Monday, November 30, 2009

UO Students Enjoy Fruits of Their Labor

Hintze, H. Kezi.

EUGENE, Ore.-- In September, about ten freshmen from the University of Oregon participated in Project Tomato. They went to local farms and picked 900 pounds of tomatoes, then hand-processed each one to make pizza sauce.

This week, the Carson Dining Hall is celebrating "Farm to Table" where students and staff get to eat locally grown food. "I'm a big fan of the healthfood swing that we're moving to in our country and I think it's better when we use natural local products," says freshman AJ Gorton.

Project Tomato students finally get to eat the fruits of their labor--every pizza made this week will use the student's sauce. "I think it's really cool so many students are eating something I made and I love cooking, so it's awesome," says Ashley Anderson, who participated in the project.

The Carson Dining Chef Manager says staff make 144 pizzas each day. That's more than 2,300 slices!

Pet Talk: Portland's new pet food bank was decades in the making

Von Lunen, J. Oregon Live.

You don't build what might end up being the largest pet food bank in the country overnight. At least not if you're Larry Chusid. You build slowly, carefully, tuned in for signals that it's time to take the next step.

The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, a huge effort to help not just pets but also families in need that opens across from the Oregon Convention Center on Sunday, has been in the making for decades.

It started with two dogs tied to a shopping cart downtown some 30 years ago. Chusid, then a student at Portland State University, wanted to help the companions of a homeless man he always saw near campus and bought them a bag of dog food.

This gesture was not extraordinary for Chusid. For years, he made care packages of food and sundries and handed them out to those without shelter, helping however he could.

Meanwhile, he ran several successful businesses and had dogs of his own. The last, Pongo, died in October 2007.

Later that month, Chusid got the first signal to focus his charitable efforts. He noticed two dogs at a homeless campsite and stopped to ask their owners if they'd be OK for Thanksgiving. The people said they'd be fine, but none of the food pantries had pet food. Could Chusid get them food for the pups?

That's how the Pongo Fund started. Soon Chusid was handing out pet food to homeless owners all over town. Since that Thanksgiving two years ago, he estimates, he's given out more than 100,000 pet meals. That also helps the people, who would otherwise feed their own rations to the pets.

This year, Chusid got the next signal to move forward. He was getting pet food out of his car on a freezing day in January when a woman stopped.

"What are you doing?" she inquired.

"I'm feeding homeless pets," Chusid replied.

"No, you're not."

"Really? What am I doing then?"

"You're feeding the soul of a family," the woman replied.

She was a social worker on her way to check on a family in dire straits. About a month earlier, the parents had told their children that there just wasn't enough money to feed everyone, that they didn't want the dog to go hungry and that it would go to live with a family who could afford to feed it.

Now the woman was going to see the family because the children had become despondent -- and not just because their dog, and the emotional support it provided, was gone. The children thought they'd be next in line to go live somewhere else if money was tight again.

Chusid realized there was a whole population on the verge of homelessness that had never had to worry about hunger before.

"The people on the street, they know where they can get food," he says. "It's the people indoors, suffering silently, that don't know where to go."

In April, Chusid went to a pet-product trade show and happened to meet the owners of
Canidae Pet Foods, the California company that had supported the Pongo Fund from the start. He told them he had an idea for a pet food bank in Portland for people struggling to pay their bills who might give up their pets otherwise.

The Canidae people shocked Chusid by offering $125,000 worth of food on the spot. He had to tell them he wasn't ready yet.

He now needed a space, volunteers, grants and fundraisers. He needed to form a nonprofit organization. Hoping for tips on how to find free legal services for doing so, Chusid went to see
Alan Jensen, a high-powered tax attorney and partner at the law firm Holland & Knight with deep connections to Portland's animal community.

They talked and it turned out that Jensen used to see, out of his old office window, the same homeless man for whom Chusid had bought a bag of dog food 30 years earlier. Jensen particularly remembered the man feeding a dog part of a sandwich, which the dog spit out.

