Green Fee Committee
A student majority Green Fee Committee (GFC) has been established to solicit, review and award funds for environmental service related projects on campus. The green fee will be collected with tuition beginning in Fall 2011 through Summer, 2016. The green fee is $5.00 per long semester and $2.50 for the summer session.
Please use this site to learn more about the history of the green fee [pdf], timeline and upcoming deadlines, the GFC structure and by-laws [pdf], how you can participate as a GFC member, and how you can submit a proposal for green fee funding.
[Note: PDFs require Adobe® Reader® or compatible software]
Amendments to Current Grants
If you are a current grantee and need to amend your budget, scope, or project timeline, please use this Project Amendment Form [MS Word;.docx] and Budget Sheet [MS Excel; .xlsx]. Instructions for submitting the amendment are on the form.
Green Fee Proposal Application Forms
The UT Austin Green Fee Committee will accept project and research proposals between January 6 and March 9, 2014. The application period is currently closed, but prospective applicants may download the instruction booklets for reference.
- 2014 Project Grant Instruction Booklet [pdf]
All students, staff, and faculty may submit ideas for projects using this application. The information booklet will guide you in writing, assembling, and submitting your application materials.
- 2014 Research Grant Instruction Booklet [pdf]
Current students are eligible to request Green Fee matching fundsfor their sustainability-related research. All guidelines for eligibility, and assembling and submitting the application are in this booklet.
- 2014 Budget Sheet [MS Excel; .xlsx]
Required for all Green Fee projects.
All current students, faculty, and staff are eligible to submit ideas. Attending a workshop is strongly recommended.
Grants & Research Projects 2014-2015
|Water Wise Wildlife Garden at Marine Science Institute||Funds will be used to install an environmentally beneficial and educational water conservation & wildlife garden at the Marine Science Institute. This is the first usage of funds at a satellite campus other than the Ladybird Johnson Wildlife Center, and is granted to enhance the experience of the students, staff, and faculty that visit, work, and take classes at the center year-round.||
Solar Radiation and Rainwater Harvesting Lab on the UT Main Campus
|An existing solar energy monitoring station on the roof of ETC will be enhanced to include rainwater collection, and data collection of both types will be available to students.||
|Software Development and Training Workshops for Solar Stations||This project expands the usefulness and academic impact of the two Green Fee-funded solar charging stations on campus. A workshop series will be offered in 2014-2015 to develop methods for capturing and monitoring data for the stations. A new monitoring system will also be installed at the stations based on work completed by students in the workshops.||$30,600.00|
Green Labs Team
|A group of six students will maintain and expand special recycling collections, most initiated by former Green Fee projects. These will include batteries, Styrofoam, steel and glass chemical containers, and nitrile gloves. Three students will be funded by Green Fee and the others will be part of the University Leadership Network.||$27,900.00|
MicroFarm Year IV
|The MicroFarm grows organic vegetables on Leona St near the Child Development Center, and teaches these methods to students who are interested. Through outreach and Saturday community involvement events, the MicroFarm community has grown, and another year of funding has been granted to support student leadership positions and necessary supplies.||$15,000.00|
Medical Takeback Program at Forty Acres Pharmacy
|The Forty Acres Pharmacy will pilot a community wide prescription-medicine takeback, which will anonymously tally and report on medicines safely recovered and diverted from landfill. The target audience is UT students, staff, and faculty but anyone may participate. Prescription medicine takebacks are important for the health of the soil and waterways throughout the region and worldwide.||$15,000.00|
Campus Environmental Center Year IV
|As the largest environmental organization on campus for students, the CEC initiates and spearheads many sustainable projects on campus. The CEC also promotes on campus sustainability through outreach events, launching new programs, and sponsoring various campus-focused events. This year’s funding supports a Graduate Program Assistant, the Concho Community Garden, and expanding the Tailgate Recycling Program for football home games.||$21,200|
|Gree Tree Project||The Green Tree Project launches the sustainable reuse of campus trees that must be pruned or removed due to disease or space renovation. The campus avoids harming trees whenever possible, but some accumulation of wood is inevitable. These funds will pay for milling, preparing, and producing usable furniture to garner interest in a larger and more public program that is intended to be self-sustaining, while providing beautiful furniture and other items to the campus community.||$5,500.00|
|Solar Wind Farm||These funds will cover the costs of applying light-screening window film to one of the highest solar-gain buildings on campus (read: hottest). The benefits were researched and proposed by undergraduate students as part of an environmental science course on campus, and the project was endorsed as beneficial by the Energy & Water Conservation Program.||$11,000.00|
|Dark Sky UT: LED Streetlights||While the UT-Austin campus streetlights are not huge producers of light pollution, no concerted effort has been put into energy conservation efforts in this area. Students proposing this project were interested in moving the campus towards Dark Sky certification, and have proposed converting Speedway light fixtures into long-lasting LED fixtures that would be compliant with such a certification in the future.||$10,000.00|
|Greenhouse, Farm & Garden Collaberation||This project will launch a collaboration between the Concho Community Garden, UT Microfarm, and the College of Natural Sciences. The Painter greenhouse will be upgraded and opened for use by community garden staff and volunteers, and new educational programs such as ‘Faculty on the Farm’ will invite new learning opportunities for the campus.||$13,830.00|
