In This Issue
Sustainability Research Included at CURF Student Expo

The University of Pennsylvania's Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowship (CURF) is the University's hub for undergraduate student research, as well as the launchpad for Penn graduates awarded the most prestigious international scholarships and fellowships. Over 200 undergraduate researchers presented at CURF's Fall Research Expo and Open House, with students working with faculty across all 12 schools in the University.

The Penn Sustainability Office in Facilities & Real Estate Services supports a selection of student undergraduate research: Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum ( ISAC), Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program ( PURM), and Penn Undergraduate Climate Action Grant ( PUCAG). On September 6, many of these students prepared a poster and presented their research at the CURF Open House.  The presenters included:
  • Ana Alonso: The Transitioning Traditional: Using Cars as a Vehicle for Traditional Ecological Knowledge Transmission
  • Madeleine Andrews: A Follow-Up on the Effects of Early Life Adversity Experiences on Salivary Cortisol and Alpha Amylase in Rhesus Macaques
  • Amy Chen: Sustainable Peru: The Impact of Textile Design on People, Profits, and the Planet
  • Sarah Haber: A Comparative Study of Urban Road Dust to Airborne Particles in Freiburg, Germany
  • Jisoo Kim: Fish Communities of the Lower Paraguay River
  • John San Soucie: Convection of the Southern Ocean
  • Cynthia Wang: E-Waste Management in China: Research and Internship
  • Hannah Sanders: Biochar Weathering and the Carbon Cycle
  • Amy Goldfischer: Community-Based Ecology in the Galapagos Archipelago

In addition to these, one student in the summer 2017 ISAC program, Octavia Sun, presented her research, "The Pedagogy of Eco-Feminism and Environmental Science." Olivia is a graduate student in the Master of Environmental Studies (MES) program and worked with Professors Litty Paxton (pictured) and Alain Plante. 
ReThink Your Footprint Oct 16-20
Penn Green Campus Partnership invites the Penn Community to come together for its annual ReThink Your Footprint campaign to promote waste minimization efforts. The goal of ReThink is to raise the level of conversation about waste management beyond solely recycling and into a broader discussion of source reduction and reuse - resulting in greater diversion of campus waste from the landfill.  As a University, Penn has already made great strides in managing its trash, recycling, and other waste, and this year we continue to build upon this work.  See the ReThink webpage for a number of ways for you to participate.
Bright Green Ideas Honored
The University of Pennsylvania's Green Purchasing Awards presented by Penn's Purchasing Services and the Green Campus Partnership were announced at the annual Purchasing Services Supplier Show on September 19. The awards honor leading actions of an individual or team that significantly advance the development of sustainable purchasing practices at Penn. Two Green Purchasing Awards were presented this year.  Read the article.

Century Bond Program Progress
Substantial rehabilitations of six buildings have been completed since the Century Bond program's inception in 2012: Chemistry 1973, Meyerson Hall, Richards Labs C&D towers, Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Rosenthal Building, and Evans Building. 

The $200 million in Century Bond funding allows such projects to focus on deep energy retrofits and address deferred maintenance as part of reducing the University's carbon footprint. In addition, of the $200 million, approximately $8.5 million was used to upgrade lighting across campus, replacing or modernizing over 57,000 fixtures across 45 buildings.  Read more...
New College House Earns LEED Gold
Penn's New College House has been awarded a prestigious LEED Gold for New Construction designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 350-bed New College House, which was completed in August 2016, features an expansive interior courtyard, community greenspaces, and a green roof that cleans and stores rainwater. Certified Gold under the rating system LEED NC v2009, New College House received high marks in Construction Waste Management for diverting 95.78% of the on-site generated construction waste, in improved Indoor Environmental Quality for providing thermal controls for 99.79% of building occupants and 100% of shared multi-occupants, and in Water Efficiency for its landscaping.  LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.  Read more about the LEED rating system, and visit the Penn Connects website to learn more about New College House.
DVGBC Groundbreaker Finalist for FMC Tower and Project Award Winner for New College House
This year's Delaware Valley Green Building Council Groundbreaker Awards acknowledged two University projects for their commitment to sustainability. The Groundbreaker Awards focus on a collective mission to advance design and building technologies that improve health, save money, and reduce carbon emissions. New College House won the prestigious Project Award, and was recognized for green roofs on over 70% of its rooftop surfaces, as well as sophisticated HVAC systems, and a preserved green space for all its residents and the surrounding community.  Additionally, the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South was one of six project finalists. The FMC Tower is a high performing tower, saving energy and water use while offering great views, green roofs, and plazas. Visit the Delaware Valley Green Building Council website  for more about these prestigious awards.

FRES Expanding Fleet of Electric Vehicles 
The FRES Operations and Maintenance department has recently expanded its fleet of eco-friendly electric vehicles to use in campus operations. As of Fall 2017, its fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) includes eleven 100% electric plug-in vehicles, including five Columbia ParCars & six E-Rides.  Mike Fohner, Director of Trades for Operations & Maintenance, says, "Electric vehicles have been a great substitute for gasoline vehicles. They are smaller and can access some spaces on campus that larger vehicles cannot, they each save an estimated 300-500 gallons of gas per year, our mechanics do not need to divert their time from work orders to leave campus and fill up gas tanks, and most importantly, we are improving the air quality of our campus by taking car exhaust out of the air that we breathe every day."

