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Accreditation for landscape management, operations

December 10th, 2014 @ 10:13 am by Carol Shu

The following article was written by Dave Jones, for UC Davis Dateline.

Photo of the Grounds and Landscape Services staff

Group photo of the Grounds and Landscape Services team

Every institution of higher education knows the importance of accreditation, like UC Davis’ recent 10-year renewal from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Now we have another accreditation to be proud of — for landscape management and operations on the Davis campus. The best-in-the-nation accreditation is from the Professional Grounds Management Society, which evaluated UC Davis Grounds and Landscape Services’ principles and practices for “attractive, healthy, sustainable and high quality” grounds.

The accreditation program is new this year: Only three campuses made the cut in the first round, with UC Davis the only one in California and the only one to get the top rating of four stars.

Carey Avery, Nelson Randolph, and Tyson Mantor (center three) accepting the accreditation award at a ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky.

Carey Avery, Nelson Randolph, and Tyson Mantor (center three) accepting the accreditation award at a ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I could not be more proud of our team,” said Cary Avery, an associate director in Campus Planning and Community Resources. He leads Grounds and Landscape Services and has his own accreditation from the Professional Grounds Management Society, as a certified grounds manager.

“The group of employees that we have working to maintain the health and safety of our campus environment is a top-notch group of people,” Avery said. “They care about each other, this place and the environment.”

The accreditation team had good things to say about Avery: “After talking and listening to Cary’s direct reports and representatives from the work force, it is clear that his leadership style and focus on relationship building are key factors to a harmonious, caring and dedicated workplace environment. “

Which brings us to the work itself: “Many people think that we are just a ‘mow-and-blow’ operation,” Avery said. “They’d be wrong. We have a hand in everything that happens outside.”

Here is a partial list, beyond the mowing and the blowing and raking:

  • Tree care.
  • Cleanup after storms.
  • Irrigation.
  • Sports turf maintenance (including the application of chalk lines).
  • Assist students in their use of landscape installations for school projects, and help faculty members with tree care demonstrations for students.
  • Manage everyday trash and recyclable collection, as well as event cleanup and zero-waste operations.

And, because they’re out and about all day, groundskeepers also give directions to lost visitors, Avery said.

“We have even been contacted by the Raptor Center to rescue an injured bird from a tree top! If this team can help, they will be there. They are incredible people.”

From Green Star to 4 stars

In 2006, the campus earned the highest rating of Grand Star in the Professional Grounds Management Society’s Green Star Awards program, which, according to Avery, was more about aesthetics. “The Grand Star wasn’t about our management practices, how we treat our customers or employees,” he said. “There’s no team that visits to make sure you are doing what you say you are doing.”

The new accreditation program, including site visits, focuses on environmental stewardship, economic performance and social responsibility.

“Collectively, the landscape management team projected a wealth of knowledge on contemporary grounds management strategies as well as a good familiarity with emerging management ideologies and innovations,” the accreditation team wrote. “Cary’s knowledge and effective use of sound grounds management strategies is evident from observing the results of site appropriate work processes and procedures and the delivery of an appreciable grounds product.”

Year-to-year water savings: 20 percent

UC Davis’ sustainability score reflected water savings of about 80 million gallons since Jan. 1, a reduction of more than 20 percent from the year before. Amid the state’s three-year drought, Gov. Jerry Brown has asked all institutions of higher learning to reduce water use by at least that much by the year 2020.

“We’ve done it already, and we hope to do even better next year,” Avery said.

He said the campus has 10 years of experience with “smart” control irrigation, and this allowed for an immediate cut of 20 percent or more in turf watering except on fields that are used for athletics or that have heavy use.

Continued analysis will allow for irrigation cuts of up to 50 percent in certain areas, depending on tree irrigation needs.

“New technologies now also allow our team to further refine irrigation settings with more site-specific information, including plant and soil type, and sun exposure,” Avery said.

“Landscapes where this technology has been implemented only receive water application when the soil and plant material reach a certain allowable depletion level.”

Also, the grounds crew has shut off all fountains and fixes irrigation leaks and overspray problems as quickly as possible after learning of them. To report leaks or overspray, call Facilities Management, (530) 752-1655.

