Campus Sustainability Grants
Congratulations to the 2022-23 Campus Sustainability Grant Winners!
UGA Bike Voucher Pilot Project
Submitted by Catalina Macedo Giang, undergraduate Geography major, under the direction of Kinesiology professor Dr. Chris Mojock, to increase the number of student bike riders and decrease the number of student vehicle drivers on the UGA campus.
Foley Field’s Journey to Zero Waste
Submitted by Lija Chang and Hunter Scully, an undergraduate Terry College Management Information Systems major and a graduate Natural Resources Management student in Warnell, respectively, under the direction of Mason Towe, to build a sustainable culture and positive fan experience at UGA Athletic events.
And…Action! Bringing sustainability on-set with the MFA in Film, Television, and Digital Media
Submitted by Matt Hudgins, an MFA student in Film, Television, & Digital Media, under the direction of Neil Landau, to reduce the environmental footprint of student film productions at UGA and enhance sustainability for the future of film in Georgia.
Get Outdoors! – A Black Outdoor Adventure Club
Submitted by Courtney Scott, a Community Forestry and Arboriculture graduate student in collaboration with fellow Warnell students Alexis Martin and Alison Moss, under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Abney, to celebrate the connection between Black students and the outdoors - bringing healing and bridging the gap between Black students and the field of environmentalism.
Direct Capture of Carbon Dioxide for Vertical Farms
Submitted by Jonah Margosis, an Electrical and Electronics major, in collaboration with Shweta Vedanarayanan, Dylan Jones, Matthew Gatto, and Joseph Fleming, under the direction of Dr. Jim Kastner, to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere to displace the use of fossil fuels for stimulating plant growth in vertical farms.
UGA Chemistry Upcycling
Submitted by Margaret Xiao, undergraduate double-major in Economics and Ecology, with student collaborators James Gaither, Olivia Terrell, Aarya Oza, and Carson McAfee, under the direction of Dr. Allison Injaian, to make Chemistry courses more affordable for UGA students and reduce the number of new products purchased.
Student Innovation for Zero Waste
Submitted by Camryn Cobb, PhD student in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics, under the direction of Dr. Dee Warmath, to host a Design Sprint Challenge focused on sustainability and zero waste at UGA in collaboration with the Entrepreneurship Program, Office of Experiential Learning, and Terry College.
Upcycling Education: Give your clothes an unintended second life
Submitted by Ziyou Jiang, PhD candidate in Polymer, Fiber, and Textile Science – in collaboration with Yinan Liang and Yujun Lin in Counseling Psychology and Merchandising and International Trade, respectively - under the direction of Dr. Jewon Lyu, to engage UGA students in sustainable fashion through nostalgia and personal narratives and provide knowledge, skills, and tools to help students create their own upcycled items.
Previous Year Grant Winners
Campus Kitchen on Wheels
Submitted by Tea White, undergraduate Food Science major, under the direction of Andie Bisceglia, to address Un Sustainable Development Goals 2 & 3 by improving access to wholesome food for community members experiencing food insecurity. Other project partners include local restaurants and community organizations, Athens-Clarke County schools, and student collaborators Brynna Allen, Trushar Patel, and Jacq Sauceda.
Cargo Containers Fighting Food Insecurity
Submitted by Jonathan Pulliam, an Environmental Resource Science major, under the direction of JoHannah Biang, to convert cargo containers at UGArden into walk-in coolers to store locally harvested and donated fresh food for distribution to food-insecure families. Project partners include UGarden, Campus Kitchen, Concrete Jungle, and student collaborators Erica Head and Travis Williams.
Youth Space Community Art Garden
Submitted by Lisa Novak, a doctoral candidate in Art Education, under the direction of Dr. Katie Geha, to establish a community-oriented gardening project and living laboratory for youth-led arts programming exploring art, sustainability, ecology, and urban gardening. Project partners include Athenaeum, Athens Land Trust, and local youth in Parkview Homes.
STEAM in the Kitchen: Development of a Virtual Science-Art Nutrition Cooking Series for Low Income Families in Northeast Georgia
Submitted by Josephine Shieh, Nutritional Sciences PhD student, under the direction of Dr. Caree Cotwright, to address childhood obesity through nutrition education and healthy eating practices. Project partners include student collaborators Kassidy Sharpe and Chisom Okoli, the UGA Childhood Obesity Prevention Laboratory, and local, state, and federal organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Clarke County School District Office of Early Learning, the UGA McPhaul Child Development Lab, WIC, SNAP-Ed, the Athens Clarke Community Council of Aging, Easter Seals North Georgia Head Start centers, and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.
Close the Loop
Submitted by Caroline Solomon, Environmental Economics and Russian double-major, under the direction of Dr. Laura McAndrews, to combat fast fashion and reduce clothing waste through sewing repair workshops. Project partners include Claire Wadzinski, the Swap Shop, Fair Fashion UGA, and other student organizations.
