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Campus community encouraged to complete transportation survey

RELEASED: April 6, 2010

Campus Sustainability at UW-Eau Claire
See UW-Eau Claire's sustainability blog for sustainability news, updates, events and announcements from throughout the campus community.

EAU CLAIRE — This week all members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus community will receive an e-mail request to provide answers for a transportation survey, which was designed by a team of students to help the university assess its carbon footprint, said Dr. Kate Hale Wilson, campus sustainability fellow.

Students, faculty and staff who complete the online survey will provide critical information to support the work of the 2010 Carbon Neutral Team, which consists of Honors Program students who are collecting data for the university's second carbon emissions inventory, Hale Wilson said.

"The campus carbon footprint represents contributions from every member of the campus community," Hale Wilson said. "The more people we hear from, the more accurate our report will be. Transportation is one of the most important pieces of the campus carbon footprint so it's critical that we get comprehensive information about the campus community's transportation habits."

A regular, comprehensive assessment of UW-Eau Claire's carbon emissions is vital in the university's efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, Hale Wilson said, noting that the university began assessing its carbon footprint in 2008 after it became a signatory to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich signed the commitment to set and attain sustainable energy and environmental goals for the university. By becoming a signatory, UW-Eau Claire committed to completing and updating regular inventories of all its greenhouse gas emissions, developing an institutional plan for becoming "climate neutral" and taking other specific actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the institutional plan is developed.

The Presidents' Climate Commitment is the first effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality — not just a reduction in harmful emissions — as its target, according to information on the ACUPCC Web site. There are now 680 universities and colleges that are signatories to the climate commitment.

Participation in the transportation survey and other climate commitment-related projects will provide important information that will allow UW-Eau Claire to become a leader in environmental sustainability in the local community and broader region, Hale Wilson said.

Everyone from campus who completes the transportation survey will receive a coupon from Blugold Dining. There also will be opportunities to win small prizes.

For details about the survey, contact Dr. Kate Hale Wilson at 715-836-2761 or halecl@uwec.edu.

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JB/DW

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