Keeping It Green at Oakton

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

Leave a comment

Cash Prizes for Creativity!! Environmental Studies Concentration Poster Contest, Entries Due March 9

We are excited to announce a call for entries for the first Environmental Studies Concentration poster contest! What better way to capture student interest in this program than to have a poster designed by students?! Cash prizes will be awarded to the artists with the top three designs, with a grand prize of $250! Some information is below, but check out the Poster for full details. All entries are due March 9! Please spread the word to interested students.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Seasonal Jobs with Friends of the Forest Preserve, Cook County!

Below are links to three different positions within the Friends of the Forest Preserve Conservation Corps.  They are looking to hire a Crew Manager and Assistant Crew Manager for their BRAND NEW North Branch crew.  They will also have 4 open 2018 Crew Member positions on that crew, as well as, some open 2018 Crew Member positions on all of the other crews.  Please share these positions with anyone that you think would be a good fit in one of these roles.  These are incredible opportunities to get out in nature, learn more about restoration, develop leadership skills, and mentor others during the process!
New this year: They are offering $1000 bonus to any 2018 Crew Member that stays for the entire length of the program year and finishes the year with a positive review.  How cool is that?   
Click on the titles below for full job postings and application details.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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.


(image copyright

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. **

Leave a comment

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.


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: Community College Skokie Campus#/dashboard

We hope you’ll check it out!


Leave a comment

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: or contact Dan Godston ( to find out more.


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).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

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!