University of Calgary hosts Renewable Energy Speakers, Dec 5 and 6

University of Calgary
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Experts will explore total transition to renewable energy.

Two leaders in sustainable energy presenting at the University of Calgary this week.

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Dec. 2, 2013) – The mayor of the “greenest city in America” and the director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere/Energy program will be on the University of Calgary campus this week for two events on the importance of renewable energy.

On Dec. 5, Bob Dixson, mayor of Greensburg, Kansas – a town levelled by a massive tornado in 2007 – will present at the Distinguished Speakers on Campus about how his hometown rebuilt and now generates all its electricity from wind power.

The following day, Dixson will also be one of two speakers at a free public forum Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy. Dixson will be joined by Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. Together they will answer the questions: “Is 100 per cent use of renewable energy scientifically feasible?” and “Has it been achieved in any communities to date?”

Forum Director Mishka Lysack says, “I don’t think we’ve adequately explored renewable energy and this is an opportunity to heighten people’s consciousness about the alternatives, and to begin to influence public policy. Some of the world’s best solar levels and intensity, and wind energy, are in Calgary and Southern Alberta.”

Lysack, a University of Calgary social work professor focusing upon community and social well-being, has studied renewable energy in Germany, where the goal is to obtain 80 to 100 per cent of all electricity from renewable sources by the year 2050.

“This is the first forum in a series looking at renewable energy from many different perspectives over the next one-and-a-half years,” said Lysack. “We hope to hold three forums before the summer.”

He is eager to hear from both keynote speakers.

Jacobson will discuss the scientific and technological feasibility of using 100 per cent renewable energy. He will explain how a renewable energy system can create more jobs, increase government revenues and reduce the human and financial health costs of air pollution and climate change. Jacobson has testified before the U.S. Congress, and written two textbooks, many articles and a landmark study on transitioning New York State to entirely renewable energy.

Dixson was a leader in post-tornado rebuilding efforts in his community designed to make it the “greenest city in America.” Greensburg uses only wind power for its electricity needs. Dixson will discuss the rebuilding and public-engagement process.

The conference is being sponsored by the Faculties of Social Work, Science, Arts, and Environmental Design; the Office of the Vice-President Research; and the Urban Alliance. It is funded in part by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

EVENT DETAILS

On Thursday, Dec. 5, Greensburg, Kansas Mayor Bob Dixson will speak at 7:30 p.m. in MacEwan Hall A as part of the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Speakers on Campus initiative that features high-profile leaders in the area of energy and the environment.

The following day, Dec. 6, Dixson and Mark Jacobson are the keynote speakers at Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy. The event takes place from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Alberta Room of the Dining Centre.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university’s Gaelic motto, which translates as ‘I will lift up my eyes.’

For more information, visit www.ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary and in our media centre at www.ucalgary.ca/news/media.

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CONTACT INFORMATION:

Media Contact: University of Calgary
Heath McCoy
Communications Advisor, Faculty of Arts
403.220.5089 or Cell: 403.607.8461
hjmmccoy@ucalgary.ca
www.ucalgary.ca

University of Calgary receives STARS Gold Rating for sustainability achievements



CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Oct. 21, 2013) – The University of Calgary has earned a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its sustainability achievements and is currently the top scoring institution in Canada.

“Sustainability is a core value and a key objective for us at the University of Calgary, and we are very proud to have achieved a STARS Gold Rating for our sustainability accomplishments,” says President Elizabeth Cannon. “This is an important milestone in our commitment to excellence and leadership in advancing the pursuit of sustainability in teaching, research, community service, and operations.”

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. At the University of Calgary, sustainability is a core value in the Eyes High strategic vision and is one of seven academic priorities in the 2012 Academic Plan.

Today the university is proud to not only have a gold rating but to also be a leader in the country with the highest overall score achieved to date and the 4th highest score in North America within the category of Operations.

“This outcome is the result of the leadership and the collective effort of many individuals including our students, faculty, and staff as well as partners in the community. Our campus community’s commitment to sustainability and enthusiasm towards making change happen is inspiring,” says Joanne Perdue, University of Calgary’s chief sustainability officer.

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education and research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions. There are also 45 international institutions participating in a STARS international pilot program.

STARS reports for all participating institutions are accessible through the AASHE website.

October 21-25th is Sustainability Awareness Week at the University of Calgary. The university will release its 2012-13 Institutional Sustainability Report in late November.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university’s Gaelic motto, which translates as ‘I will lift up my eyes.’

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary and in our media centre at ucalgary.ca/news/media.


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