2011-12 Green Fund Awards

Printable PDF of 2011-2012 Green Fee Awards*
* Green Fee is now named Green Fund (change in 2018-19)

Increased Bicycle Parking Plan to improve the experience of biking to campus by adding additional bike racks and bike pumps. Advertise to students and faculty to increase awareness of the local and personal benefits of biking. The advertisement will aid in registration of bikes with the university, so the university can better keep track and help plan for future needs. $12,500
Solar Powered Campus Develop a course that would build and install visible mobile solar powered charging stations in locations around the University of Texas. The goal is to increase interest in solar power at UT by increasing student involvement and knowledge of solar power. The mobile solar powered charging station will be customizable, transportable, and versatile. A commercial solar powered charging station will be purchased to publicize the proposed class. The course will be interdisciplinary and open to all university students. The course is planned to give research study credit for degree requirements. The outcome of the course will be a fully functional solar powered charging station, as well as community interaction with solar energy. $10,800
Organic Micro-Farm Expand the current UT gardening footprint by transforming a UT owned vacant lot in East Campus into a small scale organic farm for production of produce for campus consumption. This farming program would generate public knowledge of sustainable agriculture, provide herbicide, pesticide, & hormone free food, create new hands on learning experiences, as well as lowering the university’s carbon footprint. This project will consist of a three year time span. Since the majority of our school’s food sources are shipped from far away, this farm can help reduce the food miles and food life cycle the university creates. The program will work in collaboration with the Campus Environmental Center to create a successful and ongoing project that will hopefully continue for years to come. It will also implement sustainable agriculture techniques to reduce water and maintain a healthy soil free of chemical inputs. $15,000
Improving the Quality of Waller Creek Propose removal of invasive plant species from Waller Creek riparian areas, then re-plant native species to stabilize the banks and begin an Adopt-a-Stream program for Waller Creek within the bounds of the UT campus in which student groups are responsible for maintaining and monitoring sections of Waller Creek on campus. This proposal aims to revitalize Waller Creek and draw students to its banks with an emphasis on relaxation and sustainability education for the campus community. $4,630
Energy Sub-metering Install a sub-building level meters inside the Student Services Building, or a comparable building, that will track energy usage and display real-time data on a web-based dashboard device. This data will be accessible by any web browser as well as displayed on multiple flat-screen monitors throughout the building and incorporated into an educational campaign that will identify rates of energy consumption among sections of the building and offer ways to implement energy reduction strategies. The data can also be utilized by facilities management to identify the need for equipment retrofits and upgrades, as well as opportunities for energy and monetary savings. $23,230
Sustainable Landscape Makeover Replace the existing landscaping and irrigation in two recessed rectangular plots located in the East Plaza of the Harry Ransom Center. The two plots are currently inefficiently watered and not as attractive as possible. The first step will be to remove existing vegetation in the two plots accept for two large trees. The removed vegetation and plant matter will be mulched and recycled back into the campus landscape. Then we will contour the landscape to make it more accessible and still serve as a local drainage basin featuring optimal plant species and a new irrigation system specifically designed to efficiently meet sustainable watering requirements. Then we will construct stone pathways and seating areas. The final step would be the installation of an informative plaque that would provide information on the two new plots and how they promote campus sustainability. $30,798
Retrofit drinking fountain with bottle filler A bottle filler retrofit kit (a “gooseneck”) will be installed at approximately 30 high traffic drinking fountains located in various main Campus buildings. The primary purpose for doing so is to encourage the building occupants to reuse an existing water container in lieu of purchasing a new bottle of water. The retrofit kits will be provided by the Campus Environmental Center with the installation managed by UT facilities staff. $ 7,500
UT Tree Nursery Grow tree seedlings for use in landscaping, carbon dioxide biosequestration, and lumber production. This proposal establishes a student-run tree nursery with a capacity of over 300,000 seedlings. After three years in the nursery, the seedlings could be planted on UT or other lands or given out to the UT community, and perhaps the general public. The nursery will consist of two cold frames (non-glass greenhouses) at UT’s Pickle Research Campus. The nursery will enable collaboration with forestry research institutions for developing improved cultivars, will be a catalyst for educating UT students and the broader community about ecological issues, and will help save a tree species from extinction. $35,478
