smallest water systems violated health-based standards in 2011. Read more »

Environmental Finance Applied Abroad

A three-week Applied International Environmental Finance program in Quito, Ecuador, brings students, researchers and environmental professionals together to discuss environmental projects and services financing. The Environmental Finance Center at UNC, in collaboration with TripleSalto, sponsors this course in response to growing interest in applied international environmental finance among public administration, public health, and environmental engineering masters students at Carolina. Students enrolled in the course plan to share findings with governmental officials and local non-profits to establish a sustainable funding mechanism for environmental programs. Read more »

May and June Were Hottest on Record

The world experienced record heat throughout the last two months. May and June 2014 were the warmest globally since records began in 1880, with temperature averages 1.3°F higher than the averages for both months. The average global temperature in May was 59.9°F, and the average global temperature in June was 61.2°F. Research suggests that the timing and intensity of the next El Niño will determine whether or not 2014 becomes the hottest year on record. Read more »

UNC Asheville Announces New Sustainability Institute

The McCullough Institute for Conservation, Land Use and Environmental Resiliency at the University of North Carolina at Asheville will be a national model for blending environmental study with business and sustainable economic growth. Students will study data analytics and mapping, environmental and administrative law, new technology applications, and critical ecosystem preservation. “There has never been a greater demand for graduates with expertise in managing the urban, environmental and agricultural challenges that are changing the way businesses plan for the future,” said Chancellor Anne Ponder. Read more »

N.C. Solar Center Changes its Name to N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center

The N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University has changed its name to the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center to reflect the progress of the clean energy industry. The Center serves as a resource for innovative, clean energy technologies through demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. Over the past 25 years, The Center has been at the forefront of North Carolina’s growth and authority in clean energy technologies. Today, North Carolina supports more than 15,000 direct jobs at more than 1,000 companies in the clean energy sector. Read more »

New Initiatives Support National Climate Agenda

The New York Times
The White House announces a new series of climate change initiatives to guard the electricity supply, improve local planning for floods, storms and erosion, and enhance landslide risk predictions. Federal actions include a $236.3 million award to advance electricity infrastructure in the rural areas of eight states and a $10 million program to train Native American tribes on climate change adaptations. Read more »

EPA Proposes HFC Ban

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals used for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, contribute to global temperature increases. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a ban on HFCs where climate-friendly alternatives are available. The EPA estimates that carbon dioxide pollution in the Earth’s atmosphere would be reduced by 42 million metric tons within five years if legislation passes. Read more »

Water Institute Hosts Worldwide Competition

The Future Technologies for Water competition aims to identify breakthrough technologies for safe water with a sustainable business plan. A first-place prize of $15,000 and a second-place prize of $5,000, sponsored by the Takata Corporation, will be awarded to the two top finalists. Applications are due by July 31, 2014. Read more »

Global Food Security Student Fellowship

The Kirchner Food Fellowship Program fosters the development of practical skills and knowledge to make effective investments in emerging agricultural technologies and sustainable global food security. Fellows receive mentoring from investors and engage in face-to-face and on-line education experiences throughout the 16 week program. Applications are due by July 28. Read more »

Mountains to the Sea AmeriCorps Program – Full-Time Service Positions – NC

N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center – Clean Power and Industrial Efficiency Project Coordinator – NC

N.C. Zoo – Children’s Play Leader – NC

Chimney Rock State Park – Seasonal Naturalist/Trail Guide – NC

Johnston County Public Utilities Department – Stormwater Engineer – NC

Johnston County Public Utilities Department – Water Distribution Technician – NC

Sturgeon City – Seasonal Part-time Educator – NC

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association – Campaign Coordinator – NC

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association – Executive Assistant to the Executive Director – NC

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association – Government Affairs Associate – NC

Florida State University – Sustainable Campus Program Associate – FL

University of South Florida – Assistant Professor in Infrastructure Planning for Urban Resource Management – FL

University of South Florida – Assistant Professor in Integrated Systems Analysis and Sustainability – FL

