Waste Not, Want Not: Assessing Residence Hall Recycling @RooseveltU

By Kyria Fortina for ACP/SUST 250

One of the many campus initiatives and activities being tackled by the students in ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainability University this spring semester is waste reduction through improved recycling and composting. Our Recycling and Compost Team includes undergrads Rita Avdi, Kristina Grewe, Melissa Ruby, Carli Steinhauser, and Emma Vuillemot, each of whom contributes in different ways through their diverse ideas, academic backgrounds, and ambitions.

Sorting waste by category prior to weighing (photo: M. Bryson)

After the entire ACP/SUST 250 class ventured to Bubbly Creek on April 12th to clean up litter from the shoreline, this group headed back to RU’s campus to conduct a Waste Audit of one floor in Roosevelt’s WB residence hall. This empirical study was undertaken in part to address the group’s main goal to  provide further information on Roosevelt’s recycling and composting efforts” as well as engage students on better recycling and waste reduction practices.

The waste audit process involves systematically going through, separating, and weighing all the trash and recycling — literally piece by piece! — collected from a given space at the university over a certain time-frame (in this case, Monday 4/10 and Tuesday 4/11 in the WB dorm). The results of this audit will be revealed at tomorrow’s SUST Symposium, which starts at 2pm in RU’s Gage Gallery. All are encouraged to attend this “Big Reveal”! (Check out this post for results from a prior audit back in Fall 2014.)

Finished at last! It’s hard to overestimate how much fun rooting through garbage is. (Photo: M. Bryson)

Prior to conducting their audit, an initial assessment by the group showed that students and faculty need more information about the recycling opportunities available to them in the different University buildings. Besides assessing what we do here at Roosevelt, the group also looked at other universities and studied their approach to recycling. One useful example was UIC as a starting point for how they could build upon and improve Roosevelt’s recycling practices, as UIC effectively labels recycling containers to maximize waste diversion.

Consequently, part of the Team’s effort went into improving the message and design of informational posters to help student and faculty understand better the how-tos of recycling and composting. Look for their new signage around campus this spring!

New signage for waste stations developed by the 250 Recycling/Composting team this spring (Photo: E. Vuillemot)

Text by Kyria Fortina; edited by Yasmeen Lipprand and Mike Bryson.

Posted in activities, courses, education, recycling, Roosevelt, students, waste

Today is #EarthDay: in Chicago, We’re Marching for Science!

There is no Planet B. (photo: NASA)

Today is Earth Day. If you’re in the Chicago region looking for something to do outside, please join Roosevelt students, faculty, and staff in the March for Science in Chicago (10am-3pm in Grant Park).

This national public event on #EarthDay2017 celebrates the value of science in society, and advocates for scientific evidence-based decision making in public policy and political discourse.

Faculty, students, and staff from the Sustainability Studies program, the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science, and other offices from the university will meet in the WB Lobby at 9:00am at RU’s downtown Chicago Campus, after which we’ll walk over to Grant Park in time for the 10am rally that kicks off the day’s events. After a round of speakers, participants will march at 11am from Grant Park to the Museum Campus for a cool science expo planned for 12-3pm outside the Field Museum. Official visitor and registration details here.

Post to social media: #MFSChi @sciencemarchchi
Share this info w/ your netoworks! (pdf)

Why the march for science on Earth Day? From the March for Science website:

The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.

It’s time to get off the sidelines
and make a difference.

The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.

The March for Science is a celebration of science.  It’s not only about scientists and politicians; it is about the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world.

Nevertheless, the march has generated a great deal of conversation around whether or not scientists should involve themselves in politics. In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?

There is no Planet B. Join the #MarchForScience.

Posted in activities, community, education, events, faculty, policy, Roosevelt, science, students

SUST Symposium 2017 on Apr 26 (& other #EarthMonth Events @RooseveltU)

In celebration of #EarthMonth2017 at RU, please attend the Spring 2017 SUST Symposium, which will be held on Wednesday, April 26th, from 2-6pm at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery in Chicago (18 S. Michigan Ave.) and videoconferenced live via Zoom.

Students in ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainable University clean up the banks of Bubbly Creek on Chicago’s SW Side (photo: K. Fortina)

Symposium 4.1 (Spring 2017) will feature nine team presentations by RU undergraduate students in the first-ever section of ACP/SUST 250 The Sustainable University. From 2:15-4:45pm, teams will describe their campus sustainability projects on bottled water policy, environmental communication, energy conservation, fair trade, learning and living communities, recycling and composting, rooftop gardening, student orientation, and water conservation.

Dr. A. Zaragoza, Evergreen State College

Then at 5pm, we’ll welcome a special guest speaker, Professor Anthony Zaragoza from the Evergreen State College (Tacoma Campus) in Washington, who will present a dynamic talk on social justice and community development entitled “Neoliberalism in the Neighborhood.” Professor Zaragoza’s visit is co-sponsored by Roosevelt’s SUST Program as well as the new Resilience Studies Consortium of US colleges and universities, of which RU is a charter member.

