Welcome to the January WSU Sustainability Newsletter!

Utah Energy Wise Communities

Hello Ogden Community Member!

We need your help to shape Ogden City’s energy future. You are invited to an upcoming meeting for the Utah Energy Wise Communities project, where community members can help select the strategies to cut energy waste and reduce pollution in Ogden. Two public meetings will be held at the Weber Main Library (2464 Jefferson Ave., Ogden) to gather comments from the community:

· Thursday January 23th, from 6:30pm to 8pm

· Tuesday, February 4, from 6:30pm to 8pm

What is the Utah Energy Wise Communities project? 

The Utah Energy Wise Communities project is a U.S. Department of Energy-funded initiative being implemented by the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development and a number of local partners. Ogden City is the very first community in Utah to participate in Utah Energy Wise Communities, which will result in local energy savings goals and a comprehensive implementation plan to reduce energy waste, lower energy bills and cut pollution.

The project has been guided by a local steering committee that includes city council members, Ogden city employees, residents, business owners and utility representatives. With input from local community members like you, this group recently selected energy savings goals for our community. Now, we need to select strategies to achieve the goals and we need your input! 

Please join us on either Thursday, January 23rd, or Tuesday, February 4th, at 6:30 pm at the Weber Main Library to help shape Ogden’s energy-saving implementation plan. By attending one of these meetings, you can help make sure the implementation plan includes the energy-saving strategies that you think are most impactful and the best fit for Ogden.

Hope to see you there!

WSU Students Engage Junior High Students in the Science of Climate Change

Marianely Garcia and Ivonne Camas, students in Dr. Groves’s course The Science of Climate Change (Geography 1500), chose the option to engage with their community for their signature assignment. Both students were interested in the field of education and had discussed the lack of climate change lessons in their high school or middle school years. The signature assignment required that students incorporate climate change into topics within the Utah state standards for a grade that they wanted to teach and present it to a local school. 

After researching the topics covered in 8th grade, Marianely and Ivonne designed a brief lesson on the earth’s energy budget, its imbalance due to the inclusion of anthropogenic greenhouse gasses, weather vs. climate and photosynthesis. The two students contacted Mrs. Turnball at Ogden Junior High, who was happy to have them come and teach the lesson. After they presented the lesson to two of Mrs. Turnball’s classes, they reported high student engagement. “Students kept raising their hands and asking questions and really tried to understand what was being presented,” they wrote. The class finished the period by playing a game of Kahoot, an online interactive quiz to assess the class’s knowledge. They found that the students had indeed done well in their understanding of the topic. 

The Weber State students felt proud to have reached out to the community and to have shared what they had learned in Geography 1500. Mrs. Turnball also plans to use the Powerpoint presentation yearly to continue educating students on the science of climate change.

March 1 an Important Deadline for Sustainability Awards and SUS Courses

Faculty and students! March 1 is the deadline for applications to be considered for the Sustainability Research Awards ($1000 for faculty and $500 for students) which recognize outstanding research completed during calendar year 2019 or the 2020 Spring semester.  For submission details please visit the appropriate student awards or faculty awards webpage.

March 1 is also the deadline for faculty to submit an application for the SUS attribute, which indicates that a course or section of a course addresses sustainability, broadly defined, in some way.  A course may focus on or include a section or case study on a vast array of issues, topics, and approaches in environmental, social, and/or economic aspects of sustainability.  About 25 courses were approved in the fall round of applications and can now carry the SUS attribute for five years without renewal. The deadline for faculty to apply for the SUS attribute for summer and fall classes is October 1. The application process is simple – three steps.  The “Why, What, and How” of the attribute and all necessary links to apply can be found here.

Two drop-in workshops to walk through the application are scheduled for Thursday, February 6 1:30-2:30 p.m. and Wednesday, February 19 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the Stewart Library 109

2020 Intermountain Sustainability Summit Coming this March 

Weber State is gearing up for the 2020 Intermountain Sustainability Summit, which will take place March 19 – 20. The Summit brings hundreds of sustainability professionals and emerging leaders from across Utah together for 2 days of learning, networking and catalytic conversations.  

Thursday March 19 Events:
Summit keynote, Hunter Lovins, will speak about transition pathways to a clean energy economy and creating an economy that is in service to life. Lovins, Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, has consulted on economic development, energy, water, security and climate polices for scores of governments, communities and companies. She has worked with businesses including Unilever and Walmart as well as sustainability champions Interface, Patagonia and Clif Bar. Lovins has worked in economic development from Afghanistan to New Zealand, and served the King of Bhutan on his International Expert Working Group, charged with reinventing the global economy. She is best known for her book Natural Capitalism and has co-authored over a dozen other books and hundreds of articles. Lovins is a renowned author and champion of sustainability. TIME magazine named Lovins a “Hero of the Planet.”  

