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Sustainability Newsletter

Employee Survey Shows Support for Sustainability Efforts

More than two hundred Brookhaven College employees participated in the first-ever Employee Sustainability Survey deployed to all full- and part-time employees in late September 2017.  The survey’s purpose was to gauge levels of employee awareness and perception of college sustainability efforts and initiatives, as well as individual involvement in sustainable practices.  (Surveys in 2014 and 2016 queried faculty about teaching sustainability.)

Of the 211 respondents, the majority agreed that college sustainability programs are important to the environment, our students and our community.  Also, most respondents indicated a willingness to participate in additional voluntary programs, such as a “green curriculum” or a “green work group.”

“The survey yielded a lot of positive feedback, but it also confirmed that we must continue to improve programs, build support and grow awareness,” said Carrie Schweitzer, director of sustainability. 

The survey was a project of the President’s Sustainability Committee and the Office of Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness.

To read the survey results, click here.


Citizen Action: Climate Advocacy Training Feb. 22

Learn how you and your students can help solve one of the most critical issues of our time, climate change.  The DCCCD Sustainability Team will collaborate with Citizens' Climate Lobby to host a free Climate Advocate Training Workshop Feb. 22 from 1-4 p.m. at Mountain View College.

Citizens' Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates for a Carbon Tax and Dividend via citizen education, training and direct engagement with our legislators to stop climate change, protect people and improve our economy.  Learn more about Citizens Climate Lobby.

This workshop is a great opportunity to include a sustainability topic in your course, to expose students to an impactful civic engagement process and to learn about a climate change proposal that already has bi-partisan support.   Mark your calendar now.  To catch a ride in the college van, contact cschweitzer@dcccd.edu. Register today for the training.


Hands-on Earth Science Project Integrates Sustainability into Curriculum

Katy Evans, public health manager in Farmers Branch’s office of sustainability and environmental quality, needed some help testing water samples at the city’s 60-plus water outfalls.  Enter Brookhaven College earth science students.

Students in Professor Fred Busche’s GEOG 2005 (environmental science) typically participate in multiple field trips and project-based learning.  For example, last spring the class tested soil samples in the college’s “North 40,” north of the creek.  Fred knew his students would enjoy the field work and hands-on “real science” that the water testing required.  And, because they were providing a service to the city, he linked with the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement.

Once the students received a project overview and locations of the outfalls, they established a testing protocol, practiced with the testing kits, divided up in teams of two and tested sites over a seven-week period, noting their test results and observations in a database.  Ultimately, 61 percent of the sites were tested, including locations on the college campus.  The students developed a final report which was presented to the city. 

Fred Busche is bullish on this science/service/sustainability assignment: “The students were able to not only learn the principals of environmental science but were also able to participate in a project that was focused upon characterization of an area with a project designed to assess the impact of man on his environment. Samples of water at outflow locations were tested with respect to their chemistry and contaminant content to assess the impact of their effect on the environment.”
Right now Katy Evans is considering how to build on to the results of the study.  Students may tackle another sustainability issue this spring. 


BC Library Links to Sustainability Resources

Students – or anyone – researching sustainability issues will want to begin with a few computer clicks on the Brookhaven Library web page.  Dana Corbin, instruction librarian and tech wiz, developed the links to efficiently guide searchers through such wide-ranging topics as alternative energy, environmental ethics, sustainable agriculture, pollution and many more. 

To take a look starting on the Brookhaven web site, search for “Library.”  Once there, click on “Research Guides,” and then scroll through “Subject Guides” to sustainability.  From the sustainability Quick Starts site, you can review books, databases and websites, including Sustainable Brookhaven.  (There you will find more teaching resources that include suggested ways to connect sustainability to the current Open Book selection For Love of Country.)  Back at Quick Starts, do look at the “Sustainability Guide,” where there is a link to a vast collection of resources in the Virtual Sustainability Library at North Lake College.


How Does the Windmill Garden Grow?  With Your Support

In spring 2016, a crowd-funding campaign with the DCCCD Foundation garnered $9,300 and financially ensured Phase 1 of the Windmill Garden for native plants and pollinators.  Garden coordinator Amy Monroy has been an excellent steward of that budget and has developed an amazingly successful learning resource for the college and community.  Now, with eyes turned to more lush blooms, more student visits and more community programs, it is time to fundraise again.

This March, the Windmill Garden will launch a campaign for $5,000 using the same successful methods – email and social media posts to friends, families and colleagues.  Brookhaven employees were extremely generous in 2016.  Please be on the look-out this spring for the opportunity to make the Windmill Garden a thriving educational and ecological landmark.

For Windmill Garden highlights since spring 2016, view the poster, Grow Native, presented by Amy Monroy at the national meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), last October.  Poster design by Kevin Pha, graphic artist in the Marketing and Creative Services Office.


DCCCD Names First District Sustainability Officer

The DCCCD Board of Trustees approved Georgeann Moss as executive administrator of Sustainability Outreach and Initiatives at its meeting last November.   In this new position, Georgeann will work collaboratively across the District and in the community to advance sustainability efforts that support teaching, learning, energy efficiency and more.  Formerly the District's director of internet publishing, Georgeann brings years of experience to her new role, particularly as the chair/co-chair of the DCCCD Sustainability Team since 2008.  As co-chair, she launched the DCCCD Sustainability Summit in 2011.  In 2015 Georgeann received the Green Source DFW Lifetime Achievement Award.  Read more here about Georgeann and the District's enhanced support of sustainability.


Earth Day Fest, April 3

Brookhaven’s annual party for the planet is set for April 3 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Commons Courtyard.  All the usual fun and learning will occur – music, food, sustainability info booth, free swag. 

Plus, enjoy something brand new – Trashionista, a fashion show where every outfit is constructed from recycled objects.  Contestant entry is free and open to all college students and employees.  Be creative!  Plan to participate.  More details are coming soon.