UNIVERSITY’S SUSTAINABILITY LEADERS COME TOGETHER FOR FIRST ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION


Professors from a variety of disciplines on campus put their heads together during the first Sustainability Roundtable on October 21 hosted by Green UH. The group, led by two Green UH volunteers, discussed possible research collaborations and ideas to take UH’s sustainability mission to the next level.

Green UH plans to host the roundtables every other month as a way to bring together campus sustainability leaders and researchers to discuss projects, potential collaborations and current campus challenges. Garth Williams, a recent UH graduate receiving his Master of Architecture, and Laura Moreno, a nutrition junior, volunteered to lead the roundtable discussions.

“I feel the meeting went well and the participants showed a lot of enthusiasm for the cause,” said Garth Williams, roundtable facilitator. “I think any opportunity to gather professors from multiple colleges on campus to talk about sustainability will both provide short-term goals and activities for Green UH as well as foster an environment where multi-disciplinary research can occur in the future.”

Williams said he wanted to get involved in the Green UH mission previously but his schedule didn’t allow it while he was a student. However, he jumped at the chance to volunteer for the roundtable discussion after being contacted by Green UH. Moreno first became involved in Green UH by volunteering to work in the campus community garden last semester.

“I really enjoyed myself last semester and I feel strongly about Green UH’s mission. I’m determined to make a difference at the university, as well as within the community. When I heard about the roundtable, it sounded like a unique opportunity so I said, ‘sign me up!’” Moreno said.

At the first meeting, professors and graduate students discussed their current projects and next possible steps to encourage sustainable initiatives on campus. They also discussed current challenges we face as a campus community and potential solutions to those challenges. For the next discussion, a summary of ideas and comments from the first roundtable, in addition to an agenda of items for discussion and action, will be provided. Professors of various fields interested in sharing ideas or helping the university on its sustainability mission are invited to participate. Also, professors and students currently working on sustainability-related projects and research can share their progress and generate new, potentially collaborative ideas.

“I think it’s important to address the concerns from our last meeting and to explore and have answers for their suggestions this time around. Also, instead of just a brief introduction to the person and a small blurb on their personal projects and research, I think it would be beneficial and inspiring to have a few minutes for each person to show-and-tell. It will be a great way for the attendees to show their work and research and for their fellow colleagues to be able to lend a hand,” said Laura Moreno, roundtable facilitator.

The next Sustainability Roundtables are scheduled for Dec. 2, Feb. 3, April 13 and June 1 in Cougar Village N115. For more information, contact Green UH at greenuh.info@gmail.com.