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Sustainability News

Inaugural Sustainability Solutions Festival set to take place Feb. 17-22

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

December 18, 2013

In partnership with the GreenBiz Group and The Sustainability Consortium, Arizona State University's Sustainability Solutions Festival will bring the nation's leaders in sustainable business, renewable energy, research, humanities, and innovation during one week of local events. The Festival is a project under the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a program part of ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability.

"The Sustainability Solutions Festival exemplifies ASU’s endeavor to address the world’s environmental, economic, and social challenges of the twenty-first century through collaborative, transdisciplinary, and solutions-oriented thinking and training," says Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University.

The Festival will take place at various locations across Tempe and Phoenix, beginning Feb. 17 and ending on Feb. 22. Additional partners include Arizona Solar SummitArizona Science CenterArizona SciTech FestivalSedona Film Festival, and the City of Tempe.

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Recycle your cap and gown

School of Sustainability News

December 11, 2013

School of Sustainability convocation is just around the corner, but what will you do with your cap and gown after the ceremony? You could turn them into a Halloween costume or store them in your closet for years on end. Or you can put them to good use and donate to future classmates.

Drop off your cap and gown between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday at Wrigley Hall's first floor office. You can specify whether you'd like to give your cap and gown to future classes or to Herff Jones, Arizona State University's cap and gown provider. If you decide to donate to Herff Jones, make sure to only give your gown—caps and tassels are not recycled through its Renew Recycling Program.

Congratulations to all our winter 2013 sustainability graduates!

Decision Center for a Desert City releases decadal synthesis on climate, urbanization, and water in metropolitan Phoenix

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

December 3, 2013

Looking over green treetops toward downtown PhoenixArizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) released a 10-year report, “Advancing Science in Support of Water Policy and Urban Climate Change Adaptation at Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City: A Synthesis of Interdisciplinary Research on Climate, Water, and Decision-Making Under Uncertainty.” The report summarizes the center’s milestones since its founding in 2004.

Under ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability, DCDC has published over 340 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and supported 69 graduate students who have authored 18 doctoral dissertations and 17 master’s theses. DCDC focuses mostly on water risks and decision-making trade-offs amidst climate change.

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ASU zero waste initiative begins at Territorial Cup game

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 25, 2013

ZWMain2To help achieve Arizona State University's Zero Waste by 2015 goal, Sun Devil Athletics will host its first-ever zero waste football game this Saturday, Nov. 30 against the University of Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium. From then on, all athletic games and stadiums will be zero waste.

Limited trash cans will be available, making game-goers choose between green compost bins and blue recycling bins. Fans can throw away food, liquids, and serviceware (plates, napkins, utensils) in green composting bins while bottles, cans, and paper programs go in blue recycling bins. Representatives from University Sustainability Practices will be on hand to answer questions and educate the public.

This season, each home football game this year has averaged over 60,000 attendees, which creates 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of waste.

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Student Spotlight: Samson Szeto

School of Sustainability News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 22, 2013

Sustainability Student Samson SzetoSamson Szeto is a senior in the School of Sustainability. A product of Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix, Ariz., Szeto will graduate in December 2013 with concurrent bachelor’s degrees in justice studies and sustainability, along with three minors in geography, Asian studies, and socio-legal studies.

Szeto’s School of Sustainability challenge area is Society and Sustainability.

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Dell student assistants learn sustainability hands-on

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 21, 2013

Sustainability StudentsThrough a unique partnership between Dell and the School of Sustainability, students get to join Dell’s sustainability team as hourly student workers.

Student sustainability assistants complete ongoing projects, collaborate with other Dell employees, and juggle priorities in an intense corporate sustainability environment. They may get to interact with supply chain management teams in China, business teams in Latin America, employees from within Dell, and people outside Dell, as well.

Since the program’s inception two and a half years ago, more than 15 individuals have participated in the Dell program. Students work from a shared office space in Wrigley Hall, where they are coached and mentored by Bruno Sarda, director of global sustainability operations at Dell, and adjunct faculty at the School.

“Bruno throws you in, and supports you,” says Jaleila Brumand, an alum of the program. “It was a great experience for me.”

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Peace, agriculture conference empowers developing leaders

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 21, 2013

The second Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability (EmPeace LABS) conference trained agriculture and community leaders from developing countries in Jalgaon, India on October 20-26. Sustainability Scientists Marek Wosinski and Rimjhim Aggarwal organized the conference with partners Gandhi Research Foundation and Jain Irrigation Systems, Ltd. to explore sustainable agribusiness, leadership and community development, peace, and violence prevention.

The conference brought together young community leaders from 18 countries including India, Rwanda, Nigeria and Lebanon, where hunger strikes the hardest. And where there's hunger, there's violence.

