issue 256.28.12
Sustainability in the News
From the Director: Integrated Energy Master Plan
Remembering Elinor Ostrom
Internship Program Update
Intern Guest Post: Say, can I borrow your bike?
Events and Opportunities
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Sustainability in the News
Arts, cultural events help sustain local economy

Bloomington's investment in the nonprofit arts and culture industry is paying off, according to a study revealing that the industry generates $72,276,722 in annual economic activity within the city.
According to the Arts and Economic Prosperity IV national economic study, 3,430 full-time equivalent jobs and $6,288,000 in local and state government revenues are generated through the nonprofit arts and culture industry.
"The results of this study bear out the strong linkages between arts and economic vitality here in Bloomington," Mayor Mark Kruzan said in a press release. "Arts activity enriches us socially and culturally, but the study shows that it also enhances our economy in measurable and meaningful ways."  

SPEA at IUPUI to offer new sustainability programs
The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indianapolis will offer new academic programs in environmental sustainability, beginning in the fall of 2012.
At the graduate level, the school at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will offer a Master of Public Affairs degree with a concentration in urban sustainability. At the undergraduate level, it will offer a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs in sustainable management and policy.
Each program features an interdisciplinary curriculum and will prepare students for careers in the growing fields of sustainability policy and practice in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. 
IU receives NSF grant to help climate scientists protect coastal cities
Indiana University received a $492,588 National Science Foundation grant to help scientists study rising sea levels and the impact of storm surge on coastal communities. Through this grant, IU will improve the performance of oceanic computer models, which scientists use to protect millions of people living near coasts around the world.
Beth Plale, director of IU's Data to Insight Center and the project's principal investigator, will use a commercial cloud computing platform to improve the use of coastal ocean models. Scientists use these models to predict the storm surge heights in a variety of coastal environments, and in turn can predict hurricane storm surge flooding and help federal agencies create evacuation plans. 


City energy report shows inefficiencies     
The City of Bloomington recently issued the Local Government Operations Energy Use and Emissions Inventory, which catalogued energy use between individual city departments.
The report was issued to create a baseline for understanding energy consumption within the city and learn where sustainability efforts would be most effective.
"We have to start thinking very long-term about a lot of different issues if we're going to have a healthy economy and livable environment," said Jacqui Bauer, sustainability coordinator and author of the report. "The report helps us prioritize what needs attention and focus on where needs the greatest impact."
Bloomington forms partnership with IU, Duke Energy, Hoosier Energy
In an effort to build skills in the local workforce, improve efficiency in local buildings and reduce the community's environmental footprint while improving the bottom line for businesses, the City of Bloomington formed a partnership with IU, Duke Energy and Hoosier Energy to conduct a building efficiency forum on June 27 at IUB.
"Skilled facility management staff are absolutely key in making local buildings as efficient as possible," City Sustainability Coordinator Jacqui Bauer said in the press release. "The more knowledge exchange and training we can facilitate, the more energy we save, and the more we can help cut fat from the bottom line for local businesses and other organizations." 
New co-directors of Ostrom Workshop announced   
The Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington has announced two co-directors to assume leadership of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.The Workshop's new co-directors are Tom P. Evans and Burney Fischer. Evans is associate professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences and has served as director of IU Bloomington's Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change. Fischer, a frequent research collaborator with Elinor Ostrom, is clinical professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington.
Professor Tom Evans
Professor Burney Fischer
Integrated Energy Master Plan Draft Released
By Bill Brown


According to the 2010 Campus Master Plan, the Bloomington campus could "realize an overall 30% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2020 and an 80% reduction by 2050, including anticipated development." An Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) followed to determine just how that could be accomplished and what it would cost. The long-awaited draft report of the IEMP was presented to the IU Board of Trustees, June 21, at their meeting held on the IU Northwest campus in Gary. Consulting engineers Eric Utterson and Jerry Williams, of 8760 Engineering, LLC in St. Louis, presented a brief PowerPoint presentation of their extensive study. 


central heating plant
The Central Heating Plant at the IUB campus.

