Tag Archives: Creighton University

Midlands Voices: OPPD falls short on environmental stewardship measure

By Daniel R. DiLeo, Barbara J. Dilly and Richard W. Miller
Omaha World-Herald

DiLeo is assistant professor and director of justice and peace studies at Creighton University; Dilly is associate professor of anthropology and sustainability studies; Miller is professor of systematic theology and sustainability studies. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent an official position of their institution or programs.

On Nov. 15, the Omaha Public Power District board voted 6-2 in favor of SD-7 Environmental Stewardship Resolution No. 6289. While commendable, the measure imprudently fails to satisfy several widely accepted ethical standards that should guide public policy, and it should be revised accordingly . . . The resolution also fails to uphold several basic ethical norms since it would knowingly permit and exacerbate the threat of climate change. As professors at a Catholic institution, we echo the Church’s teaching begun by St. John Paul II that climate change is a moral issue because its effects violate ethical commitments to protect human life and dignity, care for the poor and vulnerable, promote the global common good and steward the earth for future generations. Continue reading here.

Inhabitat Photo: Nearly all the coal consumed in Nebraska arrives by rail from the coal fields in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin like the one shown. Nebraska State Energy Profile, EIA

Additional Recommended Reading
Omaha World-Herald Editorial: Report describes climate challenges; Nebraskans should collaborate on solutions

Also of Potential Interest
Climate Change Statements From World Religions

Most religious communities have released statements on climate change. The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University maintains a database of these statements.

Midlands Voices: Creighton president among Catholic institutions to sign climate declaration


By president of Creighton University
Omaha World-Herald

Days before I began my presidency at Creighton University, on June 18, 2015, Pope Francis released his groundbreaking encyclical on ecology. In Laudato Si’ he affirmed nearly 30 years of Catholic teaching that human-caused climate change is an urgent moral issue which damages the earth, threatens human life and dignity and unjustly burdens the poor.

To celebrate the third anniversary of Laudato Si’, I am proud to join 600 other U.S. Catholic educators and leaders as a signatory to the Catholic Climate Declaration. The declaration calls on President Donald Trump to remain in the Paris climate agreement and announces that the U.S. Catholic community is “still in” on actions to meet the goals of the agreement. Read more here.

Photo: Creighton University’s parking lot solar canopies

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Nearly 600 institutions back Catholic Climate Declaration, National Catholic Reporter
    The covenant’s Climate Energies program has lined up nearly $10 million in projects to help dioceses, parishes and Catholic organizations install energy-efficient and renewable energy projects. Jesuit Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, president of Creighton University, told reporters June 18 that the Omaha, Nebraska-based school has decreased its greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by nearly 25 percent, a savings of $2 million, and remains committed to its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • Download Laudato Si’  here.
  • The Pope Is Not Alone!, NRDC Archived Post
  • Religious Statements on Climate Change, Interfaith Power & Light

We Are Still In Website
Mayors, county executives, governors, tribal leaders, college and university leaders, businesses, faith groups, and investors are joining forces  to continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

NEBRASKA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE

  • The Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) is an organization dedicated to delivering science-based climate services at the local and state level. NSCO’s focus is on weather and climate monitoring, climate services, and stakeholder engagement. NSCO’s office includes operation of the Nebraska Mesonet, a state-wide weather observation network with nearly 70 locations across Nebraska that assess local conditions.

NSCO’s Links to More Information

Pope’s Climate Expert Tells Nebraska Audience: It’s An Issue In The Laps Of Faith Leaders

By Bill Kelly, Senior Producer/Reporter, NET News

Dr. Veerabhadran “Ram” Ramanathan, an atmospheric and climate scientist, recently spoke to students at Creighton University. In an interview with Bill Kelly of NET News he talked about his post with the Vatican, why the pope made climate an ethical and spiritual issue, and why Nebraska needs to pay attention. Continue reading here.

Solar, wind power at work: Second ‘EnergiPlant’ sprouts from Creighton energy technology program

Written by Creighton University, Omaha World-Herald

A new plant in Creighton University’s budding energy garden has taken root. On a recent Saturday afternoon, as part of the culmination of their coursework, students in Creighton’s Energy 131 course – part of the university’s Energy Technology Program within its College of Arts and Sciences, focused on installing and maintaining photovoltaic systems – erected the campus’ second EnergiPlant USB charging station between the Mike and Josie Harper Center and Davis Square. Click to continue reading.