"When people are hungry, they fight for resources," Wosinski says, referencing the 2004 United Nations University Report, "Agriculture for Peace." "If you want to create peace and stability in developing countries, you need to secure food."

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Sustainability alum advises hospitals on waste, recycling

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 19, 2013

Rud Moe, a 2013 School of Sustainability graduate, is now the hospital sustainability specialist for Stericycle. Using the knowledge he gained while at ASU, Moe advises Stericycle on how they can promote less wasteful medical practices at hospitals.

"In the past, most of a hospital's trash was disposed as hazardous medical waste, which requires expensive and environmentally damaging processes like incineration," Moe says. "In some cases, dangerous pharmaceuticals are just thrown down the drain and eventually end up in local ecosystems or in our water supply. Stericycle provides hospitals with the training and infrastructure needed to properly sort their waste and increase recycling, which helps the environment, saves the hospitals money, and reduces the strain on landfills."

Like most students in the School of Sustainability, Moe enjoys making a positive impact on the world.

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Study Abroad Fair Nov. 21

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 18, 2013

AustraliaSchool of Sustainability students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend this Thursday's Study Abroad Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union, Arizona and Ventana rooms on the ASU Tempe campus. Study abroad program experts will be on hand to answer any questions regarding ASU's 250 study abroad opportunities. Also get a first-person point of view and advice from students who traveled abroad last year.

New 2014 programs include faculty-directed trips organized by the Global Institute of Sustainability.

"Students who study abroad tell us that they, on average, have an easier time securing a job upon graduation because they have a ‘stand out’ academic experience on their resume," says Adam Henry, ASU’s Study Abroad Office interim director. "Students indicate that they gain new knowledge and expertise, independence, cultural understanding, the opportunity to discover new places, and a competitive edge upon graduation ... while at the same time receiving ASU course credit."

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Students: Apply by Nov. 22 for Clinton Global Initiative University

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 16, 2013

Arizona State University is the 2014 location for the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Annual Meeting taking place on March 21-23 on the Tempe campus. CGI U promotes and encourages the millennial generation's motivation towards positive change and impactful entrepreneurship by funding student-created projects and initiatives.

"This conference is building upon the worldwide movement for social entrepreneurship and change that’s at the core of the millennial generation," said Kaitlin Fitzgerald, student director of Changemaker Central. "ASU is a great place for that because we are a university that prides itself on showing students how to take the resources and opportunities at their disposal and apply them to real-world challenges."

School of Sustainability students are encouraged to apply by Nov. 22 with ideas related to one of five focus areas: education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. For questions, email changemaker@asu.edu.

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Sustainability alum's career adapts to changing world

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

November 14, 2013

Emma Huizar-Felix, a 2012 graduate of the School of Sustainability, moved from her home state of Mexico to pursue more opportunities and a higher education. She settled in Arizona and ended up double majoring in design and sustainability and minoring in landscape architecture. From a young age, she knew hard work and determination could get her anywhere.

"For young people in Mexico to start on their own path, it’s really hard. If I had stayed there, I would always have worked in my Mom’s business, or my Dad’s," says Huizar-Felix. "I didn’t really want that. I wanted to grow more and be able to prove to myself I can do a lot on my own."

In the future, Huizar-Felix hopes to open her own business and consult on sustainability in Mexico. She wants to help lower energy costs and consumption in businesses much like her parents'.

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Phoenix Business Journal: Filmmaker teaching ASU sustainability students

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 12, 2013

peter-byckPeter Byck, director and producer of "Carbon Nation" and a new professor of practice for the School of Sustainability and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is currently teaching students sustainability concepts through documentary-making.

"It’s about solutions and changing students’ careers," says Byck. "It was a beautiful fit for my next project."

Students from both schools are divided into three teams investigating solar issues in Arizona. The students will then showcase their documentaries to a live audience at the end of the semester. Byck is also partnering with ASU to create a follow-up to "Carbon Nation" called "Carbon Nation Mach 2."

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Technology brings real world to sustainability students

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 7, 2013

student-video-conferenceIn ASU's School of Sustainability, professors are taking advantage of the many technological opportunities available today to entice students and expand their real-world, global experiences. By using methods like Vidyo, Skype, Voice Thread, and others, classrooms turn into living laboratories for students exploring sustainable communities, international policy, and sustainable development.

"Technology can bring the class to the outside world, instead of taking the outside world to the class," says David Manuel-Navarrete, an assistant professor in the School of Sustainability and a senior sustainability scientist in ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

Other sustainability professors advise that newcomers develop a back-up plan in case any glitches occur. However, many students expect their professors to be up-to-date on new technology and to use such technology in the classroom.

