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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SU Highlights Efforts During Campus Sustainability Day

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SALISBURY, MD---As colleges and universities throughout the nation celebrate Campus Sustainability Day today, Salisbury University continues its “green” initiatives that have impacted everything from classroom instruction to classroom construction.

Some highlights:

• In 2006, SU entered into an agreement with Pepco Energy Services, Inc., and the Maryland Department of General Services to retrofit many campus buildings with more energy efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures. Over the next 15 years, the project is expected to save water equal to the amount consumed annually by 473 family homes and electricity sufficient to power 1,600 homes, and it will reduce emissions equal to removing 1,571 cars from the road or planting 2,145 acres of trees—all at a projected savings of some $6 million.

• The next year, President Janet Dudley-Eshbach joined more than 400 other college and university leaders across the nation in signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, placing sustainability at the forefront of SU’s mission. With this, she pledged to move the University toward climate neutrality, with no net greenhouse gas emissions.

• Earlier this year, state officials coordinating Maryland’s Environmental Footprint Initiative highlighted SU’s “demonstrated leadership in sustainability.”

• The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service and Forestry Council named SU a “People Loving And Nurturing Trees” (PLANT) Community for its tree-friendly campus. SU is a registered national arboretum, with a collection of over 2,000 species of plants. The University is also registered in the Maryland Big Tree Program and has several trees on Holloway Lawn that are among the state’s largest.

• The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education named SU’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art a “Green Center” for modeling conservation and sustainable practices to area schools.

• SU is home to the Newton-Marasco Foundation’s annual Green Earth Book Award, the nation’s first and only prize to honor “green-minded” authors and illustrators for encouraging sustainability among children and young adults. The foundation presented its inaugural Leading Environmental Stewardship Award to President Dudley-Eshbach for her commitment to sustainability at the University.

• Last month, SU’s Teacher Education and Technology Center was certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council, the nation's leading organization supporting environmentally responsible construction, becoming the first LEED certified building not only at SU, but on the Eastern Shore. SU planners are targeting all future construction at the University—as well as renovations of several older buildings—to meet LEED certification standards. This includes the new Perdue School building, currently under construction, which is being designed with LEED Gold certification in mind.

Recent individual efforts by faculty, staff and students include:

Environ-mentality
• Students in Dr. Arvi Arunachalam's Essentials of Finance Real Estate class in the Economics and Finance Department of SU’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business conduct detailed financial analysis on making buildings energy efficient. Students evaluate the costs and return on investment of retrofitting buildings on campus and in the community with more sustainable technology from heating and cooling systems to daylight harvesting sensors.

• Students in Dr. Michael Lewis’ Environmental Issues senior seminar class are working on sustainable projects in the community. One research group is designing a management plan for a new biological research station SU is planning at the Nature Conservancy’s Nassawango nature preserve, while another is working with area schools to identify a site for an educational garden.

• Students in SU’s Bellavance Honors Program are going green in a variety of ways. Some students are cultivating an Honors Garden with vegetables and flowers at the Center for International Education, while others are conducting research projects with sustainable undertones, including the study of the Eco-Machine irrigation system at the former Perdue Incorporated plant in Berlin, MD, and the preparation of a how-to booklet for students hoping to find more local organic food sources.

• Students in SU’s sustainable Living-Learning Community recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend Green Fest, where they toured homes built by competitors in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. During the decathlon, some 20 teams construct solar-powered homes and compete to see whose is most energy efficient. Students in the Living-Learning Community live together on the same residence hall floor and are committed to sustainable practices.

• As one of its community service projects this semester, SU’s chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi international education honor society is creating posters to promote recycling, composting and other sustainable efforts among students at Wicomico County elementary school schools.

• SU students are also composting vegetable waste left over from daily salad bar preparations in the Commons. This keeps some 80 gallons of waste per week out of the Wicomico County landfill.

The Heat Is On (The Lights Are Off)
• In SU’s Art Department, assistant professor of art Alison Chism is working on a grant proposal that would harvest the energy from SU’s glass blowing ovens to help heat Fulton Hall.

• The sustainability committee at SU’s Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology recently enacted a new competition: the Henson Challenge. Faculty, staff and students are tasked with seeing who can reduce energy use the most in Henson and Devilbiss halls by turning out lights when rooms are empty and taking other measures to conserve power. The goal is to show that simple changes may significantly decrease waste, save money and reduce environmental impact.

• At Blackwell Library, staff is saving paper, envelopes and postage by generating all of its notices (overdue books, fines, holds, etc.) via e-mail. Several reference librarians work with lamps instead of turning on overhead lights, and many staff members carpool to meetings and walk or bike to work.

Twice is Nice
• During SU’s participation this year in Recyclemania, a 10-week national recycling challenge for college and university students, Salisbury collected some 5.15 tons of recyclable material. SU will participate in Recylemania 2010 from January 17-March 27.


• In fall 2008, the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts appointed a sustainability committee. Since then, the committee has worked to promote recycling and other sustainable efforts through an in-house campaign including a Web site and in-building advertising. Reports and agendas for meetings are made available for review online to discourage excess paper use, and even Dean Maarten Pereboom’s 2008-09 academic year-end gifts to faculty were green, with each receiving an Eastern Redbud sapling and reusable shopping bag made from recycled material.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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