NJHEPS | New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
New Jersey Higher Education
Partnership for Sustainability
 

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  • 16 Apr 2014 5:06 PM | Julia Kruse (Administrator)

    NJHEPS' Excellence in Sustainability Award  

    NJHEPS is soliciting submissions from our member institutions regarding their progress in sustainability on campus and/or in their local communities. After a rigorous screening process a winner will be selected. The contest is for the best sustainability initiative of a NJHEPS member institution from 2013-date. The primary focus of this initiative, however, will be to compile, aggregate and to investigate each of the emerging sustainability programs being implemented and to create a list of best practices to distribute among all our member institutions to spur these developments throughout the state.

    Please submit your institution's initiative electronically to njheps@gmail.com by Thursday, May 19, 2014.

    The recipients of this award will be announced and acknowledged at the Annual Business Meeting on June 19. Please share this information with the pertinent colleagues at your college or university and e-mail us your submission at njheps@gmail.com (attention Dr. Kristie Reilly). Submissions should include a one page overview of the initiative, including the impact or potential impact of the program. Please attach any additional materials if needed.

    We are confident this initiative will drive the sustainability discussion and produce actionable strategies across all of our member institutions to lead in this critical field of study.

  • 16 Apr 2014 1:27 PM | Julia Kruse (Administrator)

    NJHEPS Student Research Paper/Project in Sustainability Contest


    This will honor and highlight the best research paper or project from students who attend our NJHEPS member schools.  By furthering the efforts of the best and brightest of our institutions of higher learning we can promote the critical idea of sustainable and contribute to the education and motivation of our students. The top students will receive a plaque and a nominal award.


    NJHEPS Student Sustainability Contest Submission Guidelines:


    • $1,000 will be awarded to first place recipient and $750 will be awarded to the second place recipient

    • Papers or projects are to be submitted electronically to njheps@gmail.com

    • Deadline for submission is Monday, May 19, 2014

    • Applicants must be an undergraduate student currently enrolled in a member institution of NJHEPS

    • Advisors or faculty members should submit a brief nomination statement/letter regarding the applicant and their paper/project

    • Awardees are expected to attend the NJHEPS Award Luncheon on Thursday, June 19, 2014 to receive their award


    The recipients of this award will be announced and acknowledged at the Annual Business Meeting on June 19. Please share this information with the pertinent people at your university or college and email us at njheps@gmail.com (attention Dr. Kristie Reilly ) regarding submissions.  We are confident this initiative will drive the sustainability discussion and produce actionable strategies across all of our member institutions to lead in this critical field of study.


  • 09 Apr 2014 11:27 AM | Julia Kruse (Administrator)

    NJHEPS is acquiring the rights to broadcast the award-winning documentary film, Green Fire, which highlights the influence of legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, one of the founders the land stewardship and wildlife conservation movements.


    As a member of NJHEPS this provides you an excellent opportunity to host a screening of the film in your community in order to drive the sustainability conversation and activate new members in our efforts to preserve our natural resources.

    See the link below for more on Green Fire 

    http://www.aldoleopold.org/greenfire/

    Also, email us at NJHEPS if you are interested in hosting a screening. NJHEPS email: njheps@gmail.com

  • 08 Mar 2014 3:45 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    Greetings from NJHEPS!
    When NJHEPS was founded back in 1999, the concept of sustainability -- previously discussed, debated and ultimately championed in world of science -- was just beginning to reach public consciousness as the best path to maximize our social, economic, technological and personal growth while preserving the necessary water, minerals and resources required to protect our environment and human health.

    Fast-forward 15 years to February 26, 2014 and none other than USA Today, a true barometer of general public opinion and discussion in modern mainstream media, is reporting on a Stanford University study which argues that offshore wind farms can actually tame hurricanes rather than be destroyed by them. (See link to study here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/26/offshore-wind-farms-tame-hurricanes/5813425/). You read that correctly: Wind Turbines, which pay for themselves by generating pollution-free electricity can lower an incoming hurricane's wind speed and reduce over 70% of its storm surge, according to the study published in Nature Climate Change. 

