Projects

The Office for Sustainability staff, interns, and workgroups engage year-round in a variety of projects to further our mission and promote sustainability both on the University of Arkansas campus and in the community. Below are some of our projects both past and present.

Current Projects

Tree Mitigation Alternatives for the City of Fayetteville

The OFS is assisting the City of Fayetteville in developing a policy to allow for the implementation of green roofs or green façades as optional alternatives to tree mitigation in development, particularly urban infill sites. This involves research of existing systems, determination of a ratio based on the ecosystem services provided by green infrastructure to that of a tree, and implementation into city code. Projects like these highlight the opportunity to use thoughtful policy to nurture a more resilient community.

Project Clean Plate

Project Clean Plate takes place over a five-week span each year. In 2016, they had a big kickoff event with a chef takeover and film screening. During the first two weeks, Chartwells measures existing food waste to know exactly where the numbers stand for food waste on campus. Then, the publicity starts in the third week. Chartwells volunteers begin measuring total food waste each week in the same dining halls, comparing the average of those three weeks back to the original benchmark. This process shows the decrease in food waste that resulted from Project Clean Plate.

Gamer 4 Good

The OFS is engaged with a local organization that seeks to encourage students to recycle by creating a competition between various clubs and groups. The second recycling competition at the U of A was held in the month of April, and the results will demonstrate important recycling behavior of students.

EcoREU Program

For the past eight years, the U of A has hosted an Ecological Research Experience for Undergraduates (EcoREU) program. The program focuses on sustainable agricultural systems, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and sustainable management and assessment of ecosystem services, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This summer, the EcoREU undertook a project in partnership with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC) to meet the Hawaii Department of Agriculture's Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC)'s request for help in their Whitmore Food Hub. The agricultural facility in Whitmore, Oahu aims to transform the former Dole plantation facility into a high-tech facility to support local farmers. The EcoREU students laid a foundation which the UACDC has used to develop a Master Plan for the transformation of the Whitmore facility.

Sustainability Research Portfolio

The OFS is assembling a compilation of research projects across the entire University of Arkansas that is related to issues of sustainability. Please contact Eric Boles if you know of a research project that would qualify.

Hawaii Aquaculture Project

We are studying the animal agriculture in Hawaii and creating possible indicators for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to use when making their system more sustainable. We are also creating a life cycle assessment for aquaculture, aquaponics, and hydroponics so that these systems can be proposed to the Department of Agriculture in Hawaii

Residence Hall Recycling Pilot

The OFS is planning a pilot to test methods of increasing the recycling rates in resident halls. Convenience, bin placement, and incentives are some of the factors that will be examined. The pilot will be implemented in Fall 2016.

Greek Life Recycling Initiative

We are engaged with fraternities and sororities to make recycling the standard at events and in the houses. Each Panhellenic house now has a designated Sustainability Liason who coordinates recycling for their house. Questions on this project can be directed to Madeline Meier.

Past Projects

Bird Strike Prevention

The OFS worked with Dr. Kim Smith (Biological Sciences) in conducting a survey to identify and address areas on our campus where birds striking glass windows may be a problem. During the fall 2014 and spring 2015 migration seasons, the Natural Systems workgroup solicited data from the campus community in the form of reporting sightings of dead or stunned birds on campus. The information was analyzed and used to make recommendations to Facilities Management for preventative actions that could be taken.

Game Day Challenge

The Game Day Challenge is a friendly competition among colleges and universities across the nation to promote waste reduction at football games. The University of Arkansas Athletics Department, Office for Sustainability, Boston Mountain Solid Waste District and campus volunteers facilitate the program. In 2016, the U of A ranked 1st in the SEC conference for the fourth consecutive year for the highest diversion rate and 10th in the nation for the total pounds recycled with 25,620 pounds recorded.

Green Revolving Fund

The Office for Sustainability, in partner with Associated Student Government, Facilities Management, and the Built Systems Workgroup, established a Green Revolving Fund to facilitate campus-wide engagement, inter-disciplinary collaboration and student-led initiatives that demonstrate environmental leadership and economic benefit. The GRF provides financing for implementing energy efficiency, sustainability, and other cost-savings projects. These savings are tracked and used to replenish the fund and help finance additional projects.

Sustainability Video Series

The OFS is working to produce a series of videos to inform, educate, and motivate students to action. Our most recent video on the pledge our campus has made to pursue a more sustainable future can be found here.

 

Urban Forestry Project

A team of student interns analyzed the estimated annual carbon sequestration potential of our campus urban forest. Read the project report.

Zero Client Systems

The OFS partnered with the Walton College of Business to conduct a pilot study of server based computing that provides universal access to students, reduces electrical consumption and defers replacement costs by 2.5 times. The results of this pilot study were presented at the 2014 AASHE conference (you will need to create a member account on AASHE using your @uark.edu email address in order to view the presentation). View the Zero Client project reports.