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Projects Updates for Topic: Education


  1. Illinois Business Consulting report - economic analysis

    The central question posed to Illinois Business Consulting (IBC) is as follows: what would be the economic impact of replacing 10% of the university’s coal intake with wood chips?  After extensive research, analysis, and calculation it is the opinion of IBC that the cogeneration of energy with coal and wood chips is not economically feasible.  The initiative has been deemed not economically feasible because wood chips are more expensive on the basis of energy content, transportation costs will increase due to biomass, and infrastructure modification expenses necessary for the operational changes are significant.

  2. Guest Lecturers, staff and student teams work together

    Associated Project(s): 

    Staff gave a guest lecturer presentation to the Urban Planning / Civil Engineering UP430 class, regarding active transportation programs; met with a student team from Professor Rockett’s renewable energy course to discuss rooftop solar opportunities on campus; and gave a guest lecturer presentation to an Architecture class about the iCAP and sustainability initiatives on campus.

  3. Undergrads and Graduates work on Sustainability Projects

    Associated Project(s): 

    Working with James Scholar in Barbara Minsker’s engineering class to make recommendations related to sustainability for the Grainger crosswalk on Springfield.

    Staff hosted interviews with about a dozen Rhet 105 students about various sustainability topics.

    Urban Planning masters student Marcus Ricci is doing a GIS project about bike parking capacity in relationship to the buildings they serve.

    The LINC U of I Bikes section sent out a bike sharing survey and had a great response rate, a summary will be available by the end of the spring semester.

  4. Students and Faculty Work Together on Education in Sustainability

    Associated Project(s): 

    F&S worked with the College of Business’ Director of Information Management to provide detailed solar data from the Business Instructional Facility to a graduate student in ECE.

    A team of MBA students in Madhu Viswanathan’s course worked with the Campus Bike Project to make recommendations about how the Campus Bike Project could become financially self-supporting.

    Scholarship of Sustainability 10-part series began.

    The Engineering 315, Learning in the Community UI Bikes (UIB) section submitted their project proposal for what the class will be working on this semester.  The UIB class has divided into three groups which will tackle three different bicycle-related projects this semester: 1.) the continuation of the bike sharing market analysis started last semester, including a campus-wide survey and several targeted focus groups; 2) the development of an online, interactive campus bicycle parking map using Google Maps; and 3) testing out various marketing tactics to encourage bike riders to park their bikes legally at designated bike parking, rather than on trees, signs, ramps, or fences.

  5. Sustainability Coalition and Sustainability Council Make Progress

    The Sustainability Coalition met with Chancellor Wise on January 30.  The students delivered a PowerPoint presentation describing what they would like to see from the Office of Sustainability, including specifically an OS with authority and capacity, a full time director, and an entity separate from the proposed Center for a Sustainable Environment.  They shared sustainability structures from other universities to help illustrate this point.  The Chancellor did not promise anything, but indicated she would take their input into consideration.

    The Sustainability Council comprised of senior leadership and two student members also met on January 30.  Though there were other agenda items, the focus was largely on the proposed Center for a Sustainable Environment, its structure, leadership, etc.  There was also discussion regarding the possibility of an Office of Sustainability separate from the Center, and questions about where those resources would come from.

    In continuation of the ACES conversations that began in the fall, staff met with Dr. Jeff Brawn, Head of NRES.  He indicated that NRES sees themselves as “cheerleaders” for the sustainability efforts on campus and they look forward to working with the OS over the coming months and years.

  6. Sustainability Curriculum and Workshop Progress

    Engineering 315, Learning in the Community (LINC), has a number of course sections dedicated to sustainability this semester, including UI Bikes (UIB), for which Facilities & Services is serving as the Project Partner. The UIB section has two student project managers and 13 undergraduate students, who will be focusing on three bicycle-related projects this semester: A. the continuation of the bike sharing market analysis started last semester, including a campus-wide survey and targeted focus groups; B. the development of a campus bicycle parking map; and C. testing various marketing tactics to try to encourage students to park their bikes legally at designated bike parking, rather than on trees, signs, ramps, or fences.

    F&S and the Campus Bike Project (CBP) met with an MBA class who agreed to help the CBP become fiscally self-supporting through improved marketing. There are two student teams who will review this topic in the context of all bicycle-related topics for campus.

    Logistics are underway for the Spring, 2012 offering of the Teaching Sustainability Workshop (previously the Prairie Project).  There will be an opening reception and keynote speaker on Friday, April 13 at Levis Center and the workshop will be held on April 14, 2012 at the Japan House.  The call for applications went out on January 25 with applications due by March 9.  In two days, we had already received 11 applications and are now up to 15.  This is the quickest response we have had to date.

    The Scholarship of Sustainability Series is currently being offered for the third year.  The series is connected with 4 courses from 3 different colleges in addition to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  Attendance each Thursday is expected to be around 100 people as the enrollment in the 4 courses are full (and the series will not be videotaped.)

    Last fall, the SSC suggested an MOU with the Office of Sustainability regarding the hiring of a curriculum specialist to work one-on-one with faculty to integrate sustainability into the curriculum.  The OS submitted a letter of inquiry for committee response on January 27, 2012.