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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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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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#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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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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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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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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Cities can make greener purchases with help of new initiative

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

July 6, 2017

As local governments step to the forefront of sustainability commitment-making, a team of Arizona State University researchers – including School of Sustainability Professor Nicole Darnall – launch a project aimed at making it easier for cities to “buy green."

Called the Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative, the project was informed by survey responses from 616 government officials from 459 cities. The responses led the ASU team to create eight real-world recommendations that can be used by city officials considering environmentally-friendly products – from light bulbs to carpeting.

The tips will be disseminated in a marketing blast that will reach thousands of local governments nationwide.

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ASU sports sustainability prowess during Final Four Tournament

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

June 28, 2017

In April 2017, Arizona welcomed the NCAA’s Final Four Tournament – a college basketball championship that spanned three days in downtown Phoenix. With over 70,000 fans in attendance, the event was the perfect opportunity for Phoenix to flex its sustainability muscles.

Partners from all over the Valley united to leave the Final Four with a legacy of sustainability that could continue long after its departure from Phoenix. These partners included ASU’s School of Sustainability, the City of Phoenix, the City of Glendale, APS, SRP, Keep Phoenix Beautiful, Green Living Magazine, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Northern Arizona Forest Fund and numerous community members.

This month, the Final Four received the Evergreen Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport at the Pac-12 Sustainability Conference, held in conjunction with the 2017 Green Sports Alliance Summit in Sacramento. The Evergreen Certification signifies the highest level of sustainability certification possible at a sporting event.

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Vision for rehabilitated watershed lands ASU team with award

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

June 18, 2017

Part of the celebration to welcome the canoe Hōkūleʻa home from her worldwide voyage, ASU took the overall prize in the Make the Ala Wai Awesome challenge, an international student design competition that asked contestants to rehabilitate a critical Oʻahu watershed containing one of the nation’s most polluted bodies of water.

The School of Sustainability and ASU LightWorks energy center have been working with a Hawai'i public-private partnership network to find new answers to the country's unique sustainability challenges. LightWorks enlisted help from The Design School, which turned the effort into a class project where graduate students in design and sustainability addressed climate change, water, food, energy and natural resources sustainability on the Ala Wai.

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Paris Climate Agreement: The fallout from withdrawal

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

June 2, 2017

After President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, School of Sustainability Assistant Professor Sonja Klinsky went over the possible ramifications with ASU Now.

Klinsky, who studies climate negotiations, said that the decision will hurt American business and devastate our country's international credibility.

"Already, there are long-standing tensions and questions about the American commitment to climate action," Klinsky explained. "Cumulatively, the U.S. is the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Breaking a promise by pulling out of this agreement or by removing domestic regulations will profoundly erode international trust in an arena in which collective action and cooperation is crucial."

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Fishing for answers in Phoenix's urban lakes

Board Letter School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

May 23, 2017

A "No Fishing" sign in an urban lakeA recent study on fishing in Phoenix found that, of the anglers surveyed at six urban lakes, the majority reported eating recreationally-caught fishes even though they thought the water might be polluted.

Erin Pulford – a School of Sustainability graduate – is the lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Management. Based on Pulford's Master of Sustainability Solutions project with advisor Beth Polidoro, the study found varying levels of organic contaminants in surface water samples collected from the six urban lakes where anglers were surveyed.

The study bears particular significance to low-income and high-minority neighborhoods, where most of the city's recreational fisheries lakes and ponds are located. The results can be used to inform policies, improve water quality and support further research in order to reduce potential risks to public health.

Top Arizona high school grad plans to study sustainability

ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 26, 2017

One of 10 Flinn Scholars committed to being a SunDevil, Ashley Dussault wants to use her major — sustainability — to help people.

“The program is about change, which is what I want to do. I want to plan cities to be better and to help with poverty,” said Dussault, who will graduate from Hamilton High School in the Chandler Unified School District.

