Skip to main content

November Newsletter 2018

The Sustainable Coog: Your monthly source for green strides with red pride

November Sustainability Meetup - TcSUH

Its always a sense of pride when you learn that your own University is changing science in ways the world has never before seen, and this is exactly what attendees felt at the latest Sustainability Meetup, this past November 6th. Professor of Chemistry Dr. James Meen was the featured speaker, and his topic? Superconductors.

Superconductors are very special materials that can transfer electricity (energy) with no energy lost. In other words, if you need a certain amount of energy to run a computer, the power plant actually needs to produce extra energy knowing that some will be lost on its way to your computer. With this in mind: if you used superconducting materials to build the energy grid, 100% of the energy from the power plant would make it to your plug – meaning more available electricity from the very same source. Additionally, superconductors can be far smaller than conventional lines.

This combination of far greater energy efficiency and drastically reduced size have major implications for not just the energy industry, but also society at large. Engines in planes, boats, and cars, can be smaller, more efficient, and near silent; powerlines can be removed entirely for below ground superconducting wires; and renewable energy can become far more profitable.

Sustainability in the news

New Report Estimates Public Health Impact of Houston Traffic in 2040
A new report by University of Houston researchers accounts for the health impacts of Houston-area traffic and emissions, based on 2040 estimates. Research shows that if nothing is done to improve transportation-related pollution, it could lead to an additional 122 deaths in 2040.

The research also estimates impacts in 2040 if cleaner transportation technologies were adopted by all Houstonians. The full turnover scenario, which is an estimate made considering all cars are made cleaner (35 percent electric vehicles and 65 percent clean combustion vehicles), shows a 90 percent cut in harmful emissions from 2013, all despite a 50 percent projected population growth.

Paper Outlining Fuel Cell Discovery Wins AIChE Best Fundamental Paper Award
The paper, titled "Finite Size Effects in Submonolayer Catalysts Investigated by CO Electrosorption on PtsML/Pd(100)," was published in the Journal of The American Chemical Society in 2017. It was based on research conducted by Stanko Brankovic, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and his student Quiyi Yuan, along with Lars Grabow, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and his student Hieu Doan.

The team's project solved a fundamental research question related to the catalysis that occurs in fuel cells. The best catalytic material for use in chemical fuel cells are all based on platinum (Pt) - a rather expensive material. There has been a drive for the last 15 to 20 years to minimize the amount of Pt used and reduce costs.

UH Startup Exostretch Powers to Top Ten Finalist Position with Battery of the Future
Haleh Ardebili's flexible, bendable and stretchable batteries powered through the competition at the NASA iTech Cycle 3 and earned a space among the top ten finalists. NASA iTech is a program that fosters innovative solutions to challenges we face here on Earth but also have potential to solve some of NASA's challenges deep in outer space. The competition solicits inventions, ideas and technologies at various stages of development from small companies, universities and other institutions.

If Houston's Population Projections Are Correct, Where Are We Going to Put Everyone?
According to a recent projection, Greater Houston's population could top 10 million by the year 2040. That's really not that far away, and while projections can be revised, even coming anywhere near that number leads to a daunting question: where will all these Houstonians go?

   Food for Thought

Meet Your Dietitian

UH Dining believes health and wellness is an essential component of a quality dining program. Our campus dietitian leads our award-winning Balanced U program and serves as a resource to students and guests for all nutrition and dietary questions. Dolores has worked in the field culinary arts, nutrition education and wellness and is enthusiastic about teaching others about nutrition and working toward healthy lifestyles.

UH Dining Vision Plan

In 2017, UH Dining began a transformation that includes the launch of a 24/7 residential dining commons, doubling the number of students served in the commons, completion of visual and merchandising refreshes in both residential dining halls and campus convenience stores, and the start of a deeper dive into understanding what the campus needs from UH Dining over the next five years.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE:

Staff Council Sock & Blanket Drive
Date: Oct 29 - Dec 1
Time: Business Hours
Location: Click link for dropoff locations
Carbon Management: Panacea or Hype?
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 13
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: UH Hilton Hotel

Solid Waste and Recycling Workshops
Date: Thursday, Nov. 15
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: 3555 Timmons Ln #100, Houston, TX 77027

Living the Change Film Screening
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 28
Time: 6:30 p.m - 9 p.m.
Location:Rice University Cinema

Advanced Composter Training
Date: Dec.5
Time: 10:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
Location: 1402 Band Road, Suite 100 - Rosenberg

GET OUTSIDE

GUST: Celebrating a Decade of Discovery
Date: Friday, Nov.16
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Discovery Green

Martin Bailey's Garden Volunteer
Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
Time: 9:00 a.m. - Noon
Location: Wisdom High School, 6529 Beverly Hill St, Houston, TX 77057
Orientation for New McGovern Centennial Gardens Volunteers
Date: Saturday, Nov. 17
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: McGovern Centennial Gardens Family Garden
Memorial Park 101: Soil 101
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 20
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Cullen Running Trails Center, 7575 North Picnic Lane
Cheap Skate Night
Date: Monday, Nov. 26
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Discovery Green

Farmers Markets
Rice University Farmers Market
Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Location: 5600 Greenbriar Dr.
Houston, TX 77005
City Hall Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m.
Location: City Hall
901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Central City Co-Op Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 2515 Waugh Dr.
Houston, TX 77006
Urban Harvest Eastside Farmers Market
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: 3000 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77098
Memorial Villages Market
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Location: 10840 Beinhorn Road
Houston, TX 77024
The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan's Mill
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Location: 7 Switchbud Pl.
The Woodlands, TX 77380

For more information on ongoing Farmers Markets or new, upcoming ones, check out the sites below:

Campus Community Garden

Learn more about our Campus Community Garden and our mission. Email us to schedule a time to volunteer.
Like us on Facebook for weekly garden updates!

Scholarships & Opportunities

Alpha Gamma Rho Horticulture Scholarship
George Staby has provided scholarships limited to current AGR undergraduates who are enrolled with a declared horticulture-related major in entomology, environmental horticulture, horticulture, landscape gardening, landscape horticulture, ornamental horticulture, pest control, plant breeding, plant pathology, plant science (with horticulture emphasis), pomology, and/or vegetable crops who have completed at least three courses in the department of their declared major. Applicants must supply a current transcript and send an essay. Financial need will not be a determinant in the selection process.

Apprentice Ecologist Scholarship
The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative awards three scholarships to the authors of the three best Apprentice Ecologist essays. Applicants should embody the spirit of the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative by demonstrating personal leadership and environmental stewardship in their project. Winning essays have been 750 to 1,500 words long. Middle school, high school, or undergraduate college/university students (ages 13-21) are eligible to apply. Register and upload your favorite photo with the essay. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider's website.

EPP Undergraduate Scholarship Program
The goal of the EPP Undergraduate Scholars Program is to increase the number of students who undertake course work and graduate with degrees in targeted academic fields integral to NOAA's mission. This program targets students who have completed their sophomore year, attending minority serving institutions (MSIs), and have recently declared, or about to declare a major in atmospheric, oceanic, or environmental disciplines that support these sciences.

Green Jobs

sustainability logo

Copyright C 2018 University of Houston, All rights reserved.