    Granted, this is just one study, in just one area of the larger subject of sustainability, but I refer to it here as an example of how far we've come, and how far we can go, if we join together and maximize our collective abilities -- scientific, educational and entrepreneurial -- and work towards a sustainable future.

    This is where colleges and universities come in. Institutions of higher education are responsible to lead society by example and action. Through demonstrating the connections between sustainability and the courses of study that students pursue in higher education, colleges and universities can effectively educate future workers, citizens and leaders, providing them with the skills and knowledge to advance sustainability in their future work and decisions. 

    Campus operations, actions and policies which promote sustainability serve as shining examples what can be effectively be done in this pursuit.  Identifying, nurturing and expanding partnerships with like-minded constituencies, among businesses and communities, can cement the foundations of viable sustainability.

    We at NJHEPS are committed to this mission and welcome your participation and expertise.  Please take a look at the work we are doing and sign up for more information so we can help produce the integrated, workable, systems-based solutions required to overcome obstacles to our goals and contribute to the world's emerging understanding of the importance of sustainability.

    Working together, in another 15 years someone will read an article on a solar-powered digital device, extolling the virtues of the simple, yet effective, phalanx of wind turbines off the Coast of the Jersey Shore which mitigated the potential damage of a hurricane reported to be the biggest since SuperStorm Sandy.

    To that end we are looking forward to having a great Spring, beginning with the exciting upcoming exciting events listed below. We hope you will participate in as many as you can. These events are free to member institutions!


    Workshop Series: Speaker Milele Morfei, Ph.D. 

     Friday, April 11, 2014

    Title: The Psychology of Environmental Sustainability

    Location: Princeton University

    701 Carnegie Center (Multipurpose Room B)

    Princeton, NJ 08543

    8:00 am           Registration and Coffee

    9:00 am           Guest speaker workshop (see title, description and Bio below)

    11:45 am         Lunch and brainstorming session with invited guests

    Workshop description:

    What does psychology have to do with the future of the planet? Everything! Educating people on environmental issues is clearly not enough. In this interactive session, we will discuss the behavioral issues that affect both positive and negative human behavior relative to the environment. We will discuss now applying psychology to change behavior in specific situations may be the key to achieving environmental sustainability.

     

    Bio/credentials:

    Milene Morfei holds an M.S. in Developmental Psychology and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Syracuse University. She is Professor of Psychology and Ida Dorothea Atkinson Professor at Wells College in Aurora, NY. She combines her knowledge of psychology with her passion for the environment in a psychology course she has taught since 1999. She helps students learn how to apply psychological concepts and research to promote environmentally friendly behavior in themselves and others.

    In addition to advocating for sustainability on the Wells campus, Milene hasattended several conferences and workshops sponsored by the Association for theAdvancement of Sustainability in High Education. She has also presented papers on college sustainability efforts and on teaching sustainability at Greening of the Campus conferences in 2009and 2012. Milene has an in-press chapter titled, "Psychology, Sustainability, and Sense of Place". 

     

    Green Fire Film Showings
    NJHEPS is acquiring the rights to broadcast the award-winning documentary film, Green Fire, which highlights the influence of legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, one of the founders the land stewardship and wildlife conservation movements.

    As a member of NJHEPS this provides you an excellent opportunity to host a screening of the film in your community in order to drive the sustainability conversation and activate new members in our efforts to preserve our natural resources.

