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.
April 2, 2013
Earth Day is Monday, April 22 and Arizona State University is turning all of April into Earth Month 2013. Tempe campus and Polytechnic campus feature multiple events like workshops, lectures, and film screenings. All events are open to the public.
“ASU’s Earth Month helps us celebrate our connections to the natural resources and ecosystems on which we depend,” says Nick Brown, ASU’s director of University Sustainability Practices. “In an urban environment, it’s easy to overlook our interdependence on natural systems, and observations like Earth Day remind us of our need for good land stewardship.”
April 1, 2013
Human Rights Film Festival Director and Sustainability Scientist LaDawn Haglund says, “I was inspired to create a human rights film festival, in part, because in an academic environment, it is easy to get lost in heady and sometimes terrible facts. Film, when done well, forces us to bring our hearts to the issues, helping us to empathize and, hopefully, spurring us to act.”
Of the films, one is part of ASU’s Earth Week 2013 events entitled “A Fierce Green Fire.” The film explores the history of the grassroots environmental movement for the last fifty years. Another film, “Four Stories Of Water” focuses on indigenous water rights.
April 1, 2013
Naomi Oreskes will be visiting Arizona State University to give her lecture, “Who is Responsible for Climate Change?” on Earth Day, Monday, April 22 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at Old Main’s Carson Ballroom on the Tempe campus.
Oreskes is a prolific writer, appearing in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and academic journals like Nature and Science. She was named the 2011 Climate Change Communicator of the Year by George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication.
As a writer and an academic, Oreskes researches the role of science in society and investigates society’s reaction to climate change evidence. She shares the importance and urgency of climate change to multiple audiences.
March 30, 2013
Joseph Miceli, a researcher at ASU’s Biodesign Institute with Sustainability Scientists Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and Cesar Torres, is studying how the anode respiring bacteria can be used to clean up waste and produce hydrogen or electric energy.
“One of the ways we currently treat wastewater from such sources as food processing is to use aerobic organisms,” Miceli says, referring to bacteria requiring oxygen for survival. “So we have to pump oxygen into the system in order to help feed the bacteria, which break down the chemical contaminants. This adds a very large cost.”
However, the anode respiring bacteria Miceli is studying can survive in oxygen-free environments, making it more cost-effective and sustainable. Even more so, the bacteria produces energy while respiring.
March 30, 2013
Researchers at Arizona State University, including Sustainability Scientist Marco Janssen, are using games to learn about water resource sharing and cooperation among people.
The project was recently covered in an article by the International Food Policy Research Institute, which is a partner on the project along with India’s Foundation for Ecological Security and Colombia’s Universidad de los Andes.
The research is taking place in rural India and Colombia where groups of villagers are asked to act out water use and crop growing strategies in low-water surroundings. Once their “water supply” is exceeded, the game is over.
March 29, 2013
The School of Sustainability at Arizona State University has announced its new dean effective July 1, 2013. Christopher Boone, a professor at the School of Sustainability and School of Human Evolution and Social Change, has served as the associate dean for education of the School of Sustainability since July 2010. Boone has been with ASU since 2006 and is a member of the executive committees of the School of Sustainability and the Global Institute of Sustainability.
Boone will succeed Dean Sander van der Leeuw, who will continue to support the School’s research and education endeavors as a member of the Global Institute of Sustainability’s board of directors and co-director of the Complex Adaptive Systems Network.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve the School of Sustainability,” Boone said. “I see this as a really important continuation of the work Professor Van der Leeuw did to strengthen the School. ASU serves as an international model for blending sustainability education and research with practice. I am confident we will continue to be a leader in sustainability.”
March 28, 2013
On June 30, 2013, I will be stepping down, at my own request, as dean of Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability (the School).
I will continue as Foundation Professor with tenure in ASU’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC) and a half-time appointment in both SHESC and the School. I will have the pleasure to keep my responsibility as co-director of CAS@ASU (the new name of the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative), as well as for the development of ASU’s Center for Integrated Solutions to Climate Challenges.
This is, for me, a liberating step. After ten years of administrative duties at ASU, I see my remaining years in academia melting like snow under the Arizona sun. I want to return to a more normal academic life of teaching, writing, thinking strategically about the scientific domains I am involved in, and strengthening ties with colleagues all over the world with whom I enjoy working.
March 28, 2013
Arizona State University’s Institute for Humanities Research received funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to join forces with humanities research centers worldwide to foster novel ways of collaboration for a more sustainable future.
There are two large-scale projects under the grant that will run through 2015. The first is Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging and the second is Humanities for the Environment, in which ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research will play a major role. The Institute will join its global partners in investigating what it means to be human under the climate crisis.
Several Sustainability Scientists are appointed to the projects, including: Joni Adamson, Ron Broglio, Netra Chhetri, Paul Hirt, Joan McGregor, Stephen Pyne, and Rebecca Tsosie.
March 28, 2013
Britain’s Sir Crispin Tickell will be visiting Arizona State University to discuss “The Human Future” on Thursday, April 11, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts in the Lakeside Room.
