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July Newsletter 2019

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


UH Awarded for Sustainability Research

Kaushik Rajashekara, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Cullen College of Engineering and a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), is the winner of the 2019 IEEE PELS Vehicle and Transportation Systems Achievement Award presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)'s Power Electronics Society (PELS).

He is being recognized "for contributions to the advancement of power conversion and propulsion systems for electrification of land and air transportation."

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Sustainability in the news

Geology Alumna Receives National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Erin Miller, who graduated from the University of Houston in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in geology, is the recipient of a highly prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF). This award will fund Miller's research on how barrier island systems respond to hurricanes and sea level rise.

The fellowship offers three years of financial support, which includes a monthly stipend, tuition allowance, and opportunities for international research and professional development. With an average award rate of approximately 16%, these fellowships are highly competitive.

UHLC rising 3L Lam examines offshore wind as a renewable energy in practicum course

University of Houston Law Center student Danielle Lam recently investigated pathways to promote the development of offshore wind energy in Texas for lecturer Tracy Hester's environmental practicum course.

"I think promoting renewable energy has a positive effect on the environment, our energy security, and our economy," Lam said. "Our energy demands are increasing and I hope that we can rely on renewable energy to meet those new demands rather than traditional fuel sources."

Researchers Report New Understanding of Thermoelectric Materials
The promise of thermoelectric materials as a source of clean energy has driven the search for materials that can efficiently produce substantial amounts of power from waste heat.

Researchers reported a major step forward Friday, publishing in Science Advances the discovery of a new explanation for asymmetrical thermoelectric performance, the phenomenon that occurs when a material that is highly efficient in a form which carries a positive charge is far less efficient in the form which carries a negative charge, or vice versa.

Solving a Scientific Mystery and Finding a Solution for Industry
In solving a scientific mystery, researchers from the University of Houston and the nation's national laboratories also discovered a new avenue for clearing toxins from water, including wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing.

In addition to offering an explanation for strontium-rich barite formation in marine environments, the researchers said the work offers new insights for understanding and manipulating solid solution nucleation and growth, which could lead to new methods for removing toxins from water and other liquids. That includes the possibility of a more efficient way to remove strontium from the produced water resulting from hydraulic fracturing, Hu said.


   Food for Thought

The Environmental Impact of the Protein We Consume

Whether you're a bacon fanatic, a vegan or somewhere in between, the choices you make about the foods you consume reverberate much further than your own body. As more consumers become aware of this, demand for sustainably sourced foods is on the rise. Yet personal health remains an important consideration.

So how does the average consumer weigh both the nutritional quality and the environmental impact of a food? Until now, they couldn't. But thanks to recently published research that included ASU College of Health Solutions professors Carol Johnston and Chris Wharton as authors, there now exists the basis for such a tool.

The Let's Rethink Food Podcast: E7: Safeguarding Earth with Food

Biodiversity is undergoing the sixth mass extinction. Tune in to hear Dr. Sonja Vermeulen, Christine Figgener and Jeremy Oppenheim discuss how food systems can safeguard earth.

The crisis you may have never heard of, biodiversity, or life on earth, is undergoing the sixth mass extinction. In our quest for more food, materials, energy, space – humans have “appropriated” nearly 50% of land globally. How can we save what’s left?

Food production is the single largest source of environmental degradation and impact on the Earth system. Our food system needs a safe operating space to conserve what’s left of biodiversity, oceans and land. 



Engineers Without Borders USA - Houston Chapter Meeting
Date: Wednesday, July 10
Time: 7 - 9 PM
Location: American Red Cross, 2700 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77098
Fair Trade Houston presents The Chocolate Case
Date: Tuesday, July 13
Time: 2 PM
Location: Houston Mennonite Church, 1231 Wirt Rd., Houston, TX 77055

Green Mountain Energy presents Flea by Night
Date: Saturday, July 20
Time: 6 PM
Location: Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St. Houston, TX 77010

GreenBiz' 2019 Predictions: Houston Perspectives
Date: Wednesday, July 24 Time: 5:30 - 7 PM
Location: TBD

Flood Resiliency and the State of City Infrastructure
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Time: 12 - 2 PM
Location: Leonel Castillo Community Center 2101, South Street, Houston, Texas 77009


Terry Hershey 5K Parkrun
Date: Saturdays (from April through October)
Time: 7:30 AM
Location: Terry Hershey Park, 989 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77077

Habitat Work Days @ UHCL
Date: Select Days (from June through August)
Time: 9 - 11 AM
Location: NOA I Bldg, UHCL, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058-1002
Sunrise Yoga
Date: Friday, July 19
Time: 6:30 - 7:15 AM
Location: The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine St, Houston, Texas 77007
Buffalo Bayou Running Group
Date: Thursday, July 25
Time: 7 - 8 pm
Location: The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park, 105 Sabine St, Houston, Texas 77007
Fourth Sunday on the Roof: Yoga @ MFAH
Date: Sunday, July 28 (from May through August, on the fourth sunday of each month)
Time: 9 - 10 AM
Location: BBVA Roof Garden 5101 Montrose Boulevard Houston, TX 77006

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

NOAA's Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer.

NEHA/AAS Scholarship
Undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in an accredited college or university, with a dedicated and recognized curriculum in EH sciences, are eligible to apply for the NEHA/AAS Scholarship. The purpose of the scholarship program is to encourage early commitment by students to pursue a career in EH. Therefore, preference is given to applicants who indicate that they intend to work as Sanitarians/Environmental Health professionals and not in related fields.

Micro Grants for Environmental Projects
The New Leaders Initiative, a program dedicated to identifying, supporting and sustaining young environmental leaders is honored to administer the Goddard Prize for Environmental Conservancy. The Goddard Prize will be awarded multiple times a year to enterprising young people who are pursuing environmental projects, and who are looking for funding to bring their ideas to the next level.

Green Jobs

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