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The ACUPCC Implementer
Second Nature

Dear Implementation Liaisons,

As a member of the ACUPCC Support Team, and coordinator of Second Nature's student engagement work, I am excited to report tremendous progress in both areas this month. New data from the recently submitted Progress Reports demonstrate tremendous progress in financing, energy, and curriculum, and Second Nature is proud to announce the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award Finalists, who will be highlighted in a national video competition with PlanetForward.org starting March 12th – bookmark this website and vote for the most innovative climate leadership! Last fall, Second Nature celebrated Campus Sustainability Day by highlighting students' stories. This spring, we are offering two workshops: a Student Climate Leadership Workshop in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program at the Greening of the Campus IX Conference at Ball State University on March 17th, and an interactive workshop on Students as Strategic Partners in Climate Action Planning at the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conference April 16-17th at the University of Maryland College Park. You can also read about how schools are using students in the Climate Action Planning process on our blog. Second Nature will help coordinate the 2012 AASHE Conference Student Summit, Engaging the Future in October and is partnering with the Earth Day Network for MobilizeU, an international collegiate competition encouraging students to mobilize "acts of green" - any activity that educates someone about the environment or reduces an individual's carbon footprint - around Earth Day during the period March 29 – April 29. We are proud of the progress shown by the ACUPCC network and the continued work at signatory institutions both for, and by, students.

Warm regards,
Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate

Student Grants Key to Sustainability and Climate Initiatives

By Alecia Hoene, Communications Coordinator, Environmental Science & Water Resources Programs, University of Idaho
"My project is meaningful to the University of Idaho because it could sequester carbon and reduce soil greenhouse gas emissions." – Gabe Garcia, Class of 2014

The University of Idaho Sustainability Center (UISC) works to increase participation and collaboration among students, faculty, staff and community members in addressing a wide array of sustainability issues, employing a student-centered grants and project model to fund living laboratory work across the campus. Central to this approach is the Student Grants Program, which has funded more than $110,000 in student grants. Grant recipients hail from myriad departments across the university, driving an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability solutions and inspiring broad-based grassroots change. While UISC solicits grant proposals on a variety of topics – food systems, waste reduction, culture shift, energy efficiency – many funded projects underscore the broader goal of addressing climate change and helping the University of Idaho reach its goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030. Student participation in the grant program fosters practical knowledge and career qualifications, as grantees partner with other community members to integrate sustainability into university academics and operations. Through this process students build vital skills – e.g., project management, collaboration and teamwork, technology, communications, and leadership – that benefit their education and prepare them for careers beyond graduation. Read more...

Generation E: At the Epicenter of Campus Sustainability and Action

By Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, Campus Field Manager for Campus Ecology, National Wildlife Federation and Julian Keniry, Senior Director of Campus and Community Leadership, National Wildlife Federation

Students are the foundation of any college or university campus. They are the heart and soul and the reason why colleges and universities exist, and they understand the challenge the United States and the rest of the world face to transition quickly from a fossil fuel-based society to one built on safe, clean renewable energy—as advocated by a majority of the world's scientists— this is the crucible of our time. A myriad of lessons have been learned from engaging an estimated 460,000 student leaders hailing from 2,000 colleges and universities over Campus Ecology's 23 years and counting of programming at the National Wildlife Federation. Campus Ecology's publication, "Generation E: Students Leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future" explores how young people in college today are responding to this challenge, stepping up to make a difference in a wide range of creative and powerful ways. "E" stands for many things, including Ecology, Economy, Energy and Equity— which are among the interconnected concerns and values of sustainability that define and unite the current generation like no other issue of our time. Read more...

You've Got the Power to Conserve: Empowering the Campus to Reduce Energy Waste

By Mary Ellen Mallia, Director of Environmental Sustainability, University of Albany
A grant from National Grid allowed students to distribute hundreds of lightbulbs in the residence halls.

It is estimated that the United States could reduce its energy load 25% by simply implementing better energy practices. Students played a key role in the success of the award-winning "You've Got the Power to Conserve" program at the University of Albany, which has knit together a series of student actions to change campus energy behaviors and university policies in order to cut carbon emissions, save money, and reduce electricity, water, and heat consumption. Programs focusing on energy behaviors included a campus wide energy campaign which tracked electricity use in both the residential halls and academic buildings and a mock electric bill program at the apartment complex where residents receive a faux electricity bill each month. In combination with a aggressive intersession energy initiative which cools buildings to 55 degrees during break, their efforts have already reduced CO2 emissions from 71,152 metric tons to 63,351 metric tons (11 percent), reduced electricity use by over 5 million kWh (a 7.5% decline), reduced heating use of more than 33,500 MMBtu (a 7.4 percent reduction) and saved 1.1 million gallons of water. From its inception, the program has achieved an annual savings of $701,025. Read more...

Assessing Students' Learning Based on Citizenship Competency and Sustainability

By Jenny Jocks Stelzer, Sustainability Council Chair and English Faculty, College of Liberal Arts, Robert Morris University

For higher education to continue to build its leadership role in sustainability, it is of the utmost importance for all of higher education – most importantly those signatories of the ACUPCC - to take on meaningful curricular change which encourages thought, engagement, and action that prepare students for the responsibilities of leadership in a sustainable world. Because of its commitment to the ACUPCC, RMU has enthusiastically driven curricular change that prepares students to understand the interconnectedness between the individual, society, and the world, and, thus, to become a class of citizens capable of driving sustainability transformation in the future. In the 2011-2012 academic year, faculty of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) on Robert Morris University's Assessment Committee determined that the university should assess our students for awareness of and engagement with sustainability in the same way that the university assesses all students for proficiencies in oral and written communication, quantitative analysis, leadership, and collaboration. This new core competency – Citizenship - has been defined by the CLA as "…the means to developing students into foundations for their families and communities. Citizenship includes experiential and reflective learning that leads students to a comprehension of the connectedness between individuals, cultures, and the environment." To assess Citizenship, students earn levels in the "Credential Transcript" through certain courses that incorporate awareness of and engagement with the different aspects of sustainability and diversity through the completion of projects, the achievement of particular grades in noted courses, or extra-curricular and curricular field experiences. Read more...

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The ACUPCC Implementer
Issue 42, March 6, 2012

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