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!

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Register NOW! Principles and Practice of Ecological Restoration

Here at Oakton, we are thrilled about our new Environmental Studies Concentration and the academic growth, hands-on experiences, and broadened horizons it will bring to our students and our campus. This spring, we are excited to share a brand new course: Principles and Practice of Ecological Restoration (Listed in the catalog as: Topics in Biology: Principles and Practice of Ecological Restoration – 31773 – BIO 290 – 001).

This immersive and hands-on course will educate students on the history and importance of ecological restoration practices and allow them to put classroom knowledge to the test with hands-on restoration projects on campus. This is excellent training for individuals who may be interested in careers related to ecology, restoration, natural resources, forestry, environmental science, or related work areas. However, it is also a great experience for anyone who cares about the natural world and wants to spend time learning about and protecting our local wild spaces.

Held on Tuesdays from 2:00pm to 6:10pm on our Des Plaines Campus, the 3-credit course runs September 19 through December 12. If you are not currently an Oakton student, but would like to sign up for this class, we invite you to apply for admission now!

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Doris Duke Conservation Scholars–Deadline 2/8/17

We would like to let you know about an exciting program at the University of Michigan–the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP UM). DDCSP UM is an exciting two-year research and internship opportunity for bright, curious undergraduate students interested in conservation, nature, and the environment. The program is aimed at bringing more undergraduates currently underrepresented in the environmental field into the conservation arena.

In addition to a $4,250 stipend, accepted students will also receive room and board and travel expenses to and from Ann Arbor, Michigan each summer.

Please note that the application opens November 15, 2016 and the deadline is February 8, 2017. The program dates are June 4-July 29, 2017. Detailed program information and application are available on our website at http://ddcsp-umich.com.

Please feel free to contact program administrators at (734)936-0900 if you would like to discuss the DDCSP UM program further or e-mail ddcsp-snre@umich.edu.


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Clean Energy Training Opportunities in Illinois

This is a great time to get trained in solar energy! Check out these opportunities in Springfield:

ISEA Professional Education Courses

at Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL

                                  
Join ISEA for these entry level courses and begin your journey to a career in clean energy!
 
Hurry class sizes are limited!
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PV 101- Introduction to Photovoltaics Saturday August 15th 9am-5pm
 
This one-day course uses a combination of lecture and classroom activities to teach the basics of solar electric systems. Participants will learn how photovoltaic (PV) systems work, diagram the four PV system types, describe and identify components, understand the best application and limitations of each system type, define the solar window, make energy efficiency recommendations, estimate system loads, and understand the basics of PV site assessment. More information here.
 
PV 201- Site Assessor Training  Saturday September 12th 8am-5pm

Participants will learn how to perform  a PV site assessment for a home or small business. The course will cover site assessment tools, load analysis, energy efficiency recommendations, array placement options, basic system sizing, cost estimates, and evaluating existing infrastructure on site. Participants will learn how to access online tools for solar resource analysis, PV system performance calculators, and incentives. For more information visit the ISEA website.

Please register via ISEA. Confirmation email will include contact info for LLCC in order to call and pay course fees.       


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Openlands–Treekeeper Course Registration

Openlands is accepting applications for its Treekeeper courses.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about your local natural areas and be stewards in your own communities, while gaining great leadership skills and hands-on experience.

TreeKeepers course will be starting on March 10 at Kennicott Park in Chicago – register here

and March 18th at The Morton Arboretum  –register here

Overview

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Solar Energy Professionals–Certificate Program

Interested in enhancing your education from Oakton with professional training in Solar Energy Installation? Prepare yourself for this growing field! Now that solar prices are dropping consistently and becoming more affordable for businesses and residents, we are going to need skilled professionals who can maintain and service the installations. Get a head start on your future career by signing up! 

“The SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program (SPCP) goes beyond a “certification test prep” format of training and takes participants to a higher level of educational experience to truly prepare them for the solar industry and a career.

The SEI SPCP is a selective admissions program to help ensure the success of our students and provide a highly trained workforce for the solar industry. To determine a candidate’s likelihood of program completion, alignment of career goals, and overall good fit for this professional training program, we require a certificate program application to be completed by every student candidate. This is required for any certificate path and acceptance into the overall program. Multiple Certificates can be earned by adding courses to your original Certificate Path.”


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Wilderness Inquiry: Internships, Jobs & Minor in Outdoor Recreation

Wilderness Inquiry, based out of Minnesota, has a great mission:

Welcome Everyone to the Outdoors

You can help them to achieve it by building your own experiences. Check out their amazing internships, paid positions, and even an opportunity to Minor in Outdoor Recreation.
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