Explore Emergence with Matt Grocoff on Campus Sustainability Day

On Tuesday, October 25th Matt Grocoff, founding principal of the Thrive Collaborative and net zero energy leader, will lead an exercise for Millersville University students to explore the connections between biomimicry, emergent behavior and sustainability.

Headshot_of_Matthew_Grocoff Matt Grocoff, Founding Principal THRIVE Collaborative

During the event, which will be held from 2:35 to 3:30pm in the Student Memorial Center (SMC) Reighard Multi-purpose Room (MPR), students will follow simple rules of behavior relative to the students standing around them.  Doing so will create system-wide patterns similar to what’s seen in this video.

The exercise is open to all Millersville University students and is one of two events being held with Matt Grocoff to celebrate campus sustainability.  The event will demonstrate how simple rules of behavior can lead to surprisingly coherent system-level results.  The discussion that follows will focus on what these understandings teach us about sustainability.

The event also serves as a lead in to Matt Grocoff’s talk at the Ware Center at 7pm that evening, which will be a profound look into the design opportunity of transitioning to visible, bottom-up, complex adaptive water, energy and food systems based on local knowledge and simple rules.

Learn more about Matt Grocoff’s visit to Millersville University.


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PERC Campus Sustainability Champion: Nomination Period Open

Do you know a campus sustainability champion at Millersville? A member of faculty or staff or a student that goes the extra mile to make the space around them a little more sustainable?  If so, please consider nominating them for the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium’s (PERC) Campus Sustainability Champion award.

Through the Campus Sustainability Champion award, PERC annually recognizes individuals that have made meaningful contributions that benefit social, economic, and/or environmental sustainability on campus, in the community, or to society at large. Contributions can be in the areas of teaching, research, co-curricular programs, campus culture, community service, and campus operations.

As a PERC Member School, Millersville can make two nominations—one student and one non-student. Millersville’s Office of Sustainability will accept nominations and select the individuals that will be submitted to compete for the PERC Campus Sustainability Champion award. Select nominees will be invited as panelists for the Sustainability Champions Session at the annual PERC Conference being held on October 24th, 2016 at Penn State.

To nominate an individual, please send the name of the individual (or group), their email address and phone number, and a short paragraph (less than 200 words) describing why the individual deserves to be recognized as a Campus Sustainability Champion to Millersville’s Sustainability Manager, Chris Steuer (Chris.Steuer@millersville.edu) by Friday, September 16th, 2016.

PERC’s Campus Sustainability Champion guidelines can be found here. Please note that Millersville’s nomination deadline is September 16th, 2016 to allow time for selecting a nominee to submit to PERC.

For a list of last year’s PERC Campus Sustainability Champions, including Millersville’s Director of Dining and Conference Services, Ed Nase, see here.

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The MU Climate Action Plan: Taking Your Questions

Under counsel of campus faculty and administrators, MU President Anderson signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2013.  This commitment requires MU to take action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions so that the campus will eventually reach climate neutrality.  The mission and history of the ACUPCC, as well as the complete list of 685 signatory institutions, can be found at http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/ .

An institutional Climate Action Plan (CAP) is an ACUPCC reporting requirement which explains how the institution plans to achieve climate neutrality. A strategy list for the MU CAP has been distributed by campus email, and the full report is due January 15, 2016.   The purpose of this web blog is to answer any questions and address any concerns (or praise!) you may have related to the strategy list.  Below are some answers to questions/comments that were received during the spring 2015 CAP informational sessions. Please feed free to add your questions and comments below.

Comment: Fix maintenance issues on campus first. ResponseAbsolutely. It makes sense to pick the low hanging fruit first.

Comment: There is no need to be climate neutral. Being fiscally responsible is more important. Response: While one could certainly argue the merits of each, the ACUPCC requires climate neutrality. There is no choice. However, there is no year specified in which an institution must reach neutrality. Some campuses are striving to reach neutrality within the next decade, while others are stretching their target date several decades into the future.  To date, MU has not chosen a target date.

Comment: Make sure the CAP strategies make fiscal sense and seek grants to help fund them. Response: Good advice. One of the first jobs of MU’s new sustainability manager will be to look at costs of strategies. There are a number of organizations which provide funding for various sustainable practices on campuses. In addition, we expect to use a green revolving fund, in which savings from implemented strategies, (e.g., energy efficiency), go back into the fund to pay for even more projects.

Comment: Use wild-scaping or nature-scaping instead of campus lawn. Then we can claim carbon credits for it. Response: This is certainly something we can look into.


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