Whether you’re hosting an event, looking for a class to take, trying to reduce your office’s environmental footprint, or searching for resources on sustainability and the environment at Vanderbilt and beyond, check out these resources! You may find what you are looking for!
The idea of advancing trans-institutional learning through the development of “cross-college” teaching was one of the cornerstones of the Academic Strategic Plan. From that vision, University Courses were brought to life, launching a program that promotes new and creative trans-institutional learning. These courses leverage the natural synergies across Vanderbilt’s schools and colleges, providing faculty the opportunity to reach beyond departmental boundaries to deliver innovative classes on significant subjects. Courses in the past have included sustainability-focused themes, although offerings change every semester.
The Cumberland Project
Modeled on Emory University’s Piedmont Project and Northern Arizona University’s Ponderosa Project, the Cumberland Project has taken various forms but is intended as a workshop resource for vibrant teaching and learning communities around sustainability themes. Emphasis has been given to a wide array of environmental studies across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. This program was started in 2011-2013 and revived in 2017.
Seminars at The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt
First-year students from any of the four undergraduate schools (Arts and Science, Blair, Engineering, and Peabody) can sign-up for special topics seminars that will be held in the classrooms of The Ingram Commons. Course offerings related to environmental sustainability are frequently included.
Undergraduate and graduate programs that offer sustainability-focused courses include:
- American Studies Program
- Communication of Science and Technology Program
- Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Department of Biology
- Department of Chemistry
- Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
- Department of Environmental Sociology
- Environmental Law Program
- Enviromental and Sustainability Studies
- School of Engineering
- Public Policy Studies Program
Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs and Centers
- Center for Environmental Management Studies
- Climate Change Research Network
- Center for Community Studies
- Center for Molecular Toxicology
- EOS project
- Vanderbilt University Forum for Research and Teaching of Sustainability
- Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment
- Vanderbilt Law School
Vandy FreeSwap is a website for Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff who are giving away (and getting) free, usable, unwanted itemsto others instead of disposing of them in landfills. You may find what you’re looking for — and unload stuff you don’t want. It’s a simple, economical, rewarding practice that can literally help save the Earth. To access Vandy FreeSwap, go to the Vanderbilt Classifieds page and log-in with your Vanderbilt credentials, then go to the FreeSwap page listed on the right-hand side.
This is research related to sustainability and the environment that Vanderbilt researchers have produced over the past several years.
- Carbon labeling can reduce greenhouse gases even if it doesn’t change consumer behavior. Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the Climate Change Research Network, examines how carbon labeling can help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a variety of ways. Being required to disclose how carbon-intensive their products are can also incentivize food producers to reexamine their supply chains and look for efficiencies to bring those numbers down, particularly if those changes result in cost savings. There is a reputational incentive as well, as businesses may be loath for customers to see a high-GHG label on their products.
- Vanderbilt engineers’ smart grid platform joins new Linux Foundation energy project.Vanderbilt University was the first academic partner to join a new effort by The Linux Foundation to advance open source innovation in the energy and electricity sectors, contributing both deep expertise and a platform for smart grid applications.
- Safe solid-state lithium batteries herald ‘paradigm shift’ in energy storage.Recent announcements about game-changing research using a solid non-flammable ceramic electrolyte known as garnet has some in the race calling it revolutionary. Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Kelsey Hatzell’s paper describing her novel research on the failure points of a garnet electrolyte was published in March.
- Pint cracks code to cheap, small carbon nanotubes.Vanderbilt University researchers discovered the blueprint for turning carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes with small diameters.
- New recyclable resin makes wind turbines much more sustainable.When wind turbines wear out, very little of that material can be recycled. The problem has a solution in sight, thanks to a new recyclable resin that cures at room temperature. Vanderbilt is a partner in the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, and Vanderbilt researchers tested the resin’s self-setting properties using infrared imaging.
- Gaps in required curricula may explain differences in climate change views among college graduates.Vanderbilt sociologist David Hess found that the average American college student has a 17% chance of learning about climate change before graduation through required core courses. This finding may explain why having a bachelor’s degree does not necessarily affect climate change beliefs. Once in college, students are not necessarily exposed to discussion about climate change from their requirements, so the variation in teaching evolution in high schools may be the difference between college graduates who believe in climate change and those who do not.
