Keeping It Green at Oakton

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


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Eclipse 2017: Check it out on campus!

On Monday, August 21, 2017 we will have the awesome opportunity to observe a solar eclipse. What an amazing way to celebrate the first day of classes for Fall semester! Though our area is not in the path of totality (where the moon completely covers the sun), we will be able to see about 86% coverage.  If you plan to be on campus that day, please join us in viewing this awe-inspiring sight.

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(image copyright bigstockphoto.com/Solarseven)

In our area, the eclipse will begin around 11:53am and end around 2:41 pm with maximum coverage around 1:19pm. Members of Oakton faculty and staff will be available with approved safety solar eclipse glasses** on both campuses from 12:45pm through 2:00pm.

Des Plaines Campus: Walkway between the Lee Center and the Enrollment Center entrance of the main building.

Skokie Campus: Near the flagpole on the Mulford side of the building.

We hope you’ll join us for this amazing experience! If you cannot make it, you can check out a live stream of the eclipse from Astronomy Magazine here. And you’ll also be able to note a drop in our energy generation from our solar panels on campus!

**Please remember that looking directly at the sun even when it is is 86% covered is NOT safe and you could suffer long-term vision damage if you do not take proper precautions. Only use ISO 12312-2 certified glasses from reputable vendors for viewing the eclipse or utilize indirect methods such as pinhole viewers to observe the changing shadows instead. Pinhole viewers, regular sunglasses, or film are not suitable for direct viewing of the sun! This short video from the American Astrological Society (AAS) is super helpful for understanding the eclipse and associated safety precautions. **

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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.

NOAA-climate

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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Creating Justice 2017

Being sustainable is about more than protecting the natural environment–it also involves protecting and caring for people and the communities we live in. Join us on Earth Day, April 22 for our annual Creating Justice symposium. Please feel free to share this pdf widely. The event is open to the community, though registration is requested.

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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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Environmental Graphiti: The Art of Climate Change, Alisa Singer

The Foundation, Koehnline Museum, and Division of Science and Health Careers are excited to present the artwork of Alisa Singer in an exhibit – Environmental Graphiti: The Art of Climate Change. Please find a link to her website here. The artwork has been featured around the country and installed at many other prominent universities and galleries around the area such as DePaul, UIC, Loyola, Northwestern, and more.

Artist Alisa Singer’s digital paintings, printed on metal and derived from graphs, charts, and other scientific data, use contemporary abstract art to challenge and expand the way we think about climate change. The works will be on display in the Lee Center, First Floor Lobby from January 25-February 25, 2017. Please join us and share widely!

We’d like to make you aware of a couple of events on campus should you be interested in joining or encouraging students to participate:

graphiti_a

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Women’s and Gender Studies Conference: In Challenging Times: Women, Activism, and Leadership–Call for Proposals!

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES CONFERENCE

In Challenging Times:  Women, Activism and Leadership

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program Steering Committee of Oakton Community College, located in Des Plaines, Illinois in the near northwest suburbs of Chicago, invites proposals for its biennial conference to be held March 24, 2017. This one-day conference, In Challenging Times:  Women, Activism and Leadership, will present scholarly and creative work by feminist activists, writers, scientists, visual and performing artists, and scholars that examines the challenges confronting feminism and the Women’s and Gender Studies discipline in the current political and cultural climate.

The Conference keynote will be noted activist, writer and scholar Barbara Ransby.  Ransby is distinguished professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative.  She also serves as current president of the National Women’s Studies Association.

The Steering Committee seeks proposals for panel presentations—consisting of research papers, readings, performances, or media  presentations—as well as roundtable discussions and poster sessions focused on topics related to the overall conference theme.  We are especially interested in submissions that approach the theme using an intersectional feminist analysis.

Possible topic areas could include, but are not limited to:

  • Continuing challenges to feminism—the word and the movement
  • Race and class as categories of feminist analysis
  • Achieving gender equity in the political arena
  • Gendered violence in the media, home, street and workplace.
  • Intergenerational conflicts and collaborations
  • Challenges to Reproductive Rights
  • Gendered and racialized bodies
  • Feminism and white privilege
  • Social Media and cyberfeminism—dangers and opportunities
  • Feminist challenges to environmental degradation
  • Confronting ableism and other constructs of the normative body
  • Feminist responses to incarceration and detention
  • Gendered health and medicine
  • Transgender and gender queer inclusion
  • Transnational feminist activism
  • Activism using new media and technology
  • Women in STEM and non-traditional fields
  • Feminism and Cultural Criticism
  • Feminist leadership
  • Feminist activism and the arts
  • Community colleges and other alternative sites of feminist activism
  • Achieving equity in the workplace
  • Activist literature and media
  • Eliminating racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination in American education

Panel presentations consist of individual research presentations or performances organized around a single topic, concluding with a brief question and answer session. Panels should feature three or four presenters, as well as a non-presenting moderator responsible for introductions, time keeping, and overall coordination. Sessions are 75 minutes; time is divided equally among presenters, with 15 minutes for introductions and discussion. In lieu of a panel, selected one-person workshops are also acceptable. Participants are encouraged to present material to the audience rather than simply read a paper.

Roundtable discussions feature between four and six presenters, hosted by a moderator. Each participant makes brief opening remarks on a particular theme or project, followed by discussion and audience participation. Sessions are 75 minutes, including introductions and opening statements.

Poster sessions include display in a central location throughout the day as well as at a special afternoon reception. Presenters must be available to set up, take down, and discuss posters with viewers at the reception.

Proposals by established scholars and artists are welcome. Both graduate and undergraduate students are also encouraged to submit.

The Steering Committee encourages proposals for fully-formed panels and roundtables. It also welcomes proposals from individual presenters; individuals will be grouped with presenters on similar themes.

All accepted presenters must register for the conference. Fees—which include lunch and refreshments—are $15 for Oakton students, $20 for all other students, and $35 for non-students.

Proposals must clearly state the type of presentation (panel, roundtable, poster session), and include:

  • Title and topic (see list for suggestions).
  • An abstract of no more than 300 words.
  • Names and brief biographies (no more than three sentences) for all presenters.
  • Contact information (including e-mail).

Submit via e-mail to wgs@oakton.edu or in hard copy to:

Women’s and Gender Studies Program

Oakton Community College

Division of Languages, Humanities, and the Arts

1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016

Attn: Kathleen Carot

The Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee will review all proposals and make selections based on appropriateness of topic, quality of proposal, and contribution to Women’s and Gender Studies scholarship and creative endeavors. The Committee will pay special attention to proposals that feature intersectional and multidisciplinary approaches and/or inclusion of presenters from faculty, artist, and student groups. Oakton will attempt to meet audiovisual equipment needs—please state such needs clearly in the proposal. Accepted presenters will receive an audiovisual equipment checklist prior to the conference.

Deadline for proposals is February 15. Notification of proposal status (accepted or declined) will be sent via e-mail no later than February 27.