Keeping It Green at Oakton

Your source for the most current sustainability news from Oakton Community College


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New Solar Array on Skokie’s Campus and Opportunity to Learn about Solar Energy!

When President Joianne Smith signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge in December 2015, Oakton Community College joined over 200 higher education institutions committed to climate action.  One of Oakton’s commitments as part of that pledge was recently realized with the addition of a 25kW photovoltaic array at its Skokie campus.  Installation of the roof-mounted system, consisting of approximately 80 solar panels, was completed on June 20.

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Since the system has been operational, it has generated 5.27MWh of energy, enough to power more than 15,000 light bulbs for one day. This helps to prevent roughly 3,700 kilograms of carbon dioxide being released into the environment, equivalent to planting 201 trees. Incorporating renewable energy is one important way of reducing the college’s impact on the environment, but it is also something that is of high value to our students, who regularly tell us this is an area they hope the college continues to pursue.

For students interested in learning more about the technology involved in arrays like this one, Oakton is offering a Fundamentals of Solar Energy Systems course (ELT 154) on Wednesday evenings this Fall. Registration for this course is open until September 6, 2017. In addition to the new solar array, the Skokie campus is home to a test system that is easily accessible for enrolled students and provides them with hands-on experience working with solar panels. This course can be used to meet requirements for the Environmental Studies Concentration.

Live data from the solar array will soon be incorporated into the college’s existing Energy Dashboard which can be found on Oakton’s website. For now though, the data can be found here: https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/site/public?name=Oakton Community College Skokie Campus#/dashboard

We hope you’ll check it out!

July-RHC-data

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Earth Week 2017 Events at Oakton Announced!!

Join us for our annual Earth Week Events at Oakton Community College, April 17-22. Feel free to share this pdf version and post (with permission) wherever you see fit! Thank you for helping us to spread the word on these amazing events to learn, engage with others, and make a difference at Oakton and in your communities!

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University of New Hampshire–Sustainability Fellowship, due February 17

The UNHSI Sustainability Fellows program is now accepting applications, through 2017.

The program pairs graduate and upperclass  students from throughout the U.S. with municipal, educational, corporate, and NGO partners in New England to work on innovative climate change and sustainability initiatives.  This is a summer opportunity for experiential learning, professional development, and mentorship in their field—which also provides a $6,000 stipend.  As you’ll see, this year’s 20 projects run the gamut from scientific research to data analysis and technical assistance to policy to business development to communications and outreach: http://sustainableunh.unh.edu/2017-fellowship-projects.

This year we’ll start May 31st and run through August 18th.   Applications can be submitted on the UNH Sustainability website (http://sustainableunh.unh.edu/sustainability-fellows), and will be accepted through February 17, 2017.


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Field Projects International–Enroll by November 18

Are you an undergraduate or recent graduate interested in getting hands-on field experience? Field Projects International provides great opportunities to travel and learn! Upcoming courses in Peru and India are focused on tropical entomology, primate-carnivore ecology, and vertebrate field biology. These opportunities are ideal for those pursuing or contemplating a major in biology, anthropology, ecology, or pre-veterinary science. To find out more about each of the sessions, keep reading and click on the titles for further details. You have until November 18 to enroll for these incredible opportunities!

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GREEN Program, Sustainability Study Abroad Experiences: Iceland & Peru

This winter & spring break, consider joining The GREEN Program abroad in the world’s leading destinations for sustainable development:

Peru & Iceland

Watch the 2016 video, “Education Abroad. Redefined. Reinvented.”: https://vimeo.com/178522016

The GREEN Program unlocks doors for students to gain exclusive education, industry access, and authentic bucket-list experiences around the world. Through this accredited, career-focused 8 to 10 day programs, GREEN Program exists to use the world as a classroom in order to give meaning and purpose to education, adventure, and life.

Join a community of students leaders and young professionals who have consciously chosen to pursue a future of possibilities and are determined to be part of the solutions toward a better world.

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NEW Environmental Studies Concentration at Oakton

Oakton Community College is excited to announce our NEW Environmental Studies Concentration. Registration for Fall 2016 is now open!

Join us Wednesday, April 20th in room 1604 of the Des Plaines Campus to hear more about this exciting opportunity!

The Environmental Studies Concentration is a nineteen (19) semester hour concentration designed to provide an interdisciplinary framework that promotes understanding of humanity’s impact on the natural environment and how the natural environment impacts human development; a critical appreciation of the importance of sustainability; and the central importance of integrating the work of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities for a holistic and meaningful understanding of any environmental issue or problem.

The disciplinary approaches of the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities are all essential to a full appreciation of the relationships between human systems and natural systems and any attempt to think critically and productively about how we can best meet our current environmental challenges.

The Environmental Studies Concentration prepares students for transfer into a variety of majors dealing with the environment, such as sustainability; environmental philosophy, law, and policy; environmental art and literature; environmental engineering and chemistry; conservation biology and natural resource management; and environmental journalism.

Most courses in the concentration meet the general education requirements and have IAI transfer codes. However, students should consult with the Environmental Studies Coordinator to ensure that they are taking the necessary courses in each general education area and are not taking more than one course with the same IAI number.

Students meeting the requirements for the Environmental Studies Concentration will have a notation added to their transcript indicating successful completion. In order to receive this designation, students must complete an Environmental Studies Concentration Completion form and meet with the Environmental Studies Coordinator.

Required Courses:

  • BIO106: Introduction to Environmental Science (4 credits)
  • PHL204: Environmental Ethics (3 credits)

 Of the remaining 12 credits:

  • at least three must come from a social science course with an ESC designation
  • at least three must come from a humanities course with an ESC designation (other than PHL204)
  • at least three must come from a natural or physical science course (other than BIO 106).
  • The last 3 credits can come from any class with an ESC designation.

To check available courses for Fall 2016, click here, select the term and then “Environmental Studies Concentration” in the Category section.

 

For more information, contact ESC co-coordinators, Paul Gulezian, Assistant Professor of Biology, and Marian Staats, Professor of English, at pgulezia@oakton.edu and mstaats@oakton.edu.