Issue 11 3/30/11
Sustainability in the News
IU Office of Sustainability announces 2011 summer interns


In keeping with its core mission to engage Indiana University students in sustainability-related programming and research focusing on the Bloomington campus, the IU Office of Sustainability has awarded internships to 18 undergraduate and graduate students for the summer. Read More >>

IU named a Bicycle Friendly University


Indiana University Bloomington has been named one of the first Bicycle Friendly Universities by the League of American Bicyclists. The league announced the designations recently at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. IU earned a "bronze" award for its bicycle friendliness, valid from 2011 to 2015.  Read more >> 

Community-campus response to crisis in Japan set for Wednesday at IU Bloomington


Indiana University and the Bloomington community have been shocked and saddened by the crisis in Japan resulting from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the resulting nuclear power plant emergency. As part of a campus- and community-wide relief effort, there will be a teach-in and benefit event Wednesday, March 30, beginning at 7 p.m. at Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union.  Read More >>  

Fourth annual Spring Energy Challenge to take place March 23-April 20


Indiana University's Energy Challenge, a competition to conserve energy and water, will celebrate its fifth running from March 23-April 20.  In its inaugural season in 2008, the challenge included only 10 residence halls. In 2009, the competition grew to 18 Greek houses, and in 2010, the first eight academic buildings joined the challenge.

In the first-ever Fall Energy Challenge this past semester, the field expanded once again, with 19 academic buildings competing.  Read More >> 

City of Bloomington proposes bicycle and pedestrian funding initiative


Mayor Mark Kruzan and the City of Bloomington are proposing a bicycle and pedestrian funding initiative designed to further Bloomington's progress in ensuring its investments in transportation infrastructure provide multiple options for all its residents. The centerpiece of this funding initiative is designed to elevate Bloomington's status as a bicycle-friendly community.  Read More >> 

Registration now open for IUOS's Academic Year Sustainability Internship Symposium 


IUOS is pleased to invite you to our semi-annual Sustainability Internship Symposium on Friday, April 22, 2011 (Earth Day!) in the Grand Hall at Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.  THe symposium will feature the academic year research projects of IU Bloomington's sustainability interns, including presentations, a poster session, and lunch featuring local food.  Register Now >>

IU team to present results of Indian Creek water-quality study


An Indiana University team will present findings from a study of water quality in central Indiana's Indian Creek watershed at a public meeting Tuesday (March 29). The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Morgantown Community Center, 269 W. Washington St. in Morgantown, Ind.  Read More >> 

IU researchers get NASA grant to study climate change in Bangladesh


Faiz Rahman and Rinku Roy Chowdhury of the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Geography are receiving $637,000 from NASA to study the vulnerability of extensive mangrove forests in Bangladesh to climate change. The project is a collaboration by scientists from IU and the U.S. Forest Service.  Read More >>

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Bloomington April 2, 3


Indiana University Outdoor Adventures will host the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour April 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. at Buskirk-Chumley Theater. A program of The Banff Centre in Alberta, the annual fall Banff Mountain Film Festival is the largest mountain film festival in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Read More >>


Sustainability in the News
IUOS hires 2011 summer interns
IU named Bike Friendly University
Community-campus response to crisis in Japan set for Wednesday
Fourth annual Spring Energy Challenge to take place March 23-April 20
City proposes bike and ped funding initiative
Registration now open for AY symposium
Team to present results of Indian Creek water-quality study
IU researchers get NASA grant to study climate change in Bangladesh
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Bloomington April 2, 3
Support the Office of Sustainability
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Encouraging Safe and Convenient Bicycling     
by Bill Brown

BicycleEarlier this month, Indiana University Bloomington was named a Bicycle Friendly University by the American League of Bicyclists.


One of the first 20 recipients in the country, IU received the award on the basis of an application, which included responses to 93 in-depth questions evaluating five categories of bicycle friendliness: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning. Student sustainability intern, Amy O'Shea, compiled the IU survey with guidance from her mentors, David Good and Perry Maull, who also co-chair the Office of Sustainability's Transportation Working Group.


