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By Emerson Andrews, Sustainability Office

The Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF) funded 19 projects during the 2021-22 academic year. The grants totaled $101,128 and the projects covered a wide range of issues, from bird banding to mural making. Project funding is approved by an allocation committee of students, staff, and faculty. 

SMALL Grants

Little Cottonwood Action Night, $1,000 

Project Executive: Claudia Weise | Project Advisor: Amy Sibul 

Students for the Wasatch received funding for a student led action night to disseminate knowledge about the current UDOT transportation solutions in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The students’ goal is to bring together interested student groups and get them involved in the issues. They will do this by providing information from deep analysis of UDot’s proposal, advocate for other common senses solutions and, provide recourses to write letters to legislators, sign a petition, and join their group.  

ECG Soil, $800 

Project Executive: Isabel Fuller | Project Advisor: Jessica Kemper 

The Edible Campus Gardens received funding for seed starting and potting soil along with a variety of specialty seeds to start growing plants in the greenhouse over the winter. When the plants reach maturity, they are given to the main FeedU Pantry and satellite location at the University Student Apartments to be distributed to students.   

U Save the Lake, $850 

Project Executive: Sadie Bowman, Jilly Mcbane | Project Advisor: Wendy Wischer  

Students in Honors 4473 Art, Action, & the Environment received funding for a U Save the Lake event to bring awareness to the shrinking of the Great Salt Lake. Grant funds went towards creating a custom cornhole game where the board and holes shrink until the bean bags can no longer fit, a creative sign about individual water consumption, and sticker giveaways to remind people of the issue.   

AQ & U Sensors, $989 

Project Executive: Auburn Sage Acord | Project Advisor: Kerry Kelly 

This project implements the installation of new sensors at Lassonde Studios. The sensors provide live feedback of particulate matter and carbon dioxide concentrations. Sensor installment is intended to gather data to help guide efforts to improve indoor air quality in the campus environment.  

Queer Ecology Reading Group, $700 

Project Executive: Amelia Diehl | Project Advisor: Angela Robinson 

The Queer Ecology Reading Group received funding to purchase books to help deepen student participants’ understanding of and engagement within the field of queer ecology. Over the course of the summer the group will read six books and discuss the significance of each work.  They plan to create a shared syllabus and survey of the field of queer ecology that can be accessed and adapted by any University of Utah student for future opportunities to deepen campus engagement in queer ecology.  

3D Pollen Model, $1,000 

Project Executive: Stefania Wilks | Project Advisor: Andrea Brunelle 

This project will design and manufacture 3-D scaled models of pollen grains to be used as laboratory teaching tools for student researchers, with the goal of providing each student with their own models.   


MEDIUM  grants

Terracycle Nitrile Glove Recycling, $2,075 

Project Executive: Sean Anderson | Project Advisor: Holly Sebahar 

The Green Chemistry Committee a part of the University’s American Chemical Society student chapter received funding to expand the chemistry department’s nitrile glove recycling program. The hope is that Terrycycle recycling will be a more sustainable and financially feasible program compared to the current  RightcycleTM system. The need for this change arose when supply chain and pricing issues caused by the pandemic forced the department to order different brands of nitrile gloves that are not accepted by their current recycling program.   

Navajo Mountain Water Access, $5,418 

Project Executive: Lani McKinnon| Project Advisor: Michael Barber  

Engineers Without Boarders received funding to implement student-made systems that provide clean water for the Navajo Mountain community. This project implements student made systems to provide a sustainable solution for clean water access that is to be maintained and operated by the Navajo Mountain community.  

In the Garden: Chapbook, $4,575 

Project Executive: Maya Kobe-Rundio| Project Advisor: Jeff McCarthy 

In the Garden is a collection of creative works highlighting the diverse voices of gardeners, growers, cultivators, and creatives, centered on relationships of gardening ecology and social justice. The chapbook is about finding new opportunities for living and growing in a difficult and changing world and rethinking relationships to food, land, and community.   

