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Sustainability professors named 2017 AASHE award winners

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

October 16, 2017

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced Katja Brundiers and Arnim Wiek, both professors in ASU's School of Sustainability, as recipients of a Campus Sustainability Research award for their outstanding achievements and progress toward sustainability.

AASHE bestows its prestigious awards on institutions and individuals that are helping to lead higher education to a sustainable future. This year, AASHE received 230 entries that resulted in 10 winners announced in three campus sustainability categories –  leadership, achievement and research.

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Putting your values on your plate

ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Food Systems News

October 4, 2017

What we put on our plates affects our overall health from our individual bodies to the planet as a whole. Christopher Wharton – director of the Food Systems Transformation Initiative (FSTI) – along with other researchers from the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability are studying the long-term effects of our diets on happiness, sustainability and ethics.

One ongoing FSTI study is examining food and fulfillment, gauging the motivators and barriers of adopting and maintaining plant-based diets. Though results are not yet in, researchers expect a correlation with long-term happiness because of the knowledge that there are positive health, environmental and other sustainability benefits to adopting a strictly or primarily plant-based diet.

In a story by ASU Now, Wharton says the availability of farmer's markets and locally produced foods along with a variety of pre-washed fruits, vegetables, and pre-prepped salads help reduce some of the barriers to integrating more plants into our diets. In addition to the health and environmental benefits, these consumer choices also support farmers and their livelihoods. Wharton notes that when it comes to issues of sustainability, one of the biggest impacts we can make is in our diet.

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SCN Kicks Off Project Cities at Apache Junction

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities

October 2, 2017

Students arrive for the Project Cities Kick-Off Event

On August 30, 2017, over 130 ASU students and faculty from multiple disciplines filed into the Apache Junction Multi-Generational Center.

The draw? A kick-off event marking a partnership between ASU’s Project Cities program and the City of Apache Junction – one that plugs students into projects that make Apache Junction a better place to live.

Not only did students get to hear more about these projects from Project Cities and Apache Junction staff, the kick-off event included networking with the Apache Junction mayor, city council, board commissioners and staff – not to mention a bus tour of the city. Breakout sessions allowed students to ask city project leaders questions, learn about community history and brainstorm possible solutions to local challenges.

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New Carbon Economy Consortium: Building research programs to support 21st Century economic opportunity

ASU Sustainability News LightWorks News

September 26, 2017

Now is the time to map paths to the breakthrough research programs and forward-looking university-business partnerships that will serve as the hubs for this new carbon economy. This is an economy in which low-carbon industry and primary energy production are joined by industrial centers, agricultural regions and food-producing ecosystems that turn excess CO2 into consumer goods, fuels, building materials and fertile soil. With deliberate but ambitious planning, the United States and collaborators in other countries can develop the knowledge, technologies and human capital to catalyze the new carbon economy by 2040.

In June 2017, a one-day workshop was held at Arizona State University to begin mapping out the work of a consortium focused on creating a framework for the research programs necessary to support the new carbon economy. The workshop brought together experts from Arizona State University, the Center for Carbon Removal, Iowa State University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Purdue University.

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Resilience game prepares city leaders for future scenarios

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Professional Training and Custom Sustainability Education

September 15, 2017

At the second in a series of resilience and sustainability workshops with the City of Tempe, municipal executives and leaders discussed possible visions of Tempe in 2040 – from recreation to shade structures.

The event, hosted by the School of Sustainability's Executive and Professional Education program, centered on a new and innovative game called AudaCITY. Created by Senior Sustainability Scientist Lauren Withycombe Keeler of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the game enables participants to set sustainability goals and develop strategies to achieve them.

ASU will host a third resilience workshop for the City of Tempe later in fall 2017.

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3 countries, 3 universities, 1 unforgettable experience

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

September 14, 2017

For ASU sustainability senior Hailey Baker, three countries plus three universities plus three weeks adds up to one unforgettable experience.

Baker and 31 other students – representing ASU, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and National Taipei University – traveled to three cities in Southern China for their summer studies, part of a program supported by the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, the ASU Wrigley Institute and the ASU Study Abroad Office.

During the three-week course on sustainable urban development, Baker and her peers experienced field trips and lectures in three cities: Guangzhou, China; Taipei, Taiwan; and Hong Kong. Then, working in teams with students from each participating university, each group completed a final solutions-focused project, including the development of sustainability plans for a new district in Hong Kong.

The course was co-taught by Rob Melnick – presidential professor of practice in ASU’s School of Sustainability – and sustainability doctoral candidate Joe Knott, along with faculty from the two partner universities.

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Progress in the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Thought Leader Series

September 14, 2017

A Thought Leader Series Piece

by Kathleen Andereck & Christine Vogt

Note: To celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute for Sustainability and the Center for Sustainable Tourism in the School of Community Resources and Development at ASU will host Megan Epler Wood – Director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Wood's lecture will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Tempe Center for the Arts. It will be followed by a dessert reception and book signing.

