2013-14 Green Fund Awards

Printable PDF of 2013-2014 Green Fee Awards*
* Green Fee is now named Green Fund (change in 2018-19)

Improving Stormwater Quality with Bioretention Gardens Grant will support the installation of bioretention gardens along 23rd and Trinity. Bioretention gardens purify water from rainfall events that are contaminated by runoff pollution from impervious cover such as streets and parking lots. The garden will provide aesthetic as well as ecological benefits to Waller Creek and the university. $56,348
Engagement Dashboard - Battle Hall Pilot An online web-based sustainability “dashboard” will facilitate student and visitor engagement paired with a physical kiosk piloted in Battle Hall. The kiosk and dashboard will develop the history, culture, efficiency, and ecology of UT’s buildings. This project aims to educate and engage more students on sustainability issues surrounding The University of Texas and its specific buildings. $45,627
Solar Powered Kiosk and Study Area (SURGe) With the first solar charging station project (original grant in 11-12) nearly complete as of May 2013, this project aims to create a similar solar powered study area. Solar panels will comprise the roof of the station with outlets, seats, and a workspace under the canopy. Students will be engaged with developing educational installations on and around the station. $51,000
Benefit-Cost Analysis of Reduced Ventilation in Lab Bldg Ventilation in labs consumes large amounts of energy. This project aims to reduce the amount of air exchangers in an effort to save money and energy in the BME building. The analysis will also consist of analyzing the air quality in the BME building due to the reduction of ventilators. $50,000
MicroFarm Year III The MicroFarm grows organic vegetables on Leona St near the Child Development Center, and teaches these methods to students who are interested. Through outreach and Saturday community involvement events, the MicroFarm community has grown, and another year of funding has been granted to support student leadership positions and necessary supplies. $15,000
University Health Services - Medical Waste University Health Services manages large amounts of medical waste. This project will aim to reduce the amount of waste produced by UHS in an effort to comply with their motto of “do no harm” consistent with health related services culture. The project creates a graduate assistant to audit the current waste stream and propose solutions. Phase two involves implementing a concrete plan to reduce waste and educating staff on new procedures. $40,000
Campus Environmental Center Year III As the largest environmental organization on campus for students, the CEC initiates and spearheads many sustainable projects on campus. The CEC also promotes on campus sustainability through outreach events, launching new programs, and sponsoring various campus-focused events. This year’s funding supports a Graduate Program Assistant, the Concho Community Garden, and expanding the Tailgate Recycling Program for football home games. $29,950
Composting Expansion These funds will be made available to food service locations on campus to expand their composting programs. The locations will be determined through collaborative meetings with the student grantee team and the food service administrators. $25,000
Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards This program will incentivize the development of more sustainability courses at UT. The grantee team will involve Peer Led Academic Studying (PLUS) to bolster the effectiveness of the program. $25,500
Orange Bike Project The Orange Bike Project rents bikes to students for a semester or a few days at a time. The expansion of this project involves the acquisition of 15-25 new bikes as well as more equipment for the community bike shop. The Orange Bike Project also offers a shop in the Guadalupe Garage where the UT community can fix their bikes. The Green Fee will also assist with outreach to the entire University community through social media and direct contact with faculty and classes. $28,000
Exterior Water Fountains (SG) Water fountains reduce the use of disposable water bottles. Water fountains are present inside various building however, thus far, none are available outside. This project aims to create two outdoor water fountains in an effort to reduce the amount of disposable plastic water bottles and better hydrate the UT community. $15,000
Texas City Lab The Green Fee will support an exploratory, concept development year in the Center for Sustainable Development. Patterned after a similar program in Oregon, the City Lab would engage classes and individual students and faculty in addressing a variety of challenges for cities, focusing on a different city each year. The City Lab offers the potential to develop dozens of new classes, internship opportunities, and research projects. $21,625
Fryer Waste to Fueling Wheels (Biodiesel) UT produces hundreds of gallons of waste food oil weekly. This project proposes a student-led food-oil to biodiesel recycling program with a report on the program’s outcomes after one year. $15,000
