Chevrolet Selects UWSP for Renewable Energy Partnership
UWSP’s sustainability efforts have caught the attention of a national automaker.
Chevrolet has chosen to partner with UWSP and a handful of other institutions of higher education that undertake energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects. As part of a voluntary carbon-reduction initiative, it is buying and retiring carbon credits from colleges that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions to permanently benefit the environment. The credits will not be used to offset emissions related to specific Chevrolet operations or products at any site.
The award was announced on National Campus Sustainability Day, and UWSP is the only campus in Wisconsin selected.
“Our mission includes dedication to sustainability and a commitment to prepare students for a diverse, sustainable world. This partnership amplifies our commitment to energy efficiency,” said Chancellor Bernie Patterson. “UWSP has made significant progress toward becoming climate neutral.”
UWSP was considered because its performance ranks among the top 15 percent of universities in the nation for energy conservation. Greenhouse gas emissions have declined at UWSP since switching from coal to natural gas at the heating plant. Chevy looked at emissions of all on-campus fuel combustion, except vehicle fuels, for a period of time following a 2007–2011 baseline. In fiscal year 2012, UWSP consumed no coal. The Chevy carbon reduction project uses an average reduction over several years. It calculated UWSP reduced emissions on average by 10 percent annually.
“Energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction are important aspects of our efforts to continually improve and minimize our impact on the environment,” said Sustainability Coordinator Dave Barbier at UWSP. “We are honored to partner with Chevrolet in this innovative program and to play a role in the emerging field of carbon markets.”
The campus will receive an estimated $30,000 to $35,000 for its carbon credits, which will be reinvested in additional energy-savings projects.
One possibility being considered is a wind turbine demonstration.“The University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point is taking big steps to lessen its carbon footprint,” said GM Sustainability Director David Tulauskas. “We support the cause for cleaner air, and our commitment extends beyond our own vehicles and facilities. Through this effort, Chevrolet is supporting the ingenious ways colleges are fueling the clean energy movement and engaging students along the way.”
A college’s energy efficiency performance must qualify as beyond-business-as-usual greenhouse gas reductions. If verified as voluntary carbon credits, Chevrolet, and potentially other entities in the future, would then pay campuses for these reductions and permanently retire them. UWSP is among 675 campuses in the nation pledging to go carbon neutral. This funding from Chevrolet can help universities reach their goals.
Chevrolet’s investment is part of a broader commitment to prevent up to 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air in a five-year period.
Other campuses that announced partnerships with Chevrolet were Spelman College in Atlanta, Boston University in Massachusetts, Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, the University of Illinois at Chicago (LEED building), and Portland State University in Oregon.
For more information, visit www.uwsp.edu/sustainability. Follow the sustainability conversation on Twitter and tell Chevrolet about campus clean-energy efforts at #CleanEnergyU.
Professor’s Science Kit Wins Second International Award
A science kit to help students learn about nanotechnology has been selected as the top winner in the consumer products category for the NASA Tech Briefs 2014 Create the Future design competition. It is the second international competition the kit won this year.
“NanoFab Lab…in a Box!” was developed by Mike Zach, associate professor of chemistry at UWSP, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.
This entry was chosen among more than 800 entries from around the world (http://contest.techbriefs.com/2014/winners).
The Create the Future design competition was launched in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. Since then, the event has attracted more than 8,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs and students worldwide.
Jonathan Moritz, a biochemistry major at UWSP who works with Zach’s nonprofit foundation, submitted the entry. Moritz, who is from Wausau, will travel to New York City in November to accept the award.
In July, the NanoFab Lab was listed among the top 100 technology products added to the market place for 2013 by Research and Design Magazine. Its R&D 100 awards (www.rdmag.com/award-winners/2014/07/2014-r-d-100-award-winners) are seen as the “Oscars of Innovation.”
The NanoFab Lab simplifies nano-technology concepts for high school and college students. It is a shoebox-sized educational kit for easy, rapid duplication of patterned nanowires without the need for a multimillion-dollar clean room.
The kit offers is a new way to make tiny electronics and other materials used in high-tech advanced manufacturing. Scientists believe this technology can be used in fabricating transistors, in sensors, solar cells and as electronic components to solve challenges and predict problems. A recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office described nanomanufacturing as a “future megatrend that will potentially match or surpass the digital revolution’s effect on society and the economy.”
Zach’s nonprofit EChem Nanowires Educational Foundation Inc. developed the technology in partnership with nanoscientist Ani Sumant of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials. The UW System’s WiSys Technology Foundation owns the patent.
“Scientists needed to develop entirely separate techniques to grow nanowires made from different materials in the past,” Zach said. “A universal method for growing different materials controls the location where material is deposited with a reusable template or ‘printing press.’ This speeds the process from hours or days to minutes or even seconds.”
The technology uses an electroplate bath and reusable Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Template (UDT) electrodes.
