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Projects Updates for Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

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  1. iCAP update presented at Senate Committee on Campus Operations

    These iSEE representatives presented an update of key efforts underway for the iCAP 2020: iSEE Associate Director for Campus Sustainability Dr. Jennifer Fraterrigo, iSEE Associate director for Education and outreach Dr. Luis Rodriguez, Sustainability Programs Manager Meredith Moore, F&S Associate Director for Sustainability Morgan White, and Sustainability Academic Advisor Eric Green. the key topics were:

    • Earth Month
    • Clean Power
    • Plastic Waste Reduction
    • Environmental Leadership Program
    • Sustainability Gen Ed efforts

    The following links were also sent to be shared with the committee:

    Also, if anyone is interested in participating in one of the Topical iCAP Teams, as a faculty member, please let us know. The topics are listed on the iCAP Portal at https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project/topical-icap-teams.

     

  2. Spring 2022 Semester Goals

    Co-presidents Owen Jennings, Maiah Caise, Jack Reicherts, and Maria Maring are excited to embark upon their second semester as SSLC leadership together. The primary goals of the semester include: 

     

    • Bolster collaboration between environmental RSOs on UIUC campus. The SSLC hopes to work with Student Affairs to incentivize participation with the SSLC, using the University of California Berkely’s Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) as a template. Weekly board meetings and monthly full meetings will continue per usual.

    • Bolster collaboration between other Illinois schools like University of Illinois Chicago, University of Illinois Springfield, and Illinois State University. Both SECS and ISG may play significant roles in this relationship-building. The SSLC has already been in contact with Illinois State.

    • Host Earth Month events. The SSLC already began communication with the Illini Union Green Team last semester to begin planning events like Green Quad Day and a movie night on the Quad. Organizations like SECS, Red Bison, and iSEE that have been historically active in Earth Month events will be essential in these processes. 

    • Write SSLC bylaws. The Council has not previously had bylaws, and they are absolutely essential to moving forward in an organized and successful fashion. 

    • Continue to monitor the fight for divestment from fossil fuels. This iCAP Objective has caused copious political strife between students and administrators. Because divestment continues to be a hot topic, the SSLC will continue to listen to student concerns. 

     

  3. Celebrate Campus Sustainability Month in October!

    iSEE invites you to a series of events throughout October to increase sustainability in our campus community. Take part in the Waste Reduction Challenge, join us for Green Quad Day (Oct. 7), or check out the first Student Sustainability Summit Research Symposium (Oct. 26)! And don’t miss the Campus Sustainability Celebration on Oct. 20. Find all the events on iSEE’s Sustainability Month Calendar!

    October 1–31

    Celebrate Campus Sustainability Month in October!

  4. iSEE Newsletter: Plantings Complete Solar Farm 2.0!

    The final stage of the Solar Farm 2.0 project is wrapping up this month with the planting of a native pollinator habitat. The farm will serve as a major demonstration and research site for pollinator-friendly solar arrays, with more than 6.5 million flowering plants and native grasses around the 54 acres of panels creating a natural habitat for birds and beneficial insects. With this second solar farm, the campus has achieved clean energy goals outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) nearly four years ahead of schedule. Clean energy production will now support roughly 12 percent of annual campus electricity demand. Congratulations to Facilities & Services for all of the hard work on this important project; iSEE and its SWATeam members were proud to provide key support for Solar Farm 2.0 by pushing for an increased renewable portfolio in the iCAP. Students in iSEE's sustainability minor also helped assess the new array's carbon footprint!

  5. Global Climate Change: Implications for National and Global Energy Policies

    Climate researcher James Hansen, known for raising alarms about climate change in the 1980s, will address failures in energy policy & suggest changes moving forward. While the public is coming to grips with climate change, scientists & engineers failed to shape policies to avert its worst consequences, says Hansen, Director of Columbia University’s Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program.

    May 5, 12–1:30 pm • Zoom | Password 591223

     

    Julie Wurth Asmussen • Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

    Global Climate Change: Implications for National and Global Energy Policies

  6. Certified Greener Campus Programs Workshop

    iSEE hosted our first “Certified Greener Campus Program Workshop” to guide U of I organizations in certifying as “green,” even while unusual conditions add complexity to campus’s daily operations. The online workshop included a program overview, steps to certification, FAQs, and an open discussion about overcoming common barriers to sustainability.

    If you were unable to attend Thursday’s workshop, you can still take steps to advocate for sustainable practices in your unit! I invite you to:

  7. Fall 2020: iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ)

    The Fall 2020 iSEE Quarterly Update (iQ) was released with the following message from Madhu Khanna, the Interim Director of iSEE:

     

    Dear Colleagues,

    Attached, please find attached the Fall 2020 “iQ” – the quarterly update from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE).

    It has been two months since I became interim director of ISEE.  It has been exciting to see ISEE bring in multimillion-dollar research grants, launch a new research initiative in regenerative agriculture, and help coalesce sustainable agriculture research on our campus during this period.

    Our Certificate in Environmental Writing has engaged students in making insightful contributions to a new issue of Q Magazine. We have also expanded our opportunities for education and scholarly discourse with several online events, including those on nuclear energy and geothermal energy research.

    We formally launched the new Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP 2020) on Oct 20, 2020. This ambitious plan is the result of the hard work of campus sustainability folks who worked hand-in-hand with Facilities & Services and incorporated the vision of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members into a plan for the next five years and beyond — all the way to carbon neutrality no later than 2050!

    I am so grateful to Evan Delucia for his efforts over the first seven years as the first director of our Institute. He has left iSEE as a vibrant part of the Illinois community, and I am working with our outstanding ISEE staff to expand upon the work already begun — as evidenced in this six-page update.

    Please take a quick look at those updates and more in “iQ.” For more regular news, please sign up for our E-newsletter at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/5031776.

    Wishing you a successful end to the fall semester,

    Madhu

  8. Trans008 Mode Share Survey recommendation - Assessment started

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on May 10, 2018, to discuss and start the assessment of the SWATeam recommendation, Trans008 Mode Share Survery. The iWG's draft comment on the recommendation was:

    "iSEE should create and administer a mode-share survey, with recurring on a regular basis. For example, every other year or as often as the Big 10 averages."

    See SWATeam recommendation Trans008 Mode Share Survey here.

  9. SWATeam Appreciation Letter

  10. Trans008 Mode Share Survey recommendation - Submittal

    The Transportation SWATeam submitted a recommendation, to the iWG, stating, "iSEE should facilitate and fund, if any funds required, an updated University District transportation mode-share study. The previous circulation study was conducted by the transportation group in the Regional Planning Commission (RPC), CUUATS. This was conducted in 2011. This recommendation is for the Transportation SWATeam to create survey questions and, with the help of iSEE, distribute the survey across campus."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation, Trans008 Mode Share Survey, complete with comments from all the Transportation SWATeam members.

  11. February 2014 meeting notes from first Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) meeting

    The first formal meeting with the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) under iSEE's guidance was an introductory meeting about iSEE and the proposed iCAP SWATeams. 

    The meeting was called by and coordinated by:

    • Ben McCall – Associate Director for Campus Sustainability, iSEE
    • Madhu Khanna – Associate Director for Education and Outreach, iSEE
    • Nishant Makhijani – iSEE Intern, Vice - Chair Student Sustainability Committee

    The key points discussed included an overview of iSEE's goals and structure, education and outreach plans, and an overview of the SWATeams.

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