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September 2013

September Events:

9/4 Request for Sustainability Fund proposals released. 

9/ 6, 2pm refreshments, 2:30 lecture: New Horizons in Engineering Seminar – our future energy resources., BH  Snell 213

9/12, 7pm: Bidder 70 -film about  Tim DeChristopher. Student Center Forum

St. Lawrence U. Climate Conference –September 17-19, 2013, Eben Holden Hall:

containers to go.jpg

In the News:

CU Research Team Analyzes Health of Lake Ontario

CU Celebrates Grand Opening of Wind Turbine Blade Test Facility

Air Purification System Researched at Granted FDA Clearance

CU Celebrates Grand Opening of Wind Turbine Blade Test Facility

CU Research Team Analyzes Relationship Between Frogs and Roads

CU Students Develop Potsdam Sewage Treatment Model








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Students in MA363 integrate sustainability issues through
their efforts to mathematically model energy flows in a data center

Newsletter to report about Campus Sustainability

Projects, research, classes…  sustainability is indeed being integrated into everything we do on campus.  Read below and see links to events and research to stay abreast of sustain@clarkson!

$CORE to be Piloted this Fall Semester

Students from the Sustainable SYNERGY club are initiating a program, $CORE (Student and Community Outreach on Rental Efficiency), which will increase the water- and energy-efficiency in off-campus student housing. This program strives to educate the renters and landlords on how to lower their energy bills by making their homes more efficient through simple and inexpensive adjustments, such as using energy efficient light bulbs or setting thermostats to optimal temperatures. Clarkson student energy assessors will go to students' rental homes and provide nearly $50 in free materials, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, low-flow shower heads, and window sealants. This program will be the first of its kind to launch in the northeastern United States.  Interested in being an auditor or having an audit completed in your apartment?  Contact Emma or Connor.

Clarkson’s student leaders of the $CORE program will present their concept at the Climate Conference Sept. 18, 4 pm in Eben Holden Hall @ SLU.

S13 Sustainability Fund Projects to Reduce Solid Waste Generation

Two projects funded through 2013 Sustainability Fund grants aim to increase the use of re-useable items instead of their disposable counterparts. 

One project is using the funds to subsidize the sale of Nalgene water bottles to students, especially freshmen.  The goal is to reduce purchase and use of disposable bottled water and to make the most use of our growing number of water bottle refilling stations, which were installed through a S12 Sustainability Fund grant. Water bottles will be sold in the student center for the next couple of weeks.

The second project was organized by a student team and Campus Dining Services.  Re-useable to-go boxes are now available so you don’t have to take and throw away a paper box.  AND – you don’t even need to clean and store your reusable box!  Simply return the box to a campus eatery and get a token to be used to get a returnable box the next time you are getting food to go.  The most important aspect to making this project succeed will be keeping the boxes in circulation. Please return the boxes promptly!

Do you have your own ideas to make campus more sustainable? Look for an announcement the first week in September with the details for submitting a proposal to the Sustainability Fund.

Freshmen Welcomed with Sustainable Jeopardy Game Show


A rousing game of Jeopardy was included as part of the first year student orientation to share with them the breadth of student projects and sustainability initiatives on campus.  The team representing Cubley came in first and Price Hall second.  All participants received a water bottle and winners will receive T-shirts and re-useable bags.  The highlight of the evening was the response “What are toilets?” to the statement. “You can save thousands of gallons of water per year by only operating this appliance only when full.”  Of course the right answer was washing machines.  Efforts to engage freshman with our culture of sustainability on campus will continue with their first year seminar.

Climate Change Conference at St. Lawrence University

Tim DeChristopher, an inspiring young man who used civil disobedience to disrupt the sale of oil and gas drilling rights in western states will be the kick off keynote speaker for the SLU Climate Conference.  DeChristopher will speak about his use of peaceful uprising to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel to mitigate climate change.  Other keynote speakers are highlighted in the events section to the left and are on the Clarkson Calendar. 

As a prequel to the Climate conference, Bidder 70  the documentary about Tim DeChristopher will be shown on our campus Thursday Sept 12, 7 pm in the Student Center Forum.

Focus on a Sustainability Related Classes – Joe Skufca’s MA363 Math Modeling class

Students in MA363 learn construction of system models by assembling a collection of component models.  The course is built around large scale, open ended project problems.  The goal of the first class project was to develop an end-to-end model of a PV powered Data Center that could then be used for optimal decision making.  The students were tasked with performing the necessary literature review to develop a transient model that included light intensity, PV system power, a battery, and a data center, where the data center required power for both computing and cooling, with the cooling affected by the environmental conditions.  The sustainability component shows up in the class discussions, where we (even as modelers) have to consider the question of “why are we modeling this ….”

New Horizons in Engineering Seminar - Steven Zinkle to speak about materials engineering challenges in fission and fusion energy

Friday, September 6, at 2:30 p.m. in Clarkson's Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 213.  Refreshments will precede the lecture at 2 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Steven J. Zinkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate chief scientist and corporate fellow, will speak next month about materials engineering challenges in fission and fusion energy. Zinkle's lecture will focus on the development and deployment of a diverse mixture of economic and environmentally sustainable energy sources, which are essential for international energy security. Nuclear (fission) power currently provides 20 percent of the nation's electricity.  A variety of fission and fusion energy concepts is under consideration for meeting future energy needs.

Questions? Comments – stay in touch with

Keep up with Sustainability Initiatives and News at