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]
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 2013-2014
|Tree Nursery Years IV and V||The Green Fee Committee offers continued support to the Tree Nursery established in 2011 at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in the form of student wages for a coordinator (two years) and additional funds for supplies. The Tree Nursery will remain engaged in the reforestation of Bastrop State Park and nearby environs, and explore ways to support the tree operations on main campus. The Tree Nursery will continue to be a fun, meaningful, and educational opportunity for students to volunteer at the Wildflower Center.||$21,760.00|
|Longhorn Lights Out||The Energy and Water Conservation Program in Facilities Maintenance has launched this effective and engaging program with proven success, modeled on successful energy saving programs at other universities. Green Fee funds will support student interns working in volunteer management, and increased capacity to track and measure savings in buildings targeted by this program.||$19,300.00|
|Integrated Landscape Design||UT Landscaping will work with the School of Architecture to identify an inefficient irrigation area on campus, re-design the area, and re-install plants and irrigation system for maximum water savings. Students will do this in the context of a for-credit class, using the campus as a living laboratory. Funds will support the renovation and a student coordinator for the overall project.||$17,650.00|
|Waller Creek in Urban Eco Infrastructure Course||This grant funds the first of two years of interdisciplinary student research related to the ecological and social functioning of Waller Creek. Research will occur in two sessions of the Urban Ecological Infrastructure graduate course and also be sustained by an individual graduate researcher. Waller Creek is a unique opportunity to study campus-city-university interface with the natural environment, including design, preservation, management, planning, and performance.||$10,345.00|
|RightCycle Nitrile Glove Diversion||UT-Austin uses an extraordinary number of nitrile gloves throughout the year. This grant will pilot-test the efficacy of a diversion program in partnership with some of our existing lab supply vendors, led by student volunteers. The glove diversion expands the special recycling options available to labs, moving UT-Austin further towards a 90% diversion goal by 2020.||$8,546.00|
|Environmental Equity Symposium||The Environmental Science Institute hosted Dr. Robert Bullard of Texas Southern University for Hot Science, Cool Talks in February 2013, sparking discussion and interest in environmental justice, and further collaboration between TSU and UT-Austin. This grant will support a two-day symposium, open to all students, focusing on the questions of local environmental equity such as health, land use, community investment, climate justice, and industrial facility siting.||$8,298.00|
|Reusable Bags from Student Government||This grant supports the distribution of thousands of reusable bags to UT students, symbolizing Student Government’s commitment to waste reduction and helping these students comply with the City of Austin’s plastic bag ban.||$6,600.00|
|Bike to UT Day 2014||The Green Fee Committee offers support for another year of Bike to UT Day, a campus-wide engagement initiative to support alternative transportation.||$3,790.00|
New in 2013, students with faculty and departmental support applied for small grants to directly support their research. Graduates were eligible for $5,000 and undergraduates for $2500.
|Applying Fungal Endophytes to Increase Drought Tolerance||Research on the effects of different endophyte communities on plant drought tolerance will reveal information on new ways to increase drought tolerance in plants.||$5,000.00|
|Piezoelectricity Generation from Walking||By using piezoelectric crystals, energy can be produced from walking along a surface. The piezoelectric crystals compress, which generate electrical energy. This project develops a test surface with hope for larger scale implementation in an effort to generate a new form of green energy.||$2,500.00|
|Rainwater Recapture for Potable Use||By researching the feasibility of rainwater harvesting on various UT buildings, this research will lead UT closer to understanding different ways in which to combat the extremely dry climate of Texas.||$5,000.00|
|Biodiesel Assessment||This research examines the food oil policies at UT and will develop a recommendation on possible uses for used oil and food waster. This research will take us one step closer to effectively implementing biodiesel through UT waste.||$5,000.00|
|Evolution of Waller Creek Storm Water Quality||Waller Creek is a key ecological feature of UT, but also contains lots of pollution. Research will be done to examine how pollutants travel to Waller Creek from the UT campus area specifically, and which sections are more or less polluted during rain events and during dry times.||$5,000.00|
Here are a few projects that have recently been featured in various media. Contact us directly if you’d like to get involved or learn more about a given project. See the full list of projects with grant amounts [pdf].
The Leona MicroFarm, UT Austin's second student-run community garden, hosted workdays this fall and plans to begin planting this spring. View their blog and learn more about their progress. You can also watch a video about the community gardens produced by the Green Fee and the Environmental Science Institute.
As recently reported in the Daily Texan, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is leading a pilot project to recycle hard-mold foam packaging from university labs. Pilot projects like this one help the university work out the logistics of a larger-scale recycling effort. Photo Credit: Chelsea Purghan.
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.