The UW has received top marks from a variety of organizations for its sustainability measures. In the hope of continuing that legacy, the university is investing $250,000 in a new grant promoting green research.
Supported by the department of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (ESS), the Green Seed Fund aims to advance the University of Washington’s sustainability goals through projects with practical applications.
In its first year, the Green Seed Fund is using Michigan State University’s sustainability seed grants as a guide. Past Michigan State projects include implementing daylight harvesting across campus and developing software capable of optimizing a building’s carbon output.
Selected projects will receive between $25,000 and $75,000 to be used for equipment, salaries, travel expenses associated with research or conferences, workshops, and community meetings.
Proposals for reducing greenhouse emissions, transitioning to renewable energy, reducing professional travel, or eliminating non-recoverable waste on campus are all eligible for funding.
According to Elise Glassman, who is managing the Green Seed Fund, these issues are campus-wide. For that reason, she hopes to receive proposals from applicants with a range of interests and backgrounds.
“We’ve heard about a lot of potential proposals already, and the variety of them is really exciting,” she said. “We’re hearing from new people we’ve never connected with before.”
Glassman believes that collaboration between a variety of groups will better inform changes in campus sustainability. In order to promote broad input, the grant will be available to all UW campuses. Applications will be accepted from all departments. And each project will require participation from students, faculty, and staff.
The Green Seed Fund’s wide net makes it unique at the UW. Though the Campus Sustainability Fund also invests in green projects, it is limited to the Seattle campus and favors student-led research.
According to Alex Credgington, marketing manager at ESS, the Green Seed Fund is still developing its role at the UW. “It’s the foundation period. We’re trying to understand what we’re going to see and what we can help the university and students get out of [the grant],” he said.
A committee made up of students, faculty, and staff will consider proposals submitted before Dec. 3.