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Catalyst Newsletter

Catalyst 47 - April 2014

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Sustainability News

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Read news articles published over the past month.

IU Faculty presented Sustainability Fellowships

sustainability course

Apr 15, 2014 -- Six Sustainability Course Development Fellowships have been awarded to Indiana University Bloomington faculty by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, the Office of Sustainability, and the Integrated Program in the Environment.

This year's recipients were: Stephanie Kane, Scott Shackelford, Jim Capshew, James Farmer and Doug Knapp, Majed Akhter and Darren Ficklin, and Stacey Brown.

"In a highly competitive pool, these applications stood out as timely, reflective and innovative contributions to IU's growing curriculum in sustainability," said Phaedra Pezzullo, a professor in the Department of Communication and Culture and co-chair of the IU Office of Sustainability's Education and Research Working Group. 


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Energy Master Plan to generate savings and efficiency  

Apr 11, 2014 -- Indiana University is well on its way to investing nearly $11.5 million in projects that reduce energy consumption under the guidance of the December 2012 IU Bloomington Integrated ENergy Master Plan, university officials told the Board of Trustees today. 

energy master plan

The figure encompasses building renovation and rehabilitation projects that include replacing outdated lighting and mechanical systems with more efficient modern systems. More than half the projects have been completed or are under construction. Others are in the design or planning phase.

"Indiana University is taking strategic steps to improve the efficiency of campus buildings and utility systems," said Tom Morrison, IU vice president for capital planning and facilities. "The Integrated Energy Master Plan will guide the campus in its efforts to conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions and ultimately lower energy costs for students and taxpayers."

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IU Bloomington sustainability interns to present projects at fifth annual symposium  


Apr 3, 2014 -- Indiana University Bloomington's Office of Sustainability showcased the completed projects of student interns from the 2013-14 Academic Year Internship Program in Sustainability on Friday, April 18.

The fifth annual Academic Year Sustainability Internship Symposium took place from 11:15-1:30 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union State Rooms East and West, 900 E. Seventh St.

It included oral and poster presentations and a lunch reception hosted by Indiana Memorial Union Catering. 

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MacArthur Genius Fellow Will Allen spoke at IU 

will allen

Apr 1, 2014 -- Will Allen, recipient of a MacArthur Genius Fellowship for his work founding the nonprofit Growing Power, delivered the Ben Brabson Lecture for Sustainable Ideas during Indiana University Bloomington's 2014 SustainIU week. The lecture, one of several SustainIU events, took place at the Indiana Memorial Union Whittenberger Auditorium at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 8.

Allen, a former professional basketball player and corporate sales leader, founded Growing Power in 1993 to support what he terms "community food systems" networks dedicated to providing equal access to affordable and nutritious food.  

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IU Campus Garden implemented redesign 

garden redesign

Mar 27, 2014 -- The Indiana University Campus Garden Initiative hosted a volunteer work day at Hilltop Garden from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 30. Campus and Bloomington community members were encouraged to sign up and participate.

Under the instruction of Office of Sustainability staff, professor Carl Ipsen and local permaculture consultant Jonas Carpenter, IU Bloomington students Austin Davis, Jakob Bergman and Eleanor Jackson-Laird created redesign plans for the garden through a service-learning independent study course in the fall 2013 semester.

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Ecological design and environmental literacy leader spoke on Oberlin Project

david orr

Mar 24 , 2014 -- David Orr gave a public presentation at Indiana University Bloomington on March 27th on The Oberlin Project.

The Oberlin Project is a collaboration aimed at revitalizing Oberlin, Ohio into a model of sustainable economic development that ulitmately produces more energy than it uses.

Orr visited IU as part of a larger meeting of the Mid America Prosperity and Security steering group

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Crimson Cruisers

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By Bill Brown, IU Office of Sustainability Director

The first dozen bikes from the Crimson Cruisers pilot bike lending library hit the streets this week. Crimson Cruisers bike ambassadors were chosen from a pool of fifty applicants who wrote short essays about why they were the best candidates.

