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September Newsletter 2019

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


UH Again Earns Gold Rating for Sustainability Initiatives

The University of Houston is devoted to advancing sustainability on all fronts and every 3 years, the significance of these efforts is proven by high scores in the AASHE STARS report. This year, the University earned a rank of GOLD (the second highest ranking in the report) for the second reporting period in a row - additionally raising its overall score.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report is the paramount benchmark for sustainability efforts in higher education. STARS ratings are generated through a point system and institutions are scored in the following categories: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation. According to Michael Mendoza, UH sustainability manager, this second Gold status reflects the community's further commitment to supporting sustainability activities, programs and academic initiatives.

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Sustainability in the news

Sustainability Meetups Return with Texas' First Bullet Train

To kick off the Fall Semester, the Office of Sustainability will be hosting Texas Central for a discussion regarding Texas' first bullet train! The train will connect Houston to Dallas and revolutionize transit for millions of Texans in a sustainable way. Join us for a lively discussion about the rail's impact, along with some free snacks and networking.

The Office of Sustainability attends the 2019 Greater Houston Environmental Summit

The Office of Sustainability recently had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Greater Houston Environmental Summit. The conference was hosted by the Citizens' Environmental Coalition (CEC), a cohort of nearly 150 environmentally-focused organizations in the Houston-Gulf Coast region, and sought to showcase how Houston has been working towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From business incubators like Impact Hub, to umbrella groups like the Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience (CEER), the Houston area is blooming with opportunities for sustainable development.

Unprecedented Gift Establishes Four New Institutes

The University of Houston has received a landmark $50 million gift from an anonymous donor to hire distinguished faculty to establish and support four new institutes that will address crucial challenges in the areas of energy, infrastructure, population health and global engagement. Called "Aspire Fund: The $50 Million Challenge," it is the largest single contribution to UH's "Here, We Go" philanthropic campaign.

The $50 million pledge creates a matching endowment program to establish endowed chairs and professorships across the university, which will be a first-of-its-kind program for UH. The Aspire Fund challenge is designed to inspire another $50 million in investments from additional donors, making the total impact as much as $100 million and positioning UH to be nationally competitive in attracting preeminent faculty.

NSF Awards Analysis and Development Grant to UH for Porous Molecular Crystals Research
A three year, $456K grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the development and analysis of materials that can store, release and sense different chemicals. These materials, called porous molecular crystals, are scaffold-like structures which contain hollow pores.

"Porous molecular crystals have a wide range of useful properties," said Ognjen Miljanic, University of Houston professor of chemistry and principal investigator of the grant.


   Food for Thought

Research Brief: Many young adults value sustainably produced foods, leading to healthier food choices

Sustainable diets have many benefits in having a minimal impact on the environment, contributing to food security and promoting healthy life for present and future generations. Research focusing on selected components of sustainable diets, such as eating food that is organically grown/produced, minimally processed, locally grown, and not genetically modified, has found that individuals who are more aware of where and how food is produced tend to select more nutrient-dense food choices.

New research aims to optimize farmland use for crops, solar electricity production

Purdue University professors are questioning what else fertile farmland can be used for with a new multidisciplinary project researching how to improve future sustainability by simultaneously using crop fields for solar electricity production.

“The success of our research will have a profound impact on a sustainable future,” Agrawal said. “It will remove any potential competition for land between food and energy. We as a human race will be able to make a smooth transition toward a full earth.”



Fair Trade Education
Date: Wed, September 11
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Moody Towers Dining Commons
Sustainability Meetup: Texas' First High-Speed Train
Date: Thurs, September 12
Time: 3-4 pm
Location: Student Center South, Midtown Room 262

The New Energy Economy
Date: Thurs, September 12
Time: 6 - 8 pm
Location: UH Student Center South - Theater 4455 University Dr #103/203 Houston, TX 77204

Lecture: “Economy as Ethic” by Brian MacKay-Lyons
Date: Mon, September 16 Time: 6 - 8 pm
Location: UH College of Architecture and Design Theater

Artist Talk: Nina Katchadourian
Date: Sat, September 21
Time: 2 - 3 pm
Location: Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005


Market Street Fall Concert Series
Date: Thursdays, September - October
Time: 6 pm
Location: Market Street, 9595 Six Pines Dr., The Woodlands, TX 77380

Art Crawl and Bike Ride
Date: Sat, September 7
Time: 9:30 - 11 am
Location: Midtown Houston, 410 Pierce St, Ste 355, Houston, Texas 77002
Discovery Green presents México en el Corazón
Date: Fri, September 13
Time: 7 pm
Location: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St., Houston, TX 77010
Urban Farm Volunteer Day
Date: Sat, September 21
Time: 10:30 am - 12 pm
Location: Finca Tres Robles, 257 North Greenwood St, Houston, TX 77011
Plant A Tree Day in Houston
Date: Sat, September 28
Time: 9 am - 12 pm
Location: Blackhawk Park, 9401 Fuqua Street, Houston, TX 77075

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 - 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 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

The Oleg Fastovsky Outstanding Citizen Scholarship

A 500-word essay that answers the following question: What is one of the most important ways an individual can serve her or his community, and how have you served your community in this way?

Deadline: September 30, 2019

The Bonsai Gardening Scholarship 2019
As a candidate, you are required to perform thorough research and use the information you gathered to write an essay of 1500-2000 words on the best way for people living in urban could adopt a sustainable way of life. In other words, write an essay on the steps people can take to reduce the words carbon footprint. Experts on this subject will assess all submissions and the best will win the scholarship.

Deadline: October 1, 2019

Global Water Crisis Solution Scholarship
To participate in this scholarship, you just have to select a topic from our site to write 1000-1500 words. You have to submit it along with your require information on our email address or you can simply submit on our site.

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Green Jobs

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