Tonight, University of Iowa students will discuss climate justice through film, theatre, and storytelling.


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Join the Climate Narrative Project Fellows tonight for an evening of film, theatre, art and storytelling focused on issues of climate justice and climate change.

Wednesdsay, December 7 
7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Becker Communication Studies Building Rm 101

The Climate Narrative Project is a special media arts initiative through the Office of Sustainability designed to reach across multilpe academic disciplines and provide regenerative approaches to energy, food, agriculture, water and waste management, community planning, and transportation.

Jeff Biggers is the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Iowa’s Office of Sustainability, where he oversees the Climate Narrative Project.

This semester, eight fellows worked with Biggers on semester-long investigative projects. This year’s eight fellows include:

Shelby Cain:The Conscience and the Consumer
Carlo Acevedo: El clima y la justicia:Poemas
Shirley Wan: Voices of Huo
Nazira Coury: The Other Side: Las Voces
J. Creek Hoard: Four Walks
Solomon Worlds:Edu-nature-nal
Kate Gylten: The Art of Oil
Jeffery Recker: Not One or a Million

The Climate Narrative Project is an investigative initiative: What accounts for the gap between science and action on climate change, and what can we do more effectively to communicate informed stories and galvanize action?

Learn more about the fellows here and see the the Climate Narrative Project outlines and discussions visit https://sustainability.uiowa.edu/climatenarrative/

University Sustainability Charter Committee welcomes new members


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In order to reach the goal of 40% renewable energy by 2020 at the University of Iowa, the Office of Sustainability spearheaded many biomass projects. The university has planted 2,500 acres of mescanthus across the state in order to produce about 22,500 tons of renewable biopower feedstock. (USDA/flickr)
Jenna Ladd | September 21, 2016

The University of Iowa’s Office of Sustainability has welcomed new team members with a diverse set of skills and backgrounds to continue working toward the 2020 Sustainability Vision.

The 2020 goals were established by President Sally Mason in 2010 as a means to recognize successful sustainability initiatives and to “expand sustainability efforts in several key areas of operations, research, education, and outreach.” Some of the targets include achieving net-negative energy growth, decreasing waste production, reducing the campus’ carbon impact due to transportation, and to support and expand interdisciplinary sustainability-related research.

The Sustainability Charter Committee, overseen by the Office of Sustainability, is comprised of faculty, staff and students that assist in the implementation of sustainable practices within existing campus systems. Tony Senio, sports turf manager for the University of Iowa recently joined the committee, becoming the first person to represent the Athletics Department in the group. Senio has managed all of the Athletic Department’s plants and turf since 2008. He said, “Sustainability can be a weird thing for people. It almost comes off as a negative word, but it’s about perspective. I feel like it’s more about doing the right thing; it’s about simplicity.”

Amanda Bittorf, marketing specialist for University Housing & Dining, also joined the group, becoming the first housing and dining representative to serve on the committee. Bittorf has worked at the University of Iowa for two years and said that she has led several sustainability initiatives. “With housing about 95 percent of the first-year class, I really do think we play an instrumental role in introducing students to sustainable practices and creating habits,” she said.

To round out this year’s new members, the Office of Sustainability also welcomes a new recycling coordinator, Beth MacKenzie. MacKenzie first began working in the recycling industry in 2006 for the City of St. Louis, where she said that she dramatically increased the waste diversion rate for the city. While MacKenzie’s background is primarily in municipal government and non-profit organizations, she said that she’s excited to join the University’s team. “It just has a more vibrant culture that I think will be a fun opportunity to work in. Just being around young people; young people have really great ideas and a fresh perspective on things,” she said.

UI to host bike commuter challenge in April


Photo by twbuckner, Flickr.
Photo by twbuckner, Flickr.

As part of Earth Month, the University of Iowa is hosting  a commuter bike challenge throughout April.

Departments at UI can create teams of cyclists who will report the distance they commuted and the number of trips made each week.

The winning department will receive a trophy.

To find out more about this challenge, click here.

UI: turn off electronics before Thanksgiving break


Photo by satmandu, Flickr

University of Iowa’s Office of Sustainability is reminding students and staff to power down their electronics if they leave town for Thanksgiving.

Many electronics such as phone chargers continue to use energy even when they’re not in use. These should get unplugged before leaving for Thanksgiving break.

Read more advice from the Office of Sustainability here.

On the Radio: UI increases recycling at Kinnick Stadium


Photo by scottfidd, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode highlights recycling efforts at UI’s Kinnick Stadium.

This football season recycling efforts will increase both inside and outside of Kinnick Stadium.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

UI to host sustainability rally


Photo by Jon Fravel (jfravel, Flickr).

On October 11, the University of Iowa is hosting a sustainability rally for the campus and community.

The rally will take place in the Kinnick Stadium press box. Participating groups include the UI Environmental Coalition, Engineers for a Sustainable World, ECO Hawks, Sierra Student Coalition, City of Iowa City, Iowa City Summer of Solutions, the Backyard Abundance program, representatives from UI President Sally Mason’s office, Facilities Management, the Sustainability Curriculum Advisory Committee, the Water Sustainability Initiative, and the Office of Sustainability.

Students will have a chance to meet with these groups and form relationships with them.

For more information, including how to register for the event, go here.