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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Climate Data Rescue Event Thursday, April 27!

Climate Data Rescue Event during Earth Month (Register at link below!)

Free and open to the public!

 Thursday, April 27, 2017 (5-9 p.m.)   

Oakton Community College

Room 1625, Des Plaines Campus

1600 Golf Road Des Plaines, IL  60016

Register for the event here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DFD5QFF or contact Dan Godston (dgodston@oakton.edu) to find out more.

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We invite you to a climate data rescue event at Oakton Community College, sponsored by The Green Committee at Oakton. We believe in supporting the fundamental role of science in sound government policy. Please help us preserve vulnerable federal climate, environmental, and transportation data. We need programmers, data scientists, and science enthusiasts! Bring your laptop and come ready to learn.

This event is part of a series of climate data rescue events happening in the Chicago area in recent months. Others were hosted by Chi Hack Night, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. It is also part of ongoing international collaborations—with coordinated efforts from the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, Internet Archive, and higher education institutions (University of Pennsylvania, University of Toronto, and UCLA).

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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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UNHSI Sustainability Fellowships–Application Deadline Extended to 2/19/17

UNHSI’s Sustainability Fellowships pair outstanding students with challenging, important projects that will propel the US toward a low-carbon future. Sustainability Fellows each undertake to meet challenging deliverables, and receive supervision, mentorship, unique networking and professional development opportunities, and a $6000 stipend.

2017 Project Descriptions

Click here for more information & to apply!

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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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Take a Tour of the Lee Center!

Next time you are on campus, spend a few minutes on a self-guided tour of the Lee Center.  Start in the lobby at our intro display that provides background on the sustainable features and LEED certification. Interact with the touchscreen to view our energy dashboard. You can learn how much solar power is being generated by our sunshades (visible from the 3rd floor–south hall) and check out the energy usage of our building throughout the year. Then, grab a self-guided tour brochure and use it to follow informational signs throughout the building. At each, you will learn a fun fact or two about why the Lee Center was able to earn LEED Gold Certification.  Feel free to keep the brochure, or return it to the display when you are done. We also welcome you to learn more about the Center while off campus by reading this feature in Sustainable Chicago.

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American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge

Oakton Community College has signed on to the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge with President Smith’s support. This initiative began in preparation for the Climate Talks in Paris and is using energy generated from those discussions to invite and engage more Colleges and Universities to act. It is based on the American Business Act on Climate pledge. We are now one of over 200 campuses to sign on to this pledge. Below, is a link below with details on the initiative. This will be the start of a more focused and coordinated effort towards climate action on the part of Oakton. We are excited to see where it leads us!

(https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/19/fact-sheet-ahead-conference-climate-change-more-200-colleges-and)

 

Oakton Community College Pledge:

We (students, employees, community members) believe that leadership in climate action through practice, education, and social experiences is integral to becoming mindful global citizens. Oakton Community College pledges to:

  • Identify programs and products that improve efficiencies and work towards carbon neutrality.
  • Complete a greenhouse gas assessment that examines current energy resources and consumption.
  • Devote resources to renewable energy opportunities such as our existing solar water heating system and 23.6 kW photovoltaic (PV) array and to the planned 25 kW PV array.
  • Maintain and restore the natural areas of our campuses to protect ecosystem functions, sequester carbon, and support habitats for wildlife.
  • Promote and expand composting opportunities to remove contributed food waste from landfills.


We understand that we are part of a diverse ecosystem and that the sustainable use of resources is important not just for our operations, but for the community, and the world.