Henri Venable, our Bicycle Friendly Campus Intern, has been working with the Transportation Working Group to design and implement this program over the past academic year. He builds on a long line of interns who have been studying bicycle issues over the last five years. The bikes come from Parking Services impounded bike inventory and are refurbished with new parts by students.

bikesOutdoor Adventures provides a home for the Crimson Cruisers program where the bikes are refurbished and checked out. Outdoor Adventures also provides the place for training for students who wish to learn about repairing bikes and also learn more about how to enjoy bicycle transportation safely.

While a dozen bikes may not make much of an impact, it is hoped that this summer pilot may inform future efforts to make more bikes available on campus. University of Kentucky has been building a bike lending library for a decade, which currently has over 150 bikes available. Other options have been studied in the past and will continue to be studied, including commercial bike-sharing systems and purchasing new bikes for the library.

A survey issued as part of the Transportation Demand Management Survey indicated that more people would use bicycles on campus if there were more dedicated bike lanes and bike paths on campus. In a meeting earlier this year, the Transportation Policy Advisory Committee voted to recommend funding for a Bicycle Master Plan. That plan, which was recommended by the Campus Master Plan, will provide a roadmap for future bicycle infrastructure on campus that will integrate with recent city efforts to extend major bike thoroughfares to and through campus. This planning effort has also received strong support from leaders in IU administration and also resolutions from GPSO and IUSA.

These initiatives are two of the opportunities for improvement identified by the League of American Bicyclists when they selected IU Bloomington as one of the first twenty bicycle friendly universities at the bronze level (silver, gold and platinum levels await us).

Watch for Crimson Cruiers and also for better bike transportation infrastructure on campus and let us know how we can continue to improve active transportation on campus. 

Catalysts for Change

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Insight into Success 

Ambition is the first step to success. The second step is action. This past academic year, the IUOS Interns have had great success in their endeavors and acquired valuable skills to use in their future pursuits. Their contributions have led to the prosperity of the IU Office of Sustainability, the Indiana University Bloomington campus, and the Bloomington community. All of their hard work has not gone unnoticed, unappreciated, or under-valued. Even though the Interns were already acknowledged at the previous Sustainability Intership Symposium, I want them to receive a little more recognition for their efforts. For this article, I have expounded upon each Intern's own success--both in their Internship positions and personal growth. So, if you see one of our outstanding Interns around campus please congratulate them (if you haven't already) on their achievements and a job well done.  

