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Sustainability at PSU crew takes on Minneapolis for AASHE 2015

In October, 19 people representing Portland State—a mix of students, staff, and faculty—traveled to Minneapolis to attend the annual conference and expo of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, known as AASHE. While they were there, they learned a ton and also shared best practices from PSU’s own programs Read on to hear about some of their highlights from the conference.

Sustainability innovation update: The 2014-15 ISS Annual Report

For a snapshot of some of the innovative work going on in sustainability at PSU, I invite you to take a look at the PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions Annual Report for 2014-15. 

ESG investment strategies, a method for climate justice

Portland State University is on its way to becoming the first university in Oregon to have no investments in the Carbon Underground Top 200 companies, which are companies that own the most global fossil fuel reserves, and hence have the most potential for producing high amounts of carbon emissions. As a result of student advocacy on the Divest Portland State (DPS) campaign, an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) statement was added to the PSU Foundation’s investment policy earlier this year.

Mapping a more livable neighborhood

What improvements would you like to see in your neighborhood? More local businesses, transportation options, or safer streets? If you live in Portland’s Lents neighborhood, you can now see how your thoughts line up with those of your neighbors in a new series of maps produced by PSU students in partnership with community organization Livable Lents.

The Learning Gardens Lab turns 10

The Learning Gardens Lab, a four-acre educational garden in southeast Portland operated through a partnership between Portland State, Portland Public Schools, the city of Portland, and Oregon State University’s Extension Service is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. That’s a decade of supporting academic achievement, leadership development, and local sustainable food systems by providing multicultural, interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and experiential garden-based education for public school students and their families, university students, and community members.

Community Spotlight: Q&A with Manar Alattar

My name is Manar Alattar. I am a Ph.D. student at Portland State University in the School of the Environment. I am also the new food diversion coordinator in the Campus Sustainability Office! My work and research focus on compost process efficiency (greenhouse gas emissions, carbon/nitrogen endpoints, compost fertilizer efficiency, etc.) as well as community engagement in composting and food diversion. It’s super fun stuff!

Goats, alleys, and stealth sustainability

Portlanders love goats. Developers have figured this out and are naming a huge east side building project after the beloved goats—who of course have their own website—that used to hang out on the formerly vacant lot. 

Community Spotlight: Q&A with Elyse Cogburn

Hello! I’m Elyse Cogburn, and I am a recent graduate (spring 2015) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies and Geography. At my time at Portland State University, I have been involved with many organizations and committees around campus. Outside of the Portland State University community, I am involved with 350PDX and Rising Tide. I also have an amazing job working for REI educating members about the great outdoors! I am also a catmom to the best fluffy sidekick a girl could ask for, Arya

Sustainability Leadership Links: Chas Lopez and Anita Yap

In mid May I had the opportunity to interview two community leaders. The first, Chas Lopez, Interim Chief Diversity Officer at Portland State University and the second, Anita Yap, APANO Board of Directors and (at the time of the interview) a candidate for the PCC Board of Directors in Zone 3. (Anita ultimately lost to Michael Sonnleitner in a close race.)

Sustainability Leadership Links: Victor Merced and Jalene Littlejohn

Although their organizations differ in the way they operate to support their communities, both Victor and Jalene are clearly passionate about their work and recognize the significance in building strong relationships.