Zoom videoconference info for off-campus attendees:

  • Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://roosevelt.zoom.us/j/867950205
  • Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +14086380968,867950205# or +16465588656,867950205#
  • Or Telephone: +1 855 880 1246 (US Toll Free)
  • Meeting ID: 867 950 205

Light refreshments will be provided, and the RU community as well as the general public are welcome. Click here for info on previous symposia, and check out some of the other great #RUEarthMonth2017 events planned at RU below! (We will update this list throughout the month.)

Through 5/6 — Rooftop: Second Nature (Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave.): photography by Brad Temkin featuring ecoroofs from cities around the world, including several here in Chicago.

Fri 4/21 — Undergraduate Science and Math Symposium (9am-3:30pm, WB 6th floor): RU’s annual showcase of student research in biology, chemistry, math, and sustainability studies. Unbelievably fun as well as intellectually edifying!

Earth Day Sat 4/22March for Science in Chicago (10am, Grant Park and Museum Campus): national public event on #EarthDay2017 advocating for science’s important role in society; meet at 9am in the WB Lobby; rally starts at 10am, march at 11am from Grant Park to Museum Campus, science expo 12-3pm outside the Field Museum. Visitor and registration details here.

Mon 4/24 — Arbor Day Tree Planting (10am-noon, Schaumburg Campus): come to the East Side of the building (north of door 13) to help plant a tree in RU’s arboretum; contact Sumeet Singh (sumsingh264@gmail.com) for more info.

FairTradeRU2017SprWed 4/26 — De-Stress Event (11am-3pm, WB Lobby): Hosted by the RU Bookstore; featuring a partnered blindfolded coloring competition, with a Fair Trade-certified T-shirt as a prize; snacks provided!

Wed 4/26 — SUST Symposium (2-6pm, Gage Gallery): RSVP to Mike Bryson (mbryson@roosevelt.edu); refreshments and convivial conversation provided! See above for more info.

Th 4/27 — SUST Faculty Seminar with Dr. Anthony Zaragoza (12-1:30pm, WB 1215): seminar luncheon for RU faculty with visiting Resilience Studies Consortium scholar, Anthony Zaragoza of the Evergreen State College’s Tacoma Program; RSVP to Mike Bryson (mbryson@roosevelt.edu) by Mon 4/24.

Fri 4/28 — RU Honors Research Day (9am-3pm, AUD Congress Lounge and 232 series): honors students present their senior research projects on a wide range of fascinating topics.

Sat 4/29 — Talkin’ Green Rooftops (10-11am): photographer Brad Temkin and SUST prof Mike Bryson talk about the Gage Gallery photo exhibit Rooftop: Second Nature on the Mike Nowak Show (AM 1590 WCGO)

Sat 4/29 — Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (9am-5pm, RU Chicago Campus): one of the largest college research symposia in the US; observer registration info here.

Sat 4/29 — People’s Climate March in Chicago (12-4pm, Federal Plaza, downtown Chicago): organized by the People’s Climate Movement and sponsored by the Sierra Club; registration info here.

Sat 4/29 — Chicago Humanities Festival events (downtown Chicago): SUST co-founder Dr. Carl Zimring of the Pratt Institute (NY) gives at talk entitled “What We’re Throwing Away” (12-1pm, Feinberg Theater, 610 S. Michigan Ave.) and signs his new book, Aluminum Upcycled; Session on “Keeping Our Water Safe” (2-3pm, First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington). Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 teachers and students.

Posted in activities, education, events, faculty, presentations, research, Roosevelt, science, social justice, students | 1 Comment

Be Hip, Go Green . . . and Get Registered! (for Summer & Fall Classes @RooseveltU)

It’s #EarthWeek, folks, and spring is literally busting out before our very eyes; and besides lifting the spirits, that awakening is an opportune time to get registered for summer and fall classes! Advising and registration are ongoing, so if you’re an @RooseveltU student, (1) look over the Summer and Fall 2017 schedules using this coursefinder, (2) check your remaining course requirements, and (3) email or call your assigned academic advisor with your planned schedule and any questions you have about your upcoming classes. Your advisor will provide you with an RU Access registration code so you can register. Click on selected titles below for detailed course previews!

Sustainability Studies courses offered in Summer 2017:

SUST 210 Sustainable Future (online, May 30 – Aug 8, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 390 Writing Urban Nature (Chicago, one-week intensive, May 22-26, Prof. Bryson)

Sustainability Studies courses offered in Fall 2017:

ACP 101 Our Sustainable Future (MW, 11am-12:15pm, Prof. Bryson)*
SUST 210 Sustainable Future (T, 2-4:30pm, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 210 Sustainable Future (online, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 220 Water (M, 2-4:30pm, Prof. Bryson)
SUST 230 Food (online, 9/12-12/10)
SUST 240 Waste (W, 2-4:30pm, Prof. Pickren)
SUST 310 Energy & Climate Change (online)
SUST 330 Biodiversity (Field Museum, Th 9am-1pm, Prof. Kerbis)
SUST 350 Service & Sustainability (Eden Place Farm, T 12-3pm, Prof. Bryson)
SUST 350 Service & Sustainability (online, Prof. Bryson)
SUST 390 Environmental Crime (MW, 12:30-1:45pm, Prof. Green)

* First Year Seminars are open to new full-time undergrads with 12 or fewer hours in transfer credit.