Fighting Systemic Racism, Classism, and Individualism in Sustainable Fashion Education
Submitted by Sha’Mira Covington, PhD student in Polymer, Fiber & Textile Science and International Marketing, under the direction of Dr. Laura McAndrews. Project partners include Sara Idacavage, the Institute for African Studies, Fair Fashion, and BOLD UGA.
Students’ Erosion Eradication Project
Submitted by Anish Subedi, a Crop and Soil Sciences PhD student, under the direction of Dr. Dory Franklin, to increase stormwater infiltration and reduce localized flooding at the Miller Plant Sciences building. Project partners include Victoria Leigh Clendenning and Rachel Smith, as well as an array of campus and community organizations such as the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the GA Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Fire & Flood: Queer Resilience in the era of Climate Change
Submitted by Vanessa Raditz, PhD student in Geography, under the direction of Dr. Cecilia Herles, to develop a documentary film about intersectional climate vulnerability and resilience. Project partners include an array of UGA departments and student organizations such as Sunrise Movement UGA Hub.
Bee Beautiful: Replacing Invasive Landscaping Plants on UGA’s Campus with Native Plants
Submitted by Elizabeth Esser, undergraduate Ecology and Genetics major, under the direction of Dr. Eric Macdonald, to reduce toxic vegetation for migratory birds and increase native habitat and food sources for pollinators. Project partners include the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, College of Environment + Design, Facilities Management Division, and student collaborator Claudia White.
Submitted by Annie Simpson, Studio Art graduate student, under the direction of Dr. James Enos, to construct canoes using discarded UGA vinyl banners and film an excursion from the Madison County Biomass Plant to Watson Mill State Park. Project partners include Meredith Emery, Luka Carter, Lamar Dodd School of Art, College of Environment + Design, and the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.
Full Circle: Minimization & Diversion of Waste in UGA Research Laboratories
Submitted by Lily Birx, Chemistry PhD student, under the direction of Star Scott, to divert plastic waste from research labs at UGA. Project partners include UGA Green Labs, Facilities Management Division, and Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste.
The Community Crop Cache (C3) submitted by Kelton McConnell, an undergraduate student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, under the direction of Andie Bisceglia in the Office of Service-Learning. The C3 project converted reclaimed shipping containers into community-shared, partially solar-powered, climate-controlled root crop, fruit, and fresh produce storage to reduce food waste in the community and increase access to nutritious foods for food-insecure populations at UGA and in Athens-Clarke County. Other project partners include UGArden, Campus Kitchen, Concrete Jungle, Grow It Know It, and student collaborators Cecelia Chisholm, Margaret Schrayer, and Caroline Quandt.
Farmers Market Friends: Connecting UGA & the Athens Community through On-Campus Farmers Markets submitted by Abraham Lebos and Reese MacMillan, undergraduate students pursuing degrees in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Neuroscience. The project established a regularly occurring farmers market to the University of Georgia campus in order to improve access to fresh produce for UGA students, faculty, staff, and Athens citizens, foster a healthy culture and lifestyle, and promote the local food economy. Project partners include UGA Auxiliary Services and interdisciplinary student collaborators Naveen Bateman (Biology, Genetics) and William Muller (Graphic Design, Advertising).
Project Red: Free and Biodegradable Menstrual Products for All Genders submitted by Jaaie Varshney, an undergraduate student pursuing degrees in Women’s Studies and Political Science, under the direction of Dr. Andrea Swartzendruber, assistant professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the College of Public Health. The installed free product dispensers in two all-gender restrooms to address period poverty, inequitable access to resources, and environmental impacts of conventional menstrual products. Other project partners include Facilities Management Division Building Services and interdisciplinary student collaborators Maeve Breathnach (International Affairs, Economics), Ashley Boyle (Health Promotion), Mahathi Mula (Neuroscience), and Suvitha Viswanathan (Biology).
Post Graduate Resource Library submitted by Darya Khani, undergraduate Biology Pre-medicine major, under the direction of Taylor Cain in UGA Student Affairs. The project established a Post-Graduate Resource Library that provides free, rentable test prep material to UGA students free of charge. The program is available to all students and will particularly target low income and first-generation students seeking support in their pursuit of graduate education. Other project partners include the Division of Academic Enhancement, Student Government Association, and interdisciplinary student collaborators include Lindsay Shewalter (Political Science, Pre-Law), Carson Kuck (Political Science, Pre-Law), Asim Ahmed (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Pre- Medicine).
UGA Edible Landscape Project submitted by Abbie Dillon, an undergraduate Horticulture major, under the direction of Chris Swann in the Facilities Management Division Grounds Department. The goal of the project is to install regionally appropriate fruiting trees and shrubs near Lake Herrick to provide experiential learning, onsite education, and long-term fruit foraging opportunities for students and visitors. Other project partners include the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Sofia Franzluebbers, undergraduate Horticulture major in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Diversion of Academic Wastes for Green and Sustainable Research (DAWGS Research) submitted by Megan Lott, PhD student in Environmental Health Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Erin Lipp, Associate Dean and Professor of Environmental Health Science in the College of Public Health. The project implemented a pilot-scale recycling program that is specifically dedicated to the diversion of research consumables from landfill waste streams. Other project collaborators include Star Scott in the Green Labs Program and Environmental Health Sciences undergraduate student Ameila Foley.
