A Laird Campus landscape signage project is supported by the UD Sustainability Fund.

Make a green mark on UD

University's environmental task force amplifies grassroots efforts

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3:26 p.m., Nov. 20, 2013--The University of Delaware Sustainability Task Force (STF) is a league of students, staff and faculty members with three things in common. They each want to make UD a healthier, greener place, an STF representative said. They also believe that by working together, they can make a difference. And they believe that colleagues can, too.

On Sunday, Nov. 24, University community members interested in learning more about the Sustainability Task Force can stop by a table in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) atrium in conjunction with the 7 p.m. screening of the film Waste Land, sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute Student Programs Committee. The screening is free and open to the public.

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“Sustainability to me is a life philosophy,” said Thomas Schumacher, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and co-chair of the task force. “Given the current situation on our planet we must integrate sustainable practices in our work and lives now.” 

The task force comprises seven committees, each focused on a different area of campus sustainability. Some committees focus on annual events like Earth Week and Campus Sustainability Day while others work year-round to promote green efforts, inform the University community and craft and recommend policy improvements at all levels of the University.

“There are some incredibly energetic individuals working on sustainability issues here on campus,” said Janet B. Johnson, associate professor of political science and international relations and task force member. “But most of us are unaware of their efforts. I'd like to see more coordination and recognition of sustainability at UD and bring more attention to the three pillars of sustainability -- economy, environment, and social equity -- and how the University of Delaware community is working to pursue all three of those pillars.”

The task force also oversees the UD Sustainability Fund (UDSF), a special fund intended to stimulate innovative opportunities for broad community involvement in the effort to reduce UD’s carbon footprint and to develop a sustainable University.  

“The University can benefit on several fronts by integrating sustainability,” said Schumacher. “The most remarkable one will be to educate and graduate students that are capable of approaching problems with an open and critical mind based on a triple-bottom line approach. This will ultimately benefit the community around and society at large.”

Those interested in joining the task force can contact Schumacher at schumact@udel.edu or co-chair Anne-Marie Crossan, associate director of engineering and energy in Facilities and Auxiliary Services at a_crossan@facilities.udel.edu.

More information on the task force’s committees can be found at the Sustainability Task Force webpages.

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