A collection of articles, teaching and learning materials, data sets, research, books, and working papers related to climate change, sustainability, and environmental justice that have been authored by researchers, staff, and students at Temple University.

Recent Submissions

  • Sustainability and Education Abroad: Sharing Ideas--Taking Action!

    Pennsylvania State University. Penn State Global (2022-10-20)
    Sustainability is a critical focus for international educators, but knowing how to get started or how to make progress on sustainability initiatives can be challenging. The presenters will provide examples of strategies implemented to incorporate sustainability goals into all areas of education abroad program development and execution as well as office management and practices. Participants will be engaged in brainstorming project plans for their office, program, and/or institution.
  • Policy Brief: Alternatives to In-Person American Society of Landscape Architects Conferences on Landscape Architecture

    Kuper, Rob (2022-01-01)
    Annual, in-person professional meetings at a single location yield several personal and organizational benefits. Yet greenhouse gas emissions from organizing, executing, and attending conferences contribute significantly to the climate crisis. Within at least the last decade, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has claimed to continually reduce the carbon footprint of the annual meeting and EXPO by performing a variety of actions. ASLA supports global and national greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C and has committed to measuring, understanding, making public, and reducing the organization’s emissions. To date, ASLA has not released information on its progress toward these goals. This study extends my previous work by estimating carbon dioxide emissions from the venues of the 2018 and 2019 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO and from travel and hotel accommodations for the attendees and 711 EXPO exhibitors. This study used online carbon calculators, refereed literature, and building energy benchmarking data. The results indicate that featured speakers and EXPO representatives originated from a small number of metropolitan areas, thereby supporting potential future decentralized meetings. Additionally, attendees’ and exhibitors’ total four-day conference emissions estimations were equivalent to the entire annual per capita emissions of someone residing in Ethiopia. In light of these results, I present ideas for several alternative means of convening. My emissions estimations of alternative conference modes indicate that emissions reduction targets could bemet in the short term by immediatelymoving to hybridizedmeetings requiring virtual attendance fromat least half of the participants from the most distant locations. In the long term, and by 2030 at the latest, ASLA’s annual meetings should be held entirely online.
  • Travel-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions from American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meetings

    Kuper, Rob (2019-01-01)
    The logo of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) proclaims it to be “Green Since 1899.” Annual meetings convened by the ASLA necessitate that many attendees travel by air. Carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft operations accounted for 2–3 percent of annual global emissions in 2010. Emissions are rising, despite the need to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and reduce global emissions by 45 percent before 2030 and 100 percent before 2050, relative to 2010 levels, to limit global warming to 1.5°C. No public estimations of travel-related carbon emissions associated with ASLA annual meetings are available. Using two web-based carbon calculators, meeting programs, websites, handouts, and ASLA meeting attendance numbers, I performed two travel-related carbon emission estimations: for 2,821 education session featured speakers who presented at annual ASLA meetings in 2011 and between 2013 and 2019; and for annual ASLA meeting attendees between 1960 and 2019. By applying findings from scientific literature to these emission estimates, I also calculated the area of September Arctic sea ice loss that may be attributed to ASLA annual meetings; the labor productivity losses in purchasing power parity that may be associated with ASLA meeting emissions; and the quantity of trees that would be needed to negate the meeting-related quantity of atmospheric carbon dioxide. I conclude by suggesting alterations to the format of annual ASLA conferences that would eliminate travel-related emissions in the future and narrow the gap between the ASLA’s actions and proclaimed values.
  • Teach-in: How to be a Climate Activist

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability; Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light (2022-03)
  • Harrowgate Park: Nature-based solutions to curb illegal dumping

    Hearing, Kyle; Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2021)
  • Confronting Air Pollution in Philadelphia: The Intersection of Civilian Activists, Government Regulations, and Environmental Injustice, 1970-1990

    Ryan, Eileen (2022-05-01)
    On April 22, 1970, over 10% of the population gathered in cities across the U.S. to celebrate the nation's first Earth Day. Philadelphia was at the forefront of this movement, with over 20,000 Philadelphia residents participating in teach-ins, rallies, and marches. This project analyzes the effectiveness of grassroots movements such as Earth Day in prompting change, with a specific focus on attempts to regulate air pollution in Philadelphia following the first Earth Day. An analysis of grassroots demands and policy changes during this time period provides an overview of the ways in which Philadelphia citizens and the city government addressed air pollution concerns. Ultimately, the project concludes that there was increased attention towards addressing air pollution concerns in Philadelphia from 1970 to 1990 by both citizen groups and the city government, although the Pennsylvania state government remained reluctant to implement air pollution control policies. Citizens utilized bottom-up advocacy tactics to encourage the local government to implement stronger air pollution control policies, while simultaneously using federal legislation and lawsuits to force the city and state governments to fulfill legal air pollution control obligations. However, activists and legislators repeatedly prioritized the concerns of white, middle-class residents while ignoring and largely excluding the perspective of marginalized communities. As Philadelphia continues to grapple with modern environmental concerns, the actions taken between 1970 and 1990 offer a historical example of how a population can mobilize to effectively address the climate crisis.
  • Walk Audit Assignment: Temple Rome to Piazza del Popolo

