Brief description:Creek Connections is a watershed education outreach project from Allegheny College started in 1995. We work with middle and high school teachers to enhance STEM education throughout western Pennsylvania (and beyond). The basis of the program is providing teachers with equipment, training and our staff expertise to conduct chemical water quality monitoring at a stream in their backyard with their students about monthly during the school year. We turn waterways into outdoor laboratories teaming with hands-on learning! In addition to the chemical water monitoring, we assist teachers with additional STEM topics they are covering such as biological and physical monitoring. We also provide loaner modules on watershed related topics to any educator within our region. We have modules on 16 different topics including freshwater fish, stream geology and wetlands. In the summertime, we offer our residential Creek Camp to high schoolers. Each session involves up to 12 students in a variety of aquatic ecology topics within the biologically diverse French Creek Watershed. Students are exposed to many experts in the field and career path opportunities. They complete a research project during camp and present their findings to their parents and regional environmental organization staff members.
Names of other contributors:Laura Branby, Elliott Bartels, Kristy Garcia, David Olson, Kelcy Wagner
Title of project:Classroom Aquaponics: Measuring Outcomes of a 3-Year Service Learning Experience
Conference attendee: TJ Eatmon
Brief description: An environmental education course at Allegheny College was designed to provide college students with practical experience in promoting sustainable values, attitudes, and behaviors through service-learning. Students enrolled in the course worked with seven classrooms to address state mandated academic standards in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as well as Ecology and Environment. Throughout the semester, sixth grade students were taught scientific skills through water quality monitoring, as well as ecological concepts such as interdependence and dynamic behavior. The design of the service learning experience allows Allegheny College students to transcend the boundaries of the classroom while extending campus sustainability into the local community, while the sixth grade students they teach share a similar experience through weekly interactions. In this poster presentation, we report the results of this experience with a focus on perceptions from the perspective of Crawford Central School District teachers involved in the experience.
Names of other contributors: Sydney Bedford ('15), Jessica Stickel ('15)
Brief description:In collaboration between the Allegheny College Office of Civic Engagement and the Crawford Heritage Community Foundation, a report of Vital Signs for the Crawford County community was compiled. A secondary data analysis, the Vital Signs look at aspects of the Economy, Health, Environment, Education, Community and Civic Engagement in order to inform donors and community partners about immediate needs in our community. The project is in the form of a website and was also presented to the board of the Crawford Heritage Community Foundation. The link to the project is here:https://sites.google.com/a/crawfordheritage.org/crawford-county-vitalsigns/
Names of other contributors:
Title of Project:DeHart Local Foods Dinner
Conference attendee:Kerstin Martin
Brief description:The Allegheny College DeHart Local Foods Dinner, now in its twelfth year, is an annual celebration of regionally produced foods. The event quickly sells out more than 250 seats to students, faculty, staff, and community members. The menu is sourced from more than twenty growers and producers from our area, including fruits, vegetables, and meats. Students from the Edible Allegheny Club and from numerous classes volunteer to assist with food preparation and event programming. Although the dinner is a fun and delicious event, the dinner also serves to educate students about agricultural sustainability and highlights foods that are available and in season in northwestern Pennsylvania. A farmers' market, games, activities, and music precede the dinner encouraging the greater campus community to take part in celebrating local foods.
Title of project: Comparative Performance of Solar PV Systems in Northwest Pennsylvania
Conference attendee:Sarah Swartz
Brief description: The use of fossil fuels to generate electricity contributes heavily to the growing problem of climate change. As the need for alternative sources grows, more homeowners, universities or colleges, and small businesses are installing solar arrays to help meet electrical demands. This project compares the performance of various solar arrays in northwest Pennsylvania by collecting and comparing data on electricity generation. Conclusions will be drawn about what factors affect the performance of these arrays.
Names of other contributors: Geoffrey Bristow
Title of Project:Edible Allegheny
Conference attendee:Susan Washko
Brief description:The Edible Allegheny Campus club is dedicated to the local food movement. To bring students closer to their food’s origin, Edible maintains a student garden and orchard where students who work can take a share of the food, demonstrating efforts and difficulties in cultivating food. Every fall, Edible takes students on a service-learning trip to a local orchard to aid in an apple harvest. The farmer explains to how difficult and expensive it is to grow apples that consumers desire, and the challenges in running an orchard as a successful business. The club hosts educational, hands-on events preparing local food (e.g. salsa, applesauce); food for these events is sourced from local farms with sustainable practices, so students realize what produce is in season and how it differs from grocery store products. Each year Edible prepares the dessert for the DeHart Dinner, a local foods fundraiser held at Allegheny, and attended by about 300 people from campus and the surrounding community. Food comes almost entirely from locally grown and prepared sources. Through gardening, harvesting, and cooking, Allegheny students are immersing themselves in the food system, educating themselves about downsides of industrial agriculture, and exploring benefits of a more local food structure.
