Back to school is the perfect time for making school year resolutions to go green. Habits developed in September can easily last throughout the year. By taking the time to discuss how our actions impact our planet with our children, we show them that it matters and instill eco-friendly values and a sense of responsibility that they can carry with them throughout their lifetime. Here are 4 achievable school year resolutions for going green this year from National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program:Pack a Waste Free Lunch. Some reports estimate that the average child generates 67 pounds of waste per school year from packed lunches. You can reduce waste and save money by sending lunch in reusable containers (Kids Conserve has some great options), with cloth napkins and a reusable insulated lunch bag. Don’t forget about drinks! There are plenty of BPA free water bottles to choose from. Find one that works for you. To take it one step further, make sure your school has recycling receptacles in the lunch room and ask if they would be willing to start an organic waste collection site for making compost! Check out these tips for reducing waste in your school.
Make it Healthy. What you pack for lunch matters just as much as the container itself. Send your child to school with high quality, less processed, and more healthy foods to fuel their day such as plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. You may get more buy in when you let your child make some of their own choices. By offering a selection of fruits and vegetables and letting your child choose two or three, you are giving them the power to make their own smart choices. Better yet, grow your own produce in a home, school, or community garden! Encourage your school to do the same by providing healthy, local options in the school lunch line. Investigate the possibility of connecting with area farms and incorporating local food into your cafeteria. The Farm to School Network is a great resource.Use Recycled School Supplies. When filling and refilling those back packs, look for paper, pencils, binders, and other supplies with a high percentage of post-consumer waste content. Backpacks, totes, and other products made from recycled plastic bottles are eco-friendly, durable and double as a green fashion statement. TerraCycle has some creative programs for recycling lunch waste at schools and sells bags made from upcycled materials. You can also extend the life of school papers that come home by using the backs. Keep the work you wish to save and put other worksheets, homework and fliers in an easily accessible bin to reuse for lists, notes, and craft projects.
Schedule Outdoor Free Time. Green up and slow down after school by making sure to “schedule” unscheduled free time outdoors. Studies show that time spent outdoors and active helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly are shown to become better stewards of the environment. Encourage your school to get outdoors for recess and consider holding a regularly scheduled class outdoors for a fresh change.
Want to know more? Ask your school to register with National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program. It’s free and easy and gives educators access to an abundance of free resources, tips, curriculum guidelines and best practices.
Jessica Brown is a Communications Consultant with National Wildlife Federations Eco-Schools USA program in New Jersey. Jessica has over 10 years of experience in philanthropy and communications in the non-profit sector and with conservation organizations. She enjoys hiking and learning how to garden with her kids.
Many migratory pollinators actually time their migration to match the flowering and fruiting of various food plants. These migration corridors are often called “flower highways” and provide food to fuel these long migration flights.Not only are these species, such as the Monarch Butterfly and the rufous hummingbird benefiting from these plants, but we are too! Many of our food sources would not grow without the help of these important pollinators.
Many of the plants that bloom in the fall are well adapted to provide our late-season pollinators with plenty of food, with clusters of hundreds of small flowers each with its own cup full of nectar. Plants such as New England Asters, Sedums and Swamp Milkweed are just a few examples of fall plants for your schoolyard habitat. Of course you will want your students to research what pollinators are in your area and what native plants would be best for your Schoolyard habitat.
Schools in New York City such as PS 146 – the Brooklyn New School, and PS 41 – the Greenwich Village School, are working hard to provide habitat for local pollinators and other wildlife species. Everything from large sedum plantings on a rooftop garden, bug hotels and providing milkweed for monarchs, these schools are helping to support wildlife as they prepare to migrate south or get ready for winter. As well students are learning the importance of our pollinators and the role they play in our own food sources and survival.
Learn more about NWF’s Schoolyard Habitat program and how you can get involved.]]>
During the three days, there was a mix of actual in-class type workshop presentations that were given in an engaging way with educational facts about the Chesapeake Bay, watermen, fisheries and shellfish, the NWF Eco-Schools USA program, and spending time on Tangier Island, truly “the island that time forgot.”