Amy is one of several sustainability interns who have researched bicycle transportation at IU Bloomington. A 2008 survey of over 5000 students, faculty and staff, conducted by Michael Steinhoff and Julie Harpring, revealed about 10% of faculty and staff bike to work, about 4% take the bus, while 6.6% walk. Just over 5% of students bike to campus, 32% take the bus and another 32% walk. This leaves a lot of people driving to campus alone, although 70% of respondents live within three miles. Lack of safe routes was the most common deterrent to bike commuting cited by those surveyed who lived two to three miles from campus, which points to the need to work with the city to develop better routes to campus.


Working through the Bicycle Friendly University questionnaire provided a self-assessment that revealed many of the same areas of strengths and weaknesses that the earlier research found. The Steinhoff and Harpring recommendations included:

  • Phase out antiquated wheel-only bike racks  
  • Increase number of covered and more secure bicycle parking spaces
  • Establish preferred cycling routes through campus which connect to City of Bloomington routes, mark routes with signage and striping to minimize pedestrian conflicts
  • Create transportation "hubs" where users can change modes to and from private auto, carshare vehicle, bus, and bicycle to better meet their needs
  • Explore incentive programs and Transportation Demand Management strategies employed by peer institutions
  • Improve education and enforcement of the rules of the road for both cyclists and motorists

Many of these recommendations are repeated in the Campus Sustainability Report and the Campus Master Plan. Some progress has been made since 2008, including increases in bike parking, more covered parking, and bicycle commuter showers and changing rooms in some of the new buildings on campus.


The American League of Bicyclists is preparing a list of recommendations specific to the IU Bloomington campus that will detail strategies to move up from the bronze level of their rating system to the next rung, which is silver. The City of Bloomington recently achieved the silver level of the Bicycle Friendly City ranking and the campus would benefit from collaborating closely with the city to map out an integrated bike plan. Toward that end, we propose establishment of a Bicycle Advisory Committee for IU Bloomington to help guide progress. Amy O'Shea will continue her research until the end of the semester when she hands off the Transportation internship to Rachel Abrahams, a fellow graduate student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


For now, let's celebrate our success as one of America's first Bicycle Friendly Universities. As we prepare to watch the 61st Little 500, along with 25,000 of our closest friends, lets all absorb some of the bike culture that is so much a part of our campus and community tradition. Then, lets go for silver. If you would like to help with this effort, please give us a call or drop us an email.


For a great list of Bicycle Friendly University resources, see:

To read the Steinhoff-Harpring report, see:
Green Teams Update   

Green Teams LogoConstructive changes are coming to the Green Teams Program based on feedback received during a focus group held on March 2nd.  Twenty participants representing thirteen teams granted the Office of Sustainability (IUOS)mtheir time to discuss the status of the program.  Teams represented were:  School of Environmental and Public Affairs, School of Education, Office of Service Learning, Kelley School of Business-MBA, Office of the Registrar, Biology, School of Informatics and Computing, Libraries, Geological Survey, University Information and Technology Services, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, Athletics Department, and Chemistry.


Participants fielded questions regarding the regularity of Green Team Program meetings, the usefulness of a Green Teams Blog, and the program in general.  As a result of people's responses, the following preliminary steps have been taken:


       Green Team Program Meetings, or Green Bags, are scheduled quarterly instead of monthly

o    Quarterly meetings are easier to plan for.  Agendas and topics will be distributed well in advance of meetings via Outlook and the GREENTEAMS-L listserv. 


       A Green Teams Blog has been created:

o    The Green Teams blog was developed with the idea that it can act as a forum for green teams as well as others within the IUB community.  Ideas are shared, inquires are posed and responded to, and accomplishments will be publicized and celebrated. Since most participants have limited time to work on-and perhaps even think about-issues of campus sustainability, this blog can provide some much needed convenience.    


