Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Month: November 2011 (page 2 of 3)

Dec 3: Maple Syrup Brunch Fundraiser

When: Saturday, December 3 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: The Independent, 75 Union Square, Somerville, MA

Join Groundwork Somerville for the third annual Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser! Brunch will be served from 10am-4pm on Saturday and 20% of proceeds will be donated to the Somerville Maple Syrup Project. More details, including the brunch menu, will be added soon!

Make your reservation by calling: 617-440-6022

WANTED: Student reps for the President’s Sustainability Council

Do you have an interest in helping Tufts shape its energy, water and waste policies and plans? Would you like to be involved in a high-level committee to determine new campus sustainability goals?

The Sustainability Council is starting up this fall at Tufts University and is looking for undergraduate and graduate student representatives for the main council and each of the three working groups (water, waste and energy/emissions).

The new groups will be comprised of one undergraduate and one graduate student each, plus a select number of faculty and staff with appropriate expertise. The council will focus on reviewing existing goals, creating new ones and developing plans for moving forward to make Tufts’ campuses more environmentally sustainable.

While we don’t know for sure what the time commitment will be, expect to commit about 5-8 hours a month.

If you are interested in being a student representative on one of these committees, please write a short 200 word letter of interest explaining why you are interested and what knowledge or skills you will bring to the group. You may attach a resume if you would like, but it is not necessary. Email your application by Dec 1st to tina.woolston@tufts.edu.

See the Sustainability Council ad.

Nov 28: WasteWise Regional Forum

MassDEP sponsors periodic free WasteWise regional forums. These networking opportunities are developed with and for WasteWise members, and are typically hosted by member organizations. Forums are designed to provide members with timely waste reduction and recycling information that can help them meet their environmental goals.

Fall 2011 WasteWise Regional Forum

Stepping Up to the Plate: Winning Strategies for Food Waste Diversion
Monday, November 28, 2011
8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Northeastern University
John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute
40 Leon Street
Boston, MA 02115

Open to current and prospective WasteWise members.

RSVP by November 21, 2011, to sean.sylver@state.ma.us or 617-292-5747.  Please provide your name, company, email address and phone number.  More information, including the forum agenda and directions, will be posted shortly.

MIT Energy Finance Forum

Friday, November 18 at the MIT Media Lab

Register Here: http://mitenergyfinanceforum.org/

The necessity to go deeper and further for oil, controversies surrounding shale gas extraction, the future of nuclear power in a post-Fukushima world, the fate of renewable energy in the face of political uncertainty. This year’s MIT Energy Finance Forum will explore these and other tensions in the energy space on Friday, November 18 at the MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst Street in Cambridge, MA.

Now in its second year, this forum will gather industry professionals, senior business executives, academics, and students from the area’s leading schools for panel discussions and networking opportunities. Speakers include Venrock Managing General Partner Ray Rothrock, NuScale Power Chief Executive Officer Dr. Paul Lorenzini, Former US Representative Bob Inglis, MIT Sloan School of Management Senior Lecturer Dr. John Parsons, AIG Chartis Executive Vice President – Project Finance Advisory Services Bob Percopo, and many more. For more information or to register for the conference, please visit: http://mitenergyfinanceforum.org

Register before tickets sell out!

Nov 17: Computational Sustainability – Computational Methods for a Sustainable Environment, Economy, and Society

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17 from 2:50-4:00PM

WHERE: Halligan 111

Speaker: Carla Gomes, Cornell University, Radcliffe Advanced Study Institute

Computational sustainability is a new interdisciplinary research field with the overall goal of developing computational models, methods, and tools to help manage the balance between environmental, economic, and societal needs for sustainable development. The notion of sustainable development — development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs — was introduced in Our Common Future, the seminal report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, published in 1987. In this talk, I will provide an overview of computational sustainability projects at the Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell University, with examples ranging from wildlife conservation and biodiversity, to poverty mitigation, to material discovery for fuel cell technology. I will highlight overarching computational challenges at the intersection of constraint optimization, machine learning, and dynamical systems. Finally, I will discuss the need for a new approach that views computational sustainability problems as “natural” phenomena, amenable to a scientific methodology, in which principled experimentation, to explore problem parameter spaces and hidden problem structure, plays as prominent a role as formal analysis.

Carla Gomes is a professor of computer science at Cornell University, with joint appointments in the Department of Computer Science, Department of Information Science, and the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Gomes is a fellow at the Radcliffe Advanced Study Institute at Harvard University (2011-2012). Gomes’s research has covered several themes in artificial intelligence and computer science, from the integration of constraint reasoning, operations research, and machine learning techniques for solving large-scale constraint reasoning and optimization problems, to the use of randomization techniques to improve the performance of exact search methods, algorithm portfolios, multi-agent systems, and game play. Recently, Gomes has become immersed in the establishment of computational sustainability, a new interdisciplinary field that aims to develop computational methods to help balance environmental, economic, and societal needs to support a sustainable future. Gomes has started a number of research projects in biodiversity conservation, poverty mapping, the design of “smart” controls for electric cars, and pattern identification for material discovery (e.g., for fuel cell technology). While at Radcliffe Gomes will look for new collaborations to address challenges in computational sustainability.

