Category: Events (page 1 of 73)

8th Annual U.S. C3E Poster Awards

The U.S. C3E Poster Competition is an opportunity for students and early-career researchers to participate in a poster competition at the 8th Annual U.S. C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium at Texas A&M University. The poster competition exposes symposium attendees to cutting-edge research in a variety of clean energy fields. A poster committee with wide-ranging expertise will select the most compelling poster submissions for presentation at the Symposium with an eye toward diversity of institution, topic, and discipline.

See full posting and apply here.

Carbon Neutrality Community Workshops

 by Mike Wilkinson, Programs Intern

On January 25, the Tufts Office of Sustainability and its carbon neutrality consultant, the Ramboll Group, hosted students, faculty, and staff in community workshops to discuss the carbon neutrality planning process for the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus. The two workshops were divided between a faculty and staff luncheon and an open event for the Tufts community. Daniel Kelley, a representative from the Ramboll Group, provided information to both groups on how our campus can proceed towards our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. To learn more about this commitment, click here. Both the luncheon and open event were met with strong attendance, participation, and engagement. With a total of 45 attendees, each workshop demonstrated the widely shared desire to achieve carbon neutrality at Tufts.

These workshops provided Tufts community members with an opportunity to learn and ask questions about project goals and objectives, the current state of energy and carbon, and possible scenarios and options for reaching carbon neutrality. In both sessions, Mr. Kelley presented on the intricate components of the Tufts energy system as well as details on how to address its complexities over time. For example, it is crucial that the carbon neutrality plan considers how to leverage existing investments in on-campus energy systems for as long as is productive. The presentation also informed attendees of the several complicating factors of this large-scale project, such as the varied energy sources currently powering the campus, the train line that passes through campus property, and the effect the Medford/Somerville town lines may have on project implementation. The workshops concluded by offering faculty, students, and staff time to pose their own questions, comments, and concerns. The Q&A section of both events made way for a fruitful and open discussion about the process.

The Tufts Office of Sustainability, in coordination with the Ramboll Group, looks forward to maintaining transparency as our planning process develops. Thank you to all in attendance.

If you would like to watch the event recording, please click here!

To contact us, please email: sustainabilityoffice@tufts.edu

Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities conference recap

conference logo

I was lucky enough to attend the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities conference at the University of Georgia, Athens, in the beginning of November. The 2018 theme, Arts Environments: Design, Resilience, and Sustainability, explored the relationships between artistic processes and environmental practices.

A recurring topic discussed in panels and plenaries was art as a way to communicate science. Art can inspire a sense of wonder, thereby imparting value on parts of the world we regularly ignore and degrade. Combining artistic and scientific research methods fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. However, employing art as merely a design tool runs the risk of translating ideas without recognizing art as its own investigative process.

To create a culture and center for combining art and science, equal time must be spent on social, active, and reflective steps, which form a cycle and build off of each other. For example, a social event where members of a university meet each other across disciplines and roles should precede an activity where people develop relationships through shared projects. Then, intentional time to reflect on the process allows for growth and change.

Below are a few sessions that I found especially inspiring:

Artful Rainwater Design:

This speaker gave numerous examples of how sculpture, landscape design, and infrastructure can be used to both conserve water and to help people visualize and appreciate the water cycle. Art is used as a strategy for humans to collaborate with the environment.

High Tide: Public Landscape Art Installation by Carolina Aragon in Boston’s North End

https://www.umass.edu/magazine/fall-2016/time-and-tide

Carolina Aragon described her approach of “making very pretty things about very scary topics.” Through a study using social science data collection techniques, she discovered the importance of site-specificity, or making art in a location that directly addresses the experiences of the population in that location. The sculptural installation illustrates future sea levels in a Boston neighborhood.

Tyler School of Art. Dye Garden

https://tyler.temple.edu/blog/natural-dye-garden-temple-community-garden-fibers-and-material-studies-program

Students, faculty, and administration worked together to create a visible, functional garden at the Tyler School of Art, part of Temple University. Textile and other art students will use the garden to dye materials and learn about social practice, gardening, and the history of certain plants, especially cash crops’ ties to slavery and race.

If you are interested in how art is used in research, consider attending next year’s conference, titled “Knowledges” at the University of Kansas.

The Future of Carbon Neutrality at Tufts

At the beginning of November, the Tufts Office of Sustainability along with Tufts Capital Projects and GreenerU planned and executed a community engagement event with students, staff, faculty and the local public. The goal was to educate participants about what’s already happened with sustainability and carbon neutrality on the Tufts campus and to inform about what’s planned for the coming years. We also wanted to understand community priorities, concerns and areas of interest for future sustainability efforts. More than 60 people attended, 2/3 of whom were students!

During the event, participants walked through a maze of info posters to review all of our sustainability initiatives, progress and plans throughout the Medford campus. There were several interactive posters that attendees marked up with color coded stickers and sticky notes. (If you would like to see the questions and add your input, click here for the online version!) There were also several small break-out sessions for people who wanted to have more in-depth discussions about the process, goals and staying informed.

Some findings from the event:

  • 100% of participants said they believe carbon neutrality is a worthwhile pursuit
  • There was strong support for divestment from the fossil fuel industry
  • People are concerned that our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 isn’t acting fast enough
  • Other hopes included more of a focus on renewable energy and social/environmental justice initiatives
  • The community would like to stay involved and informed, especially around short term goals/benchmarks

Don’t forget to take a look at the video from the event, and check out some pictures and the info posters here!

 

Zero Waste Week

interns with zero waste week bags

When we throw away our trash, it does not just go “away.” It goes into a landfill. You might have seen people carrying around clear ziplock bags full of trash on their backpacks this week. Instead of disposing of their waste immediately, where it is out of sight an out of mind, Zero Waste Week participants will collect their landfill-bound waste for one week to visualize how much we contribute to that landfill. How much trash do you think you produce in a week?

Guidelines:

  • Place all non-recyclable, non-compostable waste into the plastic bag.
  • Compostable and recyclable items should be properly sorted into their respective toters or bins.
  • We include disposable plastic water bottles in our bags, since 50 billion of them were bought in the US last year. Carry your reusable water bottle instead!
  • Do not include bio-hazards

Zero Waste Week stories from OOS interns:

Michaela: Zero Waste Week has compelled me to start composting my Kleenex because I didn’t want to see them go into my bag. So now I have a compost in my bathroom.

Ana Sophia: I have a Keurig coffee machine and so I feel bad about having so many K cups in my bag. I’m going to look into finding reusable cups where you just fill it up with coffee.

Isabel: Most of my waste would come from food, but I buy a lot of my food in bulk, so I don’t have a lot of packaging waste. I found out that some granola bars I eat are not foil-lined, so I cannot put them in the terracycle.

Maria: I have not started Zero Waste Week until today. Last year, the wind blew my bag off of my back pack on my way home. I was so worried that I had littered a whole bag of trash. But later that night, I retraced my steps and found it snagged in a bush. I was on my way to a concert, where I was pretty sure they wouldn’t let me in with my trash bag, so I stashed it in another bush, and picked it up on my way home to continue with my Zero Waste Week.

 

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