2015 TRACS Summit

Host: Texas Tech University


Article: Texas Tech Hosts Sustainability Summit for the First Time

Monday, March 02, 2015

(Click here to download your copy of the program)

10:00am – 5:00pm Registration (Texas Tech Student Union)

1:00pm – 5:00pm Networking – (Red Raider Lounge will be available all day)

1:00pm – 1:15pm President Nellis – Welcome / General Announcements (Ballroom)

1:15pm – 2:00pm TRACS Vision Committee – The Past, Present, and Future of the TRACS Organization (Ballroom)

2:00pm – 3:00pm Sarah Kelly / Ben Kalscheur – STARS: Texas A&M University & the University of Houston Benchmarked Campus Sustainability through Institutional Assessment (Ballroom)

This presentation will feature perspectives from Texas A&M University and University of Houston sustainability staff who are facilitating the Sustainability Tracking Rating and Assessment System (STARS) process for their campuses. Topics will include the switch from version 1.2 to 2.0, data collection strategies, lessons learned, process development, tips on the most challenging sections, and more.

2:00pm – 3:00pm Jackie Kimbler / Melanie Tatum – TTU Housing – Recycling Center / Styrofoam Densifier Tour (sign up at the table in the Ballroom)

University Student Housing collects recyclable materials across campus. Materials are sorted and sold. Money made from the sale of the commodities is used to fund Sustainability Scholarships. In Aug. 2014 University Student Housing purchased a foam densifier to reduce the amount of foam waste going to the landfill during fall move-in.

3:00pm – 3:30pm Break / Posters / Networking (Red Raider Lounge)

3:30pm – 4:00pm Craig Cotton – TTU Bike Program (Senate room)

Bikes get left behind. It’s the nature of the beast. They are disposable to some. What in the world do you do with all the bikes that get abandoned? Why not resell them? I mean, most are perfectly good bikes. Come hear how Texas Tech is putting to good use what others felt was disposable.

3:30pm – 4:00pm Sara Nichols – Master Composter (Ballroom)

Master composter is a community – based program of citizen education and volunteer development to promote cost – effective and environmentally responsible yard care practices, with backyard composting as its main focus. The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) serves as the statewide administrator for the program. Learn more about how your university or college can work with the community to help start a Master Composter Program in its city or on its campus.

4:00pm – 4:30pm Kristen Cetin / Mariana Silva – Sustainability Tours (Ballroom)

As with many colleges and universities in Texas, the UT campus strives to advance sustainability efforts on its campus, in its coursework, its research, its facility and service management practices, and through its Green Fee program.  These efforts are campus-wide, and span across many departments. Many of these programs and research initiatives are also highly visible, and serve as tools and live demonstrations of sustainability for use in educating about sustainability and sustainable practices. This program aims to harness the educational opportunity the high concentration of sustainability programs and initiatives the UT Austin campus provides, to inform and inspire others about sustainability.  In our presentation we hope to present about how we went about developing this program, our progress to date, and lessons learned for the benefit of others interested in developing similar programs.

4:00pm – 4:30pm Nathan Jones – Utilities & Energy Services, Pushing the Campus Down the Green Path (Senate room)

This presentation will be an overview of Texas A&M University’s Utilities and Energy Services (UES) and the impact this operation has on the sustainable practices on the university’s flag ship campus as well as across the Texas A&M University System.  The presentation will include an overview of the services provided by UES and how these services form or conform to the university’s sustainability policies and programs.  Along with the typical energy and water conservation and recycling topics, specific UES driven initiatives like the Energy Action Plan, Energy Stewards and Energy Management Plan will be introduced.  Additionally, green house gas reporting, efficient building scheduling and several other ongoing or recently completed projects that have sustainability components to them will be discussed.

4:30pm – 5:30pm Tiana Lightfoot Svendsen / Maria Boccalandro – Regional TRACS Chapters (Ballroom)

Join us for a workshop on regional collation building and learn the three key steps for forming stronger teams. DFW is the first Texas territory to form a local chapter of TRACS. We want you to be the second. The second mouse gets the cheese.

6:00pm – 7:00pm TRACS Networking Event (TBA)


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

8:00am – 12:00pm Registration

8:00am – 4:00pm Networking – (Red Raider Lounge will be available all day)

8:00am – 8:30am Breakfast / Noel Sloan Chief Operating Officer and VP Administration and Finance Texas Tech University – Welcome (Red Raider Lounge)

8:30am – 9:00am Clarence Sirmons – Getting Their Attention: The Facts and Stats to get Your Sustainability Proposal Accepted (Ballroom)

The single most important and often most challenging step in initiating a campus sustainability program is gaining alignment form university officials. At last year’s TRACS Summit, a conversation was begun about the different ways to approach this challenge. This session will continue that discussion by showing participants how they can effectively convey the importance of campus sustainability, while addressing topics that capture the attention of busy campus administrators: finances, enrollment, and image. The facilitator will share successful strategies used at the University of St. Thomas – Houston which led to the development of a university committee for sustainability. Topic areas will include speaking the “language” of administrators, the types of facts and figures that resonate most with them, and the external pressures they regularly face.

8:30am – 9:00am Matt Stevens / Kristen Cetin – Campus Lights Out Program (Senate Room)

The University of Texas at Austin developed a multi – university Campus Lights Out to further expand its Longhorn Lights Out program to other Institutions. Come hear about the initial October 2014 pilot, share your ideas, and learn how your school can participate and save energy in the next one in April 2015.

