Welcome to the WSU Sustainability Newsletter!

Happy autumn from the sustainability team at Weber State!  The fall colors on the hillsides and along our streets are glorious. The sustainability happenings at WSU are also noteworthy, as you will find in this newsletter.  If this is the first time you are seeing our newsletter, welcome! The Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC) compiles news, events, and opportunities tied to sustainability on our campus and for our wider community.  Our work aims to facilitate education and actions that foster sustainability both on and off-campus.  Here you will find thought-provoking articles, exciting events, and practical ways for you to start living sustainably!

Water Warrior

The Energy and Sustainability Office (ESO) is excited to announce that Kaleb Boyko is the 2017 Water Warrior Champion. This summer, the ESO and Landscaping partnered together on the Water Warrior Challenge, an incentive program designed to reduce water consumption and improve irrigation efficiency on campus.

The Water Warrior Challenge is a point-based program that rewards landscapers for working hard to implement efficiency-boosting improvements to irrigation systems across campus. After performing campus-wide irrigation audits and identifying areas for optimization, Landscaping and the ESO can make data-driven decisions to prioritize and implement needed improvements. The Water Warrior Challenge is just one more step that Weber State has taken toward its sustainability goals.

For the Water Warrior Challenge, landscapers earn points in five areas: distribution uniformity (how evenly irrigation is applied to

Kaleb Boyko

an area), percentage of swampy grass, percentage of green grass, percentage of head-to-head coverage (whether spray from one head reaches surrounding heads), and number of sprinklers that spray sidewalks.

After implementing irrigation audits across campus, and analyzing the resulting data, the ESO and Landscaping staff celebrated their achievements with a Water Warrior Celebration Lunch on Wednesday, August 30. Participants enjoyed pizza and prizes to recognize their efforts.

 The 2017 Water Warrior Champion, Kaleb Boyko, earned top honors for scoring 24 total average points in the Challenge. Kaleb also had an average distribution uniformity of 51 percent, surpassing the 2017 goal of 50 percent.

Great job Kaleb for leading the Water Warrior charge! Thank you to Kaleb and the entire Landscaping team for all your hard work to make campus both efficient and beautiful. 

Student Poster Session

2016 Poster Session: Leann Lyons and Jenny Nistler

Calling all students!

Are you working on a sustainability project or research? The Intermountain
Sustainability hosts the Student Poster Contest each year to showcase student
research, design, and projects.

Students whose posters are accepted will receive free admission to the Summit, and will be entered to win a $50 Visa card. 

The Summit receives posters from students attending higher education institutions from across the state. The poster criteria can be found on the rubric page to help faculty and students plan ahead. A range of poster categories covers informational, research, design and sustainability in action. All are encouraged for submission. Posters will be accepted for consideration beginning in December, running through Thursday, February 1st, 2018. 


Geothermal at Weber State

Weber State is expanding its geothermal efforts with a new
ground source field that will double the university’s current
geo-heating and geo-cooling capacity. Construction is mostly complete, but the new field will not come online until construction of Lindquist Hall is completed. The new field is located in what is commonly known as “The Quad,” a grass field west of the Lindquist Hall project. It incorporates approximately 160 boreholes at a depth of 420 feet that house thousands of feet of piping in a closed loop.

Instead of heating and cooling the campus through traditional, energy intensive means like boilers and chillers, ground source takes advantage of the constant temperature of the deep earth to heat or cool the central campus water loop. If the loop gets too warm, sending the water through the field can bring the temperature down and vice versa with very little energy use.

These ground source fields interface with water-cooled variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems. Technical details aside, these HVAC systems allow energy exchange between rooms, between areas of buildings, between buildings, and ultimately between the campus and the earth. Buildings currently connected to the ground source system include Tracy Hall, Wattis Business, Miller Administration, Marriot Health (north), Campus Services, and the Library. The push toward VRF stems from WSU’s carbon neutral commitment; not only do these systems result in better occupant comfort and lower energy use, but they are all-electric and can be powered renewably. This allows WSU to distance itself from fossil fuels and move towards carbon neutrality. The next planned VRF projects are the remainder of Allied Health and Lind Lecture.


Utah Climate Week 2017 was created by the Utah Climate Action Network (UCAN) to inspire events and conversation around climate change issues in Utah.