The origins of sustainable tourism

The concept of sustainability, as we think of it today, emerged from several global initiatives on the heels of the environmental movement. Four initiatives in particular – the Brundtland report Our Common Future released in 1987; the Rio Summit with its Agenda 21 in 1992; and the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, or Rio+10, and then Rio+20 in 2012 – spurred the conceptual development of sustainable tourism.

In the Brundtland report, its authors took a serious look at the impacts of industrial and human activities on the planet. Tourism was flagged in recognition of its contribution to these impacts.

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#1 in innovation for three consecutive years

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

September 11, 2017

For the third year in a row, Arizona State University tops U.S. News and World Report's list of “most innovative schools” in the nation.

The ranking recognizes the university’s groundbreaking initiatives, partnerships, programs and research – including in the field of sustainability. It also recognizes innovative improvements to curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.

The widely touted set of annual rankings by the news magazine compares more than 1,500 institutions on a variety of metrics. It is based on survey responses from peers – including college presidents, provosts and admissions deans throughout the country.

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New book provides a pathway towards international cooperation and sustainability

ASU Wrigley Institute News

September 8, 2017

Sustainability Scientist Martin Pasqualetti is one of three editors on a book now out from Routledge titled The Routledge Research Companion to Energy Geographies.

The book provides a pathway toward international cooperation and sustainability by offering a framework that portrays the interdependence between geography, energy and our society – such as security, space and place, planning, environmental science, economics and political science. Recognizing that debates over location and energy flow often lack substantial consideration of geographical networks, the book illustrates and explains the importance of distribution of fuels and services around the world and how energy affects our decisions.

Pasqualetti is a professor at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, and co-director of ASU’s Energy Policy Innovation Council.

How to weather calamities like Harvey and Irma

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

September 7, 2017

New ideas on how to build more resilient cities focus on working with nature, rather than trying to master it, says Charles Redman – founding director of ASU’s School of Sustainability.

Redman now leads a group of researchers from 15 institutions in a National Science Foundation-sponsored project called the Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Related Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), which focuses on ways to make cities more resilient to natural calamities. This entails building infrastructure systems that are safe-to-fail, rather than fail-safe, and recognizing that cities should be able to take advantage of natural features of the land.

"The overarching problem with cities like Houston is that they have built over the natural landscape with impervious surfaces, and with impediments to the natural flow of surface runoff," says Redman. "A more effective approach may be to implement infrastructure systems that work with the land to facilitate runoff rather than try to control it, but acknowledge and plan that if a specific threshold is exceeded and the system 'fails' in some sense there are backup plans in place that minimize the adverse impacts."

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Apache Junction becomes inaugural partner of ASU’s Project Cities

ASU Wrigley Institute News Project Cities

August 29, 2017

View of desert community at the foot of large rocky mountainsNestled at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction is strategically positioned as the eastern gateway into the Greater Phoenix metro area and the western entry to the Tonto National Forest’s recreation venues. This geography, coupled with a western atmosphere, make the city appealing to residents and visitors alike.

Along with its many attractive qualities, the city of Apache Junction – like most communities – faces unique sustainability challenges as it continues to grow. It is these challenges that form the basis of a partnership with Arizona State University’s Project Cities program.

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ASU named a top 'Cool School' for third year in a row

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

August 22, 2017

ASU's reputation for sustainability leadership continues to grow, corroborated by its standing in Sierra magazine's latest “Cool Schools” ranking of North America’s greenest colleges and universities.

Named first among institutions with more than 10,000 students — up from second in that category last year — ASU sits in seventh place overall, according to the listing. It was compiled using surveys from a record-breaking 227 schools, as well as a customized scoring system based on universities' commitment to upholding high environmental standards.

This is the third consecutive year ASU has scored in the top 20. The 2017 ranking does not yet reflect the impact of the Red Rock Solar Plant, dedicated in January 2017. Over the course of its first full year in operation, Red Rock will reduce ASU’s total carbon footprint by more than 10 percent.

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ASU scientists inspire high school student across country

ASU Wrigley Institute News LightWorks News

August 11, 2017

Albert Kyi is entering the 11th grade this fall at Grace Church High School in New York City, NY, and has demonstrated a passion for innovation and sustainability far beyond his age.

His desire to find solutions that address climate change started in 4th grade when he was part of a team that tried to cut down on the school’s energy usage. Since then, Kyi has been actively learning about technologies that reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change.

Kyi’s journey building a Direct Air Capture (DAC) machine began last year during 10th grade, when students were given a budget and six months to complete a big project. Kyi knew he wanted to do something related to climate change.

Inspired by his dean Mr. Reilly, who told his students to always “dream big,” Kyi wanted to create a technology that could slow down global warming. When he came across DAC technology through his online research, he knew it would be perfect for his project, so he contacted Dr. Klaus Lackner and Mr. Allen Wright.

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ASU announces new center for global drylands stewardship

Board Letter ASU Wrigley Institute News Global Drylands News

August 7, 2017

The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences announce the launch of the Global Drylands Center at Arizona State University. Led by Julie A. Wrigley Professor Osvaldo Sala, GDC will engage key actors of dryland stewardship in developing use-inspired research, training and solutions for arid ecosystems around the world.

