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Vote for Annual Sustainability Project!

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 A new approach to establish a campus-wide commitment to a new sustainability project

***All of campus is invited to vote and volunteer for your favorite project***

Help us chose a primary ~$20k Sustainability Fund project for the academic year.  The goal is to establish a new system on campus that is sustainable both in terms of its positive impact on the three pillars of sustainability and its long-term operation.  All project options will require a feasibility study to evaluate options, and design, approval and implementation phases.  The selected project will need student volunteers, who will work with faculty and staff mentors and facilitators.  A student Sustainability Intern will be hired to help with leadership of the selected project.

**    The Voting Period Has Ended    **

(October 10th-16th, 2017)

Voting Result Updates Can Be Found on  Facebook - @cusustainability

Possible Projects for Selection Include the following:

Wind Turbine on TAC Roof
With an integrated rotor design and patent pending aft rotor location, the wind energy group at Clarkson has been able to increase small wind turbine power output, reducing the cost per kWh to 1/2 and delivering twice the energy than a conventional rotor of the same size.  The performance of a 2.5m rotor wind tunnel model was recently demonstrated at the University of Waterloo's Wind Turbine Test facility in Waterloo Canada, doubling the output power of a commercially available un-ducted rotor of the same size.  Our next step is to build and test a fully working, commercially viable ducted prototype, which will fill a need in several commercial markets.  Read more...

Faculty/Staff Mentors:
        Kenneth D. Visser, Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Mech. and Aeronautical Eng.
        Michael Tremper, University Engineer

Composting System for Organic Wastes
For organic waste that is unsuitable for the anaerobic digester, design and implement an additional on-campus composting system.  Benefits would include reducing coast and environmental impacts associated with landfilling of organic wastes and generating quality compost for campus use.  There is also potential for use by biology/ecosystem labs.  Read more...

Faculty/Staff Mentors:
        Susan E. Powers, Director, Institute for a Sustainable Environment
        Scott Richardson, Grounds Manager

Anaerobic Digester System Improvements
Improve current anaerobic digester system while also institutionalizing a campus-wide food waste management plan that includes collection, transport to the anaerobic digester, increasing the reliability of digester, and biogas utilization. Benefits would include an increase in food waste to digester (i.e. better operation of digester); continued use of infrastructure for research and education; reduced solid waste to landfill + impacts; and reduced biogas emissions.  Read more...

Faculty/Staff Mentors:
         Stefan J. Grimberg, Professor, Civil & Environmental Eng.
         Ian Hazen, Director of Facilities & Services

Re-Useable To-Go BoxProgram
Implement an effective program with CU Dining Services and most importantly, design a mechanism for tracking the lending and return of boxes in a manner that is easy and fool-proof for both users and Aramark.  Benefits include substatial reduction in volume of raw materials consumed and solid waste generated (+ cost/landfill impacts); improved aesthetics; and a cultural shift away from disposables.  Read more...

Staff Mentors:
         Alex French, Sustainability Coordinator
         Brian Printup, Resident District Manager, Clarkson Dining Services

Campus Bicycling Infrastructure Improvements
Improve current infrastructure and bike-friendly attributes, such as bike lanes, covered bicycle parking, expanded bike-loan program.  Benefits would include more permitting more students/faculty/staff to bring bikes to campus (and use them while here); improved campus health; reduced vehicles used for moderate distance trips; and reduced strain on current on-campus vehicle parking.  Read more...

Faculty/Staff Mentors:
         Erik C. Backus, Director of Construction Eng. Management Prog.
         Justin Sperry, Head Alpine Ski Coach and Outdoor Recreation

Past student-led Sustainability Fund projects have made a real difference on campus.  Among the changes made, we have:

-Created a campus vegetable garden
-Constructed boardwalks to access the beaver pond observation tower in the Clarkson Woods
-Installed water bottle refill stations at several locations around campus
-Initiated re-useable to-go box program to reduce solid waste and costs
-Educated students in off-campus housing about energy conservation and efficiency measures
-Explored several ways to increase food waste collection for the anaerobic digester
-Initiated KnightRider – a bike lending program operated through Campus Safety & Security
-Developed a partnership in Uganda to increase tree planting for carbon sequestration


Graduate students David Illig (left) and Jeannie Piekarz display the team’s award-winning poster for their project “Dormitory Motion Sensor Lighting” at the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute “Greening Your Campus” student competition.

bike rack