But, there were also actual hands-on experiences on the Bay, such as a sunrise canoe trip to go “progging” (Tangier-speak for looking for sea treasures on the beach), setting and harvesting crab pots, and crab scraping. Crab scaping is not what you might think, but rather a way to dig up sea grasses (widgeon and eel sea grass) to see what small sea creatures live there (blue crabs, pike fish—a cousin to the sea horse—small shrimp, and so many others).We learned about the Menhaden, part of the Herring family, which are a mainstay of the fisheries in the Bay. Not good for eating, but excellent as a fertilizer, and used in many common grocery items such as cookies, cat food, and cosmetics. We used Menhaden as the bait in the crab pots. The crab harvest is low this year, most likely due to the cold winter, and the watermen are concerned but have faith it will recover. We saw water birds, too – amazing Osprey pairs, Herons, Egrets, American Oystercatchers, Least Terns, Greater Yellowlegs, and even the tracks of a Muskrat. And, I was able to talk with and listen to the principals at 22 different elementary and middle schools in Fairfax County to hear how they’d like to green their school, and how they want to learn how best to help their teachers and students to become more environmentally literate. We worked together on plans for the coming year, laying out goals for increased environmental stewardship and action.
We were blessed to have Stephen Ritz from the Green Bronx Machine with us on this trip. Stephen is a teacher in New York’s tough South Bronx, where he and his kids grow lush gardens for food, greenery — and jobs and he is a true environmental hero, and newfound friend to NWF. I’m looking forward to doing so much more with Stephen in the future as we look at ways we can work together.
Check out Stephen’s TED talk to learn more about the amazing way that he is transforming at-risk student lives in the Bronx.
A sign I saw at Spanky’s Ice Cream Shop stayed with me and epitomizes the good people of Tangier Island but also what we’re all trying to do to green our schools, students, teachers, and communities.
“Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece — by thought, choice, courage, and determination.”
– H. Johnson Brown, Jr.
Then, sadly, it was time to go home. But I left the Bay with a newfound appreciation for this incredible watershed, the people who live and depend on it, the people at CBF that work to protect it, and the principals and schools that I’m lucky enough to work with in Fairfax County. I’m looking forward to doing this again and again.]]>
Are you interested in reducing waste during campus move-out from college dorms this spring? Your college or university may already have a program in place to help you do just that. With names such as “Goodwill Not Landfill”, “Share Our Stuff”, “Give + Go”, and my personal favorite name, “Dump & Run”, campuses are finding fun and creative ways to divert thousands of tons of garbage from landfills during student move-out. This trash very often consists of reusable items such as electronics, clothing, housewares, and furniture; some discarded items contain carcinogens such as lead or mercury.Through University of California Davis’s “Goodwill Not Landfill ” program, UC Davis Student Housing will collect reusable goods and non-perishable items. To simplify the donation process during the hectic and often stressful days of finals and moving out, collection centers will be located in each residence hall. The UC Davis Housing website lists the items that can and cannot be donated. All non-food donations will be donated to Goodwill Industries and the Aggie ReUse Store, while non-perishable food items will be donated to the Food Bank of Yolo County.
“Share Our Stuff” is Washington University in St. Louis’s annual move-out donation drive for students on campus with drop-off locations on the first floor or basement of every dorm, fraternity, or on-campus apartment. Its off-campus counterpart, “Lightening Your Load”, will take place from 11 am to 2 pm on May 17, 2014. Recipients of donated items include MERS/Goodwill and Operation Food Search, a St. Louis-area food bank.
University of California Berkeley’s “Cal Move Out” initiative offers students a greener way to move out. Students will have the opportunity to donate clothes, shoes, electronics, working household appliances, books, notebooks, gently-used furniture, mattresses, e-waste, and bikes. The Cal Move-Out program brings together the resources of the UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley in an effort to decrease the environmental and social impacts of illegal dumping in near-campus neighborhoods.
Brandeis University’s “Give + Go” drive helps students to donate, instead of dump, the following items: clean clothing, shoes, sheets, and towels, household goods, electronics (microwaves, fridges, and lamps), small furniture items, books, and unopened toiletries (open shampoo and laundry detergents are acceptable).
Cornell University’s “Dump & Run” program collects items from departing students in the spring, and resells them to students moving onto campus in the fall as well as to the general Cornell and Ithaca communities. This year, items will be collected from students leaving campus in the spring and the 2014 Dump & Run sale will take place during Orientation Weekend in August. The annual Dump & Run sale diverts tons of trash from landfills while raising more than $50,000 a year for local charitable organizations, including Cops, Kids & Toys, Loaves & Fishes Shelter Outreach Services, Finger Lakes ReUse, and the Cornell United Way Student Campaign.