Other feedback regarding the structure of the program, IUOS program support and the certification program will be invaluable in the coming months as the office sets program improvement goals for the coming summer and academic year.  Many thanks to those who participated! 


For more information about IUOS's Green Team Program, visit  Questions or comments can be directed to  

Working Group Update: Food
by Campus Garden Intern Stephanie Hopkins  

Pepper startersThe Food Working Group, lead by Co-Chairs Bruce Jacobs and Christine Barbour, has brought together members of the campus and Bloomington community to discuss ways IU can make smarter, more sustainable food choices. Several exciting projects are in the works to both raise students' awareness about food issues and encourage students to enact change at the University level by modifying their personal habits.


The Food Working Group has assisted intern Stephanie Hopkins in creating a series entitled "Designing An Edible Campus" intended to help students, faculty, and staff discuss ways to create and sustain spaces for growing food on the Bloomington campus. This series will close on April 26th, 5:30-6:30 PM at the Neal Marshall Bridgewater Lounge with a series of recommendations for the administration that were generated by the community and complied by Hopkins.


This series joins another project supported by the working group that involves the creation of a pilot campus garden at the Bryan House as being the first efforts of the IU Campus Garden Initiative. Between the design series and the pilot garden, the Food Working Group hopes to inspire the campus community to think about where the food they eat comes from and how they can contribute to the process.

Events, Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

For a complete listing of sustainability events, visit: 


Second Annual Academic Year Sustainability Internship Symposium      

IUOS is pleased to invite you to our semi-annual Sustainability Internship Symposium on Friday, April 22, 2011 (Earth Day!) in the Grand Hall at Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.  THe symposium will feature the academic year research projects of IU Bloomington's sustainability interns, including presentations, a poster session, and lunch featuring local food.  Register Now >> 


Sustain IU set for April 17-23   



Join the SSC for a week of films, panels, lectures, poetry slams, music, and more! The theme for this 4th annual SustainIU is Waste(d), so get ready to talk some trash.


Green Day


Sun, April 17, 2pm - 5pm


Dunn Meadow


Join the SSC for the kickoff event of SustainIU! It's going to be a great day for a music festival, free food, and informational about IU sustainability. Also, be ready for a colossal water balloon fight! (With compostable ballons filled with grass seed!)



Lecture: Sustainable Consumerism


Mon, April 18, 7pm - 8pm




Join Professor Wilk from the Department of Anthropology in a discussion about sustainability in a consumer culture. Is it possible? Tune in, and lend your voice to the conversation.


Film Screening: "Trashed"


Tue, April 19, 7:30pm - 8:30pm


IMU Whittenberger Auditorium


Ever wonder where the 370 MILLION TONS of trash Americans produce each year go? Or what kind of influence the people who run landfills have? Join us for a screening of the powerful 2007 documentary, and find out!


"Trash Talk" Poetry Slam (SustainIU)


Wed, April 20, 8:30pm - 10:00pm




All-out poetry slam contest---bring your best (and worst)! No need to keep it clean, people; the theme is trash. Four-letter words welcome.


Bryan House Spring Planting


Sat, April 23, 2pm - 4pm


Bryan House Gardens


Help out at the *brand new* Bryan House garden! We'll be planting in the garden plots and placing important educational signage explaining the benefits of locally grown food.


Designing an Edible Campus Series: Session 3  

Please join us for a presentation of our final visions and suggested next steps for transforming IUB into an edible campus! NEW DATE! Tuesday, April 26th, 5:30-6:30 PM, Neal Marshall Bridgewater Lounge (Where is this?) Refreshments will be served.  All are welcome, but please RSVP to


Volunteer with the Bloomington Community Orchard       


Spring Planting Day Celebration and Annual Meeting
Join the Bloomington Community Orchard at the Spring Planting Celebration on Saturday, April 9 at 9:30 am. Bring a potluck dish to share and help us plant for the future! See for more information.