Unique features

In its executive summary, the evaluation team observed: “The University of California, Davis, has a very attractive campus with a visual appearance that can quickly and effectively generate interpretive discussions.

“There are a variety of landscaped areas and features that do not typically appear with as much regularity in the traditional campus setting” — the diversity of drought-tolerant and adaptive plantings (including those in several landscape conversions), the ground cover materials, bio swales and rain gardens, living walls and fences, and naturalized areas strategically interwoven throughout the campus.

“Clearly the integration of these types of sustainability elements with older or existing landscaped areas is a great challenge, and required strategies from a different maintenance and management paradigm,” the review team stated. “The University of California, Davis, campus displays a keen responsiveness to this reality.”

The accreditation report concluded: “The Grounds and Landscape Services unit (of the Arboretum and Public Garden) is playing a vital role in the university’s aspiration to provide an extraordinary experience as a visitor-centered destination, particularly at a time when the campus is in the midst of a historic and severe drought.”

 

Read the original article in Dateline.

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Your Energy Use Resource is Here!

November 26th, 2014 @ 8:45 am by Carol Shu

This guest post comes from the Facilities Management Energy Conservation Office, which develops and implements energy projects and initiatives across the campus. The office also manages the Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) program for the campus.

Imagine that you are grocery shopping, there are no prices on any of the items in the store, and there is no check out required. Instead, you just grab whatever you need off of the shelves whenever you need it. When the end of the month rolls around, the store sends you a grocery bill. This might sound crazy, but that is exactly how we purchase and pay for energy in our homes, offices, schools, etc. On the UC Davis campus, most people just use the resources and never think about the cost because they don’t pay or even see the bill.

You may not be responsible for paying the bills for your office, laboratory, or housing on campus, but you can still stay informed about how much energy your building is using and how that relates to the usage in other buildings on campus. The Energy Conservation Office would like to introduce you to CEED, the Campus Energy Education Dashboard.

Graphic of the Campus Energy Education Dashboard homepage.

Visit the Campus Energy Education Dashboard at eco.ucdavis.edu.

Our first CEED release in early November includes a full energy breakdown for the Student Community Center and Ghausi Hall, along with energy ratings for a handful of other buildings on campus. While we work on further developments and adding more buildings to the Dashboard we would love for you to join the Energy Education experience.

To get involved, there are a few options to choose. You can:

  1. Check out the interactive map on the CEED homepage to review energy use for a variety of campus buildings.
  2. Use the Thermal Feedback Cow on my.ucdavis.edu to let us know how you’re feeling in your building.
  3. Send us an email with comments or questions about energy usage on campus at energyfeedback@ucdavis.edu.

 

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Sustainable Travel Options for the Holidays

November 5th, 2014 @ 5:28 pm by Carol Shu

UPDATE: College students can now save 20% off select routes (includes Capital Corridor),  until June 16, 2015. For more details, visit  Amtrak California: http://www.amtrakcalifornia.com/deals/students-save-20.

This guest post comes from Leslie Mancebo, Transportation Demand and Marketing Coordinator for UC Davis Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS). Leslie manages the goClub, the campus’ alternative transportation program. Here are her tips for getting home for the holidays: 

Each day, I talk to students and employees at UC Davis about traveling to campus car-free but now that November is here, it is time to start thinking about holiday travel. Many members of the UC Davis community do not have regular access to a vehicle so TAPS has put together a car-free travel guide that can be found here. Some popular options include:

Thumbnail of guide

Transportation & Parking Services’ guide to using sustainable transportation to get home for the holidays.

TRAIN
With comfortable seating, food and beverage service and free wi-fi on many routes, the train is a popular option for both students and employees. Amtrak California serves cities throughout the state and the Davis Amtrak Station is located in Downtown Davis at 840 2nd Street. The station is easily accessible using the Unitrans Line A that runs from the Silo Bus Terminal on campus. Unitrans will run special schedules around the holidays to accommodate students using Amtrak. Unitrans Schedule can be found at http://unitrans.ucdavis.edu and Amtrak ticket information can be found at http://amtrak.com.