    See the link below for more on Green Fire 


    Also, email us at NJHEPS if you are interested in hosting a screening. NJHEPS email: njheps@gmail.com
    STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS- SAVE THE DATE!
    The annual business meeting of Governing Members will be held on Thursday, June 19, 2014
  • 08 Mar 2014 3:19 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    In his critically acclaimed book and TED talk of the same title, Simon Sinek argued, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  He offered his observation in the context of what he describes as The Golden Circle, three concentric circles labeled WHY, HOW, and WHAT.  He emphasized, “when most organizations or people think, act or communicate they do so from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY.  And for good reason -- they go from clearest thing to the fuzziest thing.  We say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do.”  He defined WHY as the “purpose, cause or belief” of an organization.  He clarified, “WHY does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there….It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now.  Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.”  He proposed, “inspired” organizations “communicate from the inside out.”  The idea is that by articulating WHY an organization does what it does, HOW it does it is easier to identify.  WHAT is the result that quantifies if it is successful in achieving its WHY.

    More illuminating is his observation, “when an organization defines itself by WHAT it does, that’s all it will ever be able to do.”  Organizations “with a clear sense of WHY,” he argued, “don’t have to “convince” anyone of their value.”  To be authentic, according to Sinek, an organization, viz its members, must abide by a simple rule: “everything you say and everything you do you actually believe.”

    So, what does this have to do with the NJHEPS you might be wondering?  I believe it strikes at the core of the partnership. Let’s examine two different models of communicating about the NJHEPS based on Sinek’s observations that illustrate my belief. 

    Model 1:

    We seek to transform the New Jersey higher education community to practice sustainability consistently and to contribute to the state’s, region’s, and world’s emerging understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, outreach, operations, and community life. (WHAT) (Current mission statement.)

    We are an organization comprised of 16 junior colleges, 16 independent four-year colleges/universities, 2 public research universities, 9 state college/universities, and 4 Rabbinical/Theological Seminaries. (HOW – but weak)

    Want to become a member?  Want to join us in our mission?

    Model 2:

    We believe, “Higher education institutions bear a profound moral responsibility to increase the awareness, knowledge, skills and values needed to create a just and sustainable future.” (WHY)

    To achieve this moral responsibility, we’ve formed a partnership organization currently comprised of 16 junior colleges, 16 independent four-year colleges/universities, 2 public research universities, 9 state college/universities, and 4 Rabbinical/Theological Seminaries. (HOW)

    Our mission is to transform the New Jersey higher education community to practice sustainability consistently and to contribute to the state’s, region’s, and world’s emerging understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, outreach, operations, and community life so that we may be a model for how to achieve our moral responsibility. (WHAT) (Current mission statement.)

    Want to become a member?  Want to join us in our mission?

    I think you’ll agree that Model 2 a more convincing endorsement for the NJHEPS.  Alas, it’s not that easy.  Sinek went on to identify a phenomenon he described as “split happens.”  His point was, “as the measurement of WHAT grows, the clarity of the WHY [must stay] closely aligned….The moment at which the clarity of WHY starts to go fuzzy is the split.”  This is critical because, “when people know WHY you do WHAT you do, they are willing to give you credit for everything that could serve as proof of WHY.  When they are unclear about your WHY, WHAT you do has no context.”

    It is my opinion that the NJHEPS needs to recover its WHY.  It has gone “fuzzy.”  WHAT it has been doing is of unclear context.  I am absolutely convinced that it will do precisely that.  In fact, it has already started!  As a result of an invigorated WHY, in the very near future, you’ll receive information about several events that are being planned to help us achieve our moral responsibility.  Member institutions are invited to play prominent roles either in hosting or identifying additional events.

    The late Frank Sinatra, referring to New York City, famously sang, “If I can make there, I’ll make it anywhere.” With all due respect to Mr. Sinatra, when it comes to sustainability, if the moral responsibility of higher education can be achieved in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the nation, the state with more Superfund sites than any other state in the nation, the state with several top-rated institutions including the number one ranked institution, it can be achieved anywhere.  And the NJHEPS is precisely the organization to lead the way!

