Keeping It Green at Oakton

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


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Put a Price on it Fellowship

The Put A Price On It Fellowship is accepting applications for the Spring Fellowship until December 15th. Please consider forwarding this description or sending an email of the attached flyer to any interested students or networks. Students can apply here.

A little about the effort: Put A Price On It is a national campaign led by Our Climate and the Years of Living Dangerously, which mobilizes young people to advocate for strong and fair carbon pricing policies at the state and national level. By putting a price on carbon, we will hold polluters accountable and transition our economy to a clean energy future. Students will train and organize other students, rallying public support for carbon pricing policy, and engage directly with elected officials. Applications are currently being accepted for our Spring 2018 fellowship positions.

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Results of Lake Oakton Fish Survey

We were thrilled to have members from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) on campus last week to conduct a fish survey on Lake Oakton as part of Campus Sustainability Month. This series of events on college and university campuses across the nation are held in conjunction with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Not only were were thrilled to learn that our Lake is healthy, but we were impressed by the number of species found living here!

Led by District Fisheries Biologist, Frank Jakubicek, two dozen students, several employees, and community members learned  about biodiversity assessment on campus and had a chance to engage in recording data about the findings. Frank was impressed by the health and vitality of our largemouth bass population–a secret that is already out among a small group of avid fisherfolk who visit our campus regularly. Other species included bluegill, gizzard shad, pumpkinseed sunfish, white sucker and warmouth. This proved to be an amazing learning opportunity for so many, particularly those students involved in our Environmental Studies Concentration. Registration is open NOW for Spring Semester. Sign up for your ESC courses today!

Check out the full report: Oakton Community College Pond Supplemental Survey Report 2017

Photos courtesy of Paul Gulezian:


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October is Campus Sustainability Month!

As a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Oakton is proud to celebrate our efforts through Campus Sustainability Month! All events are free and open to the public, no rsvp required. The events below are offered in part by the Sustainability Center, Green Committee, Environmental Studies Concentration, Peace and Social Justice Studies, and Honors Program. We hope you will join us!

October 7: Solar Energy Tour at Skokie Campus 10am-3pm

October 17: IDNR Fish Survey at Des Plaines Campus 2:30pm-4:30pm

October 17: My Trip to the Amazon – A Great Adventure, Life Science instructor David Arieti at Des Plaines Campus, Lee Center Room 210 and streaming live in C240, Skokie Campus from 5:30pm to 7:00pm

October 23: Merchants of Doubt Film Screening at Skokie Campus, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, C133

October 25: Factory Farming Awareness Coalition—Hungry for Knowledge? Presentation at Des Plaines Campus, 12:30pm to 1:45pm in Room 2139 2139 (We hope to live stream this presentation—check the Keepin’ It Green blog or Green Committee Facebook page for details!)

October 26: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Film Screening at Des Plaines Campus with Live Stream Q&A from former Vice President Al Gore, 5:45pm to 8:30pm in Room 1606

October 30: Merchants of Doubt Merchants of Doubt Film Screening at Des Plaines Campus, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Room 1608

November 2: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Film Screening at Skokie Campus, 11:00am to 1:00pm in Room C250

Full details for each event are listed below!

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Job Opportunity: Conservation Corps Crew Member

This is a great position for students during the Fall Term.

Job Title: Conservation Corps Crew Member
Reports to: Conservation Corps Crew Manager

Organization:
Mission: Friends of the Forest Preserves is the voice of a diverse community inspiring and organizing people to protect, restore, and expand the forest preserves in Cook County. Friends is an independent non-profit organization with more than 2,000
members and thousands of volunteers, advocating for the responsible management of the 69,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy, conservation corps programs, community outreach, and volunteer empowerment. Friends is an organization that gets things done with our members, volunteers, staff, board, and partners. We believe in work-life balance and are here for the marathon, not the sprint (not that we don’t sprint on a regular basis).