A window of opportunity: Preventing bird-window collisions on the UGA campus submitted by Isabella Rangonese, PhD student in Ecology, under the direction of Dr. Richard Hall in the Odum School of Ecology. The project retrofitted windows in the School of Ecology to prevent bird collisions and engaged UGA students and the Athens community in science and outreach related to avian conservation. Project partners include Facilities Management Division Operations and Infrastructure, members of the Lilly Branch Audubon Society, and Ecology undergraduate student Emma Bay Dickinson.
Residential Community Garden Pilot Program submitted by Abigail Lauterbach, an undergraduate Environmental Economics and Management student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, under the direction of Chera Jo Watts in the Franklin Residential College. The project serves as a circular food sustainability initiative for students in the Franklin Residential College, including a compost program and garden to enhance students’ relationship with the food they consume. Project partners include the Facilities Management Division Grounds Department and undergraduate Computer Science major, Casey Serrano.
Swap Shop submitted by Avery Lumsden, an undergraduate Environmental Economics and Management major, under the direction of Tyra Byers in the Office of Sustainability. The project reduces landfill waste and advances an equitable and circular economy in which students have opportunities to donate and freely receive supplies related to student life. Project partners include UGA Libraries, the Interdisciplinary Certificate in Sustainability, and student collaborator Jenna Franke who is pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental economics.
Triple Impact Consulting: Sustainability Consulting for Athens Businesses submitted by Sanisa Foungthong, an undergraduate studying Avian Biology, under the direction of Dr. Rick Watson in the Terry College of Business. The project provides pro-bono, interdisciplinary, student-led sustainability consulting that aims to help local businesses and organizations improve their sustainability metrics through project workstreams and the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Project partners include B-Local Georgia and student collaborators Anjali Sindhuvalli, Andrew Schoppenhorst, and Nathan Shear.
The Secret Curriculum Project submitted by Oisakhose Aghomo, an undergraduate student in the Department of International Affairs, under the direction of Dr. Leah Carmichael in the School of Public and International Affairs. The project enhanced equitable open access to academic and career-related opportunities and funding for students, specifically for historically underrepresented groups in the student body. Student collaborators include Jacinda O’Connor and Naa Dedei Martins.
A Pilot Program for Teaching Financial Literacy through Environmental Sustainability submitted by Portia Johnson, PhD student in Financial Planning, Housing, and Consumer Economics, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth White in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The project developed a sustainability-integrated financial education seminar for students and to answer the question, "Does the inclusion of environmental sustainability principles in financial planning curriculum increase student knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward personal finance?”
Making the Cut: Eliminating Plastic Cutlery on Campus in Favor of Reusable Alternatives submitted by Claudia White, an undergraduate student double majoring in Anthropology and Geography, under the direction of Christy Tweedy in UGA Housing. The project increased awareness of feasible alternatives to single-use plastics and provided students with a tangible strategy to reduce waste associated with carry-out dining during COVID-19 and beyond. Interdisciplinary student collaborators include Carlos Lopez Ramirez (Computer Science, Psychology), Shashank Ganeshan (Computer Science, Economics), Delaney Rea (Statistics), Matthew Miller (Management Information Systems), AliAnn Xu (Mathematics, History), Nicholas Kundin (Computer Science), and Rachel Halper (Master of Science in Business Analytics).