She’s especially interested in the social-justice component of sustainability.

“I want to show the people of the world that just because sustainability is happening, they don’t have to be pushed out of their homes and that there’s a place for them in the world.”

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ASU in world's Top 3 for sustainability initiatives

Board Letter ASU Sustainability News School of Sustainability News

April 26, 2017

ASU is third in the world and second in the U.S. for sustainability initiatives, according to a 2017 rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, known as STARS, rated ASU highest with the following percentages of available points: 87 percent in academics and research, and 95 percent in campus and public engagement.

AASHE STARS is a comprehensive tool for measuring sustainability at more than 800 colleges and universities around the world. It benchmarks institutions in over 1,000 data points covering academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

To achieve gold, ASU built campus and community collaborations to provide world-class education and research sustainability with the first School of Sustainability more than a decade ago. Now, 12.5 percent of ASU’s courses are recognized as sustainability or sustainability-related and 74 percent of academic departments offer sustainability courses.

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Grant helps to create a community hub

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

April 17, 2017

A blighted neighborhood is transforming into a community hub, complete with a vegetable garden tended by refugee families, thanks in part to a $2,500 gift from Mortenson Construction to ASU’s School of Sustainability.

Working with the humanitarian organization International Rescue Committee, ASU students and residents cultivate produce in an aquaponics greenhouse at 1616 West Camelback Road, a low-income neighborhood in Central Phoenix that has limited nutritional options.

"Through careful and intensive design, this project could become a place for the refugee community to call home and feel integrated into the neighborhood," says Josh Greene, a senior in architectural studies.

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Sustainability professor gives GreenBiz the inside view

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April 11, 2017

Sustainability is a field written in pencil, at best, according to School of Sustainability Professor of Practice George Basile.

In an April 2017 interview with GreenBiz,  Basile explains that sustainability is always evolving, requiring its practitioners to be keen learners.

"When you implement sustainability even today, very quickly people find out what it’s like to be a pioneer," he says. "You’ll find yourself in new territory."

The students who enroll in sustainability courses at ASU are not intimidated by this prospect. In Basile's opinion, School of Sustainability students are among the best.

"They’re willing to learn. They’re motivated. They come with a great breadth of backgrounds and they really are solution-oriented," he explains. "They’re looking at 'how do we build the future we want.'"

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Meet Our Alumni: Chris Chappell

School of Sustainability News Alumni News Alumni and Student Spotlights

March 31, 2017

Chris Chappell graduated from the School of Sustainability in 2012 with a Bachelor's of Science, focusing on Sustainable Ecosystems. Chappell is currently the Social Media Coordinator for the Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert, Arizona, where he acts as both a communications hub and resident photographer for the brewery.

Chappell educates the public, as well as his fellow brewery staff, about the story of every beer: from its locally-sourced ingredients, to its deliciously brewed end.

Where are you working now?

Arizona Wilderness is a very fast-paced brewery in the sense that we have five daily food specials, weekly beer tappings and weekly bottle/can releases. Most of these beers and food specials utilize local ingredients, either sourced from a local farmer or even ethically foraged by our brewers, or have some sort of interesting story behind them. It is my job to gather all of the information on these and convey it to the public, via social media, and to our amazing staff.

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Going global: ASU grad students tackle challenges around the world

School of Sustainability News ASU Wrigley Institute News

March 7, 2017

Saurabh Biswas likes to ensure that no good ideas, or sunlight, go to waste.

That’s why the School of Sustainability PhD student created Sustainable Rio Claro 2020 – a sustainability game-plan for the Brazilian village of Rio Claro.

Through ASU’s Global Development Research program, Biswas lived, worked and studied in the small agricultural community, collaborating with community members and local organizations. He also got hands-on, providing assistance to a local photovoltaic (PV) solar startup making rooftop PV accessible to Brazil’s urban communities.

Biswas is one of more than twenty graduate students to become a GDR scholar since the program’s inception.

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