Over 20 sessions on clean energy, green buildings, transportation, procurement, community engagement and other key sustainability topics will be offered.

At the Eco Expo Hall participants can meet and mingle with organizations providing sustainable products, services and solutions.

The Student Poster Contest will showcase sustainability research and design by undergraduate and graduate students from multiple universities across the region. The deadline for students to submit their posters is Saturday, February 15.

Friday, March 20 Workshops:
Summit affiliated workshops provide participants a setting for in-depth exploration. Two half-day workshops will be offered, including Using Critical Thinking to Better Understand Climate Science Denial and Local Landscapes/Gardens & Climate Adaptation.

To learn more about the Summit visit weber.edu/ISSummit.

Get Ready to Clear the Air

Students, faculty and staff!  Gear up!  Weber State University is signing up to compete against the University of Utah in the state-wide Clear the Air Challenge during the month of February 2020. Last year, students, faculty and staff competed in six teams to win prizes, Wellness points and Green Team points in the WSU internal challenges. As a whole, WSU saved over 12 tons of CO2, traveled over 44,000 miles, saved over $14,000 in fuel costs, and was awarded the Weber State Students division first place in our internal challenge for the second time in a row!  By participating in the Clear the Air Challenge, Team Weber is actively helping to limit the health-harming PM2.5 emissions during a time when the inversion traps pollution along the Wasatch Front. Help Team Weber Clear the Air during the month of February and take down the University of Utah!

For information on how to join go to https://www.weber.edu/studentwellness/cleartheairchallenge.html


Green Spotlight: Cynthia Lynn

The Energy and Sustainability Office enthusiastically recognizes Cynthia Lynn for her leadership in the Green Department Certification Program. For the past few years Cynthia has helped lead her department, GEAR UP, from Bronze Certification to Green Certification in the Green Department Program. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded college access and readiness program administered by Weber State University which partners with local junior highs and high schools to help students prepare for college. Cynthia has helped bring sustainability to the GEAR UP department by employing green strategies like using 100% recycled content paper, using campus property control when they need office equipment instead of buying new, and helping to reduce their outreach event’s waste by adopting Green Event strategies.

Cynthia became interested in sustainability when she recognized all of the waste that goes to landfills daily when much of it could be reused, composted, or recovered through recycling to make something else. Currently, her favorite waste-reduction strategy is composting and how beneficial it has been for her at home. When asked what challenges and successes she has faced with the department’s sustainability goals, Cynthia responded that getting “. . . our department [GEAR UP] all on the same page with recycling and cost saving was the easy part; it was trying to encourage participation from vendors we use to be more green conscious” that was more difficult. Nevertheless, Cynthia believes that if she can make a difference in her department’s waste by making easy simple changes, she can help others do the same.  We can all have a greater impact on how we live sustainably.

Sustainable Clubs Spring Meetings

The WSU Sustainable clubs includes the Environmental Ambassadors, Food Recovery Network and the Community Garden. Volunteer with these organizations to make a positive difference for our planet and community.

Meetings for the Spring 2020 semester will be Thursdays, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., in the Shepherd Union Room 331 starting January 23. Meetings will also be displayed on our events calendar. Contact Sadie Braddock for any questions dealing with the Sustainable Clubs or visit their website.

Dates to Remember!

Sustainability (SUS) Course Attribute Application Deadline for Summer and Fall 2020 courses: March 1, 2020

Faculty Research Awards Deadline: March 1, 2020

April 7, Solve Climate 2030, 5-7 p.m. live webinar hosting and discussion event.  Details to come soon!



January 2020 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Utah Energy Wise Public Meetings
Thursday, Jan 23
Tuesday, Feb 4
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Weber Main Library

SUS Attribute Workshop
Thursday, Feb  6
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Stewart Library 109

Student Poster Session Deadline to Apply
Saturday, Feb 15

Geoscience & Society Seminar
Thursdays, 1:30-2:20 p.m.
Tracy Hall 217

Sustainable Clubs Meetings
Thursdays, 3:30-4:40 p.m.
Shepherd Union 331

See our calendar for updates

For more information, contact katherinemeyr@weber.edu