Marine debris from land to sea: Tracking the transport of land-based plastic waste to aquatic environments through remote monitoring
submittedy by Amy Brooks, under the direction of Dr. Jenna Jambeck
Food Forest- Example of Sustainable Agriculture
submittedy by Jacqueline Miner, under the direction of Dr. Puneet Dwivedi
IMPACT’s Environmental Impact Part II: Introducing Reusable Containers to Reduce Plastic Waste
submittedy by Alison Goddard, under the direction of Amanda Torrence
submittedy by Joseph Price, under the direction of David Nichols
Mission Emission: Increasing Accountability Through Carbon Pricing
submittedy by Tarun Ramesh, under the direction of Dr. Quint Newcomer
Sea Level Rise Master Plan for the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
submittedy by Sarah Hutchinson, under the direction of Dr. Jon Calabria
Professional Clothing Closet
submittedy by Matthew McDaniel, under the direction of Taylor Cain
A Pilot Program to Provide Trash Services and Clean Water Access for People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness in Athens
submittedy by Emmett Allen, under the direction of Dr. Mary Caplan
Sediment Quality Analysis of Lake Herrick and UGA Campus Streams
submittedy by Wesley Gerrin, under the direction of Dr. James Shelton and Erik Donofrio
There’s a SEAT for Everyone
submittedy by Anna Hartley, under the direction of Dr. Wesley M. Porter
CASE UGA: Compost, Arts and Sustainability Expansion at UGA
submittedy by Alexandria Monroy, under the direction of Dr. Anne Marie Zimeri
Imagination Squared: Pathways to Resilience
submitted by Christina Foard, MFA student in Lamar Dodd School of Art under the direction of Dr. Michael Marshall
UGA Recycle Education Initiative: Building Sustainability Awareness through Online Education
submitted by Mira Bookman, a senior Biology and Anthropology double-major under the direction of Dr. David S. Williams, Honors Program
The Urban Pollinator Project
submitted by Joshua Grier, a senior Biology major under the direction of Dr. Marianne Shockley in the Department of Entomology
Guarding Gorillas through Electronics and Elementary Art
submitted by Caroline Jones, PhD student in Psychology under the direction of Dr. Roberta Salmi, Anthroplogy, and Dr. Dorothy Fragaszy, Psychology
Speaking with nature at Lake Herrick: an ecological narrative through eco-art
submitted by Alexandra Hofner, PhD student in Integrative Conservation and Anthropology under the direction of Dr. Richard Hall, Odum School of Ecology
Bicycle Powered Vermi-Compost Sifter
submitted by Victoria Luna, a senior Horticulture major under the direction of Dr. David Berle
Building Better Businesses for a Better Georgia: Business-Student Collaboration Utilizing the B-Corp Framework
submitted by Zack Godfrey, MBA student in the Terry College of Business under the direction of Jake Mosely
Oconee Forest Pond Revegetation Project
submitted by Katharine Bugbee, MLA student in the College of Environment & Design under the direction of Dr. Jay Shelton, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources
submitted by Ciyadh Wells, pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts under the direction of Mark Callahan, Ideas for Creative Exploration
Global Issues, local choices: Assessing and reducing the use of palm oil at UGA
submitted by Kristen Morrow, PhD student in Integrative Conservation and Anthropology under the direction of Dr. Roberta Salmi
Build It and They Will Come: Building Bat Houses and Creating Habitat for Bat Conservation and Environmental Awareness
submitted by Kristen Lear, a PHD student in Integrative Conservation & the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Hepinstall-Cymerman
Connect to Protect the Monarchs
submitted by Suzie Henderson, a senior in the OdumSchool of Ecology under the direction of Heather Alley
Generating Educational and Research Opportunities Through Medicinal Herb Production at UGArden
submitted by Teri Rakusin, a senior Horticulture major under the direction of Dr. David Berle
Market on the Move (creating mobile farmers markets with Athens Land Trust)
submitted by Jaiko Celka, a sophomore in Environmental Economics and Management under the direction of Josh Green
UGAfforestation: Measuring Carbon Sequestered in Trees of UGA and Planting Native Trees to Revitalize Lilly Branch Watershed
submitted by William Fox, a junior Forest Resources major under the direction of Dr. Puneet Dwivedi
4 Precious Plastic Recycling Machines
submitted by Sam Cherof, a senior sculpture major in Lamar Dodd School of Art under the direction of Lindy Erkes (This project has the distinction of receiving this year’s Sustainability + Arts Award)
Season Extension in the UGA Geography Department Roof Garden
submitted by Emma Courson, a junior majoring in Horticulture under the direction of Dr. Amy Trauger
Tracking and Managing Non-Point Source Pollution at Lake Herrick Watershed
submitted by Ashwini Kannan, pursuing a masters in Environmental Engineering under the direction of Dr. David Radcliffe
Trailing Granitic Outcrop Plant Species on Extensive Vegetated Roof
submitted by Kelsey Brooks, masters student in Landscape Architecture under the direction of Jon Calabria
Estimating Material and Energy Needs of Green Spaces on UGA’s Campus
submitted by Haley White, a junior in Agricultural Education under the direction of Dr. Puneet Dwivedi
Utilizing Floating Wetlands to Improve Water Quality in Lake Herrick
Sarah Hensey, in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, under the direction of Dr. Susan Wilde, will construct an aquatic system of floating plant material designed to improve water quality in Lake Herrick. Other student collaborators include Aaron Trimble, Cody Matteson, Muhan (Harry) Qiu, and Jordan Francis.
Sustainable Inspection of Campus Facilities using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology
Julian Moore and John Box, in the College of Engineering, under the direction of Dr. Zion Tse will utilize drones to provide low-cost, high efficiency inspection of roofs, moisture, and radiant heat on campus structures.
Sunshine Savings Initiative
Tommy Lehner, in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, under the direction of Jason Perry, will use enhanced lighting controls to conserve energy in the Miller Learning Center.
Development of a tensiometer and automated irrigation controller to reduce irrigation water use
Jesse Lafian, in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Marc Van Iersel, will measure soil moisture to determine optimal timing for irrigation.
Missing Spokes: Mapping Diverse Bicycling Experiences in Athens, GA
Ian Rossiter, a Geography Masters student in Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Shannon, will collect comprehensive and representative data necessary to develop an equitable bike master plan. Other student collaborators include with Sam Webber, David Rickless, Sam Tingle, and Stephen Jordan.
