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Projects Updates for Build Resilience with Our Local Community

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  1. East Central Illinois Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) Meeting




    I had to change the date on our next COAD Meeting.  We will be having our East Central Illinois Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) meeting on December 7th at 2:30 pm at the ILEAS Training Center, 1701 E. Main St, in Urbana.  I have attached the agenda for your review.  Feel free to forward the invite to others that may want to be part of our group.


    I hope to see you all on the 7th.  Thank you.





    Attached Files: 
  2. Coordinating Community Stormwater Management with Extension and Student Assistance

    January 11, 2023


    A University team consisting of Brodie Dunn and Lisa Merrifield (Extension), Linda Derhak (DURP student), and Stacy Gloss met with Lacey Rains Lowe and Jeff Marino from the City of Champaign to talk about working together to coordinate rainwater management efforts. Champaign sees a gap in resources for commercial developers related to innovative stormwater management applications. The team identified stormwater utility fee incentives as a possible leverage point for developers, but current incentives do not seem to be sufficient. Linda will begin to inventory cities with stormwater utility fees for innovative practices for engaging commercial developers. Brodie will propose revisions to the approved plant and tree list for Champaign to encourage use of native and more beneficial non-native plant species. Lisa will reach out to planners from Urbana and Savoy and will schedule a meeting for mid-February to discuss progress and identify next steps.

  3. Resilience Weekly Meeting

    After a brief meeting pause after the Spring semester ended, Stacy Gloss, Meredith Moore, and Morgan White are back to meeting weekly about building resilience in our local community. We met July 21, 2022.

    We discussed:

    -Resilience iCAP Team changes for 2022-23. Stacy Gloss is chair, Scott Tess is Vice Chair

    -Student work & intern opportunities.  We will work with EGN100 first-year students in the fall semester and brainstorm about how to design an internship opportunity for a student to engage in community / campus resilience work.

    -Stacy has begun meeting with Village of Savoy Staff and community partners on a project that addresses equitable youth recovery and economic mobility. The project includes a focus on wellbeing of residents across the seven dimensions of wellnss - mental, phyical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational. Savoy has partnered with National League of Cities for the project.


  4. Draft Report - Local Carbon Offset Program

    DRAFT White Paper: "Recommendations for Initiating a Local Carbon Offsets Pilot Program for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign"

    Submitted by Stacy Gloss on May 9, 2022

    Conclusions & Recommendations reported below:

    The University of Illinois iCAP calls for reducing emissions from unavoidable travel by purchasing carbon offsets and creating a local carbon offset program.  Program planning and oversight can be achieved with the formation of a committee on carbon offsets and local offsets. Concurrently, the chancellors office should delegate where a carbon-off-set account would be housed – the account needs to be set up to receive and administer funds for competitive projects.

    The most that the iCAP Resilience Committee could do is submit a recommendation to the iWG to convene a campus working group for a local offset program directed by the Chancellor’s office and/or central Sustainability Council; and direct the set-up of an account to receive and administer funds.  Sustainability professionals hired at the University of Illinois could administer the program with oversight from the carbon offsets working group/committee.

    Edits or comments to this paper should be submitted to for review by the iCAP Resilience committee.

    The document can be viewed here:


  5. Carbon Offset Technology Review Project

    iSEE Carbon Offset Program: Technology Research and Options
    Authors: Jane Williams, Rachel Pu, Fina Healy, Natalia Ptaszek, and Angela Andrada

    Students from the ABE469 Capstone Course taught by professor Ann Witmer met over the course of the Spring 2022 semester to research renewable energy technologies and carbon sink projects appropriate for campus and communtiy in our surrounding county-vicinity. The purpose is to provide technology options for the Local Carbon Offset Program described in the iCAP objectives.  A local carbon offset program would be designed to offset staff & faculty travel, and the offset funds generated can be used in local projects that reduce or sequester carbon on campus and in the community. The technologies reviewed by the student engineering team include:

    • solar photovoltaics
    • biodigestor
    • planting trees
    • prairie restoration
    • geothermal heating and cooling

    The final deliverables report and presentation are attached.

