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Grant Will Bolster Sustainability Initiatives at DePauw and 4 Other GLCA Colleges

Grant Will Bolster Sustainability Initiatives at DePauw and 4 Other GLCA Colleges

February 10, 2015

LGL4857DePauw University -- in partnership with Albion College, Antioch College, Hope College, and Oberlin College -- has been awarded a grant from the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) as part of its “Expanding Collaboration Initiative.” Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project’s purpose is to foster programs of teaching, research, and outreach across college campuses to heighten awareness of how human behaviors affect the well-being of the natural environment, as well as the sustained vitality of human society in local settings and the broader global context. 

The project to be funded by the grant is called “Environmental Dashboard Implementation in Multiple GLCA Colleges to Foster Collaboration Across Campuses.” It includes collaborative initiatives that seek to educate populations -- on college campuses, in public school systems, and in local communities -- about how changing practices can result in a more vibrant and sustained future for humanity.DSC 6633

The Environmental Dashboard (www.EnvironmentalDashboard.org), developed at Oberlin College, is a communication technology that combines real-time display of water and electricity use in buildings, organizations and whole communities with photographs and words contributed by community members that celebrate positive thought and action. Using electronic signs and websites, Environmental Dashboard employs compelling graphics to reconnect people with the natural world by making flows of resources visible and promoting sustainable behavior.

During the next two years, a core team of faculty and staff across campuses of the five participating GLCA member institutions will work to install the Environmental Dashboard technology to engage their respective institutions in curriculum development, EAST COLLEGE TOWER hdrresearch and community outreach around the tool and instill cross-campus dialogue and collaboration. They will be joined by an extended team of up to twenty-five faculty of multiple academic disciplines in addition to staff members who will be recruited through a series of workshops and outreach initiatives that will take place on the five campuses in the spring of 2015.

The project seeks to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, administrators, facilities personnel, sustainability officers and students in the participating campuses to make Environmental Dashboard a common digital platform for communication, collaboration and creativity.

“DePauw's participation in this project will allow our campus -- which has taken great strides in the areas of sustainability and best environmental practices in recent years -- to increase conversations and creative solutions surrounding these key issues," says Jeanette Pope, associate professor of geosciences and faculty sustainability coordinator at DePauw.  Dr. Pope, along with Harry Brown, associate professor and chair of English, and Anthony Baratta, director of the University's Office of Sustainability, will oversee DePauw's contributions to the project.

In 2008, DePauw President Brian W. Casey signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment, setting the University on the path to carbon neutrality. In 2009, DePauw became the first institution in Indiana to have two buildings receive LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2010,  DePauw topped two categories in the Campus Conservation Nationals competition by reducing the campus' electricity usage prindle thumb sharpercompared to 40 other colleges and universities. In 2011, the University created its Environmental Fellows program.

Visit the Office of Sustainability online.

The Great Lakes College Association is a consortium of thirteen, private liberal arts colleges located in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The member colleges of the GLCA are Albion College, Allegheny College, Antioch College, Denison University, DePauw University, Earlham College, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, and The College of Wooster.