BERKELEY BUS
The Berkeley Bus travels between the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses twice per day, Monday-Friday. Reservations are required and can be made online, up to two weeks in advance at http://fleet.ucdavis.edu. Spaces on the bus fill up fast.

GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
The Sacramento Airport is easily accessible by Yolobus route 42A which provides service between the UC Davis Memorial Union bus terminal and the airport. Around the holidays, Unitrans and Yolobus provide additional airport shuttle service. Rides on both Yolobus and Unitrans are free for undergraduate students with a student ID. More information can be found at http://unitrans.ucdavis.edu and http://yolobus.com.

The Oakland Airport can be reached by Amtrak and the San Francisco Airport can be reached using a combination of Amtrak and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). More information can be found at http://amtrak.com and http://bart.gov.

CARPOOL
Zimride is our online network for carpool matching exclusively for UC Davis students and employees to help you link up with other students traveling to the same hometown. Drivers can sell their empty seats and passengers can find an inexpensive ride out of town. You can post or look for a ride at http://zimride.ucdavis.edu. It is free to join!

If you need help navigating your transportation options, please give me a call at 530-752-6453 or send an email to goclub@ucdavis.edu.

Leslie Mancebo, Transportation Demand and Marketing Coordinator
Transportation and Parking Services
p: 530-752-6453 / e: goclub@ucdavis.edu

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UC Davis Rises to the Challenge Once Again

October 30th, 2014 @ 1:56 pm by Carol Shu

This post is written by Jean Kim, Waste Reduction and Recycling Staff Assistant.

Photo of Aggie Stadium

Aggie Stadium aims to be a zero waste stadium.
Photo credit: Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

GameDay Challenge is an annual competition between colleges and universities to reduce or eliminate waste produced at football games. Schools track and report the amount of waste that is produced and how much is diverted from the landfill. Participants are then ranked to show which schools were the most successful.

UC Davis will rise up to the GameDay Challenge again this year! In previous years we were recognized for our sustainability practices and we were declared the Diversion Rate Champion in 2010 and 2011. This year we will do our best to regain that title.

We will be calculating the amount of waste diverted for the Parent and Family Weekend Game on November 1st!! Please come out to show some school pride and support for your UC Davis Football Team (Go Aggies!!).

In order to ensure that we have extremely positive results from this game, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Program (WRR) has taken several measures.   First and foremost, WRR has drastically reduced the amount of waste that is introduced into the stadium by prohibiting several items from both students and vendors. Second, any items that are brought in are required to be either recyclable or compostable. Finally, WRR strives to educate the public how to properly dispose of their trash. Volunteers and staff will readily provide information to anyone that is unsure of which category to place their trash, diverting as much waste as possible away from the landfill.Logo of GameDay Recycling Challenge

Keep in mind that every piece of waste diverted matters, so remind your fellow peers about what can and cannot go into the recycling or compost bins!

GameDay Challenge is a way to award collegiate stadiums for their zero waste efforts. However, our goal goes much further than just winning this challenge – we strive towards a more sustainable campus. Aggie Stadium’s success is an inspiration to actively promote and implement ways to become zero waste throughout campus, not just at the stadium!

Be on the lookout for more updates on GameDay Challenge!

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UC Davis Water Usage Snapshot, Fall 2014

October 21st, 2014 @ 1:00 pm by Camille Kirk

The following report is provided by David Phillips (director of utilities) and Camille Kirk (assistant director of sustainability):

icons_map_dropAs of September 30, 2014, UC Davis is not on track to meet the goal set in January to reduce total campus water use by 20%. Metering records show that the campus has used 2% more water year-to-date in 2014 than for the same period in 2013. Despite this poor overall result, the detailed monthly data show excellent progress in several areas where specific actions have been undertaken. The data also suggest where additional, prioritized study and action are necessary to reduce water use. Campus performance is expected to improve as additional measures are implemented. This recent focus on metrics and analyzing metered water use data in response to the drought is a very positive step forward for campus water management.

