Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Month: April 2012 (page 2 of 8)

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.

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