High Meadows Foundation
Fiscal Year 2012 Awards Granted
Faculty Research: Bioremediation of Plastic Waste
This project will explore the potential use of bacteria in the remediation of plastic waste. Recently discovered bacteria will be used to degrade polyethylene and polystyrene wastes. The rates of degradation and the degradation by-products will be studied as functions of temperature and pH. The insights from the proposed experiments will also be used to guide the design of a bioreactor for the controlled degradation of plastic wastes. The effectiveness of the system will be explored in collaboration with campus waste management. Project leads: Wole Soboyejo and Karen Malatesta
Bee Team Yard/Outdoor Action Expansion
In response to the recent spread of Colony Collapse Disorder, students formed a beekeeping club in 2009 to practice and teach the craft of beekeeping and educate the campus community about the importance of bees for sustainable agriculture. This funding will allow the bee yard to expand from two to four hives to better serve the 50 active members of the club, and also to begin expanding honey production to support Outdoor Action orientation trips and its sustainability curriculum. Outdoor action serves more than 60 percent of the incoming freshman class, so this expansion will significantly impact student exposure to sustainability through the vehicle of delicious student-produced honey. Project lead: Sarah Bluher '13.
Senior Thesis: Producing and Characterizing Bioethanol from Cellulosic Biomass
As the demand for transportation fuels increases in both developed and developing countries, there has been a boom in biofuel research for solutions than can provide a cleaner, renewable source of energy. This project will study the production of bioethanol from cellulosic biomass, such as agricultural byproducts and fast growing bamboo. The biomass feedstock will be converted to bioethanol, and then the products will be assess for viability as an alternative fuel and scale-up procedures will be investigated. Furthermore the research will also integrate with Engineering Projects in Community Services (EPICS) as a source of energy production in a sustainable development housing system. Project lead: Amanda Rees '12. Faculty Advisor: Wole Soboyejo.
Student Garden Project Summer Coordinator Support
Since its founding in 2006, the Princeton Garden Project has remained an important and unique element of the student experience at Princeton and the larger campus community. In the last five years, this student-initiated project has continued to evolve under the leadership of nearly a dozen passionate student officers, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, Forbes College, and the Grounds and Building Maintenance department. What began as a small organic demonstration garden at Forbes has expanded to include both a larger plot north of the College and an herb garden at the Frist Campus Center. Student officers have been dedicated to everything from planning and maintaining the gardens, to organizing educational and outreach events. Regular “work days” have also drawn in hundreds of student and community volunteers over the years. With the aim of becoming a financially self-sufficient student initiative, over the next year, the Garden Project will be pursuing opportunities to secure ongoing funding for its annual programmatic costs. In the interim, in order to ensure that the gardens and the Project’s programmatic elements can be sustained during the summer of 2012, this grant will be utilized to support two part-time summer intern positions. Contact: Kristi Wiedemann.
Engineers Without Borders Collective Motion 2.0 Conference: Developing Empowered Communities
This second annual student-organized conference on sustainable development will examine how anthropological factors and open communication can and should inform our sustainable development practices. A divers ensemble of speakers and events representing the fields of policy, anthropology, global health, environmental studies, economics, and engineering will bring together perspectives from academia, non-profit work, and entrepreneurship. The intent of the conference is to engage the Princeton campus and community in an interactive and inspiriting experience that will foster leadership, learning, research, and active engagement in sustainable development. Project lead: Stephanie Teeple '14
New Course: Princeton's Ecological Footprint. Using the Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability
This new course is the first of its kind taught by staff from the Facilities Organization. It's purpose is to expose undergraduate students to behind-the-scenes sustainability implementation initiatives on the campus within the context of the global challenges that drive the sustainability field. The course will provide excellent background for students interested in pursuing Junior Paper or Senior Thesis projects using the campus as a living laboratory for sustainability study. This grant will support class field trips to local cutting edge sustainability projects such as the Hydrogen Home Project in Hopewell, Isles, Inc. in Trenton, and other locations. Instructor: Shana Weber.
Sustainability Games at the Princeton University Art Museum
This event will occur on January 12, 2012 at the Princeton University Art Museum. The Games are the final project for the students in the fall-semester Art of Sustainability course AMS307/ENV317 taught by visiting Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies writer and artist Jenny Price. The final projects are "public art actions" - participatory public art events in which the audience plays an active role. The projects include: 1) Carbon Chef, 2) Bags2Riches, 3) Green Key Tour, 4) Plant the Bottle, and 5) Art Museum Laundromat: Washing Regime. Project leads: Jenny Price and Jessica Popkin