By Anna Will, Communications Specialist

group pic             funny pic

  • Amanda Redfern
    • During this academic year, Amanda made great strides in many areas within the Greening Cream and Crimson Internship, which works to implement and improve upon sustainability initiatives in the Athletic Department. Amanda's work helped to increase the overall diversion rate for the football season to 55%, with a game high of 67% during the EPA GameDay Challenge. She also paired recycling and landfill bins with posters inside Memorial Stadium to educate fans on how to sort their trash. In addition, Amanda ensured that every desk in the Athletics Department had a desk-side recyling bin and recycling sticker. Amanda sent out the first annual Sustainability E-Newsletter to educate staff and created a Sustainability Liaison position on the SAAC Board to allow student-athletes to become involved in Greening Cream and Crimson. Finally, Amanda improved the overall branding and visibility of Greening Cream and Crimson. Through her work, Amanda realized how interconnected everything is at IU. She learned how important communication is for success and project implementation--a key attribute for success. 
  • Liz Essman
    • As the No Waste Coordinator, Liz focused on reducing waste accumulation and increasing recycling habits around campus. To help with her goal, Liz introduced a survey entitled "Identifying Entry Barriers to Behavior Change." The survey included questions regarding how students perceived recycling and what their feelings were towards IU's waste infrastructure. Liz gathered over 800 student responses and found that convenience of proper receptacles was the most important variable in determining if students would recycle or not. Liz addressed this result by beginning the "No Bin Left Behind" project that paired trash and recycling bins, created single-stream bins, and decreased the number of trash bins. Working within such a large institution as IU, Liz learned a lot about the significance of clean communication and how difficult it can be to network with others who have their own goals and initiatives. Both of these understandings will be vital for Liz as she continues with her educational and professional career.
  • Heather Oslund
    • After interning this year with H2H, Heather will always have a special place in her heart for the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale and hopes to continue contributing on a volunteer basis as much as she can in the future. Heather facilitated in the formation and functioning of 3 committees to plan and implement the Hoosier to Hoosier sale. These committees will aid in upholding the mission of Hoosier to Hoosier: to divert reusable items from the landfill and prevent additional resources from being consumed along with raising funds for local organizations. Her efforts have helped to ensure that the fifth year of H2H will be yet another successful sale. Heather acquired skills in project and website management as well as the ability to use software programs. Along with these aptitudes, Heather met and interacted with many interesting people and was able to contribute to a program she truly believes in.
  • Audrey Brinkers
    • Audrey's main goal this year was to promote the Campus Garden as an engaging space for students, faculty, staff, and community members. She also wanted to educate the IU Bloomington community on sustainable food systems. Over the past year, she brought more service learning groups out to the garden, created a dynamic GardenCorps program, and redesigned the entire garden space using permaculutre principles with the help of other students and staff. Audrey learned so much about working with diverse groups of people and coordinating a program. A lot of what she learned was the nitty-gritty details of e-mails, websites, and social media. But she also gained valuable experience  in community and knowledge as part of a much larger picture. Audrey was constantly amazed by the ways in which various people are able to connect topics of sustaianbility and food back with their particular interest, whether its creative writing, business, hman biology, political science along with a number of other backgrounds. This vibrant group was always a source of inspiration for her. Audrey hopes to take her confidence and knowledge that people are powerful forces to make ourselves and the environment healthier.
  • Sarah Baulac
    • As the Education and Research Intern, Sarah worked on several projects, ranging from planning the sudent sustainability summit to researching administrative data to help with STARS accreditation. She even had the opportunity to sit on discussions about recommendations for the new Environmental and Sustainable Studies BA. Her internship was challenging at times but very rewarding. Sarah had the good fortune to work with all types of stakeholders on campus and see how processes work at an institutional level. She is most grateful for Bill's and Emilie's guidance and the change to get a behind the scenes look at projects affecting the entire university. Sarah also worked with Celia Daniels to build an opportunity analysis database to capture many of the sustainability projects that involve students or could feature student participation. Together, they surveyed service-learning projects, volunteer opportunities, and student organizations to include in the database. Their efforts will help students and faculty to share resources and efficiently develop campus as a living learning lab. 
  • Andrew Carty
