Sustainability Council Annual Report 2021

Research funding and awards

FURCA Outstanding Sustainability Research Awards
The Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities identifies sustainability-related projects in its program and the Sustainability Council awards up to two $250 awards for Outstanding Sustainability Research.
In 2021, FURCA received 119 abstracts, of which 15 were for sustainability- related projects. This represents only one third of the submissions from 2020 when the Sustainable Development Goals and a sustainability theme were integrated into FURCA. The estimated attendance at FURCA (without counting judges, presenters and volunteers) was 328.
Two winners were selected by FURCA judges for demonstrating systems thinking around the environmental, social and/or economic dimensions of sustainability.
Vidhya Krishnan’s project “Cow Pee Power” demonstrated the potential for an innovative electricity generator prototype that runs off of a common, agricultural waste product.
Kaila Belovich’s literature review revealed the sustainability challenges facing Borneo, home to one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests.
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Campus Sustainability Grants
This grant program is funded by recouped energy savings and administered by Energy Management and Sustainable Operations. Supported projects fit into the “campus as a living lab” model of using university infrastructure and programming as a test bed for sustainability innovation. The Sustainability Council supports the program with promotions and a seat on the adjudication committee.
In 2020–21, a total of $321,580.90 was awarded for activities that include major investments in energy efficiency and laboratory infrastructure, support for innovative student research projects, and faculty-led projects studying university populations.
Grant recipients 2020–21
Project Title
Mapping the solar PV potential of the facades of the North Campus buildings at the University of Alberta
Mustafa Gul, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Monitoring Indoor Air Quality in On-Campus Residence with Low-Cost Air Quality Sensors
Ran Zhao Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Potager Teaching Garden – Phase II
Ken Willis University of Alberta Botanic Garden
DishZero: a reusable container and mug share program
Rojine McVea
Green alternatives to heated water baths in undergraduate biology labs
Carla Starchuk Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
Sustainability Summer Student
Matthew Kingston Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
Experiential Learning Through Measurement of Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant on the U of A Campus
Ran Zhao, Chemistry
Eco-friendly management of the invasive European elm scale on campus
Ronald Batallas and Maya Evenden, Biological Sciences
Indigenous Language Revitalization in Schools (Cree)
Maxine Desjarlais
Level 7 Plastics Manufacturing Workspace
Level 7 student group
U of A Campus Community Gardens Solar Greenhouse
Carlos Lange, Mechanical Engineering
Greenest campus goal: Developing U of A’s new sustainable travel behaviour toolkit
Emily Grisé, Urban and Regional Planning
X-Cite Mercury to LED upgrade microscope light source swap for sustainability
David Westaway, Medicine & Dentistry
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Undergraduate Researcher Stipend
With the Undergraduate Research Initiative, and Energy Management and Sustainable Operations, we provide students the opportunity to conduct paid, sustainability research with an on-campus focus. While no stipends were successfully awarded this year, three applications were received and considered on a variety of topics, including: forest fire risk assessment and management and improving healthcare access through the use of remote technologies.
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