Resource Consumption Visualization Project

Year: 2012

Grant Amount: $36,100

The Resource Consumption Visualization Project explored the potential for creating a web-accessible visualization of campus energy and water consumption. This visualization would enable the campus community to become aware of the trends and peaks (highs, lows, averages, deltas), which is the first step in developing sustainable conservation practices and participation across campus. The project provided research opportunities for graduate students and undergraduates, and forged first-time partnerships between campus departments.

Information about campus energy and water usage is currently invisible to campus members. Making this information visible to the campus community is a foundational piece in beginning both awareness and conscientious usage of natural resources.

Texas City Lab

Austin, Texas Skyline
Year 2013

Grant Amount: $21,620

This project explored the feasibility of creating a local ‘city lab’ that marries the sustainability issues that challenge Austin and other Texas cities with the capacity for The University of Texas to solve these problems. Patterned after a similar program in Oregon, the Green Fee funded a pilot year where a working group was assembled, the first client was selected, and several faculty were encouraged to redesign their courses around environmental issues and their proposed solutions.

Click here for more information.

Engagement Dashboard – Battle Hall Pilot

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Year: 2013

Grant Amount:  $45,627 (2013), $7,500 (2014)

An online web-based sustainability “dashboard” helps facilitate student and visitor engagement with Battle Hall. The project envisions a future where many buildings at UT have detailed datasets available for research and teaching purposes, as well as monitoring building performance. The mobile kiosk and online dashboard funded by the project featured the history, culture, efficiency, and ecology of Battle Hall.

Safe Cycling Campaign

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Year: 2011

Grant Amount: $49,788

The College of Fine Arts collaborated with the School of Architecture to put on a number of educational and research initiatives to promote safe cycling on campus. These initiatives included a Night Light dance performance, a survey of conflict areas for bikes on campus, signs educating bikers how to double-lock their bikes, and “Balloon Bike,” an art project that shows the amount of space (three feet of clearance on all sides) needed for safe cycling conditions. The photo above features the Night Light show, a one-time dance performance illustrating the importance of nighttime illumination on bicycles. After the show, the audience selected their own bike lights provided by the Campaign and Bike Texas. The Safe Cycling Campaign has also hosted community feedback sessions on multi-modal safety on campus, and collaborated with Parking & Transportation and UTPD on future planning.

This project not only promoted safe cycling, but bicycling in general, which reduces carbon emissions and keeps our plant clean.

Watch the videos:

Check out the article in the Daily Texan

UTeach Outreach Field Trips

Years: 2011, 2012, 2013

Grant Amount: $7,140 (2011), $8,140 (2012), $9,176 (2013)

UTeach Outreach has been taking kids on field trips at UT thanks to funding from the Green Fee. As resource use and climate change move to the forefront of policy and society, educating children about sustainability and inspiring environmental passion are key in developing the minds that will change the world.

Students engage in hands on scientific experiences as well as see the university. UTeach field trips feature several locations and lessons including the Power Plant, UT Turtle Pond, energy transmission, algae, greenhouses, math and biofuels. Students in the College of Natural Sciences work with other students on campus to teach them how to guide these tours for campus visitors. UTeach Outreach has seen over 1200 elementary students and their families, and has trained over 400 UT students to guide these tours and teach about sustainable practices.

ESI Outreach

ImageYear: 2011, 2012, 2013

Grant Amount: $16,350

The Environmental Science Institute exists to help bring awareness of sustainable practices to the UT community. ESI has created seven videos to showcase Green Fee projects, including the Tree Nursery, UTeach Outreach field trips, LBJ Green Dining initiatives, and more. Over 500 DVDs have been made and distrubuted, which include videos, PowerPoints and a lecture series put on by ESI. We’ve filmed some of ESI’s events so that if you weren’t there, you can experience the event on your computer. As more and more environmental issues are brought to the table, it’s important to stay informed and connected to relevant practices and solutions.

By filming and making these talks available, environmental issues can reach more individuals. More people will be informed and be inspired to positively impact their own local environments, not only in Austin, but throughout the world where people can access the world wide web!

Check out this one with speaker Robert Bullard!