Creighton University Photo: The EnergiPlant – the second on Creighton’s campus – resembles a roughly 12-foot tall metal flower with a bloom doubling as a wind turbine and four metal leaves embedded with solar panels, all producing about 300 watts of power.

MORE MIDWEST NEWS

Green Bellevue: Embracing Renewable Energy

Written by Cheril Lee, The Reader

Don Preister, Green Bellevue President and Bellevue City Councilman, Ward 5, started Green Bellevue in 2009. Through the organization, approximately 600 volunteers work on a host of different activities including Earth Day and Arbor Day programs, recycling efforts, wildlife habitat cleanup, Green Schools and Clean Energy programs. Preister said they also focus on water quality and sustainable gardening. Continue reading here to learn about Green Bellevue’s renewable energy programs and projects.

Green Bellevue’s March Program
Solar Powering Your Home: Learn how to install solar panels step-by-step
Presenters: Don Preister and David Holtzclaw, owner of Transduction Technologies

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Today’s Technology, Tomorrow’s Leaders: Lighting the Way at Creighton
By Cheril Lee, The Reader

In 2010, Creighton University contracted out to have four individual solar arrays installed around campus. Dr. Andrew Baruth, assistant professor of physics at Creighton University, explained the arrays came about thanks to the direct efforts of Dr. Michael Cherney, now an emeritus professor at Creighton. “In conversation, he learned of money that was available through the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a stimulus package that could potentially go to fund something like this,” said Baruth. Read more here.

Student-led solar projects at Utah’s universities

Two of the solar arrays on the west penthouse of the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Universities across Utah are leaders in student-led sustainability programs and practices. Photo Credit: J. Willard Marriott Library

Two of the solar arrays on the west penthouse of the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Universities across Utah and the nation are spearheading student-led sustainability programs that include renewable energy projects. Photo Credit: J. Willard Marriott Library

USA Today: Solar power more affordable for some Utah students, by Matthew Kunes

[Weber State University], an hour north of Salt Lake City, is one of many state universities tackling sustainable solutions to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint, which includes carbon neutrality, clean energy and energy efficiency. This year, its Sustainability Practices and Research Center will launch a new solar program that allows students, faculty and community members affordable access to solar energy for their homes. A typical five-panel set up, for example, might cost $2000, half of the normal expense.

Weber followed in the footsteps of a similar program sponsored by the University of Utah, which brought solar energy to Salt Lake City “U Community Solar” program in 2014.

Read more here.

In his article, Matthew Kunes mentions the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. Universities, colleges, and community colleges across our nation have pledged to combat climate change, including the following signatories in Nebraska:

Central Community College, College of Saint Mary, Creighton University, Doane College

The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (PDF)

Thank you notes from Nebraskans for Solar

First of all thank you to John Atkeison, Energy Policy JohnAtkeison
Director for the Nebraska Wildlife Federation and Co-Director of Clean Energy Nebraska, for his well-presented and well-received public forum on May 14th at the Community Engagement Center on the topic of “Renewable Energy Development in Nebraska.” His discussion generated numerous questions from the audience. We appreciate your leadership and your outstanding work, John, in renewable energy advocacy and education.

Thank you and congratulations to Creighton University Erin Cheesegraduate Erin Cheese, who served on Nebraskans for Solar’s Board of Directors for one-and-a-half years. At Creighton she was a double major in Energy Science and Applied Physical Analysis, working on material science research in the physics department. Collaborating with other Creighton students, she co-founded the Creighton Energy Science Club, with the objective of developing campus and community outreach projects with Nebraskans for Solar and other organizations. Erin was recently accepted as a Junior Fellow with the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C. We will miss her, and we wish her all the best.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Nebraskans for Solar OG Logo
during Omaha Gives! Your donations will have a “double impact,” as an anonymous donor has matched each gift. Nebraskans for Solar is a completely volunteer organization, so 100% of all gifts will be put to work on our community outreach projects.

Thank you to Fuse Coworking and Lincoln Artist Jamie Burmeister FuseCoworkingSharedesk.net
for hosting today’s panel presentation in Lincoln from 4 to 6 p.m. @ Fuse Coworking, 800 P Street. The panelists are:

  • Robby Bearman, Senior Operations Manager for Uber, the ride-sharing service that has been gaining traction over the past few years.
  • Scott Benson: Manager, Resource & Transmission Planning, Lincoln Electric System.
  • Jon Dixon is a mentor of UNL Engineers Without Borders: World Energy Project, and he is a board member of Nebraskans for Solar.
  • Jamie Burmeister is the artist behind that LUV U LUV: Message Matters exhibition where he signaled a message in morse code with lights over the Haymarket. His small, life-like figures are currently in every nook and cranny at FUSE.

