Sustainability

West Chester University

 

How to Get Involved at WCU

Decide to make a difference. Student activism and organizing is one of the most effective ways to push things forward on campus. One great example of what a campus garden in an urban setting can do is the campus garden run by Yale. Maybe you would like to get involved with the Outdoor Garden Classroom here on campus.

Some other examples of how WCU students have contributed to sustainability efforts here on campus can be found in our Speaker's Bureau page.

There are lots of other ways to get involved. If sustainability issues are important to you, contact your elected officials and let them know you want sustainability projects to be supported in the upcoming budgets as well as in future legislation.

Take a look at our events page for details on upcoming events. Decide whether you would like to sign a petition to urge WCU to divest from fossil fuels.

West Chester University is a member of AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and as such, all members of the WCU community who log in from a WCU computer can take full advantage of the resources available at the AASHE website.

EARTH (Environmental Association for the Repair of the Habitat) Group

EARTH - WCU's student environmental organization - has since 1970 worked to develop campus and community awareness of the environment and each person's responsibility to protect it. Initiatives such as the annual Earth Day Festival, collaboration with the Environmental Council, Quad articles, and visits to other student groups are among EARTH's activities.

EARTH's officers are:

     Kendra Decker - President

     Mike Bideau - Vice President

     Dominique Hetrick - Secretary

Join EARTH's Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter

Join our OrgSync

Generation E

Students Leading for a Sustainable, Clean Energy Future by Christina Erickson and David J. Eagan. This book reports on 35 ways students are creating a sustainable future at U.S. colleges and universities - cutting carbon emissions, saving resources and equipping the coming generation for a green energy economy.

Your Lifestyle and Sustainability

Moving toward sustainability in the U.S. will ultimately involve big changes in policy, technology, and the way business is done. But the most important changes may be the ones that each person will make about his or her own lifestyle choices. John Dernbach, an environmental law expert, put it this way: "The decisions Americans make about sustainable development are not technical decisions about peripheral matters, and they are not simply decisions about the environment. They are decisions about who we are, what we value, what kind of world we want to live in, and how we want to be remembered."

Students in Humans and the Environment (ESS 102) examined and reconsidered their lifestyle choices - decisions about driving, electricity use, food and water consumption, and waste and recycling - and they wrote about their accomplishments. Most students want to keep the lifestyle changes they made; many have advice and encouragement for you!

Follow this link to see a slide show about what they thought.

Join our team from West Chester University and lend your computer power to help solve clean energy, clean water and other environmental challenges (as well as fighting diseases).

Train for Green Careers and Jobs Involving Sustainability

Almost all typical careers can be pursued with a green twist.

  • Research and Development
  • Finance and business managment
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Regional planning and administration
  • Regional manufacturing and farming
  • Public works and political science

Within these broad categories, some more specific job titles would be:

  • Landscape Architect or Contractor
  • Stormwater Management Design Engineer (Civil Engineering)
  • Erosion and Sedimentation Control Speciailst (Civil Engineering/Environmental)
  • Brownfields/Remediation (Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Geologist, Chemist)
  • Botanist (Biology, Environmental Science)
  • Wetlands Specialist (Biology, Environmental Science)
  • Ecologist (Biology, Environmental Science)
  • Environmental Planning (Environmental Policy, Environmental Science, GIS)
  • GIS Specialist (Environmental Science, GIS)

Many organization are now creating "Green Director" positions.

  • There are many positions being created with the title "sustainability director/coordinator" or something like that. They are usually in large firms. Other positions may be unpaid, along the lines of a Green Team within an existing organization. Other positions are in government and non-profits. The field is evolving with more opportunities happening every day.
  • There are many green jobs that don't necessarily require college degrees. These include recycling sorting, bike repair, weatherizing houses, installing green infrastructure such as solar panels, wind turbines, green roofs or rain gardens. However, someone has to train and manage these workers. The green sector of the economy also requires project managers and sales staff who are trained and conversant in sustainability issues.
  • And, of course, educators - teachers and professors - who will train all of these workers and professionals will also be required.

You can find our more about green jobs from Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, or from Green for All, or at this link for Green Jobs Philly.

Sustainability Advisory Council student membership

Students are welcome to join the Sustainability Advisory Council.

Service learning & Internships

A great way to get involved is to combine your education and interests with an internship or volunteer work. Listed below are contacts for internship and volunteering opportunities.

Learn more about Service Learning by following this link to our Service Learning page.

Office of Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

Environment volunteer opportunities are available both on and off campus. Visit the Office of Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs to learn more.

Office of Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs
B 19 Killinger Hall
610-436-3379
Call our office from the call box inside the front door
Office hours: Monday - Thursday 8am - 4:30pm and Friday 8am - 4pm
Note: this office is open from August to May.

The Geography Club

The Geography Club

The Alchemist Club

The Alchemist Club

The Darlington Biological Society

The Darlington Biological Society

Research

Numerous opportunities exist for WCU students to become involved in research related to environmental issues and sustainability. Follow these links to find out more about research that is going on around campus.

Arts & Sciences

Education

Business & Public Affairs

Health Sciences

The Department of Energy provides a number of links to information on nation wide opportunities for research participation, fellowships, scholarships, training, and internship programs for undergraduates, grads, postdocs, and faculty.

Learn more about how to get involved educationally in weather and climate from Higher Education Opportunities at NOAA. These items are designed for undergraduate and graduate students who are looking for research opportunities, scholarships, grants, fellowships, and jobs.

EPA Student Internships - Numerous opportunities are available at EPA's offices in Washington, D.C. and in their offices and labratories throughout the nation for students to gain vital career experience, while contributing to the mission of protecting human health and safeguarding the environment. You can also learn more about summer job opportunites, Student Career Experience Program, National Network for Environmental Management Studies, Student Services Contracting Authority, Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Undergraduate Fellowships, Student Career Experience Program, Student Temporary Employment Program, and the Tribal Lands Environmental Science Scholarship Program.

Institute for Broadening Participation (supported by NSF and NASA) has a mission to increase diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. They design and implement strategies to increase access to STEM education, funding, and careers, with special emphasis on diverse underrepresented groups. They believe that diversifying the STEM workforce is the best way to ensure our nation's economic vitality and solve global challenges. They feature postdoc openings on  http://www.pathwaystoscience.org/Postdocs_portal.aspx.

Resident Assistants

Many volunteering opportunities are associated with residence life.

Off Campus Student Association

Find out more about the Off Campus Student Association here.

Join us on Facebook

This page created by Kurt Kolasinski with input from Maggie Tripp, Kevin Roberts at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services and Tim Lutz.