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Spotlight on Faculty: Douglas Klahr, Ph.D

Douglas Klahr, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture. 

 

In an effort to push for greater awareness of sustainability issues the book Teaching Sustainability/Teaching Sustainably incorporates a dual approach not found in many textbooks: it first addresses how to teach the subject of sustainability and then pivots to examine the sustainability of teaching itself.  The book therefore transcends any usual approach to sustainability, and essays by twenty scholars underscore the interdisciplinary essence of the topic.  The book’s four parts guide the reader through these different approaches:

 

  1. Sustainability as a Core Value in Education
  2. Teaching Sustainability in the Academic Disciplines
  3. Education as a Sustainable Practice
  4. Leadership and Reform Strategies for Long-Term Institutional Change

 

UT Arlington Associate Professor Douglas Klahr (School of Architecture) wrote the opening chapter for the book, “Sustainability for Everyone: Trespassing Disciplinary Boundaries”.  Teaching Sustainability/Teaching Sustainably is published by Stylus Press and is available in hardcover and paperback versions. 

 

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Sustainability and Food Management

Below are two links that will provide you with information on Fostering Sustainability in Higher Education and Food Management in Action

http://blogs.planning.org/sustainability/2013/05/16/fostering-sustainability-in-higher-education/

http://www.biocycle.net/2012/03/sustainable-food-management-in-action/

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Air North Texas Be Air Aware and Clean Air Action Day

Air North Texas Be Air Aware and Clean Air Action Day

On 6.21.13 between 7 am and  7 pm, North Texans will join in doing at least one extra thing for clean air. Previously on July 7, Clean Air Action Day will now be the first Friday of summer every year. Incorporate a clean air strategy when traveling to work, making Friday night plans, getting the weekend started early with a trip to the lake or in another way.

We are asking UTA community to pledge what they will do this summer to help promote good air quality.  Make your pledge go to http://www.airnorthtexas.org/beairaware.asp

Click here for additional ways help promote Be Air Aware strategies throughout ozone season.

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Civil engineers increase energy created from solid waste

Two UT Arlington civil engineering professors are working with a new imaging system that has doubled the amount of methane gas produced by the city of Denton landfill that is converted to energy.

The landfill is the first in Texas to implement the Enhanced Leachate Recirculation system. The gas now provides power for about 1,500 Denton households. However, with increased efficiency of ELR operation, the system will be able to power 3,000 homes in the city of 117,000, officials say.

Sahadat Hossain and Melanie Sattler, associate professors of civil engineering, helped the city of Denton increase the efficiency of its landfill operation.

Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering, says the work by Hossain and Sattler holds promising results for municipalities worldwide.

“This is the kind of innovation that will help cities harness available energy resources and maximize the utilization of available spaces at a time of unprecedented urban growth,” Dr. Bardet says.

Read more about the new imaging system.

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Travel Support Grants

The University Sustainability Committee announces Travel Support Grants available to students, faculty and staff at UT Arlington working to enhance sustainability in the University’s affairs. Specifically these grants will support (A) faculty and staff travel relating to curriculum, research, and public engagement and (B) student engagement in activities related to sustainability and the environment.

 Travel Support Grants of up to $500 for one event will be awarded to members of the university community to attend conferences, seminars or workshops relevant to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Funds may be used to support transportation, registration, or other costs allowed under University travel policy. Cost-sharing with other funding sources is strongly encouraged.

 All expenditures must comply with relevant University regulations concerning travel expenditures. Awardees will be responsible for all travel arrangements. There is a limit of one award per person per year. Also, the total amount per year granted to students representing a single student organization is limited to $1,000. The total amount per year granted to faculty or students from a single research group is limited to $1,000. For this purpose, a research group consists of a faculty member and the students they advise as major professor.

 Applications are due on October 18, 2013. Applicants may either request funds for travel to take place after that date, or for reimbursement for travel that has taken place between September 1, 2013 and October 18, 2013. Applications should be submitted on the proper form.

 Requests for an application form and any questions should go to:

Dr. Chris Morris, Chair, Working Group on Curriculum, Research and Community Engagement, morris@uta.edu.

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Sustainable Food Management in Action

How can the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency challenge others to reduce as much of their food waste as possible? That’s the goal of the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), an initiative piloted in 2010 and fully launched in 2011. Along with reducing waste, the added benefits of the FRC are the potential for saving money, helping communities and protecting the environment — the triple bottom line.

The Challenge raises awareness about the amount of food unnecessarily thrown in the trash and educates about how to divert this food to its best use. In 2010, Americans generated 250 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). Organic materials continue to be the largest component of MSW, a total of 56.3 percent. This includes paper and paperboard (29%), food scraps (13.9%) and yard trimmings (13.4%). The 13.9 percent translates into 34 million tons of food “waste” thrown away by U.S. homes and businesses — 97 percent of the total generated. No significant progress was made in diverting food waste from 2009. Amazingly, food waste is now the number one material sent to landfills and incinerators.