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LEDs light up Wells Fargo Arena

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 5, 2013

Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena is the first LED-lit NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision facility in the nation. ASU's recent sustainability partner, Ameresco, joined Musco Sports Lighting, ASU Facilities Development and Management, and University Sustainable Practices to remove the stadium's previous 109.20 kW lighting system with the new 27.74 kW LED system. Now, the stadium's lighting uses 75 percent less energy without compromising lighting levels.

LED lighting (light-emitting diode) is a high-efficiency, low-temperature lighting source that is known for lasting 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. It is estimated that the new LED installation will save ASU $357,000 over 10 years.

This past summer, Sun Devil Athletics made the Natural Resource Defense Council's list of top 10 sustainable athletic departments.

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White House honors School of Sustainability student

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 4, 2013

Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Joe Knott, also a current ASU School of Sustainability graduate student, was chosen to be one of the White House's 2013 Champions of Change for his continued commitment to land and species conservation.

Knott, a 33-year veteran, has served at the Pentagon as program manager for the Army’s Compatible Use Buffer Program that conserved 70,000 acres of land across the U.S. for conservation and green space. His last military assignment was as the Sustainability and Energy program manager for the National Guard Bureau, developing and implementing sustainability education, policies, and renewable energy initiatives for all 54 states and territories.

Knott will be awarded tomorrow morning at the White House's ceremony. The event is closed to press but will be live streamed on the White House website at 10:00 a.m. ET.

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ASU team shines in Solar Decathlon

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 1, 2013

The team of students from ASU and the University of New Mexico competed in the U.S. Department of Energy's 2013 Solar Decathlon and scored fifth in the architecture category and sixth in the engineering category among 20 participating teams.

"This was a notable collaboration between ASU programs in design, engineering and sustainability, and programs from the University of New Mexico," says Michael Underhill, interim dean for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

The ASU team was composed of students and faculty leaders from The Design School in the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the School of Sustainability. Called aSUNm, the team created an affordable energy-efficient home for a desert landscape.

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ASU engineering grad putting education to work in solar energy field

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

November 1, 2013

Manny Quijada, a graduate of Arizona State University's Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization program, started Western Texas College's own Solar Energy Technology program a year ago. Now a solar energy curriculum specialist, Quijada is sharing his expertise and teaching the future generations of solar technicians, researchers, and business owners.

"I’m thrilled to be in a position where I can motivate others to learn about solar energy technology and to envision a future for this power source that can help nations and governments secure a sustainable environment," he says.

Since 2011, ASU's solar energy program has graduated 27 students who are equipped with the engineering, policy, economic, and technology sides of solar energy.

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When decision-making is shared, maintain a shared vision

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

October 30, 2013

grass-mountain-by-Netzin-Steklis-sm-300x225School of Sustainability alumnus Cameron Childs (MA ‘12) has published her work in the September 2013 issue of Ecology and Society. Together with ASU Sustainability Scientists Abigail York, Dave White, and Michael Schoon, as well as Gitanjali Bodner of The Nature Conservancy in Tucson, Childs authored the article, Navigating a Murky Adaptive Comanagement Governance Network: Agua Fria Watershed, Arizona, USA.

The study analyzes perceptions about how multiple agencies work together to co-manage the Agua Fria Watershed in Arizona, using insight and personnel from the long-enduring co-management project, Las Cienegas. What they found was that general lessons and approaches from one project may be transferable, but particular institutions, management structures, or projects must be place-specific.

The study was part of a special feature on Exploring Opportunities for Advancing Collaborative Adaptive Management (CAM): Integrating Experience and Practice.

“Whether working in a desert watershed or the apparel and footwear industry,” says Childs, “collaboration is critical to addressing sustainability challenges. No one organization can do it alone.”

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5 local sustainable food and drink spots

School of Sustainability News

October 30, 2013

So you’re a student at Arizona State University and are hankerin’ to down some sustainable grub, right? These days it’s hard to figure out where your food comes from and what restaurants are actually telling the truth. (Ever heard of greenwashing?)

Have no fear; we’ve rounded up some reasonably priced sustainable restaurant options located near the Tempe campus, home of ASU’s School of Sustainability and Global Institute of Sustainability. And we’ve rated the cost of a typical meal at each restaurant on a scale of one to five with five being the most expensive.

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Alum addresses water-energy nexus in newly published study

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

October 30, 2013

A study published October 27, 2013, in the journal Nature Climate Change says global warming will make water scarcer in some places. The implication for coal power plants, which require a lot of water to operate, is that they could become obsolete in water-scarce areas, overtaken by renewable energy like wind and solar.

School of Sustainability alumnus Chris Harto (MS ’09) was a contributing author on the report, which was the first to account for water availability as well as emission-reductions in calculating the most economical mix of energy technologies. Harto, now an environmental and energy analyst at the Argonne National Laboratory, was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article about the study.

“There's a rate at which nature provides water,” Harto says. “When you start bumping up against that limit, you start running into some significant conflicts.”

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