Each year, Oregon State University holds a move-out donation drive, in an effort to reduce waste during campus move-out. Donations are sorted into different categories and donated to local non-profits. In 2013, OSU’s donation drive resulted in diverting 26,000 lbs. of material from landfills. This year’s goal is 28,000 lbs.
UNC Chapel Hill’s provides its students with a waste reduction and recycling guide, with a section that focuses on sustainable ways to move off campus. Virginia Tech’s YTOSS? Program aims to reduce the waste that is discarded during student move-out. Items that are collected are cleaned up, stored, and sold at a fall sale during campus move-in.
In its 14th year, Purdue University’s Project Move Out allows students to donate items they no longer use such as food, clothing, electronics, books, furniture and luggage to families and organizations in need. Bowling Green State University’s When You Move Out, Don’t Throw It Out (WYMO), one of BGSU’s largest community service projects, benefits over two dozen charities annually, and hundreds of individuals, including local food pantries, shelters, service agencies, and non-profit organizations in need. Wake Forest University’s’ Deacs Donate initiative tells students that the big green dumpsters in front of their residence halls should be the last container of choice to deposit unwanted items during campus move-out and provides more sustainable alternatives.
Find out if your campus offers a move-out campaign that reduces waste to landfills. Don’t have one? The 4 Simple Steps to Start a Move-out Waste Program is a blog that helps you to start a program on your campus. The blog is written by Alex Fried, a University of New Hampshire student who co-founded UNH’s Trash 2 Treasure.
Involved in a great move out program on your campus? Share it on NWF’s EcoLeaders community and earn recognition for your work!
Happy move out!
Sapna Batish is an NWF volunteer and is passionate about utilizing her interdisciplinary expertise in coastal science, remote sensing, climate science, and environmental policy to address ecological problems. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental science from the Ohio State University. She loves living in northern Virginia, exploring the world, and finding places to eat great pasta.
A partnership between the U.S. Green Building Council Central Texas Chapter and the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA Program, the goals of the challenge included empowering students to be good environmental stewards, helping students learn by putting science and math problems to work greening their schools, helping students give voice to their ideas and helping schools see tangible benefits (such as increases in recycling, lower energy costs, reduced consumption and greener school grounds).
“We’re extremely proud of all of the schools that participated this year,” said Denise Shaw, USGBC Central Texas Green Schools Committee Chair. “Thanks to programs like this, students have a better understanding of the big changes they can make by becoming involved in their community.”
Winning teams and the highlights of their projects include:
Is your school ready to become an award winning Eco-School? Visit our Eco-Schools USA website to register your school (join for free). Discover a bounty of resources to help your school become more sustainable including suggested focus areas (pathways), and a seven step framework to help guide you through the process!]]>
In today’s world of changing curriculum standards and pressure to perform on standardized tests, how can teachers manage to include anything beyond the basics? The answer may be simpler then you think. Eco-Schools are finding that art and sustainability are not on the periphery of science and academics; rather they are at the very center. By teaching through the lens of creativity and environmental awareness, we elevate these lessons to become memorable experiences.
“Art is a shared experience that should be a part of every discipline. It has the power to communicate on a visceral level” says artist Pat Brentano.
Pat is one of five artists who presented their work at the NJ Eco-Schools professional learning series webinars. Each webinar focused on an Eco-School pathway and featured discussions with statewide stakeholders in student learning and presentations from artists who use their craft to demonstrate sustainable practices.One such presenter was artist Michele Brody, known for her living art installations. She worked with students to create their own handmade paper from plant material which they used as a growing medium to sprout flax and wheat grass. The paper exhibited the seeds and roots allowing students to see the whole plant and witness its transformation. Lessons in biology and germination literally came to life in front of their very eyes.
This doesn’t sound like a lesson they are likely to forget. By stepping outside of the usual routine and offering students a hands-on role in the learning process we create opportunities for active participation. Lessons on sustainability give real world meaning to math and science applications while art creates a bridge across all learning styles for individualized learning.