This encapsulated the lose-lose situation an increasing number of people are in: because of lack of pet food, the owner ends up with less to eat and the dog still doesn't get properly fed.

Chusid ended up getting a nationally renowned attorney to work for him for free. Then the Portland Development Commission provided space, and the Portland-based Hedinger Family Foundation got on board.

Now pallets upon pallets of pet food are sitting in a warehouse on Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard, ready for the doors to open. There are three semitrailers' worth of kibble and cans -- more pet food than you've ever seen.

The demand to meet that supply is there. The two other pet food banks in the Portland area -- both at least 15 miles from downtown -- have given out increasing amounts of food since they opened. In Sherwood, the
Cat Adoption Team's food bank, the larger and older of the two, gave out 2,500 pounds of cat food just in the past month. And people are coming from as far as Vancouver and Troutdale.

Local agencies are welcoming the new resource.
211info, a local call center that provides information about emergency food, shelter and health services to anyone who needs it, will now point clients with pets to the Pongo Fund.

"I was really thrilled to hear about Larry's project," says Susan Salisbury, a resource specialist with 211info. "We've been looking for a service like this for some time."

Even the state will send people to the Pongo Fund. Chusid told a local caseworker for the Oregon Department of Human Services about his plans a while ago. The caseworker asked her boss if she could tell her clients about the pet food bank. The answer was yes.

"When I heard about this I thought, 'What a great idea,' " says Gene Evans, a department spokesman. "When people hear food stamps don't cover pet food, they ask what they're supposed to do. Now caseworkers can point out this resource."

Chusid is ready for them now. He is planning on handing out eight tons of food a month. That's 16,000 pounds -- more than a thousand large bags of food. While no one compiles national statistics for this kind of thing, according to media reports from other cities, these numbers would make the Pongo Fund the largest pet food bank in the country.

Not that that matters.

"The numbers aren't the important thing," Chusid says in his self-effacing manner. He's a little uncomfortable being in the spotlight.

"For years only the homeless knew about me. Now I'm shining a light on this to say we all could help."

After-school Health Lesson is Succeeding

Achen, P. Mail Tribune.


Fifth-grader Mikaela Degrande used to think General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios was a relatively healthy choice for breakfast until she discovered a serving of the cereal has nine times more sugar than plain Cheerios.

Mikaela said she never thought about sugar content in her breakfast cereal until she began participating this fall in Be A Fit Kid, a free after-school program at Medford's Griffin Creek Elementary School.

Published studies from July 2008 by the program's founder, Jenny Slawta, in Health Promotion Practice show that program participants generally improve their body-fat composition, fitness, nutritional knowledge and dietary habits and reduce their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.Be A Fit Kid, a program of the Medford-based Healthy Kids Now nonprofit organization, provides students with after-school fitness activities and nutritional lessons in the form of noncompetitive games for about two hours twice a week at Griffin Creek and Jacksonville elementary schools.

Slawta, a Southern Oregon University associate professor of health, developed the program in 2002 in response to the national childhood obesity epidemic and local reductions in nutrition and physical fitness education at schools because of state budget cuts.

The number of obese children in the United States has nearly quadrupled in the past 30 years, driving up the rate of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in adolescents and young adults, according to the National Institutes of Health.

About 45 students attend the after-school program at Griffin Creek from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Slawta and SOU health and physical education students staff the program.

Last Wednesday, students ran on the track and jumped on benches, an activity meant to promote bone growth, played tunnel tag and did an obstacle course.

"We vary it so there is something new each time," said SOU senior Carolina Campbell.

"I like it," said fifth-grader Leiah Calice. "You get to play all these cool games and run on the track."

After the physical exercise, students go indoors to learn about nutrition. Slawta brought them a worksheet showing how many grams of sugar are in common breakfast cereals. One of the highest was Raisin Bran. However, Slawta cautioned, that's because of natural sugar content from raisins, which is not the kind of sugar consumers should be wary of. What children and their parents should limit is cereals that are high in processed sugar.