A Focus on Learning: FACS Hygiene Closet
Anna Beth Smith, in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Cara Simmons, will expand the FACS Hygiene Closet by installing additional shelves and purchasing needed items to better serve students in need. Other student collaborators include Erika Massie and Dana Carney.
Measuring the effectiveness of sustainable stormwater design at the Science Learning Center
Callie Oldfield, a plant biology PhD student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, under the direction of Dr. Chris Peterson & Dr. Michelle Momany, will evaluate the effectiveness of recently installed stormwater infrastructure around the Science Learning Center and increase awareness of sustainable stormwater practices among students and the public. Other student collaborators include Molly Smith, DeShantra Kelly, Ansley Vardeman, Jeffrey Rones and Tae-In Lee.
Vegetated Rooftop Rejuvenation Project
Grace Catherine Peoples, a student in the School of Public and International Affairs, under the direction of Dr. Todd Rasmussen, will enhance the green roof at Boyd Hall.
Regenerative Gym Equipment
Nico Hoernle, a student in the College of Engineering, under the direction of Dr. Javad Velni, will create an exercise spin bike that generates electricity. Other student collaborators include Hayden Salyer and Josef Provatakis.
Testing Model Predictive Control to Determine On-Campus HVAC Energy Reduction
Matthew Becton, a PhD student in the College of Engineering, along with biochemical engineering student Nicholas Winter, will work to conserve energy in campus buildings through software that predicts outdoor temperatures under the direction of Dr. Xianqiao Wang.
Dodd’s and Ends
Kira Hegeman, an Art Education PhD student in the Lamar Dodd School of Art, under the direction of Chris McDowell, will enhance learning among students and teachers in local middle schools through hands-on design and construction using salvaged materials. Other student collaborators include Isabel Hinsch and Hary Harrison.
Making and the Theatre: A Theatre for Young Audiences Event Encouraging Sustainability, Creativity and Innovation
Kelsey Brown, a theatre and communication sciences and disorders major from Lexington, Kentucky, was the recipient of the Sustainability + Arts award where she will work to write and produce an original play for young audiences that fosters sustainability, creativity and innovation.
IMPACT’s Environmental Impact: Introducing Mess Kits to Cut Waste
Brittany Whitlock, a biology and psychology major from Johns Creek, will work to reduce waste created during IMPACT spring break trips by better educating trip participants and by supporting the communities where IMPACT serves.
Launching a Campus-Wide Green Labs Program
John Derosa, an environmental engineering major from Lilburn, will work to implement strategies that enhance safety, conserve resources and reduce waste in UGA laboratories.
Fecal Source Tracking and Nutrient Analysis in the Lake Herrick Watershed
Thalika Saintil, a student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will collect and analyze water samples from the Lake Herrick watershed to identify primary sources of pollution.
Reusing Consumables at the Science Library MakerSpace
Kollin Adams, a computer science major from Atlanta, will work to recycle and reuse plastic materials at the science library MakerSpace-an area with a 3-D printer, laser cutter, digital scanner and more.
Aquaponics at UGA
David Balinsky, a student in the College of Veterinary Medicine from Annapolis, Maryland, will work to establish aquaponics systems that demonstrate sustainable solutions to food insecurity.
Piedmont Prairie Planting Design as Sustainable Campus Landscape Management Trial Study
Sean Dunlap, a student in the College of Environment and Design from Winterville, will establish a five-year research program studying the effectiveness of southern piedmont grasses and forbs in place of traditional lawn and bed plantings.
More Walkable UGA
Xuan Zhang, a geography master’s student from Wuhan, China, will work to identify preferences, barriers and solutions to promote walking on campus.
Greek Goes Green
Matt Siegel and Anna Trakhman, both from Marietta and students in the Terry College of Business and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences respectively, will implement an ongoing program to enhance recycling and other green initiatives in the Greek Life community.
Why Can’t We Be Sustainable Later? Examining the Role of Environmental Attitudes on Sustainable Behaviors in the Present and in the Future
Julie Delose, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology from Orlando, Florida, will examine sustainability behaviors in the context of goal pursuit and self-control.
reCYCLE: Abandoned Bike Repair and Redistribution Program
Yasmin Asghari, an Environmental Health Science major in the UGA College of Public Health from Norcross, GA, will work with UGA Parking Services, Bike Athens, UGA Bike Co-op, Students for Environmental Action, Office of Sustainability and others to implement an abandoned bicycle recycling project. The program will repair abandoned bikes and distribute them to selected UGA students with demonstrated need and a commitment to use and care for the bikes. The bike repair and redistribution program hopes to encourage and increase biking as a viable mode of transportation and mobility to promote a culture of sustainability and health at UGA.
It’s All About the Bags
Tiffany Eberhard, an Environmental Health Science major in UGA’s College of Public Health from Athens, GA, will work with UGA Housing, Bag the Bag student organization and the Office of Sustainability to increase recycling of plastic bags and other hard-to-recycle materials in UGA residence halls. The project will increase infrastructure such as new bins and processes for collection and provide educational activities to promote a mentality of “zero waste” among student residents.
