Below are the most recent sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. Each item is tagged with corresponding subject(s) relating to a specific topic within our website.
VIEW NEWS ITEMS RELATING TO A TAG:
RECOGNITION & HONORS | 10X12 PROGRAM | GREEN ENERGY FEE GRANT PROGRAM | THE OUTBACK FARM
RESRAP PROGRAM | SUSTAINABLE OFFICE CERTIFICATION | SWEATER DAYS | VIKING SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
ENERGY & CLIMATE | TRANSPORTATION | WASTE | BUILT ENVIRONMENT | FOOD | WATER | CLEANING | GROUNDS
PURCHASING | HUXLEY | URBAN TRANSITIONS STUDIO | CSPS | RESEARCH | SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS
Spatial Institute to help with updating fish distribution map
This meeting will call together federal, tribal, state, county and other steelhead experts who work in the Hood Canal region and will collect from them local-level steelhead distribution information to update the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife / Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Statewide Integrated Fish Distribution dataset for the Hood Canal region.
Check In With The Environmental And Sustainability Programs
“Later in the quarter we’re planning to do an indigenous resistance event,” Normoyle said. “Our vision [for 2015] is a continuation of what we worked on since we started our jobs...being more inclusive in our programming and in who we reach out to.” On Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. Dhar Jamail, a journalist known for his coverage of the Iraq War, will speak in Commucations Facilities 110 on the issue of climate disruption. His talk, “Are We Off the Climate Precipice?” will focus on the science of climate disruption and mass extinctions that are currently in progress.
Bellingham selected as semifinalist in $5M Georgetown University Energy Prize
The prize provides a platform for communities to showcase local innovations to a national audience. More than 70 communities participated in the quarterfinalist rounds during 2014, but the field has been winnowed to a group of 50 select cities and counties who will be competing to reduce their energy consumption to make it into the finalist round in 2017. The semifinalist communities hail from 27 states throughout the country. In Washington, Bellingham is joined by Anacortes, Bellevue, Walla Walla and San Juan County. These communities will share information and best practices.
Western brings electric vehicles to campus for testing
Due to the large number of vehicles used on Western’s campus, Facilities Management has been considering alternative-fuel vehicles for years, to help reduce fossil fuel consumption on campus, Krabbenhoft said. “The entire campus is a classroom and everyone who is working and learning here is contributing to the development of others, whether it is directly or indirectly,” Krabbenhoft said in a Facilities Management press release. “We are looking for what types of applications and uses will make sense [and] where we are able to accomplish the job and at the same time reduce the carbon footprint.”
KAPOW! Making spaces into lively places
The goal of the competition is to engage our community in designing inexpensive, individual projects that make small places more lively and enjoyable. These design ideas should help to reflect our unique community identity, attract people, activate inactive spaces, provide amenities and promote people's health, happiness, and well-being. Winning ideas will be selected based on their creativity, innovation, potential to be realized and social impact.
Professor finds virus in mass sea star die-off
Miner’s hypothesis is that the presence or absence of the virus, called densovirus, is not what determines whether the sea stars get sick, though it may be weakening their immune systems, Miner said. Many sea stars that have the virus are not sick, he said. Miner started the study over a year ago in collaboration with senior Warren Kohl and Cornell University professors Ian Hewson and Drew Harvell to look at the mass wipe out of a variety of species of sea stars up and down the Pacific coast, Miner said.
Heritage Resources: partners in teaching, learning
For example, this past August, a new cohort of Environmental Education graduate students visited Western’s campus and spent time working with archival and primary source materials at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS). As part of the M.Ed Residency program partnershipbetween the North Cascades Institute (NCI)and Western’s Huxley College of the Environment, these students live at the Environmental Learning Center located in the North Cascades National Park for one year, during which time they are able to immerse themselves in place-based pedagogy.
The competition is open to both student and affiliated business teams (staff/students/faculty/alumni of a participating school) of no less than 3 members. Student teams must contain at least 3 members enrolled at a participating institution. Business Division teams must contain at least one staff, student, faculty, or alumni member from a participating institution. Students are welcome to compete in the Business Division, provided they meet the requirements. (Please note that the teams will not be representing their college in any official capacity.) All team members must reside in or attend school in Snohomish, Skagit, or Whatcom County.