- Battery-switching device promises more road time for Tesla, Leaf drivers. Vanderbilt professor Ken Pence and Ph.D. student Tim Potteiger are working on an electric car battery model that would help electric cars run for longer and go more miles. The upgrade would reconfigure electric car battery packs to be online or offline to improve durability.
- Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion. A new ultrathin energy harvesting system is being developed at Vanderbilt’s Nanomaterials and Energy Devices laboratory. This innovative device could harvest energy from motion, allowing the user to power electronic devices using kinetic energy.
- TIPs funding aware to 15 innovative interdisciplinary projects. The 2017 recipients of Vanderbilt University’s Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs) initiative includes an initiative related to understanding climate change effects. TIPs projects seek to unite universities in addressing broader societal issues.
- Web-based tool will help government realistically plan for climate change. Increasing climate change effects mean that the old methods of disaster planning are becoming obsolete. With U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding, Vanderbilt professor Mark Abkowitz and research associate professor Janey Camp are working on an online tool to update flood zones and more.
- Climate change took away ancient animals’ food supply; holds implications for today’s wildlife. Vanderbilt research findings show that during the last Ice Age, a significant factor in the deaths of many wildlife was drastically changing diets due to shifting food availability as a result of climate change. This finding shows that climate changes may pose a threat to wildlife species today.
- Expert: Private industry, better messaging can help overcome damage from Paris withdrawal. In the wake of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Vanderbilt research suggested that reductions in carbon emissions from households and corporations could help bridge some of the gap.
- Climate Science Myth Busters Seminar. Vanderbilt professor Jonathan Gilligan hosted a seminar on April 12, 2017 that addressed prevalent climate change myths, with an eye towards individual-level education to eventually create change on a massive scale.
- Gilligan, Vandenbergh win Morrison Prize for climate change article. Michael Vandenbergh and Jonathan Gilligan, members of Vanderbilt’s Climate Change Research Network, were recognized for their paper “Beyond Gridlock”. This award recognizes Vandenbergh’s work in creating the Climate Change Research network as well as his work in this specific paper, which discusses private environmental governance.
- Four in civil engineering elected to American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Three Vanderbilt civil engineering professors and one senior research scientist who are nationally recognized experts in environmental sustainability and hazardous waste management have been elected for membership in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists and recognized as board certified environmental scientists.
- Climate change helped kill of super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia. A new study analyzing fossil teeth determined that the deaths of the animals on the landmass Sahul during the last Ice Age may have been caused by climate change.
- Vanderbilt joins Menus of Change University Research Collaborative. Vanderbilt was recently awarded membership to the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC). Co-founded and jointly led by Stanford University and The Culinary Institute of America, MCURC is a working group of leading scholars, food service business leaders and executive chefs from invited colleges and universities who are accelerating efforts to move Americans toward healthier, more sustainable plant-forward diets.
- New AAU energy research webpage features VU research. Vanderbilt research conducted by a team of graduate and undergraduate students, headed by Cary Pint, created high-performance batteries by using metal junkyard scraps and common household chemicals.
- Cave study designed to solve puzzle of prehistoric megadroughts in the western U.S. Jessica Oster, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University, is using cave deposits to reconstruct past climates. The paleoclimatologist is also setting up an educational program to involve undergraduate, graduate, and high school students in the analysis of samples, design of independent research projects, and managing and manipulating data sets.
- How to make electric vehicles that actually reduce carbon. Collaboration between Vanderbilt assistant professor Cary Pint and George Washington University professor Stuart Licht created a new way to make electric vehicles that actually reduces the amount of carbon in the atmosphere instead of increasing it.
- Eos Project funds environmental awareness planning and programming projects on campus. The Eos Project funds thirteen new environmental and social justice projects across Vanderbilt.
- Resolving the food-energy-water trilemma. Researchers at Vanderbilt and Stanford developed a computer model that provides resource managers with the tools to visualize the differences in outcomes in food and energy with low water supply.
