2015-2016 Recipients

How to Increase Commuting by Mass Transit

A professor in the National Center for Smart Growth will collaborate with DOTS and the Office of Sustainability on the proposed study to determine effective ways of increasing the number of student, faculty, and staff commuters who choose transit as their primary means of commuting to and from the UMD campus. The results of the study will help the campus respond to its forthcoming parking shortage and further reduce carbon emissions associated with commuting.

Sustainability Mini-Grant Requests for Permanent Appropriation from the Sustainability Fund

This project provides a permanent, annual allocation from the Sustainability Fund to support the Sustainability Mini-Grant program; it also raises the minimum request for Sustainability Fund grants to $2,000. The SGA Sustainability Committee, an all-student group, reviews Mini-Grant proposals on a rolling basis and is able to award small grants more quickly than the Sustainability Fund process allows. This change will allow more small grant projects to be quickly reviews and approved, enhancing the opportunity for all members of campus to design and implement their sustainability ideas.

Recycling Bins for Greek Life

This project seeks to improve recycling behavior for students in the two housed councils, the Panhellenic Association (PHA) and the Interfraternity Council (IFC). The grant will provide one standard recycling bin for each of the 65 satellite houses and two standard and two fire-rated bins for each of the 33 chapter houses.  This project was developed by the Greek Sustainability Team, a student group which was formed in September 2015 by two PHA sorority members. The team includes 19 members of Greek life, many of whom are the Sustainability Chairpersons for their chapters.

Using Red Clover to Reduce Greenhouse Gas and Increase Pollinator Services

Researchers in Entomology will conduct field studies during two separate growing seasons to evaluate the use of red clover to reduce GHG emissions and enhance the number, diversity, and effectiveness of pollinators. The research will be done at the at UMD Upper Marlboro Facility, a research and education center used by UMD Extension and the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Due to Extension's educational mission, one outcome of this research is the potential to share conclusions with state farmers and gardeners, widening the environmental reach of the study.

Increasing Campus Bicycle Parking

The Department of Transportation Services received $5,823 from the Campus Sustainability Fund to purchase 10 new bike racks.  Each rack had capacity for eight bikes, increasing the campus bike parking supply by 80 parking spots.  Originally the scope of this project included installing bike racks at McKeldin Library, Kim Engineering, the Chemistry Library, and the UMD Golf Course.  Implementation of the increase in bike parking supply required close consultation with the campus Facilities Management department.  This process began in the Fall of 2016.

Rooftop Garden on South Campus Dining Hall

This project aims to revitalize and augment existing infrastructure for food production on the roof of South Campus Dining Hall building. The augmentation will involve construction of a dozen of raised beds for food production as well as a greenhouse facility to support production of plants. Faculty from three different colleges are collaborating in an effort not only to revitalize the existing infrastructure, but also to outline a joint sustainable vision that includes both continuous educational and research activities.

Plug Load Management Pilot Study

This goal of this project was to study plug load management controls during the HJ Patterson (HJP) Wing 1 renovations. Plug loads include computers, copiers, printers, refrigerators, laundry machines, vending machines, task lights, space heaters, and other electronics. Much of this plug load energy is consumed when users are not utilizing the devices.

Employing Wind Power Harnessing Technologies

Dr. Navid Goudarzi in the Mechanical Engineering Department will lead this project to study the potential for installing micro wind turbines at Maryland Stadium. The project will conclude with determining the locations with the best wind energy density, the optimal turbine designs, and the most economically-efficient ways to harness this power. Increased use of renewable energy on campus, such as with micro wind turbines, helps reduce the university's carbon footprint and promotes greater visibility for renewable energy overall. Inter-Collegiate Athletics has approved the study.

Solar Umbrellas for the Outdoor Aquatic Center

University Recreation and Wellness installed several solar paneled umbrellas at the Outdoor Aquatic Center. The solar panels power USB chargers for up to 3 devices and work independently from any power source. They create 54 Watts of electricity and the unit is fully charged with 5.5 hours of sunlight. In addition to sustainability, the umbrellas are a great way to promote skin safety and skin cancer awareness on the pool deck as part of a greater focus on total wellness.

Modeling Organic Landscape Practices on Campus Lawns

The Student Sustainability Committee seeks to compare current traditional lawn treatment and organic alternatives in an experimental study. One patch of lawn will be set aside for the existing landscape treatment used by Facilities Management. A second patch will receive an organic treatment that is already used on the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s lawn. Finally, a third patch will be treated with synthetic-free, organic methods. The project ultimately seeks a financially feasible and environmentally responsible model for landscape treatment on campus.

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