Teacher Colin McClain from an Eco-School in Egg Harbor Township, NJ says “The environment is something that these kids can take ownership of. It is their planet after all. And Eco-School projects fit easily into core curriculum. From designing the outdoor classroom to calculating the carbon output per light bulb in the school we are constantly incorporating science, technology, engineering, art and math into this work.”Students at Lyncrest Elementary in Fairlawn, NJ had the opportunity to work with artist Ben Pranger on a project that strengthened design and engineering skills and resulted in an outdoor learning space for classes to use. Students drew preliminary sketches for an entrance gate to a nature preserve behind the school. Select designs were turned into scale models which were ultimately used to build an elaborate entrance way, outdoor classroom structure, and large sculpture made entirely out of natural materials including logs, branches and twigs. Pranger’s work reminds us that we can actively engage in art and sustainability and have a powerful effect on student learning. You don’t need a visiting artist to get creative. Teacher Heather Joyce of Sewell, NJ combined technology and art to teach her students about conservation while engaging her students in innovative ways. Using multi-media art the students created inspirational plays, videos and visual art displays to teach others about recycling. The recycling message was embedded in the art itself, as the kids were challenged to use only recycled materials in their productions.
Functional art has its place in sustainability too. Teacher, Debra DeAngelis of Allamuchy hopes to add some green infrastructure to school grounds and is inviting her class to create rain barrels that double as works of art. Students are in the process of drawing their designs now and hope to begin painting the rain barrels in the spring.
Opportunities to incorporate art, sustainability and STEM into valuable learning experiences are everywhere. Give your child something to remember.
Jessica Brown is a Communications Consultant with National Wildlife Federations Eco-Schools USA program in New Jersey. As a mother and a hiker, Jessica is an advocate for children spending more time in nature. Jessica has over 10 years of experience in philanthropy and communications in the non-profit sector and most recently worked for The Nature Conservancy.]]>
The “Next Gen” science standards (first published in May 2013) came in response to a longstanding frustration with both the declining overall quality of science education in America and how few young people these days are choosing professions and careers in science and engineering. Experts describe the need to increase the number of high school graduates who choose scientific and technical majors in college and community college as a critical concern for the country’s economic future.
This need caused the National Research Council to devote major thought, time and effort to the development of a wholly new way of teaching science and engineering. The Council consulted with the experts and employed effective organizations such as Achieve, Inc. with support from the National Science Teachers Association, in developing a new way of organizing and approaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM education) in America. Importantly, education leaders from 26 states were involved in crafting the new standards.
Perhaps the simplest way to explain how the Next Gen standards differ from previous science standard efforts is to focus on how much they emphasize real world contexts for education and the weight they place on young people learning to think and act like scientists and engineers while they are learning. In many respects, the standards are meant to do for science what a separate set of guidelines known as the Common Core do for English and mathematics: raise the quality of student learning through a focus on critical thinking and primary investigation.
The NGSS use a three part structure of: a) core principles, b) scientific and engineering practices, and c) cross cutting subjects. This integration of these approaches differs from the way traditional classroom science is taught. Dr. Stephen Pruitt, CEO of Achieve, the organization that headed up the NGSS effort, notes that this combination of educational goals and approaches is good for improved science and engineering education and for environmental literacy too. When it comes to their relationship to environmental education, he says, “The standards do not shy away from using the environment.” He goes on the say: “It is fairly easy to use the environment to teach multiple things in science.”
With that in mind, here are five key reasons the Next Generation Science Standards are very good news for environmental education and environmental literacy in America.
Some estimate that nearly one half of all the content in the new standards connects to scientific subjects traditionally viewed as part of a comprehensive environmental and sustainability studies course. Moreover, because the new standards use a framework of understanding how humans impact the Earth, they are effective new tools for environmental education in subjects such as biodiversity, wildlife, weather systems, agriculture, transportation, health care, green chemistry, green technology and more.
In the late 1970s, the professional environmental education field came to grips with the need for environmental education to focus on skill development and the practical application of skills. The EE community has since operated under the aegis of constructivist learning strategy that, in simple terms, places emphasis on a student understanding the underlying concepts and then being able to apply them in a real world setting. An example might be addressing a local pollution problem or improving nearby wildlife habitat. The environmental educator community distinguished itself from traditional science education with this focus on teaching skills that can be applied in a real world context. The NGSS support this approach with a new “science in action” focus. This means they are more in alignment with longstanding environmental education principles especially though their three-part relationship among core concepts, cross cutting topics and actual practices.When the National Science Teachers Association looks at the NGSS they are clear that they establish seven conceptual shifts that demonstrate are mostly new and different from how science is being taught in many classrooms. They are:
The Association sheds light on this by saying: “The NGSS are intended to reflect a new vision for science education.”
