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Projects Updates for Topic: Education



    Producing 25000 lbs. of tomatoes,

    now have classes there looking to work with university to teach about plants! 

    economically sustaining our own building,

    looking to expand to a new location! 

    Strong producer for the campus, and excited to grow more!

  2. archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Assess existing courses to identify which courses meet specific requirements in the learning outcomes, and identify gaps for future curriculum development

    Course listings for undergraduate and graduate levels were examined to develop an inclusive list of courses related to sustainability.  An online survey of department heads was conducted in Fall 2010 which served to verify the list developed, sought feedback on perceived gaps and desired future offerings, and gained insight about the degree to which the learning outcomes are being addressed (58 departments responded out of 165). The inventory is designed to help students identify courses by several categories, including whether a course fulfills a general education requirement and whether the course is undergraduate and graduate level.  The inventory revealed more than 250 courses and can be found on the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment website. 

    The inventory conducted at the time did not distinguish between sustainability related and focused courses.  Sustainability related covers only one aspect of sustainability, i.e., economic, social, or environmental, whereas focused covers all three.

  3. Update from Joy Scrogum

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello colleagues. I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on the Illini Gadget Garage (IGG) project and alert you to some upcoming events which may be of interest.

    First of all, tomorrow, Tuesday August 1, we’re hosting a group laptop teardown activity from 10:15am-1:00pm. This event is for those who may be curious about/interested in the sort of “do-it-together” repair that is conducted at the IGG, but who feel a bit hesitant to try because of lack of experience, or because they fear they’ll cause further damage to their own device. We have a limited number of matching laptops that were donated as “practice” devices which we’ll be using to lead folks through the process of dismantling. This provides experience with using tools and with opening up an electronic device, so that individuals can feel empowered and more confident about opening a device in the future which may actually need repair. Space is limited, but we do have some seats still available. Sign up at If there is high demand, we’ll potentially hold a similar event in the near future. The workshop is free, though donations are welcome and can be made at

    Also, we’ll be hosting a screening of Death by Design, a documentary on the impacts of electronic devices on the environment and human health. The screening will take place on August 22 at the Champaign Public Library. After the film, I will facilitate a discussion/Q&A session featuring Industrial Design Professor William Bullock and Urbana U-Cycle Coordinator and Illinois Product Stewardship Council member Courtney Kwong as expert panelists. See for further information, including a trailer for the film. This is also a free event, with donations suggested and welcome to support future programming.

    If you missed last week’s webinar, “What the Tech? Learn Basic Electronic Component Function,” an archived recording and slides are available on our project web site at

    We’ll also have booths at Quad Day and the Taste of Champaign next month, as well as having project flyers distributed by our friends at the City of Urbana during the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. So hopefully we’ll see a new wave of potential volunteers and clients coming to our workshop to learn about ways to keep their products in service longer, and out of the waste stream.

    We’re currently seeking sponsors to help keep our services free to the campus community, and to allow us to offer free-to-the public pop-ups in the broader, off-campus CU area. Additionally, we are offering a new “employee engagement event” service for businesses and organizations seeking a unique way to get their employees involved in sustainability discussions and efforts. See for more information.

    As some of you may remember, we experienced some setbacks with being able to be open to public, as our workshop required renovation to be ADA compliant. Thus, we have only be officially open to the general public since last fall, but we’ve still managed to have a significant positive impact:

    • We've diverted a total of 320.41 lbs. of devices from the landfill (140.88 lbs. during the spring semester alone). 
    • We've recycled a total of 78 lbs. of single-use batteries (and are now offering both single-use and rechargeable battery collection).
    • We've helped over 100 people to troubleshoot/repair their devices.

    We’ve also had students involved as volunteers, participants in UI courses that have collaborated  with the IGG, and as participants in the iFixit Technical Writing Project, creating repair guides that are shared on the iFixit web site so the spirit of collaborative repair that we foster is spread beyond our campus, and even beyond our state. See the “Our Impact” portion of our web site for more information.

    If you have questions, or would like to discuss potential collaborations, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I hope to see some of you at tomorrow’s workshop and at the documentary screening on the 22nd.

    Best wishes,


    Joy Scrogum

    Sustainability Specialist

    LEED Green Associate | ISSP-SA

    Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) | Prairie Research Institute

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    One Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

  4. Parkland College training program being considered

    Associated Project(s): 

    While Thor Peterson was working at Parkland College as a part-time grant-funded sustainability coordinator, he shared that "Parkland is in the scoping stage of developing a green infrastrucuture and sustainable landscape operations and maintenance certificate."  He further noted, "There are a lot of questions percolating regarding a Green Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance—whether it would start as a certificate, or as a series of business training opportunities, or what." 

    When Thor was leaving town at the end of his appointment, he indicated that Heidi Leuszler, a Natural Sciences professor at Parkland, will be a good contact for this effort, moving forward.  Thor and Professor Leuszler led a day-long workshop for Regional Planning Commission staff on green infrastructure. He said, "My hope is that the training will serve as a pilot for a more in-depth business training course that could be offered to public and private sector grounds staff charged with maintaining green infrastructure elements."

    Eliana Brown, with Illinois Indiana Sea Grant, University of Illinois Extension, and Illinois Water Resources Center, is also interested in helping this program get developed.  She has brought additional stakeholders into the discussions with Parkland, including Carol Hays, Exec Director of Prairie Rivers Network, and Lisa Merrifield, U of I Extension Strategic Operation Analyst.

  5. Applications open for Sustainability Minor

    Associated Project(s): 

    Minor in Sustainability: Encourage undergrads to apply

    The Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program (SEE FP) is an academic minor open to all undergraduates and a great opportunity to learn to navigate the web of consequences, trade-offs, feedbacks and barriers behind environmental challenges. Students also will develop teamwork skills, broad perspective and networking ability. Info session: 4:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, NSRC Room 240.

    Tony Mancuso . Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

  6. Fall 2015 project proposals

    Associated Project(s): 

    There are six projects, as follows:

    1. Hot n Cold: This group is interested in reducing HVAC energy demand through review of occupancy rates for certain buildings.  They are still finalizing the buildings and methods for collecting the data, but it will likely include Newmark Civil Engineering Lab (NCEL) and measure occupancy, temperature, and energy usage. 
    2. Natural Gas for Campus Fleet: This group is interested in studying the potential to run campus vehicles using compressed natural gas obtained from the UC Sanitary District.
    3. Engineering Quad pathways: This group is seeking to study the pathways of students who do not use the Bardeen Quad paved paths.  They believe that the pathways on the Bardeen Quad are not optimal, and they plan to make recommendations for changes.  They will use a video recognition program per one of the engineering faculty, which will count the people during class change times. 
    4. Turf Field Water Fountains: This group believes we need additional drinking water fountains at the turf fields on campus.  They intend to focus on the health aspects of being hydrated and the high occupancy rates of the fields. 
    5. Arboretum rainwater irrigation: This group is interested in proposing a rainwater capture system for the Hartley Gardens. 
    6. Solar Pavement: This group would like to bring Solar Roadways technology to campus.  They plan to recommend a location for installing the solar roadway cells on campus, perhaps as a sidewalk near an engineering area.  They also intend to compare the traditional pavement plans on Green Street through the MCORE project to the Solar technology option.