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October Newsletter 2018

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

Sustainability Office Returns to AASHE Conference and Expo 2018

Last week, the Office of Sustainability was proud to travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to represent the University of Houston at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) national conference and expo. With approximately 2,000 participants, AASHE's annual conference is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities.

This year the Office presented a poster detailing campus dining halls' commitment to sustainably sourced food and drastic waste reduction. As detailed on the poster, campus dining facilities are now committed to producing zero waste by 2020, maintaining Green Restaurant Certification, expanding vegan options, and many other great goals to help campus food be more sustainable.

AASHE is also the agency that oversees the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), which UH reports to every 3 years. Presently the university holds a Gold rating and the above dining commitments will help improve this score even further, in addition to providing success stories for other campuses looking to reduce food waste.

Sustainability in the news

October Sustainability Meetup - Air Alliance Houston
Tuesday October 9th, 2018 marked the continuation of the Sustainability Meetup series presented by the University of Houston Office of Sustainability. With the mission of making it "easier for people interested in sustainability issues to connect with each other and learn", this Meetup was focused on bringing people together with shared concern over Houston's air quality.

A long time champion for clean air in Houston, Air Alliance Houston, was the featured partner and their Director of Operations Paige Powell provided a wonderful lecture on Air Pollution, Public Health, and Environmental Justice. Paige has been a life-long advocate for public health, education, and the environment. She is a Certified Public Manager, and received a bachelor's degree in economics from our own University of Houston. Her work has brought her to the nexus of Houston's energy economy and air pollution for surrounding communities.

How Will Climate Change Affect Plants, Soil Microbes?
Scientists know plant growth is affected by microbes in the soil. How that will change as the climate warms and rainfall patterns shift raises questions about future plant diversity and the potential risk to native plants, wildlife and even agriculture. Kerri M. Crawford, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry at the University of Houston's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has received a $647,023 grant from the National Science Foundation to determine how interactions between plants and soil microbes will influence plant growth and health in a warming climate.

"We are asking if a changing environment will shift the interaction in ways that will change plant survival," Crawford said. "If we understand the basic science of how climate change influences that interaction, then perhaps we can better prepare for and mitigate any changes."

Energy and Sustainability Minor Announces First Class of Equinor Scholars
Equinor, formerly Statoil, will be sponsoring a pilot scholarship and mentorship program in the 2018-2019 academic year for select students pursuing the Energy and Sustainability minor. This program, which will pair each scholarship recipient with an Equinor employee working in a field related to the student's academic major, presents an opportunity for students to learn directly from professionals in the energy industry.

The Energy & Sustainability minor, administered by the Honors College, welcomes UH students of all majors to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of sustainable energy. In courses spanning a variety of fields, including business, engineering, the natural sciences, architecture, economics, political science, and history, students consider issues such as energy security, environmental stewardship, the environmental impacts of energy use on air, water, and land, and the global challenges of climate change.

Negative Emissions Technologies: Has Their Time Arrived?
Amid the partisan rancor paralyzing U.S. politics and climate change policy, a surprising atoll of bipartisan consensus emerged earlier this year on carbon tax credits. On Feb. 9, Congress passed the FUTURE Act (the Furthering carbon capture, Utilization, Technology, Underground storage, and Reduced Emissions Act), which President Trump quickly signed into law. This statute essentially provides a tax credit to incentivize carbon capture, storage and utilization. The Act more than doubles the tax credits available for capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide (CO2) in geological formations and for CO2-enabled enhanced oil recovery (EOR), and it extends the same support to industries that reuse carbon in other forms, including cement, chemicals, plastics and fuels.

   Food for Thought

UH College of Education Supports Students with Food Pantry

The University of Houston College of Education has opened a free food pantry to help students in need, joining a growing movement nationally to go beyond academic support to boost student success. The pantry is believed to be the first at UH, and organizer Laura Lee said she hopes to open it to students across campus in coming months. Lee, the College's undergraduate student success coach, said she has seen too many overstressed students - grappling with newfound independence, full class loads and the impending pressure of bills. Tuition. Car payments. Utility bills. Paying for meals can break the bank some weeks.

Teaching Kitchen: Energize with Pumpkin

UH Dining's ?Teaching Kitchen is a platform to explore food, culinary & nutrition literacy th?at will positively impact food choices and experiences. Students can take part in creating a dish on their own at the instruction of our talented executive chefs and managers. Teaching Kitchens are open to all meal plan holders, and guests must sign up to participate. A limited number of spots are available, so only sign up if you can attend. These events are offered at no cost to participants. Priority is given to those students with a meal plan. We will be making Pumpkin Energy Bites using Libby's 100% pumpkin.These no-bake protein bites are a healthy snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth. They are an easy and fast snack to put together. You will also learn how pumpkin can help boost the flavor and nutrition in dishes.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE:

Hines College of Architecture and Design Lecture Series
Date: Monday, October 15
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - Brown Auditorium Theater
Houston Energy Day
Date: Saturday, October 20
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Sam Houston Park

Repair Cafe
Date: Saturday, October 27
Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: TX/RX Labs

205 Roberts St. Houston, Texas 77003

Blackwood Farms Harvest Hoedown
Date: Saturday, Nov. 3
Time: 10 a.m - 4 p.m.
Location:27144 Rock Island Road Hempstead, Texas 77445

Houston Green Roof & Wall Symposium
Date: December 10
Time: 9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.
Location: University of Houston Student Center South

GET OUTSIDE

Hands on New Gardener Training in Hermann Park
Date: Wednesday, Oct.17
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Family Garden in McGovern Centennial Gardens

Prairie Pandemonium
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Time: 8:00 a.m. - Noon
Location: 8500 Bay Area Blvd. Pasadena, TX 77507
Kemah Tri-Athlon
Date: Sunday, Oct. 21
Time: 5 a.m.
Location: 604 Bradford Ave.
Moonlight Ramble
Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
Time: 11 p.m.
Location: Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX 77020
Run in the Park
Date: Saturday, Nov. 10
Time: 8 a.m.
Location: Molly Ann Smith Plaza, Hermann Park

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

Good360 Sustainability Scholarship
Good360 wants to hear how sustainability has touched your life. If you’re a high school senior applying to college, or you’re currently a college student, and you have an interest in sustainability and the environment, they would love to hear your thoughts on what sustainability means to you. Thus, they’re sponsoring a college scholarship with an award of $1,000 to go towards tuition.

ExtremeTerrain’s Student Scholarships
ExtremeTerrain is offering two $3,000 scholarships, one for the fall semester and one for the spring Semester to eligible students pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies, Environmental Research, Land Use, Earth and Atmosphere Studies, Sustainable Land Management, Parks and Recreation, or Sustainable Agriculture Systems. Students should submit a 700 – 1500 word essay to scholarships@extremeterrain.com that describes who you are, why you feel it is important to maintain access to public lands for recreational use and how you plan to use your degree to advocate for the recreational use of public lands.

IEI $1,000 Bi-Annual Scholarship Essay Contest
Carefully research and compose an essay of 800 to 1,000 words on one of the following topics: Ten ways to analyze and test the integrity of a commercial HVAC design, Five tips for designing an energy-efficient building, How to investigate the cause and origin of a building structure fire. The essay will be judged on content and creativity and should use correct grammar and punctuation. It must be your own work and not previously published or entered in other competitions.

Green Jobs

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