The April 2014 UC Davis Drought Response Action Plan described the campus water systems. The pie chart below shows the relative proportions of the four categories of water use on the Davis campus, and is helpful in understanding how performance in the different categories of water use affects total use.

The pie chart illustrates the 2013 proportions of Davis campus water uses.

The pie chart illustrates the 2013 proportions of Davis campus water uses.

Irrigation (Utility) Water (reduced consumption)

Changes made in landscape irrigation schedules have been very effective and metered water use has dropped by 21%, which equates to a savings totaling 63 million gallons. The irrigation water supply is mainly groundwater pumped from intermediate aquifers. The 21% drop accounts for the additional 18 million gallons of Solano Project water intentionally sent into the Arboretum Waterway to prevent wildlife and plant collection deaths. Solano Project water is the surface water that UC Davis has access to under an accord permitting beneficial use of water stored in Lake Berryessa. This year’s use of Solano Project water in the Arboretum Waterway is planned to be a one-time action. The campus expects to receive regulatory approval in 2015 to use tertiary-treated wastewater as the dry-weather supply for the Waterway.

Fisheries Water (reduced consumption)

Overall, water used for campus fisheries research has dropped by 10%, with year-to-date reductions totaling 30 million gallons. Changes completed in June 2014 to control the well that provides the majority of the campus aquaculture research water reduced pumping from this facility by 20-25%. The changes included restoring a float to proper operation so that the well pump discharge was reduced when the water was not needed for research.

Domestic Water (increased consumption)

The domestic water supply is currently entirely groundwater pumped from a deep aquifer. Total domestic water use has increased by 4% year-to-date. Total use is measured by summing up all of the well pumping records. Only about half of the domestic water used on campus is metered at the building level. Metered water use has remained about the same as in 2013, despite the addition of several new buildings in 2014. Changes made during the summer in operating large cooling towers has resulted in a net reduction of central plant domestic water use by 12%, or 10 million gallons.

Interestingly, the water attributed to un-metered facilities increased by 12% this year. Leaks and water used for fire hydrant flushing are both un-metered uses. The meter data highlight the importance of campus efforts to find and promptly repair all water leaks. Report leaks, broken fixtures and irrigation spray heads, and other water waste to Facilities Management by calling (530) 752-1655 during typical business hours, filing a work order (the online work order requires a UC Davis login), or emailing om-customers@ad3.ucdavis.edu.

Agriculture Water (increased consumption)

The agriculture water supply is a mix of both pumped groundwater from the shallow/intermediate aquifers and surface water supply from the Solano Project. Water used for field teaching and research increased by 24% in 2014. The 119 million gallon increase in this category more than offset the savings in all other areas. Twenty-four million gallons of the increase is attributed to a large leak near the main reservoir for this system that occurred early 2014. Given the size and age of the leaking pipe, the repair was very complex and several weeks were needed to complete the work. Water use trends varied across the campus’ agricultural lands, with some parcels using less water and some using more. Additional outreach with stakeholders is necessary to identify opportunities for future reductions.

In addition, it preliminarily appears that the campus took considerably more water from Solano Project than can be accounted for in the metered use on campus. These results may be due to errors in metering, but they also suggest that the 20-mile main pipeline may be leaking. Efforts are underway to research this possibility.

If you have questions about this interim update on water conservation, you can email savewater@ucdavis.edu. And, please visit Take Action: Save Water to read more about ways you can help reduce campus water use.

 

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UC Regents: Listen to Your Community. Be True Climate Leaders.

September 10th, 2014 @ 1:11 pm by Camille Kirk

The Regents of the University of California are being asked to consider divestment from fossil fuels at the upcoming September meeting. In advance of that meeting, the Sustainable 2nd Century blog is hosting two guest posts this week about the fossil fuel divestment effort. This post is an excerpt of a longer essay about the Fossil Free UC movement written by UC Davis student Emili Abdel-Ghany, a Community and Regional Development senior, California Student Sustainability Coalition Field Organizer for the Fossil Freedom Solidarity Organizing Program and former Senior Field Organizer for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign.

Fossil Free UC rally at the May 2014 University of California Regents meeting in Sacramento, California. Photo credit: Becca Rast.

