May 1, 2013
The plants on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus have a little more spring in their step, thanks to the work of two Ground Services employees who are also university students.
Vicente Solis and Rigoberto Polanco are studying sustainable engineering and urban horticulture in addition to starting the program, “Grounds for Grounds.” For a year, they collected over 500 pounds of used coffee grounds a week to reuse as fertilizer. The program has diverted a ton of waste from the landfill monthly, saved $900 in waste removal fees, and saved the university $10,000 in fertilizer costs.
“The bulk of the waste is from the four Starbucks and the three cafes that serve Starbucks coffee on the Tempe campus,” says Solis. “We worked with partners at Aramark and ASU Facilities Management to develop the program, placing 96-gallon green bins on the Memorial Union loading dock and behind Oasis Café. These bins are filled once a day by Starbucks employees.”
April 30, 2013
Note: Ellen B. Stechel is the Deputy Director of ASU’s LightWorks and Managing Director of LightSpeed Solutions, communicating global efforts of leading scientists and researchers working towards sustainable transportation energy based on liquid hydrocarbon fuels from the sun.
A network of issues buried beneath the strategic and economic importance of petroleum and the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is complex; however, until addressed, no measure of global sustainability will be obtainable.
If we accept that, any solution to such issues yield lower net carbon emissions by 50-80 percent, then despite obvious advantages, alternative fossil fuel pathways cannot be the ultimate solution for transportation.
April 29, 2013
Outstanding graduate and Fulbright winner Jill Brumand is an honors student and a double major in sustainability and geography. She started her academic career at Arizona State University in 2009 and will begin her graduate career as a Fulbright master’s student at Lancaster University in Northwest England.
During her sophomore year, Brumand partnered with Sustainability Scientist Kelli Larson to do some undergraduate research work on people’s landscape choices in Phoenix and the sustainability implications. Throughout the rest of her undergraduate career, Brumand worked with Dell and Maricopa County. She was also a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) student with the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program. Brumand credits her success to the School of Sustainability.
“The School of Sustainability has a network of people who care and check up on you,” she says. “The support and encouragement of the faculty and staff at the school has been invaluable.”
April 26, 2013
For the fifth consecutive year, Arizona State University made The Princeton Review’s “Green Honor Roll,” a list that includes universities across the nation that promote sustainability in education, practices, and partnerships.
ASU has the largest collection of solar panels of any public university and numerous LEED-certified buildings. Sustainability is a core goal across departmental curriculum. The university is also pursuing carbon neutrality by 2035.
As part of the recognition, ASU will appear in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition, the only free publication that offers information on the top colleges focusing on sustainability.
April 26, 2013
Ray Jensen began working at Arizona State University in 1985. Since then, he has led about 90 employees, leading programs for people with physical and mental disabilities, improving the University Business Services’ efficiency, and creating ASU’s Sun Card.
In 2009, ASU President Michael Crow appointed Jensen as the University Sustainability Operations Officer. Jensen formed the Sustainability Practices Network to assist the university’s climate neutrality goal by 2035. He then helped initiate the The Carbon (Climate) Neutrality Action Plan and the Strategic Plan for Sustainability Practices and Operations.
Jensen has won two President’s Awards for Innovation, two Governor’s Recognition Awards, Supervisor of the Year by the ASU Classified Staff Council, the NAEP (National Association of Educational Procurement) Bert C. Ahrens Award, and others.
April 26, 2013
Joseph Hui, a professor in Arizona State University’s Department of Electrical Engineering, is CEO of Monarch Power, the company that recently offered to buy equipment and employ workers from the Suntech plant. The Suntech plant is planned to shut its doors the end of this month, leaving 43 people without jobs. However, Hui’s company is one of three bidding on equipment and manpower.
Monarch Power manufactures solar panels in the shape of a lotus flower to be easily transported and adapted in homes or businesses. AZ Central.com reports:
“In a statement released Monday, Hui said the plant is a good fit to manufacture the company’s Lotus Mobile ‘flower power’ solar units. The product launched three weeks ago.”
April 24, 2013
As part of Arizona State University’s Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools program, engineering graduate student Shawn Fink organized Mountain Pointe High School’s Earth Day celebrations. He also partnered with the high school’s teachers to create sustainability lesson plans and student projects.
The Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools program, part of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, recently won the 2013 President’s Award for Sustainability. Since the program’s inception, ASU has partnered with more than ten local K-12 schools. Graduate students at ASU can learn how to interact with students, plan lessons, and gain real-world experience in teaching.
“High school students will face real, complex sustainability challenges in their lifetimes,” says Monica Elser, a principal investigator for the Sustainable Schools program. When students learn about sustainability in their classrooms and through real projects implemented in their schools, she says, “it helps them see how sustainability applies to them, and how they can make a difference in the future.”
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