- Vanderbilt partners with Nashville MTA to develop Transit-Hub app. Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems and Nashville’s Metropolitan Transit Authority worked together to develop a new app to ease usage of Nashville public transportation.
- Harnessing the power of computers to create a sustainable future. The National Science Foundation issued a grant to a new network of universities, including Vanderbilt, to create a research network called CompSusNet. This project funded new advances in using computers towards sustainable goals.
- Using nanotechnology to give fuel cells more oomph. A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University, Nissan North America and George Institute of Technology created a new technology to increase fuel cell performance and durability.
- Research experts on flood impacts to infrastructure, contaminants, policies. An article that topically covers research at Vanderbilt on flooding and infrastructure, flood policy, extreme weather prediction, and mapping flood vulnerability.
- Wet and stormy weather lashed California coast 8,200 years ago. Using the stalagmite records, Vanderbilt assistant professor Jessica Oster and others are pioneering the use of mineral deposits in caves as proxies for the prehistoric climate. This finding is relevant to modern climate change because it might help map the effects if glaciers in Greenland and other parts of the globe melt rapidly enough to dump fresh water into the ocean.
- Better models predict weather disaster outcomes, help plan recoveries. Vanderbilt professor Hiba Baroud is leading a project funded by the National Science Foundation focused on using statistical modeling to improve safety in infrastructure. Global warming means that increases in natural disasters are coming, and new infrastructure must be sound enough to hold up.
- Transportation experts dig into congestion, connectivity, conflicts at VISOR workshop. Three keynote speakers joined experts from Vanderbilt, the city of Nashville, other universities and transportation agencies for a daylong event to address mobility and traffic congestion challenges in Nashville. The Jan. 19 Multi-Modal Mobility workshop was sponsored by the Vanderbilt Initiative for Smart Cities Operations and Research (VISOR).
- Transit forum draws capacity crowd; next forum scheduled for Feb. 23. A standing room only crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members filled the multipurpose room in Kissam Center Tuesday, Jan. 30 to learn more aboutNashville’s proposed transit plan. Interim Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs Nathan Green kicked off the event, which was hosted by Vanderbilt’s Office of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations in the Division of Public Affairs and the Vanderbilt Center for Transportation and Operational Resiliency (VECTOR). The panelists presented details about the research and community engagement that informed the plan, discussed its key components and took questions from the audience.
- Vanderbilt School of Engineering, partners awarded $3.5 million from ARPA-E for transformational energy technology. Researchers from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering have been working on a software that can control the Smart Grid, an electrical grid much more efficient than America’s current grid. A new $3.5 million award from the Department of Energy will go to support this effort.
- Students from award-winning Whites Creek academy visit school’s wind-solar demo site.70 students from Whites Creek High School visited the Vanderbilt wind-solar alternative energy site on top of Love Circle on Nov. 4, 2015 to gain hands-on experience with alternative energy.
- Vanderbilt offers new environmental sociology major. Vanderbilt’s Department of Sociology launched its new environmental sociology major this year as the first environmental and sustainability studies major outside the sciences at Vanderbilt, and one of the first such majors in the country.
- Vanderbilt greenhouse gas emissions down almost 30 percent per square foot since 2005. Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 18 percent from its peak in 2008 and by 13 percent overall from calendar years 2005 to 2014, according to the Vanderbilt Sustainability and Environmental Management Office’s latest annual GHG inventory. This has been due to the conversion of the Vanderbilt power plant and a focus on more sustainable energy.
- Eight Vanderbilt researchers named ‘Inspiring Women in STEM.’ Eight Vanderbilt professors are recipients of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. The award honors highly accomplished women working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who have made a positive impact on the trajectories of other women thinking about or newly embarking on STEM careers.
- Deciphering clues to prehistoric climate changes locked in cave deposits. As water seeps down through the ground it picks up minerals, most commonly calcium carbonate. When this mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves mineral deposits behind that form layers which grow during wet periods and form dusty skins when the water dries up. Jessica Oster, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt is a member of a small team working to use these mineral cave deposits as proxies for prehistoric climates in Tennessee.
- Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh to lead new center to identify toxic chemicals. The Vanderbilt-Pittsburgh Resource for Predictive Toxicology (VPROMPT) will receive $6 million for four years to develop toxicity test procedures based on three-dimensional human cell cultures. The goal of the project is to determine the risks to human health and the environment of the approximately 80,000 common consumer chemicals.
- Turning cellulose into biofuel: VU prof, grad student search for key on molecular level. The answer to producing fuel from organic matter lies in decaying leaves on the forest floor or a backyard compost pile and the tiny amounts of energy those produce. Vanderbilt grad student Sonia Brady and professor Matt Lang are beginning to decode this process.
- Cheaper wind power possible through “talking” turbines. Vanderbilt professor Doug Adams and his team are developing sensors for wind turbines to create “talking” turbines that greatly increase efficiency.
- The Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR) welcomed Professor William Boyd of the University of Colorado Law School as a part of its annual Nashville conference to discuss the importance of a revitalized and expanded notion of public utility for efforts to decarbonize the U.S. power sector.
- Time when climate was topsy-turvy in Western U.S. aids climate prediction efforts. A team of scientists from Vanderbilt and Stanford universities have created the first comprehensive map of the topsy-turvy climate of the period and are using it to test and improve the global climate models that have been developed to predict how precipitation patterns will change in the future. Their efforts are described in a paper published online on Feb. 23 by the journal Nature Geoscience.
- Blakely Lab named Greenest Group on Campus. The Blakely Lab was recognized for its extensive recycling efforts, including sending their data storage, such as CDs, for specialized recycling. For lab-wide gatherings, the lab orders cornstarch biodegradable utensils and plates instead of normal disposable supplies. They also conserve energy by turning off lab equipment and shutting fume hood sashes whenever possible, which use large amounts of electricity.
- Family tradition helps expand environmental and sustainability studies. In 2011, Lester Fant’s (BA ’63) support helped kick-start the Sustainability Project, led by the American Studies program. Through speakers, courses, workshops, road trips, films and conferences, the project created new momentum on campus for environmental issues. Ultimately, these projects led to the establishment of the undergraduate program in environmental and sustainability studies and a new minor in the field, launched in 2012.
- Vanderbilt Engineering Students Prepare for 2015 Solar Decathlon. Selected last spring for the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, a team of Vanderbilt students is partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville to build Harmony House. It’s a 1,000-square-foot, energy efficient, fully solar-powered home likely to be used as a test site for the housing nonprofit after the contest ends.
- Vanderbilt professor speaks on climate change at TEDxNashville. Michael Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law and director of Vanderbilt’s Climate Change Research Network, recently spoke on “Buying Time: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change at TEDxNashville.
- Michael Diamond, Vanderbilt junior, named a 2014 Udall Scholar. Based on his demonstrated commitment to environmental issues and plan to pursue a career in an environmental field, Diamond was one of 50 scholars selected from a pool of 489 outstanding candidates nominated by colleges and universities across the United States.
- In Class and Across Campus, Vanderbilt Helps Future Generations Find Relief for an Overstressed Planet. From climate change to resource depletion to loss of biodiversity, the human footprint on the planet grows ever larger and deeper. Vanderbilt has taken initiatives from a power plant conversion to the green design of the Commons Center to promote sustainability.
- Nashville team’s ‘Harmony House’ scores a spot in international Solar Decathlon. Drawing from a variety of classes, students in construction management, interior design, electrical, mechanical and civil engineering will be involved in the planning, designing and building processes, which will lead to constructing a home that is greater than 600 square feet but less than 1,000 square feet in size. The home will be built on the Vanderbilt campus.
- Chemical Engineering senior enters final round of national undergraduate research competition. Marc Panu is looking forward to a final round in March to determine a first-place award for undergraduate research that will be announced at the 40th annual convention of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) in Nashville.
- Energy: Forbes 30 under 30 . Vanderbilt Alum, Miles Barr, is the co founder of Ubiquitous Energy, which creates a transparent coating that converts light into electricity.