University of South Florida – Research Assistant Professor – FL

Florida State University – Solid Waste & Recycling Program Associate – FL

Tufts University Office of Sustainability – Communications Specialist – MA

Second Nature, Inc. – President – MA

Second Nature, Inc. – Administrative Assistant – MA

Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College – Director – MA

Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College – Facilities Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator – OH

Falk School of Sustainability at Chatham University – Dean – PA

Wesleyan University – Grounds Manager – CT

University of Texas at Austin – Building Energy and Resource Steward – TX

Central College – Director of Sustainability Education – IA

Western State Colorado University – Executive Director and Lecturer in Environment and Sustainability – CO

University of Calgary Office of Sustainability – Sustainability Engagement Manager – Canada

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Green Tip

Plan on vacationing along the coast this summer? Help protect our beaches by avoiding walking on the sand dunes that protect our coastlines and packing reusable water bottles and food containers to prevent waste. At home, remember that what goes down the drain or soaks into your lawn ends up in the ocean. Are you properly disposing of cooking grease, pet waste, and household chemicals? Read more »

UNC Chapel Hill Grounds Department - Stormwater Supervisor – Chapel Hill, NC

UNC’s Department of Public Safety – Transportation Marketing Coordinator – Chapel Hill, NC

UNC’s Energy Services Department – Water Resources Engineer – Chapel Hill, NC

North Carolina State University – Energy Data Analyst – Raleigh, NC

Johnston County Public Utilities Department – Stormwater Engineer – NC

Johnston County Public Utilities Department – Water Distribution Technician – NC

Seasonal Part-time Environmental Educator – Sturgeon City, Jacksonville, NC

Mountains to the Sea AmeriCorps Program – Full-Time Service Positions – NC

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association – Campaign Coordinator – NC


North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association – Executive Assistant to the Executive Director – NC

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association – Government Affairs Associate – NC

Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College – Facilities Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator – OH

Oregon University – Environmental and Community Engagement Coordinator – OR

University of Maryland Department of Transportation Services – Assistant Director of External Communications and Sustainability Initiatives – MD

Wesleyan University – Grounds Manager – CT

University of Florida – Sustainability Program Coordinators – Tampa, FL

University of South Florida – Assistant Professor in Infrastructure Planning for Urban Resource Management - Tampa, FL

University of South Florida – Assistant Professor in Integrated Systems Analysis and Sustainability – FL

University of South Florida – Research Assistant Professor - Tampa, FL

Second Nature, Inc. – President – MA

Second Nature, Inc. – Administrative Assistant – MA

Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College – Director – MA

University of Texas at Austin – Building Energy and Resource Steward – TX

Central College – Director of Sustainability Education – Pella, IA

Western State Colorado University – Executive Director and Lecturer in Environment and Sustainability – CO

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

Solar Farm Planned North of Chapel Hill
Newsobserver.com
Sunlight Partners may be building a 4-megawatt solar farm just north of Chapel Hill. At a recent public hearing, local residents expressed concern over potential effects of the farm, such as noise, traffic, potential chemical leaks, increased stormwater runoff and sunlight glare. Solar researchers report traffic is minimal once a farm is built, and the sound generated usually can’t be heard 50 to 100 feet away, according to a 2012 UNC School of Government report. The inverter, which converts the power before it enters the electrical grid, sounds like an air conditioner, and vegetation under the solar panels continues to absorb runoff, the report says. The glare risk is typically in early morning or late evening, it says. Sunlight Partners would sell the electricity to Duke Energy. Read more »

Offshore Wind Farms Work like Hurricane Speed Bumps
Discovery News
Scientists at the University of Delaware and Stanford University say that in addition to generating several thousand megawatts of electricity, giant wind farms could also help mitigate the destructive forces of hurricanes. Simulations showed that wind turbines could reduce a hurricane’s wind speeds by as much as 92 miles per hour. “If you pack enough of these in, it seems like it’s realistic to think you can take some of the punch out of the storm,” said Rick Luettich, director of UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences and the Center for Natural Hazards and Disasters. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories AND compiling the summaries! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at uncnews.unc.edu.

