Now more than ever, energy—how it's created and how it's used—is changing. "Even on our own campus, renewables play a growing role in our energy consumption, while new buildings popping up frequently earn LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] Certifications for sustainable design," says senior Alexander Baumann, core leader on the Student Energy Board (SEB) at Notre Dame. The SEB sponsors the annual Energy Week on campus and this year, Baumann says, it has been retitled "Energy Week Plus" due to its growth in popularity and length.
Events during Energy Week Plus include a presentation on global warming and social justice, Notre Dame Power Plant and solar panel tours, a talk given by the CEO of Kodiak Electric Association in Kodiak, Alaska, a viewing of the documentary film Blackout in Puerto Rico, and a session on Sustainability Careers with Notre Dame's Office of Sustainability. Energy Week Plus runs from September 14-28. View a full schedule of events.
SEB sponsors and organizes Energy Week Plus. The group works to "bridge the gap between Notre Dame's Center for Sustainable Energy and the student body and wider Notre Dame community," says Baumann. Led by a cohort of core student leaders from a variety of majors, the board plans and sponsors events throughout the year centered around energy. Events include lectures, documentaries, information sessions, career networking, smoothie-making with the storied smoothie bike, and volunteer work, both on campus and in the South Bend community. Energy Week Plus is ND Energy's signature endeavor.
Baumann got involved with the SEB because in addition to his majors in accounting and ACMS, he picked up a minor in energy studies, "liking the flexibility of the coursework and opportunities for outside experiences. Energy Board was a natural fit—a lot of students from the minor end up serving on the board," says Baumann.
A leprechaun-powered smoothie bike during last year's ND for the Environment showcase
The SEB is just one opportunity for students interested in energy and sustainability to get involved on campus. Below is a list of centers, groups, and initiatives all working toward sustainability efforts on campus, in the South Bend community, and around the world. Follow the links to learn more.
ND Energy: a University research center dedicated to advancing energy-related research, education, and outreach at Notre Dame
Energy Studies Minor: a multidisciplinary approach to energy studies for undergraduate students in all majors
Student Energy Board: a network of students dedicated to providing outreach programs focused on major issues and topics in energy to the Notre Dame and local communities
Sustainability Minor: a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability studies for undergraduate students in all majors
Sustainability Alumni Network: a network of individuals to engage the broader community in sustainability studies
GreeND: a student organization interested in advocating for sustainability studies, combating climate change, and conserving energy
Office of Sustainability: a University department devoted to leading strategic efforts in sustainable operations, education, and research at Notre Dame
Sustainability Tour: mapping our impact from wind turbines in White Field to green roofs on buildings
Green Design: Notre Dame’s sustainable buildings policy that requires all new buildings to be up to LEED standards
greeNDiscovery: a program that promotes energy efficiency and other sustainable practices in laboratories
Green Guides: guides for sustainable catering and event planning and living on campus
Game Day Recycling: single stream recycling awareness and distribution of blue bags
RecycleMania: a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction and recycling activities to their campus communities
Megawatt Madness: a friendly competition between dorms using a real-time energy dashboard to encourage competitors to find creative ways to conserve energy
Sustainability Commissioners: students implementing educational initiatives on sustainable best practices within their residence halls
Green Ambassadors: individuals implementing sustainable practices within their own offices and departments on campus
Old2Gold: the annual year-end yard sale of students’ unwanted items that are sold or donated to local charities
Power Plant Carbon Reduction: the goal includes no coal by 2020
Solar Array Installation: the Kenmore Warehouse solar photovoltaic system
Going Geothermal: integration of geothermal systems into the campus’ district heating and cooling system
New East Plant: advancing Notre Dame’s carbon reduction plan through chilled water storage and regeneration