The University of Georgia Office of Sustainability has awarded $28,000 to fund nine interdisciplinary student projects through its annual Campus Sustainability Grants Program. The program, funded by student green fees, provides financial and staff resources to implement student-initiated projects that further the university’s sustainability goals.
The office received 27 well-developed project proposals from students in various academic disciplines from agriculture and ecology to engineering and international affairs. A selection committee of students, faculty and staff made the final recommendations for projects to be awarded in 2014. 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.
Keri Lydon, a doctoral student in the department of environmental health sciences one of the recipients of the2014 Campus Sustainability Grants, plans to address water quality in campus streams by incorporating service-learning within the current Environmental Health Science curriculum to expand bacterial monitoring efforts in partnership with Upper Oconee Watershed Network, also known as UOWN. In addition to performing water quality monitoring, students will engage in outreach efforts to enhance awareness of sustainability initiatives on campus and in the local community and seek to get more people involved in improving our impaired waters.
The Campus Sustainability Grants Program has helped foster several ongoing UGA initiatives. Since its inception in 2010, the Office of Sustainability has awarded a total of $87,000 to fund twenty-six student-initiated sustainability projects at UGA.
Kevin Kirsche, director of the Office of Sustainability, said the grant program is a great way for students to learn valuable grant-writing skills and to make a tangible difference on campus and in the local community.
“The Campus Sustainability Grants Program is an opportunity to learn by doing,” he said. “It is a pleasure to work with such bright UGA students from diverse academic backgrounds and to help them take their innovative ideas from concept to completion.”
For more information on Campus Sustainability Grants and other initiatives of the UGA Office of Sustainability, see http://www.sustainability.uga.edu/.
Posted January 9, 2014.