Bioinformatics Building Ranks 4th in EPA’s Battle of the Buildings

UNC’s Bioinformatics Building ranked fourth among 3,200 competitors in the EPA’s 2013 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition. Bioinformatics reduced its energy use by 36% over the last year through various energy saving strategies, including HVAC tuning and optimization and occupant education and outreach. Building energy savings resulted in avoided costs of $317,307 and prevented 1,204 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions of 110 homes. Together, competitors reduced their energy costs by more than $100 million. Read more »

Environmental Protection Agency Proposes CO2 Emission Limits for Power Plants

As part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed new standards for power plants that will reduce carbon emissions by 30% over 15 years. The regulations are the first of their kind for the fleet of existing power plants which currently produce 39% of U.S. emissions. The proposal is expected to maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while ensuring a healthier environment, spurring innovation, and strengthening the economy. Read more »

Chapel Hill-Durham Light Rail Moves Forward

The Chapel Hill-Durham Light Rail project has received approval to begin planning the 17- mile route from UNC Hospitals to east Durham. The project development phase is scheduled to take two years. Voters in Durham and Orange counties recently approved a one-half cent sales tax to fund the rail project along with new and expanded bus service. Read more » 


UNCG Works to Eliminate Junk Mail on Campus

The Spartan Mail Management system at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro emails students to pick up mail at a central campus location instead of assigning individual mail boxes. The modernized mail system decreases junk mail and saves space. Read more »

North Carolina in LEED Top 10

Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance, green buildings. North Carolina ranks 7th in the nation for LEED development, and is one of only two southeastern states to make the top ten list with 133 building projects certified, or 1.8 square feet per person, in 2013. Read more »

Durham and Orange Counties Propose Expanded Public Transit

New bus routes to expand Orange County Public Transit and Triangle Transit services into central and rural Orange County were recently proposed to Orange County Commissioners. The Orange-Durham Express route would provide peak-hour, commuter services between the county, Duke and VA Hospitals, and downtown Durham. The route would also provide a connection to Route 420 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, DATA routes in Durham, and potential future connections with PART in Mebane. All proposed services would be fare-free. Read more »

Local, Sustainable Food Available for Pick-Up

Firsthand Foods, a local distributor of sustainably produced meat and a vendor to UNC’s dining halls, will soon provide (M)eat Local Boxes for pickup. The boxes are part of a seasonal, subscription-based program that provides monthly delivery of local, pasture-raised pork and beef at select drop-off locations in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Firsthand Foods was founded by UNC grads in 2010 and works with 60 local farmers. Read more »

Bee Biodiversity Can Double the Value of Crop Yields

A study by researchers at NC State University found that blueberry crops yield up to twice as much fruit when pollinated by multiple species of bees. This is partially due to contrasting behavior between species and their response to inclement weather. Berries visited by more than one type of bee are more likely to be pollinated. Blueberries are an economically important crop in the state and each of the five species of bee studied contributes an estimated $1.42 million worth of yield annually. Read more »

Apply for 2014 Service Learning Initiative

The Service-Learning Initiative provides incoming first-year and transfer students with an immersive introduction to the array of service opportunities in and around Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Over three days in the week before classes start, participants can become more aware of local social justice issues, form lasting friendships with other engaged students, and learn to use reflection as a tool for making meaning out of service experiences. SLI 2014 will take place Aug. 13 -15. Apply by July 20. Read more »

Volunteer – Town of Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation – July 4th celebration

The Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation department needs volunteers for the annual 4th of July celebration as well as the reoccurring Live and Local Music and Art series every Friday until June 27. Events are free, and volunteers are needed to help with set up and break down, information booths, and event evaluations.
For details, contact Amanda Fletcher (afletcher@townofchapelhill.org) or call 919-968-2878.