Fossil Free UC rally at the May 2014 University of California Regents meeting in Sacramento, California. Photo credit: Becca Rast.

Over the past three years I have seen communities rise up together across UC Davis, the entire UC, and reaching out into California and beyond, even reaching the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Money and Investing segment. The campaign to divest our communities from the fossil fuel industry is one that resonates with folks from every part of society. I have had the opportunity to help shape the campaign on the local (Davis) level and statewide, coordinating multiple actions at the Sacramento UC Regents meetings and others. I have personally dedicated a majority of my undergraduate career to this campaign and to the education of the broader campus and California community (UC Davis and beyond). Faith communities, those fighting for racial or gender equity, scientific communities, campus departments, educators and countless students have thanked the campaign leaders for enlightening them about what UC investments are doing. I have seen how galvanizing the issue of unsustainable investments can be for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Almost every time I’ve told someone about this campaign their reaction is the same: They did not know that the UC invests donations in fossil fuel industries which constitutes a lack of transparency from the UC, and they do not want the UC to be investing in or even using fossil fuels. Further, they want to have a say in the process given that UC is a public institution of research and higher education, and are strongly opposed to the direction the UC is going in its relationship to the industry fueling climate change. Although the UC has just made significant strides to advance solar, it is a moral contradiction to invest in the companies driving the climate crisis while investing in those attempting to halt it.

Our movement for climate justice is reaching a tipping point this September, and here in California we must act to hold our flagship public institution accountable for financing climate chaos.  UC Regents on the Committee on Investments will be voting on fossil fuel divestment at their meeting September 17th meeting at the UCSF Mission Bay campus. We need as many voices from community, students, faculty, administration present. The Chief Investment Officer (CIO) recently altered his original recommendation to the Committee on Investments (COI), which would have advocated for a loose ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) framework for investing and explicitly stated recommending a “No” vote on divestment. In my opinion, this recommendation would completely disregard and even misconstrue the meaning of the work of students and the community, since it does not take immediate action to halt all new investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies, drop the current holdings, and begin to reinvest in our communities. However, because of student and community pressure (by countless phone calls to the CIO) the Task Force recommended that the decision on Fossil Fuel Divestment be assigned to the COI, ending the Task Force. This minor concession is thanks to the people power generated by Fossil Free UC.

Any recommendation that the CIO makes to the Task Force will be taken very seriously by the Committee on Investments and voted on at their Friday September 12th meeting happening via teleconference in Oakland, LA, and Santa Barbara. If you would like to be involved in the momentum around this please email CSSC Field Organizer Jake Soiffer or Madeline Oliver. Most Regents will likely defend his position. We need to keep up the public pressure on decision makers. The Regents will likely still vote yes on whatever the CIO recommends to the COI. It will be incredibly important to have as many people at this meeting supporting our campaign as possible. If you are faculty we have a template letter that we would love for you sign onto/adapt and send you may contact CSSC Campaign Director, Emily Williams for this letter. Otherwise (for non-faculty), you can send your input to the UC Regents via email  regentsoffice@ucop.edu, mail: Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Regents 1111 Franklin St.,12th floor Oakland, CA 94607 with attention to the Committee on Investments. The regent who chairs this committee is Paul Wachter, it would be good to address concerns to him since the decision is in the hands of the COI as of now. If you will be sending a letter after Friday please email it to CSSC Field Organizer Alyssa Lee and she will circulate it appropriately.

The UC has to lead. We have to act now. The Regents have the opportunity of a lifetime to listen to the outcry of the people and divest NOW!

For more information follow:
www.fossilfreeuc.org
www.facebook.com/FossilFreeUC
www.sustainabilitycoalition.org
www.twitter.com/FossilFreeUC
To be added to list serves email Alyssa Lee.

Read Emili’s essay, from which this post was excerpted, to learn more about what has compelled her to become active in divestment efforts.

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It’s Time to Divest from Fossil Fuels

September 8th, 2014 @ 4:19 pm by Camille Kirk

The Regents of the University of California are being asked to consider divestment from fossil fuels at the upcoming September meeting. In advance of that meeting, the Sustainable 2nd Century blog is hosting two guest posts this week about the fossil fuel divestment effort. This post is written by Stephen M. Wheeler, Associate Professor, Department of Human Ecology.