    • Despite being a non-Greek, Andrew accomplished much as the Sustainability and the Greek Experience Intern. Andrew's priority was to work with the four major Greek councils on campus in conjunction with Student Life and Learning and IUOS to further implement organizational structure, programming, and initiatives to catalyze involvement in Greek sustainability on campus. Andrew was thrilled to find several Greek students who took on leadership positions to encourage sustainable habits within their houses and around campus with such drive and initiative. With the aid of these motivated students, Andrew almost doubled the amount of involvement, measured on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Andrew gained valuable personal experience from becoming so invovled in and aware of the fraternal nature and community-involved focus these organizations have. Andrew learned how much these Greek organizations positively impacted the campus and the City of Bloomington as a whole. 
  • Justin Owen
    • As the Document Management, Paper Usage, and Reduction Intern, Justin focused on reducing the amount paper used and increasing the use of digitization in classrooms. This year, Justin's goal was to gain an understanding of how the School of Informatics used paper in order to identify processes that can be easily converted to paperless ones. Justin built relationships with stakeholders and identified priorities for paperless practices. He also provided recommendations for the School of Informatics to continue moving forward and reducing the amount of paper used. These practices could be used elsewhere on campus, such as at the Wells Library-where nearly 14 million pages were printed. Justin learned about new up and coming technologies and about the organizational structure of IU, IUTS, and the SoIC. 
  • Chris Round
    • Financing renewable energy was the primary objective for Chris as the Financing Renewable Energy Intern. Specifically, Chris worked to find a financial path to build large scale solar structures at Indiana University. Chris developed a report to analyze the regulatory and incentive ecosystem for renewable energy, not only in Indiana but nation wide. He developed a working knowledge of incentives and regulations surrounding renewable energy in the United States. Additionally, Chris learned more about financing structures used in higher education to build large scale renewable energy projects. With this knowledge, Chris could effectively identify the feasibility of building solar structures to benefit IU. Chris learned how feasible solar energy. He also learned how smart an investment using solar energy is long term, both financially and, most importantly, environmentally. 
  • Kelsey Smith 
    • Kelsey had a multitude of goals to accomplish this academic year in her position as the Green Events Planning and Local Food Sourcing at the IMU. Her primary focus was on three initiatives: collect resources and present them in a user friendly format by researching local resources and peer organizations, evaluate the current GE certification process through working with campus departments and organizations to pilot their events, and organize the GE website and documentatiosn. Kelsey surveyed 6 peer universities to learn about what resources other programs are providing their participants. From this survey, IUOS was able to enhance website resources by providing a step-by-step planning guide, a program logo, a simplified and condensed website page, and a facts sheets. The pilot gave great insight into the needs of organizers, the usefulness of the provided resources, areas of improvement, and the ease of the program. Kelsey learned a lot about organization, researching, and creating a program. She also realized how important it is to build a strong foundation of connections from the start to make initiating a program like this easier. 
  • Henri Venable
    • Henri's internship as the Bicycle Friendly Campus Initiatives Intern paired wonderfully with his passion for biking. His main goal for this year was to develop and launch a bike library program. After several months of planning, Henri successfully created the Crimson Cruisers Bike Sharing Program. Crimson Cruisers will allow students, staff, and faculty to check out free bikes to commute about campus. The pilot program will launch this summer. To coincide, Henri started the Ambassador program for those interested to assist with promoting the program as well as proper biking habits. He also created opportunities for community participation by pairing Crimson Cruisers with art and journalism classes as well as general volunteer opportunities. Henri learned how to develop and maintain strong relationships with stakeholders and effectively communicate in person or via phone, email, or social media. Henri also learned howto compile budgets and operational plans.
  • Nadia Lovko
    • Nadia's main objective as the Sustainability Metrics and Reporting Intern was to complete the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating Systems (STARS) to measure IUB's sustainability performance and greenhouse gas emissions. After finishing the Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Nadia found that the IU Bloomington campus has continued to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% decrease since 2010 due to IU's switch from coal to natural gas. Currently, Nadia is still working on finalizing the STARS report. Nadia acquired valuable profesisonal communication skills that will be very useful as she continues her undergraduate work. In addition, she learned how to network and manage multiple data sources. 
  • Angela Babb
    • This year, Angela was the Strategic Planning and Implementation for Sustainable Food Intern, and she did exactly that. Angela organized both IU Food Summits, implemented a Real Food Challenge course, continued to assess the all the food purchases made by IU, and assisted the Food Working Group in writing a strategic plan. Angela found a strong interest in sustainable food when she came back to IU and wanted to help students have access to sustainable, healthier foods on campus. She started the Real Food Challenge Assessment, which was taken on by an IU professor to teach a class on. The students in the class took a survey about Residential Programs and Services to identify where sustainable food is needed and where it might be obtained. Angela learned a lot about the food being purchased by IUB and she started building relationships with food vendors. She made more connections with students, faculty, and staff involved with the food system at IU. Angela thoroughly enjoyed her internship, especially because she could use her passion for sustainable food to make a big difference on campus.