  • 15 Jul 2013 3:01 PM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)


    Dr. Nicholas Smith-Sebasto (Kean University) has been elected the new President of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS). His term is for 2013-2015.  He succeeds Michael Kornitas (Rutgers University) whose term ended on June 30th.  Dr. Shana Weber (Princeton University) has been elected the President elect.  Her term is for 2015-2017.  Also elected to two-year terms were: Nicholas Fabbroni (Rutgers University) as Vice President, Dr. Patrick Hossay (The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey) as Vice President, Dr. Daniela Shebitz (Kean University) as Vice President.  Dr. Diane Trainor (Middlesex County College) was re-elected as Secretary.  Dr. Thomas Bryant (Rutgers University) was re-elected as Treasurer.

    The NJHEPS is a partnership between 47 colleges/universities in New Jersey.  Its mission is to transform the New Jersey higher education community to practice sustainability consistently and to contribute to the state’s, region’s, and world's emerging understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, outreach, operations, and community life.

  • 16 Oct 2012 11:47 AM | Christina Crescimanno (Administrator)
    Check it out here!
  • 16 Oct 2012 11:40 AM | Christina Crescimanno (Administrator)
    As a follow-up to our 9/25 Higher Ed. Clean Energy Stakeholder simulcast, we are providing this information, which requires your timely review, and requested action, by 10/22/12.

    The NJ Board of Public Utilities, and the NJ Office of Clean Energy (OCE), are now accepting public comments based on a draft straw proposal which would define the next 4 years of budgets for the Office of Clean Energy.  You have the opportunity to weigh in on these budget proposals, and we have been told by our contacts representing the OCE that it's both  important and useful for  them to hear from the Higher Education Community on this issue. We agree, and urge you to take the time to read the budget proposals and make comments.
    An example of one potential opportunity: At our stakeholder meeting, questions were raised about Higher Ed's utilization of the free benchmarking tools offered by the OCE; we explained that relatively few buildings have the necessary submeters, and the cost can be prohibitive to purchase a sufficient number of submeters. We asked if a subsidy for this investment could potentially be considered as part of this budget, and were told that if Higher Ed thinks such funding is appropriate, it should be raised during this comment period.
    This is one specific example of a request which could be beneficial to the Higher Ed. community. There could be others, and they may be specific to your institution. The focus of our effort is to alert you to the time sensitive need for you to review the budget proposals, and encourage you to make comments by the 102/22 deadline. 
    When public hearings are scheduled, we will notify you in case you would like to attend/participate.

    You can make comments on these proposals using this link:
    http://www.njcleanenergy.com/main/njcep-policy-updates-request-comments/policy-updates-and-request-comments

    and then clicking here: 

    Straw Proposal NJCEP 2014-2017 Funding Levels

    You should then see a pdf load which is titled:

    Staff Draft Straw Proposal
    NJCEP 2013 through 2016 Funding Level
    Now the NJCEP 2014 through 2017 Funding Level
    Comprehensive Energy Efficiency and
    Renewable Energy Resource Analysis
  • 21 Jun 2012 2:14 PM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)

    EPA Launches Competition for College Students to Develop Innovative Approaches to Stormwater Management

     

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new design competition called the Campus RainWorks Challenge to encourage student teams on college and university campuses across the country to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. Stormwater is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting the health of people across the country as well as tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, and hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. The competition will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design.

     

    Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge opens September 4, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 - $2,500, as well as $8,000 - $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.

     

    “Reducing stormwater pollution requires innovative approaches and America’s college students are incredibly creative and talented,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “The Campus RainWorks Challenge will engage students across the country in tackling one of the toughest challenges to clean water and show them the opportunities in environmental careers.”

     

    EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits, including economic development.. Green infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for single-purpose “gray” infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges.

     

    More information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge:

    http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/crw_challenge.cfm

  • 27 Mar 2012 4:14 PM | Leslie Raucher (Administrator)
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The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
     c/o Ramapo College of New Jersey - SSHS
505 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Phone:(201)684-7830 | Fax:(201)684-7932
Email - njheps@gmail.com

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Website last updated: August 14


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