Fossil fuel companies play a major role in promoting carbon-intensive societies. Should UC be investing in them? Photo and caption by Stephen M. Wheeler.

Photo of Valero refinery in Benicia, California. Fossil fuel companies play a major role in promoting carbon-intensive societies. Should UC be investing in them? Photo and caption by Stephen M. Wheeler.

At universities across the country the subject of fossil fuel divestment is in the news. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff are pressing trustees to drop schools’ investments in corporations threatening our future through global warming emissions. Already last spring Stanford gained a lead on the University of California by agreeing not to invest in coal stocks. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for UC to regain the moral lead by divesting from fossil fuels across the board?

Global warming is the largest sustainability challenge of our time. UC plays a positive role through research into climate change and renewable energy technologies, and through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from UC campuses. However, an issue of this sort calls for moral leadership as well. California as a state has already adopted strong policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By divesting from fossil fuel stocks UC can take a stand as well, and further build its reputation as a worldwide leader on sustainability topics.

As a student I was active in the late-1970s and 1980s movement to get colleges to divest from corporations doing business in South Africa, at a time when South Africa rigidly separated blacks and whites and Nelson Mandela was in prison. The University of California took a lead in countering racism back then by divesting some $3 billion in South-African-related stocks. Mandela later credited UC’s action with significantly helping to abolish apartheid.

Please do whatever you can—as a student, faculty member, staff person, or alumni—to encourage the UC Regents to vote for divestiture during 2014-15. Regents will first take up the issue on September 17, but additional consideration is likely throughout the year.

Information about how to contact the Regents is at http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/contact/index.html. The best form of contact may be a written comment sent by email on “Divestment from fossil fuels” prior to any Regents meeting at which this topic is on the agenda. You can review agendas at http://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/meetings/index.html.

Let’s see our University on the cutting edge of social change once more.

 

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Celebrate Eco-Heroes and Climate Solutions Awards on Sunday, April 27

April 25th, 2014 @ 12:38 pm by Camille Kirk

This guest post comes from Lynne Nittler, a member of Cool Davis, a citizen group working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city of Davis. We would like to add that two of the honorees are UC Davis folks: Andy Frank, often called the “father of the plug-in hybrid,” with Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Kristin Heinemeier, with the Western Cooling Efficiency Center. Come help celebrate and honor them and the other awardees!

Call of the Wolf performer, in costume

Call of the Wolf performer, in costume

Cool Davis celebrates Earth Day on April 27 at the Veterans Memorial Theater from 2:30-4:00 with the presentation of Eco-Hero and Climate Solution Awards and several performances entitled “Call of the Wolf.”

Cool Davis gives out Eco-Hero Awards to individuals and Climate Solution Awards to businesses and groups who are showing the way to living more sustainably.  This year’s awards go to:

  • Eco-Heroes — Kristin Heinemeier, Andy Frank, Carla Peterson, Ivy Zhou & Marissa Wong
  • Climate Solutions Awards — Hallmark Properties (Reed Youmans), Davis Bicycles! Schools Committee ( Christal Waters & Trish Price), United Methodist Church of Davis

After the awards presentations, enter a wolf’s world.  “Call of the Wolf” features professional story-teller Tom Wade presenting “Stories from the Wolf’s Den” followed by  “Journey:  Dance, Music and Poetry.” The striking dance piece with musical accompaniment, performed by Ecokinesis Dance Company and Crane Culture Theater, tells the remarkable story of the lone California wolf who visited northern California the last three winters and has just returned again this February.  The narrated dance captures the experience of the wolf with all the grace, cunning, exuberance, weariness, loneliness and triumph of a solitary creature making his way in the wild.  Appropriate for ages 9 and up.

Guests who walk, bike or ride the bus earn a chance to win a cool prize!  Suggested donations at the door  are $10 for adults and $5 for children.  A reception follows.