Gomes obtained a PhD in computer science in the area of artificial intelligence and operations research from the University of Edinburgh. She also holds an M.Sc. in applied mathematics from the Technical University of Lisbon. Gomes is the lead principal investigator of an award from the National Science Foundation’s Expeditions in Computing program, the director of the newly established Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell, and a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Nov 16: Nationwide campus screening of ‘The Last Mountain’

When: Wednesday, November 16th, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Barnum 008

Join the Tufts Institute of the Environment, the Climate Policy and Planning Coalition, Fletcher Green, and the Tufts Film Series for the nationwide campus screening of The Last Mountain.

Synopsis: “The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of mountain top removal.”

The film screening will be bracketed by two informative and exciting events. Prior to the film, UEP student Jonathan Feinberg will share his experiences and work related to mountaintop removal advocacy in Appalachia. Then, join students across the country following the film for a conversation via Skype with the film’s director.

The Last Mountain is among the 2011 official selections at the Sundance Film Festival and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. This is your last chance to see it in the Boston area, so don’t miss out! Still not convinced? Watch the clip of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. promoting the film on the Colbert Report.

Terracycling now available at Office of Sustainability

Did you know your Skittles wrapper could be reincarnated as a cool boombox instead of hanging out in a landfill for all eternity?

TerraCycle is an organization that collects non-recyclable waste and turns it into new products – from clipboards to urban art flower pots – and Tufts has joined two of TerraCycle’s brigades, the Chip Bag Brigade and the Energy Bar Wrapper Brigade.

Tufts has joined two of TerraCycle’s brigades, the Chip Bag Brigade and the Energy Bar Wrapper Brigade. What does this mean to you?

You can now drop off your empty chip bags or energy bar wrappers lined in foil at the Office of Sustainability and they won’t go into a landfill! TerraCycle will turn that waste into handbags, toys, school supplies, and more.

To learn more about how TerraCycle works, or to buy their products, visit www.terracycle.net. Happy TerraCycling!

*Tisch Library has a TerraCycle brigade as well but the dropoff area is accessible only to staff. We are working on getting a TerraCycle box in Tower Cafe so stay tuned.

Circle the City Project Manager (Boston, MA)

Apply here by Nov 11.

Circle The City (CTC) is an initiative that supports city-wide access to and healthy activities within Boston’s vast parkland and open space. The focus of CTC is to increase park use and equity of access for vulnerable populations and under-served Boston neighborhoods that face historic and structural barriers to park access. CTC is a collaborative initiative of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Park Advocates, and Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness. Circle The City Activities: A series of three signature day-long events on weekends in the summer (June to September), where residents and visitors can experience a safe, active, car-free linear park festival through a major corridor of the city; On-going safe, healthy and active events and programs in parks and open spaces across the city throughout the summer designed to appeal to different age groups; Workshops, trainings and technical assistance for park and community groups to participate in and bring CTC to their community park and neighborhood; Assessment of and changes to key infrastructure barriers that limit or prevent park access, particularly for the most vulnerable populations in Boston; Youth-led programming in the parks and pocket parks.

Dec 2: TIE Fellowship Information Session

WHERE: Friday, Dec 2, 12-1PM in Crane Room, Paige Hall

All Tufts graduate students are welcome to learn about opportunities for interdisciplinary environmental research fellowships with TIE.

Pizza will be served!

For more information, see poster.

Nov 15: Green Medford offers Mini-Grants for Youth Service Projects!

Green Medford has been awarded $750 from the Wolfe-Rita Climate Action Projects fund of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network.  Green Medford will use this funding to award three $250 mini-grants to youth addressing climate change in Medford. The deadline for the application will be November 15. Grantees will be notified on December 1, and projects must be completed by April 30, 2012.

Specifically, funding will be available for projects that address grassroots climate action within Medford. Project priorities may include hosting educational and training conferences; successful climate protection or educational projects; journalism about climate activism; lectures; forums; prizes to recognize and promote climate activism; policy initiatives; or media and social media projects that engage other youth in climate activism. All projects must take place in Medford.

Teachers, churches, youth groups, older youth (ages 16 – 20), and child and youth-serving organizations are eligible to apply. Funding cannot be used to pay individuals, salaries or consultants’ fees.

Anyone interested in receiving an application should contact Christine Ellersick at christinemaher@gmail.com.

Green Medford www.greenmedford.org seeks to educate the Medford community to understand its environmental impact, and to empower residents to make more sustainable energy choices related to homes and businesses, transportation, and food. Green Medford is a chapter of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network www.massclimateaction.net.

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