Transformer removal ends decade-long utility upgrade project
Under the North Campus Utility Upgrades project, the existing, more-efficient 12,470-volt system was extended to feed the north end of campus. The effort to replace the old campus distribution system with the new one has taken more than a decade to complete. The removal of the old transformer finishes up the Electrical Utility Campus Master Plan. With the old system, a single failure would disconnect power from the entire north end. The new looped feed configuration allows Western to isolate single buildings to minimize total impact in the event of failure. The last of the buildings on campus to be operating on the 4,160-volt system (Old Main, Edens Hall, Edens North, Higginson, Nash Hall and Mathes Hall) are now hooked up to the new system.
Western environmental groups celebrate sustainability at expo
“We want to get people engaged in a kind of non-traditional sense with sustainability,” said Victoria Monreal, a Western alumna who helped organize the event. “We wanted to cover the four pillars of [sustainability]: transportation, food, housing and clothing.” The expo included booths on topics such as foraging and trying out carbon-lite bikes. Students also brought their unwanted clothing for a clothing swap.
Western's green energy fee works to make campus sustainable
The GEF was implemented in 2005 to encourage clean energy and amended in 2010 to fund the grant program. Alyssa MacDonald, the GEF outreach coordinator, said the projects must involve sustainability, reduce energy consumption or the university’s environmental impact and engage the campus community. “We fund small and large grant projects,” MacDonald said. “A small project is anything from $500 to $5,000. Anything above $5,000 up to $250,000 is considered a large grant.” The process begins when a student or faculty member has a project idea. Then, they build a team with a couple of other students and an advisor. Their project is then submitted to a committee for approval.
Calling All Majors: Sparking Clean Energy Interest from Students in Washington
The Institute for Energy Studies at the University offers undergraduate programs that incorporate multiple disciplines into the study of energy, focusing on four essential components to address national energy security and global climate-disruption challenges: science, technology, policy, and business. Specifically, students have the option to minor in energy policy or to pursue an energy concentration within the electrical engineering program. Over the next year, the University will also develop programs for a Bachelor of Arts and a minor in energy science.
NW Colleges Showcase Innovations In Campus Sustainability
Like PSU, colleges across the country are trying out new approaches for making their campuses more sustainable. This means educating students and others in higher ed about the impact they are having on the planet and its resources as well as finding ways to reduce that impact.
Sustainability expo Nov. 13 to feature local food, clothing swap, bike tests
Free local food samples: 10 a.m. to noon. Demonstrations and displays will include cooking sustainably on a budget, canning and preserving, and farming...
Students create pet products in 'ReMade' challenge
The students applied design methodologies to recycle, repurpose and transform discarded materials otherwise headed for waste streams into commercially viable and environmentally responsible pet products for sale.
Chamber announces Nonprofit and Green Business of the Year
Western Washington University is the Chamber’s 2014 Green Business of the Year for “its success in elimating bottled water sales on its campus, based on an initiative started by its students.” Also, Western has three LEED certified buildings and encourages green practices on campus through its Office of Sustainability, according to the news release.
WTA test drives electric bus, not ready to transition
For one week, the public was open to ride one of these all-electric buses with no charge, according to a WTA press release. This gave WTA the opportunity to test what BYD is promoting as the first environmentally-friendly bus technology. “Environmentally speaking, these are a whole lot cleaner than anything that burns diesel,” McCarthy said. “[However], it’s much more expensive to purchase. ... It definitely costs a lot more than a standard diesel bus.”
Joel Swisher hired as director of WWU Institute for Energy Studies
Swisher, who starts at Western on Nov. 3, was hired following a national search. He succeeds Institute for Energy Studies founding director Andy Bunn, associate professor of Environmental Science at Western. “I want to thank Andy Bunn for taking the lead in developing the Institute and the energy curriculum. His energy, enthusiasm, and expertise have been and will continue to be important in the Institute’s work,” Burton said.
Students continue to push for the WWU Foundation to divest from fossil fuel
Students for Renewable Energy, a student government club at the university, released a statement Oct. 6 denouncing the foundation’s answer to their May request. “To invest funds on behalf of an institution into a reckless and unsustainable business strategy is not consistent with any fiduciary duty,” read the statement from the Students for Renewable Energy.
Note: These news items are carefully selected from searching many local resources. They are linked directly to the original articles. We do not own any images or content within each article. The main purpose of this news section is to get the word out!