|Campus Sustainability Tour||These funds will cover necessary costs of finalizing curriculum for a comprehensive campus sustainability tour, and creating a prototype for an online/web/mobile version. The curriculum will be used on the web and also regularly transferred to University Admissions and Tower Tours.||$10,000.00|
|Orang Bikes Project||The Orange Bike Project will continue to be supported by Green Fee for outreach staff and necessary supplies to keep OBP open and useful to all students.||$10,000.00|
|Zero Impact Band||These funds will continue and expand waste reduction initiatives within Longhorn Band, including alternatives to purchasing disposable materials, and recycling and composting other waste.||$5,200.00|
|UTeach Outreach Year IV||Building upon the success of the previous three years of UTeach sustainability field trips, this funding will continue the offering of field trips to K-12 students in Austin. The field trip gives students a tour of UT and introduces them to research and facilities on campus in an effort to instill a passion and understanding for sustainability in the minds of young people.||$12,868.00|
|Aquaponics||These funds are for use by a collaborative of students, staff, and faculty to install and test one or more aquaponics systems in accessible locations around campus.||$6,000.00|
|Dual-Flush Toilet Pilot||This project will pilot-test dual flush toilet handles in residence hall locations. Dual-flush toilets are a tested and proven water-saving method in office settings but have not been applied in UT-Austin residential settings. The proposed installation would additionally provide usage data (which flushes were selected) over and above the gallons of water saved.||$8,500|
|Alternative Energy Challenge||These funds will be used for demonstration product building and prize money for an open alternative energy competition hosted by Engineers for a Sustainable World, to be held Fall 2014.||$3,500.00|
|ESI Videos, Mapping & Outreach||These funds support the development of three more videos highlighting Green Fee project accomplishments, and an interactive map of all Green Fee projects to date throughout campus.||$7,020.00|
|Biodiesal Year II||Funds to support the student-led manufacture of biodiesel throughout the year, 2014-2015.||$7,400.00|
|Consumption, Waste & Outreach||The School of Architecture will embark on a waste study of materials specifically produced in the model-making units of design classes, with the objective of avoiding toxic and non-recyclable materials, and assisting with increased recycling of the maximum volume of post-consumer material.||$2,000.00|
|Campus Beehives||This group of students and faculty will explore the installation of beehives in or near the campus community gardens.||$6,480.00|
|Bat House at Concho Community Garden||A bat house will be built at the Concho Community Garden, which will provide alternate housing for bats on campus as well as educate the university on the ecological role of bats in Austin.||$3,007.00|
As of 2013, students with faculty and departmental support may apply for small grants to directly support their research. Graduates are eligible for $5,000 and undergraduates for $2500.
|Atmospheric Water Harvesting||This research will study methods and feasibility of atmospheric water harvesting in the central Texas region.||$2,500.00|
|Isotope Analysis in Waller Creek Water||This project analyzes chloride isotopes in Waller Creek to better distinguish the potential sources of contamination in the water, including whether any are on campus.||$2,500.00|
Here are a few projects that have recently posted results. Contact us directly if you’d like to get involved or learn more about a given project.
An exterior water bottle filler was installed near RLM and Speedway, joining dozens of new bottle fillers inside buildings. The Green Fee has funded both simple gooseneck fillers and more sophisticated fillers that track the number of plastic bottles avoided (although not all fillers on campus are Green Fee funded). Thanks to these fillers, a new culture of reuse is gaining ground on campus. Photo: Amy Zhang for the Daily Texan; in the photo is History Department lecturer Van Herd.
Professors and students worked throughout the 2013-2014 school year on developing an exploration dashboard for Battle Hall. The courses included experiential learning and produced an ecological assessment of the building and surrounding environment, energy measurements, an indoor air quality study, and the history of the building. The dashboard will be viewable on the web and mobile devices, and will be part of a movable kiosk that will appear at campus events such as the annual Sustainability Symposium and events held in Battle Hall.
Reports and Past Projects
- 2013-2014 projects funded in September 2013 [pdf]
- Annual Report, 2012-2013 [pdf]
- Annual Report, 2011-2012 [pdf]
- 2012-2013 projects, full list [pdf]
- 2011-2012 projects [pdf]
- Mid Year Report, January 2012 [pdf]
Green Fee Committee Members
The membership of the GFC is established by Student Government resolution AR 7 (April, 2010) and consists of:
- two students appointed by the Student Government,
- one graduate student appointed by the Graduate Student Assembly,
- one student appointed by the Campus Environmental Center,
- two students at-large appointed by the Green Fee Committee,
- one faculty member appointed by the Provost,
- one staff member appointed by the Office of Student Affairs, and
- one staff member appointed by University Operations.
The charge of the GFC is made jointly by the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Juan Gonzalez and Vice President for University Operations, Dr. Patricia Clubb. The initial charge is derived from the state legislation, student government resolutions, and UT System guidance as follows:
The UT Austin Green Fee Committee is a student-majority committee charged with managing and reporting on: a) funds generated by an environmental services student fee that may be allocated toward efficiency improvement projects for existing infrastructure, environmental improvements through services related to recycling, energy efficiency and renewable energy, transportation, employment, product purchasing, planning and maintenance, and irrigation; b) toward matching funds already established for student internships, scholarships and research grants; and c) toward any other environmental initiative proposed by university students, faculty or staff.