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Sustainability - Living intelligently and comfortably within the means of the earth to ensure comfortable lives for future generations


Green Campuses are mainstream


We’re pleased with our sustainability accomplishments here at Auburn, but we aren’t the only campus making strides, and the whole country is starting to learn about it! A recent story in the nationally distributed USA Today Weekend magazine spotlighted "green" projects at universities across the nation. The write-up highlighted projects such as all-organic dining plans in cafeterias, food-waste composting, green building projects, and biodiesel buses. Efforts like these are now the norm in higher academics, and we’re happy to have your help bringing more projects like these to Auburn.


Auburn Faculty Bring Sustainability to More Courses


At the end of last spring semester, after grades were turned in, students seen off for the summer, a time when most of the campus was taking the well-earned annual deep breath, a handful of faculty from around the university met at Camp ASCCA’s new environmental center on Lake Martin to take part in the first Sustainability in the Curriculum Workshop. Thirteen faculty members plus the four organizers represented the Colleges of Business, Liberal Arts, Science and Math, Engineering, Nursing, and Forestry. The workshop was supported by the Provost’s Office and the Biggio Center.

The workshop was based on two highly successful, nationally recognized projects: the Piedmont Project at Emory University that is now its 6th year, and the Ponderosa Project at University of North Arizona, in its 11th year. Borrowing the idea of naming the project after a local ecosystem (i.e. Piedmont and Ponderosa) we have named ours the “Fall Line Project.” The four members of the workshop organizing committee (Lindy Biggs, John Jensen, Sharon Roberts, and Matthew Williams) attended a “train the trainer” workshop in January 2006 with the leaders of the Piedmont and Ponderosa projects.

Sustainability has become a “buzz” word, but many people have not had the time to learn what the concept means. The curriculum workshop provided an interdisciplinary environment to expand faculty knowledge of sustainability as they begin changing their courses and design new ones to create a strong foundation for education for the future.

Workshop speakers covered the history of the idea of sustainability, the significance of Alabama’s ecosystem and “fall line,” how to use sustainability in seemingly unrelated fields such as theater, and curriculum transformation. Participants enjoyed guided and unguided nature walks along Lake Martin and outstanding local and organic food.

The syllabi that emerged from the workshop are available on the Sustainability Initiative’s website. We have also provided links to other sites with sustainability course syllabi.

We have plans to run another workshop next spring. Let us know if you’re interested.

Auburn Sustainability Design Wins National Award


Shelby Spears, one of the 2005-2006 Sustainability Initiative interns, won a national award for a poster that she designed for our Lug-A-Mug program! Shelby, a senior in Graphic Design, won an Award of Excellence in the advertising division for her submission to the 36th Annual design competition for the University & College Designers Association’s 2006 Conference. From the 1600 entries, a panel of well-respected designers from all over the country selected only 143 designs for recognition. The poster will appear in the UCDA design show during the conference from September 16th-19th in Austin, Texas.

Auburn Graduate Wins National Competition with Sustainability Essay


Recent Auburn graduate, Brie Cubelic, is not afraid to speak her mind in an effort to make others aware about the necessity for sustainability, and she earned national recognition for doing so. Brie shared her thoughts on the opportunities of natural capitalism in an essay entitled “Wake-up Call” which was recently published online by the weekly magazine The Nation.

Brie learned about Natural Capitalism through her participation in the Auburn Sustainability Action Project (ASAP), organized by Dr. Lindy Biggs last spring. Brie’s thoughtful optimism for the future of not only our country, but the whole world, earned her a position as one of 5 finalists out of more than 700 entries in The Nation’s Student Writing Contest.


Coming Events


21 September, 7:30pm - Sustainability Film Series, Foy 213 : Kilowatt Ours

Focusing on the Southeastern US, Kilowatt Ours is an award winning film that targets regional problems associated with conventional power production, and then outlines positive ways for viewers to use electricity efficiently and strive for a future with renewable energy.


28 September, 4pm - Littleton-Franklin Lecture, Sciences Center Auditorium, Roosevelt Drive

Kenneth T. Jackson "The Road to Hell: Transportation Policy, Suburbanization, and the Decline of the United States"


Visit Auburn Sustainability Initiative for more information about Auburn's environmental stewardship efforts.
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