9:00am – 10:00am Andy Kim / Darien Clary – Composting (Ballroom)

Waste diversion, including recycling and composting was one of the common thread weaved through many successful green initiatives at ACC. ACC implemented creative and economical composting program in the campus, through this program, ACC not just reduced the environmental impact but also saved money for the district.

9:00am – 10:00am Jackie Kimbler / Melanie Tatum – TTU Housing – recycling / Styrofoam densifier Tour (sign up at the table in the Ballroom)

9:00am – 10:00am Brandon Morton / Maria Boccalandro – Preparing Students for Careers through Sustainability: Living Labs in the DCCCD (Senate room)

Learn how the colleges of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) incorporate Living Labs and Service Learning to drive student success in the district. Through interdisciplinary projects, students develop processes. With the support of faculty across the district, sustainability issues and discussions are being integrated into the curriculum – and not just into the obvious science and engineering courses. Sustainability lessons are also being deployed in government, math, psychology, philosophy, speech, English, art, history, business, nursing, architecture, Spanish, and many more. Intrigued? We will share our experiences and roadmaps with participants.

10:00am – 10:30am Alexis Raxelis – Agroecology Program (Ballroom)

The Agroecology Program at UTPA: moving the needle towards sustainable food systems in Texas

10:00am – 10:30am Valerie Smart Shoup – Air Quality, Noise and Health (Senate room)

The purpose of the presentation is to provide practical information about the issue of air quality in North Texas, how the air quality affects health, and what actions each person can take to help resolve the issue of air quality. Following and directly related to air quality is the issue of noise in densely populated areas. The second part of the presentation provides practical information about the issue of noise in the environment, how the noise affects health, and what action each person can take to protect their hearing and the hearing of their children.

10:30am – 11:00am Break / Posters / Networking (Ballroom)

11:00am – 12:00pm Julian Keniry – TRACS EcoLeaders (Ballroom)

The National Wildlife Federation’s campus ecology team, a long-time advocate of TRACs, has developed Ecoleaders, an on-line career and leadership credentialing program and networking community.  Ecoleaders helps students launch projects and careers that heal the planet through five key steps:  creating an eco-mission, planning and project, sharing resources, networking and earning certification.  This 40 minute session will present the NWF Ecoleader framework and how and why it came about.  It will then share highlights within the community, such as student eco-missions, discussion forums and active projects with examples of how the initiative supports these.  The session will solicit ideas from TRACS leaders about how Ecoleaders can be fine-tuned to advance and promote TRACS with students, young professionals and related audiences all across Texas and beyond.

12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch / Dr. Katherine Hayhoe / Posters / Networking (Red Raider Lounge)

Katharine Hayhoe is an Associate Professor in the Public Administration program at Texas Tech University and Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, part of the South-Central Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications and served as lead author on key reports for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Academy of Sciences.

1:30pm – 2:00pm Meagan Jones – Horns up, Sash Down (Senate room )

Lab buildings are up to five times more energy intensive than office or classroom buildings due to high ventilation rates often driven by fume hood demand. Horns Up, Sash Down engages researchers in fume hood sash management by educating them on the energy impact of their fume hoods. The most recent competition included 291 fume hoods and resulted in an estimated $20,000 annual energy cost avoidance.

1:30pm – 2:15pm Hunter Mangrum – Living Laboratory (Ballroom)

The University of Texas at Austin, has developed a program that not only bridges the gap between academics and operations, but creates symbiotic relationships between the student employee, employer, and the entire campus community. The session will be segmented into two sections, Section 1 (Contextual Development) – will include sharing details of the programs development, practice, and lessons learned. Section 2 (Program Model Replication) – will include sharing the simple tools and developmental process needed to adopt this model for other campuses.

1:30pm – 2:30pm Jackie Kimbler / Melanie Tatum – TTU Housing – recycling / Styrofoam densifier Tour (sign up at the table in the Ballroom)

2:15pm – 2:45pm Lon Mirll – TTU Energy Management Program (Ballroom)

The Texas Tech University office of Energy Management and Sustainability tracks resource consumption on campus and implements energy conservation measures to save money and increase comfort. Over the past 10 years, a period of rapid growth for the university, we reduced our Energy Use Index by 25%. We will discuss our successes and failures through this process.

2:15pm – 2:45pm Karen Blaney / Nathalie Kip – Green Labs Team (Senate room)

This presentation will discuss the structure of the student-led Green Labs Team at the University of Teas at Austin as well as the involvement of stakeholders and various vendors. We will describe the recycling and energy reduction initiatives that comprise the Green Labs Program, along with our strategies for establishing greater awareness of, and participation in, the program.

 2:45pm – 3:15pm Break / Posters / StreetTreats Truck / Hospitality

2:45pm – 3:15pm Jennifer Hobson – Tailgate Recycling (Senate room)

UT Austin has continually been working on optimizing its tailgate and stadium recycling program. Using best practices and capitalizing on campus opportunities, UT Austin has worked to develop a tailgate and stadium diversion program. This presentation aims to use UT Austin’s current and former tailgate and stadium recycling program to identify lessons learned.


3:45pm – 4:00pm Carey Hewett – Closing Remarks



This years TRACS Summit is brought to you by:

The Texas Tech Office of Sustainability


in partnership with these great Texas Tech University departments:


Transportation and Parking Services

University Student Housing

Procurement Services

Hospitality Services


TRACS Summit 2015 Planning Committee:

Maria Boccalandro, Sharon Curry, Sarah Kelly, Ben Kalscheur, Hunter Mangrum, Hong Xu, Rob Daughtry, and Carey Hewett.


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