Monthly Archives: April 2012

Campus Sustainability Council update: Waste Working Group

Since the beginning of March, the three Working Groups of the Campus Sustainability Council have been meeting to discuss the current state of energy/emissions, water, and waste policies and practices at Tufts, and to create new policy measures in these areas.

The Waste Working Group met for the first time on March 12th and reviewed its roles and responsibilities, which include collaborating to create university-wide solid waste reduction/avoidance goals, presenting goals to the main Council for feedback and approval, and creating strategies to meet the goals, including implementation planning.

The group reviewed how Tufts manages its waste as well as consumption data. They learned that causes of waste output variations are usually hard to determine but that waste increases noticeably during a strong economy and times of high consumption, and that reduced consumption and reusing materials could impact waste output considerably. The group reviewed the waste breakdown for the past several years on the Boston and Medford campuses. Finally, the group looked into strategies for waste reduction. The waste management hierarchy follows, from most preferred to least preferred:

  • Source reduction and reuse
  • Recycling/composting
  • Energy recovery
  • Treatment and disposal

In the second meeting, the Waste Working Group decided to break down into smaller sub-groups, and the third meeting was spent working within those groups. The groups, along with their objectives, are:

  • Waste Management
    • To identify gaps and weaknesses in current waste management and address gaps, and to achieve uniformity in waste management practices wherever possible
    • Group will cover practices and metrics
  • Source Reduction
    • Group will impact waste reduction and responsible choices through purchasing contracts and client interface
  • Labs and Hospitals
    • Group will focus on laboratory and hospital waste management including animal facilities
  • Marketing and Education
    • Group will raise the level of awareness for waste reduction across all Tufts communities through behavior change

The working group members are now in the process of brainstorming goals and areas of policy change within their subgroups. Once this process is complete, the sub-groups will discuss their findings and the Waste Working Group will make a report to the Sustainability Council. The working group is co-chaired by Gretchen Kaufman, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Medicine in the Department of Environmental and Population Health and Director of the Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and Dawn Quirk, Waste Reduction Program Manager in Tufts Facilities Services.

As always, Tufts community members are welcome to add their own suggestions for the working group through the easy, on-line form available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.

Program Assistant, The Carrot Project (Boston, MA)


The Carrot Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating financing solutions for small and mid-sized farms and farm-related businesses. The Carrot Project was founded in 2005 and made its first microloans to farmers in Vermont and Massachusetts in 2009. Our program model is designed to incubate, learn from, and establish alternative financing programs in combination with business technical assistance. We work collaboratively with private investors, lenders and farm support organizations. We are helping to rebuild a farming system that offers stability to local farmers, provides healthful food for citizens, replenishes the environment, and is good for regional and local economies. We are currently active in New England and parts of New York.

Job Summary:
This is a new part-time position. The person who fills this varied role will work closely with The Carrot Project’s Executive Director to provide administrative support, coordinate our virtual office, and provide development and communications support. We seek a candidate who can thrive in a small dynamic organization, has excellent interpersonal skills, and office management experience.

Key Job Elements:

Administrative: schedule meetings and handle logistics, reply to routine inquires, coordinate database and virtual office, transcribe meeting notes

Development: prepare materials for appeals and acknowledgements, prepare budgets for proposals and other routine materials

Program/Communications: evaluate application process, support investor communications, up-date the website, conduct basic research
Qualifications:

Required Skills

  • Office management experience
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Proven ability and enjoyment in attending to details, including follow up
  • Experience and interest in using databases
  • Experience supporting grants management and development
  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Proven ability to transcribe accurate meeting notes
  • Strong computer skills including MS Office
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Proven ability to meet deadlines and manage workload
  • Proven drive to excel and meet challenges

Preferred Skills

  • Knowledge and familiarity with sustainable agriculture and/or farming
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent

Special Requirements

  • Ability and willingness to work from a home office in Greater Boston
  • Occasional regional travel required.

