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Projects Updates for Resilience Commitment

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  1. Encourage your students to engage with the community through We CU

    Associated Project(s): 

    Encourage your students to engage with the community through We CU

    Whether your students are active in community service or seeking a service opportunity, We CU enriches their university experience with workshops, service opportunities, mini grants to offset the cost of service, and opportunities to connect with like-minded folks on campus and in the community. Encourage your grads and undergrads to learn more at the Spring 2022 Info Session. 

    January 25, 6–6:45 pm • Register for Zoom details

    Emily Stone and Katie Shumway • We CU Community Engaged Scholars program

    baseline_wifi_black_18dp.png This opportunity is available online.

  2. Updated list of student projects that need YOU!!

    This is a list of projects that need students to work on.  It will be updated periodically by sustainability staff members, the last update was 9/16/21:

    • The campus MS4 stormwater permit currently has 49 Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have to be completed annually . One of the 49 BMPs is a Public Education and Outreach requirement to broadcast or publish one stormwater Public Service Announcement (PSA) on social media, radio, television and/or internet. We currently have a couple on our website and would like to keep it up to date with new materials whenever possible. Another opportunity is for a Public Participation and Involvement BMP to discuss and provide opportunity for public input on the Storm Water Program (permit BMPs), climate change and environmental justice topics. This could be met by webinars, PSAs, posters, etc. Contact is Betsy Liggett. ~ Morgan
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Huff Hall. ~ Meredith
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Armory. ~ Meredith
    • Follow through with Facility Liaisons for implementation of recommendations from NRES 285: iCAP Sustainability Ambassadors class: Bevier Hall. ~ Meredith
    • CCNet Website: Work with the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) leadership team to redesign and publish the CCNet website (old version is online at There is a monthly brown bag sustainability networking event on the Third Thursday of each month, but the website hasn't been updated since 2016. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at ~ Morgan
    • We are seeking a student volunteer who can do tree identification for a series of trees in the Arboretum, and work with the University Landscape Architect, Brent Lewis, and the Superintendent of Grounds, Ryan Welch, to compare the tree identification to the draft tree inventory. Contact Morgan White at mbwhite at ~ Morgan
    • Help iSEE develop a Sustainability Literacy Assessment. Contact Meredith Moore, mkm007 at ~Meredith
    • Help iSEE work with Student Sustainability Committee grant to expand small scale campus composting. Contact Meredith Moore at mkm0078 at ~ Meredith
    • This project is a collaboration with the Illinois State Section of the American Planning Association; we have been asked to create a community land use and revitalization plan for a small town in Kankakee County.  It is a rural community, predominantly people of color, originally settled by folks leaving the South during the Great Migration.  There are many layers to the story, but it is ultimately a story of environmental equity as The Nature Conservancy and Field Museum have been collaborating with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire land to create the Black Oak Savana nature preserve.  The majority of residents are opposed to this preserve, primarily because land has been purchased via tax sale and foreclosure, therefore taking land out of Black ownership.  This also further burdens remaining property owners because the nature preserve land becomes tax exempt, shifting the property taxes that are no longer paid on nature preserve property to a smaller and smaller portion of land owners.  

      Students interested in this project could assist with GIS analysis and help identify opportunities to balance environmental sustainability goals and land preservation with social and economic sustainability goals and to identify economic opportunities that accomplish all three.  Contact Lacey Rains Lowe at lacey.rains <at>

    • Expand on existing statistical analysis with ArcGIS and spreadsheets of potential race/income disparities in provision of street trees, sidewalks, urban heat, parks, bus stops, etc.  Data sets provided. Contact is Scott Tess at srtess <at>

    • LIVESTOCK FACILITY DECOMMISSIONING at the Imported Swine Research Laboratory - The push to expand the UI Research Park will require decommissioning of the waste lagoons associated with the Imported Swine Research Laboratory (ISRL). This presents an nice opportunity for a class to develop and design a decommissioning plan with associated costs and timeline. Colleen Ruhter is the point of contact, cruhter <at>

    If you have a project idea, please contact us at, or submit it through the iCAP Portal Suggestions page.

