Below is a list of Western sustainability and environmental projects that were awarded external grants. This list does not include Sustainable Action Fund projects.
Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Research – $25,951 Awarded (2014)
Sea stars along the West Coast, from Alaska to Southern California, are dying from what scientists call “Sea Star Wasting Syndrome.” Associate Professor of Biology Benjamin Miner is leading a team of researchers at Western Washington University to find out why.
Miner received a one-year research grant of $25,951 from the National Science Foundation to help map the infected areas along the coast and to conduct experiments on the diseased sea stars. [Source]
Institute for Energy Studies – $150,000 Awarded (2013)
Western Washington University’s Institute for Energy Studies is receiving a $150,000 gift of support from Alaska Airlines and $100,000 in various gifts from the Ingersoll Rand Foundation and Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand.
Western established its multi-disciplinary Institute for Energy Studies last spring. The Institute program, the first of its kind in the country, combines science, technology, economics, business and policy and is designed to prepare students to become the leaders, managers and entrepreneurs of the new energy economy. [Source]
Tsunami Research – $6,723 Awarded (2013)
Rebekah Green, associate director of the Resilience Institute at Western’s Huxley College of the Environment, and two of her students are trying to determine what else beach visitors might expect to see washed up on the shore.
Green and one undergraduate from both the Bellingham and Port Angeles campuses received a $6,723 grant from Jefferson County to research and organize data from past beach cleanups, and track the change in debris since the tsunami from two years ago. [Source]
Hurricane Research – $32,000 Awarded (2012)
Western environmental science professor Scott Miles was awarded a $32,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to study power outages caused by Hurricane Isaac. [Source]
The goal of Miles’ project is to understand how power restoration speed, power utility actions, and other factors influence the real and perceived impacts to customers, as well as reactions of the public and government officials. In other words, are public and government criticisms of power restoration speed rooted in measurable impacts to customers with increasing outage times? [Source]
Shannon Point Research – $508,300 Awarded (2012)
Scientists at Western Washington University’s Shannon Point Marine Center have received a $346,000 grant from the Major Research Instrumentation program of the National Science Foundation to obtain a Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer, an analytical instrument that can be used to identify natural products in the marine environment at the molecular level. [Source]
The center also received a $162,300 grant to buy a new academic vessel. The new boat will allow for more field work and will serve as a platform for on-site measurements of water quality, nutrient content and the interaction of organisms in the water. The boat also can be used in studies of algal blooms and ocean acidification. [Source]
Biofuels Research – $430,000 Awarded (2012)
Western Washington University Associate Professor of Chemistry Greg O’Neil has been awarded a five-year, $430,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program in part for his continued research into the development of algae as a potential source for biofuels. [Source]
“Here in Whatcom County we don’t do a very good job of growing soy, but we can actually grow a lot of algae,” O’Neil says. “That’s something that’s attractive; it’s not restricted to a particular region.” [Source]
Students Josh Corliss of Vashon Island, Aaron Culler of Spokane and John Williams of Battle Ground are working with Greg O’Neil to explore new ways to create a less expensive biofuel. [Source]
WWU Energy Program – $25,000 Awarded (2012)
The Ingersoll Rand Foundation has donated $25,000 to Western in order to help fund an energy program for the university. The program is a collaborative effort from Western’s College of Business and Economics, the College of Sciences and Technology and Huxley College of the Environment. [Source]
“We are pleased to help WWU pioneer this program,” said Warren Michelsen, district general manager of Northwest-Hawaii Trane district. “As a company we are committed to helping our customers reach their goals for sustainability and energy conservation. This program will prepare its graduates to be leaders in the clean energy economy. We’re honored to support the innovation and initiative they’ve demonstrated and pleased to collaborate in helping guide the launch of this ambitious program.” [Source]
Snow Pollutants Research – $4,000 Awarded (2012)
Associate Professor Ruth Sofield is preparing to study the potential impact of pollutants from snowmobiles on mountain snowpacks with a $4,000 grant she was awarded in January.
The goal of Sofield’s research is to see if there is any contamination accumulating in the snow paths from the snowmobiles, said Western sophomore Rachel Combs, who is working with Sofield. [Source]
WTA Hybrid Bus Purchases – $2.82 Million Awarded (2011)
Whatcom Transportation Authority has received a $2.82 million grant to buy five diesel-electric hybrid buses, which should hit streets in late 2012.
The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded WTA funds from a competitive grant program. WTA planned to replace five 18-year-old diesel buses anyway, and it planned to use federal formula grants to replace them.
“It’s something that we have wanted to do for a long time,” said Maureen McCarthy, WTA spokeswoman. “It’s in our mission. We’ve acknowledged that the community has wanted us to do it for some time.” [Source]
Sediment Accretion Research – $12,567 Awarded (2011)
John Rybczyk, Western Washington University associate professor of Environmental Science, has been awarded a $12,567 grant from the Nature Conservancy to study sediment accretion in the Port Susan Bay area of the Stillaguamish River estuary.
Rybczyk said the objectives of the project are to restore self-sustaining native tidal wetlands that support estuarine-dependent animals, improve juvenile salmon access to restored rearing habitats, and to improve connectivity between the river and tidal habitats. [Source]
WWU Resilient Farms Project – $1,100 Awarded (2011)
The Resilient Farms Project of Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment Resilience Institute has received a $1,100 grant from the Whatcom Community Foundation for research and workshops to help small-scale farms in Western Washington enhance their resiliency. [Source]
Bellingham Green Communities Project – $9.9 Million Awarded (2010)
The Bellingham Housing Authority received a $9.9 million federal grant to start the Green Communities Project in October 2010. The goal of the project is to create an environmentally conscious community.
January 2011, the housing authority started remodeling the apartments at Lincoln Square, Chuckanut Square on 12th Street, and Washington Square on E Street. Construction workers are using environmentally friendly technology, such as solar panels, an energy-efficient water heating system, green lighting systems and energy-efficient windows. [Source]
Hybrid Bus Research – $730,000 Awarded (2010)
The Federal Transit Administration recently awarded Western Washington University a $730,000 grant to design a lightweight hybrid bus for transit applications. The project is under way at the Technology Development Center, a Port of Bellingham facility leased by WWU and Bellingham Technical College.
“Western is committed to strong private and public partnerships, as demonstrated by this innovative hybrid bus project, which are fostering research on and development of new technologies,” said WWU President Bruce Shepard. [Source]
Solar Power Research – $970,000 Awarded (2010)
A team of Western Washington University researchers have developed a new approach to solar electricity generation they say could eventually cut solar power to 1/10th of its current cost. The team recently won a three-year grant of $970,000 from the National Science Foundation to continue their research. [Source]
WWU Sustainability Education – $139,000 Awarded (2008)
Western Washington University’s Woodring College of Education has received a grant from the Russell Family Foundation to fund research into strategies for including education for sustainability in the pre-service preparation of teachers.
The $139,000 grant will fund a new project, Sustainability Education for New Teachers, created in partnership with Facing the Future: People and the Planet, a nonprofit curriculum-development organization based in Seattle. [Source]
River Restoration Research – $14,000 Awarded (2008)
Huxley received a $14,000 grant to conduct research on the river’s restoration, said Jim Helfield, assistant professor of environmental science. [Source]