To Apply
The application deadline is Friday, May 4th. We strongly encourage online applications. To apply, visit www.tsne.org/jobs — please include a resume and cover letter. We do accept applications by mail or fax. Send to: Third Sector New England; NonProfit Center, 7th floor; Attn: HR – 89 South Street; Boston, MA 02111 or Fax: 617.523.2070.

Research Intern, Center for Environmental Innovation (Prescott, AZ)

The Center for Environmental Innovation (CEI) is seeking interns to conduct research on a variety of cutting edge environmental, health, safety, sustainability and corporate social responsibility projects. Additional information can be found on the website.

The intern’s primary responsibilities will be to conduct literature searches and direct telephone and e-mail correspondence with major corporations, NGOs, and governmental agencies. Undergraduate and/or graduate studies in environmental policy, business, engineering, or science are preferred. A strong background and understanding of research methods and literature search techniques are required. Excellent verbal and written skills are essential.

Hours are flexible and the work may be conducted at candidate’s home office. This position is an internship, not an employee of CEI. Initial, part time assignments can begin in late April 2012 and vary according to the candidate’s course load. At the end of the 2011-2012 academic year the assignments would be up to 40 hours per week and would extend through the summer, as a minimum, and if mutually desirable, could extend part time on into next school year (2012-2013) for candidates returning to the university.

Initial compensation is up to $17 per hour, depending on qualifications and experience.

To apply, send an e-mail cover note and attached resume (prefer MS Word) to:

Richard MacLean,  MacLean@Enviro-Innovate.org.

Center for Environmental Innovation, Inc.
350 Hidden Valley Drive
Prescott, AZ 86303

 

Aug 11-19: Suburban Permaculture Design & Leadership Course, Common Circle (Eugene, OR)

Join an unforgettable program in leadership, permaculture and sustainable design in Oregon with the world’s most renowned instructors and change your life, your community and your planet.  Not only do Common Circle Education courses offer the most complete curriculum of any similar program, but the people who come to the programs make this the most powerful training offered anywhere.

Gain cutting-edge skills in nature-inspired sustainable design that’s applicable virtually anywhere design is used — from green businesses to your own back yard.  Visit ecovillages, organic farms, the nation’s first biofuel station (ever seen a gas station with solar panels and a green roof selling kombucha? ;), while spending two weeks with some of the most inspiring people around!

During the workshop, we will talk about:

* Smart nature-inspired design principles
* Rainwater catchment and storage
* Greywater – smart water re-use with plant filters
* Food forests & garden design for food abundance
* Eco-psychology and Regenerative Leadership
* Intentional community design and dynamics
* Bio-remediation and toxic waste cleanup
* Natural building design – cob, strawbale and more
* Soil biology and regeneration
* Sustainable transportation and fuels
* Green business and sustainable economics
* Natural patterns and principles
* Everything you ever wanted to know about plants and soil!

We’re thrilled to announce the availability of a limited number of scholarships for our upcoming Urban Permaculture & Regenerative Leadership training in August.
Permaculture Design & Regenerative Leadership Course – Aug 11-19th
Tuition co-pay with scholarship:  $1000 (regular price: $3000!)
-> Discount code:  AUGUSTSCHOLARSHIP (only valid for august course)

We’re making ONLY TEN of these need-based scholarships available
first-come-first-serve.  Just sign up online, and if the system
accepts your credit card information with the code, you’re in.

Common Circle Education is the nation’s ecological design and
sustainable living school with courses in Oregon, Hawaii and
California; our instructors are some of the most well-known
leaders in sustainability, organics and permaculture design.

May 2-3: Community Visioning Workshops, Medford LEAP

Medford Local Energy Action Program – Community Visioning Workshops

The City of Medford and the Metropolitan Area  Planning Council (MAPC) are pleased to invite you to the Medford Local Energy Action Program Community Visioning Workshops. The Workshops are being held to solicit your input on how the City can best deliver and support energy reduction programs to Medford residents and businesses, as well as how the City can reduce its own energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Come give your opinion on how the City can help you.