  6. Weekly Resiliency Team Meeting

    Stacy Gloss and Meredith Moore met on 4/27 to discuss the following:

    1. DFA Student project on E-waste recycling poster was added to portal on 4/27/2022.
    2. Environmental Justice Next Steps by August 2022:
      1. Make 1 – 2 page fact sheet about EJ Planning
      2. Define plan for outreach this summer
      3. Implement the plan
    3. Capstone project on carbon offsets
      1. Obtain final deliverables on carbon offset project to include in iCAP portal
    4. Sustainability Clinic (Leading on Sustainability Issues)
      1. Socializing sustainability clinic to faculty; identify potentially interested faculty
    5. Community Conversations on Sustainability (Leading on Sustainability Issues)
      1. This is a newish idea that Meredith will socialize to iSEE and others and we can start working on it this summer. 
  7. Cell Phone and Electronic Waste

    A team of Design for America students worked on a year-long project diving into cell phone and electronic waste. The attached poster is the culmination of their work across the '21/'22 school year. We wish the DFA student team luck in all their future endeavors.

    DFA Team: Koshal Raghavarapu, Ananya Barman, Pooja Tetali, & Aashi Tyagi

  8. Tree Map Partnership

    From: Heidi Leuszler <HLeuszler at>
    Subject: Tree Map partnership


    Hello all, I hope this finds you and yours well!


    I am on the Sustainable Campus Committee at Parkland College and we are discussing updating our campus tree map and digitizing it. I am including all of you in this email because I am wondering if we do not have to recreate the wheel and can join an existing tree map in our community.


    I have worked with in the past, but the $3000 price tag per year is rather steep for us. Do any of you use this program?


    In a quick search, I found the following local Tree Inventory maps (all of which Parkland campus is missing from):

    City of Urbana

    UIUC campus

    City of Champaign ROW Trees

    City of Champaign 

    Champaign Park District

    Urbana Park District (but I could not find public access to the inventory)


    Is it possible we can add our campus data to an existing map? Perhaps we all partner and can add city, park, and campus data to make a more comprehensive community map.


    If you are interested in this, have thoughts, know a better person to contact, etc., let me know and we can get a meeting together to discuss possibilities.


    Thank you!

    My best,


  9. Illinois Green Infrastructure Inventory Update 5/9/2022

    Stacy Gloss attended the Urban Stormwater Working Group meeting on 4/19/22 led by Lisa Merrifield.

    Agenda item 1) An Illinois Green Infrastructure Inventory Update was provided.

    Key points:

    • Tracking Best Management Practices:  need to know: where, what, how much, and when
    • Detailed information allows for comparison between practices
    • Practices include projects like:  vegetated filter strips, grass swale, infiltration devices, permeable pavement, porous pavement, wetland detention, dry detention, settling basin, bio-swale, grass swale, wet pond, constructed wetland, green roof, weekly street sweeping, native landscaping, stormwater tree, sand filters, settling basin, WQ inlets, wet ponds, infiltration devices, concrete grid  pavement, sand filter/infiltration basin, oil/grit separator etc. Also new construction and retrofit.
    • Next steps: testing data-sets with NCSA

    Agenda item 2) meeting participants described their work and current projects.

    Update: May 9, 2022

    Stacy Gloss and Eliana Brown will attend the September MS4 meeting to describe projects related to capturing green infrastructure project locations and project information to share best practices with the local community. Campus maintains data about about green infrastructure projects on campus. A pilot project is underway to share green infrastructure project data with communities across Illinois.  Eliana Brown is involved in this effort and NCSA is developing a database platform for information sharing.

    Stacy Gloss will attend the next MS4 meeting in June also.

