News & Events

Catalyst 35 - April

Welcome to our new Catalyst format. Previously sent out via our listserv as an e-newsletter, Catalyst will now be published on our website each month. When a new issue is published, those on our mailing list will receive a reminder email. Sign up to receive Catalyst reminders.

In the News

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Leader in sustainability to receive IU Bloomington Distinguished Service Award

Michael Hamburger

Michael Hamburger, professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been chosen to receive the Indiana University Bloomington Distinguished Service Award for 2012-13.

Hamburger is being recognized for his contributions to his academic discipline, the university and the IU Bloomington campus, and the larger community -- especially his leadership in issues of environmental sustainability and in helping to create the IU Office of Sustainability.

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Saving energy, one work station at a time


by Jennifer Piureck, Inside IU

IU Bloomington saved $189,117 in campus electrical usage last month compared with the same time period in 2012.

The result of the savings for the billing period, which ended March 21, proves that small gestures of conservation -- turning off unused lights, computer monitors, printers and other sources of electricity -- can add up to big energy savings. Peak energy usage was 9,203 kW less than last year’s peak of 35,347 kW.

Doug Trueblood, assistant manager of operations and preventive maintenance at the Physical Plant, said cooler weather helped decrease energy used, but that efforts by IU’s building occupants across campus made the difference

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IU Sustainability Fund's first project: energy-efficient lighting at Ballantine

Energy ChallengeApril 9, 2013 

In the midst of its fall registration drive, the Student Sustainability Council at Indiana University Bloomington has announced its first capital project: installing motion-sensing, energy-efficient lighting in Ballantine Hall's stairwells.

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Sixth annual SustainIU Week taking place at IU Bloomington

sustainiu weekApril 5, 2013

The sixth annual SustainIU Week, organized by the Student Sustainability Council at Indiana University Bloomington and taking place throughout next week, will spread awareness about sustainability and show how individuals can have a positive impact on their environment, economy and society.

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Read, Eigenmann win spring 2013 Energy Challenge

flowersMarch 26, 2013

 The 2013 IU Spring Energy Challenge has ended with Read Residence Center winning the electricity conservation category and Eigenmann Residence Center winning the water conservation category.

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Peggy Maschino to receive Michael Hamburger Award for Sustainable Action during SustainIU Week

Michael Hamburger and Laura Appelt will be presenting the award to Peggy Maschino, co-chair of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board and Associate Director of Business Affairs at the Physical Plant, for her work in sustainability initiatives. The award will be presented during SustainIU Week on Friday, April 12th at 10am at Dunn Meadow.

The annual award recognizes a deserving member of the Indiana community who has generated awareness of, interest in, and novel approaches to matters of environmental, economic, or social sustainability.

SPEA Capstone Course to present research report entitled, "Assessing and Influencing Energy Conservation Attitudes and Behavior at IU"

Students of the SPEA V600 Capstone Project, many of which are fellow interns at the IU Office of Sustainability, invite the general public to attend a presentation of their semester-long research on the IU Integrated Energy Master Plan to be held on Monday, April 29th from 1:00-2:00pm at Kelley School CG 1008. For more information contact Diane Henshel (

Energy Leaders Student Association of SPEA set to host screening of SWITCH

On Wednesday, April 17th at Kelley Rm 223 and Thursday, April 18th at Fine Arts Rm 015, the Energy Leaders Student Association will screen the movie SWITCH to facilitate discussion on the use of energy resources on campus and in the broader community. Wednesday's screening is open to the general public and Thursday's screening will focus on student engagement and will be followed by an academic panel, including our own director, Bill Brown. Watch the movie trailer here.

Director Feature

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Celebrate Arbor Day & Earth Day Planting Trees Around Dunn Meadow

By Bill Brown, Director of the Office of Sustainability

I shall always keep in mind this scene here in the open by the University buildings, a university which, in what we are apt to think of as a new nation, is approaching its centenary, here under these great trees, these maples and beeches, that have survived over from the primeval forest... it is a sight I shall never forget; it will always be with me... ~ Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, 1918 IU commencement speech

tree planting IUB

On a campus often listed among the nation’s most beautiful, our forests provide the colorful, shady canvas upon which those lasting impressions are painted. Yes, our campus forest also performs ecological services, such as mitigating the urban heat island effect, sequestering carbon dioxide, controlling erosion, producing oxygen, absorbing pollutants and providing habitat, but it is the beauty we will remember for the rest of our lives.