March is a super busy time of the academic year, but don’t neglect getting in touch with your advisor! It’s the best time to get signed up for classes. And for additional useful info, see this Advising Resources page on Prof. Mike Bryson’s faculty website.

Hauling straw in the Eden Place Nature Center's pickup truck during a SUST 350 Service workday on Chicago's South Side, Fall 2014

Hauling straw in the Eden Place Nature Center’s pickup truck during a SUST 350 Service workday on Chicago’s South Side, Fall 2014

Posted in courses, education, Roosevelt, students

This #EarthDay2017 in Chicago, March for Science!

On Earth Day this coming Saturday 4/22, join Roosevelt students, faculty, and staff in the March for Science in Chicago (10am-3pm in Grant Park). This national public event on #EarthDay2017 celebrates the value of science in society, and advocates for scientific evidence-based decision making in public policy and political discourse.

Please join faculty and students from the Sustainability Studies program and the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science as we in the RU community march for science! We’ll meet in the WB Lobby at 9:00am, after which we’ll walk over to Grant Park in time for the 10am rally that kicks off the day’s events. After a round of speakers, participants will march at 11am from Grant Park to the Museum Campus for a cool science expo planned for 12-3pm outside the Field Museum. Official visitor and registration details here.

Post to social media:  #MFSChi @sciencemarchchi
Share this info w/ your netoworks! (pdf)

Posted in activities, community, education, events, faculty, policy, Roosevelt, science, students | 1 Comment

Coming Face to Face with Urban Pollution at Bubbly Creek

By Kyria Fortina for ACP/SUST 250

RU Students clean up the shoreline of Bubbly Creek at Canal Origins Park (photo: K. Fortina)

This past Wednesday, April 12th, the students of the Sustainable University class ACP/SUST 250 ventured to Canal Origins Park for a special day of community and environmental service along the shoreline of Bubbly Creek, where it meets the South Branch of the Chicago River.

This was an eye opening experience. Not only had most of the students never been to this specific location on the Near Southwest Side of Chicago, but many had never really done any community service work before. After a brief introduction to the geography and environmental history of the location by professor Mike Bryson as we hiked through this park along S. Ashland Avenue, the class made their way to the riverbank to start collecting trash.

Photo: K. Fortina

Students were equipped with different types of garbage bags in order to separate waste from recycling, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Literally everything one would imagine and more was present on the shoreline of the river. The trash bags came to be filled with paper, bottles, boots, wallets, cans, feminine care products and plastic of all types — lots and lots of plastic.

It was interesting and oddly intriguing to see the amount of waste that humanity is able to produce and then just leave behind. The concept of waste in a public space is something that many may overlook. It may be something that most are used to, or just do not pay much attention to — nonetheless, it was illuminating here at Bubbly Creek to actually see what our waste does to the environment around us. An environment that has the capacity to create and sustain a healthy living space both physically and emotionally — if we are willing to do the work of restoring it from a decades-long legacy of abuse.

A small sampling of the trash that accumulates at the South Turning Basin, along Bubbly Creek’s shoreline (photo: M. Bryson)

This was a one-time project for our class, but it taught a lifelong lesson on the effects of our actions on the environment. Taking the time to care for our beautiful city will help us take better care of ourselves.

Hiking through the restored prairie at Canal Origins Park in the SW Side neighborhood of Bridgeport (photo: M. Bryson)

SUST major Melissa Ruby displays proper RU enthusiasm for our clean-up efforts! (photo: M. Bryson)

Nice to see that Roosevelt sweatshirt on SUST major Shaun Zelikson! (photo: M. Bryson)

Text by Kyria Fortina; editing by Yasmeen Lipprand and Mike Bryson.

Posted in activities, courses, education, field trips, parks and public land, pollution, Roosevelt, service, students, waste, water | 2 Comments

March for Science in Downtown Chicago on Earth Day 4/22

On Earth Day next Saturday 4/22, join Roosevelt students faculty, and staff for the March for Science in Chicago (10am in Grant Park in downtown Chicago) . This national public event on #EarthDay2017 advocates for the value and necessity of science in society, in particular the critical importance of scientific evidence-based decision making in public policy and political discourse.

Many faculty and students from the Sustainability Studies program and the Department of Biology, Chemistry, and Physical Science plan to attend — and everyone in the RU community is invited to join us! Meet in the WB Lobby at 9:30am, after which we’ll walk over to Grant Park in time for the 10am rally that kicks off the event. Participants will march at 11am from Grant Park to the Museum Campus, for a cool science expo 12-3pm outside the Field Museum. Visitor and registration details here.

Post to social media!  #MFSChi @sciencemarchchi
Share a pdf of this image far and wide!

Posted in activities, community, events, faculty, Roosevelt, science, students