Friday, January 24, 2014

UNC Ranked 8th in the World for Campus Sustainability

The Universitas Indonesia’s annual GreenMetric report rates campuses worldwide on their sustainability programs. For the second year in a row, Carolina ranked 8th in the world and third in the United States out of 301 universities. Campuses were evaluated in six categories: setting and infrastructure; energy and climate change; waste management; water usage; transportation; and education. The Tar Heel Bikes share program and increase in the number of sustainability-related courses were noted among accomplishments and helped Carolina hold its standing. The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom ranked first, and three other U.S. universities—Northeastern, University of Connecticut, University of California Davis, and North Carolina A&T State University— made the top ten list. To see complete rankings, read more »

EcoReps Student Training, Saturday, January 25

EcoReps are Carolina’s trained peer-to-peer sustainability outreach team. Learn about campus sustainability initiatives that advance ecological integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity. Then learn the skills needed to effectively engage others. Training is scheduled for Saturday, January 25, from 10 am - 3 pm at the FPG Student Union, room 3209, and counts as a Public Service Scholars Skills Training. Email ecoreps.uncch@gmail.com to sign up for the training.

Koury Oral Health Sciences Building Awarded LEED Gold Certification

Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction, and operation of high performance, green buildings. The Koury Oral Health Sciences Building achieved LEED Gold certification for incorporating a variety of sustainable strategies, including building orientation to optimize natural daylight, energy efficient fume hoods, and a condensate capture system that basically wrings out building humidity and reuses it for irrigation. The Koury Oral Health Sciences Building is the second campus building to receive Gold certification, following the Genome Sciences Building. LEED certified buildings save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to a healthier environment. View the Koury Oral Health Sciences LEED Scorecard to learn about the high performance building features.

Staff Sustainability Training, Tuesday, February 18, and Thursday, February 20

Sustainability is a core value and top-level priority at Carolina. Success depends on each of us taking an active role. Be the leader in your workplace by learning practical steps to become more economically, environmentally, and socially responsible. This workshop will help participants identify, measure, and promote sustainable change opportunities in their areas. Participants will learn about sustainability goals and initiatives at UNC, become “green events” certified, and learn how to conduct a Workplace Sustainability Assessment. Training is scheduled for two four-hour sessions, Tuesday, February 18, and Thursday, February 20, from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, at the Administrative Office Building. Register soon, space is limited. Read more »

Bioinformatics Building Currently Ranks #3 in Battle of the Buildings

UNC’s Bioinformatics Building is currently in 3rd place as more than 3,200 competitors in EPA’s ENERGY STAR competition reach the halfway point. The Bioinformatics Building has reduced energy use by 31% in just six months through a variety of strategies, including reprogramming HVAC computer controls, HVAC tuning and optimization, and occupant education and outreach. So far, the top performing buildings of the competition have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 150,000 MtCO2e, which is equivalent to taking more than 31,000 cars off the road. Read more »

2013 Strategic Energy and Water Plan Now Available

2013 marked a year of significant accomplishments in UNC’s energy and water conservation efforts. Energy consumption per square foot has declined 33% since FY 2003 while potable water consumption per square foot has fallen 60% since FY 2000. Other key highlights include:

  • Cogeneration systems efficiently produce both steam – used for heating, humidification, domestic hot water, sterilization, and making distilled water in laboratories – and one-third of the campus peak electrical load. 
  • The new generator at Carolina North converts gas from the Orange County landfill into electricity for the grid. During the first five months of operation, the generator used 42 million cubic feet of landfill gas, and generated over 2.5 million kilowatt hours of power. 
  • Two new laboratory buildings— the Koury Oral Health Sciences Building and the Genome Sciences Building—are designed for minimum energy intensity and are LEED Gold certified. 
  • An integrated non-potable water system, including reclaimed water, stormwater, and condensate, supplies over 175 million gallons of non-drinking water for cooling tower make-up water, toilet flushing, and irrigation. 
The full 2013 Strategic Energy and Water Plan is available online.