The stated purpose of the IEMP was to "identify a transformative plan to reduce energy and carbon emissions while maintaining sound economic justifications for these actions." Energy costs for fiscal year 2010/2011 totaled $25,558,072, with 73.1% of that due to electricity.


While IUB electricity comes from Duke Energy, heating comes from the Central Heating Plant (CHP), which has coal-fired steam boilers that are 42 to 53 years old. While in 2010/2011 the fuel mix was 92% coal and 8% gas, this year, due to the falling price of natural gas, the university saved considerable dollars by switching almost exclusively to natural gas. The coal boilers, however, don't burn natural gas as efficiently as boilers designed for gas.


Five conclusions and recommendations were included in the presentation to the board:


1. Implement energy conservation projects by continuing to tune building systems, aggressive implementation of energy conservation facility improvements, and install a natural gas turbine cogeneration pant with heat recovery boiler.

2. Repair campus utility systems including critical segments of the aging steam distribution piping system; reduce steam distribution pressure and set up building steam trap reviews; and continue to provide building energy meters and benchmark use as a diagnostic tool.

3. Prepare to stop burning coal. Until coal is retired: retain all current available fuels for operating cost stability; analyze natural gas and coal coasts monthly to minimize operating cost; heat with alternative technologies; move toward distributed hot water heating plants; replace aging boiler#5 with a new high-efficiency unit for a more robust natural gas fired plant operations.

4. Design more efficiently. Continue to require LEED certification for all new buildings with enhanced annual energy tracking; supplement university design standards with energy system requirements for new buildings; continue to investigate renewable energy sources as technology advances reduce costs.

5. Energy conservation through involvement of campus community. Encourage a culture of energy conservation behavior at every level of the campus community. Continue to promote campus programs that reinforce these behaviors.


Full implementation of the energy conservation recommendations would save $9,730,000 per year with an initial investment of $82,580,000, or less than a 10-year payback. Funding for these improvements may come from a number of sources, including normal maintenance and construction, continuation of the current Physical Plant energy conservation team retrofits, direct state funding, Qualified Energy Savings Projects (where bonds for improvements are paid back from energy savings), R&R funding, federal grants, gifts, and other means yet to be determined.


Would completion of this plan achieve the goal stated in the Campus Master Plan of 30% greenhouse gas emissions savings by 2020? According to 8760 Engineering, LLC (page 9 of draft report), implementation of the recommendations would reduce energy consumption by 37% and reduce CO2 emissions by 52%.


This fall, plans are being made to present the draft IEMP to faculty, staff and students for additional review and comment before the final document is prepared to guide future energy improvements. The full draft document is available here.


Read the full article on our blog >> 


 Profiles in IU Sustainability - Remembering Elinor Ostrom


The entire Indiana University community mourns the passing this month of Distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom, who received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her groundbreaking research on the ways that people organize themselves to manage resources.


Ostrom, 78, died of cancer on June 12th, 2012, at IU Health Bloomington Hospital surrounded by friends. She was senior research director of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Distinguished Professor and Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, and professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.Ostrom


Ostrom shared the 2009 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, also known as the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, with University of California economist Oliver Williamson. She was the first woman and remains the only woman to be awarded the prize.


Ostrom's research on how to effectively manage resources is at the core of sustainability. Just in the last month, an  article she co-authored on global change research and a sustainable future was published in BioScience, and on the day she passed away, this article about sustainable development and the recent Rio+20 summit was published online. We were privileged to have her as a member of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board. "When I met with Lin Ostrom to ask her to join the IU Campus Sustainability Advisory Board it was shortly after she had won the Nobel Prize," said IU Sustainability Director Bill Brown. "She was awash in international speaking engagements, phone calls from news organizations from around the globe and everyone wanted her to be on their board of directors. After an uncomfortably long period of silence, Lin said, 'I have been routinely turning down board invitations, but I have been talking about local community action my whole career and this is my campus and my community. So, yes, Bill, I would be happy to serve on the IU Office of Sustainability Board.'" 