"You shouldn't eat that much sugar," Mikaela said, demonstrating some of her nutritional knowledge from the program. "You should only eat a little each day."

Students at Griffin Creek receive at least one 40-minute period of physical education per week, but teachers have the discretion to hold PE classes up to 40 minutes a day five times a week, said Principal Ginny Hicks.

Slawta recommends that children have at least 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity per day for optimal health. Adults should have at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day, defined as the exertion required for brisk walking, she said.

Slawta's curriculum also provides detailed nutritional information, including the benefits of certain kinds of food, and emphasizes a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, and whole grains and low in saturated fat and sugar.

"It's better to eat fresh or frozen fruit than canned," said fifth-grader Taylor Stevens. Canned fruit loses nutrients during the heating process and often is stored in syrup, which escalates the sugar content.

"I find kids are extremely receptive to the nutritional component and very receptive to trying new foods," Slawta said.

In the past, she has brought foods such hummus, millet oat bran cereal and vegetable pizza with minimal cheese for children in the program to try, and the majority of them try the foods without much ado and enjoy the taste.

"You have to get out of the mind-set that a child's palate is different," Slawta said. "Some parents are more worried about their children eating than what they are eating. Children need to be accustomed to eating healthy when they're young."

She encourages kids to try a food several times before deciding they dislike it.

"It takes kids at least six times to start liking something," Slawta said.

Be A Fit Kid also supplies nutritional curriculum to teachers at nine schools in Jackson County for use during classes, including Medford's Oak Grove, Jackson, Kennedy, Wilson, Howard and Washington elementary schools, Central Point's Scenic Middle School, Phoenix Elementary School and Children of the Kingdom, a Waldorf preschool at Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville.

Student nurses from Oregon Health & Science University at the SOU campus teach the curriculum mostly during the school day, said Joan Smith, the students' OHSU clinical instructor.

Schools that offer federally funded free and reduced lunch programs, which include most public schools, are required to have a wellness policy on file. Teachers often don't have time to complete the nutritional instruction that goes along with that, so OHSU students are able to fill that gap, Smith said.

"My students and the elementary children are having a blast," Smith said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What OR Campus Compact did on its summer vacation!

School has started and, for some, fall break has already come and gone!

What did Oregon Campus Compact do over its summer “vacation”? Well, we brought together critical partners to get things done in communities across the state of Oregon and we grew our team! It all adds up…

OR Campus Compact + the Corporation for National and Community Service + the Portland Schools Foundation + 37 Students from 9 Member Campuses = 14,800 hours of service + Inspiration for Rising Ninth Graders

37 AmeriCorps VISTA Members addressed the critical issue of high school completion and access to post-secondary education over the summer. In ten weeks, the Members worked with 600 rising ninth graders and nearly 200 parents or caregivers. Together they provided over 14, 800 hours of service to the community. Members created capacity for nonprofits and schools through volunteer recruitment, parent education, curriculum development, and creating mentoring programs. The Portland Schools Foundation Ninth Grade Counts program provided the focus and impetus for the summer pilot. Together we made ninth grade count!

OR Campus Compact + the Corporation for National and Community Service + 13 Member Campuses = A year ahead of Getting Things Done!

19 AmeriCorps VISTA Members began their year of service on your campuses across the state. The year ahead shows great promise as these members build the capacity of your programs to address poverty across Oregon. Members will be building community partnerships, connecting students and faculty to service, and inspiring us all to a lifetime of community engagement.

OR Campus Compact + the Corporation for National and Community Service + Washington Campus Compact + 17 Member Campuses = 460 Education Awards + 138,000 hours of service in Oregon communities

The OR Campus Compact Students In Service (SIS) program recently launched its sixth year. This regional program, hosted by Washington Campus Compact, decreases student educational expenses by awarding AmeriCorps education awards for student service. In return for education awards, students complete a 300-hour community-based learning experience through direct service and reflection. This year aims to be the largest year yet for engaging students in service through SIS.

