LSC is thrilled to be a Minnesota GreenCorps host site for the 2017-18 service year! This is the 9th program year for the AmeriCorps affiliate program that is coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The program is funded through grants from the federal CNCS, Serve Minnesota, and a combination of state and local in-kind resources. The goals of MN GreenCorps are to help preserve and protect Minnesota’s environment while training a new generation of environmental professionals. Not every applicant is chosen. This year, of the 100 host site and 130 member applications, 40 members were place at 40 local governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions across the state.
The GreenCorps program members serve in 1 of the 7 focus areas: Energy Conservation, Green Transportation, Stormwater, Urban Forestry, Living Green, Local Foods, or Waste Prevention & Recycling. LSC’s focus is Energy Conservation.
Chris Whaley is our GreenCorps member for the service year. He will work closely with LSC’s Sustainability Council for 11 months, serving at least 1700 hours. Chris is a 2013 UMD graduate where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Studies. At UMD, he also took classes in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping. These courses were his gateway to several sustainability focused classes and it sparked a lasting interest in this subject area.
The goal of his placement at LSC specifically is to focus on energy conservation and implement both short and long term solutions to make the campus more energy efficient. His first project will include looking at vending machines on campus to assess their energy use and savings potential. One way we can save energy is through installation of “vending misers”. These are motion sensors that are mounted to a vending machine and will power down the machine in cycles if the sensor detects no motion for 15 minutes.
A long term goal is to complete an assessment of the entire campus using “Kill-A-Watt” meters to identify redundant and inefficient appliances. We will also work to better equip our campus users with information about best practices and energy use. Chris will learn more about our B3 benchmarking and energy tracking efforts, using the data to drive changes and improve overall efficiency for all of our campus locations. This has the potential for significant reduction in energy use, especially in the winter months.
These goals are not an exhaustive list and will most likely change and evolve throughout the course the year. We will provide regular updates throughout the year. Please feel free to drop Chris an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, concerns, or questions about any of our work plan goals!