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Duquesne, Pitt, Carnegie Mellon Students Tackle Local Sustainability

In Pittsburgh, a city recently ranked 14th least wasteful nationwide and known for its green buildings, fresh ideas and local action are required to increase sustainability.

Students from Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University will share their ideas on changing habits and policies to reduce Pittsburgh’s environmental footprint at a symposium, One Step At a Time.

It is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, in the 31st floor conference room of the Regional Enterprise Tower, 425 Sixth Ave., Downtown. The free event is open to the public.

The symposium, hosted by Sustainable Pittsburgh and funded by The Heinz Endowments, will exhibit ideas ranging from a plan to create a city “green” building department to calculating energy savings by powering-down computers.

Professors from Duquesne, Pitt and Carnegie Mellon initiated the One Step At a Time project in Fall 2007 to help increase sustainable on-campus practices. They designed a curriculum based upon students creating solutions to environmental issues; some of these ideas have already been put into action.

Drawing upon varied backgrounds and perspectives, Duquesne students from the Center for Environmental Research and Education, the MBA Sustainability and the School of Law participated in the project. Their presentations, starting at 9:15 a.m., include:

  • Municipal use of MARKAL, a tool developed for the U.S. Department of Energy to monitor energy use and carbon emissions
  • The second biennial campus-wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
  • An analysis of international climate-change initiatives
  • Sustainability initiatives that have been put into action.

They will be followed by students from CMU and Pitt reporting on the energy usage of the university’s computer clusters, the permit process for green buildings, the influence of nongovernmental organizations on climatic change policies, a campaign to increase university-wide sustainability efforts and a “green roof” pilot project.

A poster presentation session will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Though the event is free, registration is requested on the Rachel Carson Homestead Web site, rch.extranet.bbfsol.com/Default.aspx?tabid=62

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.