Brief description:Native pollinators contribute approximately 75 percent of the total crop pollination in the United States; however, populations face decline due to loss of diversity and increased pesticide inputs. The Allegheny College campus contains diverse habitats that are maintained without the use of pesticides, making the main campus grounds a safe haven for insect populations. During the summer of 2014, a campus wide survey of native pollinator diversity and abundance was conducted. Yellow and blue bee bowls and vane traps were placed at nine sites. Traps remained in place for one week during June, July, and August. A total of 710 bees were collected, with 5 families and 14 genera represented. The most abundant family was Halictidae, containing the two most abundant genera, Halictus and Lasioglossum. Bee abundance and diversity were greater in July and August than in June. Yellow bee bowls collected a greater number of individuals than blue bee bowls. Halictidae are diverse and abundant in Northwest Pennsylvania, suggesting that they pollinate a diversity of plant species. This research is valuable to understanding baseline populations of bees on the Allegheny College campus and the role of campus landscapes in providing habitats for native bees.
Names of other contributors: Professor Beth Choate
Contact information: email@example.com
Title of Project:The Carbon Athletic Conference: Designing a sustainability-oriented athletic conference
Conference attendee:Sadie Stuart
Brief description:Intercollegiate athletics provide higher education institutions with important opportunities to reduce environmental impacts and increase sustainability. Allegheny College seeks to improve environmental sustainability within the athletic department by reducing energy and resource use. One aspect that is often overlooked in sustainability discussions is the amount of travel necessary for competition in its current conference (North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)). Spanning from western Pennsylvania to the middle of Indiana, this conference is comprised of similar academicall- inclined and rigorous schools, but not schools that are necessarily in close proximity. This project examines environmental and financial costs of the Allegheny College softball team’s current participation in the NCAC, as well as costs incurred in a new theoretical conference (the Carbon Conference) that will be constructed based on similarity of schools and reduction in travel among participants. Factors to be compared include travel time, financial travel costs, and fuel usage emissions (CO2, CO, NOx, particulates). Economic and environmental savings accrued in a conference change by the softball team will be applied to other Allegheny teams to estimate potential savings in the athletics department as a whole by competing in a more environmentally-conscious conference.
Names of other contributors:Richard D. Bowden
Title of project:Bottled Water Usage Among Students on Allegheny College Campus
Conference attendee: Beth Choate
Brief description: The environmental consequences of the lifecycle of bottled water range from aquifer depletion during extraction of water to air pollution during distribution. Discussion of the negative environmental impacts, as well as observations of excessive use and improper disposal of water bottles at Allegheny College prompted a class study to identify the prevalence and purpose of bottled water use by students. Five hundred students, 23% of the student body, were surveyed about their bottled water use and behaviors when on campus. Nine trash cans and recycling bins throughout campus were sampled over a two-month period to determine the number of bottles discarded and method of disposal. Additionally, the college has water bottle refill stations with a counter that track usage, which was recorded over a two-month period. It was predicted that students are purchasing bottled water off campus and then consuming and disposing of it on campus most likely due to a dislike or concern over the safety of tap water. It was also predicted that water bottle refill station are not effective in reducing bottled water use. With the data collected, efforts to reduce bottled water purchasing and usage will be taken to further enhance Allegheny College’s green campus initiatives.
