Inspired by this community of practitioners, we kicked off our first Low Carbon Space Heating Symposium on May 12th! The event was organized by Evergreen State College, University of Washington and Western Washington University. The day was chock-full of informative presentations and discussions on waste water heat recovery, anaerobic digesters, gasification and heat pumps.
- Alex Banks, Trane Renewable Energy & Power Solutions
- Lynn Mueller, CEO & President, International Wastewater Systems
- Srirup Kumar, Impact Bioenergy
- Jeff Giffin and James Torcov, University of British Columbia.
- Scott Morgan, Evergreen State College
- Claudia Frere-Anderson, University of Washington
We hope to continue the symposium, so stay tuned for future events.
Join the Monthly Call - Wednesday, June 1st, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Every month, members of WAHESC gather to share our successes and challenges, steal ideas, and laugh with each other. As an added bonus, one sustainability practitioner will take the lead in presenting something particularly interesting happening with their work.
Meeting dial–in number: (712) 432-1212
Meeting ID: 918-339-803
PIN: 2006 (PIN will need to be used on if you are the first caller)
WAHESC Member Spotlight: Claudia Frere-Anderson, Sustainability Director, University of Washington
What do you see as our biggest challenge in sustainability work: I think our biggest challenge in this field is keeping focused amidst a lot of uncertainty facing higher education and our country’s national policy towards climate change. I personally try and limit the amount of media and news I take in each day so I don’t get distracted and lose momentum. It’s easy nowadays to feel daunted by the amount of work that needs to be done, particularly since college sustainability offices are still grounding ourselves within the academy and providing the ‘business case’ to central administration. I hope this doesn’t discourage us in our collective work, but impel us to dig our heels into being part of this current phenomenon with changing how we teach, research and manage our physical assets and resources.
For those of us who are championing the financial (organizational) value of sustainability, we know that our projects and activities are inter-connected, so how can we possibly list out priorities when the operational and educational impacts are intertwined? So could this be the golden egg? We have the potential to significantly address our operational goals through our academic mission, and many are already doing it. Why not leverage this opportunity, accelerate our on-campus experiments and contribute to finding solutions to combat climate change faster and spread information to a wider audience more quickly.
Finally, I think a lot of sustainability managers and coordinators are under a lot of pressure and can often feel isolated from their organizations. I think we are fortunate to have a network like WAHESC that is about a community of learners, story tellers, leaders, creators and motivators!
Advice for people just getting into Sustainability Work: First, I recommend finding good mentors and professional peers that you can connect with. It is really important to be with others who share similar perspectives (and challenges) so you don’t feel isolated in your work. In fact, you are carrying a pretty cool responsibility of being your organization’s ‘Sustainability Expert’ looked upon as the knowledge center on the broad sustainability areas and topics, and who knows how to navigate the system! Second, remember to celebrate accomplishments. Take time to recognize small steps along with the big wins. Last but not least, invest in people. Remember your allies and collaborators because this work is not in isolation of the larger higher education community on campus and off campus.
The most fun you’ve had in sustainability work: This is a tough one to answer. I feel fortunate to do a job that I love. Each day is unique, always full of surprises because we are on a campus filled with a lot of intellectual capital, curiosity, interests, advocacy and passion towards making our planet better. Picking one memory that was most fun is tricky, so I’d say that talking with and hanging out with my peers always puts a smile on my face and lifts up my spirits!
Latest Updates and News:
University of Puget Sound's Sustainability Map
University of Puget Sound has a new Sustainability map! Check it out as it highlights sustainability resources on the UPS campus. This tool is completely interactive, You can find details of each campus feature just by clicking on the drop down menu! Here is the link!
Bellevue College's new Sustainability Course
Bellevue college now has a sustainability concentration course! This course is focused on large scale problem solving. Studies suggest that a concentration in sustainability will enrich and enhance any future career! You can learn more about the course here.
Stay tuned for updates on the first annual WOHESC conference, February 6-8th, 2017.
The Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) is a platform for empowering and inspiring change making, facilitating action, and for sharing, networking, and collaboration related to sustainability within the region's higher education institutions. Through facilitated conversation, workshops, presentations and networking opportunities, participants will play a role in advancing environmental performance at Washington and Oregon State institutions of higher education, support regional policy goals and initiatives, and drive the development of a generation of professionals for whom sustainability is a core tenant of their work and life philosophy.
Click here to register for the conference.