Aquaponics at UGA: a quintessential model for sustainability education, research and outreach
Elizabeth Hincker, a Master’s Candidate in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources from Danville, VA, and Dr. Robert Bringoff, Associate Professor in the Warnell School, will construct a greenhouse dedicated for an aquaponics system at UGA’s Whitehall Forest to accommodate the increasing demand for education, outreach and research in this exciting and rapidly growing area of sustainable food production. Workshops will be designed for high school students as well as middle and high school teachers to familiarize them with the fundamentals of aquaponics and the many possibilities for its use in sustainability education, research and entrepreneurship.
UGArden Recycled Compost Screen
Kaela Horne, an anthropology major in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences from Nahunta, GA, received funding to create a mechanical compost sifter at the UGArden Learning and Demonstration Farm. Design and construction of the sifter will be a collaborative effort between UGArden and the UGA College of Engineering. The sifter will be constructed using reclaimed and recycled materials and will serve as an example to other small-scale organic farming operations. The UGA student chapter of Engineers Without Borders will assist with the final design and the project will be constructed by student volunteers.
Outdoor Challenge Course Signage
Matt Kasten, a master’s candidate in UGA’s Sports Management and Policy program from Charlotte, NC, will partner with the UGA Department of Recreational Sports, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Office of University Architects, and Facilities Management Division to create and install interpretative signage at UGA’s recently renovated outdoor challenge course and outdoor education facilities.
A4P (Air Purifying Plants Proliferation Project) 2.0
Ryan McCullough, a graduate student in the Lamar Dodd School of Art from Dayton, OH, will work with the printmaking department, Facilities Management Division and others to enhance air quality in art studios. The A4P will incorporate careful selection and use of non-toxic chemicals in the art-making process and construction of a plant repository in the Lamar Dodd School of Art to proliferate and distribute air-purifying plants. A living plant installation is envisioned to hang in the Lamar Dodd School of Art as a center for education about the benefits of air purifying plants and cleaner ecological approaches to studio practices.
Chew Crew Junior Herder After School Program
Ansley McKinney, a Cellular Biology major in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences from Orlando, FL, will work with the College of Environment and Design and College of Engineering to create the Junior Herder Program, an afterschool environmental education program in Barrow Elementary School. This program aims to give elementary students the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning in areas of ecological restoration, outdoor education, and sustainability through direct involvement with the Chew Crew, a prescribed grazing project which uses goats to remove invasive plant species and restore native landscapes.
UGArden Biodiesel Processor
Mitch Reynolds, an Environmental Economics and Management major in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from Stone Mountain, GA, will create a biodiesel processor for use at the UGArden Learning and Demonstration Farm. The generator will convert waste vegetable oil sourced from the Georgia Center for Continuing Education or other local commercial kitchens with the hope of powering diesel equipment used at UGArden.
Development of a Site Specific Management Plan for Campus Grass Areas and Campus Intramural Athletic Fields
Chase Straw, a PhD student in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from Frankfort, KY, will work with Facilities Management Division Grounds Department and UGA Turf Club to conduct performance testing on campus turf areas including UGA’s intramural athletic fields. The performance testing will lead to site-specific management plans for large grass areas on campus to reduce the application of water and other necessary inputs for a thriving turf landscape.Read the Final Report here.
Material Re-use, Thinking Inside the Box
Mason Towe, an Economics major in the Terry College of Business from Watkinsville, GA, will work with the Lamar Dodd School of Art, College of Environment and Design, Office of University Architects, Facilities Management Division and the Material Reuse Program, to establish a program to facilitate reclamation and re-use of materials by current and future art students and faculty. The project envisions developing a program and a storage facility that enables artists to conserve money and resources by reusing diverted “waste” materials.
Analyzing Electric Vehicle Use in the University of Georgia and Athens Community
Huawei Yang (Xi’an, China) and Kevin Wu (Johns Creek, GA), PhD and undergraduate students in the College of Engineering, will implement smartphone technology to analyze electric vehicle use within the Athens and UGA communities. Application of this research will assist in the development of a planning tool for communities to optimize the locations and installations of electric vehicle charging stations.
Outdoor Solar Charging Station for Personal Electronic Devices
Elizabeth Crute and Katie Dean, environmental engineering students in the UGA College of Engineering, are teaming up with Brian Holcombe, an anthropology major, to design and install the Outdoor Solar Charging Station for Personal Electronic Devices. The project will provide opportunities for solar energy education and research, as well as enable more students to work, study or simply use the internet outdoors.
Public Bike Repair Stations
Joseph Robinson, a graduate student in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, plans to install public bicycle repair stations on the UGA Athens campus. The stations are designed to promote the culture of cycling and sustainability at UGA by allowing for more user friendly self-care of bicycles.