As you can see above, one of the seven concepts is that the NGSS address the traditional divide in K-12 instruction between the subjects of pure science and engineering. While science, in the form of chemistry, physics and biology are taught in most K-12 schools, aspects of engineering and design are less apt to appear in the curriculum. They are often found in career and technical education courses but much less so in more academically-focused classes. Science and engineering are now more integrated in the NGSS. Engineering and technology have not received the same level of attention in science curricula, assessments, or the education of new science teachers as the traditional science disciplines have, until now. The new “practices” aspect of the NGSS and their focus on applied learning along with directly addressing engineering subjects make the marriage between pure science learning and engineering more seamless. This is highly significant for environmental education which is certainly about educating children and young adults on natural sciences and earth systems but will increasingly be called upon to address the shift toward greener technology that will help us to bring human activity in balance with the carrying capacity of the planet.
If environmental education has a secret weapon in the quest to help young people become more environmentally literate it is embodied in the tens of thousands of nature centers, arboretums, botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums, natural history museums and other facilities that offer high quality environment-based education to young people and adults. These facilities are spread through the nation and serve visitors, provide instructional classes and lectures, conduct guided tours (indoors and out), manage camps, have exhibits and displays and are often remembered as educational highlights in a child’s life. Successes along these lines can be pointed to in every metropolitan area, but a major challenge has been to create more widespread, integrated and lasting partnerships between schools and these informal education organizations. There are logistical barriers for sure, but the NGSS really help to overcome some of the pedagogical barriers with their real world emphasis. The structure and goals of the NGSS offer opportunities to go beyond a traditional classroom instruction to practice and makes the marriage of two major educational “estates” possible: K-12 schools and nature and science based non-formal education.
Students at green schools can study the science of food and wildlife in gardens they have created, they can examine the science of energy while saving ever scarce schools utility funds, and they can learn about science cycles in waste, water, carbon and more. In addition to learning the core principles of science and engineering, they give students experience in science and technology practice and oftern reflect cross-cutting subjects consistent with the NGSS framework.
The environmental education of our young people is a highly popular goal for Americans. Surveys consistently show that 90% to 95% of all parents support environmental education being taught in schools. The problem is, environmental education has yet to become fully mainstream in most American K-12 education. It is a valuable supplement to existing curricula and, in some schools, is featured, but it is not core to most K-12 instructional programs. The NGSS are both rich in environment-based content and are sharply focused on building scientific and engineering knowledge and skill in well-sequenced steps that will accumulate in the student’s mind from year to year in an organized pattern. The standards will, over the next decade, likely become central to instruction in more than 100,000 schools and millions of U.S. classrooms. There will be challenges along the way. Education Week reports that: the performance of the NGSS will be more difficult to measure than traditional science learning. “As a result, the standards will require educators to measure not just how well students can recite facts or predict experimental outcomes, but also to gauge how well students develop and use conceptual models on their own, develop and follow lines of investigation, and communicate research findings.”
The NGSS address a challenging problem that exists for both science and environmental learning – the courses and lessons that are offered are usually not in sequence. Instead they are most often offered in isolation from one another and do not comprise a logical progression of knowledge that accumulates into a coherent whole over time. The NGSS goal of a well-sequenced, in depth and logical accumulation of scientific knowledge and skills will have immediate effects on the improvement of environmental literacy nationwide. The environmental education community has much work to do in preparing to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the longer term adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. Some of this will involve alignment of existing EE curricula with the standards and some will involve new and effective partnerships with nature centers, museums and other non formal educational providers. Importantly, the environmental education community and its many leaders will need to engage productively in policy efforts. Much of this policy work will be at the state level.
In the final analysis, the Next Generation Science Standards represent one of the greatest opportunities we have ever seen for having millions of environmentally literate students and, eventually, the tens of millions of environmentally skilled and effective adults we will need to both save people, the planet and have a prosperous and sustainable economy.]]>
Amy Sirot is a journalist based in Brooklyn. She has written for Environmental Defense Fund, National Public Radio, and Appalachian Mountain Club’s AMC Outdoors. She has been an Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources Fellow, and holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.]]>
Student data were analyzed to determine water quality health based on the number and kinds of macroinvertebrates found in samples. Based on results, which revealed an overabundance of aquatic worms, the students confirmed the DEC’s findings that that Eibs Pond water was still slightly impacted by pollution.