There will be two workshops held, and each will have the same format and content.
1st Workshop Date: Wednesday, May 2, 7:00PM – 9:00PM

2nd Workshop Date: Thursday, May 3, 10:00AM – 12:00PM

Location: Medford City Hall, Council Chambers, 85 George P. Hassett Drive

The Community Visioning Workshops are open to the public, and residents, local business owners, students, and community stakeholders are all encouraged to attend. The workshops will include:

- An introduction to the Local Energy Action Program
- An overview of Medford’s past energy accomplishments
- Brainstorming sessions focused on energy opportunities and interests in Medford

For more information or to request special accommodations, please contact Erin Brandt at (617) 451-2770 ext. 2044 or at ebrandt@mapc.org.

May 14-20: Bay State Bike Week, MassDOT and MassBike

May 14-20 is Bay State Bike Week, a week when Massachusetts celebrates bicycle transportation. Once again, MassDOT and the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) have collaborated to make Bay State Bike Week an exciting statewide happening, with events scheduled throughout Massachusetts.

Bay State Bike Week is an annual celebration of human-powered, two-wheeled transportation. It is fitting that Massachusetts would be the only state in the nation with a truly statewide bike week, given our long history of biking. Bay State Bike Week has grown from a small crop of bike path coffee set-ups and organized rides to a cornucopia of film screenings, bike breakfasts, festivals and more. We certainly can’t plan all the events ourselves. We depend on thousands of hours of work from local advocates, bike shop owners, and just people who like seeing others go by bike to make this week work. Last year we had over 180 events, and we’re hoping for even more this year!

The 2012 Bay State Bike Week website is live!  Please visit the website to learn more about events that are already registered, how to participate in an existing event, or how to organize your own bicycling event for 2012. Also check Facebook and/or on Twitter for events.

If you are interested, you can also register for the MassCommute Bicycle Challenge through the Bay State Bike Week website.

Electronic Survey Intern, Department Public Works (Winchester, MA)

Seeking Surveymonkey Maven for Winchester Town Trash Pickers


This progressive town, Winchester, is assessing its trash management with goal of reducing trash and increasing recycling at least 100%. Winchester is running a town-wide electronic survey on trash issues, under the aegis of Winchester Waste Analysis Team (also called the Winchester Trash Pickers) and the Department of Public Works, with the help of a MassDEP recycling expert. They are anticipating 5,000-plus respondents.

Winchester Trash Pickers seek an enthusiastic person to set up the survey on SurveyMonkey GOLD; the survey has already been designed. Follow-up steps for the intern might include data analysis and changing Winchester’s trash management in light of survey results and the best practices. Knowledge of /experience with SurveyMonkey is crucial to this position. The survey must go up by May 1st, and the plan is to close it 5 weeks later.

Please send CV and/or interests to Prassede Calabi, who is heading the project, at calabi@mindfire.ws.

Apr 30: Senior Projects Poster Session,Tufts Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering

When: Monday 4/30 from 12 to 1:15pm
Where: Atrium of SciTech

Join the Tufts Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering next Monday for a poster session highlighting senior student projects! Four out of seven of the projects relate to sustainability.

Project Appetizers:

1 & 2: These projects involve ways of removing carbon dioxide from the waste stream of a power plant.  The titles of these projects are “CO2 Capture with Lithium Zirconate” and “Fabrication and Analysis of a Wetted Wall Column for CO2 Analysis”.

3: This project involves a new method for fabricating solar energy collectors using electro-deposition.  Its title is “Increasing Conductivity in Cuprous Oxide: Doping with Electro-deposition and Hot-Point Probe Construction.”

4: For this project, the students are synthesizing ethanol from a plant called duckweed as an alternative to using corn.  The title of their project is “Hydrolysis Stage Optimization for the Production of Ethanol from Duckweed.”

While these projects don’t directly affect sustainability on our physical campus, it’s worth noting (and celebrating) that our students are thinking about sustainable practices in their research. These undergraduate research projects show the present and future trends in what Tufts students may contribute to sustainability beyond our campus.  We would like to give our students the opportunity to display their hard work and commitment to sustainability with like-minded members of the Tufts community.