Passionate about history, world affairs, and the biological sciences, Tickell has become a renowned climate change expert. In 1984, he served as advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, helping her add climate change to the Group of Seven (G7) agenda. He is currently an advisor-at-large to ASU President Michael Crow.
“I hope the audience will begin to see the threat the human species faces and the way we can meet climate change challenges, or fail to meet those challenges.” Tickell says. “I think once people understand the issues and recognize their personal responsibilities; they can begin to take the appropriate actions.”
March 27, 2013
Water is rare in a desert, especially in a desert that has the fifth-largest city in the U.S.—Phoenix. Recently, newspapers from Arizona and Los Angeles published competing articles about which city’s water supply is less sustainable. What’s more, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says the water seven U.S. states (40 million people) depend on is disappearing.
Many experts say that industrial and agricultural water consumers should turn to reusing. Luckily, Arizona State University is partnering with CH2M HILL and Intel on a program called WaterMatch, designed to make such reuse possible. The university is contributing data on wastewater treatment plants to “match” water reuse consumers with water reuse suppliers.
There are downsides to water reuse, but to focus on solutions, ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City, CH2M HILL, and Intel will host a gathering of experts to discuss how the Colorado River could be used for water reuse.
March 22, 2013
Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability welcomes writer and environmentalist Sunita Narain, who will speak on “Environmentalism of the Poor vs. Environmentalism of the Rich” on Wednesday, March 27. The event, which is part of the Institute’s Wrigley Lecture Series, will take place from 5:00 until 6:30 p.m. at the Tempe campus in Lattie F. Coor Hall, room 170.
Narain was named one of the world’s 100 Public Intellectuals three times by the U.S. journal, Foreign Policy. She is currently the director general of India’s Centre for Science and Environment and publisher of Down to Earth magazine. Narain’s interests include equality, clean water, food safety, wildlife conservation, and climate change alleviation. Climate change, she says, is the world’s biggest issue today.
You can RSVP for Narain’s lecture here: http://sustainability.asu.edu/events/rsvp/sunita-narain.
March 22, 2013
Rachel Carson is most well-known for her book, Silent Spring. A fighter for the environment and people, she brought to light many environmental injustices such as pesticide use and ocean pollution. Carson was probably one of the first females to communicate the sustainability concept before “sustainability” was a word.
ASU’s own Elinor Ostrom was the first woman to receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 2009. Trained in political science, Ostrom investigated how people organize and use natural resources without a government system. Later in her life, she focused her research on human impacts on climate change.
Nancy Selover, a professor in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, is Arizona’s first female state climatologist. Her main research focus and passion is water, a resource that is slowly disappearing in an urban desert oasis. As Arizona’s climatologist, Selover’s responsibility is to give public outreach and information on the local climate.
March 22, 2013
ASU’s first Sustainability Solutions Showcase is reaching out to the community and students to find the next big idea that will help solve sustainability challenges and benefit the environment and society. Participants can share their idea with ASU’s Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives and win up to $3,500.
The Showcase is a project under the Walton Sustainability Solutions’ Sustainability Solutions Festival. In all, the Showcase plans to award $5,000 to winning ideas.
Through a partnership with Changemaker Central@ASU and 10,000 Solutions, the Sustainability Solutions Showcase is calling for financially viable solutions that would address multiple aspects of sustainability. Awards include $2,500 for first prize, $1,500 for second prize, and $1,000 for the People’s Choice Award.
March 21, 2013
Arizona State University just adopted, CurricUNET Meta, a program from Governet that manages curriculum changes online to eliminate excess paper use.
The new program will also allow ASU to save resources, streamline the curriculum management process, archive old curriculum more efficiently, and reinforce paperless practices throughout its six-campus system.
“Having demonstrated cutting-edge innovations in green technology, renewable energy, environmental conservation and climate science, ASU is among the most highly regarded research universities in the country,” says George Tamas, Governet’s CEO. ”It is gratifying that CurricUNET Meta has been selected as the technology that will move the institution toward more sustainable curriculum practices.”
March 21, 2013
Five ASU honors students saw the need to get unused food into the hands and mouths of hungry people and they did something about it.
The students from different majors – engineering, business and sustainability – harnessed their knowledge and passion to found FlashFood, a startup that uses a website, mobile application, and text messages to facilitate the delivery of excess food from restaurants, caterers, and conventions to community centers that serve the hungry.
Now FlashFood has been nominated for Inc. magazine’s 2013 America’s Coolest College Startup and is one of 12 finalists for the honor.
March 20, 2013
Note: Sunita Narain is the director general of The Centre for Science and Environment. She will be speaking at the next Wrigley Lecture Series on March 27 at Arizona State University.
We all know the threat of climate change is urgent. We also know combating this threat will require deep and drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. This is when, already, the poor of the world—who are more vulnerable and less able to cope—are feeling the pain of a changing and more variable climate.
The question is: Why has the world been desperately seeking every excuse not to act, even as science has repeatedly confirmed that climate change is real? Climate change, though related to carbon dioxide and other emissions, is also related to economic growth and wealth in the world. Climate change is man-made. It can also devastate the world as we know it.