Two Albion students who recently won National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Fellowships will study ways in which Albion can become a more ecologically sustainable college while increasing awareness of environmental issues on campus.
The goal of Lisa Anderson, '09, of Cadillac, Mich., and Erica Tauzer, '10, of Gladstone, Mich., is for Albion to become a leader in sustainability and energy conservation among colleges and universities nationwide by looking at case studies and employing "best practices." The pair has established a Sustainability Council that is working closely with College officials to establish sustainability procedures and a climate action plan.
The selection of Anderson and Tauzer to be NWF Campus Ecology Fellows marks the first time in the program's 20-year history that two fellows have been chosen from the same college.
"Lisa and Erica are two of our exceptional students," said Troy VanAken, executive vice president of the College and the pair's NWF fellowship sponsor. "When you have a meeting with them, you are energized by their enthusiasm and passion. Their commitment to these issues and the experience they are gaining are indicative of the monumental success they are going to have later in life."
As part of the fellowship, which lasts three semesters, Anderson and Tauzer traveled to the NWF headquarters in Washington, D.C., for training and to meet other fellows.
"We learned about a lot of tools and resources for educating the community," Tauzer said. "We also did a lot of planning and brainstorming there. In fact, we were giving the other fellows suggestions for how to get things done because we have so much support here."
VanAken said that sustainability is part of the current strategic planning process through the next facilities master plan. Anderson, a chemistry major with an environmental science concentration, and Tauzer, a biology major with a Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service concentration, are conducting research that is vital to better tailoring the initiatives, VanAken said.
Tauzer's project is a campus greenhouse gas inventory that examines where the gas comes from and how it is used. She also will be looking at natural gas, electricity, and water use, as well as calculating the College's total CO2 emissions. Once the greenhouse gas inventory is completed, Anderson will develop a plan for the College to reduce energy use campus-wide, while also developing ways to educate the College community about sustainability issues.
The duo-who have been instrumental in organizing Albion's "Step It Up" and "Focus the Nation" campaigns-also will spearhead the College's involvement in the Campus Energy Challenge, an energy-use education program that is held every February on campuses around the country. In addition, they will be looking to launch a "bike library," from which campus and local community members would be able to check out bikes to reduce dependency on cars.
"I think it's important for the College to become not only a leader in sustainability, but also to educate the students who are going into the outside world where they can take what they learned here and apply it there," Anderson said. "That's why NWF is targeting college campuses-because students are the next generation that will go into the world and face these issues."
Visit www.albion.edu/green for more information.