Abstract

Over the past year and a half, Illinois Wesleyan University has begun to make changes to "green" its campus. We have established a Green Task Force, significantly altered and expanded the recycling program on campus, invited prominent environmental speakers to key ceremonial events (including the President's Day Convocation and the John Wesley Powell Research Colloquium), and publicized the "Think Green" message on banners and in news releases. And yet, one can argue that nothing is as fundamental in truly addressing issues of environmental sustainability as is reducing energy consumption. Nor is anything as difficult to tackle. This fall, students in ENST370, Creating a Sustainable Society: An Experiential Learning Seminar, wrestled with the challenge of developing policy proposals aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the university's energy consumption. After brief introductory lectures on the science of energy production, the local and global effects of energy consumption, and the national and international politics that shape our energy use, students began to consider both their personal energy consumption and that of tho campus, and to envision more environmentally sound alternatives. Working as a class, they conducted a detailed energy assessment of the campus to determine the university's energy footprint. This spurred them to think about areas for improved energy efficiency on campus. After soliciting feedback from Mr. Bud Jorgenson, director of the Illinois Wesleyan Physical Plant, the class chose four areas in which to concentrate their research efforts. During the course of their work, students benefited greatly from the knowledge and insights of many members of our campus community in the Physical Plant, Information Technology, and Printing Services. Both the instructors and students are extremely grateful to these individuals who took time from their busy schedules to provide information and help with our efforts. The results of all of this work are presented in this briefing book, which represents an incredible amount of effort on the part of the students.

Disciplines

Environmental Sciences

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