Thanks to our Sponsors: City of Davis, Dos Coyotes, Rec Solar, Yolo Federal Credit Union, and Mars, Inc.

For more information visit www.cooldavis.org/news or contact info@cooldavis.org.

Share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cooldaviscity or
Follow us on twitter! @cooldaviscity

 

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Energy Challenge Pilot of the Campus Energy Feedback System

April 21st, 2014 @ 7:32 am by Camille Kirk

This guest post comes from Kiernan Salmon, Energy Analyst with the UC Davis Energy Conservation Office:

UC Davis Staff and Students! Are you aware of how much energy you use at work each day? What about how much it takes to keep UC Davis campus buildings running? The Energy Conservation Office (ECO) wants to provide you with this information!

The Student Staff from the ECO are in the process of creating a web-based system, called the Campus Energy Feedback System or CFES. This system will allow you to see how energy intensive your everyday activities are, learn what individual practices you can change to use less, compare current use with historical use and provide feedback to the ECO to make your work environment more sustainable.

A CEFS web page was piloted in the Tercero Residence Halls as part of the 2014 Go Zero Waste Dorm Energy Challenge. Challenge participants could log on to the CEFS web page to view their energy use, earn conservation badges, and track their building’s progress. This dorm energy web page is still viewable at http://eco.ucdavis.edu.

Screenshot of the Campus Energy Feedback System during the dorm energy challenge in February 2014.

Screenshot of the Campus Energy Feedback System during the dorm energy challenge in February 2014.

 

The Energy Conservation Office is expanding the CEFS web page to other buildings on campus. If you want to learn about your energy consumption, stay tuned for news on the Campus Energy Dashboard.

Any questions or comments? Send them to ucdaviseco@ucdavis.edu!

 

 

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UC Davis Releases Drought Response Action Plan

April 17th, 2014 @ 1:38 pm by Camille Kirk

icons_map_drop

Earlier this year, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency and called on Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent. UC Davis is taking this call to action seriously. Here is what the campus is doing and how you can take action, too.

First, you may be interested to learn that while UC Davis enrollment has nearly tripled since 1969, our campus is using the same amount of water as it did in the 1970s. That is because we have worked hard, often in response to previous droughts, to reduce water consumption throughout our operations.

Current campus water-saving measures

Our current Drought Response Action Plan outlines additional actions to strive for a further 20 percent reduction in water use. These measures include:

  • Reducing irrigation schedules and fine-tuning watering systems.
  • Continuing the replacement of decorative turf grass with drought-resistant ground covers.
  • Expanding conservation practices in dining services.
  • Recycling the water used in the Central Heating and Cooling Plant more often.

    Pumps and pipes that convey potable water to campus buildings. Meters connected to these pumps help reveal how much water is being used across the campus at any given time. Photo credit: David Phillips, UC Davis.

    Pumps and pipes that convey potable water to campus buildings. Meters connected to these pumps help reveal how much water is being used across the campus at any given time. Photo credit: David Phillips, UC Davis.

  • Washing fleet vehicles less frequently.
  • Investigating opportunities to achieve water savings in agricultural and research water use.
  • Communicating water conservation practices to campus residents and summer conference guests.

To share UC Davis work in water research and policy advising, the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences is organizing a Drought Science, Policy and Management Summit to be held April 25th in Sacramento.

Your role in saving water

All members of the campus community can contribute to water savings in several ways:

  • Lab and office managers should consult the sustainability website for a list of water-wise lab practices.
  • In restrooms, break rooms and labs, turn off water when you are not directly using it.
  • Report water leaks, broken fixtures and irrigation spray heads, and other water waste to Facilities Management by phone (530-752-1655), online (om-as.ucdavis.edu/WebWO) or by email, facilities@ucdavis.edu.

The California Department of Water Resources hosts an excellent website, Save Our Water, with more resources for water savings, and our own UC Davis Arboretum offers numerous resources for water-wise home landscaping. These and many other drought-related resources can be found at drought.ucdavis.edu, where you can also learn more about UC Davis research, outreach and policy work.

Thank you for your stewardship efforts to save water as California and UC Davis face this drought together. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send them to savewater@ucdavis.edu.

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