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January Newsletter 2020

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


Win Prizes During #UHBYOBottle Campaign

Every year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, University of Houston students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to help reduce plastic waste and win prizes by participating in the Office of Sustainability's #UHBYOBottle social media campaign.

The tradition returns this semester from Jan. 13 to Jan. 24.

During this time, participants who post a photo of themselves using a reusable water bottle on Instagram or Twitter with #UHBYOBottle and @UHSustain will be entered to win a variety of cool prizes.

Read more

Sustainability in the news

Researchers Are Gathering Data Off the Coast of Antarctica to Improve Forecasts of Future Sea-level Rise
The Amundsen Sea off Antarctica's western shore is even more isolated. But the icy expanse is proving to be fertile ground for researchers, plowing the waters in search of clues that will help scientists more accurately predict future sea-level rise.

Julia Wellner, associate professor of geology in the University of Houston's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has been directing two projects that took place in the Amundsen Sea this spring. UH Ph.D. students Delaney Robinson and Rachel Clark were there, too, working on specialized ships that spent February and most of March dodging icebergs and plowing through sea ice in the service of science.

UH Cullen College Engineering Faculty Win NSF Grant For Water Purification Study

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $300,008 to two UH Cullen College of Engineering professors for their research into the development of coatings designed to play a role in water purification.

The research has the potential to help ease the global water crisis by developing water filters so efficient they far surpass current options to make water safe to drink. Such better, smaller filters could help make it more practical to transport and operate water purification systems in rugged or impoverished regions of the world where clean drinking water is frequently absent.

Facilities Business Operations and Compliance Contracts Team Commits to Sustainability

Under the leadership of Assistant Director, Guicela Salazar, the contracts team has completely streamlined its processing efforts by virtually going completely paperless.

Given that an average contract may have 30+ pages this is a huge sustainable effort by not printing contract packets. Facilities contract coordinators Nancy Borja, Jacqueline Silis and Shercan Castaneda are to thank in addition to Salazar.

Smart Low-Carbon Cities - Big Changes Ahead
Research by climate scientists has shown that CO2 levels and global temperatures are climbing faster than previously projected, and cities around the world increasingly are taking action, pursuing strategies to both reduce the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they create and to increase the supply of renewable energy they consume.

As U.S. cities prepare their own pathways to becoming low-carbon communities, they will need to anticipate big shifts in energy generation and distribution, as well as how people move about the city and the way in which new structures are built.


   Food for Thought

On a Mission to Upgrade School Lunches at HISD

Betti Wiggins is on a mission to bring good food to every student in the Houston Independent School District-she's even got T-shirts. As HISD's officer of nutrition services, Wiggins is always looking for new ways to innovate and connect her students more deeply to the food they eat. Did you know there is a family-style lunch service for the pre-K classes at Garden Oaks Montessori? Or that HISD is planning a new agricultural education center? Or that HISD is working to offer dishes that reflect Houston's diverse student body?

"I firmly believe that kids should have more than a consumer relationship with their food," said Wiggins. "You can only do that if you get them engaged in the process."

Hope Farms is an Oasis in a Food Desert

Nestled on a seven acres in the historic Sunnyside neighborhood is Hope Farms, an urban agriculture project owned by Recipe for Success, a nonprofit founded in 2005 by Gracie and Bob Cavnar to combat childhood obesity through healthy food educational programs. Though today it is immediately recognizable as a farm, the journey began with an abandoned lot left vacant after the demolition of Carnegie Vanguard High School. Inaugural Farm Manager Justin Meyer took the compacted clay soil and painstakingly worked it into fertile loam in which a diverse assortment of vegetables, fruits and herbs now thrive.




"Norman Rockwell: American Freedom" Art Exhibit
Date: Through March 22nd
Time: Check Museum Hours
Location: Audrey Jones Beck Building 5601 Main Street, Houston, TX 77005

"From the Civil Rights to the Struggle for Environmental Justice" MLK Birthday Celebration
Date: Wednesday, Jan 15
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Barbara Jordan Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs

"Garden for Health" Holistic Gardening Class
Date: Wednesday, Jan 15 Time: 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Location: UTHealth School of Public Health 1200 Pressler St, Houston, Texas 77030

"How to Feed a Growing Planet" Panel Discussion
Date: Thursday, Jan 16
Time: 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Location: The Health Museum 1515 Hermann Dr, Houston, Texas 77004

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan 28 and 29
Time: 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Location: River Oaks Theatre 2009 W Gray St, Houston, Texas 77019


Memorial Park's "Forest Health Day"
Date: Saturday, Jan 11
Time: 8:00 - 11:00 AM
Location: Memorial Park Conservancy 7575 N Picnic Lane, Houston, Texas 77007

"Movement Yoga on the Farm" with Malone Sams
Date: Wednesday, Jan 15
Time: 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Location: Finca Tres Robles 257 N Greenwood St, Houston, Texas 77011
Volunteer Day on the Farm
Date: Saturday, Jan 18
Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Finca Tres Robles 257 N Greenwood St, Houston, Texas 77011
Environmental Educators Exchange
Date: Wednesday, Feb 5
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Location: Poe Elementary School 5100 Hazard St, Houston, Texas 77098
"What A Vegan" Burger Festival
Date: Saturday, Feb 8
Time: 12:00 - 6:00 PM
Location: 4816 N Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77018-2216, United States

Farmers Markets
Rice University Farmers Market
Date: Tuesdays
Time: 3:30 - 6:30 PM
Location: 5600 Greenbriar Dr. Houston, TX 77005
City Hall Farmers Market
Date: Wednesdays
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Location: City Hall
901 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Central City Co-Op Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 9 - 6 PM
Location: 2515 Waugh Dr.
Houston, TX 77006
Urban Harvest East Side Farmers Market
Date: Saturdays
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: 3000 Richmond Ave. Houston, TX 77098
Memorial Villages Market
Date: Every Saturday
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Location: 10840 Beinhorn Road Houston, TX 77024
The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan's Mill
Date: Saturdays
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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

ABPA Harrington-Arthur Memorial Scholarship Essay Competition
The essay topic for the 2019-2020 school year is the following: "Explain cross-connection control in relation to protecting the public's drinking water from a water purveyor's viewpoint. Discuss the water purveyor's role and responsibilities and ways to eliminate contamination risks in a city or town's water supply system."

Deadline: January 31, 2020

2020 Environmental Fellows Program
The Environmental Fellows Program is a nationally competitive summer fellowship program for masters and doctoral students that seeks to place students traditionally underrepresented in the environmental field and those committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in summer fellowships with environmental foundations and their grantees.

Deadline: February 1, 2020

Impact on the Community Scholarship
If you've made a positive impact on your community, we'd like to hear your story. We believe there are many ways to make an impact, because even the smallest actions can make a difference. Whether that is starting a community garden, volunteering at an animal shelter, helping kids with their homework or donating supplies to a homeless shelter.

Deadline: June 30, 2020

Green Jobs


The Office of Sustainabilty is interested in what you think of the newsletter and what else, if anything, you'd like to see more of. Send your thoughts and feedback to!


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