OR Campus Compact = A great team!

I am happy to introduce a few new faces to our team. Their bios are below, but I wanted to add my welcome to Signe Bishop, Julia Sylla, and Megan Rosenberger. They are all three working diligently to bring our work to a new statewide scale, depth, and quality.

And what’s ahead this year?

This year OR Campus Compact will continue its work in the following areas: 1) decreasing student educational expenses through distribution of financial awards for student service; 2) increased placement of ORCC AmeriCorps*VISTA Members on campuses; 3) connecting campuses to local, national and international engagement resources and opportunities; and 4) delivering professional development convenings for students, faculty and staff.

OR Campus Compact will continue to communicate opportunities through our monthly ENews, website, as well as through our new Twitter feed (ORCompact). Please bookmark our website to keep the opportunity calendar on your radar! The opportunities will be abundant for our members.

In Service,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Announcing the 2009/10 Oregon Campus Compact Student Advisory Board!

Representing service-minded students from across the state, the board will bring a strong student voice to the Compact, while playing a leading role in the development of our student engagement programs.

Please take a moment to read about this year’s board members:

Robert Bell

Rogue Community College - Grants Pass, OR / Northwest Christian University - Eugene, OR

Robert, currently attending RCC and then transferring to NCU in the fall, is the 2008/09 ASRCC President, has lobbied for Oregon students on a state-level, and is also a leader within multiple on-campus student clubs, including the Inter Club Council and Christ on Campus Club. Welcome, Robert!


Erick Castillo

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Erick is a student coordinator and mentor for the ROOTS program, which supports the success of first-generation college students, as well as founder of the Peace Club and an advocate within the Student Parent Network and the Multicultural Center on his campus. Welcome, Erick!


Emily Johnson

Willamette University - Salem, OR

Emily is an active member of the Community Action and Awareness Team on her campus, a group dedicated to enhancing the visibility of social justice issues and community service opportunities, as well as president of the Best Buddies Club and an on-going volunteer with several community groups. Welcome Emily!


Colin Jones

Linfield College - McMinnville, OR

Colin, who led an alternative spring break team to New Orleans this past March, is an active member in the forensics (speech and debate) team and honor society (Pi Kappa Delta), as well as a leader within student government as an ASLC Senate Chairperson and Secretary of the Linfield Activities Board. Welcome Colin!


Amber Lang

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Amber, an active member of PSU's Student Leaders for Service group, which fosters relationships between service-minded students and community organizations, also runs an EDG:E after school program, and coordinates service events including a 2009 MLK Day event with 150 volunteers participating. Welcome, Amber!


This pilot year board will consist of five amazing members, each bringing their own unique perspective as a leader within their campus and community. Keep an eye out for their endeavors and accomplishments throughout the year!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Portland State University - Sustainability Updates

Ivy in the City: Sustainability and Higher Education in the Pacific Northwest

By Becky Brun, Sustainable Industries

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Wim Wiewel is facing the same issues that most university presidents are facing today: increasing student enrollment at a time when in-kind giving is down and states are dealing with budget shortfalls; keeping up with master plans that include major renovations and construction projects; staying on top of faculty research as well as students’ needs—and that’s just skimming the surface.

Wiewel is also trying to make Portland State University (PSU) a national leader in sustainable higher education. Recipient of a $25 million grant from The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation for sustainability education, PSU is gaining even more traction in the sustainability arena. But the current recession could force Wiewel and other university leaders to take fewer risks on things such as new courses and degrees in 2009.

A native of The Netherlands, Wiewel is known for his charismatic leadership and his ability to ignite success in those around him. While the dean of the business school at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Wiewel took the business college from 94th to 49th on the U.S. News & World Report’s national business school rankings. Sustainable Industries caught up with Wiewel on the downtown campus of the state’s largest university to talk about Portland State’s role in helping Oregon become a world leader in sustainability and how his approach to leadership has changed during the current recession.