  • Kayleen Glaser
    • As the LEED intern, Kayleen helped to promote efficiency and effectiveness of IU's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate program. This year, Kayleen worked with three LEED project teams and created a light pollution reduction white paper. She then proceeded to meet with key stakeholders on campus to discuss reducing light pollution at IUB. Kayleen also updated the green housekeeping policy for IU and even started the green cleaning committee in collaboration with Raija Bushnell. Kayleen was even more excited that 2 more buildings were LEED certified this year. Kayleen learned a lot about the LEED certification process and green buildings in general. More importantly, she learned how to engage a variety of stakeholders into her projects as well as work with fellow interns to accomplish multidisciplinary goals. Kayleen found an interest in how the decisions she made impacted the campus, even if they were not immediately apparent. Kayleen will take her communication skills and experiences with her as she pursues her future endeavors.  
  • Rachel Joseph
    • Rachel's goal as the Sustainability and the First Year Experience Intern was to develop sustainability initiatives geared towards IU's first year students to familiarize freshmen with the opportunities that IU offers students seeking a mores sustainable lifestyle. Some of the programs and initiatives Rachel implemented included: creating sustainability resources for RAs to use with their students, composing a newsletter of sustainable opportunities to inform IU students of how they can get involved, updating and organizing IU's Green Certification Prorgram (GRCP), and performing waste audits of Wright's dining hall to determine and improve students' current recycling habits. Rachel's greatest accomplishments included getting 525 students to certify their rooms with the GRCP as well as creating more awareness and opportunities for students to get involved with sustainability at IU via my other endeavors. Not only did this internship give her many professional and technological skills, but Rachel also learned a great deal about what it takes to get people to change their behavior and live greener lives. Rachel will certainly be able to apply what she learned to her future in the academic world as she studies human behavior as a social anthropologist. 
  • Jessica Stavole
    • Jessica acted as an advocate of utilities conservation around campus through activities such as the Fall and Spring Energy Challenges and programs like Conservation in the Classroom. As the Utilities Conservation Project Coordination Intern, Jessica created a model to weatherize past and future metered data for electricity, developed a network across campus to aid in the implementation of sustainable events, and began implementing the Conservation in the Classroom program. The weatherization model will allow all buildings on campus to be compared directly to one another during the Energy Challenges in terms of electricity consumption, as weatherization takes into account the base load energy consumption of each building individually. This internship enabled her to expand her network in the sustainability field and learn about how to successfully coordinate a large-scale event like the Energy Challenge, one of the nation's largest on-campus conservation efforts, while learning about what utility conservations means for a large institution such as IU. The skills that Jessica developed throughout her internship will stay with her for life; she feels confident that she can plan and lead large-scale events in the sustainability field while learning more about what it takes to be sustainable along the way.
  • Mary Roper
    • Mary worked with the Indiana University Office of Procurement Services during her internship as the Green Purchasing Policies and Procedures Intern. Her primary purpose was further the effort of sustainable procurement by partnering with the IUOPS to encourage "green purchasing" practices for the institution. Mary strived to positively impact the environment by reducing green house gas emissions and solid waste by promoting more sustainable purchasing practices, such as buying local and purchasing environmentally-friendly goods and services. This task required her to work with IU and food vendors to obtain invoice reports and enter data into the Real Food Calculator. From this, Mary began the Real Food Calculator class, implemented a lab material recycling program at IUPUI, evaluated the purchasing practices of the Big 10 schools, and hosted 2 Food Summits. Mary learned that greening the supply chain required a great amount of support from institutions like IUB; but, with their collaboration many positive changes can be made. 
  • Raija Bushnell
    • Raija has served as the Service Corps Fellow for the Environmental Quality and Land Use Working Group. Her goal has been to coordinatee this working group to help them become more effective and productive. This year, Raija and the EQLU WG completed the strategic planning process and began implementing initiatives for positive, concrete results. Some of her many accomplishments include: starting a Green Cleaning Committee, certifying Hoosier Courts as an eco-healthy childcare facility, implementing rain gardens and the conversion of raised flower beds from annuals to perennials, and creating a new work study position. Raija's achievements taught her a copious amount of lessons. The most important lesson she has learned though is that at every meeting it is important to exprress appreciating for people. The WG members' attendance and work is completely voluntary. Raija always made sure to disclose her appreciation for all the work the working group had done to help her accomplish her goals. 
