The University of Maryland’s Office of Sustainability recently announced University Sustainability Fund projects approved for 2018. The fund provides grants to students, faculty, and staff for the implementation of projects that will improve sustainability on campus or in the local community.
Projects approved for funding by the Student Sustainability Fund Review Committee and the University Sustainability Council include:
Green Terp and Green Chapter: $121,728
Student Leadership in Campus Community Expanded: $50,000
Next Generation Technologies for Sensing, Actuation and Control of reACT: $47,500
Aquaponics Research Center: $36,800
Environmental Justice Symposium: $17,000
Stamp Vertical Garden: $15,000
Understanding and Navigating Environmental Justice: $14,000
Gemstone Team Sunny D/Purify: $6,372
Gemstone Team CAPTURE: $4,070
Gemstone Team OMEGA: $2,500
Gemstone Team Oysters: $1,616
“The University Sustainability Fund has proven to be a critical campus resource that supports new and innovative sustainability projects across the university,” said Scott Lupin, Director, Office of Sustainability. “Programs like Green Terp and Green Chapter are so important because they are designed to inform, educate and engage students about sustainability and their personal behaviors.”
Leading the awards, the Green Terp and Green Chapter programs received additional funding this year after a successful pilot phase completed in 2017. Green Terp started as a pilot in Oakland and Ellicott Hall focused on encouraging sustainable behaviors and has now expanded to thirteen residence halls. The next step is to expand to become a campus-wide program.
"Green Terp is growing into a highly successful program for sustainability education in our residence halls,” said Deb Grander, Director, Department of Resident Life. “We are excited to have received this grant to help us expand the program throughout our residential communities. Green Terp is a significant step in transforming students' behaviors around living a sustainable life. We are proud that our students have taken such a strong interest in this program as they become global citizens for sustainability now and in the future.”
The partner program to Green Terp entitled Green Chapter focuses on encouraging sustainable behaviors in the Greek Life community. The program currently features eight fraternity and sorority chapters.
"It was exciting for us to double the size of the program from last year and include one of our non-housed groups, Lambda Theta Alpha, a member of the Multicultural Greek Council,” said Heidi Biffl, Senior Coordinator, Department of Fraternity & Sorority Life. “Our community responded to the program with great commitment and enthusiasm so with support from the Sustainability Fund, we are looking forward to expanding the program to more chapters next year."
The grant for the UMD Solar Decathlon house, reACT marks an important next step for the university to display its award-winning project on campus. The grant was secured by the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the A. James Clark School of Engineering.
Other projects approved for funding include the “Student Leadership in Campus Community Expanded,” grant from the College of Information Studies and the National Center for Smart Growth, which provides students the opportunity to work with local municipalities to address sustainability issues; The Stamp Student Union’s vertical garden to increase green features in the building; and grants for environmental justice efforts in the School of Public Health and ongoing student research projects in the Gemstone program.
“Watching these projects come to fruition as a student member of the Sustainability Council has been incredibly satisfying,” said Logan Kline ‘18, Environmental Science and Policy student. “Each project proposal was vetted by a diverse collection of students who represent multiple colleges, backgrounds, and interests. This ensured that projects coming to the Council reflected student interests and sustainability values at their cores, and hopefully will encourage more student groups to propose their own projects in upcoming years.”
Since 2011, the University Sustainability Fund has granted $2.2 million to 120 sustainability projects.