Keeping It Green at Oakton

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


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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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Job Posting: Field Researcher (weekend only) at Shedd Aquarium

Great opportunity for someone who is looking for part-time experience in research:

This is a responsible non-manager level position. The Audience Research and Evaluation department conducts social science research, and evaluation, in an effort to provide valuable audience insights to institutional planning. The department is responsible for leading the development, implementation, reporting and management of institutional research and evaluation strategies and tools with Shedd’s nearly 2 million guests. The field researcher’s primary role is to conduct data collection, data entry, and provides administrative support for the day-to-day operations and special projects associated with the Audience Research and Evaluation department.  Occasionally, the field researcher will assist with data analysis, reporting, and evaluation planning.

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National Great Rivers Rsearch and Education Center Internship–Due Jan. 18

The deadline to apply for an NGRREC Internship is Monday, January 18th!

Every year, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) hosts a highly successful summer internship program for college sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This prestigious program is a paid internship opportunity, providing a $4,000 (pre-tax) stipend over the course of the program, and gives students a chance to gain real experience in variety of environmental careers such as ecological research, fisheries science, education, policy, and social science. At the conclusion of this nine week internship, students present their project results to their fellow interns, faculty advisors, and invited guests at a two-day Intern Symposium. This year, NGRREC anticipates selecting 27 students for this competitive internship program.

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Banning the Bottle at Oakton

On November 1, 2016, Oakton Community College’s “ban the bottle” campaign became official. Bottled water will no longer be sold in our cafeterias, vending machines, or at catered events. This initiative, powered by students in an Honors course and carried on by Students for Social Justice, is a clear example of the broad impact our students can have on their surroundings when they work with dedication, passion, and research. To learn more about their role in making this initiative happen, please check out this Chicago Tribune article from April 2016.

The purpose of the initiative is to draw awareness to the social implications and environmental impacts of the bottling process. Among the many concerns:

  • Privatizing water sources drains wells and aquifers, hurting farmers, communities, and ecosystems.
  • Bottling companies are not subjected to the same regulatory and health testing as municipal water sources, so it is hard to determne the safety of the water.
  • Often, bottling companies are bottling filtered tap water and selling it back to you for 240 to over 10,000 times the cost.
  • Three liters of water are required to produce one liter of bottled water and only 27 percent of bottles are properly recycled, ending up in oceans and landfills instead.

To find out more, please visit www.banthebottle.net.

Refill your re-usable bottles with filtered water at our hydration stations in the cafeteria and other sites throughout campus. It is important to note that both Des Plaines and Skokie provide clean, safe drinking water which is subjected to intensive regulatory testing on an annual basis. Please check out their respective websites to download the most recent water quality reports.

Village of Skokie, Public Works Department, Water and Sewer Division

Des Plaines, Water System Division

As a proactive step in verifying health and safety of drinking water on campus, we worked with a contractor to sample our water fountains and fill stations. The results indicate high water quality on both campuses. Read the full water testing reportFollow up water testing was conducted for points that showed slightly elevated levels of copper, which were eliminated/reduced by flushing the system. It is now part of our regular maintenance schedule to flush to our fountains in order to maintain high water quality.

During the month of October, we also held a water taste test on both campuses to raise awareness of the ban and see if individuals really did have a preference for bottled water. We were pleased to discover that water from our filtered hydration stations on campus came in at the top!

jpeg-test-test-results

For questions and concerns, please contact greenteam@oakton.edu.


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Campus Sustainability Month!

Did you know that October was proclaimed Campus Sustainability Month by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)?  We want to remind our students and community that there is more to sustainability than just celebrating Earth Day. We should regularly reflect on the importance of the environment, our natural world, and the ways in which we interact with it.  Join Oakton students, employees, and community members in celebrating Sustainability these next two weeks on our campuses.

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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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Undergraduate Research Opportunity with Forest Preserve & Great Rivers Basin

The Forest Preserves of Cook County in partnership with the Great Rivers Basin Research and Education Center is seeking a undergraduate college student for summer 2016 who will help with a water soil infiltration study.  The student will gain on-the-ground experience conducting an experiment to measure if “restored” areas sequester water more than “invasive” species areas with little ground cover.  Includes $4,000 Stipend.

Applications are due January 18th, 2016.

Full Details Student Promotional Flyer – NGRREC Internship 2016.