PCL recycling containers Proposal for a one-time purchase of lidded recycling containers to guide PCL users in their recycling efforts and minimize the amount of time staff volunteers have to spend sorting garbage out of the recycling containers. The PCL Green Team, currently consisting of twenty staff volunteers collecting twice a week, is unique in managing the collection of recyclable materials across six floors of a public area used by students and other library users. Efforts are not limited to staff work areas and require educating users about what can be recycled and where it can be recycled. Current containers for these materials are repurposed paper recycling bins with signage that has not been an effective method for directing library users to dispose of cans and bottles in the proper containers. Positioning containers in the stacks near signage has also proven ineffective as the containers are shifted by students using the space. Acquiring the new containers and labeling them with better signage will improve the efficiency of PCL recycling and volunteer time. $ 3,000
An Outreach Forum for UTAustin Green Fee Projects The Environmental Science Institute proposes to provide a prominent public showcase for all projects funded by the spring 2011 Green Fee. This showcase will be paired with a Hot Science – Cool Talks outreach event and lecture featuring a noted author on sustainability. This event will provide a forum to exhibit the goals, methods and results of the Green Fees projects and to promote sustainability to UT students, faculty and staff, as well as to the Austin-area community, K-12 students and teachers. We anticipate this will draw substantial media coverage, amplify the benefits of each project, increase visibility on campus and provide publicity for the next year’s Green Fee competition. Short video clips of each project will document the results of the Green Fee projects and the project process for future applicants and the selection committee. These videos, video of the speaker’s lecture and their PowerPoint presentation will be made available on DVD and online. $16,350
Green Dining at LBJ The LBJ Green Society proposes to reduce the amount of nonbiodegradable waste produced by weekly lunch talks and meetings held at the LBJ School. We propose to provide all groups hosting catered events at LBJ with sustainable sourced, biodegradable plates, cups, and napkins. $500
Activity and Service Expansion for the UT Campus Environmental Center This request is for targeted support of the Campus Environmental Center campus projects and student employment opportunities, particularly related to leveraging and matching other green fee funded projects that relate to existing CEC programs. The funding would launch CEC’s interest in hiring and training student employees and run campus projects for the next three years. $47,025
Analysis of Processed Algae as an Organic Fertilizer Propose to treat a section of the landscape at UT Pickle Research Campus with dried algae generated by the UT algae processing program at the Center for Electromechanics (located on the Pickle Research Campus). An adjacent section will be treated with the comparable amount of commercial fertilizer currently used by UT. This head-to-head comparison would be evaluated by soil nutrient analyses and density of grass via chlorophyll content over the course of one year. The deliverables will be growth data over the course of one year and cost projections to implement organic algae fertilizer campus-wide. $35,538
UT Safe Cycling Campaign This proposal is for a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary effort to improve bicycling as a viable means of transit on the UT Campus. Fundamental improvements can be made in the campus’s transportation infrastructure in the way that motor vehicles, public transit (buses), bicyclists, and pedestrians interface. The poor state of this infrastructure causes frustration among users of all modes and discourages bicycle use. Additionally, bicyclists frequently break transportation laws, often lacking the education to even know they are doing so. The issue at the heart of this subject is the successful establishment of bicycle transport as a widely used and ‘equally-available-to-all’ means of commuting. It is comprehensive in that it aims to attack the issues related to cycling and transportation infrastructure not only through analysis and improvements to the urban form, but also though safety education and public awareness, as well as service and advocacy projects. The Daily Texan article  $32,060
Energy Field Trip The UTeach Outreach program is seeking to expand our elementary school field trip program with the objective of ensuring that today's grade school students are tomorrow's scientists, with an emphasis on environmental education and energy conservation. This program is beneficial in several ways: students in the College of Education gain the experience of teaching lesson plans written specifically for the Natural Sciences Course requirements which they can use for their field experience. Student organizations in other colleges can participate in a volunteering capacity to serve their community, and the primary school students gain genuine inquiry experiences with the hands-on labs and experiments. The UTeach Outreach Environmental Field Trips program is based on the latest research on effective teaching and learning, as well as technologically advanced learning software programs. $ 7,190
Solar PV on the UT Campus UT has been awarded $1.1 million from the TX State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to install 200+ kW of solar PV arrays: 30 kW at the Manor Parking Garage and 175 kW at the Facilities complex on Manor Road. These installations will serve together as a showpiece, a teaching tool in the classroom, and a research testbed that will help establish UT as a leader in renewable energy and help us train energy leaders. In addition, this project will: provide charging stations for electric vehicles; generate 267,000 kWh of clean energy each year; and avoid 62.5 tons of carbon emissions. This proposal seeks matching funds so the project can be built, and an undergraduate researcher can be hired to develop a web-based interface that can be used as a teaching tool for students and the general public. $75,000