Weber State University hosted two tours as a part of Climate week. WSU is a member organization of the UCAN, which has a mission of “fostering diverse conversation, leadership, and coordinated action to ensure a collaborative response to climate change and its impacts on the people, economies, and prosperity of Utah.” 

Climate week includes events such as seminars, clinics, movie screenings, and world-renowned speakers who are powerful forces for change. Be sure to attend as many events on the calendar as possible for phenomenal ways that you can support action and awareness for climate change. 

Sarah Wright, Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy stated that we each have "a unique vision, priorities and expertise in moving forward to address climate change, (we) share one commonality: climate change demands our attention in Utah and is best addressed through a collaborative response."

Many Teachers Attend a Climate Science Workshop

On September 7, 2017 teachers from local school districts had the opportunity to attend an evening workshop, where they learned more about the realities of climate change, dispelled common myths, and learned to distinguish fact from falsehood.

Teachers from as far away as Vernal and South Jordan took advantage of the chance to hear from Dr. Dan Bedford, a professor in the Geography department, as he expanded their knowledge of climate change and built their confidence to teach this important subject. Through the course of the workshop teachers gleaned information through both presentations and hands on learning opportunities. This workshop was co-sponsored by SPARC and the Center for Science and Math Education at Weber State to help provide further education and resources for local science teachers. 

The positive feedback from teachers and requests for additional sessions of this sort was very encouraging. Additional information will be forthcoming about future classes and resources.

As a follow-up to the class, Dr. Bedford came across a fascinating article from Yale Climate Connections that he thought would be of interest to attendees as well as others interested in climate science in education. The article is a rundown of some of the challenges faced by climate educators, examples from three standout teachers, and a small selection of professional development tools.

Again, a big thank you to those who participated! We hope to see you again soon at upcoming events. 

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You! Friday, Oct 27th 

Come to WSU’s Campus Sustainability Month Film Screening of “How to Let Go of the World and Love all the Things Climate Can’t Change" to learn about the hope for our human culture and the natural world in the face of a changing climate.

Praised as funny but tragic, inspiring, and enlightening, this film examines the intricately woven forces that threaten our planet today.  This film was part of the Sundance Film Festival in 2016.

The free screening is at 1:30 –3:30 p.m. in the Wildcat Theater.



Environmental Ambassadors Annual Tree Planting

Led by the Environmental Ambassadors and WSU Landscaping team, the 2017 fall tree planting brought together over 40 Weber State University students, faculty, and staff to plant 8 new trees on campus. 

Why we plant: 
As many of us know, trees play a vital role in our lives. Trees help us by cleaning pollutants out of the air, provide mental health benefits, beautify our campus, save energy and therefore save the University money, and last but not least, for every tree we plant on our campus we help to sequester about 48lb of Carbon Dioxide annually (Arbor Day Foundation). Trees help WSU be more sustainable by not only giving us these amazing FREE benefits but by also bringing us together as a community to plant them. 


An Award Winner: Drive Electric Northern Utah!

Sustainability Offices Receive Award

Over the summer, Envision Utah awarded WSU a “Your Utah Your Future Award” for its2016 DENU program conducted in partnership with Utah State University and Utah Clean Energy! An award was given to each of the entities that had worked with Utah Clean Energy during the previous year on drive-electric programs. Outcomes from our program were that:

  • Over 200 people signed up for the DENU newsletter to learn more about the program; 

  • Nearly 100 people explored purchasing an EV, by signing up for the discount code; 

  • A total of 28 participants purchased an electric vehicle. 

Utah was recently ranked #1 in the nation for EV sales growth, due in large part to a number of community EV programs, of which DENU was one. You can spot more and more electric vehicles on campus and the charging station in front of Tracy Science Hall is getting a lot of use!

Gentry Williams

Sustainability Spotlight: Gentry Williams

Meet Gentry Williams, the Davis Campus Green Department powerhouse. Gentry is the chair of the newly created Davis Green Department Advisory Council that meets monthly to share best practices, work to recruit new green teams, and implement sustainability projects at that campus. Under Gentry’s leadership, the committee has already started a glass recycling program at the Davis campus, started a campus-wide battery and toner cartridge recycling program, updated the recycling signs across campus, started a composting program, and they hosted a campus-wide green team recruitment event in September! 