New Virtual Resource Focusing on Water

Inspired by the campus “Water In Our World” theme, a new online exhibit explores the role of water in Carolina’s history. Photos and stories document important water features and events on campus. The exhibit is a collaboration between the University Library and the UNC Center for the Study of the American South. Read more »

North Carolina’s First Energy Policy Advisor Named

North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources named Donald van der Vaart as the state’s first energy policy advisor. Previously serving as an engineering supervisor with the department’s Division of Air Quality, van der Vaart has an extensive background in energy, along with environmental and regulatory work in academia, state government, and the private sector. Van der Vaart will focus on increasing domestic energy exploration, development, and production in North Carolina, as well as promoting related economic growth and job creation. Read more »

NC State Leads New Manufacturing Hub in Raleigh

North Carolina State University will lead a new high-tech manufacturing hub on campus, collaborating with businesses and universities to develop next-generation power electronics. The Department of Energy is granting $70 million over five years, and participating businesses, universities, and the state will match that amount. The state of North Carolina has committed a minimum of $10 million throughout five years. The initial consortium will seek to invent, design, and make new semiconductor chips and devices for industrial and everyday electronics. Read more »

The Chapel Hill Farmers' Market Now Accepting Applications

The Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market is entering its sixth year at University Mall and is now accepting applications for the 2014 market season. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2014. Read more »

The Pate Scholarship for 2014 Cambridge Field Site

The Pate Scholarship offers financial support for the 2014 Cambridge field site study abroad program. This scholarship is awarded based on merit and need. Students will need to file a FAFSA to qualify. Apply by February 20, 2014. Read more »

The Marine Technology Society Student Scholarship Program

A professional society of ocean engineers, policy makers, and educators, MTS offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students studying marine sciences. Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2014, and are available for MTS student members only. Student Membership for full-time college students and high school seniors and is only $25 per year. Click here to apply for membership. Read more »

Water Environment Federation Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship

The Water Environment Federation Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship provides funding to support education-related expenses. Recipients of the scholarship are expected to work in the water environment field for two years following completion of their degree. Apply by March 1, 2014. Read more »

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC:

Carolina is #1 academic value among public campuses for 13th time in a row 
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine 
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks as the number one value in American public higher education for the 13th consecutive year. UNC’s combination of stellar academics, low cost, and generous financial aid has once again bested its peers. For academic quality, UNC competes with elite private schools. Its 28% admission rate—even more selective than last year’s—means that only the most competitive applicants gain entry. Most students graduate on time, with 77% completing their degrees in four years. UNC is the only school on the list to meet 100% of financial need. Read more »

Researchers project N.C. ‘megalopolis’ by 2050 
wral.com 
North Carolina is expected to grow by at least a million people a decade for the next few decades, and researchers are beginning to get a sense of where they're all going to end up. Rebecca Tippett, with the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says it’s projected that, by 2050, there will be a megalopolis – defined as an area that includes several large cities – along the Charlotte, Triad, and Triangle corridor. Researchers at UNC believe city and county planners need to come together to best decide how they want this potential mega-region to look decades from now. Read more »

UNC researchers convert solar energy into fuel 
wunc 91.5 North Carolina Public Radio
The Energy Frontier Research Center at UNC-Chapel Hill has built a system that converts solar energy into fuel, so power can be used even after the sun sets. Instead of storing solar electricity in an expensive battery, researchers use the sun's energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. Chemistry Professor Tom Meyer says the method could be useful and cost-effective for power utilities someday. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories AND compiling the summaries! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at http://uncnews.unc.edu.
January is National Soup Month. Warm up with a bowl of stewed fresh winter produce from the Farmers’ Market or simmered lentils, split peas, or beans from the bulk section of your local grocer. Make a big pot and freeze for later or share with friends. Here are three hot recipes to bring to a boil.

