Pittsburgh: Chatham University has achieved second place in Master’s Institutions’ Overall Top Performers category in the 2016 Sustainable Campus Index, a publication by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Chatham earned the second highest gold level rating with an overall STARS score of 75.8, with only one university earning the highest platinum level rating. Chatham also tied for first place in the Grounds category, which highlights achievement in campus land management and biodiversity of campus grounds and surrounding lands.
The 2016 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS).
STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance developed by AASHE. With nearly 800 participating institutions, STARS is the leading tool for measuring higher education sustainability performance. 124 reports were submitted in the most recent calendar year, resulting in an 11 percent increase over the previous year and a third consecutive year of growth.
PITTSBURGH: The Falk School of Sustainability & Environment will host a broad range of speakers during the 2016 Fall Semester. All events will take place at 2 p.m. at the Esther Barazzone Center on the Eden Hall campus in Richland, PA. Events include:
“The Budding Aromas from Taco Trucks: Taste and Space in Austin, Texas” will feature Robert D. Lemon, MCRP, MLArch, PhD, department of geography University of Texas, Austin on October 28. Lemon is a visiting professor for Human Geography at the Institute of Geography and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies at Heidelberg University. He is a cultural and urban geographer with a passion for landscape studies. As an urban geographer and environmental designer, he has studied extensively the social practices and built transformations of cities through their aesthetic representation.
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PITTSBURGH: Chatham University announced that they have become a Charter Signatory of the Second Nature Climate Commitment to further commitments to carbon neutrality and resilience. The Climate Commitment, a signature program of Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, requires Chatham to set climate targets, report on progress publicly, and collaborate with the surrounding community, all while integrating sustainability across the curriculum. Chatham is also a charter signatory American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (now called the Carbon Commitment), and received a Climate Leadership Award in 2013 from Second Nature for its efforts.
In addition to this latest commitment, Chatham was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an Individual Conference Champion of the 2015-16 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. Chatham beat its conference rivals by using 12 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 97 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. Chatham University is procuring renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Renewable Choice Energy. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives. According to the U.S. EPA, Chatham University’s green power use of 12 million kWh is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 1,100 average American homes annually.
PITTSBURGH: Alice Julier of Chatham University delivered the inaugural keynote speech at the bi-annual Perugia Food & Sustainability Studies Conference, an international scholarly meeting held in Perugia, Italy whose theme was “Perspectives on Food and Landscapes.” Julier is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Food Studies at Chatham University, as well as the Associate Dean of the Falk School of Sustainability. She is interested in social movements, domestic life, labor, consumption, and inequality in food systems; her pedagogical approach maintains a focus on training students to be actors and activists dedicated to making food systems more sustainable.
Two students in Chatham’s Master of Arts in Food Studies program also presented at the food conference. Elise Miranda presented her thesis work “Integrating Distillery Grain Waste into Consumable Goods as a Means of Food Waste Reduction.” Kate Laubacher, also an alumna of Umbra’s Food & Sustainability Studies Program, shared her thesis “Conviviality and Community: Third Places in the U.S. and Europe.” Laubacher will remain in Perugia for two weeks to continue her research as she observes third places throughout Perugia. Laubacher is taking advantage of resources available at the Umbra Institute’s library, access to which was made possible by an agreement between Chatham and the Umbra Institute.