Fair Trade Kick-off Open Mic Night @RooseveltU on Wed 11/30


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Register @RooseveltU for Spring & Summer 2017 Classes

The SUST Team: Danette Buie, Mike Bryson, and Graham Pickren (photo: J. Rowen, Nov. 2015)

The SUST Advising Team: Danette Buie, Mike Bryson, and Graham Pickren (photo: J. Rowen, Nov. 2015)

Here’s a cheerful thought: advising and registration are now ongoing (since Nov 1st) for the Spring & Summer 2017 semesters here at @RooseveltU. The Sustainability Studies program is offering a wide range of courses and we’re planning an exciting semester of learning, research, and campus outreach projects!

Undergraduate students, please look over the Spring 2017 schedule using this coursefinder, check your remaining course requirements, and email or call your assigned academic advisor with your planned schedule and any questions you have about your upcoming classes. Your advisor will help you craft your S17 schedule and provide you with an RU Access registration code so you can register.

Sustainability Studies courses offered in Spring 2017:

ACP 110 Primary Texts (MW 11am-12:15pm, Bryson)*
SUST 210 Sustainable Future (14-week online, Pickren)
SUST 220 Water (8-week online, 1/17-3/10, Bryson)§
SUST 230 Food (M 2-4:30pm)
SUST 240 Waste (14-week online, Pickren)
SUST/ACP 250 The Sustainable University (W 2-4:30pm, Bryson)◊
SUST 310 Energy & Climate Change (8-week online, 3/20-5/12)§
SUST 320 Sprawl, Transportation, & Planning (Th 2-4:30pm, Pickren)
SUST 340 Policy, Law, & Ethics (14-week online)
SUST 395 Sustainability Studies Internship (by arrangement)

* First Year Seminars are open to new full-time undergrads with 12 or fewer hours in transfer credit.
§ These 8-week accelerated online courses are open to all students and synced with the Flex-Track adult degree calendar. They may be taken back-to-back.
◊ Students may register for either ACP 250 (Grounds for Change credit) or SUST 250 (Sustainability Studies credit).

Sustainability Studies courses offered in Summer 2017:

SUST 210 Sustainable Future (12-week online, 5/30-8/8, Pickren)
SUST 390 Writing Urban Nature (1-week intensive, 5/22-26, Bryson)

We know November is a super busy time of the academic year, but be sure to make a little time to get in touch with your advisor to sign up for the classes you need! For additional useful info, see this Advising Resources page on Prof. Mike Bryson’s faculty website.

Posted in courses, education, faculty, Roosevelt, students

Kim Wasserman of LVEJO Talks #EnvironmentalJustice at RU this Wednesday, Nov. 9th


photo: LVEJO

The “Just By Nature” environmental activism event with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization’s Executive Director, Kim Wasserman, has been rescheduled for Wednesday Nov. 9th. Please join us from 4:00pm-5:30pm in the Sullivan Room on the Second Floor of the Auditorium Building at RU’s Chicago Campus (425 S. Wabash Ave. in downtown Chicago). Light refreshments will be served.

Kim Wasserman will give a talk entitled “The Displacement of Environmental Justice,” which focuses on efforts made by LVEJO and the Little Village community to further sustainability efforts in their area. One of these victories includes shutting down both the Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plants, which for years have heavily polluted the Little Village and Pilsen Community.

For more information, please contact Dr. Bethany Barratt, Director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project (bbarratt@roosevelt.edu).

Posted in cities, community, education, events, pollution, Roosevelt, social justice

East Chicago Lead Crisis Is Topic at Nov. 2 Environmental Justice Forum at RU

Thomas Frank, a member of the Southeast Environmental Task Force and an activist working with residents of an East Chicago public housing complex located on a toxic lead site will be one of the speakers at Roosevelt University’s Nov. 2


Thomas Frank of SETF

“Just By Nature” environmental justice forum.

The forum entitled “Deindustrialization, Reindustrialization and Sustainable Alternatives on Chicago’s Southeast Side” will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in Roosevelt’s second floor Sullivan Room, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

An artist and resident of East Chicago, IN, Frank is expected to provide an update on the lead crisis and what may be in store for hundreds of residents who are up against a deadline to move out of an East Chicago public housing complex in order to make way for a planned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup.

Sponsored by the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, the event is free and open to the public. Other forum speakers tomorrow include: Cheryl Johnson, president of People for Community Recovery; and Peggy Salazar, board member of the Southeast Environmental Task Force.

For more information, contact Prof. Bethany Barratt at bbarratt@roosevelt.edu.

Posted in cities, events, Illinois, pollution, Roosevelt, social justice

Is your Refrigerator Running? Notes on the Landmark Kigali Accord

by Moses Viveros

If your refrigerator or air conditioner is running, it’s probably contributing to Global Warming. You’re probably wondering “My refrigerator contribute to global warming? How is that even possible?” Well, most air conditioners and refrigerators use a chemical known as HydroFluorocarbons, or HFCs. HFCs only make up a small percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but with 1,000 times the heat trapping potency of carbon dioxide. In an attempt to mitigate rising global temperatures, more than 170 countries met in Kigali, Rwanda, and reached a legally binding accord to cut the worldwide use of HFCs in air conditioners and Refrigerators.


Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Kigali (source: James Akena/Reuters)

The Kigali deal took seven years of work and is a compromise among the 170 countries that were part of the negotiations. Richer nations are able to halt production of HFCs more quickly than poorer nations. Nevertheless, some countries in Africa are making strides to eliminate the chemicals more quickly than required, citing the grave threats that they face from global warming. Unlike the Paris agreement where countries are not held accountable to meet their carbon emissions reduction pledges, the Kigali deal includes specific targets and timetables to replace HFCs with eco-friendly alternatives, trade sanctions as punishments, and an agreement by wealthier countries to help finance the transition costs of poorer countries.

HFCs were developed as a response to the Montreal Protocol which worked to ban ozone-depleting coolants called ChloroFluorocarbons, or CFCs. HCFs were developed as they did not harm the ozone layer, but unfortunately had a greater heat trapping intensity when released into the atmosphere. Scientists say that that the Kigali deal will be able to stave off increasing global temperatures by one degree Fahrenheit. This is a major step towards averting a global temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit which could have catastrophic effects. The deal is expected to lead to a reduction of 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — about two times the carbon pollution produced annually by the entire world.

Industry leaders from the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute were in Kigali to push for the deal. They remained committed towards developing HFC alternatives. For countries that typically face hotter climates such as India, though, there was great opposition toward the proposal. In India, and in many other countries that are experiencing a growing middle class, many people are on the verge of being able to afford air conditioning units that are powered by HFCs.

In the end, the agreement that was reached proposed that the richest countries, such as the US and the European Union, would halt production and consumption of HFCs by 2018. Much of the rest of the world, including countries like China, Brazil, and all of those in Africa, would halt HFC production and consumption by 2024. And the world’s hottest countries — India, Pakistan, Kuwait, Arabia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia — would have until 2028 to halt the production and consumption of HFCs.


Coast of the Marshall Islands (source: New York Times)

For low-lying Pacific Nations, like the Marshall Islands, this was a major victory for the Island Nation that faces extinction from rising sea levels. Climate Change Director Mattlan Zackhras stated that “It’s a step toward ensuring the survival of our island. But, we need to take further steps.”

Moses viveros-m-croppedViveros is a senior SUST major at Roosevelt University and the SUST Program’s Student Associate for 2016-17. As part of this work-study position, he is also serving as the assistant editor for the SUST at RU Blog this year.



Posted in climate change, conferences, energy, policy, pollution

Chicago Wilderness Congress 2016 at UIC on Nov. 2nd

College students! Join the brainpower of more than 700 of the region’s top conservation and community partners at the Chicago Wilderness Congress — an annual regional conservation conference to be held on November 2nd, 2016, at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum. The theme of this year’s Chicago Wilderness Congress is “Celebrating 20 Years: One Home. One Future.”

Students can attend at a reduced registration rate of $40 for the day of Congress activities, which include workshops, lectures, mentoring sessions, films, and more. Those with financial need can apply for a scholarship to attend for free: the deadline for that is Oct. 21st.


Posted in activities, biodiversity, cities, conferences, ecology, education, restoration, science, students

Environmental Justice on Chicago’s Southeast Side: Local Activists Speak at RU on Nov. 2

As part of RU’s Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project‘s 2016 Distinguished Environmental Justice Lecture Series this fall (and in recognition of #CampusSustainabilityMonth), Cheryl Johnson (President, People for Community Recovery), Peggy Salazar (Board Member and past Director, Southeast Environmental Task Force [SEETF]), and Tom Shepherd (past President, Southeast Environmental Task Force) will visit Roosevelt on Wed., November 2nd, and discuss sustainable alternatives on the Southeast Side of Chicago.


Petcoke Pile in Southeast Chicago (Photo by Emily Brosious)

Cheryl Johnson is the longtime president for the People of Community Recovery, one of the nation’s oldest environmental justice organizations working in communities of color.

Peggy Salazar is a board member and past Director of SEETF and has been a strong advocate for social and environmental change and clean, just, economic development on the Southeast Side of Chicago for decades.

Thomas Shepherd is the current President and longest serving board member of SEETF. The organization’s current campaigns include stopping the Koch Brothers’ transport and irresponsible management of Petcoke on the Calumet River.

Please attend this special environmental justice activism event in the Sullivan Room on November 2nd from 4:00pm to 5:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Held on RU’s Chicago Campus, 425 S. Wabash Ave., downtown Chicago, AUD building 2nd floor.

For more information, please contact Prof. Bethany Baratt, Director, Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, at bbarratt@roosevelt.edu



Posted in cities, community, conservation, ecology, economics, ethics, events, pollution, presentations, Roosevelt, social justice | 2 Comments