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The ACUPCC Implementer Second Nature

Dear Implementation Liaisons,

As we gear up for the 2011 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit, which sold out last week, this issue of the newsletter focuses on engaging the campus community in climate neutrality and sustainability education efforts. Leadership by the presidents of Delaware State University and Pratt Institute have created campus-wide programs that connect all members of the community and create linkages between academics and operations – making sustainability an integral part of institutional planning. The keynote speaker for the Summit, Frank Sesno, formerly a CNN correspondent and now Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at our host, The George Washington University, created Planet Forward to leverage the capacity of new media platforms to facilitate dialogue among diverse groups of people, from college students, faculty, and administrators to corporate executives and government leaders. And focus group discussions at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs provide some key insights into what messages are most effective with students. As we look to the next reporting deadline of January 15, 2012, when the first cohort of ACUPCC signatories will have their Progress Reports due, we are pleased to release a briefing paper on "Why Public Reporting Matters" as part of the Viewpoints on Sustainability from Second Nature series.

With regards,
ToniNelson

Table of Contents

  1. Earth Day is Every Day at Delaware State University
  2. Harnessing The Power of Dialogue from Your Desk
  3. Experiential Learning and Empowerment as the Channel for Behavioral Change
  4. Using Sustainability to Promote Collaboration Between Competing Institutions

Earth Day is Every Day at Delaware State University

By Harry L. Williams, President, Delaware State University
Dr. Harry L. Williams, President, and Amir Mohammadi, Vice President of Finance and Administration, receive a recyclable mug from Chanel Paul, a DSU Green Ambassador

In Delaware State University's climate neutrality and sustainability pursuits, engagement has been a key concept. It is not a process in which we simply tell people what we want to do regarding sustainability initiatives at DSU; instead we engage them intellectually and actively in the process. That is why upon committing to be a part of the ACUPCC in August 2009 we immediately embarked on the establishment of a campus-wide Go Green Sustainability Committee. All of the University's vice presidents and deans participate, as well as the president of the Student Government Association. By creating seven subcommittees that include more than 80 active members from all walks of DSU administrative and academic life, the Go Green committee has been able to access a diverse group of intellectual resources to address a variety of sustainability needs. Through the committee's work, we found that our campus community needed to be made aware of the environmental challenges facing our nation. A series of monthly awareness sessions are now held, and our Office of Public Relations has been enlisted to use its various communications mediums to publicize DSU's institutional commitment to the students, faculty and staff on campus, as well as to the broader community. Throughout the work, we have made it a paramount priority to involve students. Read more...

Harnessing the Power of Dialogue From Your Desk

By Fuzz Hogan, Executive Producer, Planet Forward

What if you could start an ongoing dialogue from your office, connecting top scientists, industry leaders and policy makers with your students, administrators and faculty? A 24/7 sustainability seminar, where you could hear what's on the cutting edge of research, help spur implementation of the best ideas and motivate critical stake-holders to take action. That's what we're creating here at Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University. Created by Frank Sesno, who will keynote this month's ACUPCC Summit, Planet Forward is a dynamic public square that leverages the power of new media platforms and user-generated content, challenging the conventional top-down format of traditional media and rewarding contributors by giving their ideas increasing levels of public exposure, including broadcast television. What does that mean? It means we're working to create that dialogue -- to help bring solutions from the innovators to the decision-makers, to connect the enthusiasm of our youth with the expertise of top industry leaders. How does it work? Let me give you two examples. First, Jamie Hestekin, a Chemical Engineering Professor from the University of Arkansas, and his team of faculty and students have been building an algae-to-butanol machine for 3 years. Read more...

Experiential Learning and Empowerment as the Channel for Behavioral Change

By Stephanie H. Blake, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Colorado Colorado Springs

As public relations practitioners and educators know, the only initiative more difficult than changing opinions is changing behavior. To add to the challenge, changing opinions does not necessarily result in changed behavior. So, we can hope, but not assume, that educating our students about the consequences of climate change will cause them be more aware and to turn off the lights when they leave a campus classroom, for example. During the spring and fall semesters of 2010, I partnered with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Office of Sustainability to determine the messages and tactics that might be most effective in reaching the student body. In the spring of 2010 we held five focus groups with a total of 48 students and were surprised by some of the results: generally, students wanted to learn about the tangible impact of climate change from professors, who they viewed as knowledgeable and less biased, and wanted to be engaged and empowered through action and experiences, rather than words and political causes. While students varied in opinions about how climate change should be incorporated into university curriculum, many indicated it was a college course and professor that had influenced or could influence their opinions, and in some cases behaviors, about climate change. UCCS's College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences has declared the focus of the 2011-2012 school year to be sustainability and community, encouraging faculty to include information about sustainable practices in their curriculum. Read more...

Using Sustainability to Promote Collaboration Between Competing Institutions

By Debera Johnson, Academic Director of Sustainability, Pratt Institute
PALS 2011

In 2008 Pratt received a four-year, federal grant to "green" their academic programs and make the link between academics and operations. This institutionalized my role as the Academic Director of Sustainability (ADoS), a role established by Dr. Thomas Schutte, President of Pratt Institute, who recognized the importance of a holistic approach to connect facilities with academics. The outcome has been to naturalize sustainability as a critical layer of thinking within each of our programs and throughout operations. Over a series of campus visits nation-wide to share our work and learn from our peers, I realized that independent art and design schools have a unique set of issues and limited resources– it became clear that it was going to take forever for each of us to make change one-by-one. Dr. Schutte reached out to the presidents of the AICAD schools (Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design), and last fall we convened the Pratt Academic Leadership Summit on Sustainability, shifting our competitive model to one of collaboration and coming together to create a strategic plan for engaging leadership and integrating environmental sustainability education into art and design programs. Over the past year the group of 33 schools, known as PALS – Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability – has worked to promote and support action at the institutional level, and we will be meeting in September to finalize a jointly curated exhibit of the "best of sustainable art and design." Read more...

Video



Vita Pickrum, Associate Vice President for Development at Delaware State University, on Getting Students Involved in Green Initiatives

Opportunities

AASHE 2011 Awards Program
Deadline for applications is June 17, 2011

USGBC Paid-from-Savings Guide to Green Existing Buildings
Free to Title III and V signatories through July 31, 2011

Bioneers Conference, Resources and Beaming Bioneers
20% Discount for Signatories, 30% Discount for Title III and V Institutions through July 31, 2011

USGBC Green Building Basics and LEED® Online Course
Free to signatories through September 30, 2011

Webinars

ACUPCC Webinar: Curriculum Integration: Climate Literacy, Energy Awareness and Evaluating Student Learning
May 12, 2011
(recording)

Farm to Campus: The Successes and Challenges of Sourcing Local and Sustainable Food
June 13, 2011

Integrating STARS into Course Curricula
June 21, 2011

Adaption and National Security
June 21, 2011

Events

ACPA Institute on Sustainability
June 12 - 14, 2011
Boulder, CO

National UNCF Building Green Learning Institute
June 16 - 18, 2011
Washington DC

2011 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit
June 23 - 24, 2011
Washington, DC

EnergyPath 2011
June 29 - 30, 2011
Bethlehem, PA

California Higher Education Sustainability Conference
July 10 - 13, 2011
Long Beach, CA

Resources

The 2010 ACUPCC Annual Report

ACUPCC Academic Guidance Document

Advancing Education for Sustainability

ACUPCC Implementation Liaison Support Committee

Climate Action Planning Wiki

ACUPCC Reporting System

Implementation Guide (PDF)

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The ACUPCC Implementer
Issue 33, June 8, 2011

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