- 40th Annual convention of the National Society of Black Engineers . Marc Panu enters the final round of a national undergraduate research competition. He is interested in solving engineering problems relating to environmental issues, and to oil and gas industries in specific.
- Harmony House scores in solar decathlon . Team Music City has been selected to compete in the 2015 solar decathlon. The team’s conceptual design, Harmony House, will lead to the construction of a home that is greater than 600 square feet but less than 1,000 square feet in size.<
- Third environmental engineering professor is certified by U.S. academy. Eugene LeBoeuf is the third Vanderbilt environmental engineering faculty member in two years to be accepted into the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists as a board certified environmental engineering member.
- Use water at ‘comfortable’ temperature to wash hands and fight global warming. Four Vanderbilt researchers have determined that if Americans could wash their hands at ‘comfortable’ temperature emissions would be prevented that equated the entire output of a small nation like Barbados. Additionally, they determined there are few if any hygienic benefits to using hot water.
- New device stores electricity on silicon chips. Solar cells that produce electricity 24/7, not just when the sun is shining. Mobile phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges. These are just two of the possibilities raised by a novel supercapacitor design invented by material scientists at Vanderbilt University that is described in a paper published in the Oct. 22 issue of the journal Scientific Reports.
- Grad student wins first place in DOE fuel cycle research competition. Lyndsey Morgan Fyffe, a doctoral student in environmental engineering at Vanderbilt, has been awarded a first place prize in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards competition.
- Krahn receives U.S. academy’s environmental engineering certification. Steven L. Krahn, professor of the practice of nuclear environmental engineering, has been accepted by eminence into the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists as a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member in the specialty practice of hazardous waste management.
- Professor Hannah Wiseman to speak on natural gas fracturing. Hannah Wiseman, assistant professor of law at Florida State University College of Lab spoke at Vanderbilt Law School on “Natural Gas, Fracturing, Federalism Debates, and the Regulatory Divide” in a Vanderbilt sponsored lecture.
- Vanderbilt researchers, students part of inaugural SEC symposium on renewable energy. Two Vanderbilt professors were chosen among energy experts from the Southeastern Conference’s 14 universities, industry and government to address renewable energy topics at the inaugural SEC Symposium, “Impact of the Southeast in the World’s Renewable Energy Future.”
- VU professor discusses nanotechonology and its application within the fields of medicine and energy. Rizia Bardhan, one of Vanderbilt’s newest assistant professors and one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30 in Science & Innovation” recently spoke with CNN about her work in nanotechnology and its applications within the fields of medicine and energy. The plasmonic nanostructures that Bardhan is researching have many applications, including use with solar cells. Using nanotechnology, the life and efficiency of solar cells can be increased.
- Meet the VU undergraduate who just might save the environment. Param Jaggi is an environmental science and economics major in the College of Arts and Science. While still in high school, he invented an algae-filled device that fits over a car’s tailpipe and turns carbon dioxide into oxygen. He is now working on a thermo-voltaic wind system that can be installed in an exhaust system to capture energy from waste air and heat.
- Application of nanotechnology within medicine and energy. According to Rizia Bardhan, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, the life and efficiency of solar cells can be increased using nanotechnology.
- Inaugural SEC Symposium, “Impact of the southeast in the world’s renewable energy future. Two Vanderbilt professors were chosen to address renewable energy topics at the first SEC symposium. Vanderbilt’s Aerospace Club represented the university in the SEC showcase.
- Global efforts to reduce mercury emissions. Last year representatives of more than 140 countries agreed to the terms of a treaty called the Minamata Convention that would ban the use of mercury in switches, certain fluorescent lamps, cosmetics, most batteries and certain medical thermometers and blood pressure devices by 2020. This will hopefully decrease mercury poisoning and its toxicity to humans.
- William Nordhaus speaks on the economic perspective on climate change. William Nordhaus is a professor of economics and was the first chair of the Advisory Committee for the Bureau of Economic Analysis and of the American Economic Association Committee on Federal Statistics. He also is the author Invention, Growth and Welfare, Is Growth Obsolete?, The Efficient Use of Energy Resources, Reforming Federal Regulation, Managing the Global Commons, and Warming the World, among others.