Chemical Lab Waste Reduction The labs in Welch produce large amounts of waste. This project aims to reduce the amount of trash accumulated and sent to landfills by recycling empty steel drums, formerly used to hold chemicals. The plan involves the use of a drum crusher to compact the drums which are currently thrown away due to their awkward size. $15,000
UT-each Outreach Year III Building upon the success of the previous two years of UTeach sustainability field trips, this funding will continue the offering of field trips to K-12 students in Austin. The field trip gives students a tour of UT and introduces them to research and facilities on campus in an effort to instill a passion and understanding for sustainability in the minds of young people. $9,176
Waller Creek Awareness Waller Creek runs through UT and has undergone significant beautification processes through the Green Fee Program. This project aims to keep the focus on Waller Creek through volunteer opportunities at the creek. Student involvement will be incentivized through prizes and entertaining events. $4,365
Green Film Competition A Green Film Competition will be held amongst UT students. The winner of the competition will win an award as well as have their video featured in various campus sustainability outlets. $7,750
Green Greeks UT Greek Life represents just over 10% of the UT student body. This project supports a Greek community sustainability ambassador, who will organize competitions and work directly with Greek organizations to develop individual sustainability plans. $10,000
Battery Recycling in RLM The project will start a pilot battery recycling initiative based out of the Robert Lee Moore building. The plan will place non-flammable recycle bins and supplementary posters around the RLM to promote battery recycling. $7,145
Irrigation Learning Lab at UT MicroFarm This project aims to create a detailed audit of the water use of the Leona St. MicroFarm. By researching different irrigation methods, the MicroFarm will use less water, and data on irrigation methods will be available to all interested parties. $7,105
Liberal Arts Council - CLA Bottle Fillers The new CLA building is certified LEED Gold, however no water bottle fillers are present. This project will fund water bottle fillers on water fountains in the new Liberal Arts building. $5,290
Food Recovery Network The Food Recovery Network is a national organization that fights hunger by feeding the hungry with left-over food from restaurants and cafeterias. The UT chapter has seen a lot of growth this past year and plans to expand with a large commercial refrigerator as well as a scale, trays, and lids. $3,500
Bat House at Concho Community Garden A bat house will be built at the Concho Community Garden, which will provide alternate housing for bats on campus as well as educate the university on the ecological role of bats in Austin. $3,007
SEC E-Waste Recycling The Student Engineering Counsel (SEC) hosts an annual electronic recycling drive. SEC recently switched from Goodwill to Liquis Inc. to recycle a broader range of materials. Funds for this project go towards paying Liquis for their recycling services as well as proper marketing for the event. $3,000
School of Information Water Bottles This project will fund two EZH2O bottle filling stations on the current drinking fountains on the first floor of the UT School of Information to encourage the use of reusable bottles. $2,500
LBJ Green Society Composting The Green Society promotes the awareness of sustainable, environmentally friendly practices on and off campus among LBJ students, and implemented the Green Dining Program in 2011. This program is funded by the Green Fee and composts all waste generated from weekly lunch and learn meetings. $1,000
Applying Fungal Endophytes to Increase Drought Tolerance* Research on the effects of different endophyte communities on plant drought tolerance will reveal information on new ways to increase drought tolerance in plants. $5,000
Piezoelectricity Generation from Walking* By using piezoelectric crystals, energy can be produced from walking along a surface. The piezoelectric crystals compress, which generate electrical energy. This project develops a test surface with hope for larger scale implementation in an effort to generate a new form of green energy. $2,500
Rainwater Recapture for Potable Use* By researching the feasibility of rainwater harvesting on various UT buildings, this research will lead UT closer to understanding different ways in which to combat the extremely dry climate of Texas. $5,000
Biodiesel Assessment* This research examines the food oil policies at UT and will develop a recommendation on possible uses for used oil and food waster. This research will take us one step closer to effectively implementing biodiesel through UT waste. $5,000
Evolution of Waller Creek Storm Water Quality* Waller Creek is a key ecological feature of UT, but also contains lots of pollution. Research will be done to examine how pollutants travel to Waller Creek from the UT campus area specifically, and which sections are more or less polluted during rain events and during dry times. $5,000

* New in 2013, students with faculty and departmental support applied for small grants to directly support their research. Graduates were eligible for $5,000 and undergraduates for $2500.