Tour the U’s green initiatives

Interested in learning about the projects that other students, faculty and staff have done in the past to make campus more sustainable? Now you can—interactively.

This week, the Sustainability Resource Center, in conjunction with the Facilities Management GIS department and the Marriott Library, released the beta version of the University of Utah Green Map, an online map showcasing sustainability installations around campus. Users can search 15 different project categories to see the reach of sustainability initiatives that range from academic to scientific to artistic.

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The Green Map opens with directions on how to use the category buttons on the left and how to view project information.

 

Initial projects featured on the map are primarily LEED-certified buildings and Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund projects. More projects will be added over time, and there will also be a function for map users to submit projects to be considered.

A new bioretention facility was installed in 2011 outside the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building to research potential groundwater recharge opportunities in semi-arid climates.

A new bioretention facility was installed in 2011 outside the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building to research potential groundwater recharge opportunities in semi-arid climates.

“The dynamic nature of campus sustainability means the map will continue to be updated and evolve to reflect the most recent installations, infrastructure improvements and initiatives,” said Rachel Sanders, Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund coordinator and the project’s manager.

The Green Map is an opportunity to share sustainability projects done by students and faculty on campus, as well as administrative services and operations. The Green Map started as a walking tour brochure, but it wasn’t enough, said Myron Willson, director of the Sustainability Resource Center

“As the number of projects from students and all areas of campus started to grow, it became clear that the walking tour brochure could not provide the full picture of campus sustainability initiatives,” he said. “We felt that an electronic, interactive map was the best way to showcase student and faculty projects, as well as LEED buildings and other campus efforts.”

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In 2012, students installed screech owl boxes near the Union and other campus locations to attract owls back to the U, which is considered a “critical value habitat” for the owls.

 

In the near future, completed research studies that accompany sustainability projects will be linked from the Green Map to the Marriott Library’s Institutional Repository, providing campus community members with a more in-depth look at the project’s results.

“With the help of key sustainability faculty and Marriott Library staff, the map will continue to develop into one of the primary showcases of sustainability efforts on campus,” said Sanders.

Visit the Green Map to explore and learn about the different ways members of the campus community are moving the U toward its sustainability goal. Email karren.nichols@utah.edu with questions and/or ideas.