- Krahn receives U.S academy’s environmental engineering certification. Steven L. Krahn is a professor of the practice of nuclear environmental engineering. His research focuses on the materials processing and risk assessment associated with the nuclear fuel cycle.
- First place winner of DOE Fuel Cycle Research Awards Competition. PhD student in Environmental Engineering won in the category of energy policy for her paper on “Developing Operational Safety Performance Measures for Nuclear Chemical Facilities.”
- Green Lights Program. Vanderbilt students designed a Green Lights Program through the Vanderbilt Green Fund that educates students about the amount of energy used in their residence halls each day.
- New Device Stores Electricity on Silicon Chips. Potential to create mobile phones with built-in power cells that recharge in seconds and work for weeks between charges.
2012 and Before
- Winds offer students good view of turbine action. Three faculty members and 24 students got a complete run down of the turbine siting, energy estimation, facility design, installation, operation and other engineering issues tackled in the context of setting up the site. “The visit complements their lesson plans on renewable energy and the students clearly had spent time reviewing the information on the VU/MWS Renewable Energy Showcase website,” Anilkumar said.
- Grant will help professor develop battery to aid home energy use. Peter Pintauro, H. Eugene McBrayer, Vanderbilt professor, has partnered with researchers from the University of Kansas and TVN Systems, Inc. on a three-year, $1.72 million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a durable, low-cost battery capable of gathering power at off-peak hours and storing it for use during times of high demand.
- NSF funding boosts Vanderbilt climate change studies in Sri Lanka. Now a five-year, $3.7M grant from the National Science Foundation, through their Water Sustainability and Climate program, will further the VIEE study and its global best practices in developing nations.
- Spinach power gets a major boost. Researchers from Vanderbilt have discovered a way to combine the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon. This produces substantially more electrical current than has been reported by previous “biohybrid” solar cells.
- NSF Funding boosts Vanderbilt climate change studies in Sri Lanka. In 2010, the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment (VIEE) began an interdisciplinary study of agricultural adaptation to water scarcity in Sri Lanka. A five-year, $3.7M grant from the National Science Foundation will further the VIEE study and its global best practices
- Grant will help professor develop battery to aid home energy use. Peter Pintauro received a $1.72 million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. His research has the potential to reduce stress on the nation’s strained power grid and increase energy savings for consumers.
- Winds offer students good view of turbine action. Students from the school of science and math at Vanderbilt saw a wind turbine come to life on top of love hill. The main purpose of the project is to examine the feasibility of alternative energy production through solar and wind facilities, and the expectation is that about 30kWh (kilowatt hours) of power will be generated on a daily basis.
- Vanderbilt sophomore might just save the environment. Param Jaggi is has been named one of Forbes “30 under 30” due to his efforts in promoting clean air. While still in high school, he invented an algae-filled device that fits over a car’s tailpipe and turns carbon dioxide into oxygen. Now, he is working on a thermo-voltaic wind system that can be installed in an exhaust system to capture energy from waste air and heat.
- Vanderbilt Research Brightens the Future of Lighting. The accidental discovery of ‘Quantum Dots’ seven years ago in a Vanderbilt Chemistry lab could lead to new lighting solutions for our future.
- EPA awards $90,000 to VU seniors to develop a spinach-powered solar cell. Over Earth Day Weekend, a team of five Vanderbilt seniors won a $90,000 grant at the Annual National Sustainable Design Expo held in Washington, D.C. with their novel, large-scale biohybrid solar panel.
- High school students turn blackberries into solar cells. Students from nine local high schools are participating in field trips to Vanderbilt laboratories to learn about and get hands on experience with nanotechnology by creating berry-powered solar cells.
- Time to anticipate and adapt to climate change. Vanderbilt-hosted leadership summit concludes that despite uncertainties surrounding climate change, effective strategies that will keep the nation’s transportation systems and other critical infrastructure running in the face of the adverse impacts need to be developed.
- Solar Energy Conversion Inspired by Nature’s Engineering. Watch video of G. Kane Jennings, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, speaking at the Commencement 2011 Faculty Seminars.