Below are some remembrances shared by colleagues of Ostrom. More tributes to her are published here


"Lin Ostrom received her PhD at a time when it was exceptional, and frankly difficult, for a woman scholar to do so. Then she went on to reach the pinnacle of academia. The fact that she did so while breaking down disciplinary barriers is particularly notable and explains why she has had such an important impact on sustainability and governance of natural resource systems. There are rare scholars who not only contribute to science but also truly transform their fields of study. Lin clearly did that with her early work on groundwater issues in California, and she continued to do so in articulating a structure and theory of institutional analysis. She recognized that challenging problems require transdisciplinary approaches and knew how to build teams of scientists from different fields to work together. In the process she was constantly preoccupied with mentoring the next generation of scholars, and I have no doubt the thoughtfulness and rigor she brought to her work will have an enduring impact on those who worked with her and were inspired by her scientific contributions."

 -  Tom Evans, Associate Professor of Geography and Co-Director of the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis 


"Lin understood a simple truth about science: it isn't easy. That may not seem like much of a revelation, but anyone who deals regularly with scientists, researchers, and academics will have met a sizable number who devote great effort to making their discoveries appear effortless. So clever, those scientists. Brilliance is a wonderful thing, and Lin was undoubtedly brilliant, but she didn't rely on native faculty alone. She worked hard. She worked hard often, and she worked on narrowly focused, well-defined questions. No skipping ahead to the grand, sexy topics. Research done right is a humble person's profession. Lin was a humble person who - after years of asking difficult and oft-neglected questions - taught the world some bold lessons. She is gone now, but there remain so many questions that need asking. Answering those questions will be more difficult without Lin. All the more reason to follow her example and get to work."

-   Jacob Bower-Bir, Graduate Student in the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis


Read more about Ostrom's life and legacy:

IU community mourns passing of Distinguished Professor and Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom

Ostrom's autobiography on the Nobel Prize website


View the webpage version >> 


Internship Program Update

By Emilie Rex


We're halfway through the Summer Internship Program in Sustainability, and our seventeen interns have been very busy. From engaging discussions during our seminar to ambitious collaborations between interns, here are a couple of updates on our progress with some opportunities for getting involved:

  • Learning together in seminar: Every summer, we begin seminar with new resources aimed atproviding our interns with foundational knowledge in sustainability. This summer we chose climate scientist Michael Mann's new book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, coupled with background readings on climate change and adaptation. Look out for student blog posts reflecting on the readings and our seminar discussions.
  • Strengthening our volunteer network: Programs like the Campus Garden Initiative, Dunn's Woods Project and Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale provide rich opportunities for volunteer engagement, but summer can be a hard time to recruit students. A group of five interns is looking into new strategies and resources for engaging individuals, student and community groups and more. We hope to unveil our plan soon, but we'd love to hear from you if you have ideas now. Email us at
  • Building a user-centered website for campus sustainability: We've learned a lot about campus sustainability over the last three years, and we're very excited about a new initiative to leverage those lessons learned to improve our web presence. Specifically, we want every visitor to our site (beginner to advanced, students, faculty, staff, community members, peer institutions, etc.) to have an opportunity to engage in sustainability on multiple different levels - professionally, in and outside of the classroom, and in their personal lives. Our seventeen interns are working hard to develop content designed for this broad range of visitors. We'll soon need help with user testing. Let us know if you'd like to participate by emailing 

In the next edition of Catalyst, we'll focus on our upcoming summit discussing best practices for intern mentorship, as well as provide details regarding our hiring process for the 2012-13 Academic Year Internship Program in Sustainability.