  • Dana Schroeder 
    • Dana had an important goal as the Sustainability Peer Educator Program Coordinator: to establish connections across campus and to recruit and empower student sustainability leaders to serve as sustainability peer educators for next year. Dana, as well as the new peer educators, assist in educating students on IUB's campus about sustainability and environment-friendly habits and behaviors they can practice to reduce their impact on the environment. Dana had a great group of peer educators this year who helped her learn how to leverage everyone's strengths. Doing so aided in maximizing their impact in the IU community. Dana enjoyed co-teaching the 1-credit hour training course for peer educators to strengthen their leadership, communication, and teaching skills. She never felt so challenged to compile and develope clear, rigorous, engaging, and practical materials for study. She learned so much about the trademarks of good teaching from peer educators and Assistant Director, Emilie Rex. Her teaching experience allowed her to realize the significance of meta-cognitive thinking, personal and group reflection, and intentional content design aimed at fostering the development of skills and competencies. 
  • Celia Daniels
    • Celia is a Jesse and Beulah Cox Engagement Scholar and was placed here in the Office of Sustainability to work on academic initatives. Celia's goal was to connect the Sustainable Working Groups to different professors on campus in order to facilitate Service Learning. She wanted to help the various Working Groups achieve a presence inside the classrooms with the help of professors who also wanted to focus on sustainability. Celia learned that sustainability is an all-encompassing issue, and that even people who don't think they need sustainable practices ought to be aware of them and the benefits they offer. She hopes to use her acquired knowledge about sustainability so she can help promote environmentally clean practices wherever she goes. Celia thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many different people over the course of this academic year and expose herself to a variety of ideas. 
  • Linda Graff
    • Linda is another Jesse and Beulah Cox Scholar in the Exploratory Division. This was the second year Linda worked for IUOS and she took on some new responsibilities as the Funds Development and Budget Management Intern. The goal of Linda's position was to continue building avenues for funding sources for the E-House, while maintaining the E-House's budget with weekly and monthly procurement procedures. She also helped to develop the alumni network of the Office and worked to find potential funding sources for the E-House by working with IU Foundations and the AIS database. Furthermore, Linda was able to help build the E-House's online presence on Facebook through daily interactions. This year, Linda better her time management, organization, and communication skills through the work that she did. Taking over the E-House's procurement procedures allowed her to work with a large community of people involved with the E-House. Additionally, she learned to effectively use the AIS database and further her knowledge of Adobe Illustrator. As an accounting and finance major, these skills will be useful, both inside and outside the classroom. 
  • Anna Will 
    • Anna was the second Jesse and Beulah Cox Exploratory Scholar to be placed in the office. Anna acted as the Communications Specialist. Every week, Anna compiled and sent out newsletters and emails to support and advocate green living on campus. Despite our size, Anna reached out and had a campus-wide impact with her work. (And those who live and walk campus understand how big this is). Additionally, Anna updated the IUOS website daily to continue providing the most up-to-date information for students, staff, and community members to use as a resource. In addition, she managed the blogging responsibilities for the 16 Interns, assisted Katie Glaser, the Project Coordinator, and Emilie Rex with smaller projects in the office, and wrote press releases. Anna found her experiences with the IUOS to be very valuable for her future endeavors. Anna learned how to manage a website, acquired better communication skills and writing capabilities, and learned a great deal sustainability in general. Anna will take these rewarding experiences and capabilities to succeed in her professional pursuits. 

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  • City of Bloomington Women's Ride
    • As part of Bike Month, the City of Bloomington will host a Women's Ride on May 8th to help women become more comfortable biking around Bloomington. Participants should meet at 5:30pm behind City Hall at the Bloomington Banquet Sculpture. 
  • A+D Workshops
    • Assistant Professor Kevin Lair will offer 3 Art and Design Workshops in the Fall of 2014 entitled: The Rural Post-Industrial, Non-Human, and Ecology Without Nature. Each 1-credit class can be taken for graduate AMID-C581 or undergraduate AMID-C481 credit. Each class will include a lecutre, discussion, short assignment, and field trip. For more information, email Professor  Lair at
  • Learning from Nature: Permaculture
    • The deadline to apply for the 3-credit hour course Learning from Nature: Permaculture has been extended to May 15th. If you are interested in the principles of permaculture and good design, apply today! For more information, check out the webpage.
For more opportunities, visit This Week in Sustainability.