Names of other contributors: Brittany Davis, Jackie Verrecchia, Darby Anderson, Diana Armas, Timothy Byan, Katy Click, Katarina D'Ercole, Joyce Ensler, Larry Fares, Hayden Moyer, Jonathan Nigro, DeandreaNwokeafor-Laz, Jack Ohrman, Joshua Perez, Jonathan Shick, Konrad Spartz, Breanna Whiting
Title of Project:Creative Reuse: From Academic Competencies to Sustainability
Conference attendee:Jenny Wittann
Brief description:Chatham’s Master of Sustainability Program aims to develop and deepen students’ competencies in eight areas of focus as an essential part of our study goals (conceptualizing sustainability, systems thinking, transdisciplinary and collaboration, application and assessment, communication, transformative leadership, creativity, and ethics). These competencies enable students to implement sustainability in a variety of settings. The program relies heavily on projects outside of the classroom engaging students with community members. We aim to show how these sustainability competencies are gained through the example of our consulting project for the nonprofit organization Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR). PCCR wants to receive more bulk donations of manufacturing castoffs from businesses in the region, but lacks adequate warehouse space and staff to store, sort, and transport materials. Within the scope of the project, we are analyzing the feasibility of increasing donation efficiency by introducing an inventory management system and adequate tools and software. The project is student led, and will deliver a stakeholder analysis, feasibility study and peer best practices. On our poster, we will display how our gained competences play out in this specific project, how we utilize them and which additional skills we have to learn to be effective project managers.
Names of other contributors:Joshua Lewis
Title of project: Greater Carlisle Project
Conference attendee: Amber McGarvey
Brief description: The Greater Carlisle Project (GCP), who vision is to create a more sustainable and livable community in and around Carlisle, PA has offered tremendous partnerships and opportunties for civic engagement with Dickinson College. From this partnership, Dickinson College students have worked with the GCP to engage with the community in the following ways. In Fall 2013 a Community-Based Research project was conducted through a class at Dickinson entitled “Building Sustainable Communities.” In Spring 2014, members of the Baird Sustainability Fellows, an honors program for sustainability, worked on a community database and mapping project in their colloquium to support the GCP. In Fall 2014, the Dickinson Center for Sustainability Education created a Greater Carlisle Project intern position to support the project and continue the relationship Dickinson students have with the project. I hold this position and I will describe my internship roles and projects through the poster. The GCP is an association of people, organizations, and local business that worked together to improve the quality of life in the surrounding area through social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The goals and projects of the GCP will be highlighted and case studies of student engagement will be presented. The partnership between the Greater Carlisle Project and Dickinson College could provide a model for other institutions to engage their students in cross sector collaborations and meaningful work in community-based sustainability projects.
Names of other contributors:
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Title of project: Dickinson College Biodiesel
Conference attendee: Steven Fitzpatrick
Brief description: The Dickinson College Biodiesel Program is a student-managed production operation that creates educational opportunities for the community and provides the College with a sustainable, alternative fuel source. Waste vegetable oil from the college dining service and community members is collected and used to produce biodiesel through base-catalyzed transesterification. The Dickinson college farm’s trucks and tractors run on the biodiesel produced by the shop. A co-product of biodiesel production, glycerin, is used to make soap and is used in the farm's anaerobic digester. Besides daily maintenance and production, students are also working on individual projects to improve the overall performance of the shop.
Names of other contributors: Tyce Herrman
Contact information: email@example.com
Title of project:Biking @ Dickinson
Conference attendee: Mariah Murphy
Brief description:The Biking@Dickinson initiative plays an important role in sustainability at Dickinson College by promoting sustainable and accessible transportation, building community, and providing biking education to the campus. Biking@Dickinson has several initiatives that have seen much success recently. The Handlebar, the volunteer run bike co-op on campus, has increased its volunteer force this year from only a few full-time students to over twelve dedicated volunteers. The volunteers have started a few new projects, including rebuilding a 1979 Schwinn tandem, and plans are in the making to design a new bike-powered “contraption”. The Green Bike program, which loans bikes out each semester, has grown increasingly popular within the Dickinson community. Many of these bikes are used by international students or students from the West Coast, though some Green Bikes are also loaned to students who can’t afford to purchase a bike, as well as exchange students and visiting professors. With the increase in Handlebar volunteers, these Green Bikes are able to be better maintained between semesters. Additionally, initiatives to provide more bike racks across campus, as well as to provide outdoor bike pumps and a bike repair stand, have been implemented within the past few months.
Names of other contributors:
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Title of project:Communications at the Dickinson College Center for Sustainability Education
Conference attendee:Jackie Goodwin
Brief description:This multimedia poster presentation will focus on the digital outreach done by the Dickinson College Center for Sustainability Education. The physical poster will detail the blogs, FB/Twitter/Instagram presence and the Sustainability E-Newsletter. We will display these sites on iPads at the table to add an interactive element to the presentation. Overall, our goal is to convey how the Center for Sustainability Education engages students at the college and serves as an educational resource for students interested in sustainability. We will convey our social media goals of connection, collaboration and networking by sharing what we have learned with the PERC community. By creating a proper outreach program for CSE, we can serve as an example for other institutions looking to similarly involve students.