9:30 a.m. Registration, breakfast, and community plant drop-off
10:30 a.m. Welcome and planting instructions
11:00 a.m. Planting
12:30 p.m. Community potluck and music
1:00 p.m. Annual meeting (Come out and help us decide the Orchard's future. Board of Directors election voting will close at the end of the meeting, so tally your vote there if you haven't.) 


Workdays at the Orchard

1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 16 (This is the severe weather reschedule date for the Planting Day, but will be a regular workday if the Planting Date happens April 9.)
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23
1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 1


Volunteer for the Greening Cream and Crimson Spring Football Game

The annual Cream & Crimson Spring Game, to be held at 11am on April 16 at Memorial Stadium, will mark the first anniversary of the launch of the Indiana University Athletic Department's Greening Cream and Crimson game-day initiatives, including:


       Recycling During Tailgating. Volunteers will circulate the tailgate area, distributing bags (clear for recycling, black for trash) and educating and encouraging fans to recycle.

       Recycling Inside Memorial Stadium. Volunteers will co-locate trash and recycling bins in the stadium, educate and encourage fans to recycle, and supervise recycling efforts.

       Vendor Waste Reduction. Volunteers will help supervise recycling to reduce contamination of cardboard and paper.

       Eco-Cell Phone Collection. Volunteers will supervise the collection of cell phones for recycling during the game. Recycled phones reduce the destruction of gorilla habitat, and proceeds from the Eco Cell phone collection will benefit campus sustainability efforts at IU.

       Bike Valet. Volunteers will valet bicycles on the east (Gate E2) concourse of Memorial Stadium, encouraging alternate modes of transportation to athletic events


Interested in volunteering and becoming a part of the first Cream & Crimson Green Team? Contact IU Office of Sustainability intern Isaac Farley at  or register for the volunteer opportunity online at


Upcoming Lectures


Policy Analysis and Public Finance Faculty Group Speaker Series Presents


By Tom Evans

Associate Professor Department of Geography

Indiana University 

Friday, April 1, 2011 2 - 3:15 PM PV278 


Abstract: Agent-based models are increasingly being used to investigate dynamics in social-ecological systems - particularly to improve our understanding of how individual actors interact and the macro-level outcomes produced from these local-level interactions.  This presentation will provide a brief overview of spatial modeling approaches and summarize cases where agent-based models are an effective tool to explore past decision-making dynamics and produce scenario-based models of future plausible outcomes.  A case study from rural Zambia will be used to demonstrate the utility of these spatial modeling approaches.  Rural livelihoods in many parts of the world are dramatically affected by climate variability and its corresponding impact on water availability and crop production. This is particularly the case in the semi-arid tropics (SAT), which contain 22% of the world's population and high concentrations of chronic poverty and inadequate food consumption. This research examines social and biophysical disturbances affecting smallholders in rural Zambia, a location with chronic crop failures due to both flooding and drought. Various coping strategies such as labor exchange, food aid and crop diversification are examined in the context of local-level variability of land suitability and water availability.  An agent-based model of smallholder decision-making is presented to demonstrate how spatial dynamics in agricultural systems affect food security in the region.  Bio Tom Evans is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Director of the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change at Indiana University.  His work addresses human-environment interactions with an emphasis on methods to integrate social and biophysical data to understand local-level land use decision-making processes through the use of Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing and spatial modeling.  His past work has focused on dynamics of deforestation and reforestation in the United States, Brazil and study locations in Southeast Asia.  Current work investigates climate-agriculture dynamics and implications for food-security in the semi-arid tropics.

Contact Us

General comments and questions should be directed to

Our address:

IU Office of Sustainability
1001 E. 10th St.
Geology 429
Bloomington, IN 47405

For IUOS staff:

Bill Brown
Director of Sustainability

Emilie Rex
Assistant Director of Sustainability