SI: You’ve said that part of your attraction to Portland and Portland State was the opportunity to apply research to tangible projects in the city. Now that you’ve been at PSU for a year, where do you see the biggest opportunities?

Wiewel: One of the things I had not spent much time thinking about until I came here is the sustainable practices of the institution itself. We are a large corporation, so how we conduct our business obviously matters. Here 62 percent of the faculty, staff and students use transportation other than the automobile to get here. We make the place attractive to bicyclists. We are a co-investor on many projects with Tri-Met. On the facilities side, we go beyond state requirement for green building.

Our Green Building Research Lab, where we develop and test new green building technologies provides workforce training and facilitates the adoption of energy-efficient technologies throughout the building industry. We are working with Glumac, Interface Engineering, PAE Consultants, Gerding Edlen, David Evans and Associates and we will be involving others.

SI: How is PSU prepared to be a national leader in sustainable education?

Wiewel: It already is. I think that we clearly have a lot of people that are doing research in this area. It’s diffused through a lot of the curriculum, so we draw both faculty and researchers who want to teach here, which then makes us more attractive to people who want to get degrees related to this area. Then the students become the workforce and entrepreneurs and the civic leaders who will continue to promote sustainability and enhance Portland’s ability to make sustainability an economic, cultural and social niche for this region.

Read the entire Sustainable Industries interview with Wiewel, as well as interviews with the University of Washington's Dan Poston, and San Francisco State University's Nancy Hayes at

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PSU Studies Effects of Green Roofs, Solar Arrays

Daily Journal of Commerce

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Three faculty members at Portland State University have won a grant to help them pay for their research into the effects of combining green roofs with solar arrays. Carl Wamser, a member of the university’s chemistry faculty; David Sailor, a mechanical and materials engineering faculty member; and Todd Rosenstiel, of the school’s biology faculty, received the $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The trio’s project also is being supported by Portland General Electric, the city of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and the Oregon Built Environmental and Sustainable Technologies Center.

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Turning off the Lights: Hiring an Energy Manager Could be Key to Saving Money, Environment

By Wolf Donat, The Daily Vanguard

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Noelle Studer-Spevak believes that Portland State University needs an energy manager. One has merely to walk by the Millar Library or ASPSU office at 3 a.m. and see that all of the lights are on in order to agree with her. Studer-Spevak, the sustainability manager in the Finance and Administration Office, has been working to figure out how to add a Certified Energy Manager to the staff at PSU.

Certified Energy Managers are becoming more popular worldwide, serving industry, business and government. CEMs are professionally certified by the Association of Energy Engineers. Their job duties normally entail analyzing and mitigating energy usage. They track usage an implement new technologies and design changes in order to increase the efficiency of energy system operations.

One of the CEM’s duties would be to help Portland State honor its signing of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. The commitment, involving more than 600 universities and signed by former Portland State President Daniel Bernstine, promises that the participating universities will make efforts to become climate-neutral as soon as possible.

Intermediate steps toward the climate-neutrality goal would include overhauling the energy plan currently in place and coming up with a series of long-range steps toward the goal of climate neutrality. One of the issues that Studer-Spevak is facing is that in the face of a budget shortfall, the university has instituted a hiring freeze, meaning that an energy manager could not be hired.  However, the university has also cut the utility budget, “and I’m not sure how we can cut the utility budget without someone to manage those cuts,” Studer-Spevak said. She knows that there are a multitude of things that can be done to save money and energy.

“In the past year, there have been several large projects we’ve done to save energy,” she said. “One of them is to replace all of the broken steam traps on campus.” The steam loops, like those surrounding Cramer Hall, transport steam from different boilers around campus in order to heat the buildings. “It’s been years since they were maintained,” Studer-Spevak said. Another maintenance project currently underway is cleaning the coils used to transmit heat. Dirt and dust tend to build up around the coils, significantly decreasing their efficiency.

