Green Fee CommitteeGreen Fee Logo

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.

Grants & Research Projects 2015-2016

PROJECT GRANTS

Regenerative Rainwater Harvesting Systems

The Center for Sustainable Development will lead a project that develops innovative building-integrated rainwater harvesting systems that are socially, environmentally, and economically responsive to campus conditions.  

$60,000

Campus Charging Station Prototype II

With the first campus charging stations installed and work proceeding on a national website to track charging station data, students will collaborate with Sol Design Lab to design and install smaller charging stations to increase access to solar electricity.

$52,250

Indoor Air Quality Study

Dr. Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz’s lab will lead a study of air quality within large public spaces such as gymnasiums. Air quality studies assist with decision-making regarding energy conservation and occupant health. This project also provides employment and beneficial academic work to current students.

$43,920

Campus Carbon Footprint Road Show

UT-Austin has written and published two carbon assessments, in 2009 and 2014. To follow up on this work, a partnership between the Center for Sustainable Development, the Energy & Water Conservation Program, and the Office of Sustainability will conduct an ambitious outreach strategy to connect this work to students, faculty, and staff across campus.

$40,770

Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Study & Implementation Plan

The Urban Information Lab will lead an infrastructure study in collaboration with Parking & Transportation Services, resulting in recommendations for improvement and safety throughout campus.

A Taste of Place: Edible Native Plants Installations

The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center will collaborate with the Division of Housing and Food Service on a demonstration garden of edible native plants. The main installation will be at the Wildflower Center, with an ‘echo’ installation in a DHFS-managed garden, for easier access for students. There will be student volunteer and educational opportunities to accompany the garden in progress, and products of the garden will be used in campus kitchens and at special catering events.

$30,000

Waller Creek Biodiversity Working Group

This group will bring together the massive amount of research and data, existing and future, on Waller Creek. Waller Creek is a critical and fascinating campus biohabitat frequently studied by students and faculty, and this is a way for research to build on itself and avoid repetition.

$25,000

NexusHaus Solar Decathlon

The Green Fee is proud to support UT-Austin’s entry into one of the campus’s most prominent environmental competitions, the Solar Decathlon run by the Department of Energy. The funds support team expenses incurred by construction, testing, installation, and representation in Irvine, CA in October 2015. 

$25,000

Green Garage

This demonstration project will test the viability of installing plants suitable for green walls in the downtown Austin environment, with the eventual goal of beautifying campus parking garages in a practical and environmentally friendly manner. Green walls improve air quality, and their lifespan provides opportunities for observation and research.

$24,920

Green Labs Team Year II

The Green Labs team is a collaboration between Environmental Health and Safety, Office of Sustainability, the Energy and Water Conservation Program, and Zero Waste. The student-led team monitors special recycling initiatives and audits labs for green practices. The Green Fee funds will support the Team through 2017, assisting the development into one of the largest green labs programs in the nation.

$22,400

Sustainability Tours Year II

In Year One, the Tours program established an online database of sustainability locations, piloted tours with new curriculum, and created an interactive map. In the second year, the project will work with classes in the School of Architecture to deepen the available content for tours, improve the online map, and integrate the tours with other campus tours.

$21,000

Campus Lights Out

Extending the reach of Longhorn Lights Out, the student organization will lead at least five other campuses in competitions to conserve energy by shutting down lights, electronics, and appliances at the end of the day. Longhorn Lights Out continues as a campus tradition every final Friday of each month.

$20,100

Bokashi Composting Pilot

This project will pilot an innovative anaerobic composting method appropriate for urban spaces, increasing the reuse of campus organics waste on campus property. The project will be managed by UT-Austin’s Zero Waste Initiative.

$19,550

MicroFarm Year V

In the MicroFarm’s fifth year, the student staff and volunteers will focus on food production and academic alliances with departments on campus. The Farm continues to be a positive presence in East Campus.

$16,000

Can I Recycle This? Longhorns & Recycling Decisions

Led by the Communications Department, the project will develop an effective campaign educating students and employees on how to recycle on campus, and how to efficiently implement campus signage and bin changes to make the correct procedures apparent.