- Adsorbed in His Work. A leader in the field of adsorption, Doug LeVan, J. Lawrence Wilson Professor of Engineering and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, seeks to improve air quality both on Earth and in space.
- Video: Is Global Warming on the Back Burner? Prospects for Change. Watch video of Mike Vandenbergh, professor of law and director, Climate Change Research Network; Michael Bess, Chancellor’s Professor of History; and Beth Conklin, associate professor of anthropology, speaking at the Dec. 8, 2010, Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box on the future of Climate Change policies and actions.
- Researcher looking into energy powered by the sea. Vanderbilt’s Frank Parker suggests one of the best things the world can do to promote peace and stability in the coming century is to expand commercial nuclear power based on the extraction of uranium from the ocean.
- Private incentives for carbon emissions reductions needed to fill gaps until public measures created. As the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit continues, Mike Vandenbergh and Mark Cohen, two Vanderbilt professors, suggest that regardless of whether or not the meeting is successful in bringing public governance measures to bear, significant carbon reductions can be achieved by creating private incentives to reduce carbon emissions.
- Costly myths: An analysis of idling beliefs and behavior in personal motor vehicles. The average U.S. resident idles their car for 16 minutes a day and wrongly believes that a car should idle 3.6 minutes before it is better to turn it off, finds the Energy Policy study, led by VU psychologist Amanda Carrico.
- The Campaign to End American Idle. Vanderbilt Law professor Mike Vandenbergh wants to change your driving behavior: Stop idling your car.
- Vanderbilt Doctors develop new technology to recycle anesthetic. Recently, doctors at VUMC have developed the Dynamic Gas Scavenging System, a device which collects air containing exhaled
anesthetic, which is then captured, condensed, and recycled.
- The Vanderbilt School of Engineering will soon have a new state-of-the-art biodiesel testing facility. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from various engineering disciplines will use the Vanderbilt Multi-User Biodiesel Engine Test Facility to investigate diesel engine performance parameters and test campus-produced biodiesel fuels.
- Energy Expert Discussess the Future of Solar Power. Watch a video of Lawrence Kazmerski, Director of the National Center for Photovoltaics in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discussing the prospects of solar-photovoltaic (PV) technologies, arguing that this solar-electricity source is at a tipping point in the very complex realm of worldwide energy.
- The New “Wal-Mart Effect.” A new study by Vanderbilt Professor of Environmental Law Michael Vandenbergh finds that U.S. companies often are pushing for environmental regulations from foreign businesses rather than lobbying national or international governments.
- The Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Project. This project includes a team of faculty and graduate students who are conducting theoretical and applied research on one of the most important and most widely overlooked sources of greenhouse gases: individual and household behavior. Furthermore, the Vanderbilt Law School’s Regulatory Program is engaged in the study of how governmental activities influence public or private behavior for purposes of promoting environmental protection and public health.
- Mobile pollution sensors to be developed at Vanderbilt using Microsoft grant. Vanderbilt engineers have won an award from Microsoft Corp. to develop a real-time, online, detailed and accurate picture of air quality in large metropolitan areas like Nashville.
- Chemists receive award from ‘Popular Mechanics’. A team of Vanderbilt chemists whose work could make the light bulb passé and cut electricity consumption by half are among the recipients of Popular Mechanics magazine’s 2006 Breakthrough Awards.
- Cleaning Up Coal. Scientists and policymakers might debate the existence and causes of global warming, but no one debates the need for clean air or the desirability of cleaning up emissions from coal-fired power plants.
- Historian offers overview of environmental issues. The litany of woe has become familiar and seemingly overwhelming: The Earth is running out of fossil fuel and facing chaotic weather due to global warming.
- Nuclear waste issues to be tackled by VU-led team. Nuclear power might be “green power” — but only if nuclear waste can be managed properly.
- Reducing emissions of direct injection goal of VU research. An automobile engine with 30 percent greater fuel efficiency than current models — but that also meets U.S. emission standards — is the goal of an engineering professor.
- Community Development and Ecological Theory. A Vanderbilt Professor writes about how community development is affected by the environment and vice versa.