While she wasn’t sure of the precise amount of money saved by the maintenance work, she said it was substantial. Though she would like to see that money go toward other energy-saving projects, “the money will be swept into other areas that need money.” “Our hope is that someday we can get to what Harvard does, and have a revolving fund. If we have energy savings one year, a portion of those savings will be funneled back into other energy-saving projects,” she said.

Student Senator Pro-Tempore Heather Spalding - recipient of a 2009 Oregon Campus Compact Faith Gabelnick Student Leadership Award - works with Studer-Spevak. “It’s like getting an oil change in your car,” Spalding said. “Spending the money for maintenance … it’s like a royalty. Once you put these things in place, the benefits just last and last.”

Studer-Spevak estimated that the salary for a CEM would run from $80,000-$100,000 per year. But she stressed that “that person would pay back their salary at least three times over. It’s an investment.” Studer-Spevak and Spalding are in the midst of holding meetings with the Student Fee Committee, looking at the possibility of having student fees cover the cost of an energy manager’s salary, or at least help fund smaller projects often overlooked by funding committees.

“Students are interested in creating a fund that could fund energy retrofits, for example,” Studer-Spevak said. “It’s really cool, because students are saying, ‘What do we have the power to do?'"

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World Environmental Awards Recognize Portland Nonprofit, Efforts Staffed by PSU Students and Faculty

By Abby Haight, OregonLive

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Green Empowerment is a Portland-based nonprofit which has been recognized at the Energy Globe Awards in Prague for installing solar-powered water systems in remote communities in Nicaragua. The projects were staffed by specially trained students and faculty members from Portland State University.

The environmental awards, founded in 1999, reward projects that create economic use of resources and employ alternative energy sources. More than 800 projects from 111 nations vie for awards in five categories -- Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth. The awards opened a meeting of European Union environment ministers in Prague. Border Green Energy Team, a Thai partner of Green Empowerment, won first prize in the Fire category and the audience-elected overall Grand Prize for solar powered clinics in Eastern Myanmar.

Green Empowerment helped design and put in place the 35 remote clinics and two large hospitals, which serve 175,000 people and are designed to be disassembled if the Myanmar junta's military approaches. The clinics are scattered over 600 miles of jungle. Green Empowerment also was a finalist in the Water category for its work with partner Asofenix in Nicaraguan villages, installing solar-based water delivery systems. With access to clean water, communities improved their overall health, while adding latrines, showers, biogas digesters and home gardens. The Portland nonprofit also is involved in a project that brought electricity to remote Peruvian villages through wind turbines, micro-hydro and solar installations, providing power to four rural clinics, nine schools, four community centers and 40 family homes.

Green Empowerment was founded in 1997 with a focus on social justice, environmentalism and internationalism. One of its first projects was continuing the micro-hydro efforts in Nicaragua started by Ben Linder, a young Portland engineer who was killed by Contras. The organization has also projects in Borneo, Philippines, Ecuador, Guatemala and on the border of Myanmar/Thailand.

Monday, May 4, 2009

University of Oregon, Lane Community College Projects Receive Seed Grants

Ashland Daily Tidings Online

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Six projects from the University of Oregon and Lane Community College have won grants for 2009 from the Meyer Fund for a Sustainable Environment. Meyer funds provide seed funding to UO and LCC faculty for research and teaching initiatives that are innovative, interdisciplinary and promote a sustainable society.

The UO received a $1 million grant in 2007 from the London-based T & J Meyer Family Foundation to establish the Meyer Fund for a Sustainable Environment. The UO fund is a five year program managed by a steering committee of UO and LCC faculty. Approximately $200,000 is distributed annually to projects led by faculty of the two institutions. The newly announced grants, totaling $200,119, are for the second year of the fund.

The largest 2009 grant, for $58,051, went to a solar energy project (Energizing the Next Generation with Photovoltaics) led by UO physics professor Frank Vignola. The project — a curriculum building approach designed to capture students' enthusiasm for science and to teach them about the basic principles of solar technology — includes faculty from UO physics department and LCC's Science Division. The project also supports the Electric Vehicle/Solar Challenge curricula sponsored by the Eugene Water and Electric Board in more than 60 area middle-school classrooms.