$15,870

Tree Nursery Year V

For four years, the Tree Nursery has successfully contributed to reforestation of loblolly pines in the Bastrop area. The fifth year will be dedicated to improving campus tree programs, including experimentation with growing trees from campus seed, especially ‘heritage’ trees. Volunteer opportunities will continue.

$15,360

LED Lighting in Duren

Proposed by students, the project will improve lighting quality and efficiency in Duren by replacing older lighting with cutting-edge LED lights. The installation would not be possible without Green Fee funds.

$13,600

Zero Waste Collaborative Graduate Assistant

Providing another ‘green job’ on campus, this position offers a chance to assess the campus accomplishments to date in recycling, waste diversion, and zero waste, and represent these accomplishments in a national collaborative with nine other campuses. This collaborative will serve as an archive and resource to all institutions of higher education. The graduate assistant will also provide data analysis and assessment support to the campus Zero Waste Coordinator.

$12,600

Texas Athletics Sustainability Squad

These funds support the continuance of critical recycling operations in the stadium during football season, and incentives to student volunteers. Over the past three years, the sustainability squad has become a desirable and fun volunteering opportunity and a leadership development experience for the group leaders. This grant will also improve signage related to recycling.

$10,600

Campus Farm Stand

Students will work with the Division of Housing and Food Service to offer a periodic farm stand with produce sourced from farms already supplying the campus cafeterias. This will raise awareness of local and sustainable food sources, and give students a beneficial and challenging business development experience.

$10,300

Concho Community Garden

The Concho Community Garden, managed by the Campus Environmental Center, is a mainstay for individual students interested in growing their own food. These funds support key student staff in continuing the garden.

$10,000

North End Zone Water Stations

The Green Fee offers matching funds to Athletics to install water bottle filling stations convenient to the North End Zone, reducing the need for plastic bottles.

$10,000

Biodiesel Year III

The Biodiesel project, targeted for installation at the Pickle Research Campus, received these funds for use by the managing faculty member for staff and research.

$10,000

TecX Technology Exchange

The School of Information was offered these funds to complete a feasibility and impact study on streamlining the exchange of appliances, computers, and equipment that would otherwise go to University Surplus or be stored and forgotten on campus.

$10,000

UTeach Outreach Year V

These funds will continue the sustainability field trip program established in 2011, enhancing UT students’ teaching and learning experience as they share sustainability knowledge with visiting elementary students.

$8,560

Green Office Program

The Green Office program will certify self-defined offices throughout campus with a three-tiered program to encourage green practices. The funds cover incentives and staffing within the Campus Environmental Center; the program is co-sponsored by Office of Sustainability and the Energy & Water Conservation Program.

$8,500

High Efficiency Lighting Incentives

These funds will create student ‘green jobs’ within the Energy & Water Conservation program. The students will select and evaluate small-scale efficiency projects funded by Facilities Maintenance, increasing campus data on these projects and building a case for large-scale investments in lighting efficiency and other initiatives.

$7,500

Water Bottle Waste-Scape

The School of Architecture, fresh from a study of waste in model-making, will create a strong statement piece from discarded water bottles that will assist in motivating the campus to eliminate the use of water bottles to the fullest extent possible.

$7,500

Climate Investigations from the 40 Acres

The summer internship program with the University of Texas Center for Space Research and the Texas Space Grant consortium focuses on education and outreach for space-based measurement of climate change. UT-Austin graduate students and researchers become mentors to high school students (many of whom end up attending UT). These funds will support the graduate students working with the program.

$7,200

Campus Beehives Year II

After an enthusiastic response from students to the idea of a beekeeping society on campus, the Green Fee offers continuing funds to provide workshops and local trainings to interested students.

$2,000

 

Green Fee Projects

Information page for our UT Solar Charging Stations!

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.

Longhorn Lights Out had some exceptional volunteer turnouts in spring 2015! Check out their website and look for announcements to stay involved and keep saving energy!

Longhorn Lights Out volunteers

in April 2015, the Green Labs Team celebrated the first labs to be certified under the program. Pictured is Josh Lara from the Reichler Lab Group with three members of the team.

Green Labs Team at recognition event

Reports and Past Projects

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. Gage Paine, 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.