Red Butte Creek Signage $3,550 

Project Executive: Isabel Fuller| Project Advisor: Sarah Hinners 

In 2020 construction of Red Butte Creeks landscape lab was finished. Grant funding was received to install interpretative signage at the Landscape Lab. The informational signage serves to educate passersby of the landscape labs purpose, design, and research efforts.  

AQ Monitoring, Outreach, and Pollution Resilience at Glendale Library, $3,408.10 

Project Executive: Piper Christian| Project Advisor: Adrienne Cachelin 

In alignment with Glendale Library Piper Christian received funding to install air quality sensors inside and outside of the Glendale Library.  This project creates opportunities for air pollution adaptation, resiliency, and education through its three objectives: (1) install sensors at the Glendale Library (2) create a clean air room at the library (3) create a clean air purifier program.  

Bird Banding at Bonderman Field Station, $3,080 

Project Executive: Reily Shields| Project Advisor: Kyle Kittelberger  

This project implemented the purchase of new mist nets for the Bonderman Field station at Rio Messa and Red Butte Canyon. Mist nets are used to safely catch birds to band them and record data to track health, population size, community structure, species diversity, and more.  The old mist nets have experienced natural wear and tear and are periodically replaced for the safety of the birds and research integrity.  

Sutton Atrium Lighting Upgrade, $5,292 

Project Executive: Will Mace 

This project aimed to upgrade the eight halogen lights in the atrium of the Sutton building’s main east entrance with LED lights.  Investment in replacing halogen lights with LED lights reduces energy consumption and fixes the safety hazards caused by low lighting. 

Embodied Ecologies, $4,181 

Project Executive: Natalie Slater | Project Advisor: Brooke Larsen 

This project explores the intersection of disability and the environmental justice of Salt Lake City through an on-campus art installation and panel discussion in the Marriot Library Digital Matters lab. Grant funds help pay for artist fees, supply stipends and an ASL interpreter for panel events. The installation provides the opportunity for more open discussions on disability, sustainability, and environmental health. 

Period Equity, $10,000 

Project Executive: Izzy Fuller, Zahra Saifee, Alexandra Michelle, Gabrielle Desjardins | Project Advisor: Alison Mortensen-Hayes 

This project looks to create better period equity by selling reusable pads and period underwear at a reduced rate. Modeled off the Menstrual Cup Distribution project the Period Equity project will provide more affordable access to external period products, give individuals the choices to find the product best for them, and increase participation in sustainable period culture.  

Energy Choice Survey, $13,750 

Project Executive: Ted Peterson| Project Advisor: Mathew Burbank 

This project explores the linkages between consumer values, behaviors, and energy choices. A survey of Utah adults will gather data on energy choices by exploring the importance of framing and decision theory. The survey will help in considering and understanding the importance of program design and provide a base that can be employed directly in designing and developing programs for the campus community. 



Project HEAL: COVID Vaccine Vials Art Mosaic, $11,200 

Project Executive: Emily Hagn 

Emily Hagn received funding for a collaborative mosaic art project using empty COVID-19 vaccine vials, uncontaminated healthcare waste, and memorabilia from families in the Utah community that have lost loved ones to COVID-19. The intent of the project is to symbolize our path towards healing and honor the patients, staff, communities, and science impacted by COVID-19. 

Bolivia Water Distribution, $28,382 

Project Executive: Ethan Lenz| Project Advisor: Swomitra Mohanty  

Engineers Without Boarders in partnership with Engineers in Action and the Chosco community will implement student-designed solutions to provide clean water in Chosco, Bolivia that meets Bolivian, WHO, and EPA water standards. The project aims to: (1) remove and replace over 5,000 ft of damaged galvanized pipeline with HDPE and replace and rebuild anchor points to eliminate pipeline sagging.  (2) involve the Chosco community in the implementation of the system to provide training and knowledge of system procedures needed for future repairs and maintenance.