Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

 Higher Education connecting, collaborating and taking action



This page features sustainability-related news from PERC Member Campuses.

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  • 11 Nov 2019 11:15 AM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    PSU Solar Project

    State College has installed a 2-megawatt, advanced utility-scale photovoltaic system next to Mount Nittany Medical Center earlier last month. While it will only provide University Park with 1% of its electricity needs, it will serve as a living lab for students. Actions such as these are the necessary building blocks for a more sustainable future. During the ribbon cutting ceremony Rob Cooper stated, “This project will continue Penn State’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, lowering our dependence on fossil fuel based electric generation, while supporting research and grant development by creating this microgrid.” 

  • 28 Oct 2019 7:49 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    Climate Choice Deliberation

    PERC’s seminar is an extremely useful event that should not be missed! This event is on November 9th at Penn State University, University Park, PA. The deliberation will have a morning section and an afternoon section with lunch in between.

    MORNING-Making the Choices

    Segment 1: To begin the day, we will establish a common frame of understanding grounded in the current science.

    Segment 2: From there, we deliberate in small groups of 8 to 12 people for about 2 hours on three options, each for about 30 minutes.

    Option A: More mitigation investments like renewable energy, green buildings, carbon sequestration, and so on.

    Option B: Rapid investment in adaptation measures to sea level rise, increased precipitation, higher heat stresses, and others.

    Option C: Amp up research and development to discover options that we might not yet know about and that could create a breakthrough.

    While these may not seem mutually exclusive, by deliberating on the options distinctly from one another, it offers us the chance to work through our values, our strengths and weaknesses, and what tradeoffs we can or can’t accept.

    Segment 3: After the options are worked through, groups will summarize where they found common ground and, if possible, determine what actions they can and should take.

    Segment 4: Groups will assemble to report out and have a large group discussion.

    AFTERNOON-Taking it to Your Community

    After lunch, we will reconvene to learn how to organize a deliberation in your community. Tips will include how to determine who you should work with, how to cooperate with libraries and media, and how to facilitate and moderate discussions. We will be joined by Cathi Alloway, executive director of the Schlow Memorial Library and Britani Peterson, a second-year Penn State Law student with experience in group facilitation and a passion for social justice, and Peter Buckland, of Penn State’s Sustainability Institute.

    Questions can be sent to Peter Buckland at

    PERC's Climate Choices Deliberation is based on the Kettering Foundation's Climate ChoicesClimate Choices creates a structured way for organizations and communities to discuss the issue of climate change in a meaningful way. It brings ethical issues to the forefront, invites individuals to explore trade-offs between different climate solutions, creates good conditions for dialog and decision-making, and respects the democratic process. Best of all for our members, it will surface our individual and collective values, provide us with ways to engage our own campuses and communities, and give us the basic skills we need to organize and facilitate. If you so choose, you can make this deliberation part of an event in your community on April 8, 2020 as part of the national Solve Climate by 2030 project organized by Eban Goodstein and the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

    Click here for more information and to sign up!

  • 25 Oct 2019 7:26 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    The Biggest Little Farm Film Screening

    Thanks to WCU’s Office of Sustainability, the Slow Food Club, and the West Chester Green Team, West Chester University will be screening The Biggest Little Farm! This movie is about two people who leave the city behind to restore farm land. The film will begin at 7 pm in the Sykes Student Union Theater and is free to the public!

  • 23 Oct 2019 8:20 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    Impact on Forestry and Wildlife

    Please joining us for a lecture with Benjamin Jones, a leader in science based conservation, as he discusses regional climate change impact on forestry and wildlife. Ben was unanimously chosen as the new President and CEO of the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodstock Society! This event will be held on November 13th in the Orndorff Theater (Room123) at Shippensburg University. There is free visitor parking in lot C-7 on the night of the event. (campus map available here:

  • 26 Sep 2019 2:59 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    14th Annual River Symposium!

    Do not miss out on the Annual Susquehanna River Symposium on October 18 and 19 in the Langone Center at Bucknell University. This free and public event has been put on by the Bucknell Center for Sustainability & the Environment. The goal of this symposium is to bring together many people in order to discuss research, innovative projects, share ideas and increase awareness about the health of the river and the communities within the watershed. Last year’s event was comprised of over 100 students and faculty from 22 colleges and universities. 

