January 25, 2010
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab
Five Green Fund Grants awarded; all will make SRU 'greener'
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Funding for five projects that will continue to move Slippery Rock University forward in its sustainability and greening efforts have been approved by SRU President Robert Smith as part of the University's Green Fund Project program.
The five approved projects, recommended for presidential review by the Green Fund Advisory Board, total nearly $19,500.
SRU's Green Fund is a student-initiated program approved in 2008 by the SRU Council of Trustees. Funding, awarded through a grant application process, supports environmental-related initiatives on campus or in the community.
Grant applications may be made by SRU students, faculty or staff. Fourteen applications were submitted this year.
Projects receiving authorization to proceed are:
� Occupancy sensors for classrooms and high-tech electric meters; $11,600; sought by Scott Albert, director of facilities;
� A biofuels processor project; $6,900; also sought by Albert;
� A Sustainability Across the Curriculum Program; $4,150; sought by Langdon Smith, associate professor of geography, geology and the environment;
� Sustainability Educational Programming for Students; $3,085; sought by Liberty Merrrill, a master for sustainable systems graduate student from LaGrande, Ore.; and
� A campus screening of the documentary "Food Inc."; $521; sought by Evan Endres, a graduate student in sustainable systems graduate student from Ligonier.
"All of the submitted projects, which totaled nearly $141,000, were worthy and important greening projects for our campus. It is always exciting to see the variety of projects and the thinking that goes into presenting them as the University continues to build on its solid environmental awareness foundation," Smith said.
In informing the committee, chaired by Jerry Chmielewski, SRU biology professor, of his grant funding decisions, Smith said, "It is obvious from the large number of proposals that the committee made some difficult decisions among many good ideas."
Other project proposals could receive approval, depending on funding allocations. Proposals not funded this year may be reconsidered next year, if resubmitted.
The fund's advisory board includes SRU students, faculty, an administrator, a representative of the facilities and planning staff, and a member of the off-campus community.
This year's projects again offer direct ties to SRU's leadership in environmental issues. SRU offers academic majors in environmental education and environmental science and a master's degree in sustainable systems. SRU has also signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment as a way of helping spotlight regional reduction of greenhouse gas emission starting with the SRU campus. More than 660 other colleges, universities and other higher education institutions have signed the ACUPCC.
SRU has shown leadership in greening throughout its most recently constructions projects, including the $140 million, suite-style apartment buildings, which include on-demand hallway lighting, energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning units, improved insulation techniques for energy efficiency and recycled materials use in making the wallboard. The buildings earned the LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
In addition, SRU's Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research, the on-campus think-tank laboratory known as "Harmony House," serves as a demonstration site for a photo-voltaic array showing electrical generation from the sun and is the home to SRU's wind turbine for electrical power generation. The site also demonstrates straw-bale construction and other sustainable system projects allowing students and visitors to see firsthand how sustainability and environmental projects can actually be put to work in saving energy.
Each of the funded projects will be featured in rockpride online. How the occupancy sensors and electric meters will aid in reducing SRU's electrical energy usage are covered in today's issue.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. -