Internships, Environmental Protection Agency (New England)

Ever thought about having a great career dedicated to

  • improving the health and well-being of all Americans?
  • ensuring that we have clean air, pure water and better-protected land?

You can have that career at EPA! EPA internships and fellowships provide a great introduction to our work, giving you a sense of whether EPA might be the right place for you.

The US EPA, Region 1 (New England) currently has some Summer College Student Vacancies available.   It is now required for all students submit their resumes via USAJOBS.GOV to apply for posted vacancies.   Students will need to check the US EPA student site:  http://www.epa.gov/ohr/student to get information on all student employment.  Please keep in mind that these are positions for College Freshman Level and above.

TO APPLY, FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

1. You must be an enrolled student, a U.S. Citizen and have yet to finish your program of study to qualify for one of the posted positions.

2. We highly recommend that all students go to USAJOBS.gov and complete a profile to apply for government jobs at the grade level and geographic location they are interested in.  There is a very helpful link in USAJOBS called “Resource Center” that directs you to student job information and how to complete a profile.   Click here for a Summer Job Fact Sheet from USAJOBS.

3.  Make sure you complete the part of the profile where you check off that you wish to be notified when a position you have indicated interest in is posted.  Check off “daily” for frequency of notification.  You must be vigilant!  When the jobs are posted, they open and close very quickly.  This year, expect an announcement for jobs within the next week or so.  Jobs are expected to close within 1 day, you must act quickly after it is posted.

4.  It is to your advantage to be prepared with the following so that you only have to add the electronic information requested when the jobs are posted and check USAJOBS EVERY DAY:

Have an ELECTRONIC COPY READY of the following:

  • Your Most Current Transcripts (unofficial is acceptable; Official Transcript is requested if hired)
  • Proof of Enrollment from the school you are currently attending
  • Your Current Resume

When  you see that the job you’re interested in has been posted, immediately follow the instructions for applying and attach all the necessary documents.

Campus Sustainability Council update: Energy/Emissions Working Group

Since the beginning of March, the three Working Groups of the Campus Sustainability Council have been meeting bi-weekly to discuss the current state of energy/emissions, water, and waste policies and practices at Tufts, and to create new policy measures in these areas.

The Energy/Emissions Working Group met for the first time on March 15th and reviewed its roles and responsibilities, which include reviewing current energy usage and emissions, existing initiatives and goals, as well as creating recommendations for goals and implementation plans to present to the Campus Sustainability Council.

The group reviewed Tufts’ institutional commitments to energy and emissions reduction including the 1990 Talloires Declaration and Tufts Environmental Policy, the 1999 Climate Change Commitment to follow the Kyoto Protocol and reduce carbon dioxide levels to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, and the 2003 New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan with the goal to be 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050. The members also learned that many energy-saving initiatives at Tufts are already underway, including:

  • Occupancy sensors in most rooms on campus
  • Daylight sensing/dimming, lighting & controls
  • Ongoing technology updates include LED lighting
  • Equipment efficiency
  • State of the art boiler controls and boiler upgrades
  • Retro-commissioning of buildings
  • Heat-recovery programs
  • Energy Star vending machines & vending misers
  • Free CFL bulb exchange
  • IT upgrades (LCD screens, laptops)
  • Solar panels on Sophia Gordon Hall, Schmaltz House, Fairmount House
  • Management- Residence Hall winter break shut-down
  • Behavior modification
  • LEED Certification
  • Fuel Switching from oil to gas
  • Renewable energy such as solar and geothermal

The working group members discussed the differences between Tufts’ campuses energy use and emissions, life-cycle costing, ways to evaluate proposed solutions and appropriate metrics for evaluation. The group is in the final stages of assessing the current state of energy and emissions at Tufts and will soon move on to metrics and goal setting. The working group is co-chaired by Ann Rappaport, Lecturer at Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Betsy Isenstein, Director of Facilities Technical Services.

As always, Tufts community members are welcome to add their own suggestions for the working group through the easy, on-line form available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.