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Posts Tagged ‘University Maine Presque Isle’

by Stephen Muzzy, Program Manager, Second Nature

Stephen MuzzyOn April 23, the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) hosted their second annual Sustainability Summit: A Climate Change on Campus. I, along with Ashka Naik, Program Manager for Advancing Green Building and Ilana Schonenfeld, Program Associate – Strategic Initiatives traveled to Worcester, MA to hear from campus executives, faculty, and staff on how they are supporting sustainability efforts at their institutions and beyond.

NEBHE put together a chock full program that included keynotes, concurrent and plenary sessions. Our Second Nature contingent divvied up the day – what follows are the highlights of a very exciting event that demonstrates higher educations leadership to provide the knowledge, skills, and critical mass to transform society to a sustainable future.

The Economic Dynamics of Sustainability on Campus

This session offered examples and data on the financial costs in capital improvements and the operational savings incurred with long term planning. Two excellent examples come from the University of Rhode Island and the University of Maine. Robert A. Weygand, Vice President, Administration & Finance shared that the University of Rhode Island in 2050 will have average annual costs of $7.5 million and annual savings of $18.7 million while reducing MTCO2e 50% below 2005 levels. (Full Presentation)

Greg Havens, Principal, Sasaki Associates discussed the University of Maine’s master plan and how it provides a framework for integrated sustainability strategies. This presentation shared a variety of integrated strategies that fall under the following sustainability metrics in the areas of habitat, water, access/mobility, and energy & emissions. (Full Presentation)

Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Kenneth Hill, Academic Dean of the College of the Atlantic facilitated this session. He took us through the many effective projects, such as the three-day think-tank Delta Project, that the College of Atlantic is undertaking to teach their students about sustainability principles through curricular and co-curricular activities and coursework.  Peter Papesch, Chair of Sustainability Education Committee, Boston Society of Architects, Michele Wakin, Co-coordinator Center for Sustainability, Bridgewater State College and David Levy, Chair, Department of Management and Marketing and Professor of Management, University of Massachusetts Boston, were the panelists for this session.  They discussed various strategies that are currently being implemented by institutions of higher education to holistically educate students about sustainability. The experts also discussed the importance of bridging the inside-the-classroom education with the real-world problem solving in the process.

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