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  • 20 Jan 2015 4:53 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    Galloway Township, NJ- The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Coastal Research Center (CRC) found that the highest and widest dunes with the greatest volume of sand were the best lifeguards in preserving New Jersey’s coastal communities from the forces of Hurricane Sandy.

    A peer-reviewed article titled “Hurricane Sandy: Beach-dune performance at New Jersey Beach Profile Network sites,” by the Coastal Research Center’s Daniel Barone, director of research, Kimberly McKenna, coastal geologist, and Dr. Stewart Farrell, director of coastal research, was published this month in the journal “Shore & Beach.” 

    When Sandy accelerated toward Atlantic County, NJ, making landfall on Oct. 29, 2012, the Coastal Research Center was already in the midst of its biannual fall beach profiling surveys.

    Sandy shifted sands along the 210-mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and Raritan Bay shorelines, consequently redirecting the center’s priority to collecting post-storm data as quickly as possible.

    The center analyzed 105 locations in the New Jersey Beach Profile Network (NJBPN), with at least one site located in each oceanfront municipality, to determine how beach dunes protected coastal communities against Hurricane Sandy. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Coastal Engineering sponsored the beach-dune performance research.

    The research concluded that dunes and beaches with high elevations and enough volume and width to absorb Sandy’s storm surge and wave energy were able to protect the developed land just beyond the dunes. Homeowners who complied with regulations set by the National Flood Insurance Program by raising structures and limiting the number of items below base flood level lost less and in most cases were able to move back into their homes after the storm.         

    Twenty-six survey sites were located within federal shore protection projects that consisted of engineered dunes constructed after 2006, and only one of those profiles showed dune failure. Twenty out of the 37 profiles with non-engineered beach-dune systems experienced dune failure.

    “We were in the middle of fall surveys when Sandy hit. Right after, Dr. Farrell deployed the entire Coastal Research Center to profile every site. Three to four teams traveled to different counties daily to profile the beaches, and student workers helped to collect data,” said Barone. 

    Within two weeks following Sandy, nearly all of the 105 NJBPN sites were surveyed to document changes in the shoreline and sand volume losses.                                          

    All but 14 of the sites had been surveyed just prior to Sandy, so post-storm comparisons were made against either fall or spring 2012 pre-storm profiles.              

    In general, the research found that the hardest hit beaches were north of the storm’s landfall in Ocean and Monmouth counties, and the greatest loss of beach-dune sands of the 105 sites occurred in Mantoloking, 300 feet from the temporary channel that opened during the storm.  

    A favorable switch in wind direction spared the state’s southernmost beaches in Cape May County by decreasing the impact of the second high tide and reducing wave heights.

    Wildwood, home to the widest municipal beach in the state, suffered from wave and storm surge damages due to the absence of beach dunes.   

    “A review of the 105 sites found that three locations in Cape May City actually gained sand on the beach as a result of Sandy, while north of Long Beach Island, the beach retreat exceeded 100 feet frequently.  Follow-up study has demonstrated 65 to 80 percent natural recovery in beach sand volume, but dunes had to be physically rebuilt because natural growth is too slow to be prepared for another storm.  All U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized shore protection projects have been restored as of 2014,” said Farrell.

    Farrell explained that it takes about 25 years for a dune to naturally build up to a decent size and that natural dunes aren’t consistently the same elevation.

    The results of the research “clearly showed the benefits of beach-dune systems as shore protection features in reducing storm damages to adjacent oceanfront communities and present a valuable data set and analysis that can be utilized by coastal scientists nationally and abroad for many years to come,” said Barone.

    Barone added that shore communities can help to maintain their dune structures by planting dune vegetation and installing dune fencing.                                                                        

    The article noted that New Jersey’s shore towns have accommodated beach-goers since as early as the 1800s and play a significant role in the multi-billion tourism industry.                 

    Shore development surged after property prices plummeted following the March 1962 storm.       

    The Coastal Research Center is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in assisting federal, state and municipal governments with coastal environmental issues related to recurring storm damage and shoreline retreat. The center established the New Jersey Beach Profile Network in 1986 and has been collecting profile data at its 105 sites and monitoring shoreline trends for nearly three decades.                                                                           

    To collect profile data, a laser range finder unit is set up on a dune and then field assistants traverse the beach from the back dune all the way into the water to a depth of 15 feet holding an optical prism mounted to a range pole. Each beach profile is represented by 35 to 55 data points. 


