|Submission Date||Dec. 6, 2017|
|4.00 / 4.00||
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
Utilities & Energy Services (UES) holds tours of the operating plants to give students first- hand experience on how the facilities operate. We have a number of students working side by side with UES staff evaluating building, distribution system, and plant operating performance. These students are usually with UES for 2 or more years and have the opportunity to gain real world experience while pursuing their academic degrees.
The Combined Heat and Power system at the Central Utility plant is regularly used to give students a better understanding of CHP.
The ARCH 406 class in the College of Architecture was given a project to redesign the underutilized spaces on campus as pavilions with the use of sustainable materials and reduced amount of utilities.
Students collected and analyzed building usage data to create schedules to turn heating and cooling systems off when not in use. Schedules typically reduce building energy consumption by more than 15% annually.
Chartwells at Texas A&M has hired a sustainability intern (current Texas A&M student) that helps manage sustainability-related initiatives within the company. This position has led to greater sustainability education for not only the student but the company. Sustainability-related projects include the planning and coordinating of the company's annual Farmers' Market on campus, data collection for STARS, making food recommendations that are in line with STARS, and working to make Texas A&M a Fair Trade Campaign. The latter project will require coordination between Chartwells and the Office of Sustainability. Project implementation will lead to Fair Trade education throughout the Texas A&M campus.
A central focus of SSC Grounds Management is the active support and leadership of sustainability efforts campus wide. The department actively participates in a myriad of activities in conjunction with individual students, student groups, formal course work, research projects, and campus initiatives.
In March 2017, Grounds Manager, Don Crawford had the pleasure of accompanying students and faculty from the Texas A&M University Horticulture Department to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) 41st annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC), held this year at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah from March 15-18th. Three student participants have ties to SSC Grounds Management. Two participants are current student employees and one participant was an intern on the TAMU campus this past summer.
The event attracts the top 60 post-secondary horticulture programs in the U.S. and Canada. Approximately 750 students, 200 faculty, and 300 industry leaders attend annually. It was the first time TAMU has participated. The TAMU students did quite well and all had top 10-15 finishes and as a team placed 27th out of 61 (top 50%) despite not participating in 6 events.
In May 2017, Grounds Management completed a two year project working with student groups Aggieland Monarch Butterfly Project and CKI Monarch Watch to create a butterfly garden on campus.
We are currently working with the Horticulture department creating a lab that will allow students to design and install landscapes on campus.
We are also working the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental studies to create Rain Gardens.
The alternative transportation unit often partners with various academic departments to better transportation on campus. We did several studies with the urban planning department about bike share before we implemented the program based on their recommendations.
We also partner with other departments and student groups to educate and enable the student population to know more and utilize alternative transportation modes. We have a bike maintenance shop that teaches bike maintenance to students and allows them to use the station and tools to repair their bikes.
We also use League Cycling Instructors to teach bike safety classes to build confidence in cycling so the mode is used more often and appropriately.
The Howdy Farm promotes recycling and reduces green waste through composting practices. The farm composts all green waste generated from the gardens and creates compost that is used to fertilize and build healthy soils.
UES partnered with students to conduct a waste audit and provide input on recycling bin placement.
The Howdy Farm, works to teach students about water conservation in sustainable agriculture by using drip irrigation, organic mulches, and by planting seasonal crops that conserve water. The Howdy Farm also utilizes rainwater harvesting in an effort to use less municipal water.
The Office of Sustainability utilizes our Internship Team to assist with STARS reporting requirements. Interns prepare information needed for credits and help with data collection. In particular, they helped us code syllabi for AC-1.
The Office of Sustainability Internship Program focuses on educating campus and the public in regards to the University's sustainability initiatives and encourages participants to make more sustainable decisions in their daily lives. The main focus of the program is Campus Engagement through a peer to peer outreach platform. Our students give presentations, provide workshops, plan and participate in events and design the educational content, create videos, utilize social media and do various tabling and other engagement activities to engage our campus community around sustainability issues. Positive outcomes associated with this work include: providing presentations to audiences ranging from 75 - 150 students/faculty/staff 2-4 times each semester; providing workshops for audiences ranging from 30-50 students/faculty/staff; creating education content for events that range from 250-600 participants; and generating digital content for social media platforms that have between 500 to 2,500 followers.
Public outreach occurs at the community-wide Brazos Valley Earth Day, and at various school/after school programs in the community. Positive outcomes associated with the work include interacting with ~200 people at Earth Day and sharing our sustainability message, presenting about living more sustainably to a group of over 100 5-12 grade students at a local private school, and developing interactive educational activities for K-5 children in the local community.
The Winnie Carter Wildlife Center is a 12-acre facility located on the TAMU College Station campus. Native Texas wildlife species, including white-tailed deer and Texas tortoises, are some of the animals housed at the facility.
Undergraduate, graduate and veterinary students come to the Winnie Carter Wildlife Center to learn about the husbandry, management, research and medicine of these animals. Experiential learning is the method by which courses are taught at the center. Students participate in the care of the animals and the facilities. The center is a unique campus living laboratory.
In addition, students participate in composting and recycling and reuse efforts, energy conservation, and are taught about sustainability.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.