Sustainability Grant Recipients
We are pleased to announce the Sustainability Grant Recipients for 2008-2009. Our community looks forward to seeing these projects implemented and we hope to offer these grants again next year. We would also like to thank everyone for their applications and participation and we look forward to seeing the results.
Art, Music, Earth and Infrastructure
Alison Acuña (on behalf of Wulapalooza)
For the past ten years, the Wulapalooza committee has hosted a festival that promotes art, earth, and music on Willamette campus. The goal of our festival is to bring the Willamette community together and to showcase student’s creative endeavors. With a sustainability grant, we will create artistic infrastructure that will make for a more sustainable festival this year and for years to come. We intend to paint recycling bins to be stationed throughout the festival. Brightly painted, the bins will be easier for guests to locate them and will remind them of the importance of recycling at home. We also intend to buy white boards to replace the paper signs that have been used in the past to label different elements of the festival and guide guests. The new signage will also be decorated artistically and will be used in years to come to minimize the amount of paper products that Wulapalooza uses.
Hot Water Demand Switch
In America today the majority of kitchens faucets and many bathroom faucets are single handled. Large institutions may also install single handle faucets throughout the facilities for ease in maintenance without regard for conservation or energy efficiency. Each time these faucets are turned on, energy is consumed in the form of hot water being routed into the line that is often never used. Each time one of these faucets is turned on, not only does heated water end up in pipes in the wall that may not be used, but cold water is released into the hot water heater forcing the heater into a heating mode rather than a storage mode. With this grant I propose to design a universal fitting switch at the faucet that will electronically control a valve under the sink, keeping the hot water in the off position until the user specifically enabled the switch. This device will be created with economy, ease of installation, and style in mind. In the best case scenario, the data from this project would garner enough support from the community and industry to place this device into production.
Additional Bicycle Parking on the South Side of Winter Street
We hope to expand the capacity of Willamette to support alternative commuting to and from AGSM and Law. Although a problem that exists throughout the Willamette campus, the bicycle racks at AGSM and Law are extremely limited and demand far exceeds capacity. This is partly due to the fact that a majority of the students in both schools live off campus, and therefore most students commute. There is a strong movement among students at both schools to commute by bicycle, as can be seen by the fact that the bike racks are full year-round. This is especially true for the bicycle racks next to AGSM which are both covered; the demand for these in the winter is even higher. We plan to add a new bike rack and if funds permit, replace the existing old bike rack which does not offer as much security.
Solar Energy Workshop for Middle School Girls
Karen MacFarlane Holman
I will be a presenter at the AAUW Expanding Your Horizons program for Middle School girls in the Salem-Keizer school district on January 10, 2009. My primary goals are to engage the girls in a chemistry project that could spark continued interest in science, and to teach them about an exciting renewable energy source. I will be giving three 45-min. workshops that will provide hands-on activities to teach them about solar energy. During the workshop, the students will learn about the goals of green chemistry, learn and discuss the advantages of solar energy, and construct and test solar cells out of titanium dioxide and blackberry juice. Grant funds would be used to purchase materials for this exercise.
Carbon Fund for University Air Travel
We travel the world for business and pleasure, and our flying is filling our blue skies with green house gases every day. A roundtrip flight from Portland, Oregon to New York City emits more than 9,538 lbs of CO2. My hope is to begin to create awareness within our own community about the amount we do for business travel in one month’s time, how much impact air travel has, and the cost of these emissions. For each trip booked during the month, I would estimate the carbon emissions from travel, asking each traveler if they would like to purchase offsets for these emissions, and offering to match their purchases dollar for dollar. Using grant funds in this way will help raise awareness of the hidden costs of air travel and provide incentives to begin to offset them.
Willamette University, deemed first in the country for sustainability by the National Wildlife Federation, has yet to properly implement a composting program. While Kaneko has a composter that will be ready to use soon, major food producers on campus are at a loss for composting options, causing them to throw away nitrogen rich composting materials. The purpose of this sustainability mini-grant, CompostCat, is to have a large composter for the Bistro Willamette, the Cat Cavern, and other offices of the UC to compost food scraps, cups, and other compostable non-animal waste.
Memory in the Land: A Photographic Documentary of Willamette’s Zena Forest
Nathaniel I. Cordova and Molly Carver
The project consists of conducting a photographic documentary project of Willamette University’s new sustainability field station at Zena Forest. The project would result in 1) a photographic collection to be used by Willamette for documentary and historical purposes, but also as integral part of its efforts to not just document, but establish an integral connection to the land, and to the memory that resides in the land and which sustains healthy communities and; 2) a public presentation/exhibit of the images and the documentary process (including Willamette’s faculty, student, and administration activities). I hope that this project would be an initial part of a longer documentary archive of Willamette’s connection to Zena Forest.
Teaching Calculus Using Sustainability Applications
I would like to incorporate a sustainability theme to the calculus classes I teach at Willamette University in order to (1) educate students on some of the science related to sustainability, and (2) give some current applications to the calculus curriculum at Willamette. Grant funds will allow me to enroll in Thomas Pfaff’s mini-course, Educating about the state of the planet and sustainability while enhancing calculus, at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in January.
A Call to Action: Sustainability in Your Life
Tori Gustaveson, Noah Grodzin, Chris Ashley, Janna Honegger, Khen Tan
Nearly everyone can talk about the idea of sustainability, but how do you practice sustainability in your life? The idea of sustainability is vague, complex and diverse in application. Once you understand how sustainability can take form in your own life, can you implement it? And once you implement it, how can you quantify or measure your impact? How do you know if you’re really making a difference? We will host a workshop at Willamette’s Portland campus to answer these questions and to issue a call to action for participants to commit to making sustainable changes in their lives.
Long Term Street Fleet Program
Whitney Pryce and the Bike Shop
In an effort to facilitate alternative means of transportation to and from the Willamette University campus, we are proposing to create a long term bike rental program on campus. This program is free to Willamette students, faculty and staff. Currently we have short term rental program which is in high demand but there has been a lot of interest in the long term rentals. This program would allow the bike to be rented for a semester or year. Fifteen bikes have been donated to pilot the program in the coming year. Grant funds would be used to equip them with lights, lock and a helmet which will keep the rider safe and the bike secure.
Willamette’s Sustainability Mission: Protecting and Promoting a Greener Salem
Using grant funds, I plan to attend Rail~volution 2008 from October 26 to 30 in San Francisco. Rail~volution is a national conference to brainstorm and discuss contemporary urban land use issues, focusing on transit as a “partner in the quest for greater livability and greater communities” (from Railvolution.org). I view promoting smart growth, well planned communities with dense, diverse development, and “green corridors” as the easiest way we can improve our quality of life. I plan to attend the conference and share what I learn about land use issues with Willamette and Salem communities by presenting at SSRD and at local high schools.