Position : The Crew Member will participate in the FOTFP Conservation Corps program. The Friends’ Conservation Corps members work year-round to remove invasive species and restore native plants throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County. We are seeking Crew Members from diverse communities for a program that provides valuable skills and certifications that could lead to a long-term career in natural land management or other environmental jobs. The Crew Member will collaborate with a team of 4 Crew Members, an Assistant Crew Manager and a Crew Manager who will
work outdoors removing invasive species and conducting other physical work to restore health to the preserves. Crew Members are expected to complete a number of trainings through FOTFP and the Forest Preserves of Cook County. They are also expected to participate in group presentations at local conferences and events.

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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!

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Urban Forester–Full-time Position in Park Ridge

The City of Park Ridge is seeking qualified applicants for the full-time position of Urban Forester. Under the direction of the City Forester, responsibilities include, but are not limited to, responding to citizen requests, evaluating the health and determining maintenance needs for trees in the public right-of-way, overseeing permitting for private property tree removals, reviewing tree preservation plans to ensure compliance with City codes and standards, conducting regular inspections for disease, pest infestation, and other hazardous conditions, overseeing contracted bi-annual planting program, and enforcing the City code as it pertains to tree preservation.  Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or related field preferred.  Applicant may substitute additional relevant experience for the required education.  Applicant must be an ISA Certified Arborist or have the ability to obtain certification within 6 months of hire.  Valid state driver’s license required.  General work hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., sometimes requiring overtime.  Starting salary is $53,357 plus benefits.  Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) eligible.  Position is available until filled.

Submit Application for Employment (http://www.parkridge.us/government/employment.aspx) and resume to Kim Hodge, HR Generalist, via email at humanresources@parkridge.us or  by U.S. mail to: City of Park Ridge, Attn. Human Resources, 505 Butler Place, Park Ridge, IL 60068.

More details: http://www.parkridge.us/


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Electric Vehicle Charging at Oakton!

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We are thrilled to announce Oakton’s first electric vehicle charging station has been installed on the Des Plaines campus.  Located in Lot D near our LEED Gold certified Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center, this dual Chargepoint system will allow students, employees, and community members a convenient way to refuel their electric vehicles when they visit campus.  Electric vehicle purchases are growing globally and in the U.S. and Oakton is excited to support the push towards greener transportation. Within the first hour of use, we already had drivers waiting to utilize the system!

 

 

(Above: Chargepoint dual charging station, two electric vehicles charging; Below: Professor David Arieti shows off his Chargepoint card while fueling up his electric vehicle.)

There are many benefits to driving electric vehicles. Here are a few from the U.S. Department of Energy:

  1. Energy Security–With 24% of petroleum coming from outside of the country, use of electric vehicles can reduce our dependence on imported petroleum and increase energy security.
  2. Fuel Economy–The efficient nature of electric vehicle motors mean drivers can get more miles per kWh than the equivalent mpg with gas.
  3. Infrastructure Availability–Because electric vehicles can be charged in a number of places like home or work, there is flexibility to fill up when and where it is convenient. There are currently over 35,000 Chargepoint stations alone!
  4. Costs–Although initial costs for buying electric vehicles are still relatively high, tax incentives at the federal level and in various states can help close the gap. The saving on gas and repairs though are huge!
  5. Emissions–Because they are not using gasoline and burning fossil fuels, the vehicles themselves emit no (in the case of electric vehicles) or very low (in the case of plug-in hybrid vehicles) harmful emissions. The best way to reduce association emissions though is when the electricity is coming from a renewable source like solar or wind.

And of course, driving electric means an overall reduction in greenhouse gases for transportation, even after considering the entire life cycle of the vehicle. (Read a great discussion of that assessment from the Union of Concerned Scientists here.) The charging station is one of the many ways Oakton is thinking about our environmental impact and taking action on climate. We hope you will visit soon!

For more details about the station itself and other green parking on options at Oakton, visit: http://www.oakton.edu/about/strategic/sustainability/green_parking.php