LEWISBURG, Pa. – The first comprehensive environmental assessment of Bucknell University, significantly covering all aspects of campus life, has been released.
The 226-page assessment, 18 months in the works, will serve as a blueprint for setting greening initiative priorities and policy recommendations as well as a resource for University departments seeking greening practices and informing student projects and future research.
“It is arguably the most comprehensive environmental assessment ever completed for a campus our size,” said Dina El-Mogazi, director of the Bucknell University Environmental Center’s Campus Greening Initiative and an adjunct professor in the Environmental Studies Program.
The report tabulates environmental research conducted by dozens of students, faculty and staff from September 2007 to September 2008. Ten assessment teams examined all aspects of the University’s environmental sustainability, in part, to establish a baseline of existing conditions, provide a basis for improved sustainability and promote environmental awareness.
Researchers examined administration policy, environmental literacy, energy consumption, water consumption, purchasing, food sources, master planning and landscape and made recommendations in each area.
Already having an impact The assessment is already having a campus impact, said El-Mogazi.
“Based on the data in the assessment, a policy for using as our default printer and copier paper a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer recycled content was recommended to the administration,” she said. “This year for the first time we are using it in all printers and copiers.”
The assessment also addresses energy consumption. Library and Information Technology (LIT) announced this week a plan to better manage the power consumption of 2,100 Bucknell-owned Windows computers by centrally managing the power settings of the computers on campus to go to sleep after a pre-determined period of keyboard and mouse inactivity.
Power savings In making the announcement, LIT said that a typical campus desktop computer uses 45 to 75 watts of power in operation while a typical campus laptop uses 15 to 34 watts. “Our tests have shown both platforms use approximately one watt of power in standby,” said Rob Guissanie, senior technology support specialist.
LIT’s announcement about energy reduction, said El-Mogazi, was a “result of the awareness generated by environmental assessment research.”
The assessment, too, is already contributing to advancing undergraduate research.
Miller Run project Alison Schaffer, Class of ’08, completed an honors thesis on Miller Run, a small stream that meanders through campus property, as part of the environmental assessment.
“That, in turn, helped to inform students in professors Craig Kochel and Matthew McTammany’s stream restoration course,” said El-Mogazi. “These students then produced a more in-depth plan for the restoration of the stream that will play a major part in informing the eventual restoration.”
Given the deepening commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship on local, regional, and global environmental issues, the University established the Bucknell University Environmental Center in 2006. The center coordinates, initiates, and implements environmental programming across campus and includes about 60 faculty members from 19 departments in varied disciplines that are also involved in the study of ecology and the environment.
Climate Commitment Last year, Bucknell joined more than 475 colleges and universities across the country in signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
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