  • 07 Jan 2015 1:00 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    In Spring 2012, NJHEPS embarked on an exploration of the sustainability career possibilities for our students and graduates. This White Paper is one of the outcomes. Dr. Donald Wheeler and Pamela Sammarco, CPLP, M.S. HRM, co-chairs, led a feasibility study team of seven members from business, higher education and government to envision the project. Sustainability faculty, career development directors and students from thirteen institutions of higher education in N.J. were interviewed along with government officials, business leaders and researchers dealing with sustainability careers. We are grateful for their insights and cooperation.

    We consider this White Paper to be a “work in progress” and look forward to suggested updates, additions and corrections from readers. Please address them to: drdwheeler@optonline.net

    What follows is the Executive Summary of the White Paper.

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    “Higher education is called to join with others in the monumental challenge to lead the paradigm shift of humankind toward sustainability. One crucial task is to prepare students for sustainability careers. With a mandate from NJHEPS and encouragement from Aaron Fichtner, Deputy Commissioner, NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, we conducted this study on advancing sustainability careers for students involving 13 institutions of higher education, three student focus groups, many documents and meetings.

    Using a systems approach, we examined the roles of four key stakeholders and the working relationships between them in contributing to student career development. These are: the students themselves, employers and their human resources officers, the higher education institutions and their career development offices. We found that higher education institutions can create a closer and deeper match of students with 21st century skills and sustainability knowledge and competencies to job eligibility and qualification requirements. Employers may need assistance to better align talent strategies with the organization’s sustainability priorities and improve communication between college, students and employers.

    Students must prepare to: transcend the skills gap in key areas noted by employers; master the field of sustainability and, in addition, a discipline or profession in which to practice it; and they need to get practical experience through involvement in greening their campus and internships. Employers must also learn sustainability, apply it to their enterprises and reach out to graduates for employees. Campus career development offices are the official liaisons on the higher education side and human resource offices on the employer side and both can become better-equipped to build a strong green career bridge.

    All NJ higher education institutions have at least one faculty or staff “champion” of sustainability and all have incorporated sustainability into their goals, curriculum and campus life to different degrees. The students’ higher education institution plays the key role in preparing them for sustainability careers. The central factors in developing student interest in sustainability careers appear to be: the quality of the institution and its academic and co-curricular programs in sustainability and the students’ involvement in

    initiatives to “green the campus” and sustainability issues outside the campus. However, guidance by faculty, sustainability staff and career development offices and connection with potential employers are also needed for students to get a start in a sustainability career. In addition to providing a path to sustainability careers, it is important for higher education institutions to emphasize that all jobs in all fields can be enhanced by incorporating sustainability goals, strategies and practices. And as Jaime Ewal Gray says, “sustainability skills/competencies will give graduates a competitive edge.”

     Sustainability is a relatively new field for both higher education and employers and it is changing rapidly. Both sectors are gearing up to take advantage of the opportunities and challenges offered by sustainability. NJ higher education has roughly, 120 sustainability-related academic programs depending on how broadly we define “sustainability -related”--- with an estimated 2400 students. Only 15 of these programs at the BA or MA level have the word sustainability, sustainable or renewable energy in their program name. NJ community colleges have 15 such programs with 12 being certificate or A.A.S. programs in the energy field aimed directly at employment and 3 being A.S. degrees designed for transfer to four year institutions. Several new programs are now being developed. Most NJ sustainability academic programs are less than ten years old.

    Out of 3,793,720 jobs in NJ by May, 2012, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, 2.2% or 81,018 are “green goods and services jobs”, 76% of which are in New Jersey’s private sector. Including that number and broadening the definition from “green jobs” (that focus on the environment) to “sustainability” jobs (that also include equity and economy) and we have a considerable number of sustainability jobs in New Jersey, perhaps as many as 100,000. The degree to which these jobs are sustainability-related varies greatly. Increasing the number of “sustainability” students employed in New Jersey has the potential to strengthen the sustainability sector in the economy and society.

    In this white paper we make specific recommendations for each stakeholder to advance sustainability careers. Our hope is that this paper may be useful in developing career opportunities for students through coordinated initiatives in NJ institutions of higher education collaborating with state-wide employer networks and aligned with NJ state government to develop the sustainability sector of the economy and create jobs.”


