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AASHE 2014 conference to be held in Portland

October is going to be an exciting month for sustainability in Portland—the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education will host their 2014 conference at the Oregon Convention Center on October 26-29. With an estimated 1,800 attendees, this annual gathering will share exciting innovations in topics ranging from climate planning to curriculum development, student leadership to institutional vision building, and social sustainability to campus gardens. AASHE provides a fantastic opportunity to network, learn, and share innovative ideas for building resilient campus communities. 

AASHE actually began in Portland as the Education for Sustainability Western Network (EFS West). Since the initial gathering in 2004, AASHE has grown to become an international organization with more than 600 member institutions. In addition to their annual conference, AASHE offers a variety of publications, workshops, webinars, and online resources to higher education sustainability leaders. AASHE manages the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. You can view PSU’s STARS report here to see an overview of our institutional progress.

This year’s conference theme is Innovating for Sustainable Economies and Communities. Although keynote and plenary speakers have not yet been announced, AASHE always offers a diverse array of perspectives on both the challenges and solutions to campus sustainability issues. Past speakers have included Marjora Carter, David Orr, Raj Patel, Leith Sharp, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Julian Agyeman, and Sylvia Earle. We look forward to seeing the lineup for the Portland conference.

Get Involved:

In addition to showcasing Portland’s green buildings, local food, sustainable breweries, and inspiring nonprofits, we hope AASHE 2014 will highlight some of the exciting leadership and expertise that has been cultivated within the PSU community. 

Are you interested in submitting a proposal to present at AASHE 2014? The Institute for Sustainable Solutions is available to help craft proposals and build teams of co-presenters. Presentation formats include pre- and post-conference workshops, talks of various lengths, roundtable discussions, and poster presentations. If you have ideas to share with the higher education sustainability community, we would be happy to support you in designing a submission. Please contact for more information.

Visit the Call for Proposals site here to learn more and apply. Submissions are due by February 28. 

We hope to see you at AASHE 2014!

Heather Spalding oversees PSU's  Sustainability Leadership Center, a department that bridges student life and sustainability at PSU.