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The University of Texas at Dallas

Sustainability Newsletter

March 2023

Sustainability Springs Forward

A researcher wearing safety gear while working in a laboratory.

Sustainability Focused Internal Research Funding

The Office of Research and Innovation in partnership with the Office of Sustainability has exciting sustainability focused internal funding opportunities for researchers at UT Dallas. The Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) grant program is designed to seed a new interdisciplinary Institute that addresses one or more challenges in sustainability. The Sustainability Seed Program for Interdisciplinary Research (Sustainability SPIRe) is designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research collaboration in sustainability that will advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Visit the Internal Funding webpage to view the descriptions and eligibility for the SRI and Sustainability SPIRe funding opportunities, deadlines to apply are March 31, 2023.

A person holding up an enamel pin of the symbol for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Think Global, Serve Local with Sustainability Service Honors

Are you a student who is passionate about creating a more sustainable world? Sustainability Service Honors awards volunteerism that advances any of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). By volunteering at least 150 hours of valid service before graduating, qualified honorees will receive SDG graduation regalia, recognition, and more! Register to pursue the Sustainability Service Honors to think global, serve local and get recognized for your sustainable service. If you are already registered, be sure to document your service hours.

A field of wild flowers on the University campus.

Save the Date for Earth Week 2023

Mark your calendar for Earth Week 2023! UT Dallas is celebrating the 12th annual Earth Week April 14-22 and the Office of Sustainability and Office of Student Volunteerism are planning many exciting events including Earth Fair, Garden Workshops, and more. This year’s theme is “Make it Local, Make it Personal” to focus on local application of the UN SDGs to support environmental, social, and economic components of sustainability. If your organization, department, or business would like to join UTD’s Earth Week, register for to host an event during the week or a table at Earth Fair.

A flock of birds flying over the treeline, silhouetted in front of a sunrise.

Lights Out for Birds

This year from March 1 to June 15, spring migration of birds flying across Texas will occur with peak migration between April 22 to May 12. Billions of birds fly over Texas each year during migration and distracting lights leads to migratory bird loss. To reduce migratory bird mortality, the Lights Out, Texas! campaign urges everyone to turn off non-essential lights at night from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. during critical migration periods.

Avery McKitrick.

Campus Sustainability Highlighted in Podcast Episode

Avery McKitrick, Sustainability Coordinator for Campus Engagement and Operations was recently interviewed for a podcast episode to discuss campus sustainability at UT Dallas. In the episode, Avery discussed commuter issues, student and staff living, and what sustainability looks like in higher education. Give the episode a listen to learn more about sustainability at UTD!


The Greenhouse

Updates to the UT Dallas Eco Rep Blog

The capital building.

What Did the Inflation Reduction Act Do?

Curious about the Inflation Reduction Act? Alisa gives an overview of how it benefits climate action, environmental justice, and more.

Head to the Greenhouse! >

Several violet-capped mushrooms emerge from a moss-covered log.

Mushrooms: The Unsung Heroes of the Climate Crisis

Fungi have many positive impacts on the environment and are even called “climate change warriors”! Ida explains the benefits.

Head to the Greenhouse! >

A paper doll chain surrounds some greenery.

Justice at the Heart of Environmentalism

Environmental justice is a matter of life and death. Gwen highlights activism and how to get involved.

Head to the Greenhouse! >

A hand holds a basket of fresh-picked vegetables above a garden.

What Agricultural Zone is Stardew Valley?

Are you interested in gardening or enjoy gaming? Anna explains plant hardiness zones using Stardew Valley and hypothesizes what zone the game is located in.

Head to the Greenhouse! >


Sustainability Service Honors Highlight

Each month, we highlight Comets who give back to their communities through service. You can register for Sustainability Service Honors to be recognized for your service on the Sustainability website.

Volunteer of the Month. Victoria Nguyen.

Volunteer of the Month: Victoria Nguyen (she/her)

Degree Program: Biology

Graduation Date: Summer 2023

Why she volunteers: I find that volunteer work is as beneficial for personal fulfillment as it is for future career prospects. Career work is often geared toward increasing output and productivity and is rarely satisfying. While volunteer work is unpaid, it often includes the kind of work that includes the qualitative experiences that makes life fulfilling.

Favorite volunteering experience: My favorite experience volunteering was working on an irrigation map for a local compost farm in Richardson. I was given a lot of liberty and freedom to make change where I saw fit. That, coupled with knowing that the compost piles we were forming were a part of a movement in which the trajectory of the neighborhood was moving towards greener waste management options made me feel capable and like I was a part of something larger.


Important Dates

Eco Hub Workday

March 4

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

UT Dallas Campus Clean Up

March 4

9:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Sustainability Podcast Club

March 9

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Transforming Thrift Finds with Feminist MakerSpace

March 24

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Eco Hub Workday

March 25

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Volunteer Event at Hope’s Door Resale Store

March 25

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sustainability Podcast Club

March 30

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.



Office of Sustainability

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The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080-3021

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