Who We Are
The Sustainability Council (SC) is a representative body comprising faculty, classified staff, administrators, and students from all four schools. Since its inception it has been specifically charged with promotion of sustainable practices, education, and community at Willamette. Though funded through the office of the president, the Sustainability Council has no staffing, and serving on the Council has only been recognized explicitly as University Service since 2010. The responsibilities and activities of the Council have accreted over time. Since 2005 its accomplishments and responsibilities include:
- Sponsoring annual All-Campus Sustainability Retreat (2006-2010) typically averaging 50-60 participants from all sectors of campus and all four schools, which utilizes broad-based input and working groups to determine initiatives and outcomes.
- Administering Sustainability Mini-Grants - $500.00 for tangible, visible projects. Past projects have included The Bike Shop, TIUA Community Garden, Climate Change Symposium, Carbon Fund for University Travel, Solar Power Workshop, Compost Cat.
- Coordinating and hosting educational and community events including Sustainability Day and Sustainability Month, speakers and community service projects.
- Creating and annually updating the Willamette Sustainability Indicators Report.
- Creating and annually updating the Willamette Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
- Coordinating responses and data gathering for national surveys e.g., Sierra Club, Sustainable Endowments/Green Schools, National Wildlife Federation.
- Forming the President’s Climate Change Agreement Working Group, creating the document outlining recommendations, and the SC is designated as the body responsible for coordinating implementation.
Founded in 2007 as one of the initial centers of academic excellence, the Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) was charged with advancing sustainability research and teaching and engaging the broader community. To that end, the CSC supports, funds, and administers a series of student and faculty research grants, curriculum development grants, as well as a sustainability innovation grant designed to provide students with a unique practical learning experience outside the traditional research paradigm. The CSC also arranges, sponsors, or cosponsors lectures, workshops, and working groups, and facilitates and manages several community partnerships and affiliations. Almost since its inception, the CSC has also been responsible for Zena Forest, first through advancing its acquisition and since 2008 its funding, administration, and oversight. Current activities include:
- The annual Dempsey Environmental Lecture Series
- Zena Forest and Farm, including the Summer Sustainable Agriculture Institute, Zena Sustainability Institute (with TIUA), and the Sustainable Agriculture Workshop series
- Student and Faculty Grants: Faculty Fellow Study Time and Research Grants; Sustainability Curriculum Development Grants; Fred Wert Collaborative Research in Sustainability; Sustainability Innovation Grants; Pearson-Chapin Student Sustainability Research Award
- Salem Sustainability Network (A “Rotary” style monthly lunch meeting of area sustainability businesses and government leaders interested in and advancing sustainability)
- The Climate Leadership Initiative/The Resource Innovation Group