Click here to read the complete article and how UT Arlington is participating in this venture.

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UT Arlington Among First to Receive Sustainability Certification for Landscape

The Sustainable Sites Initiative, a new rating system for sustainable design in landscape and site development, has named UT Arlington’s The Green at College Park one of the first three projects in the world to be certified according to the organization’s rigorous benchmarks.

To read the complete article click here

Also read about it in the LAND E-News from ASLA.  Click here to go to the story.

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Announcement Sustainability Speaker Grants University Sustainability Committee

The University Sustainability Committee announces Sustainability Speaker Grants available to students, faculty and staff at UT Arlington working to enhance environmental and sustainability studies and programs in the curriculum and the University’s affairs.

Environmental and sustainability studies traverse the sciences, politics, economics, culture, the arts, humanities, and ethics. Environmental studies examines how individuals, communities, societies, and cultures interact with the non-humans and ecosystems around them, so that we can better understand how these interactions might take place in ways that permit non-humans and ecosystems to thrive. Sustainability studies builds on environmental studies to recognize accelerating environmental destruction and to seek development of practices, ideas, and values that repair past damage, prevent ongoing damage, promote social justice, and enhance human and non-human welfare.

Sustainability Speaker Grants of up to $500 for one speaker will be awarded to support engagement of speakers addressing sustainability and environmental stewardship. Speakers may address regularly scheduled academic colloquia, meetings of student organizations, or special events associated with the University. Priority will be given to events expected to reach large and diverse audiences. Cost-sharing with other funding sources is strongly encouraged.

All expenditures must comply with relevant University regulations concerning travel and event expenditures. Awardees will be responsible for all travel and event arrangements and logistics. The Working Group on Communications of the University Sustainability Committee will be available to assist with publicity of events for which these awards are made.

Applications will be considered at any time but must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the proposed event to allow time for evaluation of the application and award processing. Applications should be submitted on the proper form. 

Requests for an application form and any questions should go to:

Dr. Christopher Morris, Chair, Working Group on Curriculum, Research and Community Engagement, morris@uta.edu.

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Student-Produced PSAs for Clean Air Action Day in North Texas
Click for Video - Football Do it for Us ... or Football [WMV]
Created by: Jazmyne Washington
 
Click for Video - Clean Air Mail Clean Air Mail [WMV]
Created by: David Morgan and David Cornwell
 
Click for Video - Clean Air Choices for Your Health Clean Air Choices for Your Health [WMV]
Created by: Isaac Molina, Noelle Russell and Elizabeth Jaimes
 
Click for Video - Partners with Air North Texas Partner with Air North Texas [WMV]
Created by: Jazzmyne Greer
 
Click for Video - Care for Our Environment Care for Our Environment (Spanish) [WMV]
Created by: Maria Martinez, Raul Solis and Karen Ramirez

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Announcement Faculty Fellowships for 2014-2015 Sustainability in the Curriculum

The University Sustainability Committee announces that Faculty Fellowships on Sustainability in the Curriculum will be awarded for the 2013-2014 Academic Year. The Committee’s Working Group on Curriculum, Research and Community Engagement solicits applications from faculty to support the integration of environmental and sustainability studies content into courses that they teach.

 Environmental and sustainability studies traverse the sciences, politics, economics, culture, the arts, humanities, and ethics. Environmental studies examines how individuals, communities, societies, and cultures interact with the non-humans and ecosystems around them, so that we can better understand how these interactions might take place in ways that permit non-humans and ecosystems to thrive. Sustainability studies builds on environmental studies to recognize accelerating environmental destruction and to seek development of practices, ideas, and values that repair past damage, prevent ongoing damage, promote social justice, and enhance human and non-human welfare.

 Faculty Fellowships in the amount of $2,000 - $5,000 for one semester will be awarded to support development of modules on sustainability for existing courses, laboratory exercises, service learning exercises, field trips, development of new courses, or development of other curriculum products. The minimum award is $2,000 and the maximum is $5,000. Funds may be used as a salary supplement for the Fellow, to support purchase or production of materials and resources, development of service learning projects, attending relevant conferences or workshops, conducting evaluations or surveys that support the curricular activity, or other relevant expenses. Dissemination of products via scholarly publications or other venues is encouraged but not required. Cost-sharing with other funding sources is encouraged but not required. Tenured and tenure-track faculty as well as Lecturers are encouraged to apply.

 All expenditures must comply with relevant University regulations and must be made during the semester of the Fellowship.

 Upon completion of the Fellowship, Fellows will be expected to:

  1. Submit within one semester a 1-page summary and evaluation of the activities undertaken, suitable for communication to the public (e.g. on the University Sustainability web site, http://www.uta.edu/sustainability/ ).
  2. Submit a 1-page summary of funds expended.
  3. Make a brief oral presentation about Fellowship activities to the University Sustainability Committee, when a meeting is held at a convenient time.