You will have an opportunity to add to that legacy this Friday, April 12, at 10 AM to noon at Dunn Meadow as volunteers commemorate Arbor Day and Earth Day by planting trees. This event is jointly sponsored by the Campus Tree Advisory Committee, Campus Division, the Integrated Program in the Environment, the Student Sustainability Council, the City of Bloomington (which will also be planting trees along Indiana Avenue), and the Office of Sustainability. Volunteers who arrive before 10 AM will enjoy a breakfast of Bloomington Bagels and coffee and receive free insulated water bottle from the Student Sustainability Council as part of their SustainIU week of events. Awards for the Energy Challenge and the Student Sustainability Council’s Michael Hamburger Award for Sustainable Action will also be presented at 10 AM at the band pad on the west end of Dunn Meadow. Gloves, tools, and a brief planting demonstration will be provided. Volunteers will also learn more about the exciting new Integrated Program in the Environment, which is gearing up to launch a new undergraduate degree program in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

Indiana University was among the first campuses to be designated a Tree Campus by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Campus Tree Advisory Committee has been working hard to retain that designation annually and also improve the quality and quantity of trees on campus. Committee members recognize the value of getting students involved in planting trees so they can be part of the tradition, learn something about tree planting, and come back with their grandchildren to visit “their tree.” In recent mass planting events on campus the number of faculty, staff and community volunteers has increased. At the last event in Dunn Meadow, the Eppley Institute staff showed up in force.

If you are interested in joining us for this memorable event, please register here. To help you get in the mood and convince your friends to join you, take a self-guided campus tree tour using the Woodland Campus.

Happy Arbor Day and Earth Day! 


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This feature profiles a student, faculty member, staff member, IU alum, or community member who has inspired us as a sustainability leader. We hope you enjoy these stories, and we encourage you to send along your own!

Student Sustainability Council Executive Committee Members

The Student Sustainability Council (SSC) is made up of a diverse group of student organizations at Indiana University Bloomington, as it oversees over 20 sustainability-related member organizations.ssc 

The SSC was founded to recognize the importance of sustainability on campus, in turn helping to make IU a cleaner, healthier, and happier place to live, learn, and work in.  The SSC promotes communication and collaboration as it advises the IU Office of Sustainability from students’ perspectives. This SSC is managed by an Executive Committee who are elected by student members, allowing them to be more aware and involved with the importance of sustainability on campus.  This month’s featured sustainers are the 2013 SSC Executive Committee.  

  • MJ Jackson, Logistics Director
    • Major: BA in Environmental Management; Candidate for MPA through SPEA’s Accelerated MA Program
    • Work with SSC: As the Logistics Director of the SSC, I create the agenda and facilitate all General Assembly meetings (monthly gatherings of members representing over 27 IU student organizations). I also oversee the executive committee and ensure that both the directors and the SSC as a whole are meeting their larger goals.  The Logistics Director kind of has their hand in every cookie jar-so to speak--striving to ensure the SSC maintains legitimacy and effectiveness.  Holding this position was a huge learning experience and invaluable opportunity that taught me a great deal.
    • Future Plans: After earning an MPA through SPEA, I intend to work with local governments in the US and Central America to help them set and achieve source reduction goals through implementation of sustainable waste managment programs.  Further, through research on the policy implications of radical environmentalism and direct action I hope to earn a PhD and teach those subjects at collegiate level.
    • Favorite Green Tip: Go meatless and give up buying new clothes.
  • Nick Norder, Membership & Publicity Director
    • Major: BA in Environmental Management and double minor in Business Administration and Human Resources. 
    • Work with SSC: My efforts as the Membership and Publicity director have focused on member recruitment and relations, as well as on-campus publicity of major events and initiatives.  
    • Future Plans: I plan to use my education to practice sustainability in ways that will yield cost reduction in business and positive impacts in the environment. 
    • Favorite Green Tip: Use your own energy, not everyone else's, take the stairs.
  • Laura Appelt, Advisory Director
    • Major: BS in Environmental Science with a certificate in Political and Civic Engagement.
    • Work with SSC: As the Advisory Director of the Student Sustainability Council, I represent the SSC on the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board, assist members in presenting resolutions to the SSC General Assembly, and facilitate communication with the administration and other members of the Indiana University community.
    • Future Plans: Next year, I will be teaching high school science in Indianapolis with Teach for America. In the future, I plan to pursue graduate degrees in law and environmental studies to work toward a career in environmental law.
    • Favorite Green Tip: Do all of your laundry in cold water and use natural lighting whenever possible.
  • Faith Liveoak, Projects Events Director
    • Major: BA in Medicine, Health and Society.
    • Work with SSC: As the Program and Events Director I focus most of my efforts on preparing for SustainIU Week, a weeklong series of events designed to promote sustainability on campus (April 6th - 12th).
    • Future Plans: As part of my major I will be looking at how sustainable practices can promote a stronger global healthcare system - primarily in developing communities.
    • Favorite Green Tip: When recycling (or throwing away) water bottles make sure to detach the cap from the bottle. If the bottle were to end up in a water source with the lid on it can float thousands of miles, whereas if the cap is off it will have a smaller region of impact.
  • Thomas Ladendorf, Finance Director
    • Major: BA in Computer Science and History 
    • Work with SSC: As the Finance Director, I oversaw the Sustainability Fund, coordinated the associated installation of motion-sensing lighting in the Ballantine stairwells, and directed promotion of the Fund.
    • Future Plans: After I graduate next December, I plan to work in the software industry, and I also have tentative plans to return to school to pursue my PhD in history (I study modern Europe, and am currently writing a thesis on the history of education in England).
    • Favorite Green Tip: In the summer, turn down your AC when you go to bed. In the winter, do the same with your heat.