    "The symposium brings together academics, consultants, state, federal, and regional agencies, conservation groups, and the public to discuss ongoing scientific research and innovative projects, to share ideas, and to increase awareness of the connection between river health and the communities within our watersheds. Its presentations and breakout discussions explore various management and sustainability issues facing the mid-Atlantic region today," said Watershed Sciences & Engineering program director Dr. Benjamin R. Hayes.

    "One of its primary goals is to draw together people from all walks of life who share a common interest in rivers, watersheds, communities, and the connections therein. It offers a time and a place where the public can interact with academics, professionals, and regulators, all working toward the same goal - a sustainable Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay." The Pennsylvania Water Resource Research Center is also a proud supporter of this symposium.

  • 17 Sep 2019 9:07 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    WCU Climate Emergency Week

    WCU is providing many opportunities this week to learn about and to take action on the climate crisis. Join us and other WCU students, faculty, and staff as we learn more about the challenges posed by the climate crisis at home and around the globe.


    Sustainability Research and Practice Seminar

    Join us this semester in welcoming scholars and practitioners from across campus as we explore the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. This week we'll be hearing from the Dr. Karl Hausker from the World Research Institute on Zero-Net Emissions by 2050: Climate Realities and Challenges. The Sustainability Research and Practice Seminar is held weekly on Wednesdays from 12 pm to 12:50 pm in Sykes 255 A/B. Students, faculty, and community members are all welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

    Live Streaming of the presentation will be provided by Kristin Herman of WCU’s Distance  Education Office via a Zoom website connection at


    The 3rd Annual Environmental Sustainability Film Series


    Coming up on Thursday of this week, the first film in a series of four will be screened in the Sykes Student Union Theater as a part of the 3rd Annual Environmental Sustainability Film Series. This first film will be Bikes vs Cars, a story about the struggle for space and rights on the road by cyclists and motorists alike. The film screening will begin at 6pm and admission is free. This event is open to the public and is sponsored by the WCU Office of Sustainability, the West Chester Green Team, and members of the Chester County Environmental Alliance.


    Rally to Support the Climate Strike

    Friday, a rally will be held at the Chester Country Courthouse to stand together with climate strikes taking place across the globe that same day. These strikes have been organized to fall just three days prior to the UN Climate Summit being convened in NY City on September 23rd. The rally in West Chester will take place at 11am, but for those on campus, RUCCAS (Rustin Urban Community Change Axis) will be walking down with a group leaving from the entrance of Main Hall at 10:45am. 


    Park(ing) Day

    On Friday West Chester University will participate in an international Park(ing) Day event where urban parking space is reimagined. From 8:30am to 4p on Church Street near Rosedale Ave, a parking space will be creatively transformed into small scale parks. Walk over and check it out and maybe find inspiration for how urban space could be utilized!



    International Day of Peace

    The theme for the 2019 International Day of Peace is "Climate Action for Peace," and the United Nations is calling on everyone to take action. In West Chester, a commemoration of the International Day of Peace will be held at the Chester County Courthouse from 12pm to 1pm, sponsored by the Chester County Peace Movement.


    March for Peace & Climate

    Directly following the official commemoration of the International Day of Peace, a March for Peace & Climate will be taking place, leaving from the Chester County Courthouse and continuing on for 4 blocks to the Unitarian Congregation. Speakers at the march will include Senator Andy Dinniman, Pipeline Activist Ginny Kerslake, former Mayor Jordan Norley, Environmental Activist Isaac Harte, Clean Water Activist Maurice Sampson II, Peace Advocate Jen Karsten, members of the Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, & powerful Youth Leaders from across Chester County. Mayor Dianne Herrin will give a welcome and there will be live music provided by Rev Dan Schatz. Refreshments will be provided by the West Chester Cooperative. 

    AORE Campus Challenge

    Brought to you by WCU's Outdoor Adventure Pursuits, the AORE Campus Challenge is kicking off today and running through October 13th!  The challenge is aimed at simply getting people outdoors, which is especially relevant as we enter into a week long series of events to raise climate change awareness.  98 schools across the country are competing and you can be a part of helping put WCU on the map! Just download the AORE Campus Challenge App and post your outdoor activities any time during the next four weeks.  This could be as simple as your morning walk or bike ride to work, a weekend hike or stroll with your dog, or as adventurous as joining the OAP program on their fall Mountain Biking Trip on September 28th. Just get outside!

    AORE Campus Challenge - 24 Hour Adventure Race

    As part of the month long AORE Campus Challenge, WCU's Outdoor Adventure Pursuits is hosting a 24 Hour Adventure Race this Friday evening from 6pm to 9pm at the Quad.  There's going to be live music, games, and food as participants go head to head with schools across the country to see who can get the most people outside and active. Contact with questions.

