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Sustainability News

School of Sustainability Graduate Students Launch Sustainability Journal

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

March 11, 2010

TEMPE, Ariz. – As graduate students in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, Maren Mahoney and Zach Hughes had seen plenty of academic journals related to sustainability. But nowhere could they find a publication that made the complex concept of sustainability accessible to the everyday reader.

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ASU Alumni Association honors Grimm and other world-changing innovators

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

February 18, 2010

Feb. 17, 2010/Tempe, Ariz.- The Arizona State University Alumni Association will honor faculty members and alumni involved in solving challenges with world-changing consequences.

School of Sustainability affiliated faculty member Nancy Grimm, who is principal investigator and co-director of the multi-million dollar Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project (CAP LTER), will receive a Faculty Achievement Award for Research.

The Founders' Day Awards Dinner is set for 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix. The award ceremony has been a signature event for the university for decades, and it honors individuals who exemplify the spirit of the founders of the Territorial Normal School of Arizona, ASU’s predecessor institution, who received their charter from the Thirteenth Territorial Legislature on March 7, 1885.

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Smithsonian Institution & ASU Form Sustainability Research & Education Partnership

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

February 18, 2010

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. has joined Arizona State University in an innovative education and science partnership aimed at sustaining a biodiverse planet. Today, Secretary Wayne Clough, head of the Smithsonian, and ASU President Michael M. Crow launched a global classroom – with one foot in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert and the other in the tropical landscapes of Panama.

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Insect wranglers invade the Garden at Southwestern science EXPO

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

January 22, 2010

Raymond Mendez, the "original insect wrangler" who tamed 25,000 roaches, and trained moths to attack on command for the movie "Silence of the Lambs," headlines the Southwest's first Social Insect Science EXPO on Feb. 20 at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Designed for inquiring minds and families, the EXPO brings together some of the top scientists from Arizona State University, their favorite critters and the public. Attendees will be able to peer inside bee colonies and rub elbows-to-antennae with leaf-cutter, harvester and trap-jaw ants. Mendez, founder of Work as Play, which develops exhibits for zoos and museums, will bring his live ant and naked mole-rat colonies to share, in addition to speaking about his work in science, film and television, design and advertising.

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Electronics Companies, Retailers Team to Simplify Green Electronics Purchasing for Consumers

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

January 21, 2010

Best Buy, Dell, HP, Intel, Toshiba and Walmart to Establish System to Help Consumers Identify "Green" Electronics

TEMPE, Ariz.- The Sustainability Consortium, along with leaders in the manufacturing and sales of consumer electronics, today announced plans to establish a system, including social and environmental considerations, to help consumers identify "green" electronics. The Sustainability Consortium is co-administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas.

Working with Best Buy, Dell, HP, Intel, Toshiba, and Walmart, the consortium will research and publish findings on the lifecycle environmental and social impacts of electronic products. These findings will be used to support efforts to identify products as sustainable or "green." This type of information is designed to reduce consumer confusion and help standardize product claims.

"Customers tell us they want to purchase electronics that have a minimal impact on our planet. This is an effort to help them do that using a common methodology that manufacturers across the industry participate in," said Scott O’Connell, environmental strategist, Dell. "This is about making it easy for customers to determine what’s ‘green’ and what’s not, and we’d like to have the whole industry involved."

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Professors Awarded Public Health Law Research Grant

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 10, 2009

Timothy Lant, research director at ASU's Decision Theater, and James G. Hodge Jr., the Lincoln Professor of Health Law and Ethics at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, have received a grant to examine the role law plays in critical public health emergencies, such as the H1N1 flu pandemic.

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Research Looks at Water, Energy Impacts of Climate Change

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 30, 2009

Climate projections for the next 50 to 100 years forecast increasingly frequent severe droughts and heat waves across the American Southwest, sinking available water levels even as rising mercury drives up demand for it.

Declining water supply will affect more than just water flowing from taps and spraying from hoses and sprinklers. It will also strongly impinge on power generation, testing the capacity of sources like Hoover Dam, with its roughly 1.3 million customers in Nevada, Arizona and California, to generate adequate power with less water.

