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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Neutral Gator

In October of 2006, Dr. Machen was the first college president to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment. With this bold move, he committed UF to develop an action plan for carbon neutrality. 561 presidents have followed in these Gator tracks.

Last year UF achieved another first -- the first carbon neutral college football game in NCAA history. Gator scientists calculated the carbon footprint for the UF vs. FSU rivalry -- all of the fans driving and flying to the game, hotel electrical usage, and all the stadium and tailgating festivities. 18 acres of forest land in Florida was then placed in an active management plan for 10 years to offset carbon by the same amount.

Inspired by this idea, the non-profit Earth Givers, in coordination with the UF Office of Sustainability and the UAA , are taking the entire 7-game home season carbon neutral. Last year's game proved to be a temendous tool to raise awareness and gain national attention. UF has shown leadership in sustainability, and the nation of champions is ready to do it again. Visit Neutral Gator to show your support today.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Major Change

Students coming to UF this fall will find some new opportunities to study sustainability. From an undergraduate minor to a law degree, sustainability is being integrated into the curriculum across campus.

"Sustainability is a lens that can help students see the world differently," said Jonathan Porat, a UF sophomore, "it is a tool that can help people from all disciplines make better, more balanced decisions."

There are over 100 students now enrolled in the new interdisciplinary minor. Though the minor is offered though the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, students from all colleges are encouraged to apply. It is a minor that will compliment all fields of study - from biology and anthropology, to business management and engineering.

Sustainability is finding its home within disciplines as well. The College of Design Construction and Planning is now offering an interdisciplinary major - Sustainability and the Built Environment. The Levin College of Law now offers a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environment and Land Use Law.

"It is great to see UF providing even more ways to prepare our students for the challenges they will face in the future," said Anna Prizzia, Outreach Coordinator for the UF Office of Sustainability. "We are providing students with the skills they need to meet the high demand for an understanding of sustainability in today's job market."