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability; Temple University Abroad. Rome Campus (2021-11-02)
  • Walk Audit Assignment: Assessing pedestrian safety on Cecil B. Moore

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2020-10-21)
  • Temple Tiny House: Philadelphia’s first Petal Certified Net Zero Home

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2017-10-24)
    The Temple Tiny House project is a student-designed and student-constructed sustainable building located at the university’s urban garden site on Temple University’s Main Campus in North Philadelphia. The 175 square foot net-zero structure serves as a food access programming and demonstration space for the student-run Temple Community Garden. Temple Tiny House proved to be one of the most collaborative projects on campus, and involved the participation of a diverse group of faculty members, students, and administrative staff from around the university. The project is Petal Certified under the Living Building Challenge making it the first certified project in the City of Philadelphia. Since its completion in spring 2017, the Temple Tiny House continues to offer educational opportunities to students and the larger Philadelphia community and serves as a food access programming and demonstration space for the student-run Temple Community Garden.
  • Stories of Sustainability: Race to Zero Waste

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability; Temple University. Computer Recycling Center (2021)
  • 2019-2020 Green Grant Awardee: Allison Altobelli and Miya Wagner - Thrift and Flop

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2020-10)
    As the recipients of the 2019-2020 Green Grant, they used their funds to create a unique peer education experience, shedding light on the negative effects of fast fashion and channeling their creative skills to upcycle clothing and promote more conscious consumption through their organization, Thrift and Flop.
  • Stories of Sustainability: Act on Climate

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2021)
  • Stories of Sustainability: Sustainable Fashion

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2020)
  • Stories of Sustainability: Birds, Bees, and Trees

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2020-12)
  • Urban Honey Bees and Forage: The Ecological Dimension of Disinvested Neighborhoods in Philadelphia, USA

    Pearsall, Hamil; Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2020)
    With bee decline underway across taxa on a global scale, cities increasingly stand as a haven for bee conservation. Primary drivers of bee decline include habitat fragmentation and high-input agricultural and lawn management – both of which can make non-urban landscapes more hostile to bees than urban landscapes. In this analysis, I draw from urban ecological methods and political ecological framings to better understand the urban landscape as a bee socio-economic system. Using data from the unique honey bee foraging assay of Sponsler et al. (2020) which describes plant genera identified from pollen DNA samples from apiaries across the city, I offer a geospatial analysis to describe spatial patterns of bee floral resources. I ask the following: I) What spatial patterns exist in floral resources for bees across the landscape of the city of Philadelphia? II) Do these spatial patterns correlate with the socio-economic variables of income and racial composition? and II) To what extent can urban ecology and the critical social sciences inform one another in the context of this socio-ecological system? Although I find no strong correlation between plant richness and demographic variables, I examine the dominant plant genera in select Philadelphia neighborhoods, contributing to urban political ecological understandings of weedy ecologies, marginalization, and social control.
  • Sustainable 3D Printing with Soy-derived Bioink

    Lelkes, Peter I.; Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2019)
    Nutritional foods and medical resources have become prohibitively expensive. As a result, many socio-economically disadvantaged populations continue to choose between long-term health or immediate survival. There is a direct correlation between the increased utilization of medical resources and disease states caused by poor nutrition. Therefore research of methods that increase access to nutritional foods while simultaneously reducing the cost of medical resources is highly advantageous. Three-dimensional (3D) printing combined with soy-derived bioinks (SBDs) offers the advantage of reducing processing waste, encouraging customization, while also lowering production costs. Fabrication of 3D food and tissue constructs is a promising solution to address nutritious food and medical resource cost and scarcity. Easily cultivated soy-derived protein is a ubiquitous resource that has been determined to be safe and contains many bioactive properties. 3D printing can create reproducible complex geometries with automated processes. This project will research and implement the development of a versatile SDBs for use in 3D printing for soy-based food applications.
  • 2019-2020 Green Grant Awardee: Zimri T. Henshaw - Bucha Leather

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2020-10)
    Bucha Leather is made from renewable bacterial nanocellulose, one of nature’s fundamental building blocks. It’s found in nature, residing in trees, bacteria, and algae. Zimri realized the unique growing conditions of nanocellulose allow for layers of densely interconnected fibers to grow together, resulting in massive mats that can be dried and processed, creating a new and sustainable textile.
  • 2020-2021 Green Grant Awardee: Adventure Bound

    Temple University. Office of Sustainability (2021-03)
    Adventure Bound was awarded Green Grant funds for Center for Outdoor Ethics Leave No Trace trainer course and certification and camping equipment compliant with our sustainable procurement policy.