Waste? NOT! Pilot Composting Program in a UGA Residence Hall
Diana Downward, Levares Jackson, Wendy Lam, and Valerie Martinez de Ubago, all freshmen participating in the Global Engagement Learning Community, plan to implement a pilot composting program in a residence hall. The project team will apply the simple adage of “each one teach one” to encourage their peers to reduce waste and improve their communities through composting.
UGArden Keyhole Garden Diversity Project
Sarah Bess Jones, a senior anthropology major, will install three “keyhole” gardens at the UGArden learning and demonstration farm to teach alternative means of sustainable agriculture. The keyhole gardens will replicate a simple design that is commonly used to alleviate food insecurity internationally to challenge the traditional, linear agricultural model and facilitate students learning about innovative sustainable solutions.
UGA Bulldog Bikes Program Expansion
Sahana Srivatsan, a junior international affairs major in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, seeks to create an avid bike community and culture on campus through expansion of the Bulldog Bikes bike sharing program. The project intends to reduce carbon emissions through alternative transportation and promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
Terrell Hall Renovations
Davidson Goldsmith, a junior studying history and political science, is teaming up with students on the Georgia Recruitment Team to promote UGA’s commitment to sustainability in the UGA Office of Admissions. The project will add a water bottle filling station to reduce plastic bottle waste, signage to communicate sustainability initiatives at UGA and other features to help establish a culture of sustainability as part of the first impression for prospective UGA students and their families.
Validation of Wireless Charging Electric Vehicle Technology
Yabiao Gao and Christopher Mershon, PhD and undergraduate students respectively in the UGA College of Engineering, will conduct research to validate and advance wireless electric vehicle charging technology. The project will evaluate emerging technologies aimed at making electric vehicle charging easier and safer.
Water Quality on Campus and Beyond: Using Service Learning to Monitor & Improve Water Quality
Keri Lydon, PhD student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, plans to address water quality in campus streams by incorporating service-learning within the current Environmental Health Science curriculum to expand bacterial monitoring efforts in partnership with Upper Oconee Watershed Network (UOWN). In addition to performing water quality monitoring, students will engage in outreach efforts to enhance awareness of sustainability initiatives on campus and in the local community and seek to get more people involved in improving our impaired waters.
UGA Bicycle Co-operative
Shafkat Khan, PhD student in the Odum School of Ecology, plans to establish a bicycle co-operative to help UGA students with bicycle maintenance and repair. Through partnership with Bike Athens and regular events on the UGA campus, the co-operative will teach bike maintenance skills, encourage students to use their bikes more often and promote a culture of sustainability by building an active student community around biking.
Development of a Pervious Concrete Pavement Test Site for Educational, Research, and Outreach Initiatives at the University of Georgia
Tawfig Bhuiyan, a master’s student in the College of Engineering, will focus on curbing poor water quality from storm runoff through the use of pervious concrete pavements (PCP). Bhuiyan will construct a PCP test site and use tests for compressive strength, durability, porosity (drain time) and water quality to gain a better understanding of the technological aspects of PCP and to address sociological barriers that have limited the use of this material.
Composting of Organic Waste in Academic Buildings on UGA Campus
Aaron Joslin, a Ph.D student in the Warnell School of Forest Resources, Greg Skupien, a master’s student in Ecology, and Holly Campbell, a master’s in natural resources (MNR) student, will work to reduce the volume and mass of solid waste at UGA. The group plans to implement a pilot program to collect organic, compostable waste in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and deliver it to the UGArden for composting.
Enhancing the Sustainability of UGA’s Energy Infrastructure through Multidisciplinary Student Research and Policy Outreach
Allie Brown, a senior Anthropology major in the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, Tyler Faby, a finance major in the Terry College of Business, and a team of engineering students aim to aid the University in its mission to reduce energy use and identify feasible alternatives to the current fossil-fuel based energy system. The multi-disciplinary, policy-oriented and student-based research project will explore the environmental and economic implications of various energy sources and efficiency options on campus.
Sustainable Food Production: Technology Transfer for Aquaponics
Coral Frederick, a senior Mass Media Arts and Women’s Studies double major from the Grady College of Journalism and the Institute for Women’s Studies, will increase technology transfer for UGArden’s current aquaponics system, a sustainable food production system that integrates vegetable production with fish production. Frederick will work with researchers in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources to optimize fish diet for maximum sustainability of fish production and develop online outlets to share information about the project and aquaponics.
Bulldog Bikes Automated Bike Sharing System
Kareem Mahmoud, a junior finance major in the Terry College of Business, hopes to increase usability and facilitate an easier method of bike sharing within UGA’s Bulldog Bikes program. With the goal of reducing traffic congestion and promoting alternative transportation options, Mahmoud will collaborate with researchers in the College of Engineering to create an automated system for bike check-in and check-out at any of the three existing bike share locations on campus.
Solar Recharge Station for UGArden Electric Vehicle
Lucy King, Amy Ferguson, Jason Bowman, Kyle Hady, and Mathew Logan, all senior Environmental Engineering majors the UGA College of Engineering, will build a solar recharge station for UGArden’s new electric vehicle. The vehicle will be used to deliver food grown in the garden to families in the Athens area. The group hopes this recharge station can serve as an example for future alternative energy projects at UGA.
