Friends University Implements Sustainability Initiatives
The university recently approved a new Bachelor of Science in Conservation Science and enrolled in Westar’s new Green Energy Program which allows the school to use a portion of the energy produced by the Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center.
The new bachelors program, with curriculum focused on biology and ecology, will begin in the fall of 2019. It will train students in the fields of biological and natural resource conservation and features multiple travel-based classes.
“This program is a unique and perfect fit for today’s students who have a passion to care for and nurture their environment,” Dr. Ana Jurcak-Detter, assistant professor of biology, said.
“While many other programs offer biology or science-based courses, our students will also take courses in politics, public policy and sustainability. They can also tailor the degree by taking courses within eight subdisciplines.”
The Green Energy Program will save the university $30,000 annually in energy use and will lock in a portion of the university’s electricity prices for up to 20 years. The wind farm is expected to begin operating by the end of 2020 in Nemaha County.
“Students care deeply about sustainability and environmental issues on a local, national and global scale. They want to be sure their university shares their concern,” Dr. Amy Bragg Carey, president of Friends University, said.
“Caring for the world and its resources in the name of future generations has always been a part of Friends University’s Quaker heritage. We are stewards of God’s world, and it’s our responsibility to care for all His creatures and their life-sustaining resources.”
Various higher education institutions across the nation have recently taken steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well. Last month, Brown University teamed up with Constellation and Energy Development Partners to create a 50-megawatt (DC) solar generation project on a 240-acre field in North Kingstown to offset 100 percent of its on-campus electricity use.