While working with multiple global partners – from Ben-Gurion University to the University of New South Wales and King’s College London – GDC endeavors to establish ASU as a leader in crosscutting research and education pertaining to drylands. The center will focus on a broad array of issues, including the impacts of climate and land-use change, the ecology of desertification, and the societal dimensions of productive ecosystems and healthy lives in drylands.

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Meet Our Alumni: Joe Fullerton

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

August 3, 2017

SOS Alumnus Joe Fullerton rafting in yellow canoeJoe Fullerton graduated from the School of Sustainability with an Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership in May 2017. Fullerton, already working as the Energy and Sustainability Manager at San Mateo County Community College District, decided the one year program was a perfect fit for a full-time sustainability professional like himself.

In his current position, Fullerton improves sustainability practices in his district, as well as shares ideas and processes with others. In addition to his formal job duties, Fullerton is working to build a network of sustainability professionals – specifically ASU School of Sustainability graduates – working in higher education, in order to bridge the gap between sustainability and higher ed.

Currently, Fullerton's focus is on a sustainable procurement endeavor with fellow ASU sustainability alumnus Briar Schoon, who leads sustainability efforts at Portland Community College (PCC) District. Fullerton explains how his district can utilize a model that PCC has already created to improve its own sustainable procurement efforts. This is the kind of collaboration that Fullerton hopes to foster and spread within his developing network of higher-ed sustainability professionals.

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ASU and TU Sign MOU to expand university partnership

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

July 26, 2017

Nalini Chhetri holds signed MOU with three other men in Nepal.This June, ASU signed its second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tribhuvan University (TU) in Kathmandu, Nepal, furthering a five-year partnership.

The partnership dates back to 2012, when ASU Senior Sustainability Scientists Netra Chhetri, Nalini Chhetri and Milan Shrestha first engaged with TU and were invited to the university as guest speakers.

ASU signed its first MOU with TU’s Institute of Engineering (IOE) in 2015. Through that collaboration, two cohorts of ASU students have studied abroad in Nepal. The 2017 study abroad session, called Grassroots Innovation for Sustainable Development, brought ASU and IOE sustainability and engineering students together on two projects to help Nepali farmers: solar-powered lift irrigation and biochar production.

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ASU Sustainability and Design Team Develop Award-Winning Project in Hawai’i

School of Sustainability News Sustainability Connect Successes

July 25, 2017

Since August 2016, an interdisciplinary team of ASU design and sustainability students and faculty have been working on a group project called “Water is Life” with local Hawai’ians to imagine a more sustainable Hawai’i. We followed up with Leah Gibbons, PhD student, Sustainability; Paul Coseo, Assistant Professor, The Design School; and Chingwen Cheng, Assistant Professor, The Design School to talk more about the future of the project and its continued impacts.

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A funny thing happened on the way to the job market

Thought Leader Series

July 17, 2017

asu-sustainability-dean-booneA Thought Leader Series Piece

by Christopher Boone

Note: This essay originally appeared in several newspapers in the Valley and across the country.

Deans of colleges and schools have an annual ritual. Each fall, they greet their incoming class of freshmen – excited, hopeful and mostly young minds ready to enter adulthood, citizenship and self-sufficiency.

These students have worked hard to get into the school of their choice, and now their journey begins. This meeting is a blend of informational, inspirational and joyous.

Often sitting beside these excited young students are their equally excited parents, who have sacrificed to enable their children to reach this auspicious moment. They dream their children will become the proverbial “doctors and lawyers and such,” and also artists, engineers, historians, teachers, journalists and other well-known vocations.

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ASU researchers receive accolades for solar energy research

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News LightWorks News

July 17, 2017

In 2017, ASU researchers received $4.3 million in Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Awards for their work with photovoltaics, making ASU the largest recipient of SunShot funding in the Photovoltaics Research category for the year.

The DOE's SunShot Intiative aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional methods, a goal that three senior sustainability scientists at the ASU Wrigley Institute are helping to achieve. Stuart Bowden is designing the M-Cell, a photovoltaic cell architecture to enable higher voltage and lower current. Meanwhile, Meng Tao is working to reduce processing expenses, improve reliability and maintain high efficiency for photovoltaic devices.

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Solar-powered system helps provide water beyond the annual rainy season

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

July 14, 2017

This summer, a group of 11 ASU sustainability and engineering students traveled to the Hindu Kush Himalaya region to help local farmers run their operations year-round – eliminating the need to migrate to lowlands or to other countries as seasonal laborers.

The students, part of a study abroad course organized through the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives and developed through GlobalResolve,  developed hardware like a solar-powered lift irrigation system during the spring semester, then deployed it while the students were onsite in June.

“This class cooperates with local farmers to combine existing irrigation and solar technologies to provide a refreshing shortcut for the region’s food and energy challenges,” said Senior Sustainability Scientist Netra Chhetri. “With assured water supply, these farmers can plan their crops better and grow off-season vegetables that fetch four times more value than cereals, which are the current crops being harvested.”

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