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OLIS in the News

Spring 2014 Newsletter

Letter from the Director Our OLIS students blew into Eugene last fall from many locations and diverse backgrounds, joined by a passion for sustainability and learning. They weathered an icy winter to emerge this spring as stalwart saplings, ready for graduation and prepared to grow deep roots and broad canopies as sustainability professionals. Our program began with Prologue Week before Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters. During Prologue Week we immersed ourselves in the science of climate change, income inequality and other social and environmental issues. Carly's cartwheel during the...

Winter 2014 Newsletter

Empathy and Resilience    Folk traditions link Valentine's Day to the start of spring, when birds propose to each other and the roots of trees and vines unlock to blossom and green the earth. To us at OLIS it reminds us of the power of the heart and empathy to further sustainability in our cities and everyday practice. Recent research shows how engaged community members with a strong vision of sustainability, and the ability to empathetically engage decision-makers, achieved stunning advances. The CEO of Metro Vancouver -- a voluntary organization of cities in that region --...

Sustainable Development: Willamette Falls

  The Willamette Falls is one of the largest in North America and has a unique native American and urban history. The historic waterfront industries have been closed, and Oregon City is currently planning for the future of this site in conjunction with numerous regional, state and national agencies. In the coming spring quarter, students in the OLIS program will have the rare opportunity to participate in the planning of this extraordinary site. These opportunities include: Collaborative design and public involvement Downtown revitalization Economic redevelopment...

Playing the Game of Climate Roulette

Dr. Vicki Elmer, OLIS Director Around me are green trees and the peacefulness that lingers in the last days of summer at the University of Oregon. But I'm thinking about climate risk – reminiscent of Russian Roulette – and I'm anything but peaceful. Fall is a whisper away, and Campus Facilities are making sure the storm drains are in good working order for the heavy rains of winter. Campus Planning is dreaming about more green roofs while Capital Facilities staff are putting the finishing touches on improved bicycle infrastructure. The UO Sustainability Director is preparing for a new generation...

OLIS Grad Directs Campus Sustainability at Whitman College

  One year ago, incoming students of OLIS gathered in a shaded patch of lawn at the University of Oregon to engage in traditional ice breaking activities and introduce themselves to their fellow cohort members. Among the students was Tristan Sewell, a recent graduate from Western Washington University. Having earned a BA in Environmental Policy and worked to expand campus sustainability efforts at his alma mater, Tristan hoped to strengthen his knowledge and experience in the field. While his undergrad experiences sparked his interest in campus sustainability, Tristan credits OLIS with...

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