The Lunchbox Garden Project
Sophie Giberga, a sophomore political science major in the School of Public & International Affairs, will use her funding to help the Lunchbox Garden project expand its reach to other schools and increase outdoor education. The Lunchbox Garden Project is an afterschool gardening and nutrition education program and currently operates at Barnet Shoals and Chase Street Elementary Schools.
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Georgia Recycling & Environmental Awareness Team (GREAT)
Brandi Bishop, a senior agricultural education major at UGA’s Tifton campus, will develop a recycling program at the extended campus. She plans to install 60 Waste Reduction Stations in 15 of the busiest buildings at the university. The stations will make it easier and more convenient to recycle and will save items from being sent to landfills. Bishop will also implement a public relations campaign to encourage university and community members to reduce their waste.
Quantifying the Benefits of Campus Rain Gardens
Katie Shepard, a master’s student in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, will monitor the effectiveness of an East Campus rain garden at filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff. Shepard’s project will take soil moisture and water quality measurements to determine how well the rain garden does its job. Her findings will help ensure that other current and future rain gardens on campus continue to act as effective filters for stormwater. The project will be monitored by classes in the Warnell School of Forestry, Crop and Soil Sciences and the College of Environment and Design, allowing it to serve as a living laboratory for future education.
Material Reuse Program
Chris McDowell, a master’s student in the College of Environment and Design, will demonstrate how construction and demolition waste products can be diverted from the landfill and converted into tangible community-based improvements. He will work with authorities to collect waste items from construction sites, and with the help of volunteers will reuse materials to complete construction projects that benefit the campus and local community. He also plans to implement a communications campaign to recruit volunteers and educate the public on the benefits of material reuse.
Great Wall of Food
JoHanna Biang, a master’s student in horticulture, will construct a living wall planted with seasonal herbs and vegetables to research and demonstrate the effectiveness of vertical gardening. The wall will be installed at UGArden, UGA’s campus community garden, and will be maintained by student volunteers. The herbs and vegetables grown on the wall will be harvested by Campus Kitchens for distribution to the Northeast Georgia Food Bank and community members in need.
Improving Electronic Waste Collection at the Dawgs Ditch the Dunpster Program
Graham Pickren, a Ph.D student in geography, is expanding a program that collects, donates and recycles unwanted items from student residence halls during move-out week. Pickren will be working with Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster Move-Out Donation Program to implement an electronic waste collection to go along with the clothing and furniture donation program. At the end of the year, students will have the chance to bring unwanted electronics to campus drop-off sites to be recycled or donated to local charities.
The Tanyard Creek Chew Crew – A Proposal to Restore, Redesign, and Celebrate a Rare Urban Forest and Stream
Zach Richardson, a senior landscape architecture student, will create a prescribed grazing program to remove exotic invasive plants and restore native forest adjacent to Tanyard Creek. His project will use a herd of goats to remove non-native plants such as privet and English ivy. He, along with faculty in the College of Environment and Design and the Warnell School of Forestry, will coordinate student volunteers to assist the four-legged campus visitors in removing larger invasive plants from the project area and will monitor the project’s effectiveness over time.
Take Back the Tap: Water Bottle Refill Station
Emily Karol, a 2011 UGA graduate, was awarded $950 to implement a water refilling station on the second floor of the Miller Learning Center. Since then, the refilling centers have been installed in several buildings on campus, including the Tate Center and the UGA Visitor’s Center.
Linking Community Gardening with Rainwater Harvesting
Andrew Douglass, a 2011 graduate, received $5,000 to implement a rainwater harvesting system at UGArden. The system includes a 3,000 gallon cistern that collects water from the roof of adjacent Horticulture Greenhouses – water which is used to irrigate the garden year-round.
Pilot Bike Share Program
Sheena Zhang, a 2011 graduate, received $3,300 to develop a bike sharing program in Building 1516 on East Campus.
Dorm Move‐Out Waste Reduction
Nick Martin, a 2011 graduate, received $3,700 to expand a program that collects unwanted items from freshman dorms during move-out week at the end of the semester. Last spring, Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster collected unwanted items from 11 dorms and donated approximately $33,000 in reusable items to local charities.
Learning through innovation and action
Drawn from the Student Green Fee, grants up to $5,000 are available to current UGA students who wish to initiate projects that advance sustainability through education, research, service, and campus operations. Successful projects will address UGA's strategic priorities and integrate social, environmental, and economic solutions to help ensure that all people can thrive, both now and in the future. Grants are awarded based on merit, positive impact, effective partnerships, implementation feasibility, and available funding.
Special consideration given to solutions that address Drawdown Georgia climate solutions, advance equity, and incorporate the arts.
have an idea to make our campus & Community better? Submit a Campus Sustainability Grant PROPOSAL.
Pre-proposals are accepted beginning October 1 and grants are awarded on Fall Reading Day each academic year.