  10. Weekly Resiliency Team Meeting

    Present: Meredith Moore, Morgan White, and Stacy Gloss

    Gloss reported on the following:

    • Green Infrastructure Mapping: Lisa Merrifield met with Illinois EPA and partners at the end of March to discuss the mapping project. Meetings will be held with NCSA soon about feasibility and next steps.
    • Gloss notified Lisa Merrifield that she is available to help with Biodiversity Plan
    • DFA advising on-going. Their upcoming presentation is April 27 on E-waste in Siebel Center for Design
    • Final report from Ann Witmer's capstone course is expected: A student consulting team is developing a report on renewable energy technologies that can be adopted through a campus local-offset program
    • Gloss and Moore will present  to GEEB on April 26 on environmental justice


    • SSC semesterly reporting requirement for NGICP training is due July 1; Gloss will email campus NGICP participants.
    • Sustainability Clinic recommendation meeting next steps;
    • Working to understand Extension's role in environmental concerns / environmental justice.  White, Gloss, and Moore will work to meet with Shibu Kar as an introduction between the Resilience Team and Extension on iCAP resilience goals, environmental justice planning, and support for programs like a sustainability clinic

    Tasks (Gloss):

    • Help with agenda for next resilience team meeting & update the gantt chart for meeting resilience goals
    • Attend next Land & Water team meeting if available (related to potential campus master plan for rainwater management & relationship to/with community coordinated rainwater master plan)
    • Attend the iWG meeting as resilience team rep for Environmental Justice iCAP recommendation


  11. Design for America - E-Waste Project Update

    Present: Staff - Stacy Gloss & Meredith Moore and Students - Koshal Raghavarapu, Anisha Narain, Ananya Barman, & Pooja Tetali

    The DFA student team provided a progress update on research about cell-phone e-waste. The student team has met with several recycling experts in the community and has focused on three areas - personal responsibility, importance of being able to repair products, and manufacturing responsibility for electronic waste. We will have one more planning meeting together and then the students will give their final presentation about the project on April 27. A poster with infographics may be developed.

  12. Natural Disaster Planning and Preparedness in Illinois Meeting

    The Disaster Planning and Preparedness interest group meeting was held on January 25, 2022.

    The agenda includes:

    • Introduction to Extension disaster preparedness programming, both in Illinois and across the country
    • Successful models for Extension-Faculty applied research partnerships
    • ISEE perspective on collaboration potential
    • Extension identified applied research and outreach gaps
    • Open discussion of potential topics for applied research and pathways to partnership
    • Identification of people who are interested in continued discussions on topic specific projects and partnerships


    The email attached below contains more information.

  13. The Landscape Recycling Center tests for...

    The Landscape Recycling Center tests for temperature, oxygen, and moisture monthly.  They test for ph, metals, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and infectious bacteria in finished compost product annually.  As food scrap makes its way through the process and we continue to test the final product, we will be able to observe any changes to these parameters.


  14. Sustainability and Green Job Certifications

    Sustainability & Green Job Certification examples have now been included on the Institute for Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment (iSEE) Education Portal website.  Scroll down on the page to find and review Professional Certification Programs.  This list can be used to inspire and provide insight into green careers. Green Job Certification Topics include: 

    Buildings & Energy

    Environmentalism & Advocacy

    Climate Change and Sustainability Professionals, Business, Reporting


    Outdoors, Gardening, Wildlife, Natural Resources

    A downloadable Excel file titled "Job Certifications" provides additional detail about these certifications and these careers.

  15. Career Services Meeting

    Stacy Gloss and Meredith Moore met with Amanda Cox and Samantha Potempa from University Career Services to discuss how to connect students to Green Jobs and Green Job Certifications.  Career Services staff described the services provided for students. Career Services across campus are distributed between the Colleges and students can meet with the central Career Services group or academic & career advisors in the College of their major. Career Services can provide presentations to both classrooms and RSO student groups. Trained peer career advisors can give presentations on interviewing, resume writing, Linked-in profiles and personal statements. A Career Services Council meets on a quarterly basis to discuss current issues and affairs. iSEE can have a representative join the Career Services Council. 

