This College of Agriculture and Life Sciences project is the UA’s answer to the question of whether sorghum, waste cooking oil and algae are really up to par as sources of alternative fuels. This demo-trailer hauls a three-cylinder 700 cc 18-HP diesel engine and employs special computer software to help students compare diesel fuel to biofuel in terms of engine performance, efficiency, horsepower and emissions. The trailer is a part of several courses offered at the UA, and two Ag-Education students are being trained in using the trailer for demonstrations geared to Tucson-area high school agriculture and science classes.
Chemical and Environmental Engineering professor Paul Blowers is teaming up with a graduate assistant and two undergraduate students to develop a 400/500-level, project-based course to teach students about conducting greenhouse gas emissions audits. The course objectives will be to teach students everything from the mechanics of gas emissions auditing to the lingo used in the auditing process. Students will also learn to generate audit data and references and provide supporting technical information. Students are expected to learn how to explain the environmental and financial impact of making changes to experts and non-experts alike.
ZimRide is a cost-effective and environmentally conscious way for would-be carpoolers to network online. As an online tool to help make sharing rides easier, ZimRide is about promoting sustainability, but it’s also a practical solution for a crowded campus. With some 50,000 people traveling to the UA every day, the network has the potential to ease parking strain, reduce traffic congestion, and lower the university’s overall carbon footprint—all goal’s worth signing up for.
Residence Life commissioned a student duo to research and develop the EcoPower app in collaboration with technical experts on staff. Now, users are able to choose a virtual dorm room or an office to explore their energy footprint, and can customize the room to see how much electricity the everyday items they depend on require. Kilowatt-hours are translated into cost and compared with average energy usage, and electricity reduction tips scroll across the page. EcoPower is available on computer or mobile devices.
This project involves the monitoring of rain basin green infrastructure (GI) elements at Biosphere 2 (B2). The goals of this project are to: (1) investigate BMPs for storm water harvesting, (2) demonstrate to the public and UA students simple approaches to storm water management, and (3) reduce the water consumption at B2 for landscaping. This project has research, education, and outreach objectives. The project also provides opportunities for UA students to learn about GI, to participate in rain basin installation, and to gain skills in ecological research and environmental monitoring.
The UA Community and School Garden Program hired a Graduate Research Assistant to develop and conduct a systematic assessment of the Garden Program’s impact on community participants and UA interns. Participating interns observed and evaluated their peers in consultation with each other, the graduate assistant, and faculty instructors. The quantifiable data this system produces hopes to secure outside funding from the likes of the National Science Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation—and has the potential to help managers better tailor the program to meet the needs of its participants.
Through the UA Community and School Garden Program, UA interns use garden-based lessons to help K-12 students understand abstract ideas like the carbon cycle and photosynthesis, and larger topics ranging from nutrition to food security and social justice. In the summer of 2013 eight interns attended a sustainability-in-education summer institute in New York. The interns participated in workshops and seminars designed to train professional teachers how to better integrate sustainability into classroom lessons.
The Student Union makes sure to buy trash containers that are made from recycled content. They also buy the aluminum trash containers.
The Student Union switched to LED light bulbs in the Atrium bathrooms in order to increase their energy efficiency.
The Student Union retrofitted spotlights and light fixtures in the USS Arizona Room, Alumni Lounge, and Honors Lounge. The light bulbs were switched out for LED light bulbs to increase efficiency.
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