Sustainability Ambassador Meeting SummariesDecember 14, 2011: Ambassadors discussed opportunities to increase awareness about sustainability initiatives and how individuals can contribute to a more sustainable campus. Through orientation, electronic media, and signage throughout campus, we can share information about recycling, energy conservation, and sustainable options for dining and transportation, as well as highlight our University's commitment to a more sustainable future. Download a summary of the meeting here.
November 9, 2011: Paul Atchley, Associate Professor and director of the Cognitive Psychology Program at KU, presented on the cognitive benefits of getting away from your desk (and the unnatural world we have created through technology) and into the natural world. Best known for his research on distracted driving, Dr. Atchley has also studied the impacts of such distractions on the prefrontal cortex and the restorative properties of nature. His work in this area was highlighted in a September 2010 article in the Washington Post.
October 2011: The October Sustainability Ambassador meeting was cancelled due to other Campus Sustainability Week events.
September 14, 2011: Ambassadors toured the new Center for Design Research, which was designed and built by Studio 804 in the School of Architecture. The building features state-of-the-art technologies to reduce energy consumption, environmentally-responsible building materials, a rainwater reclamation system, a green roof, and solar and wind power sources, among other sustainable practices. For more information, visit the Studio 804 website.
August 10, 2011: Christina Holt, Associate Director for Community Tool Box Service (a project of the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development) gave a presentation on hunger as a global sustainability issue, including examples of what campuses and local organizations are doing to address this social justice issue. Following her presentation, the group discussed what the University of Kansas could do. View Christina's presentation here.
July 13, 2011: John Geist, Energy Conservation Specialist, provided an overview of what Energy Solutions Professionals is doing to improve energy efficiency at the University of Kansas and discussed his role in raising awareness about conservation. Following his presentation, ambassadors worked in small groups to brainstorm possible conservation strategies and barriers to conservation at the individual level. Learn more about energy conservation at KU here.
June 15, 2011: Ambassadors toured the KU Recycling recovery facility to learn about how recyclables are collected, sorted, baled, and shipped to market. The tour included a visit to the surplus property storage facility, and a brief overview of services offered by the City of Lawrence. More information can be found at the following links:
- KU Environmental Stewardship Program
- KU Surplus Property Recycling
- City of Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling
May 11, 2011: Center for Sustainability Director, Jeff Severin, provided a brief update on the Campus Sustainability Plan. Ambassadors worked with topic sections of the plan to help prioritize the strategies that have been outlined thus far. The plan is expected to be complete on July 15.
April 2011: The April meeting was cancelled in lieu of a number of other sustainability-related events associated with Earth Day activities.
March 9, 2011: Eileen Horn, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Lawrence and Douglas County, gave a presentation and answered questions about local sustainability initiatives, including the Take Charge Challenge. Download her presentation here.
February 9, 2011: Center for Sustainability Director, Jeff Severin, provided updates on the campus sustainability plan, a sustainability-focuses strategic initiative proposal, and the Green Office recognition program. Megan MacPherson of KDHE also gave a brief overview of the Kansas Green Teams program. Ambassadors spent the remainder of the meeting discussing current efforts within their departments and brainstorming topics for future meetings.