Next, students used four different water quality tests to determine pond water health. Students tested water samples’ Ph, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia levels and recorded their results.
Rangers also worked with PS 57 teachers and students at nearby Blue Heron Park as part of the comparative water quality study. Macroinvertebrate specimens were collected and identified and data were charted. Findings were enlarged using a microscope and projector and images of specimens were projected onto a screen.
In October 2013, while on a one-week trip to Spring Brook Farm, a sustainable dairy farm in Reading, Vermont with the Farms for City Kids program, PS 57 students tested the quality of the water in three ponds there. They found that water quality of the ponds was slightly impacted as a result of manure fertilizers used in adjacent fields.At the end of their comparative water sampling project, PS 57 Junior Rangers developed and voted on seven student and community proposals to improve both land use and water quality, and environmental education programming in Eibs Pond Park. Some of these proposals include wetland restoration, erosion control, removal of invasive species and planting of natives, as well as the creation of a nature center and an accessible outdoor classroom. Until proposals are vetted, PS 57 students and Friends of Eibs Pond—a local community group—will continue to conduct science programs, plantings, and community restoration projects at Eibs Pond together.
Ensuring our water is clean is a vital way you can protect wildlife and our communities. Learn more about wildlife and water for National Wildlife Week, including how you can help.
Does your Eco-School have a great environmental science program? If so, I’d love to know about it! Please email me at email@example.com.]]>
On April 10, Ball State University will host a second gathering of academic and facilities personnel interested in knowing more about the design, installation and operations of district-scale geothermal heat pump chiller technologies. Specifically, we will share our experience with installing the largest such system in a North American University. As of this date, fully 47 buildings are connected to the system for cooling and some 22 buildings have been connected for heating this winter season. Once the south field of bore-holes is completed and the south energy station becomes operational, the remaining 25 buildings in the south half of campus will be connected to the heating loop of the system. Within the next 18 months, the entire campus heating and cooling needs will be fully met by the district-scale geothermal heat pump chiller system.The April conference will provide an opportunity to learn more about the technology by seeing firsthand the installation and operations of the system. Featured speakers include those representing the national Geothermal Exchange Organization, and the applications engineer and account executive working with Automated Logic United Technologies who has provided the dashboard-based controls of our system. In addition panel discussions on design, drilling and equipment will be provided and tours of the building-by-building HVAC interface, controls and equipment, and south bore hole field drill site will be available.
Moreover, the gathering will include presentations on how the Ball State University installation is being used as a platform for research and education by faculty in the College of Sciences and Humanities; as monitoring wells are used to track day-to-day performance in real time and the profiling of thermal energy exchange across the ground layer strata are developed as part of a longitudinal study of system operation and impact. Review of these practices and techniques will be included in the facility tours.Ball State University decided to host these gatherings twice a year as a way to leverage more fully the value of its district-scale geothermal installation. Not only is the goal to use this as a research and teaching platform, but to share with the world our experience so that other members of the academic and operations sub-sectors of higher education can begin to build peer-to-peer networks as installations begin to propagate across the country. We are hopeful for a sizable turnout as happened in November with our first offering of the conference and look forward to participation by a rich mix of students, faculty, operational staff and administrators.
More details on program and scheduling are available from the central sustainability web page at Ball State University, www.bsu.edu/sustainability.
Robert J. Koester, AIA LEED AP, Professor of Architecture has taught Design-for-Sustainability Studios, Sustainability Seminars, and Vital Signs Courses and co-taught the DaylectricTM Studio – focused on integrating daylighting and electrical lighting strategies in architectural design. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES) providing interdisciplinary academic support focused on issues related to energy and resource use, alternatives and conservation. He serves as Founding Chair of the university-level Council on the Environment (COTE) a clearinghouse for campus-wide sustainability. He also serves as Founding Co-Chair of the Greening of the Campus Conference Series, the 9th of which was held
in March of 2012 and featured the dedication of the university’s campus-wide geothermal district heating and cooling system. He is the university liaison to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS).In addition he is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the Formal Education Committee of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).