    Additional resources for students include:

  16. Resilience Work Meeting 11/18/21

    Stacy Gloss, Meredith Moore, Morgan White, and Scott Tess met to discuss Resilience Team work. 

    We discussed:

    • NGICP presentation scheduled for December 10 with presentations by Heidi Leuzler and Eliana Brown
    • NGICP SSC Step II Application to be submitted 11/19/21
    • Carbon Offset Program development. Discussed that "local" for this objective means within boundaries of Champaign County.  Next questions to answer are: Why, What, How for developing a local carbon offset program.
  17. Meeting to discuss Carbon Offsets


    Present: Morgan White, Meredith More, Eric Green, Tony Mancuso, Stacy Gloss

    Gloss provided an overview of the local carbon offset objective as described in the iCAP. There was discussion that there are two sides to the issue. 1. The funding mechanism. 2. What projects are funded by off-setting faculty & staff travel impacts?

    The team was asked to review the carbon offset programs by the University of California System and Duke University as two different models. The first is a campus-system internal model where funds are used to develop projects on campuses throughout the system. A university-system advisory board receives applications for projects and approves the projects that meet program requirements.  The Duke carbon offset initiative involves a portfolio of offsets including a methane capture waste-to-energy at an industrial farm,  urban tree planting program, avoided conversion, wetland restoration, and a pilot program for residential energy efficiency piloted in 2012 --- these programs happen off-campus.

    We agreed that there is an economies-of-scale issue with local off-sets to overcome. For local-community-based projects, the cost per off-set is going to be higher than aggregating funds into one industrial scale project or program. An carbon-off-set company, for example, might contact a city and offer $1.00 per tree for off-sets, but it costs over $400 to install and maintain a tree.  (A program like this appears to generate a very small added value to the paid organization.)

    U of I campus renewable energy & energy efficiency projects can be tracked by the campus energy office. For community off-sets, an agency (university or otherwise) would need to set up a mechanism to collect and distribute funds for community-based projects, perhaps through a non-for-profit interface. Projects can include urban tree-planting, renewable energy, energy efficiency, prairie restoration etc. 3rd party verification is needed.

    As a next step, this team and others must define "local" in "local offset program" in order to meet this objective in the iCAP. Is the program going to be internal to campus, or include the local community as recipients of funds community projects?

    This team must also interpret what the iCAP is saying to off-set. 

    • Annual business air-travel by faculty & staff? 
    • Vehicle miles driven by faculty & staff on University business?
    • All electricity & heat generated by carbon sources for the University of Illinois?

    These questions are fundamental to designing and implementing a local-carbon-offset program.  

  18. Green Certifications Meeting


    Present: Tony Mancuso, Meredith Moore, Eric Green, & Stacy Gloss

    A meeting was held to discuss student engagement, green jobs, and career planning.

    Agenda items included: 

    1) Possible potential for interviewing iSEE Fellows Minor Grads about their current careers - involving the communications department.

    2) Possible idea for introducing a mentoring program. The idea is to have iSEE fellows grads who are settled into careers serve as mentors for undergraduate fellows in the minor. A program like this would need to have more intentional development and administrative support.

    3) Getting green jobs certifications information onto the iSEE website under the Education Portal

    Stacy & Tony will work on this.

  19. Key Steps Supporting Vision Zero in 2021-2022

    During the falls semester Stacy Gloss met with campus and community stakeholders to discuss Vision Zero in our community. The attached report provides recommendations for campus to update and modify Transportation policies, support and advocate for community traffic safety efforts, provide leadership and support to local transportation departments, expand and create new student engagement and project opportunities, and develop a relationship with the Vision Zero network.