    Click below for copy of the Sustainability Career Paths White Paper:

    http://www.njheps.org/resources/Documents/Sustainability%20Career%20Paths%20for%20Students%20White%20Paper%20v2.0%20%20%20%20final.pdf


    Please direct requests for the  Sustainability Career Paths White Paper to the email below:

    drdwheeler@optonline.net

  • 18 Dec 2014 3:08 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently co-hosted a successful first-of-its-kind Resilience Finance Symposium in New Jersey, attended by about 120 participants from a wide spectrum of public and private entities in the state, region, and country.

    Held on November 12 with Governor Christie’s Administration and the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture + Design, the all-day Resilience Finance Symposium: Building Resilient and Sustainable Energy Solutions for New Jersey’s Key Infrastructure featured a series of panels on solutions that help keep the lights and heat on during critical times, like microgrids and energy storage, as well as innovative ways of financing resilient energy systems.

    A main topic of discussion was the impressive progress New Jersey has made toward making the state’s energy infrastructure more resilient in the two years since Superstorm Sandy caused a massive weeks-long power outage. Panelists pointed to Sandy success stories – those instances when power stayed on even when the grid went down – and discussed the need to make these kinds of successes the norm rather than the exception.

    One shining example was Princeton University’s microgrid, which was able to ‘island’ itself from the main grid and provide much-needed power to 12,000 people. Princeton University Energy Plant Manager, Ted Borer, was on hand to explain how the microgrid, fueled by a gas-turbine generator and solar power, was an effective low-carbon solution that can be replicated across the state.

    Full story can be found at the link below:

    http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/2014/11/17/two-years-after-sandy-the-conversation-around-energy-resiliency-still-going-strong/


  • 18 Dec 2014 3:06 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    Theological seminaries – where religious leaders are trained - should educate leaders to meet the environmental crises we face.

    This belief is at the heart of the Green Seminary Initiative, a network which has worked with more than 50 seminaries, divinity schools and schools of theology to address caring for creation through academic, spiritual, and practical steps.

    Now, GreenFaith and Drew Theological School have announced that the Green Seminary Initiative is becoming a joint program of both institutions. "Environmental interest in theological schools is at an all-time high," said Dr. Laurel Kearns of Drew Theological School, a GSI co-founder and long-time seminary environmental leader. “Through this partnership, GSI aims to help these schools reach our considerable potential as leaders for creation.”

    On its website, the Green Seminary Initiative maintains an extensive array of resources for seminary faculty and leaders, including a collection of sample curricula and guidelines and profiles of these schools’ environmental efforts. “Seminaries around the world are seeking to integrate care for the earth into the core of their identity,” said the Rev. Dr. Javier Vera, Dean at Drew Theological School, based in New Jersey. “GSI represents a critically important initiative.”

    The first project for this new initiative is the development of an environmental certification program for seminaries. Modeled on GreenFaith’s Certification Program for congregations and utilizing GSI’s experience and network of relationships, this program will offer specific standards and guidance to seminaries to launch or further their efforts to protect the earth and to prepare their students for environmental leadership.

    “More than any other group of institutions, these schools influence the future of the faith community,” said GreenFaith’s Fletcher Harper. “The Green Seminary Initiative will shape generations of religiously-inspired environmental leaders who can make an enormous impact.”

    About the Green Seminary Initiative
    The Green Seminary Initiative was launched in 2007 when six leading eco-theologians - John Cobb, Cal Dewitt, Norman Habel, Sallie McFague, Larry Rasmussen and Rosemary Reuther – called on theological schools to prepare religious leaders to meet the ecological crisis. Building on the work of Theological Education to Meet the Ecological Challenge (TEMEC), GSI was originally housed at Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, where co-founder David Rhoades taught, and moved to Drew in 2010 upon his retirement. GSI has held joint programs with GreenFaith and Drew for over five years.
    To learn about the Green Seminary Initiative, see the link below:

    http://www.greenseminaries.org


  • 13 Nov 2014 11:36 AM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    FROM THE DESK OF SHANA WEBER

    Dear members of the NJ higher education sustainability community, 

    As the new President of NJHEPS, I am honored to welcome you to the start of a new academic year and continued momentum for our collective efforts across New Jersey. I welcome each of you to join us in accelerating the impact our campuses have on shifting attitudes and behaviors through education and research, and strengthening our New Jersey networks and partnerships. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events, lectures, and workshops. 

