Scholarships Still Available to Attend the 2018 Greenbuild Expo this November in Chicago

According to the US Green Building Council, the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo scheduled for November 14-16 in Chicago at McCormick Place

is the face to face experience for sustainability in the built environment. It’s for professionals in architecture, construction, engineering, planning, and interior design who depend on thoughtful and ethical solutions which promote wellness and resiliency in construction and urban development.

Sustainability is the foundation of Greenbuild. Greenbuild is the only event genuinely dedicated to sustainability in the built environment, from the sessions we present to the products on the show floor to the way the event is produced. By participating with Greenbuild, you can return to the field armed with the education and discoveries that will empower your decisions, influence your actions, and inspire your dialogue—prompting you to share sustainability with others.

The USGBC is offering scholarships to defray registration costs for “individuals with a demonstrated financial or other barrier. USGBC seeks government, non-profit, and organizational leaders and professionals working in sustainability, real estate, and manufacturing whose work centers around social equity and the following four focus areas: Equitable Development, New Technologies & Paradigms, Resilience, and Health.

  • The deadline to apply for a scholarship is this Sunday, July 15th — see details and application form here.

Students in particular are urged to volunteer for the event as a way to participate, learn, and network while attending the conference free. See more info about how to volunteer here — and check out this flier (pdf) for students and young professionals on how to get involved with Greenbuild.

GB18-Student-Volunteer-Flyer-with website updated


Posted in architecture, conferences, education, events, exhibits, green design | Leave a comment

Pruitt Is Gone, but the EPA Must Return to Its Mission of Protecting the Environment

by Mike Bryson, SUST Blog Editor

Pruitt EPA admin AP photo

Scott Pruitt, former EPA administrator (photo: AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The blockbuster national news of this week is the long-overdue resignation of the scandal-ridden Scott Pruitt from the US Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, July 5th, as reported by the NY Times, Inside Climate News, the Union of Concerned Scientists, etc. The second most remarkable thing about Pruitt’s tenure is how long it lasted, given his obvious unsuitability and incompetence in running the agency as well as the historic levels of alleged corruption in his conduct, which have been well-documented by the mainstream press since his appointment.

The first, though, is the profound damage he has done to the EPA’s core mission of protecting the natural environment and human health by undermining the agency’s scientific and ethical credibility, encouraging President Trump to abandon the historic Paris climate accord (and removing climate change from the list of EPA’s priorities), demoralizing its long-serving scientists and policy professionals, abandoning evidence-based decision-making, placing the interests of fossil-fuel companies and polluting industries above those American citizens, and eroding public trust in one of our nation’s most important regulatory agencies. (This is just a partial list.)

While Pruitt’s gross incompetence and the head-spinning number of flagrant ethical violations he is under investigation for may have finally done him in, his unceasing efforts to diminish, degrade, and demoralize the EPA’s staff and the institution itself are far more damaging than his appalling personal conduct.

It must not be forgotten that all of Pruitt’s official actions at the EPA were precisely in line with the Trump administration’s anti-environment, anti-regulation, and anti-science political agenda, which is why the President kept praising his work despite its fundamental sloppiness and an unceasing torrent of scandalous revelations about Pruitt’s conflicts of interest, ethical lapses, wasteful spending, and lack of accountability. (The fact that the latter became embarrassing to the likes of Trump speaks volumes about Pruitt’s astounding lack of a moral compass and any shred of discretion.) Indeed, the very reason he was appointed in the first place was his track record of repeatedly suing the EPA in his previous job as Oklahoma’s attorney general.

Unfortunately, the person who will now take the reins at the EPA — Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist — will likely continue the anti-environment/pro-industry agenda shaped by Pruitt, albeit without his former boss’s brazen corruption but with a far greater grasp of Washington’s bureaucratic ways and means. Meanwhile, the President will seek a new EPA administrator, an appointment that will and should be hotly contested in the Senate during this convulsive and controversial time in our national politics.

Given this sorry state of affairs, we concur with this official statement by Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

It was clear from the beginning that Scott Pruitt had no interest in protecting public health and safety, and it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t dismissed until he became a clear political liability.  

While he clearly violated ethical standards and bilked taxpayers, he inflicted far worse injury on American children and families by abandoning science and the EPA’s public health and environmental mission. Mr. Pruitt reversed a proposal to ban the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, going against all credible scientific advice. He moved to increase cancer-causing air pollution from major industrial sources across the country. He threw out years of research to undo vehicle standards that have delivered cleaner cars.  

It’s time for the EPA to clean house.    

