April 24, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. – April 24, 2013 – According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the largest coal-fired power plant in the west needs to improve its pollution controls.
Located near Page, Ariz., the 2,250-megawatt, 40-year-old Navajo Generating Station (NGS) provides electrical power to customers in Arizona, California and Nevada and for pumping Colorado River water for the Central Arizona Project, which delivers water to central and southern Arizona. It is also Arizona’s “largest single source of climate-disrupting pollution,” according to a report published by the Sierra Club.
The EPA gave an extended deadline of 2023 for installation of emissions reduction equipment, with a goal of reducing the visibility impact of the NGS required by Congress under the Clean Air Act and to protect public health. The EPA’s proposed emission limits would reduce emissions by 84 percent, or 28,500 tons per year.
April 24, 2013
A recent School of Sustainability alum, Andrew Krause, and his mentor, Sustainability Scientist George Basile, and two former classmates have launched the website, eEcosphere in an effort to make sustainability actions easier to adopt among everyday people.
The website is based on years of research done by Basile and other sustainability scientists. The research they compiled outlines how people and corporations have undertaken sustainability efforts. This research is now on eEcosphere in an easy-to-read, interactive format with social capabilities.
“A person may already be saving energy but might need help with water conservation; someone else might need help with both,” Krause elaborates. “eEcosphere helps people identify and adopt ideas that match their personal sustainability goals. It embeds a scientific approach in the decision-making process and encourages people to take action as a group using the social web.”
April 24, 2013
A team of researchers and managers from ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability has released Arizona’s first energy efficiency guide that collects workable, applicable programs across the state and nation.
The publication is called the “Energy Efficiency Idea Guide for Arizona.” The author, Mick Dalrymple, indirectly started the guide when he was trying to comprehend and organize the multitude of energy efficiency programs.
“There was not one location that consolidated all the different barriers and opportunities to promoting energy efficiency, particularly in Arizona,” he says. “This can be a national guide, but it is tailored to our economic and regulatory environment and how we operate in a hot, arid climate.”
April 23, 2013
Amy Landis, a senior sustainability scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and an engineer at ASU’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, will lead the sustainability assessment of a $6.9 million project funded by the Biomass Research and Development Initiative of the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Landis is researching a way to use biomaterial as a source for rubber and fuel. Using the guayule plant, Landis says latex can be extracted to use in rubber instead of petroleum-based synthetics that are harmful to the environment. The guayule plant could also be a local source of biofuels, lessening U.S. dependency on foreign suppliers.
“Our contribution to the sustainability assessment includes a complete life cycle assessment of natural rubber tires,” Landis says. “We don’t want to ignore or overlook any short-term or long-term impact.”
April 23, 2013
For his research in asphalt rubber technology, Senior Sustainability Scientist Kamil Kaloush was honored with the Outstanding Research Award from the Rubber Pavements Association.
For the past 12 years, Kaloush has been working with his research group at Arizona State University to provide performance testing and innovative pavement designs using rubber. Their team has found ways to reduce traffic noise, improved safety, and lowering tire particle emissions. Kaloush is also working on ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions during asphalt manufacturing and road construction.
Kaloush is the director of the National Center of Excellence on Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies (SMART) Innovations at ASU.
April 22, 2013
Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) members from across the nation visited the ASU Polytechnic campus April 15-18 to collaborate on research and projects and to advance algae-based technologies.
The U.S. Department of Energy and Arizona State University’s ATP3 initiative brings algae researchers together to maximize efforts and streamline research to effectively advance sustainable technologies like biofuels.
Gary Dirks, the Global Institute of Sustainability’s new director and director of ATP3 says, “The ATP3 kickoff meeting gave all of the partners of ATP3 a chance to discuss how we will support public and private institutions in finding solutions to the nation’s energy challenges.”
April 21, 2013
For their demonstrated excellence in fostering the successful development, implementation and promotion of sustainability, three programs at ASU were awarded the President’s Award for Sustainability:
Facilities Management Grounds Services – Grounds for Grounds
The program recycles coffee grounds into fertilizer, working towards Arizona State University’s zero waste goal.