                                                         -----------------------


    NJHEPS & EcoMotion OFFER FREE CAMPUS SOLAR ASSESSMENT

    We are delighted to report that in partnership with NJHEPS, our friends at EcoMotion, Inc. are extending to our member schools an initial campus solar assessment at no cost!

    While EcoMotion offers a range of sustainability services, they have gained a strong reputation with their unique brand of “honest broker” consulting for potential solar projects and have a proven track record of helping schools navigate the solar terrain and maximize the value of installing solar on or off campus.

    As EcoMotion’s President, Ted Flanigan, explains,

    Schools want to get the most solar for their dollar, but the goal of solar developers is to squeeze maximum profit out of an institution. As a school’s representative, we step in to negotiate that disconnect by helping institutions navigate key decisions about solar: IF, WHERE, HOW MUCH, WHEN and with WHOM. It’s never too late to get advice. One organization that had already bid their project saved a quarter million dollars by rebidding it with our assistance.

    The services we offer schools solar buyers include project planning, on-site analysis, financial analysis, project proposal preparation for competitive bidding, contractor selection, project management, public relations, inspections and ongoing system monitoring.”

    What will you receive with free solar consultation?

    • Initial rooftop assessment from experienced experts
    • Up to 12 hours of no-cost consultation with EcoMotion’s Solar Advisors
    • Key recommendations for maximizing project
    • Understanding various incentives and utility programs that govern solar use in New Jersey

    Learn more by visiting www.ecomotion.us/campuses/

    If you have questions about implementing a solar project, we encourage you to reach out to EcoMotion’s Solar Advisors by calling (949) 450-7153. Be sure to inform them that your campus is a member of NJHEPS!

                                                       -----------------------


    Richard Stockton and Burlington County Colleges Form Dual-Credit Sustainability Course Partnerships with NJ High Schools

    In the past year The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (Stockton) and Burlington County College (BCC) have worked cooperatively to form dual-credit agreements with technical high schools across the state in the area of sustainability education. Under these agreements, students who enroll in approved dual-credit courses at their high school will have the opportunity to earn college credits for Stockton’s and BCC’s introductory sustainability courses.

    Stockton’s Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Program Coordinator Patrick Hossay is providing professional training to high school teachers who want to learn how to implement introductory sustainability courses in their schools. The training sessions are held in Trenton at the New Jersey School Boards Association. During the 2013-2014 academic year, teachers from an initial group of 11 schools participated in four training sessions with the intent to establish new sustainability courses in most of these schools this fall:

    · Atlantic County Institute of Technology
    · Bergen County Technical School
    · Bergenfield High School
    · Camden County Technical High School
    · Cape May Technical High School
    · Cedar Creek High School
    · Essex County Vocational Technical Schools
    · Hunterdon County Polytech
    · Middlesex County Vocational & Technical Schools
    · Salem County Vocational Technical Schools
    · Union County Vocational Technical Schools

    Three sessions were also held in August and included teachers and administrators from additional interested schools. Sessions will continue throughout the year for teachers in the process of teaching or who are interested in teaching a sustainability course in the future.

    Students at participating high schools will be able to enroll with a head-start in sustainability-related degree programs at Stockton (Bachelor of Arts or Science in sustainability) or at BCC (Associate degree in sustainability, energy management or alternative energy). Also, students completing an associate degree at BCC with a 3.0 or higher GPA may transfer to Stockton’s sustainability degree program with junior status under a previously established articulation agreement.

    Several of the 11 schools are also participating in the New Jersey Green Program of Study (NJGPOS), a five-year pilot program in the state Department of Education (DOE) to develop three sustainable career pathways in energy, construction and design for Career & Technical Education and Comprehensive High Schools. The NJGPOS is currently being managed by the School Boards Association in collaboration with the DOE. For more information about the NJGPOS contact John Henry, program director, jhenry@njsba.org. For information about the training sessions, contact Marianne Leone, NJ Green Program of Study Coordinator, NJGPOS@NJSBA.org or 609-315-6218.

    For dual-credit information, contact: Stockton – Patrick Hossay, Patrick.Hossay@stockton.edu, 609-652-4303; BCC – Bob Brzozowski, Academic Coordinator of the Center for Sustainability & Alternative Energy, rbrzozowski@bcc.edu, 609-894-9311, ext. 1941.

