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Posts Tagged ‘Dickinson College’

By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
(This article appears in the October, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

ACUPCC ImplementerThe celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Campus Sustainability Day (CSD) needed a topic appropriate to a moment in time when campuses have shown that the impossible is possible – changing the way they teach, operate, build, and plan in order to reduce emissions and prepare students to lead a just and sustainable future – while recognizing the challenges and opportunities still present in their journey to integrating deep sustainability education. This year, Second Nature and the CSD supporting organizations, including AASHE, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), The Society for College & University Planning (SCUP), USGBC, Focus the Nation, Tree Campus USA, the SEED Center, and IDEAS, are calling on campuses to participate in a national day of dialogue around a critical question which invites conversation on both success and continued roadblocks: How is higher education preparing students for a changing climate?

Campuses across the country are organizing discussions to gather input from students, faculty, and staff on the best practices and remaining challenges for providing students with the skills and experiences they need to prepare for a changing climate, society, and economy, using three guiding questions to form a common national dialogue.

Campus Sustainability Day 2012

Here’s how to participate:

#1: Screen the Keynote Broadcast on Your Campus
October 24th 2012, 2pm – 3:30pm EST
Join thought leaders in campus sustainability as they discuss best practices and challenges for preparing students for a changing climate, with an emphasis on curriculum, research, and experiential learning.

Featuring Geoffrey Chase, leader of the Ponderosa Project, Julie Elzanati, Director of the Illinois Green Economy Network, Julian Keniry, Senior Director of Campus and Community Leadership National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program, Neil Weissman, Provost of Dickinson College, and Debera Johnson, founder of the Partnership for Leadership in Sustainability, this panel invites questions from the audience to discuss best practices for creating ecological curriculum, advancing experiential and living laboratory learning, and engaging faculty and the surrounding community in meaningful and critical education.

This is a live, interactive event!  Panelists will base their discussion on questions provided by you – the audience – during the panel, and will be screened using live video in Google+ Hangouts on Air.  The panel will be screened live to Youtube – no special login or software is necessary to watch, and you will be provided with the link after registration.  To ask questions, you will need a Google or YouTube login to leave comments on the video as a question for the panelists.  Institutions are encouraged to participate in the keynote broadcast as a way to jumpstart regional conversations.

#2: Host or Participate in a Regional Conversation 
October 22nd – October 26th 2012, Times and dates vary by region
Register or learn more here

How are you preparing students for a changing climate?  We want to hear from campuses across the country, and gather input from students, faculty, and staff on the best practices and remaining challenges for providing students with the skills and experiences they need.  Host a conversation on campus, gather for a virtual conversation with campuses in your region, or tune-in to one of the regional conversations organized in your area.  

Use these questions to guide the conversation:

  1. What is your college/region doing to prepare students for a changing climate?
  2. Where do challenges still exist for your campus/region in creating successful sustainability and climate programs, and what are the solutions to these challenges?
  3. How can your campus/region ensure that all students acquire the skills and education necessary to prepare for a changing climate, society, and economy, regardless of their course of study or career goals?

Be sure to appoint a student liaison to take notes – your conversations will be turned into a national guiding document on “Best Practices for Preparing Students for a Changing Climate.”

For questions about Campus Sustainability Day, please contact Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature at sbrylinsky@secondnature.org.

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By Steve Muzzy, Senior Associate, Second Nature

(This article appears in the November, 2010 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

The 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Leadership Summit met October 12-13 in Denver, CO. The nearly 200 participants got right to work sharing challenges and best practices and outlining the future direction of the commitment. Highlights from the Summit follow.

James WoolseyJames Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Bill Clinton, provided the opening keynote address. Mr. Woolsey’s presentation focused on the impending threats to national security that are being posed by an increasingly unstable climate. His perspective creatively threaded the current and future social and environmental implications of our reigning energy policy as well as provided some promising existing mechanisms to scale renewable energy production. Note: Mr. Woolsey’s presentation and all Summit presentations will be available on the ACUPCC website soon. (more…)

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Dickinson College receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

Dickinson College’s Climate Action Plan aims to attain climate neutrality by 2020. Current efforts include the conversion of the central energy plant boilers to burn Viesel, a net-zero carbon biofuel made from filtered waste vegetable oil. The college purchases renewable wind energy credits equivalent to 100% of annual electricity consumption and has installed 84 kilowatts of solar photovoltaics with student assistance and produces 50-100 gallons of biodiesel per week from waste vegetable oil in student run biodiesel shop.

In 2009, Dickinson was awarded a grant from NASA to lead a 3-year project that will train faculty from Dickinson and 10 other colleges and universities to teach about climate change. The NASA funded project is part of a broader initiative to integrate sustainability throughout the Dickinson curriculum, facilitated by the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE). CESE also participates in a national project of the NCSE that is developing materials for teaching about climate change and in a State of Pennsylvania working group to plan for climate change adaptation.

Dickinson offers a number of courses on climate change and has hosted numerous climate change events, including Focus the Nation, 350.org Day of Action, Climate Conversations Week, and COP15 at Dickinson. Fifteen students attended COP15 as part of a yearlong course “From Kyoto to Copenhagen,” where they interviewed conference delegates for a research project. The students shared their work and experience through organized campus and community events, presented a paper at a Penn State University conference, and participated in a national AASHE webinar.

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By Georges Dyer, Vice President of Programs, Second Nature

(This article appears in the October, 2010 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

A core concept in the field of systems thinking is that in any system, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”   The relationships between the components of a system are vital to understanding the system as a whole, and it is impossible to really understand a system by only studying its components in isolation from one another and in isolation from other systems.

This concept is illustrated through the ACUPCC network.  This group of over 670 colleges and universities with top-level commitments to promote education and research on climate and sustainability, and ‘walk the talk’ by pursuing climate neutrality in their operations is poised to have a great impact on humanity’s quest to break our fossil fuel addiction and preserve a safe, livable future. (more…)

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