Materials Management Recycling
The recyclable items list has grown thanks to ASU’s Materials Management, which also helps ASU Recycling staff.
Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools
Graduate students, professors, high school students and teachers, and researchers team up to work on a project to make a local Arizona school more sustainable.
April 20, 2013
Arizona State University engineer and Senior Sustainability Scientist Samuel Ariaratnam is among contributors to a new book published by the National Academies aimed at providing communities some of the best strategies for sustainable urban development.
Underground construction is a rapidly expanding field, fueled by the growing needs of cities to replace aging infrastructure or build new infrastructure using methods that will increase the efficiency, resiliency and safety of such facilities and utility systems.
“I’m certain this book is going to have a big impact. It’s already gotten a lot of attention internationally,” he says. “Everyone is looking for better ways to build infrastructure, both the public sector and private sector.”
April 19, 2013
Women & Philanthropy, a group committed to supporting and investing in Arizona State University, awarded $286,541 to six promising programs this year, the highest amount of total annual funding in its 10-year history.
While this year’s grants recognize ASU’s commitment to science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM), they also include programs that support ASU’s commitment to connect with communities through mutually beneficial partnerships.
The School of Sustainability, part of the Global Institute of Sustainability, received $30,200 to work with the journal, “The Sustainability Review,” to produce public videos highlighting current research in an easy-to-understand format.
April 18, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. – April 18, 2013 – Arizona State University has appointed documentary filmmaker Peter Byck to jointly serve as Professor of Practice for the Global Institute of Sustainability’s School of Sustainability and for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Byck focuses on issues of environmental sustainability and he has more than 20 years’ experience as a writer and producer. His most recent documentary, the widely acclaimed Carbon Nation™, is a “climate change solutions movie (that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change).” The film was recently featured during an interview with Byck on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” show. Byck’s new installments in the “Carbon Nation 2.0” film series will be co-branded with ASU.
Byck will teach a short film documentary course to educate and provide hands-on experience to students on communicating contemporary principles, ideas, concepts, and issues of sustainability; documentary film-making and marketing; and storytelling on sustainability-related topics. The course will be offered in the fall semester of 2013.
April 18, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. — April 18, 2013 — The Phosphorus Sustainability Research Coordination Network (RCN) kicks off its first meeting in Washington, D.C. May 14-16 to address ongoing challenges in producing a sustainable global phosphorus system.
This is the first of five annual meetings of the Phosphorus Sustainability RCN designed to connect scientists and stakeholders across the world to find sustainable solutions that provide a secure food supply, protect fisheries, and maintain clean drinking water.
James Elser, a sustainability scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, serves as principal investigator of the RCN. Elser is also a Regents’ professor at ASU’s School of Life Sciences, with more than twenty years’ experience in phosphorus research.
“Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element essential for all life, including crops,” explains Elser. “The availability of cheap phosphate rock used to make fertilizers is increasingly uncertain. Meanwhile, phosphorus runoff from farms and cities pollutes lakes, rivers, and coastal oceans, causing harmful algal blooms that impair drinking water and kill fish and shellfish. Neither of these situations is desirable, but it would seem that by solving one, we might solve the other. For long-term sustainability, we need to make fertilizer by efficiently recycling phosphorus from the food system instead of mining increasingly scarce rocks. This will also keep our lakes and oceans clean.”
April 16, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. – April 16, 2013 – American historian of science and author Naomi Oreskes visits Arizona State University on Monday, April 22 as a Wrigley Lecture Series speaker, hosted by ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.
Oreskes will speak about climate change and how consensus forms around scientific issues. The event is free and open to the public, held at ASU’s Tempe campus, Old Main building in the Carson Ballroom, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception.
Please RSVP at: http://sustainability.asu.edu/events/rsvp/naomi-oreskes
April 16, 2013
April 16, 2013
The Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a program under ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, is hosting two lectures by representatives from the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer, the Netherlands. The lectures are part of the Institute’s Sustainability Series.
The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives recently partnered with officials in Haarlemmermeer in February to learn how the region has become a go-to example of urban sustainability and policymaking.
The Dutch representatives, Fonz Dekkers, John Nederstigt, and Arthur van Dijk, will discuss topics such as sustainability monitoring, urban development, and Haarlemmermeer as a case study.