  • 14 Oct 2014 12:29 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    The NJHEPS Sustainability Education Conference held on Monday, Oct 13 at Ramapo College was a great success, as featured speaker Debra Rowe, NJHEPS President Shana Weber and conference attendees go together and discussed the exciting new opportunities and challenges ahead for those committed to sustainability on our college and university campuses and beyond.


    Click here for a Photo Gallery from the Event







  • 14 Sep 2014 3:19 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    Message from Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University and the Earth Institute

     

    Dear friends and colleagues,

    The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is proud to present its new education initiative, SDSN.edu, which brings together online courses on sustainable development created by experts from around the world!  We are rolling out several exciting courses throughout the Fall. Please join us in spreading the word!
     
    We are kicking off SDSN.edu with three courses:

    1.       I am offering my course The Age of Sustainable Development again, starting September 9, 2014. There will also be a special bonus this Fall: all students that complete the course will receive the free e-book version of my new book, titled The Age of Sustainable Development.

    2.       The two-semester course Climate Change Science & Negotiationstaught by myself and Emmanuel Guerin, will introduce the science and policies of climate change. The course includes a simulated UNFCCC negotiation during the second semester, in which students take on the role of country delegates. This course coincides with the broader SDSN Climate Change Call to Action

    3.       Planetary Boundaries and Human Opportunities, by Prof. Johan Rockström and his colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Center, offers an outstanding overview of sustainability science and potential pathways for human well-being. 

    All three SDSN.edu courses are free of charge and are now open for enrollment. OtherSDSN.edu courses are currently in development and will be announced soon. 

    The coming year and a half, till the end of 2015, will be a pivotal period in the history of sustainable development. Please join SDSN.edu in mobilizing education for sustainable development by spreading the word among your friends and colleagues. If you have questions please write to our Education Initiatives team at edu@unsdsn.org.

     

     
    Kind regards,

    Jeffrey D. Sachs




  • 22 Jul 2014 5:09 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)
    Shana Weber has been appointed president of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS) effective July 1
     
    NJHEPS is committed to advancing sustainability across the New Jersey higher education community through cross-sector partnerships, teaching, research, outreach, operations and community life.
     
    "I am honored to join the leadership team at NJHEPS and look forward to working with our many partners across the state," said Weber, who is the director of the Office of Sustainability at Princeton University. 
     
    "Students, staff, faculty and facilities personnel on campuses across New Jersey are dedicated innovators and together we can be a positive force for accelerated action in partnership with government, environmental, community and business leaders," Weber said. "I am confident that NJHEPS can make a difference in the Garden State and be an example for the nation at large."
     
    “I'm confident that Shana's leadership will continue to bridge the gap between institutions, disciplines and communities, not only to move the bar on sustainability but to make sustainability part of every day life for its citizens," said Michael Kornitas, former NJHEPS president and director of Sustainability and Energy at Rutgers University. 
     
    Weber received her bachelor's degree in Zoology from Ohio State University and doctorate in environmental science from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She currently serves on the board of trustees for Sustainable Princeton, the municipal nonprofit organization. She is a member of the Ivy-plus Sustainability Consortium, and executive host of the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium. 
     
    Weber's current research activities include collaborative applied research among higher education sustainability offices, and climate-change driven population dynamics of the American pika across the American West.


  • 30 Jun 2014 4:19 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    STUDENT AWARDS

    During Spring 2014, NJHEPS launched its first annual Student Research Paper/Project in Sustainability Contest. This award is to honor the best undergraduate research paper or project from college/university students enrolled at NJEHPS member institutions.

    In highlighting the efforts of these students, we promote the critical idea of sustainability and contribute to the education and motivation of our students. The first annual NJEHPS Student Research Paper/Project in Sustainability winners were announced at the NJHEPS Annual Governing Board Meeting during the luncheon which featured a public talk by actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr.

    This year’s winners were:  1st place co-winners Lauren Edelman of Princeton University and Bryan Rubio of Kean University ; 2nd place co-winners Yifan Li of Princeton University and Joseph Roddy of Kean University; Chris Koscica and Michelle Hompesch, both of Montclair State University. The student winners receive monetary awards from NJHEPS to recognize their excellent works.

    “We were very proud to honor these exceptional students, who will make such a difference in the world with their vision and dedication," said Shana Weber, NHEPS President. During the Award Luncheon, world-renowned environmental activist and award-winning actor Ed Begley, Jr. addressed the honored students.  "I was also very touched by the kind and encouraging words that Ed Begley, Jr. had for these young leaders,” said Weber.