Say, can I borrow your bike? 
By Kevin Sonoff, Bicycle Friendly Campus Initiatives Intern

Bicycle sharing is all the rage. What's been commonplace in many European cities for well over a decade is now beginning to catch on in a handful of cities around the U.S. Short-term and one-way rental options make sharing programs very appealing to tourists and locals alike in major metropolitans like Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Paris' Vélib' bicycle sharing program, created in 1997, boasts 18,000 bicycles and 1,200 bicycle checkout stations.


I was surprised to learn that bicycle sharing has an equally well-established presence on many college campuses throughout the country. I was less surprised once I began to realize that college towns share many important attributes with their bustling urban counterparts that contribute to successfully implementing a bicycle-sharing program.


First, many college towns have a fairly captive audience, not unlike that of a major metropolitan, only on a different scale. Most college students, faculty, and staff live within biking distance of their professional or academic destination, making cycling a feasible commuting option and putting them well within the reach of public transportation. Given this high percentage of last-milers (people whose commute is < 1 mile), creating a bicycle-sharing program greatly increases the appeal of other alternative and public transportation options. Bicycle sharing and alternative transportation enjoy a fruitful symbiotic relationship when it comes to college towns and metropolitans as the two in combination make for a simple, stress-free transportation option for would-be weary cyclists.  

View the rest of the article, as well as other posts by our interns, on our blog >>

Events and Opportunities
Full event listings can be viewed on our calendar, while the latest news and opportunities are viewable on our blog

Upcoming Events:


Friday, June 29
Campus Garden Workday
When: 9:00 - 11:00 am
Where: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St
Description: No need to sign up ahead of time, just show up ready to play in the dirt and grow food for the campus community! Gloves and tools are provided. Email with questions. Visit for more information about the IU Campus Garden Initiative.


Tuesday, July 10
Going Solar Presentation 
When: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Where: Room 1C, Monroe County Public Library
The Southern Indiana Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) is pleased to announce another session of our popular Going Solar presentation! Have you been thinking about "Going Solar" but don't know where to start? Join us for this forum in which Woodie Bessler will talk about the costs, financial incentives, carbon savings, and other considerations for installing solar and geothermal systems. Options to be presented include solar water heaters, solar electric panels, and geothermal heating systems. Learn what is involved, have your questions answered by local green energy experts, and sign up for a free, solar pre-assessment to determine the solar potential of your home. SIREN is a project of the Center for Sustainable LivingPlease RSVP by sending an email to by Tuesday, July 3. Space is limited so reserve your spot today!


News, ongoing events, and opportunities:  

Bloomington Community Orchard Workdays and Events
The Bloomington Community Orchard is having a wonderful summer: a first harvest of strawberries, further developing the Orchard site, a new hive of bees just introduced. There are exciting times coming, and the Orchard would love to have you involved. Every experience level and skill set has a place at the Orchard, whether you're attending a workday to help maintain the Orchard, helping us spread the mission of the Orchard through the community or coordinating special projects. Check our calendar for details or email Amanda at for more information.
Become a Garden Leader!
The Campus Garden Initiative is looking for volunteer Garden Leaders to help make the campus garden more vibrant and educational. In addition to helping with workdays, Garden Leaders can choose to specialize in a number of areas, including irrigation, soil management, and photography. No experience is necessary! The full program description can be found here.
Moving this summer?  Have too much stuff?  DONATE IT!
The Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale will take anything*-clothes, furniture, housewares, non-perishable food-and all funds raised support local non-profits.  Here's how:
  - Live off-campus?  Check with your landlord or contact us for a pick-up ( starting in May. We need a few days notice.  
  - Want to drop something off yourself?  Drop off from 9am - 2pm on July 27 at Gladstein Fieldhouse or contact us for arrangements. 
  - Want more info?  Visit
*Except mattresses.
About Us
The mission of the Indiana University Office of Sustainability is to advance sustainable human-environment interactions within the Bloomington campus and community by facilitating collaborative academic and operational initiatives. 
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IU Office of Sustainability
704 E. 10th St. 
Bloomington, Indiana 47408
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