President Ruth Watkins stands at a podium next to five seated panelists. Attendees are seated and standing around the room.

President Watkins’ Leadership in Sustainability Efforts at the U

As President Ruth Watkins has announced her departure from the U, we wish to acknowledge her support of the Global Change and Sustainability Center. She has been a champion for the Center in many ways, including supporting stable funding for our work, supporting establishment of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, and building the research […]

A red and white TRAX light rail train blurred by motion

Mounting air-quality sensors on light rail saves cities money while improving data

Researchers affiliated with the GCSC have been measuring greenhouse gases in the Salt Lake valley by mounting sensors on TRAX light rail trains. Not only does this greatly improve the data that informs city planners and policy makers, but this method can provide extraordinary cost savings. The cost of one research-grade mobile sensor is about […]

profile of a person wearing a hoodie and a large backpack against an orange sunset

Students initiate study on air pollution and unhoused people

Who in city government tracks the environmental effects of air pollution on people experiencing homelessness? When students in the 2019 Global Changes and Society class looked into it, they found that there was not an office with that responsibility. Initially, students set out to change that missing piece. But those efforts have now also resulted in […]

left image of trees and grass, right is a thermal image of the same scene.

How vegetation effects microclimates in urbanized Salt Lake Valley

A new study by Carolina Gómez-Navarro and GCSC affiliate faculty Diane Pataki, Eric Pardyjak, and Dave Bowling, looks at how trees and grass can help mitigate excessive heat in urban areas. Hard surfaces like roofs, buildings, and pavement absorb the sun’s heat and radiate it into the surroundings, creating a “heat island effect”. While trees cast […]

An array of solar panels against a blue sky dotted with white clouds.

The U reaches 71% renewable energy

By University of Utah Communications Originally published in @theU University of Utah Facilities Management has taken another important step forward as a leader in energy and sustainability by signing a 25-year solar energy contract with the Castle Solar Project near Huntington, Utah. The contract will deliver 20 MW of solar energy to campus over its […]