    RVCC RECEIVES CAMPUS AWARD

    June 23, 2014 -- The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS) has selected Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) as the first recipient of the NJHEPS Excellence in Campus Sustainability Award.

    NJHEPS, a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing sustainability statewide through partnerships with and among higher education institutions, recognized Raritan Valley Community College for sustainability excellence in its new Bateman Student Center and its extensive 2014 Earth Week Initiative.

    Unveiled in February 2014, the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership Building features a 9’ by 15’  “living wall” of vegetation designed to improve the indoor environment. The living wall is a vertical, hydroponic planting system that contains about 600 individual tropical. The wall absorbs noise, filters air, and provides a natural, relaxing setting for the students.  The wall was designed and installed by Kelly Mac Interiorscapes, a small local business based in Pittstown. The installation cost of approximately $21,000 was funded by a grant from the Merck Foundation.

    Additionally, RVCC’s 2014 Earth Week Initiative, organized by the Sustainability Committee and the Student Environmental Club and funded by a College Community Fund Grant, featured innovator Mike Strizki of the Hydrogen House Project as its keynote speaker. The campus-wide Initiative also included a zero landfill waste event with Economics Professor Dan Aronson.

    Promotions for the event were produced by design student Atulya Chaganty as part of a class assignment, as well as collaboratively among various campus offices and committees, resulting in widespread on-campus communications as well as local media coverage.

    With its Bateman Center for Student Life and its comprehensive 2014 Earth Week Initiative, Raritan Valley Community College has demonstrated meaningful leadership in the field of Sustainability.  The NJHEPS is pleased to honor it for these efforts.

    “Achieving sustainability is all about collective impact, but each campus can shine as it brings its particular strengths to the effort. Raritan Valley Community College really impressed us with how thoughtfully they implemented two key programs this past year – from building systems to behavior change and communications," said Shana Weber, NJHEPS President. "They are demonstrating the kind of complex multi-dimensional thinking that the sustainability endeavor requires, and as a result are in a strong position to pass that skill on to their students. That’s really what it’s all about and we are grateful for their leadership.”



  • 23 Jun 2014 3:32 PM | Kristie Reilly (Administrator)

    June 23, 2014 -- The New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS) has selected Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) as the first recipient of the NJHEPS Excellence in Campus Sustainability Award.

    NJHEPS, a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing sustainability statewide through partnerships with and among higher education institutions, recognized Raritan Valley Community College for sustainability excellence in its new Bateman Student Center and its extensive 2014 Earth Week Initiative.

    Unveiled in February 2014, the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership Building features a 9’ by 15’  “living wall” of vegetation designed to improve the indoor environment. The living wall is a vertical, hydroponic planting system that contains about 600 individual tropical. The wall absorbs noise, filters air, and provides a natural, relaxing setting for the students.  The wall was designed and installed by Kelly Mac Interiorscapes, a small local business based in Pittstown. The installation cost of approximately $21,000 was funded by a grant from the Merck Foundation.

    Additionally, RVCC’s 2014 Earth Week Initiative, organized by the Sustainability Committee and the Student Environmental Club and funded by a College Community Fund Grant, featured innovator Mike Strizki of the Hydrogen House Project as its keynote speaker. The campus-wide Initiative also included a zero landfill waste event with Economics Professor Dan Aronson.

    Promotions for the event were produced by design student Atulya Chaganty as part of a class assignment, as well as collaboratively among various campus offices and committees, resulting in widespread on-campus communications as well as local media coverage.

    With its Bateman Center for Student Life and its comprehensive 2014 Earth Week Initiative, Raritan Valley Community College has demonstrated meaningful leadership in the field of Sustainability.  The NJHEPS is pleased to honor it for these efforts.

    “Achieving sustainability is all about collective impact, but each campus can shine as it brings its particular strengths to the effort. Raritan Valley Community College really impressed us with how thoughtfully they implemented two key programs this past year – from building systems to behavior change and communications," said Shana Weber, NJHEPS President. "They are demonstrating the kind of complex multi-dimensional thinking that the sustainability endeavor requires, and as a result are in a strong position to pass that skill on to their students. That’s really what it’s all about and we are grateful for their leadership.”

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Email - njheps@gmail.com

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