UNC – Greenhouse Gas Specialist – NC

UNC – Undergraduate Summer Research – NC

UNC – Energy Management – Undergraduate Intern – NC


Advanced Energy – Transportation Outreach Coordinator – NC

East Carolina University – Energy Manager – NC

Conservation Trust for North Carolina – Interns – NC

North Carolina Botanical Garden – Conservation Intern – NC

Farm Labor Organizing Committee – Field Organizer – NC

North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps – Crew Member – NC

Virginia Commonwealth University – Director of Sustainability – VA

John Hopkins University – Associate Sustainability Outreach Coordinator – MD

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Collegiate Leaders in Environmental Health – GA

LearnLab – Research Assistant – PA

Stetson University – Assistant Professor in Environmental Science and Studies – FL

Stetson University – Professor/Department Chair in Environmental Science and Studies – FL

Southern Illinois University – Undergraduate Research Experience in Convergence Ecology – IL

University of Illinois at Springfield – Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies (Sustainability) – IL

Wayne State University – Sustainability Internships – MI

Bard College – MBA in Sustainability – Assistant Director – NY

Bard College – MBA in Sustainability – Graduate Admissions Assistant – NY

Harvard University – Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology – MA

Plymouth State University – Hubbard Brook Research Experience for Undergraduates – NH

University of Texas at Austin – Environmental Science Institute – Research Experience for Undergraduates in Global Change and Sustainability – TX

University of Texas at Austin – Research Experience for Undergraduates in Subtropical Marine Ecosystems – TX

Kansas State University – Biology Research Experience for Undergraduates – KS

University of Arizona – Biosphere 2 Research Experience for Undergraduates – AZ

Gonzaga University – Director of Sustainability – WA

University of California, San Diego – Engineers for Exploration – CA

University of Central Oklahoma – Research Experience for Undergraduates – Turkey

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Prepare Your Campus Building for Holiday Break

As we look forward to time away from campus, please remember that our building systems continue to operate during the break. With your efforts, we can reduce our environmental impact and costs over the holidays. Read more »


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

University of Mississippi – Foodways Assistant Professor – MS

Washington and Lee University – Director of Sustainability Initiatives – VA

The Chapel Hill and Carrboro Police Departments accept unused or expired medications for safe disposal. Pharmaceuticals should not be flushed down the toilet where they can contaminate the water supply. Read more for Drug Drop Box locations »

Genome Sciences Building Wins Sustainability Award

The U.S. Green Building Council North Carolina Chapter recently awarded UNC’s Genome Sciences Building the 2013 Thomas Edison Award for Sustainability. The new Genome Sciences Building and Bell Tower amphitheater provide a vital link between north campus and the medical school and were built on a former surface parking lot. The LEED Gold building features energy efficient lighting, high-performance glazing, special concrete for thermal performance, integrated shading devices, non-potable water supplies, chilled beams in the laboratories, and a green roof. Read more »

UNC Sophomores Launch Electric Car Shuttle Service

Launched by two sophomore business students, Joey Skavroneck and Parker Draughon, Buzz Rides provides free, late-night transportation to UNC students using a fleet of four, small electric cars. Parties of four or more students can use the taxi-like service for rides to destinations that are within two miles of campus. The founders obtained advice from the 1789 student business incubator and investors funded the vehicles. Buzz Rides also provides mobile, interactive advertising. Read more »

UNC Charlotte Opens Football Stadium as “Zero Waste Facility”

Three games into its inaugural season, the new stadium has achieved an estimated 85-90% waste diversion rate. Guests are allowed to bring in clear, empty water bottles that can be filled at water bottle filling stations and concessions sold at the stadium are either recyclable or compostable. The only available trash cans are located in the stadium restrooms. Read more »

Duke Energy Proposes Clean Energy Purchasing Program

Tech companies with energy intensive data centers in North Carolina, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, asked Duke Energy to help them meet their climate commitments by selling more renewably sourced electricity. Duke Energy submitted its Green Source Rider to the North Carolina Utilities Commission in November. Large customers will be able to purchase up to 1 million megawatt hours of green energy by paying a premium for the power. Duke Energy Carolinas owns primarily nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, and hydroelectric plants. The Green Source Rider is expected to accelerate the demand for solar energy projects, which are falling in price. Read more »