“The kit offers nanotechnology resources for science education and outreach that are not readily available, especially in rural schools,” Zach said. “It teaches research and discovery concepts and generates interest in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields.”
Explore Hmong Culture at “Taste of Toj Roob”
Discover the culture and foods of Southeast Asia at the 14th annual “Taste of Toj Roob – The Mountains: Footprints from the Mountains,” sponsored by the Hmong and Southeast Asian American Club student organization at UWSP.
This celebration of Hmong culture will be held Saturday, November 8, in the Laird Room of the Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point. Doors open at 4:00 pm, and a program and dinner begin at 5:00 pm. Cher Thai Lee, a Hmong literacy teacher in Appleton schools, will be the keynote speaker. Maysee Yang Herr, an assistant professor of education at UWSP, will welcome participants. Free entertainment begins at 6:30 pm.
Reserved seats for the dinner and program are available in advance for $12 per person or $15 at the door. Tickets for groups of eight or more are $10 per person. Children under age 10 are free. UWSP students, faculty and staff with ID are $10. Tickets can be purchased at the University Information and Tickets Office in the Dreyfus University Center or by calling 800-838-3378.
For more information, go to http://stuorgs.uwsp.edu/haseaac.
Music of the Masters Celebrates, Supports Aber Suzuki Center
Celebrate and support the UWSP Aber Suzuki Center at the 22nd annual Music of the Masters fund-raising event.
On Saturday, November 8, the evening begins at 6:00 pm with cocktails, appetizers and music provided by string quartets and pianists at the Noel Fine Arts Center. A musical program featuring Suzuki students, faculty and alumni takes place at 7:00 pm in Michelsen Hall, followed by desserts, beverages and door prizes at 8:00 pm.
The evening’s proceeds will provide funds for need-based scholarships. Music of the Masters has raised more than $130,000 since its inception in 1994.
The event honors the center’s late founder, Margery Aber, who was born 100 years ago, said center director Pat D’Ercole.
“Our theme, ‘Change a Life: Give Music to a Child in Need,’ represents how Margery lived her life,” D’Ercole said. “She believed, like all of us at the Center, that every child deserves the opportunity to learn to express themselves through music.”
Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at the University Information and Tickets Office in the Dreyfus University Center, at the Aber Suzuki Center office in the Noel Fine Arts Center or by calling 715-346-3033.
This year’s sponsors include Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, Sentry Insurance, Len Dudas Motors, Matsu Ya Sushi Bar and Grill, HL Digital Direct and Dekaios Designs. For more information about the Aber Suzuki Center or its programs, go to www.uwsp.edu/suzuki.
“MarsQuest” showing at the UWSP planetarium
Take a historical and futuristic look at the red planet in “MarsQuest” at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Allen F. Blocher Planetarium this fall.
The program will be shown at 2:00 pm on four Sundays in November (Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 23). Presented free of charge, the show is narrated by actor Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation). It includes the history, misconceptions and realities of Mars as well as images from the Hubble Space Telescope and plans for future missions to the planet.
The planetarium doors open 30 minutes before the scheduled program. Designed for a general audience, planetarium programs appeal to all age groups. Seating is first-come, first-served for up to 60 people. Groups of 15 or more may schedule a special showing of any planetarium program by calling 715-346-2208. The cost is $25 per special group presentation.
On Monday evenings, the “Night Skies of Fall” program is also offered in the planetarium at 8:00 pm. An optional visit to the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory for sky viewing through the telescope may follow if skies are clear.
The planetarium is located on the second floor of the UWSP Science Building at the corner of Reserve Street and Fourth Avenue. Parking is available in Lot X near the building entrance and is free in all university lots after 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.uwsp.edu/physastr/plan_obs.
Free Programs at Schmeeckle Reserve
Learn about creatures of the land, sea and air in November through programs at UWSP’s Schmeeckle Reserve.
Free public programs, taught by UWSP students, are offered at the reserve’s Visitor Center, 2419 North Point Drive, Stevens Point. Dress for the weather because some programs are held outdoors. November programs include:
Thursday, November 6
Fly with Monarchs
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Follow the monarch butterfly’s fall migration to Mexico and learn about its life cycle and struggles.
Saturday, November 15
My Underwater Home
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
The largemouth bass is a popular and prolific sporting fish in Wisconsin, yet its home is fragile. Take a trip through this fish’s neighborhood and learn how to protect it.
Sunday, November 16
Who Goes There?
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Some Wisconsin wildlife is waking up just as we begin to sleep. Use your senses to experience what it takes to be a creature of the night.
Monday, November 17
What’s the Buzz on Bees?
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The honeybee is a critical link in growing fruits, vegetables and nuts. Learn about the lives of bees and why they are important members of our community.
For more information, call 715-346-4992 or go to www.uwsp.edu/cnr/schmeeckle.