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Sustainability News

ASU named one of nation's greenest schools

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.

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ASU students provide sustainable solutions in K-12 schools

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.”

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New social networking site helps users make more sustainable decisions

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.”

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2013 winners of President's Award for Sustainability

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.

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ASU's School of Sustainability receives grant from Women & Philanthropy

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 19, 2013

PrintWomen & 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.

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Celebrate Earth Day at the Tempe campus Farmers Market

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 16, 2013

farmers-marketVisit the Farmers Market @ the ASU Tempe Campus on Tuesday, April 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to celebrate Earth Day 2013. This will be the last market of the spring season.

This market will feature guest vendors, Medicine Take-Back Day, prize drawings and extra tables and chairs for lunch dining.

Visit Farmers Market Special Events to learn more or email FarmersMarket@asu.edu.

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School of Sustainability student wins Udall Scholarship for commitment to environment

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 16, 2013

emily_allenEmily 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.

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Obama reappoints Sustainability Scientist to Committee on the National Medal of Science

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 11, 2013

castillo-chavez_3472Arizona 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.”

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Downtown Phoenix is ripe for a feast on the street

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 10, 2013

feast on the street london 2013A 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.

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Sustainable business practices are necessary for the common good

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 8, 2013

Richard--smaller sizeFor 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.

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ASU gets down to Earth in April

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.”

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Award-winning films, directors headline ASU Human Rights Film Festival

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 1, 2013

imagesTen films will be screened during Arizona State University's Human Rights Festival this weekend, April 5-7, at the Tempe campus.

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.

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Science historian and writer Naomi Oreskes to discuss ‘Who is Responsible for Climate Change?’

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 1, 2013

OreskesNaomi 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.

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Games examine water use cooperation, decision-making

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.

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Christopher Boone named interim dean of School of Sustainability

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.”

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Letter from the Dean

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

March 28, 2013

sanderDear colleagues, staff, and students,

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.

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President Crow’s British sustainability advisor to discuss ‘the human future’

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.”

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Environmentalist Sunita Narain to lecture at ASU March 27

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

March 22, 2013

Narain-hi-rez-cropped-for-webArizona 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.

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Showcase to award $5K for top sustainability solutions proposals

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

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.

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Growing in the Context of Climate Change

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News Thought Leader Series

March 20, 2013

A Thought Leader Series Piece

Narain-hi-rez-cropped-for-webBy Sunita Narain

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.

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