As always, there will be plenty of networking, cold beer, and fancy wine! See you there!

FUSE Coworking is located at 800 P Street in Lincoln, on the 3rd Floor above the Dock – the loading area on the West side of The Mill Coffee Shop.

For additional details, please visit: www.facebook.com/NebraskansForSolar 

Thank you to Ken Johnson, who is Vice President of Communications at the Solar Energy Industries Association and who is on NFS’ ListServe, for his information about SEIA’s new video, “Solar Energy in the United States: A Decade of Record Growth.” It’s just 4 minutes long & fun to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFMkL2QIduY

Finally, thank you everyone for all you are doing to advance solar energy in our state!

Nebraskans for Solar

Wind, solar power could supply 75 percent of Nebraska’s needs, advocates say

By Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writer

Nebraska wind and solar advocates said Wednesday that renewable energy has the potential to supply almost 75 percent of the state’s needs.

A new report produced by the Wind Energy Foundation, Creighton University and Washington-based consultants David Gardiner and Associates said “significant cost declines” for electricity generated by wind and solar power is spurring development in Nebraska and nationwide.

To continue reading, click here.

Siena-Francis Solar Photovoltaic Installation

A Collaboration of the Omaha Public Power District, Nebraskans for Solar and Creighton University’s Energy Technology Program

By Anton G. Yanchilin / Edited by Dr. Andrew G. Baruth

The Siena Francis Homeless Shelter, founded in 1975, is an organization that strives to further the lives of the less fortunate men, women and children in the greater Omaha area through various means. Among these means are rehabilitation advisory groups, employment preparation, medical services, and the provision of food and shelter. Their campus includes two primary shelters, the Baright shelter for men and the Siena house for women and children. The Baright shelter houses a minimum of 222 each night, but typically houses an additional 100 men depending on the weather. The Siena house provides 40 beds per night.

Electricity costs are one factor that this organization faces while both accommodating a high volume of people and providing various services. To help mitigate this, students from the Creighton University Energy Technology Program, in collaboration with the Omaha Public Power District and Nebraskans for Solar, are designing a photovoltaic system this fall 2014. This specific group of students has extensive experience in renewable energy projects. The Baright shelter is the larger of the two primary buildings, has less shading obstructions, larger roof area, and a higher altitude. Therefore, it is the best option to house such a photovoltaic system.

The course “Introduction to Solar Energy,” created by Professor Andrew Baruth, Ph.D., has 11 students divided into three groups, each tackling the optimization for an installation design. The students, all upperclassmen, have submitted bi-weekly, structured reports detailing the requisite aspects of a typical feasibility study. With a competitive mentality, the three groups will pitch their best design ideas at the conclusion of the course to “win the bid” for the project.

The Energy Technology Program at Creighton University is designed for students interested in renewable energy from a liberal arts perspective, consistent with the Catholic Jesuit tradition. It guides incoming freshmen to be adept in the broad aspects essential to understanding renewable energy strategies and their role in society, including environmental ethics, energy policies, installation and design, as well as material science. Introduction to Solar Energy focuses on the details of designing a feasible photovoltaic installation as well as the science behind photovoltaics. This necessarily includes the creation of models to track the sun’s position from anywhere on Earth, understanding the role of solar radiation, basic semiconductor physics, as applied to solar cells, and observing good practices in system design. In the end, the students are exposed to everything they need to know to produce a complete design option. As the class has progressed, the students update their feasibility reports with the most recently learned content. As these pieces of the report come together, the students are able to see their hard work create a real-life product.

Communicating with Stormy Dean, Chief Administrative Officer for Siena Francis, the Energy Technology students have been able to visit the site to acquire accurate building dimensions, data on obstructions (shading), and a better understanding of the roof’s structural integrity. As time has progressed since the initiation of the project, the students began to incorporate other details into their assessments including, but not limited to, meteorological analyses, shading analyses, and preliminary suggestions of installation ideas to work off of for their final recommendation.

The three student groups from the class have created unique designs that will be bid upon at a forum on December 11th, 2014. Representatives from the Omaha Public Power District and Nebraskans for Solar will be present to move forward with a plan to actualize one of the designs.

Anton Yanchilin is a junior at Creighton University pursuing a double major of Energy Technology and Applied Physical Analysis. His career interests revolve around renewable energy applications, climate change mitigation policy, and the computer sciences.