 Applications for Fellowships during the Fall Semester 2014 or Spring Semester 2015 should be submitted by April 15, 2014. (Award of Fellowships will be contingent upon approval of the program budget).

 Requests for an application form and any questions should be sent to:

Dr. Christopher Morris, Chair, Working Group on Curriculum, Research and Community Engagement, morris@uta.edu.

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Community Garden at UT Arlington

The Community Garden at UT Arlington Campus will support the University’s commitment to sustainability and preserving green space. The garden offers a place where all people can gain ideas for their own gardens, volunteer, or just sit, relax and enjoy the gardens. The 0.5 acre garden is located at UTA Blvd and Summit (next to the SWEET center).

The garden enriches our learning about the natural world, and educates our community about sustainable choices. The community garden also compliments the UT Arlington compost site and incorporates rainwater harvesting techniques to promote water conservation.

There are many ways to contribute; you can adopt a plot and become a gardener; you can volunteer and help us harvest; and/or you can be a supporter by making a donation to the garden.

Join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keep-Arlington-Beautiful/193449240673806

Click Here for WFAA's Critical Mention about the Community Garden

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University Receives Silver Sustainability Rating from STARS Report

UT Arlington received a silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System report to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability. STARS was developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community.

As members of AASHE,  the University is actively engaged in greening facility operations, promoting innovative research, supporting and encouraging student initiatives, implementing sustainability focused curriculum, and sponsoring public service initiatives.

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University Shows Savings by Reducing Energy Usage Through Renovations, Upgrades

UT Arlington has saved nearly $3 million in energy and maintenance costs through a recently completed program aimed at upgrading equipment to make the campus more environmentally friendly. Other changes are expected to net another million dollars annually when completed next year.

UT System officials recently announced that the 15-institution system has cut energy use by 16 percent since 2001, resulting in a savings of $196 million and surpassing a goal to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent by fiscal year 2011. UT Arlington has played a significant role in those efforts.

“The University takes seriously its commitment to reducing energy use on campus,” says John Hall, vice president for administration and campus operations. “Most recently, energy performance contracts with Siemens Building Technologies and TDIndustries will allow the University to further enhance operational efficiencies and create a better living, working, and sustainable environment for students, faculty, and staff.”

Savings over the past year-and-a-half come primarily from improvements made as part of an energy conservation project UT Arlington initiated with Siemens Industry Inc. The project was funded through an $18 million loan from the UT System.

Between 2006 and 2009, Siemens evaluated the campus for energy saving opportunities and then implemented the improvements. Some of those included retrofitting inefficient lighting systems in several campus buildings; transformer upgrades; steam trap replacements; and a recommissioning of the campus’s energy management system.

UT Arlington realized a savings of $2,754,103 million in energy and maintenance costs from May 2009 through April 2010 – the first year that the changes were fully in place. The savings represent a reduction of more than 19 million kilowatt hours and are expected to continue at a similar or greater rate.

"UT Arlington has proven to have the foresight into energy reduction measures to ensure true energy cost savings are realized,” said Kelly Baxley, the UT Arlington account manager for Siemens. “Their commitment to providing energy efficient facilities that do not sacrifice comfort can only enhance the educational experience of students that come from all around the world to study at UTA."

The University also recently embarked on a similar energy conservation project with TDIndustries Inc. The $9.9 million project is being funded through a low-interest loan provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The changes planned as part of that project – including replacing two thermal plant chillers as well as upgrades to heating and air conditioning and other systems – are expected to save the university $1,133,488 annually and decrease energy usage by 9,831,232 kilowatt hours annually. That project is scheduled for completion in December 2011.

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New program lets you rent a car by the hour or day
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No car? No problem! Starting this fall, the UT Arlington community will be able to rent an environmentally friendly car by the hour or day, all for a low price.

Connect by Hertz will be on campus offering drivers ages 18 and older cars to help them get where they need to be, whether it's running errands, shopping, or working. In addition to the convenience that the available cars bring, they'll also help reduce the amount of traffic on our roads—and environmental harm to our area. Each Connect car helps take multiple personally owned cars off the street; similar programs boast a reduction of 15-20 for every shared vehicle. That decrease in gas, oil, and harmful emissions can do a lot to keep the planet healthy.

Connect cars are available by the hour or day, and the low rate includes gas; insurance, including coverage for the Connect car; GPS navigation; an iPod adaptor; Bluetooth technology; 24-hour roadside assistance; support of a 24-hour in-house member care center; and in-car communication, allowing drivers to reach the member care center with the touch of a button.

Rates start at $8 per hour and $62 per day. Grab a few friends or co-workers to share the ride and your individual cost could end up being lower than your morning cup of coffee. Join before Sept. 30, 2010 and use the promotion code MAVERICK, and the first year is free.

To learn more or sign up, visit www.connectbyhertz.com and choose University of Texas at Arlington in the upper right corner or call 877-654-4400.

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