Names of other contributors:Carson Koser, Lindsey Lyons
Title of project:The ORCA at Keystone College
Conference attendee:Jennifer Kern
Brief description:Keystone College's poster will provide information about the ORCA machine that the dining room uses. The ORCA machine is technology that breaks down food waste into earth-friendly waste water within 24 hours. In terms of sustainability and some benefits, the ORCA helps reduce CO2 emissions, helps save money, and helps reduce methane gas from landfills.
Names of other contributors:Michael Lusk
Title of project:Lycoming College Sustainability Waste Reduction Initiative
Conference attendee:Lynette Dooley
Briefdescription: The Sustainability Committee consists of administrators, faculty and students and serves to institute sustainability initiatives on campus. The committee hopes to encourage a collaborative and supportive atmosphere for the campus community interested in promoting environmental sustainability and to serve as a resource for faculty, staff and students on all matters pertaining to the environment. The Lycoming College Sustainability Committee has made many advancements in the past year in reducing waste output and educating the campus about its ongoing programs. TerraCycle, an upcycling program, is in its second semester at Lycoming. TerraCycle takes usually non-recyclable items, such as granola bar wrappers and Solo Cups, and repurposes them through a form of recycling called upcycling, turning them into new products. In addition to wrappers and cups, current brigades include beauty products, personal care products, and cigarette waste. Bins have been placed in all dorms on campus, and volunteers are in place to regularly collect the waste. Items sent in are also exchanged for a monetary value and are donated to Charity: Water, a group dedicated to building wells and providing clean water in twenty-two developing countries. We recently redeemed enough waste items to supply one person with clean water for a month. E-Waste is also new at Lycoming. We are currently accepting ink and toner cartridges, cell phones, batteries and small electronics. We properly dispose of them so they do not end up in landfills. Also, Lycoming County Recycling has recently gone single-stream, and garbage rooms across campus are in the process of being relabeled to accommodate this.
Names of other contributors: Johanna Hripto, Julian Jones, Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Ryan Adams
Title of project:Lycoming College Sustainability Committee Food Waste Initiative
Conference attendee:Lynette Dooley
Briefdescription:The Sustainability Committee consists of administrators, faculty and students and serves to institute sustainability initiatives on campus. Hopes to encourage a collaborative and supportive atmosphere for the campus community interested in promoting environmental sustainability and to serve as a resource for to campus on all matters pertaining to the environment. Dining Services use about 35% locally sourced food. In agreement with Parkhurst, the produce provided to students is grown locally when in season. This also includes local farms to provide the milk served in the dining hall and the meat products used in meal preparation. The “Choose to Reuse” green to-go containers are available for student use to eat outside of the dining hall. Our dining hall has gone tray-less in attempts to reduce food waste and dishes. Lycoming College is the 50th chapter to be a part of the Food Recovery Network and was established as a chapter in January 2014. Since this program was established, we have saved over 12,000 pounds of food and FRN continues to grow and new chapters from across the country are joining the FRN team to stop food waste and hunger. With this program, students can learn the benefits of saving food from entering a landfill and helping our community. The Biodiesel initiative takes used cooking oil from the Lycoming dining call to be converted into biodiesel in an on-campus facility.
Names of other contributors:Johanna Hripto, Julian Jones, Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Dr. Ryan Adams
Pennsylvania State University
Title of project:Educational Practice of Home Energy Assessment
Conference attendee:Fuju Wu
Brief Description:The NELC curriculum allows entry-level participants to deliver home energy assessments with the application of value theory that transfers the value of energy assessment service into self-awareness and self- improvement of house performance. The core program includes advanced tools and techniques:
Online learning curriculum created for self-paced on-demand learning and also supports portability and capacity building of instructors interested in adopting building science and service learning into their energy and sustainability courses.
Flipped classroom model enables independent learning and the use of class time for interaction and skill building enables action skills and interpersonal / business development skills to be developed by participant in preparation for active roles in building energy assessments.
Continuous learning platform supports access, updates, and continuous improvement of curriculum in a manner that will enable new technologies and regional topics to be integrated into the course materials by the community of faculty participating in the NELC program.