In 1983, after a series of ethics violations plagued the EPA, President Reagan turned to Bill Ruckleshaus to lead the agency. The independent and experienced leader cared deeply about the future of the agency and restored its effectiveness. The next EPA administrator needs to be someone who will uphold independent science and commit wholeheartedly to the agency’s science-based mission of protecting public health and the environment. Until then, Congress should conduct considerably more oversight because political appointees at the EPA are sidelining science and compromising the agency’s effectiveness.”

Posted in ethics, news, policy, science | 1 Comment

Volunteers Needed for Urban Monarch Project this Summer

The Village of Schaumburg recently partnered with the Barrington Area Conservation Trust to assist the Field Museum with their Urban Monarch Project. We are looking for volunteer Urban Monarch Technicians to monitor monarch butterfly habitat at selected sites in Schaumburg. The Field Museum will train all volunteers in Schaumburg on Monday, June 18th from 9am to 12 noon. RU students, alumni, and faculty may be interested in volunteering on this project.

Applications are now being accepted through Friday, June 8th, 2018. Please contact Martha D. Dooley, Landscape and Sustainability Planner with the Village of Schaumburg, with any questions and to apply. See detailed application info here (pdf).

Project Contact Information

Martha D. Dooley | Landscape and Sustainability Planner
Village of Schaumburg | 101 Schaumburg Court |Schaumburg, IL 60193
Office: 847-923-3855 | Fax: 847-923-2335

Posted in biodiversity, conservation, ecology, museums, research, science, students, wildlife

Build a Sustainable Future: Register for SUST 210 Online this Summer @RooseveltU

Hey, Roosevelt students! Looking for a great summer course opportunity that won’t mess up your work schedule and/or vacation plans? How about learning how to save the earth while earning credits toward graduation?

All this is possible with our fully online 8-week summer course, SUST 210 The Sustainable Future, taught by RU Professor Graham Pickren. Seats are still open — just go to RU’s Summer Session webpage for registration info.

Contact your advisor via phone or email to get your registration code — and you’re ready to start learning what it takes to build a more sustainable future for our planet, and how you can help.


Posted in courses, ecology, faculty, Roosevelt, students

Tour Wastewater Treatment Plants this Saturday with the MWRD

The general public is welcome to tour any of the six wastewater treatment plants within the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago this Saturday, May 19th, 2018, from 9am-noon, as part of Infrastructure Week. For more info, see this event listing on Facebook.

Thanks to @RooseveltU SUST major Dan Lyvers, who works as an engineer at the world-famous MWRD Stickney wastewater treatment plant, for bringing this to our attention!

Posted in activities, cities, field trips, pollution, waste, water

Paid Internship, Youth Conservation at the Field Museum

Hi folks, the Science Action Center at the Field Museum is hiring for a paid intern to work in the Youth Conservation Action (YCA) program this summer. Go to the site below and in the Careers section, just look for Intern, Youth Conservation Action. Here are the details:

Intern, Youth Conservation Action

Chicago, IL

The Keller Science Action center seeks a full-time, paid Youth Conservation Action (YCA) Intern from June 26 – August 17, 2018. The YCA Intern will work with the Youth Conservation Action team in the coordination and implementation of various conservation education programs:

  • The Green Ambassador participants use the anthropological methods and ecological science to examine their community and develop an action plan for a local environmental research project.

Duties and Responsibilities: Work with the Youth Conservation Action team to:

  • Assist the Green Ambassador Internship supervisor in facilitation of workshops and skill trainings for Keller Science Action Center summer high school internship programs
  • Prepare educational materials and resources for YCA summer programs, workshops and events.
  • Assist in compiling and analysis of evaluation data from YCA programs
  • General administrative support of conservation education program tasks as assigned.

Required skills and qualifications:

  • Interest in community-based conservation, and in working with diverse communities
  • Interest in environmental education
  • Interest in youth mentorship and connecting youth to environmental careers
  • Ability to multitask and manage several simultaneous projects
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong skills in Microsoft Excel. Familiar with creating spreadsheets, compiling data and analysis
  • Bilingual, Spanish (preferred)
Posted in uncategorized

Enroll in RU’s Social Justice Summer Institute, May 29-June 4

Hey, Roosevelt students!
If you are interested in a one-of-a-kind experiential learning summer course, please consider this one-week course (pdf) that addresses the school to prison pipeline. Please reach out to Dr. Heather Dalmage for more information: or 312.341.3692

Posted in courses, education, ethics, faculty, policy, Roosevelt, social justice, students | 1 Comment