April 16, 2013
Emily Allen, a sustainability and English major and student in Barrett, The Honors College, has been named a 2013 Udall Scholar by the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. She will receive a $5,000 scholarship to use toward tuition for her senior year at Arizona State University.
Allen hopes to follow in the footsteps of the scholarship’s namesake, Morris K. Udall, a U.S. congressman who established legislation in Arizona to expand national parks and create the Central Arizona Project.
“My career goal is to work with local governments in the state of Arizona to protect fragile water resources from the pressures of overuse and rapid urban development. I plan to accomplish this goal as an attorney with a water law specialty, either in a private firm or a local municipality,” Allen stated on her scholarship application.
April 11, 2013
Arizona State University Professor Carlos Castillo-Chavez has been reappointed to the U.S. President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.
Castillo-Chavez is a Regents’ Professor and a Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor at ASU. He is a faculty member in ASU’s School of Sustainability and a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. President Obama first appointed him to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science in 2010.
The 12-member committee evaluates and nominates fellow scientists for the National Medal of Science—one of the field’s highest honors. Nominated scientists come from the physical, biological, mathematical or engineering sectors.
Upon his reappointment, President Obama said: “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
April 10, 2013
A celebration of food, art, and community is coming to downtown Phoenix on Saturday, April 13. Called “Feast on the Street,” the event is a culmination of numerous local community partnerships that will bring people together for a meal or two on First Street in Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row District.
“Feast on the Street is an urban harvest festival celebrating food and art in the desert, while reclaiming the city street for pedestrians,” says Heather Lineberry, Arizona State University Art Museum’s senior curator, associate director, and an event organizer. “It creates a place to gather with our Phoenix neighbors around art and food. What could be better?”
The Global Institute of Sustainability is providing composting workshops at the zero waste event and ASU’s Green Team will educate participants on recycling, composting, and waste. ASU School of Sustainability alumnus, Colin Tetreault, will act as master of ceremonies.
April 8, 2013
Last fall, students in a community building course partnered with Valley Forward (now Arizona Forward) to develop new ideas for vacant lots near Phoenix’s light rail corridor. The same students presented their work to Arizona Forward this semester and the organization has decided to turn their suggestions into a white paper and toolkit.
The course instructor Dean Brennan helped teaching assistant Hannah Szabo and the students in the course to explore the cost and focus of vacant lot revitalization. School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning student Julia Kerran and School of Sustainability student Will Heasley presented the project’s results to the Arizona Forward committee.
“Temporary development creates a use for locations that can otherwise become a source of blight, filling in empty space and fostering creative ideas as well as promoting community activities,” explains Brennan, an ASU faculty associate and planning professional.
April 8, 2013
Salt River Project (SRP) and SunPower Corp. have dedicated a one-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant to the ASU Polytechnic campus. The solar power system is the first commercially deployed for SunPower Corp. using its SunPower C7 Tracker technology. The tracking system concentrates the sun’s power seven times to lower costs of electricity use from solar power plants available today.
The system uses little water and is predicted to generate as much energy needed to power 225 SRP customers’ homes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the system will offset the production of 1,277 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year or the equivalent of removing 241 passenger vehicles from Arizona roads each year.
“This dynamic project with SunPower enables ASU to move closer to our 2015, 25-megawatt solar energy-generating goal, embrace innovative technologies, and facilitate possible education opportunities for our students,” said David Brixen, ASU’s associate vice president of Facilities Development and Management.
April 8, 2013
For Earth Month 2013, the Global Institute of Sustainability will welcome Richard Morrison, ASU’s Morrison Institute co-founder, to talk about sustainable and ethical business practices. Part of the Institute’s Sustainability Series, Morrison’s talk, “Ethics and Sustainable Practices,” will take place on Monday, April 29, from noon until 1:30 p.m.
Morrison is an Episcopal priest and a sustainable ranching business partner. He is also an attorney, focusing on Native American water rights and natural resource policy.
Morrison says his main sustainability challenge is world hunger. Morrison joined the Farm Foundation’s Dialogue Project for Food and Agriculture Policy in the 21st Century to find a common commitment to ending world hunger.