"It is one thing to develop a lab kit and curriculum," Vignola said. "It is another to test the curriculum and lab kit in the classroom. The Meyer Fund award enables us to do this and to improve the prototype and refine the curriculum. The improved curriculum and PV lab kit can then be used worldwide to help educate students about science with photovoltaics, an exciting renewable technology."

Vignola heads the UO's Solar Radiation Monitoring Laboratory, which promotes a sound solar energy future.

A $35,700 grant will support a curriculum-building project (Engaging Labor Efforts to Address Climate Change: An Educational Approach to Building Involvement) for union leaders and core activists, led by Barbara Byrd of the UO's Labor Education Research Center (LERC) in partnership with faculty from two UO departments: geography and planning, public policy & management. LERC's faculty and partners will develop a climate-change curriculum designed to help prepare union members to fill green collar jobs.

"The climate emergency caused by global warming, and the policy responses to this crisis, will fundamentally remake Oregon's economy," Byrd said. "In addition, the National Economic Recovery Act promises to generate millions of new green jobs. But while environmental advocates and representatives from business and regulated utilities engage in the debates, a critical partner is often missing: workers and the organizations that represent them."

Labor's participation in the design and implementation of the "green economy" is critical, she said.

"The single greatest barrier to labor involvement in climate-change discussion is the disconnect between labor's traditional focus on wages and working conditions and the seemingly abstract issue of global warming," she said. "This project aims at bridging that gap, relying on LERC's longstanding commitment to helping unions, their leaders and members to build their capacity to engage in policy-making. We will train our constituents in the science and technical aspects of global warming and climate change policy, and the implications of those issues for work, workers and unions. Our goal is to increase not only labor's ability but also its motivation to contribute to the state dialogue and assure that the 'triple bottom line' of environmental, economic and social sustainability is reached."

The four other grants are:

$35,694 for "Zero-Sum Gained: Moving Our Existing Building Stock Toward Net Energy Equilibrium," a project led by the UO's Donald Corner, department of architecture. The project will establish a case reference base that will guide the rehabilitation of existing buildings toward a balance of energy demand and production -- or net-zero-energy. An evaluative framework will be developed to guide reinvestment decisions.

$34,566 for "Spreading Sustainability: How Science-Based Solutions Move to Broad Practice" led by the Andrew Nelson of the UO's Lundquist College of Business in partnership with his colleague Jennifer Howard-Grenville and Julie Haack of the UO department of chemistry. They will develop a model for understanding the processes through which university-based sustainability research and education influences industry and policy. They also will create a replicable set of tools for visualizing and communicating the dissemination and impact of such research and education.

$22,000 for "Workforce Water Efficiency Training Teams," a project led by LCC's Tammie Stark, a water and sustainability instructor, and Roger Ebbage, energy management program manager. This project addresses the economic, social and environmental challenges of water scarcity and climate change through the creation and distribution of water auditing tools. Teachers and students would use the tools to increase water efficiency in residential and K-12 settings. Partners include the Lane Community College Water Conservation Technician degree program, the UO's Climate Master Program and Kennedy High School.

$14,108 for a "Junior Climate Initiative" led by Rob Ribe, UO department of landscape architecture, and Bob Doppelt of the UO's Institute for a Sustainable Environment. A youth program Junior Climate Stewards will be piloted in Lane County, building on the successes of the Climate Leadership Initiative’s Climate Master Program and the Oregon State University Extension’s Wildlife Stewards program. The partnership supports youth and adult community members in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency.

While based in the United Kingdom, the T & J Meyer Family Foundation has ties to the UO by way of family members' earning their college degrees from the institution. The foundation is managed by Tim and Jane Meyer and their four children. In addition to foundation work, the Meyer family has sustainable projects, research and education centers in Oregon, Argentina and London.