UT among Princeton Review's top 311 green colleges

UT has been recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible college campuses in North America by the Princeton Review. The education services company selected UT for inclusion in the second annual edition of its guidebook, The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges: 2011 Edition, released April 20.

UT is one of five campuses recognized in Tennessee. Also included on the list is the UT Martin campus.

Highlights of UT's inclusion in the list are the campus' Make Orange Green program, the sustainable building policy, and the Student Environmental Initiatives Fee.

Make Orange Green has been recognized as one of the top campus sustainability programs in the nation. The program coordinates environmental activities across all areas of campus, including the establishment of a broad energy conservation policy, recycling programs and other efforts.

The campus' sustainable building policy was established in 2007 to make Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system the standard for new construction and renovation projects exceeding $5 million. LEED-certified projects are rated based on their use of environmentally friendly building practices.

Ayres Hall reopened in January after a two-year renovation and is expected to be the first building on campus to receive LEED certification. The Min Kao Electrical and Computer Engineering Facility and the new Student Health Center, both currently under construction, also will be considered for the designation.

UT students voted in 2005 to create the Student Environmental Initiatives Fee to fund environmental stewardship programs such as energy efficiency upgrades to campus buildings and the purchase of green power.

The fee funded the purchase of 5,000 blocks of green power for the university, a purchase that was equivalent to removing 764 cars from the road for a year. Other student efforts include an annual light bulb exchange and environmental competition in the residence halls.

In January, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek issued a challenge to the UT community to reduce energy consumption on campus by 10 percent over 12 months through changes in individuals' daily actions.

The Chancellor's Challenge is part of the Switch Your Thinking campaign which encourages energy conservation through behavior change. Students are asked to be mindful of energy use while in residence halls, and faculty and staff are asked to shut down computers and turn off lights in offices and classrooms while not in use, as well as to look for other opportunities for saving electricity.

Developed by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Guide to 311 Green Colleges is the only free, comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

UT was also was included in the inaugural edition of the guidebook in 2010.

The complete guidebook may be downloaded at http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/greenguide.

Extension offers second domestic kitchen certification course in Nashville

Individuals who use a domestic kitchen to prepare, manufacture and sell food to the public can ensure their facilities meet Tennessee Department of Agriculture regulations through an upcoming course presented by the UT Institute of Agriculture Food Science Technology and UT Extension faculty.

Domestic Kitchen - Tennessee Food Safety Certification, will be held 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 12, in the Ed Jones Auditorium of the Ellington Agricultural Center, 440 Hogan Rd., Nashville.

Dr. Michael Davidson, a UT food microbiologist, and William Morris, a UT Extension food safety specialist, will cover regulations for establishments using domestic kitchen facilities for bakery and other non-potentially hazardous foods intended for sale.

Davidson and Morris are approved by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to teach the course and grant certification for domestic kitchens.

Individuals interested in forming a catering business (made-to-order birthday cakes, wedding cakes, etc.) are not required to take this course and should contact a local health department for information regarding regulations. Examples of potentially hazardous foods that cannot be processed in a domestic kitchen include salsa, pickled vegetables, relishes or chow-chow, cheesecakes, canned vegetables or meats, fermented vegetables and dairy or meat products.

Individuals with an inside pet of any kind will not qualify as a food manufacturer under the Domestic Kitchen Rule.

Preregistration with payment is mandatory, and the $100 registration fee is nonrefundable. Registration includes instruction materials, lunch and certificate.

For more information or to enroll, contact Nancy Austin at 865-974-7717 or naustin@utk.edu. To enroll online, visit http://tinyurl.com/fst051211.

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; the UT College of Veterinary Medicine; UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers; and UT Extension with offices in all 95 Tennessee counties.

Collett joins UT Landscape Architecture Program

Following a national search, the Department of Plant Sciences at the UT Institute of Agriculture has selected Brad Collett as an assistant professor of landscape architecture. Collett will teach landscape design and landscape architecture at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Prior to his new position at UT, Collett worked as a project manager at Edward J. Stone, Jr. and Associates in Orlando, Florida. While there, he designed and managed projects for a variety of clients ranging from resort attractions to urban design projects.

In addition, Collett is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is also the co-founder of the EDSAgreen Program; an Internet education group which emphasizes sustainable design, practices in landscaping.

Collett has a Masters in Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University where he also worked as a graduate teaching assistant. But he also has ties to the Knoxville area.