Sustainability Class Members Complete Projects

May 10, 2010
Men looking at sofa
Nick Rangel of Steamboat Springs, Colo., left, senior in business administration, and marketing senior Eric Whiting of Glenwood Springs, Colo., examine some of the furniture contributed to a recycling program developed by students in the campus sustainability class. Furniture contributed by students leaving town in the spring will be available to incoming freshmen next fall. (UW Photo)

Students in this semester's campus sustainability class completed projects ranging from designing a storage shed on a student farm to installing equipment to reduce energy used by campus vending machines.

In response to an increased demand for sustainability classes, the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources teamed up with the College of Business to offer the increasingly popular Campus Sustainability class. Led by Deborah Paulson, associate professor in the Department of Geography, and Melea Press, assistant professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, students were challenged to develop and pursue projects that support sustainability on the UW campus.

This class included students from the departments of Art, English, Biology, Kinesiology and Health, Geography, Management and Marketing, Family and Consumer Sciences and Political Science plus some from the architectural engineering program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Following are a few of the projects students completed:

-- Developed a system to recycle furniture contributed by students moving out of town in the spring to give to incoming freshmen in the fall.

-- Designed a new storage shed with energy efficient features largely from recycled materials to expand production for the ACRES Student Farm.

-- Proposed installation of vending machine misers to save energy (misers save energy by turning off lighting and managing compressor cooling cycles when they are not needed).

-- Surveyed student athletes about recycling attitudes and practices.

-- Conducted research to connect local food producers to UW's food services.

-- Conducted awareness campaigns to promote sustainable behavior and bike travel.

"The class is a project-based course that develops students' critical thinking and leadership skills through problem-based learning," says Paulson, a member of the Campus Sustainability Committee. She says the class is offered each spring semester.


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