Wicked Problems, Delta’s Green Award, and Michigan Energy Efficiency

Photo by thirteenthbat

As heard Oct 12, 2012, on Friday Edition, 9 a.m. on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College …

Sea Grant Seeks ‘Wicked Problems’

Just in time for Halloween, Michigan Sea Grant is looking for “wicked problems” in the Great Lakes.

What makes a problem “wicked”? It has to be a complex environmental issue that’s challenging to address because the cause isn’t clear.

After all, you can’t figure out how to best solve a problem without a clear understanding of what factors are causing it.

So the Michigan Sea Grant research program is looking for public input on a coastal resource issue that needs a solution.

Michigan Sea Grant is seeking ideas for projects in four focus areas:

1)      Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

2)      Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture

3)      Resilient Communities and Economies, and

4)      Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development.

The ideas are requested by the day before Halloween.

Michigan Sea Grant is a collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

(If you have an idea for Michigan Sea Grant, provide a synopsis and contact information for an agency or organization with decision-making authority related to the issue. Send the information by Oct. 30 to Jennifer Read, Research Program Coordinator: jenread@umich.edu).

Green Genome Award

Delta College has received a national environmental award.

The Green Genome Award comes from the American Association of Community Colleges.

The award was presented this month as part of an effort to honor community colleges that “have taken a strategic leadership role in sustainability and green economic and workforce development.”

Delta College won for achievements in Community Engagement. Other awards went to colleges in California, North Carolina, Florida, and West Virginia.

Winners of the awards each received $8,000 to support the college’s enhancement, expansion, or creation of a practice or program related to green workforce development and sustainability.

According to a Green Genome report from the association, Delta was recognized for efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the campus and the surrounding community.

Those efforts, over several years, have included the creation of a campus sustainability office to reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

Delta also has been spearheaded numerous alternative transportation activities, including the creation of a non-motorized greenway and a park-and-ride, hybrid-conversion bus route called the Green Line.

In addition, Delta was recognized for providing alternative energy training in automotive, wind, and chemical process technology, and work by students to build sustainable Habitat for Humanity homes in the community.

We’re No. 12!

Michigan is becoming more energy efficient, but didn’t break the Top Ten in a recent 2012 state scorecard report.

The report, from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, ranks Michigan as 12th in the nation. That’s up from a rank of 17 last year.

MIchigan was cited as most improved after Oklahoma, Montana and South Carolina, according to Great Lakes Echo.  The state advanced in the rankings in part  through a law requiring electricity and natural gas providers to file energy optimization plans. The plans are meant to help reduce long-term costs to ratepayers and delay the need for additional power plants.

The scorecard report gives top honors to Massachusetts for the second year in a row. The report looks at six policy areas in which states pursue energy efficiency goals.

This is the sixth year for the Council’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard report.

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