Sustainability & Environment

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"Permaculture Your Campus" Conference

The second annual Permaculture Your Campus Conference June 23-26, 2013. The UMass Permaculture Initiative has had remarkable success in the creation of campus edible and sustainable landscapes, the development of experiential and academic programing, and the strengthening of local networks toward community resilience. This conference presents UMass Permaculture as a replicable model for campuses, institutions and businesses that are trying to be more sustainable.

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Agricultural Learning Center

In 2013, UMass started the Agricultural Learning Center (“ALC”) as a hands-on living “classroom” or field laboratory for undergraduates, graduate students and residents of Massachusetts to pursue active learning about all forms of agriculture. The ALC will provide experiential learning opportunities in a wide variety of farming, horticultural, nursery and landscape industries. With small areas devoted to livestock, fruits, vegetables, turf, and landscape crops, the ALC will offer a broad array of agricultural topics to both UMass students and the general public.

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Architecture + Design: Design 6 (Design Engagement Studio)

This capstone design studio is offered each Spring as part of the Architecture + Design curriculum. Working with a different community based organization each semester student teams engage in reflective research on sustainability, social engagement and innovative design practices as they respond to a design need defined by the local organization. The projects and proposals that emerge from this studio promote social transformation through innovative design.

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Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

CEERE provides technological and economic solutions to environmental problems resulting from energy production, industrial, manufacturing, and commercial activities, and land use practices. This University based research program is built upon four sub groups with unique abilities to service energy and environmental problems. CEERE offers research, training and educational experiences for graduate and undergraduate engineers and scientists.

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Chapin Terrace Stormwater Management

The work is an exploration of adaptive retrofit infiltration systems along Chapin Terrace in Springfield, MA and reduces the impact of runoff on urban watersheds. This intervention represents a distinguishable aesthetic experience to raise acceptance, increase the spatial use, and make infiltration more desirable in urban environments. The interdisciplinary proposal was developed through collaboration with the regional Springfield Water and Sewer Commission (SWSC) with the intention of being a pilot project that could be implemented elsewhere in the city and region.

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Climate System Research Center

Climate System Research Center focuses on the climate system, climatic variability and global change issues. Issues span from contemporary climate variations to paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes. The center brings together graduate students, post-docs, research scientists and University faculty who are interested in the variability of the climate system in time and space. Faculty are working in more than 24 countries with studies ranging from ancient lake sediments in Siberia to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

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Conservation Assessment & Prioritization System

The Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS) is a computer software program and an approach to prioritizing land for conservation that provides an objective, dynamic, and flexible tool to support decision-making for land conservation, land management, project review and permitting to protect habitat and biodiversity. CAPS serves as the centerpiece of the state’s comprehensive wetlands monitoring and assessment program and a potential model for use at the regional scale.

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Corporate Toxics Information Project

The Corporate Toxics Information Project analyzes and disseminates information from the US Environmental Protection Agency on corporate releases of toxic chemicals and the resulting exposures of communities to air and water pollution hazards. The Project aims to help community-based activists and socially responsible investors to translate the right to know into the right to clean air and water.

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