Penn Transportation Introduces New Website
The departments of Penn Transit and Parking Services have launched a new website that integrates the University's transit, commuter, and parking programs into a convenient, one-stop portal for access by the Penn community. Created to address and support all campus commuters, the website brings together the two different sites into a unified experience. Incorporating feedback from site users and other stakeholders, the new design offers:
  • Web content that is structured so that it scales and transitions well to mobile use, making transportation, commuting, and parking information readily available;
  • Convenient maps that display Penn's integrated transit system; the location of parking lots and garages; and the availability of bike corrals and repair stations across campus;
  • The ability for site visitors to manage sustainable commuting, permit parking and other program participation online; and,
  • Home page alerts about traffic and service-related announcements.
Site users are encouraged to take a few moments to reset the bookmarks for their frequently visited transportation and parking web pages.  

Green Fund for Green Ideas at Penn
Members of the Penn Community with ideas to improve the University's environmental performance and reduce campus emissions can seek financial support for their ideas from Penn's Green Fund. Since 2009, the Green Fund has helped students, faculty and staff conduct more than 50 pilot projects aimed at reducing energy consumption, reducing waste, and more. Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will be considered for amounts up to $30,000. Guidance from the Sustainability Office is recommended for those considering applying for a Green Fund grant - contact with Green Fund in the subject line. Read more about the latest Green Fund projects. 

Bon Appetit Food Week
October 16th - 20th is Penn's 8th Annual Food Week, hosted by Bon Appétit, to raise awareness about the social and environmental issues in our food system. The Penn Community is invited to a series of engaging events including speaker panels, game nights, and cooking demos, such as:

Tuesday, October 17th
Cohen Hall, Terrace Room
  • Event featuring the Penn Vegan Society: Protein Face-Off
Wednesday, October 18th
Ben Franklin Room, Houston Hall
  • Event featuring Beefsteak, Penn Appétit, Spoon U, and Table Talk: Brief lecture by Bennett Hayes, Chief of Produce, for the Think Food Group followed by facilitated discussion groups around sourcing/procurement issues.
Thursday, October 19th
English House
  • Food-Themed Quizzo
Get Credit for Living Green
Green Living Certification provides Penn students who live on- and off-campus the opportunity to reflect on their environmental impact, and rewards students for green behaviors and actions. Earn your Bronze, Silver, or Gold rating by taking the Green Living Survey . Over the course of the program, more than 800 students have participated.  Rewards include stickers, coffee mugs, and raffle tickets for sustainable prizes.

Student Eco-Reps Coordinators: Jisoo Kim and Tiffany Yung

Penn's Student Eco-Reps program is an internship program for undergraduate students interested in learning about environmental issues and working on sustainability projects that advance the goals of the University's Climate Action Plan 2.0.

A group of 15 students are chosen each year to work with staff in Penn's Sustainability Office and help implement projects in areas such as waste minimization, energy conservation, healthy, sustainable food systems, and water conservation and management, as well as projects focusing on improved environmental education and literacy.

Eco-Reps work in small groups to design, pilot, research, and evaluate projects, with guidance from Penn's Sustainability Office.

Throughout this academic year, we'll be sharing a bit more about all of our Student Eco-Reps and the projects on which they are working. You'll see content on the Green Campus Partnership website as well as on our social media, Green Campus Partnership on Facebook and @GreenPenn on Twitter. We'll start by introducing you to the 2017-18 Eco-Rep Coordinators, Jisoo Kim (SAS '18) and Tiffany Yung (WH '18). 

Welcome Elizabeth Main
Elizabeth Main joined the Sustainability Office in June as Penn's Sustainability Coordinator. In this role, she coordinates programs and outreach initiatives for students, faculty, and staff in support of the University's Climate Action Plan 2.0. Specifically, Elizabeth assists in managing the Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps programs, the PennGreen Pre-Orientation program, and the annual ReThink your Footprint waste minimization and awareness campaign.

Elizabeth came to Penn from the University of Virginia's Office for Sustainability, where she worked as a student intern in outreach programming. Elizabeth is originally from Lynchburg, Virginia and holds a B.S. in Environmental Sciences as well as a B.A. in Global Studies: Environments + Sustainability.  Elizabeth can be reached at  If you can't find her, she's probably digging through the nearest compost bin to remove a piece of plastic or soliciting advice from locals about the best vegetarian Philly cheesesteak.

A City Divided: Philadelphia's Energy Hub
Penn's Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps were the most recent audience introduced to the work of Chris Kao, a Penn senior studying computer science and marketing.  Chris co-produced a 16-minute documentary film on the 2014 proposal to build Philadelphia's industrial infrastructure and re-make the city as an 'energy hub.' Learn more about Chris and watch the film.

Penn Green Social Media
Connect with us to get the latest on Penn's environmental sustainability initiatives. 

Facebook: Penn Green Campus Partnership

Twitter: @GreenPenn

Instagram: Penn Sustainability
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