As well as achieving pilot tests of curriculum and several courses at the Penn State University and University of Pittsburgh since 2011, over 100 home energy assessments have been completed to testified with designed audit I-Pad application and tools in the State College and Pittsburgh regions.
Names of other contributors:David Riley, Elizabeth Resenic, Anthony Magliozzi , ShahrzadFadaei, Henrique Da Rosa, Matthew Doughten
Title of project:A Student-Centered Sustainable Farm at Penn State University
Conference attendee:Briana Yablonski
Brief description:As public interest in local and sustainable food systems has blossomed in the past 15 years, colleges and universities have begun designing new interdisciplinary curricula addressing sustainable food systems, working to increase institutional procurement of local food, and developing new student-centered sustainable farm initiatives. These developments in higher education underscore how the food and agricultural systems can serve as a nexus for engaged, integrated and experiential learning about sustainability challenges and solutions. In 2013, a group of Penn State students, faculty and staff laid initial groundwork for the development of a student-centered farm and a sustainable food systems minor. Since then, students, faculty, staff and community members have been working together to develop a plan which serves diverse constituents and yields opportunities to experience and understand the complexities, uncertainties and opportunities of local and sustainable food systems. This poster highlights key findings relating to the process of establishing a student-centered farm at a large, land grant university and the current vision for the farm at Penn State. This vision has evolved through place-based findings gathered from multiple conversations with local stakeholders and benchmarking of other student farms around the U.S., both of which are detailed in the poster.
Brief description:Because we want to get the word out about Net Impact, we're going to make the poster about what Net Impact does. We'll include our logo, and brief description of our mission. And then, a few spotlights of projects: we are highlighting some of our projects: our Beaver Stadium zero waste initiative, ink cartridges project, Small Steps Big Wins, etc. Our poster will also mention how other universities can create a chapter at their school, and encourage them to collaborate with us to do so. It will be very educational and informative.
Title of project:Statewide Implementation of Promoting Healthy People/Healthy Environments Through Medical Waste Reduction Strategies in Clinical Nursing Simulation Laboratories
Conference attendee: Kristal Hockenberry
Brief description:The College of Nursing clinical simulation laboratory at Penn State serves as a “Living Lab” in a manner of speakingundefinedan area where students practice in a safe learning environment without causing harm to patients. In this environment, an enormous quantity and variety of laboratory supplies are utilized for practice purposes by sophomore, junior and senior level nursing students (130-180 in each class at University Park alone). Because the supplies are used for practice only, they are not contaminated, and at present, are disposed of in large waste bins throughout the simulation “pods” (nine at University Park alone). More than 95% of those supplies are easily recyclable. The sustainability challenge addressed by this project will, in large part, elicit behavior/culture changes in how supplies are environmentally disposed of through recycling efforts. Embracing the challenge, campus coordinators and students who have volunteered to participate are anxious and eager to implement strategies which promote waste reduction and increase recycling of clean medical products. There is a great deal of interest and enthusiasm currently at the University Park campus as well as at six other Commonwealth sites. Simulation coordinators at these sites are looking forward to participating in this venture, and to replicating the recycling project at their respective locations. There has been an overwhelming nursing student response for volunteers who wish to be involved.
Names of other contributors:Darlene Clark, Albert Matyasovsky and Sharon Lacue
Brief description:Penn State Food Recovery Network (FRN) works with Penn State dining commons, Pollock and Findlay, to recover surplus unsold food items and deliver them to local organizations, in state college, who are in need. The sole purpose of FRN is to FIGHT food waste and FEED people. We deliver every evening at 8pm Monday-Thursdays. Donations are delivered to 5 different organizations including; Stepping Stone, Youth Haven, Women's Resource Center, House of Care, Stormbreak and in the near future Hearts for the Homeless. FRN recovers about 50 lbs. of surplus unsold food per week. Penn State FRN runs solely on a volunteer basis, however we give the option of membership for those who are committed to the cause. We are a recently reactivated organization, as of Fall 2014, that is starting up and trying to expand. Our future plans are to expand our services to surrounding areas including Bellefonte, and Philipsburg, PA and to increase our lb. per week total.
