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The ACUPCC Implementer
Second Nature

Dear Implementation Liaisons,

The ACUPCC is gearing up to celebrate its Fifth Anniversary with a new look on the website and plans for a high-profile 2012 Climate Leadership Summit that will celebrate the accomplishments of the network during the first five years and lay the groundwork for its goals over the next five years, including growing the number of signatories, achieving average emission reductions of 25 percent or more on participating campuses, and expanding the network to other countries. Mitchell Thomashow, President Emeritus of Unity College and Second Nature Presidential Fellow, reflects on the significance of the Summit in the Second Nature blog. Please make sure your president, provost, and chief financial officer will be in attendance on June 21-22 at American University in Washington, D.C. For schools in the Southwest, don’t miss the opportunity to bring your sustainability teams to the ACUPCC Regional Symposium on March 1-2 for an interactive experience focused on collaborating with colleagues at peer institutions around challenges to climate action planning and proven solutions on campus. See the Symposium agenda for an exciting set of speakers, sessions, and case studies. This issue of the newsletter focuses on diversity, and we would like to thank Alamo Colleges along with our partner organizations the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which generously gave us permission to publish an abridged version of the article written by Ashka Naik, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Development at Second Nature, for the forthcoming publication, UNCF Sustainable Campuses: Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions, available in April on the Kyoto Publishing website.

With regards,
Toni Nelson

Minority-Serving Institutions Championing the ACUPCC

By Ashka Naik, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Development, Second Nature

With the assistance of collaborative capacity-building opportunities and the framework offered through the ACUPCC model, 89 minority-serving institutions — including two college districts — have made deep commitments to climate neutrality by signing the ACUPCC in the recent years. To level the playing field by bridging the resource gap between wealthy and under-resourced institutions, and to enable more institutions to commit to and implement the ACUPCC, Second Nature is proactively developing innovative programs that enhance the sustainability capacity of under-resourced institutions. Second Nature has also partnered with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) on the "UNCF Building Green at Minority-Serving Institutions" initiative, and provided guidance on UNCF's sustainability efforts for the past two years to actively engage minority-serving institutions in this sustainability movement. Despite the barriers — such as smaller endowments, limited peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, and inadequate in-house expertise — minority-serving institutions (MSIs) are marching forward and making sustainability an integral part of their development and planning priorities. For their exemplary efforts vis-à-vis sustainability, several of the ACUPCC signatory minority-serving institutions have also been awarded green technical assistance grants by Second Nature, UNCF and various federal agencies. There are a number of stellar examples of the "green journey" undertaken by MSIs that have recently signed the ACUPCC. Read more...

American Meteorological Society and Second Nature Partner to Strengthen Climate and Sustainability-Focused Curricula at Minority-Serving Institutions

By James Brey, Director, AMS Education Program and Elizabeth Mills, Associate Director, AMS Education Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) GeoVision report underscores the critical need for increasing public literacy in the geosciences. Daily, Americans learn about threats to the Earth, such as the peril of global climate change and the increasing frequency of natural and manmade hazards. It is imperative the public gain a deeper understanding of the underlying scientific processes that influence these events. It also is essential that our educational system and workforce reflect our diversity as a nation. To this end, NSF is supporting a long-term partnership between American Meteorological Society (AMS) and Second Nature to introduce the AMS Climate Studies course to 100 Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) nationwide. The course is a ready-made way for MSIs to strengthen the curriculum component of their ACUPCC Climate Action Plans and provide students with an up-to-date study of climate science, including global change and sustainability issues. Faculty members are invited to an expenses-paid, five-day course implementation workshop in Washington, DC, to learn the latest in climate science. Read more...

Sustainability Initiatives at the Tribal Colleges

By Al Kuslikis, STEM Associate, American Indian Higher Education Consortium and Beau Mitchell, Sustainability Coordinator, College of Menominee Nation
Navajo Technical College students demonstrating a wind turbine they designed for homes

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and its Tribal College and University (TCU) membership are actively engaged in promoting sustainability both on their campuses and within the communities they serve. TCUs are ideally situated to play a leadership role in developing and promoting sustainable practices within their respective communities and nationally. There are no higher education institutions more closely engaged with addressing the economic development, public health, workforce development, and research needs of their communities. As tribal institutions, they are particularly well-positioned to draw on and reinforce the traditional practices that have sustained their people for countless generations before European contact, and which can inform our collective efforts to respond to the sustainability challenges of today. Tribal colleges are responding to the call for leadership through initiatives like the AIHEC-NREL Energy Fellow project, developed as a partnership between AIHEC, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute (SDI). Beau Mitchell, the College's Sustainability Coordinator, has been recruited by AIHEC to serve as the inaugural Energy Fellow. He is working with the Tribal Colleges to support green campus initiatives, develop energy education curriculum materials, and promote sustainable practices, along with facilitating strategic energy planning based on the model developed by SDI. Read more...

Energy Conservation at Alamo Colleges

By John W. Strybos, Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities at Alamo Colleges
400 kW Solar Array at St. Philip's College

In August 2008, the Chancellor of the Alamo Colleges (TX) Bruce H. Leslie Ph.D. signed the ACUPCC. Each of the five campus Presidents has embraced the Chancellor’s commitment and begun integrating sustainability processes into the academic curriculum. In addition to promoting educational processes that impact the environment, the Colleges have invested in numerous capital improvement projects that focus on energy efficiency, energy reduction, and sustainability. To educate and train students in green jobs, Alamo Colleges created the Center for Excellence at the St Philip’s College Southwest Campus location with a 400kW solar panel constructed on the roof of the main facility. The Green Jobs Training Institute Westside Education and Training Center has been created to provide short-term training courses for workers interested in beginning a new career or improving their technical skills for today’s job market. In addition, the Alamo Colleges has been partnering with the Energy Systems Laboratory, a Division of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, to assist in reducing current energy consumption through the Continuous Commissioning® process; identify future potential energy conservation projects; and identify renewable energy projects.Read more...

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The ACUPCC Implementer
Issue 41, February 7, 2012

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