Office of Sustainability awards grants to fund student projects

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Office of Sustainability has awarded $40,000 to fund 10 interdisciplinary student projects through its annual Campus Sustainability Grants Program.

The program, funded by student green fees and a Sustainability + Arts partnership with Ideas for Creative Exploration, provides financial and staff resources to implement student-initiated projects that further the university’s sustainability goals.

The Office of Sustainability received project proposals from students in multiple academic disciplines across campus. A selection committee of students, faculty and staff made the final recommendations for projects to be awarded in 2016. All student projects that received funding align with UGA’s 2020 Strategic Plan to promote stewardship of natural resources and advance sustainability research, education and service at UGA and beyond.

Since the Campus Sustainability Grants Program inception in 2010, the Office of Sustainability has awarded $170,000 to fund 47 student-initiated projects on campus and in the community.

“Campus Sustainability Grants spur innovation and experiential learning, providing students with opportunities to both envision and implement new ideas,” said Kevin Kirsche, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Recipients of the 2016 Campus Sustainability Grants are:

Making and the Theatre: A Theatre for Young Audiences Event Encouraging Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation
Kelsey Brown, a theatre and communication sciences and disorders major from Lexington, Kentucky, was the recipient of the Sustainability + Arts award where she will work to write and produce an original play for young audiences that fosters sustainability, creativity and innovation.

IMPACT’s Environmental Impact: Introducing Mess Kits to Cut Waste
Brittany Whitlock, a biology and psychology major from Johns Creek, will work to reduce waste created during IMPACT spring break trips by better educating trip participants and by supporting the communities where IMPACT serves.

Launching a Campus-Wide Green Labs Program
John Derosa, an environmental engineering major from Lilburn, will work to implement strategies that enhance safety, conserve resources and reduce waste in UGA laboratories.

Fecal Source Tracking and Nutrient Analysis in the Lake Herrick Watershed
Thalika Saintil, a student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will collect and analyze water samples from the Lake Herrick watershed to identify primary sources of pollution.

Reusing Consumables at the Science Library MakerSpace
Kollin Adams, a computer science major from Atlanta, will work to recycle and reuse plastic materials at the science library MakerSpace-an area with a 3-D printer, laser cutter, digital scanner and more.

Aquaponics at UGA
David Balinsky, a student in the College of Veterinary Medicine from Annapolis, Maryland, will work to establish aquaponics systems that demonstrate sustainable solutions to food insecurity.

Piedmont Prairie Planting Design as Sustainable Campus Landscape Management Trial Study
Sean Dunlap, a student in the College of Environment and Design from Winterville, will establish a five-year research program studying the effectiveness of southern piedmont grasses and forbs in place of traditional lawn and bed plantings.

More Walkable UGA
Xuan Zhang, a geography master’s student from Wuhan, China, will work to identify preferences, barriers and solutions to promote walking on campus.

Greek Goes Green
Matt Siegel and Anna Trakhman, both from Marietta and students in the Terry College of Business and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences respectively, will implement an ongoing program to enhance recycling and other green initiatives in the Greek Life community.

Why Can’t We Be Sustainable Later? Examining the Role of Environmental Attitudes on Sustainable Behaviors in the Present and in the Future
Julie Delose, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology from Orlando, Florida, will examine sustainability behaviors in the context of goal pursuit and self-control.

For more information on Campus Sustainability Grants and other initiatives of the UGA Office of Sustainability, see http://www.sustainability.uga.edu/.