The Energy & Sustainability Office interviewed Gentry about her interest in sustainability and her experience with the Green Department Certification program. She had some great insights to share.

ESO: What first interested you in sustainability?

Gentry: I first began to think about sustainability in high school. Our high school did not have a recycling program and so I worked with a group of students to implement one. Then when I started working at WSU, I attended the new employee orientation and learned about the Green Department Certification Program there. It made me start to think about all of the ways I could make a difference at the Davis campus. 

ESO: Why did you get involved in the Green Department Certification Program? 

Gentry: Because I was new to WSU I was looking for new projects and a way to make a difference. When I came across the Green Department Program at new employee orientation I decided that was one of the ways I wanted to make a difference. Also, I was recommended by Bruce Davis to take over as chair of the Davis Green Department Advisory Council. 

ESO: What Green Department Program accomplishment are you most proud of?

Gentry: I am most proud of being able to recruit our employees and get them excited and involved. We have a lot of student employees that work for our office and seeing them excited about making a difference at WSU has been fun. Plus, it is important to get them involved in this work because they are the ones that will head into the workforce and be the future leaders.

ESO: What was the greatest challenge you faced obtaining certification through the Green Department Program?

Gentry: Recruiting other departments to join the Green Department Program at the Davis campus has been a bit challenging. People need to realize that it really does not take that much time, especially with all of the help from the Energy & Sustainability Office. 

ESO: What sustainability change could people make in their own lives that would be simple but have great impact?

Gentry: Just being conscious of your waste. Recycling at home has cut down on what we send to the landfill by 2/3. Also, think about watering your landscape at appropriate times. I see people watering during the middle of the day all of the time and can’t help thinking about all of the water they are wasting just because they chose that time to water.

ESO: What advice would you give to others who are just getting started through the Green Department Program? 

Gentry: Jump in and don’t be afraid! The changes are small but add up. Having support from the Energy & Sustainability Office really makes it easy. Also, tiny trash cans are your friend!

Green Department Version 2.0 Officially Launched

Version 2.0 of the Green Department Program has officially been launched. All new teams joining the Green Department Program will utilize the version 2.0 checklist which is now available on our website.

What does this mean for you existing green teams? This means that you are currently grandfathered under version 1.0 but will be transitioned over to 2.0 by the end of this fall semester. So, the race is on! You have one semester to get certified to the highest level possible under version 1.0 before you will be transitioned over to 2.0.  

Are you finished after you get Green certified under version 1.0? Of course not! Obtain certification under version 2.0 and you will be double Green Certified. 

Honors First Double Green Certified Department 

With 72 points, Honors has officially become the first team to obtain Green certification under versions 1.0 and 2.0. To achieve this goal, the Honors Green Team worked with the Energy & Sustainability Office to figure out all of the ways that they could improve. Many of the new points obtained were in the purchasing category. Honors transitioned all of their office supplies, cleaning supplies, and kitchen supplies over to environmentally friendly products. They then went the extra mile and created a comprehensive green purchasing policy for their office that covered everything from office and kitchen supplies to electronics.     

Honors has also proven themselves to be very innovative with their paper reduction, transportation, and academic programming efforts. They reduced their paper consumption by over 60%, over 50% of their trips made to commute to and from work are made using alternative transportation, and 20% of the courses offered by Honors this year include sustainability related content. Please congratulate Honors and ask their advice on how you can become double Green certified too!  

Congratulations Recently Certified Departments 

The Energy & Sustainability Office is also proud to announce that the following departments have recently achieved certification (since April, 2017): 

Green Certified (1.0 and 2.0 versions) 

  • Honors 


  • Sustainability Practices & Research Center (SPARC) 


  • Physics 

  • Facilities Management – Campus Services 

  • Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) 


  • Davis Testing Center 

  • Davis Learning Center 

  • Gear Up  

  • Student Affairs V.P. Office 

  • Sociology & Anthropology 

  • Developmental Math 


  • Health Promotion and Human Performance 

  • History 

  • Davis Student Services 

  • Arts & Humanities Dean’s Office 

  • Dean of Students 

New Green Teams 

  • Teacher Education 

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences Dean’s Office 

  • Application Development 

  • Provost’s Office 

  • Upward Bound 

  • Chemistry 

  • Campus Recreation 

Please congratulate your colleagues on their green achievements when you see them and welcome our new green teams! 

