December, 2009
1. Green Lunch - Climate Change and National Security
2. Holiday Gift Ideas
3. Trees and Construction: Getting to the Root of the Problem
4. Green and Blue Conference
5. Watch Realtime Solar Energy Production
6. Seventh Annual P3 Awards
7. United Nations Climate Change Conference 
1. Green Lunch - Climate Change and National Security

What: Green Lunch - Climate Change and National Security
When: Wed., Jan. 27, 2010, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Where: Auburn Student Center, room 2218


Dr. John T. Ackerman, Assistant Professor of National and International Security Studies, at Air Command and Staff College in Maxwell Airforce Base, will present the first Green Lunch talk in 2010.

Ackerman has researched and written about climate change and national security and advocates "integrating the democratic peace theory with the core principles of sustainability."

His paper, "Climate Change, National Security, and the Quadrennial Defense Review: Avoiding the Perfect Storm," which appeared in Strategic Studies Quarterly in Spring 2008, can be read here.


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3. Trees and Construction: Getting to the Root of the Problem

What: Seminar on Trees and Construction
When: Feb. 4, 2010
Where: Montgomery
Cost: $60.00

Trees are often seen as obstructions on construction sites, but in fact they can be an asset to a final project and can even provide an economic benefit. This seminar aims to give those involved in construction and those in urban tree maintenance an understanding of the relationship between trees and construction. It will include a review of techniques, tools and materials that can be used to help maximize the benefits of this relationship.

Download the registration form here, or register online.


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5. Watch Realtime Solar Energy Production

In summer 2009, Auburn University Space Research Institute worked with the Lee County Commision to research and install a photo voltaic solar power system on the roof of Lee County's T.K. Davis Justice Center in Opelika. The system, which comprises 72 of the highest-efficiency solar panels available, is connected to the grid and has a capacity of 16.56 kW.

The purpose of the project is to provide a research and educational tool as well as to supply supplemental energy for the Justice Center. As part of the educational aspect of the project, the energy being produced by the system can be viewed live online.

Since monitoring began on June 30, 2009, that is, over the course of around 5 months, the system has produced over 9,000 kWh of electricity (saving over 1,000 lbs of C02). To put that in perspective, the average U.S. household uses about 936 kWh per month (Energy Information Administration).

View the Davis Justice Center solar energy production online here.


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7. United Nations Climate Change Conference

On Monday, December 7, delegates from around 193 countries began meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15). Leaders from these nations, including the U.S.'s Obama, are expected to attend in the final days of the conference, which ends on December 18, to sign a new climate agreement.

The Climate Conference is an effort by almost every nation in the world, including the two largest emitters of green house gases, the United States and China, to reach an agreement to halt or slow climate change.

On Tuesday, December 8, the World Meteorological Organization released a report stating the decade of 2000 to 2009 has been one of the warmest since modern records began. The success or failure of efforts in Copenhagen could impact the planet for decades to come, and could determine whether or not we address the problem of climate chaos in an equitable manner.

Visit the COP 15 website.


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2. Holiday Gift Ideas

This holiday season, give something a little more meaningful. Over the years, the sustainability interns have put together a list of gift ideas that aim to make the season more sustainable.

Want to get the children away from the T.V.? Teach them a new skill such as cooking, fishing or sewing, or give them gifts that encourage them to be creative, such as art materials.

Don't know what to give that person who has everything? Make a donation in his or her name. We provide a list of charities that would greatly appreciate your help, such as Kiva Microloans, which gives individuals in developing countries a chance to become financially independent, and Heifer International, which will turn your dollars into a daily dose of fresh milk for a needy family.

For lots more ideas, check out our webpage.


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4. Green and Blue Conference

What: Sustainable Residential Building Conference
When: Jan. 27-29, 2010
Where: Auburn Hotel and Dixon Conference Center
Cost: $150. Special rates available.

This conference is aimed at those involved in residential design and construction as well as educators, researchers and policy makers.

During the conference, participants will examine the rationale for sustainable residential construction, and the methods and materials available to achieve it. There will be presentations by experts and practical workshops covering many topics including:

  • Home energy audits
  • Energy Star for the home
  • Home water conservation
  • Low impact development
  • Green building regulations
  • Net zero prototype buildings
  • A comparison of sustainable building rating systems

CEU credits are available for participants.

The conference has been organized by Alabama Association of Habitat Affiliates in partnership with the Home Depot Foundation, Auburn University's College of Architecture, Design, and Construction and the Office of Sustainability, USGBC Alabama, and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information, visit the website.


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6. Seventh annual P3 Awards

Closing date Jan. 5, 2010.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 annual U.S. EPA P3 awards. The competition encourages student-led teams with a faculty advisor to design projects that address real world sustainability challenges with a focus on the three Ps, people, prosperity and planet.

Grants of up to $10, 000 for a one-year project and the possibility of winning up to $75,000 for an additional two years will be awarded.

Projects that focus on energy, the built environment including transportation, materials and chemicals, water and agriculture are all welcome.

For more information, visit the website.


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