Brief description:At large sporting events, venues often include multiple ways stadium spectators can recycle. However, outside the stadium, tailgaters often make up a large percentage of the event’s attendees and yet may have unaccounted barriers to recycling. This paper uses both observational and survey data to examine the recycling behavior of tailgaters at an American Division I University’s football events. Surveys revealed high reported intent to recycle, but observed behaviors revealed lower rates of recycling (48.7%). Many of the tailgaters observed (40.7%) used their own waste disposal bags, which was correlated with decreased use of the venue’s recycling infrastructure. Greater knowledge about the venue’s infrastructure and higher motivation to recycle were associated with increased reported recycling behaviors. These relations were mediated by respondents’ behavioral capacity to recycle while tailgating. These results suggest that information and motivation may be important predictors of tailgaters’ recycling behaviors. Both practical and theoretical implications will be discussed.
Names of other contributors:Forrest G. Schwartz, Jordan C. E. Blair, Eric C. Larson, and Jennifer N. Newton
Title of Project:Using Cost-Benefit Analysis and a Three-Dimensional Method to Determine the Most Effective Buildings to Install Green Roofs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Briefdescription:In 2013, the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, announced a “Greening Plan,” which included a framework for green roof installation. The established framework does not include a detailed green roof construction plan. Thus, this study assessed which buildings in Harrisburg would have the most cost-effective building shape upon which to install green roofs. By using three-dimensional building information and calculating building compaction, project lifespan cost-benefit data were determined to select buildings in the downtown area. Three-dimensional models of 25 buildings were produced with Google SketchUp software. Important statistics, including energy savings, air quality improvement, urban heat island effects, impervious area runoff reduction, and roof lifespan, were calculated. These calculations determined the overall monetary benefit of a green roof project in relation to conventional roofs over a planned time period by utilizing the “Net Present Value” method. To ascertain how compactness controls building temperature, this study observed four physical models during 92 days. Results suggest energy savings are a major benefit of green roofs, and buildings that have lower compactness have more energy savings from installing green roofs. This study could be important in suggesting the most cost-efficient buildings for green roof installation in cities around the world.
Names of other contributors:
Title of Project:The Green Kiln: Designing and Building a Vegetable Fuel based Ceramic Kiln
Conference attendee:Ben Culbertson
Brief description:Shippensburg University Ceramics Department was one of the first schools in the country to build a multi-fuel ceramic kiln that fired with biodiesel or waste vegetable oil. This multi-year project began in 2010 and continues today with the building of a new and improved "Veggie Kiln". The goal of the project has been to design and fire a 40 cubic foot ceramic kiln to 2300F from start to finish using only vegetable-based fuels. This year the project will go off-grid with the addition of a solar array and battery bank to power blowers and pumps. This poster documents the research and successes of the project.
Names of other contributors:Kelsey Martin, Kevin Jurnack, Harley Weigle, Taylor Smith, Audrey Ketterer, Dustin Fry, Sean Cohick, Shawn Staub
Title of project:Susquehanna University's Community Food Action Team
Conference attendees:Sarah Dickerson
Brief description:Susquehanna University's Community Food Action Team strives to create a campus community devoted to the production of organically-grown, nutritious, local food while providing opportunities for experiential learning, service, and community outreach. We also use this community and our products to create a partnership with the residents and organizations of Snyder County through the distribution of nutritious foods to those experiencing a nutritional need. Through these objectives, we hope to not only create an environment focused on healthy food systems, but also to support the three pillars of Susquehanna University, which are to achieve, lead, and serve.
Names of other contributors: Michelle Barakat, Melissa Campbell, Raquel Capellan, Andrew Curtis, Anady Richardson, Greg Schell, Lindsay Wisser
Brief description:Proposed in 2007 as a means of updating the 1960s-era coal-fired steam plant, West Chester University has undertaken an extensive geothermal initiative. When it is complete, it will have a capacity of 16.1 MW including 1,400 deep closed-loop geoexchange wells. The system is more than one-third completed and already 47 percent more efficient than the previous system, and we estimate the system will save $1M/yr when completed with payback in 29 years. The current geothermal system reduces CO2, SO2, and NOx emissions by 37, 73, and 71 percent, respectively and emits zero particulate pollution. Thanks to this initiative, the coal-fired steam plant was decommissioned this last summer. Given that the plant was the largest source point of CO2 emissions in Chester County, this represents a significant accomplishment. WCU’s system provides students and faculty with an opportunity for world-class research on heat transport and energy sustainability.
Names of other contributors: Paul Morgan, Martin Helmke, Greg Cuprak, Tom Clark, John Lattanze