Green Department T-Shirts Available Now!  

A big thank you to everyone who provided ideas and feedback on our Green Team t-shirt. The t-shirts are now in and look fantastic. To obtain yours, please click on the link below, fill out the short Google form, and we will send it to you via campus mail. If you are not happy with the size and want to switch it out, just send me an email at jenniferbodine@weber.edu or call me at extension 6421 and let me know what size you would prefer. We’ll get the new size sent over to you.  


Please note that these t-shirts are currently for green team leaders only right now; not the entire department. As our budget allows, we will make them available to all in your participating departments that want them.  

What is better than getting a free t-shirt? Getting Green Department points for wearing the t-shirt. On the second Wednesday of every month we will officially celebrate WSU Goes Green Day. Starting on October 11th, get your entire green leadership team to wear their t-shirts. Then take a picture of your team engaging in a green activity and send that picture to jenniferbodine@weber.edu. Your team will earn 1 point for doing this four times per year and 2 points if you do it 7 or more times.     

Get on the Green Team 

If you are interested in getting your office or department involved in the Green Certification Program, please contact Jennifer Bodine at jenniferbodine@weber.edu or visit https://weber.edu/sustainability/GreenDept.html. The purpose of the Green Department Program is to engage WSU offices and departments in the work of making the entire university more sustainable and carbon neutral. The program is voluntary and competitive. Participating departments assemble a green team and acquire points through sustainable practices. The number of points achieved determines certification at the bronze, silver, gold, or green levels.  

SPARC Lighting Up the World, One House at a Time  

Alice Mulder and Bonnie Christiansen

The Sustainability Practices and Research Center teamed up with Habitat for Humanity this summer to provide homeowners in downtown Ogden with high efficiency LED lighting, as part of Habitat's 30, 30, 30 event. 

In addition to building new homes for low-income families, Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) branched out this August to upgrade existing housing for homeowners for the first time. Habitat focused on the area surrounding 30th Street in Ogden to work with homeowners in the area touching up paint, landscaping, and doing minor repairs. 

SPARC learned of the event and pitched in, exchanging LED lights for old incandescent (and a few compact florescent) bulbs. SPARC upgraded lighting for 6 households, distributing an average of?10 bulbs per home. 

LED bulbs use approximately 86 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs, while providing the same amount of light. Installing 10 LED lights in one’s most used fixtures will cut the average home energy bill by $62 each year. This is a wise investment for anyone watching their budget. 

Many of the participants wanted to try the new bulbs before installing them around the house. All who tried them liked the new lights and chose to install the new bulbs.

If every household in America took the action that SPARC offered Ogden residents, the environmental impacts would be significant. According to ENERGY STAR, if every household in the U.S. switched out only their 5 most used bulbs to high quality LEDs, we would cut energy cost by 8 billion dollars while preventing the greenhouse gasses equivalent to the emissions from 10 million cars. This is a simple step that any household can take to make a real impact!

Community Volunteers Needed for Weber River Restoration! 

Starting this fall, river restoration projects will begin on the Weber River at three different spots. The restoration projects include enhancing connectivity and floodplain areas. This will slow the water velocity down and help the local macroinvertebrates and subsequently the native fish species like Bonneville Cutthroat and Blueheaded Suckers.

Community volunteers are needed for restoration and water analysis before, during, and after the different phases of the project. Training is free through the Water Watch program headed by Utah State University.

For more information about the project, and how you can be involved, contact Eric McCulley (eric.mcculley@riverrestoration.org), Ellen Bailey (ellen.bailey@usu.edu), or Brandon Burnett (brandonburnett@weber.edu).


October 2017 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Climate Action Week
Oct 8th-14th
See events at
Utah Climate Week

Enviornmental Ambassadors Meeting
Fri,Oct 20th
2:30 p.m.
Shepherd UnionRoom 305
All students welcome!
Takes place every other Friday

Dr. Yoram Bauma:
Stand-Up Economist
Thurs,Nov 2nd
Noon-1:30 p.m.
Civility, Comedy & Carbon Taxes

Shepherd Union Wildcat Theatre

Thurs,Nov 2nd
7-8:30 p.m.
Civility, Comedy & Corporate Social Responsibility

Dumke Legacy Hall, Hurst Center