Department Of Energy Dedicates Clean Energy Research Center

A new Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) will help manufacturers, utilities, and researchers overcome the challenges of integrating clean energy technology into the current energy infrastructure. Located on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus in Golden, Colorado, the ESIF is the nation’s first major research facility to focus on clean energy grid integration and wide-scale deployment. Read more »

UNC Publishes 2013 Campus Sustainability Report

The 2013 Campus Sustainability Report was presented to Chancellor Folt and the UNC community on November 15th, at the Campus Sustainability and America Recycles Day event. This comprehensive assessment of sustainable policies, practices, curricula, and behaviors highlights Carolina’s adoption of sustainability as a core value and strategic planning tool. Key findings include: 

  • Energy saving measures resulted in a 33% reduction in energy use per square foot since 2003. 
  • Investments in reclaimed water, harvested rainwater, and water efficiency have reduced Carolina’s potable water use by 60% per square foot since 2000. 
  • Two new laboratory buildings- the Koury Oral Health Sciences Building and the Genome Sciences Building- are certified LEED Gold.
  • Over 330 undergraduate and graduate courses offer sustainability-related content.
  • Expanded recycling and composting programs and a growing number of “Carolina Green Certified” events are reducing the campus waste stream.
  • The first pan-campus theme, a three-year focus on “Water In Our World,” encourages collaboration and engagement to address the many dimensions of water in our lives.
  • $778 million in research funding provides more opportunities for students and faculty to address the greatest challenges of our times.
  • 25% of food purchased by Carolina Dining Services (CDS) is obtained within 250 miles of campus or is third party certified. 

The full 2013 Campus Sustainability Report is available online through the Sustainability Office website. Please email the Sustainability Office if you would like to receive a hard copy of the report.

Clinton Global Initiative University

The Clinton Global Initiative University engages the next generation of leaders to develop innovative solutions to global challenges. The 2014 conference will take place at Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ, from March 21-23, 2014. The final application deadline is January 17, 2014. Read more »

C2C Fellows Climate Action Leadership Workshop

C2C Fellows is a national network for students and recent graduates aspiring to sustainability leadership in politics and business. Interactive weekend training workshops cover communication, entrepreneurship, environmental and climate science, media, and other topics. Apply now for the Southeast Regional Workshop, March 21-23, 2014, at the University of Florida - Gainesville. Read more »

Agricultural Innovation Prize

Launched by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the 2014 Agricultural Innovation Prize encourages students to develop innovative solutions to food systems challenges. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students across all academic disciplines. Apply by February 28, 2014. Read more »

Carolina in the News

Check out the recent media mentions of sustainability-related programs, practices, and people at UNC: 

Report: Polluted farm runoff linked to toxic green algae slime in U.S. waters 
The Washington Post 
Toxic algae is the byproduct of the same types of pollution that causes dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay — phosphorous and nitrogen from livestock manure and chemicals sprayed on crops that spills from farms into waterways during moderate to heavy rains. The effects of polluted runoff are made worse by the changing climate, said Hans Paerl, professor of marine and environmental sciences at the University of North Carolina. “Global warming and intensification of major storms and droughts play major roles in the spread of toxic blue-green algal blooms worldwide.” Read more »

Green energy pays for itself in lives saved from smog 
New Scientist
Switching to clean energy might seem like the expensive option, but it would pay for itself almost immediately, according to a new analysis. By 2050, 1.3 million early deaths could be avoided every year by switching to clean energy. From estimates of how much society values a human life, researchers deduce that new energy supplies should be worth the cost. "The work strengthens the case for these new regulations by pointing out the air quality and health benefits," says Jason West at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the analysis. Read more »

Thanks to UNC News Services for finding these great stories AND compiling the summaries! You can find more UNC media coverage and stories online at http://uncnews.unc.edu.