  3. Funding Approval for Resilience Development Proposal

    Madhu Khanna and Ehab Kamarah approved $18,025 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for a Resilience Development Proposal.

    "The Resilience Commitment, signed in 2016, was incorporated in the iCAP for the first time in the 2020 version, with a list of seven specific objectives. iSEE is the primary department responsible for helping campus achieve these ambitious goals. We request approval to fund a 20-hour/week contract with ARI to have Stacy Gloss work to develop the structure and plan for completing these objectives. The cost of a six-month agreement is $17,500" (the cost was updated with the new fiscal year due to a salary change) -Morgan White (08/13/2021)

    An email of the approval is attached below.

  4. Nexamp Offers Information Sessions on Community Solar

    The City of Urbana is now partnering with Nexamp to bring solar savings opportunities to the community. This program is available to low and moderate income residents, including renters who do not own local property. The program provides solar power, through the existing electrical distribution network using solar panels that are being installed at the closed Urbana landfill.

    Nexamp is holding two information sessions for Illinois residents to learn how they can enroll in a community solar program. These events will be held on:

    The flyer for these events can be found in the attached files below.

  5. Our Planet, Our Future

    Associated Project(s): 

    Make plans to attend the first Nobel Prize Summit, "Our Planet, Our Future,"  April 26-28. The event virtually brings together experts to ask: "What can be achieved in this decade to put the world on a path to a more sustainable, more prosperous future for all of humanity?" 

  6. Trees Promote Health and Wellness

    In the January 2021 Newsletter, the City of Urbana discussed the health and wellness benefits of trees, as well as its plans to promote tree planting throughout the city:

    Trees affect our health and wellness. Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, whereas trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. With a mutually beneficial relationship, one large tree can supply enough oxygen for four people. This is really wonderful, however, it takes around five trees to absorb the CO2 produced by just one person.

    Additionally, trees also trap air pollution. This greatly affects our health. Trees also help to clean water by acting as a natural filter. Plus, trees decrease stress for us and improve recovery time from illnesses. These are a few of the reasons Urbana's Urban Canopy is tantamount to human life, health, and progress. Trees are always working to keep us healthy and strong – help us do the same for them! *

    We’re asking you to partner with the City of Urbana — on an individual basis or through your neighborhood association, service organization, business or church — by sharing the cost of new trees through our Co-op Tree Planting Program.

    The City of Urbana Arbor Division will be adding to Urbana's Urban Canopy this coming Spring, 2021. These are made possible by the generous donations through the Co-op Tree Planting Program. 

    "If all goes well this will be good for roughly 40-45 vacant tree planting sites throughout town. These site will be planted with Urbana Heritage species and mostly native species to Illinois. I will be selecting these sites during January for spring planting order," Kevin Sanderson, Arborist and Urbana Arbor Division Supervisor, said.


  7. The Day After Tomorrow: Following Advancements of the New U of I Solar

    CUYSS Team|8/5/2020

    The Youth Climate Justice Forum presents this podcast series in which we will be trying to find ways for all of us to continue to work for climate justice during and after the coronavirus crisis. This week, Caroline and Grace interview Morgan White, Director of Sustainability at University of Illinois Facilities and Services. They are currently working to construct the University’s newest solar farm, building upon what they learned from their last solar project.

  8. COVID-19, Climate Change and Health: A Webinar May 19 at Noon CDT

    Join NCSA and LAS for a chat on lessons we can learn on the interplay between climate and human health in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns. These findings could potentially help improve air quality and health in areas of poor air quality. Larry DiGirolamo, Don Wuebbles, and Ashish Sharma will cover current observations and review the challenges involved in approaching this research. 

    May 19, 12 PM • Tuesday, Noon Central Daylight Time Barbara Jewett • National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

    COVID-19, Climate Change and Health: A Webinar May 19 at Noon CDT