Now, Patricia Gober and David A. Sampson of the Decision Center for a Desert City at Arizona State University are teaming with David J. Sailor of Portland State University on a $65,000 grant to wade into this deep problem.

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ASU Plays Key Role in Arizona’s Landing of Suntech

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 18, 2009

The sun shines bright in the Valley, but that is not the reason why China's leading manufacturer of solar panels, Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., decided to locate its first manufacturing plant here. It is its longstanding ties to Arizona State University that helped convince the manufacturer of the benefits of metropolitan Phoenix, said Jonathan Fink, a Foundation Professor in ASU’s School of Sustainability and the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

"These earlier steps, which date back more than a decade, represent the apolitical, technology based cultivation that universities are best suited to carry out, usually behind the scenes," Fink said.

Suntech announced its choice of the Phoenix metropolitan area for its first U.S. plant on Nov. 15 and cited several reasons, including the research strengths of ASU, Arizona’s statewide renewable energy policies and the favorable local business climate fostered by groups like the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. While Suntech will provide a modest initial commitment of about 75 new jobs and a facility of about 100,000 sq feet of space, it is the fact that they chose the Valley that has many people excited.

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Renowned Global Climate Change Expert to Lead ASU Law and Sustainability Initiative

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

November 13, 2009

Daniel M. Bodansky, a preeminent authority in international climate change law, has been appointed the Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics, and Sustainability at Arizona State University, according to Paul Schiff Berman, Dean of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Bodansky also has been named an Affiliated Faculty member in both the College of Law's Center for Law and Global Affairs, and in the Global Institute of Sustainability's School of Sustainability at ASU. His appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2010.

"The hiring of Dan Bodansky is a tremendously positive step for advancing ASU," said ASU President Michael Crow. "On the law and sustainability front, Dan will bring us global thinking at the highest level. This is a great day for ASU."

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New H1N1 Survey Reveals Arizonans’ Flu Season Plans

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 9, 2009

TEMPE, Ariz. (Nov. 9, 2009) — Arizonans are gearing up for more H1N1 activity this flu season, and a new survey reveals how much they really know about the virus and how they’re preparing for its spread.

The new survey of more than 700 Arizona households was designed and analyzed by faculty and students from the School of Health Management and Policy at the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Decision Theater at the Global Institute of Sustainability, and the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. The study was sponsored by the Arizona Department of Health Services and was conducted during the month of October. The results will be used by public information officials from various hospitals, public health agencies and related organizations to determine how to best communicate to the public about H1N1 influenza.

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ASU Exceeds $300 Million in Research Expenditures

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

October 26, 2009

Arizona State University has topped $300 million in research expenditures for the first time in its school history. With a total of $307 million in research expenditures for FY2009 (which ended June 30), a growth of nearly 9 percent compared to FY08, ASU has made a dramatic climb in the ranks of top research universities.

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Study: Wealth buys rescue from urban heat island

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

September 21, 2009

by Shaun McKinnon

The Arizona Republic

Heat discriminates. Phoenix's sweltering summer inflicts the most misery and illness in poor neighborhoods, a new study shows, and among people least able to protect themselves from the elements. Conditions in those neighborhoods, with their sparse landscaping, high-density housing and converging freeways, create pockets of extreme heat that persist day and night. Inside, homeowners sometimes can't afford to turn up - or even turn on - the air-conditioner.

Wealthier homeowners, meanwhile, often in neighborhoods just blocks away, maintain lush yards and trees that help cool the air more quickly at night, shortening the hours of the hottest heat waves. They can buy further relief with a nudge of the thermostat.

The disparities present threats more serious than just discomfort on a hot day, according to the study, produced by Arizona State University researchers. Prolonged exposure to heat can cause illness or even death. The densely developed nature of the hottest areas also means more of the people most vulnerable - the elderly, children, the homebound - live in the neighborhoods where the risk is greatest.

That link between money and the ability to cope with extreme weather emerged clearly in the research. Among the startling revelations: For every $10,000 an area's income rises, the average outside temperature drops one-half degree Fahrenheit.