    Perils of Plastics

    with Dr. Sherri Mason

    The Stroud Water Research Center will host a fascinating lecture on Sunday, September 22, 2019 by Dr. Sherri Mason titled Perils of Plastics.  Dr. Mason will present her groundbreaking research at this time on the identification of the presence of microbeads and microfibers in fresh water, and the associated dangers of these findings.  Doors will open at 4 pm at the Stroud Water Research Center's Meetinghouse and the lecture itself will begin at 4:45 pm. This event is free and open to the public. Contact Jessica Provinski with questions.

  • 16 Sep 2019 1:17 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    Please Join Us for the Climate Awareness Walkout September 20th!

    On September 20th Lebanon Valley College will be participating in the climate awareness walkout and rally. This event will be held at Annville Town Square from 1-3 PM. The goal of this rally is to raise awareness about climate change and demand political leaders to take action. Some solutions this rally is advocating for include state and federal government action supporting renewable energy, banning fracking in Pennsylvania, ending public subsidies to fossil fuel interests in PA and supporting LVC’s Climate Action Plan. For more information contact For more information on the Week of Climate Action, visit or

  • 13 Sep 2019 2:12 PM | Marcus Thompson (Administrator)

    PERC's Fall Intern!

    PERC has added a new member to the team. Marcus Thompson is a senior environmental science major at Dickinson College and is PERC’s new Member Outreach/Social Media intern. Marcus will be contacting member schools to learn about any sustainable news or achievements. These stories will be posted onto multiple PERC social media platforms as well as the PERC website. Feel free to send any sustainability news from member schools to!

  • 12 Sep 2019 1:19 PM | Bandarenko Alex (Administrator)

    REGISTER NOW! and learn how PADEP and PEER are partnering to create reliable, resilient and sustainable power systems in Pennsylvania


    Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Energy Programs Office announced that it has partnered with PEER, the first rating system that measures and improves power system performance and electricity infrastructure. As part of this partnership, PADEP will sponsor the PEER certification of several projects in Pennsylvania.

    Join USGBC, GBCI and PADEP for a free hour-long webinar to learn about the partnership and about how energy stakeholders in the Commonwealth can use PEER to advance their grid modernization, resiliency and sustainability goals. 


    Pennsylvania PEER Webinar

    When: September 25, 2019 from 11:00am – 12:00 pm EST


    With PADEP's support, three to five entities in Pennsylvania will receive a free technical assessment of their power system and possible PEER certification. Eligible entities include college campuses, water/wastewater treatment plants, microgrids, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, hospitals, emergency management headquarters, major electric utilities, and/or transit systems.

    Energy professionals, policy makers, utility providers, engineering and design professionals, business and industrial leaders who are interested in learning about the partnership and PEER should attend.

    About PEER

    PEER encourages the adoption of reliable, resilient and sustainable practices, and helps utilities and campuses solve aging infrastructure, find cost savings, share best practices, build for resiliency and enhance tracking to determine and prevent failures. PEER evaluates and verifies a power system’s performance and, through certification, celebrates industry leaders who are improving their efficiency, day-to-day reliability and overall resiliency and who are preparing for severe events, such as flooding and hurricanes.

    The overarching goals of the program are to help modernize our energy infrastructure, reduce global emissions, make our communities more resilient, improve the safety and security of our energy systems, create new green jobs in the electricity industry and catalyze economic growth at all levels.

    The Pennsylvania PEER project is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from the US Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. The webinar is the first in a series of education and outreach events to educate customers, stakeholders and policy makers. For more information, contact Heidi Kunka at

  • 04 Sep 2019 8:51 AM | Bandarenko Alex (Administrator)

    Please Join Us at the Sunrise Movement Training Session Sept. 7th & 8th!

    Students concerned about the climate crisis and looking to take meaningful action now are invited to join the Sunrise Movement at its Northeast Regional Summit.  From September 7th-9th, 2019 Sunrisers will gather in Providence, Rhode Island for a climate activist training. The summit will be an opportunity to meet other regional hub members and build community across the movement.  Attendees will be trained in Sunrise's message as well as communications strategy, action planning, fundraising, creating partnerships, and other core skills in building a powerful grassroots movement to tackle the climate crisis.  This is one of Sunrise's biggest trainings yet! For more information please go visit their website or contact the local group of Sunrisers at

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