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Environmental Studies logo Critical Environmental Issues:
Campus Sustainability (ENV-4614)


Offered through the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, this course examines current issues in environmental studies and environmental science. While the content varies from year to year, the Winter 2016 session involved students completing a project on campus sustainability. Project topics stemmed from UW’s sustainability plan and were developed in consultation with the Campus Sustainability Office. The full course syllabus can be found here for further information on course material, grade evaluation and required readings. 



Alan DiduckDr. Alan Diduck – Course Instructor: ENV-4614

Dr. Diduck is the Acting Associate Dean of Science and serves as a professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at UWinnipeg, and is also a member of UW's Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research and Environment & Society Research Group. Most recently, Dr. Diduck took on the development of the Campus Sustainability course that was delivered during the Winter 2016 term. Student project work from the first session of the course is included below.





Manitoba Hydro Building Urban Green Space: Starting at the Top
Written by: Patrick Carty 

The purpose of this report is to create awareness of green rooftop technologies, provide examples of such technologies being used in Winnipeg and other areas, and discuss what the University of Winnipeg could do to implement green rooftop technology. The report will also touch on the importance of green space in general, and will briefly include a description of other projects that are currently in progress involving green space usage at the University of Winnipeg. Read the full report. [PDF]



Seeds

The UWSA Seed Library
Written by: Maureen Hanlon

This booklet tells the story of how the UWSA seed library was founded to make sharing seeds and seed-saving knowledge easier for students, staff, and the wider downtown Winnipeg community. In a world where food is increasingly patented and genetically modified, restoring and maintaining a resilient seed-keeping tradition is key to cultivating food sovereignty. The report includes a basic overview of seed saving practices for beginners, a discussion of the project’s details, including policies for lending or borrowing, the cataloguing system, guidelines for seed library volunteers, and upcoming plans for the seed library’s long-term future. Read the full report. [PDF];



Logo Leaders in Sustainability Education
Written by: Nadine Kanik

This ‘green’ paper presents a variety of ideas for a general sustainability requirement (GSR) proposal at the undergraduate level for the University of Winnipeg. A review of established curriculum at UWinnipeg and other institutions is included to identify any potential existing resources that could influence the creation of a GSR. Ideas and understanding of how a GSR could benefit the UWinnipeg faculty, students, and surrounding local and global communities are also presented as a basis to initiate further discussion. Read the full report.[PDF]



Sensory deprivation tankFloating Toward Sustainability: A UWinnipeg Perspective
Written by: Cody Lapointe 

The purpose of this project is to successfully inform the greater UWinnipeg community about sensory deprivation tanks, the potential benefits for students, staff and faculty, and their relevance to social sustainability goals at the University. In addition, the report provides information regarding the feasibility of a float centre situated on campus, identifies a list of recommendations, and provides a general foundation for future decisions regarding these resources at the University of Winnipeg. Read the full report. [PDF] 



Blueprints of UWinnipegThe Current State of Stormwater on the University of Winnipeg Campus
Written by: Samantha Leech

The primary objective of this project is to identify the current stormwater management techniques on campus, and the barriers restricting further development. Specifically, this project works to identify the economic barriers that hindered the installation of stormwater holding tanks under the RecPlex building, and how such installations are of significance to flash flood prevention and current university goals focused on reducing potable water use on campus. Read the full report. [PDF]



UWSA Bike LabSolar Sustainability: Converting the UWSA Bike Lab to an Off-Grid Power System
Written by: Tessa Ausborn

This project aims at conducting a pre-feasibility study for installing a 3,840-watt solar photovoltaic array atop the University of Winnipeg Students Association’s Bike Lab. It looks at logistical obstacles, such as the BikeLabs existing location and orientation, as well as financial considerations. In addition, the report explores similar projects across other post-secondary institutions and municipalities to identify alternative measures that fall in-line with the recommendations put forth herein. Read the full report. [PDF]



Academic Initiatives

"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world." ~Nelson Mandela~


The University aims to encourage research and learning that support campus based sustainability initiatives and that address local, regional, national and global sustainability concerns. We are also committed to reducing the ecological impact of course delivery.  

The Academic Initiatives Working Group is responsible for coordinating and monitoring sustainability initiatives directly related to academics on campus. 

Since 2005, with the help of the working group and various campus departments, the University:

  • Partnered with the student group SUNSET (Sustainable University Now, Sustainable Environment Tomorrow) to develop proposals for campus-focused sustainability research projects and posted these to the campus sustainability website.
  • Developed a research proposal to investigate the ecological impacts of classroom delivery of instruction and identify ways of reducing these impacts and publishing a best-practices compendium for use by University of Winnipeg faculty.
  • Developed various proposals and initiatives for reducing paper consumption by setting “paperless exams”, recommending “e-books” as course texts, and recommending shifting to on-line course and instructor evaluation processes and ethics submissions rather than using paper forms.
  • Finalized a proposal for a Campus Sustainability Research Grant that would partially or fully fund short-term research projects that advance knowledge of issues, practices, or activities relevant to the practical implementation of campus sustainability projects. A request for an endowment to support this fund is currently included in the Academic Enhancements envelope of the general capital campaign as well as a request to the UW Foundation office to secure short-term project funding until an endowment can be secured.
  • Developed and implemented a Campus Sustainability Recognition Award to be conferred annually at Spring Convocation both to a student and a faculty member / support staff employee who have made noteworthy contributions to the advancement of campus sustainability.
  • Developed a proposal for an On-campus Carbon Off-Set Program which would involve submitting proposals for capital renovation projects with the potential to reduce GHG emissions to the provincial funding authority. The intent of the proposal would be to create a mechanism directly linking capital improvements and budgets to the GHG emission-reduction benefits using the concept of carbon off-setting to quantify the sustainability benefits obtained.
  • Several research projects underway at the University have a strong sustainability focus.

Sample sustainability courses at UWinnipeg

A comprehensive list of sustainability and sustainability-related courses offered at UWinnipeg can be found here.