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The Aspen Institute Announces Arizona State University’s Jay Golden as Winner of 2009 Faculty Pioneer Award

ASU Sustainability News Institute Press Releases School of Sustainability News

September 16, 2009

NEW YORK, N.Y., TEMPE, Ariz. – The Center for Business Education at the Aspen Institute announced today that Professor Jay Golden of Arizona State University (ASU) has been named 2009 Faculty Pioneer. This recognition program, dubbed the "Oscars of the business school world" by The Financial Times, celebrates business educators who have demonstrated leadership and risk-taking in integrating ethical, environmental and social issues into the business curriculum. Golden will be honored on November 6th at an awards breakfast at Ernst & Young’s corporate headquarters in New York’s Times Square.

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Sierra Magazine Names ASU as a "Cool School"

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

August 20, 2009


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY NAMED ONE OF AMERICA'S TOP 20 "COOLEST" SCHOOLS BY SIERRA MAGAZINE. ASU praised for green efforts by national magazine, ranks #13 on list


TEMPE, Ariz. – Sierra magazine has named the nation's top 20 "coolest" schools for their efforts to stop global warming and operate sustainably. The magazine's September/October cover story spotlights the schools that are making a true impact for the planet, and marks Sierra's third annual listing of America's greenest universities and colleges. The complete list is available online at

Arizona State University (ASU) placed #13 on the list. Sustainability initiatives at Arizona State University include the only purchasing program to score a perfect "10" among Sierra's top 20, ramped-up recycling and waste-diversion efforts, energy-efficiency upgrades that have saved ASU an estimated 33 million kWh and 70 million pounds of CO2 annually, one of the largest university solar initiatives in the country; and ASU is home to the nation's first School of Sustainability.

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Experienced students help nurture young minds

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

August 10, 2009

Youngsters in a science summer camp hosted by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering benefitted from the efforts of several ASU students with an enthusiasm for educational outreach.

Among them were Alice Ling, a senior studying mechanical engineering, and Erin Frisk, a doctoral student in ASU’s School of Sustainability.

They worked with 48 Arizona middle school students who participated in the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

Ling guided the teens and pre-teens through science and engineering projects and helped them cope with living day and night for two weeks on a university campus.

“I love working with kids,” Ling says. “I love to see them gain confidence in themselves and develop team-building skills in just a couple of weeks.” Frisk developed the camp curriculum, which provided the students a hands-on introduction to the diverse and growing field of sustainability.

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ASU Named One of Nation's 'Greenest' Universities

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

July 27, 2009

Arizona State University has been named one of the nation's "greenest" universities by The Princeton Review in its second annual rating of environmentally-friendly institutions. This is the second year in a row that ASU made the list.

The Princeton Review named 15 colleges to its "2010 Green Rating Honor Roll" – a list that salutes the institutions that received the highest possible score – 99 – in this year's rating tallies.

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ASU and the U of AR Work with Walmart on Developing Sustainable Product Index

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

July 16, 2009

Consortium of universities will collaborate with businesses, NGOs and governmental agencies to develop global database of information on the lifecycle of products

TEMPE, Ariz., FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Walmart, a world leader in sustainability announced today an investment that reaffirms its commitment to incorporating sustainable business practices throughout the entire consumer business supply chain. Through a revolutionary move, Walmart is helping create a consortium of universities, jointly administered by Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Arkansas (UA).

Walmart’s initial investment will be dispersed equally to Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas; this partnership will conduct the development of a science-based, open source, product lifecycle assessment that will provide scientific innovations that lead to a new generation of sustainable products, materials, and technologies.

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Explosive Growth of Life Fueled by Early Greening of Earth

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

July 14, 2009

Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history is filled with several turning points when temperatures changed dramatically, asteroids bombarded the planet and life forms came and disappeared. But one of the biggest moments in Earth’s lifetime is the Cambrian explosion of life, roughly 540 million years ago, when complex, multi-cellular life burst out all over the planet.

While scientists can pinpoint this pivotal period as leading to life as we know it today, it is not completely understood what caused the Cambrian explosion of life. Now, researchers led by Arizona State University geologist L. Paul Knauth believe they have found the trigger for the Cambrian explosion.

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